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Crowne Plaza Orlando - Universal Blvd
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Reviews (2,311)
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Reviewed 2 July 2010

I agree with some of the other reviewers that this is not what I would consider a 4 star hotel but that is more of an issue with sites like hotwire and priceline than it is an issue with the hotel.

First the good. Nice hotel with pretty good location for Universal Studios and for the most part te staff was very helpful, courteous, and friendly. The internet worked really well which was important as I was working remotely for the week while the rest of the family went off to play. The bed is comfortable and the A/C can get VERY cold if I want it to which was really nice. A fridge was provided on request but they are hard to come by and we had to wait a day.

The breakfast buffet was pretty good and the sandwiches were pretty good though a little pricey (to be expected I guess). The home-made chips are awesome.

As for the staff, Tony who was our server twice at the breakfast buffet was AWESOME. I would definitely request him if you eat at this restaurant. His attention to detail and his personal touch was very much appreciated and he is an asset to this restaurant and hotel.

The common areas were nice and comfortable. The music by the pool added to the relaxing atmosphere.

And just for the record, I didn't think that the hotel was decorated by aliens.

Now for the not so good. First and foremost, I don't understand how any hotel can offer up their KING room (not suite, just room) as standard for a party of 3 or more. This may be partially an issue with Hotwire and luckily my son is still small enough and the king bed large enough that it was ok, but if my other son had come along that would have been a problem. I don't know who holds the blame, but unless all other rooms are unavailable, a party of 3 should always get 2 doubles/queens/whatever rather than a king and that should be built in, not an add-on surprise fee (which I'm assuming we could have done though it was not offered)

Also, while the music by the pool is nice during the day, it is not appreciated at night (after midnight). Our first night the music ran all night. I didn't realize it was this music, we just thought it was a rude neighbor having a small party or something. at 5am i realized it was the pool music (and I think it was actually louder at 5am than at midnight) so I asked them to turn it off which of course they did immediately and offered us some comp meals for the trouble. This did not happen again but if you stay here and you have a pool-side room and hear the bass carrying from the music, you might want to ask them to turn it down/off if it is late at night...

Otherwise, the pool area has no real character. No slides or anything really interesting. granted it is right next door to wet-n-wild so it's hard to compete but for a supposedly 4-star resort in this area to not at least have a slide is a bit surprising. It's also a little small. Don't get me wrong, it's nice, just not what I would expect for a 4 star rating.

While the location is pretty good, parking can be problematic if the hotel is busy and if Universal blvd is busy it can be difficult to get out especially in the direction of universal / wet-n-wild .

Overall it was a nice stay but I was disappointed that it was not really what I would consider a 4 star resort as advertised by hotwire.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled with family
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Thank rhollinger42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 June 2010

Nice hotel in convenient location. We visited Universal and Disney theme parks, two outlet malls and several restaurants, all within 5-10 minutes of the hotel. The Crowne Plaza and staff met or exceeded our expectations in every regard. The beds and pillows were very comfortable and provided a great nights rest after hot days at the parks. Staff was courteous and responsive to our requests. The only disappointment was that WiFi was not freely available in the room, but I was able to get by with the free access in the lobby area, so it wasn't a big deal. Would definitely stay again, and probably increase the length of our stay!

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled with family
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Thank Todd_H079
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 June 2010

Crown Plaza Universal Orlando
June 2010

This property is the Chucky Cheese of Hotels. Clean, plain and decorated by aliens.

Billed as a “Four Star Property”, a long way from Disney and with season rates at over $450 a night, this hotel is really a joke.
Two stars, ok. 2.5 maybe. Compared to other properties with three or four stars, this one does not shine and surely doesn’t deserve the price or the star rating it has.

As a Priority Club member, I expected more from the Holiday Inn chain. Just a few of the interesting points to consider before you book this weirdly decorated joint:
First, there is the really strange, off beat décor, (Southwestern?), which does not say much, but seems to echo cheap, cheap, cheap property. The lobby is cold and sort of empty. Nothing up scale here.
There is no free Wi-Fi in the rooms so the people with laptops are squatting in the lobby where the free connection is dead slow. At these prices, it should be free throughout the hotel.
The TV remote worked occasionally, but was not reliable.
The room safe was inoperative.
There were no easy to use electrical outlets, such as on the desk. In fact, there were no outlets at the desk for charging phones, headset, computers, etc.
In the clean, but plain room, there were no robes or min fridge or microwave. Four star hotels typically offer at least some of these extras.
The hotel uses an in the elevator security system that usually doesn’t work, so you can spend a lot of time trying to get to your floor.

The central (?) air conditioning was in the room and next to the bed. Iy sounded like a diesel truck parked in the same room and made sleep impossible.

Meanwhile, in the lobby, the concierge personnel are touting for area restaurants and outside the front door the bell men and doorman are hustling guests to use the hotel’s town cars instead of local cabs.
While check in was fast and painless, the desk clerk was poorly trained and fixated on getting a credit card even though I had already prepaid for the room. I understand the need for this but had left mine in the car and promised to return with it shortly.

At check out, I commeneted on these problems and got a lot of apologies, but nothing else.

The cap to this short stay, although this isn't the fault of the hotel, was getting a cab driver who said he knew nothing about the restaurant I was headed to for dinner. “I’m new,” he told me, and I had to direct him to the Capital Grill, a major, long time dining spot on International Drive. He was, he told me, from Morocco, which apparently justified his knowing nothing. Welcome to Goofyland.

In summary, this is an overpriced, over rated, really tacky hotel, perhaps a fun place for families with kids, as it appeals to the infant mentality perhaps, but there are other, more mature hotels that deserve more attention.

