Explore. Dream. Discover.
Join us on this amazing adventure...
Join us on this amazing adventure...
Crowne Plaza Orlando Universal Studios: our home for the first 2 nights in Orlando. While this is an executive hotel, welcoming many business visitors that come to town, it is also an ideal place for families planning to stay close to the major parks in Orlando such as Universal Studios Orlando, Walt Disney World, Epcot Center and SeaWorld Orlando.
Now remember that when we say “close”, this might mean that a park is located 15-20 minutes from a certain place. Those parks are huge, so the entrance might take you few minutes to get to if you are on the other side.
The good thing about a great hotel like Crowne Plaza Orlando Universal is that they provide a free shuttle service to Walt Disney World Resort, Epcot Transportation Center, Universal Orlando, Seaworld, Aquatica and Premium Outlets International Drive for guests who prefer to leave their car in the hotel parking lot.
Another advantage of staying with one of the top hotel chains in the world, and in a fantastic city like Orlando, is that the customer service is outstanding.
Our check in at the Crowne Plaza Orlando was pretty smooth, and as soon as our host explained a bit about the facilities and services at the hotel we immediately went to our room, as it was already a bit late. Our room was located on the 14th floor of the hotel, which means that we were on the Executive floor that has some extra services for guests. We will come back to that a bit later in this article.
From the beginning we enjoyed our stay as our contact at the hotel, Liz Hall the Director of Sales and Marketing, left a small basket with some cookies, crisps, cereal bars and a very kind note welcoming us. The cookies were delicious, and as I love cookies, they were the first thing in the basket I opened. There was another packet for Noah, which he enjoyed very much, and a third one for Ruth … It is a pity for her that she doesn’t like that kind of cookies very much, but great for Noah and me as we were able to share the third one 🙂 .
The views from the room were fantastic. The sunset was clearly visible right from our window, but we were only able to appreciate it the next day as we arrived late on our first night.
The room was large enough for a family of four as it had 2 queen beds, and although the ideal thing would have been for one of us to share a bed with Noah, he decided to take one of the beds by himself … It is that kind of unilateral decision that makes me realize that I’m not the boss at home. First Noah, then Ruth, then myself … Not fair, but the grim reality …
The TV was a good size, and there was also a comfortable couch provided. Apart from that there was a mini fridge, which was perfect for the drinks we purchased to be chilled throughout our stay, a microwave and coffee maker, and an iron and ironing board that we used to ironing our shirts that had been squeezed into our luggage for a few days already.
One item that nowadays is more necessary than ever is a mini safe for storing our passports and any extra money that we didn’t want to carry around.
The bathroom had a bathtub and all the amenities we needed and would have expected in a high-class hotel like the Crowne Plaza Orlando Universal: shampoos, soap, conditioner, hair dryer, etc. All in all it was very large, comfortable and light accommodation for two nights.
We stayed at another hotel for the rest of our time in Orlando, but we were certainly able to catch up on some sleep during those 2 nights in the Executive room.
Apart from the twin queen size bedroom, there is the option of a King bedded room or the Junior Suite comprising one queen size bed and one double sofa bed. The amenities of the Junior Suite the same (except for the microwave), but with the plus of having a bit more privacy for sleeping as the bed is located in an alcove area.
Remember when I told you about some extra services for customers staying in one of the Executive rooms at the hotel? Well there is a VIP room on the 15th floor, only available to Executive Level guests, with a lounge with TV’s, complimentary continental breakfast daily and Evening Reception Sunday – Thursday with free draft beer and light appetizers; wine and other drinks are available at a discount. The lounge has two computers (I believe brand new at the time of our stay) with a printer, to be used by guests for free.
On the ground floor next to the reception area there’s the Elements Restaurant & Lounge, offering a full American Breakfast Buffet or ala carte breakfast menu and a wide variety of dishes for lunch and dinner such as fish special of the day, meat, salads, pasta, etc .
On the first night we decided to order some food and take it upstairs as we thought that Noah was tired … Our mistake, as he decided to stay up very late. We had to try the burger and did not regret it. It had everything we wanted – bacon, cheese, salad, etc. – and was cooked just right for my taste. Ruth and Noah had dishes very satisfying and tasty.
By the pool there’s a bar with TVs where you can relax while having a nice cocktail, and just outside the pool area there are several tables for dining outdoors when the weather is pleasant.
As I mentioned above there’s a big swimming pool with a very good temperature and has different depths, so children can play in part of the pool without parents having to worry too much. Noah is still learning how to swim, so he enjoyed it a lot and we did not worry too much about him. Next to the pool there’s a Jacuzzi which was very warm and is ideal for sitting in, relaxing and enjoying yourself.
Near the pool children will love a games room with quite a few arcade machines – both old and new games. Well, children and big kids like me. There is racing, wars in space, … all available by purchasing tokens that you can get in the same room. Next to the games room there is a good-sized gym with modern equipment for those who want to exercise during their stay. That was not the case for us this time, but on our next stay we will make sure we use the gym.
Inside the Crowne Plaza Orlando Universal guests can benefit from a mini-shop to purchase souvenirs and some refreshments. The shop is open till late 12 midnight, so if you need something last minute there’s no need to leave the hotel.
As the hotel is ideal for executives that are in town for business, the Crowne Plaza Orlando Universal has 12 meeting and events rooms with the largest having a capacity for up to 400 people where guests and companies can have their meetings. The location is particularly good for that purpose. There is also a business center with computers and printer available.
We found a petrol station, a large supermarket (Publix), a pharmacy, restaurants and fast food outlets very close to the hotel. Access is also very good as the hotel is located on a major street in Orlando, Universal Boulevard. On the other hand, that does not mean the hotel is very noisy. We stayed in the swimming-pool area for a long time and we could barely hear the cars passing by.
The hotel had the whole package during our visit: perfect location – close to the major parks, which is in our opinion a big plus, outstanding services, great facilities and all the comfort we needed during our stay. As we decided to stay in Orlando a bit longer than we had initially planned we missed the opportunity to stay a few nights longer at this hotel, due to its (expected) high occupancy. In any case we thank the Crowne Plaza, all the staff and our host Ms Hall for having us and treating us so well during our stay.
Crowne Plaza Orlando Universal
7800 Universal Boulevard
Orlando, Florida 32819