No, I would not go back.

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled on business
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Thank jjstives
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
stripoli, General Manager at Crowne Plaza Orlando - Universal Blvd, responded to this reviewResponded 27 June 2010

Dear JJStives,

Thank you for your review. I am sorry that your visit was not perfect. I would like to point out some inaccuracies with your review to ensure future guests are not mislead.

First, our hotel was NOT decorated by Aliens. It was, however, decorated by a local company who did a very nice job combining an art deco contemporary feel with New York City Art. Our hotel is quite bright and colorful throughout. Each room is equipped with a desk lamp that has electrical outlets in the back side and a sticker on the front that let's you know this. Therefore making the desk area very user friendly for charging such items as phones, computers, etc. The rooms on our Executive Level include robes. The room you were in does not as you did not purchase, through Hotwire, a room on the Executive level. Also, you were in a king room. Our king rooms do not have microwaves and refrigerators, however, our rooms with two queens beds have microwaves and refrigerators and our junior suites offer refrigerators. In the future, if you would like a refrigerator, a simple request would have gotten one delivered within 10 minutes. The security system you are referring to is for guests who are blocked on our Executive Level floors, 14 and 15. Since you reserved your room through Hotwire and did not purchase an Executive Level room, this system would not be required for you to reach your room on the 8th floor. I am glad the check in was fast. While your room was prepaid, it is common policy at any hotel to ask for a credit card for incidental charges as the desk clerk did.

In closing, I am happy to hear the concierge staff was offering excellent service by recommending local restaurants to our guests. Also, I am glad that my bellstaff and valet were offering the use of the towncar service where a clean, comfortable car is always the case at almost the same price as a local cab where you cannot be guaranteed this. It's unfortunate you did not use this service, as I can guarantee you that the drivers we recommend all know where Capital Grille restaurant is located.

Thank you very much for staying with us and we wish you a better stay the next time you are in Orlando.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 June 2010

We have stayed at the Crowne Plaza Universal a number of times before (the most recent prior to this visit being January 2010). We had a perfect stay at the hotel during the first 2 weeks of June 2010. The hotel never disappoints, a lot of the staff know us now having stayed so many times, however, the service is still the same high standard as it was on our very first visit.

The front desk staff are very efficient and courteous and check in / out is a breeze. The bellmen / valet parking are first class and definitely the guys to ask if you are wanting to dine out or want directions etc, they may even have some great discount coupons for you for restaurants and shops! The room was up to it’s usual high standard and is well appointed and includes HD TV.

The new pool area and terrace is fantastic, we were disappointed in January that the weather was to cold to try it, however, it was perfect to enjoy the high 90’s temps in June!

All the staff are approachable and go out of their way to make sure that your stay is perfect. We stayed at the Corwne Plaza in Times Square New York and the staff ignored you and didn’t acknowledge you at all, this is certainly not the case at the Crowne Plaza Universal. The general manager is regularly in the lobby area, along with other directors and they all go out of their way to speak with guests and are very approachable if you do have any questions and I know they will resolve any issues you may have asap – if you have an issue and don’t mention it to them they can not resolve it!

I have recommended the hotel to friends, family and we are returning again this December – I would not do this if the hotel and service was not up to standard. The location is great (perfect for Universal Studios, you are less than 5 minutes away from Harry Potter staying at the Crowne), the facilities are wonderful, the service is first rate and Scott (the GM) and his team will do want ever it takes to make sure you have fabulous time at the hotel and while in Orlando – give it a try you will not be disappointed.

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled with family
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Thank JR3079
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 June 2010

From the time I arrived to the time I checked out, I cannot say enough about this great hotel in the heart of the tourist trap of International Drive and the Orlando Convention Center. My last business trip in the same general area to Orlando was scary and I was not looking forward to this one!
We needed an extra room at check in, last minute and Janet, I hope this is her name, the beautiful girl with the big brown eyes and even bigger smile went back and forth with us as we just could not get it right. She was amazing! Any other front desk person would have been well over us and shown attitude at that point. She was there for us and made sure we were happy.
On the way to my room I noticed a man working on the lights in the hallway and when I got into my room I did not have power and called the front desk. They told me power should be on shortly and I did not care as i was going to unpack and go to dinner. When I came back from dinner the power was on but my room smelled like cheap perfume! I though maybe it was coming from the room next door but I called the desk anyway as it was a strong unpleasant odor.
Dedier, the night manager was insistent that I change rooms and offered to upgrade me to a Jr suite and could you believe I declined? I was too lazy to re-pack and I was tired, I told him I had called one of my co-workers who went to Walgreens to pick me up a candle. Dedier said he would like to have someone come and spray a freshener in my room and I declined...I like vanilla candles, so that is what I waited for.
The next night after coming back from the convention the room smelled like cheap perfume again! Dedier had called and asked if everything was OK and when I told him about the smell again, he was insistent once more to move to the Jr suite. Again, I declined, too lazy and the candles were working. But I did ask for free internet and Dedier said "how about free internet AND the Jr suite? :)
I received a message every day asking if my stay was going well. Absolutely unheard of today! Everyone I encountered at this hotel was genuinely concerned with my well being. Sales and catering took great care of us as we booked a small meeting room for a few hours, the AV guy, the maids, the waitress in the bar...
I will definitely come back to this property next year and hope Dedier and his team are all still there. Thanks to you all for making my stay at Crowne Plaza one that I will tell all my friends and co-workers about!
The absolute ONLY negative was the towels, they were large enough but not soft at all, I like a soft towel...

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled on business
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Thank lyagirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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