Worst hotel experience ever - beware, they will try to keep your deposit or charge you for the state of the room when you check out! Staff is beyond rude, rooms are dingy and in desperate need of upgrades (ignore all claims that these rooms are "new"!), wireless internet is only strong enough to access in the lobby, and the desktop internet access requires a prepaid card (I bought a $5.00 card and by the time half my balance was gone, I still hadn't opened a single internet page).
Checking in. Checking in was a nightmare. I lost my credit card at the airport and asked what could be done to check in. You may have read other reviews about the terrible, terrible service at the front desk - it's true - every, single employee was rude, disinterested, and just plain snotty. The front desk rep asked if the credit card was on file. I said yes. Without even looking at me, she said there was nothing that could be done, and we'd have to find somewhere else to stay - then went back to what she was doing. I had just arrived with five children - two of which are babies - and no other adults. I ended up paying $300 in cash to get the room, which included a $50.00 deposit. She told me there was no way to charge the credit card on file without seeing the actual card, then about an hour after checking in, there was a $40.00 charge applied to the card! When I asked her about charging the card, she couldn't explain it, but assured me that "whatever it was" would be returned to the card after checking out.
The room. This was a case of "you get what you pay for." We didn't spend much time there so it wasn't a huge concern, but it drives me crazy that they brag about their "new rooms" at every turn. NOTHING about these rooms are new, unless they bought new pictures for the walls.
Internet. They advertise free wireless internet and I had read prior reviews of how poor the signal was - also true. Sometimes I could get ONE signal bar at the end of one bed, but nowhere else on the room. I could only access the full range of wireless in the lobby - again, sometimes. Because of losing my credit card, a relative sent me a money transfer, and there was no way to receive it - so I decided to use one of the desktop computers available in the lobby. I had to purchase a pre-paid card, the computer was so slow that my time was ticking before a page even loaded, and after $3.00 went by, I still couldn't access anything. The front desk rep called a technician - because the computers aren't the responsibility of the hotel! - and I was told it could be half a day before it was fixed. I had to go in search of internet in the area and we lost an ENTIRE day trying to accept the money transfer.
Housekeeping and deposit. We stayed for six days. For the first three days, we put up the "do not disturb" sign so housekeeping would not come. With five kids and myself, there were toys and clothes everywhere, and I knew they wouldn't be able to work around it. I moved it all on the third night. On the fourth day, housekeeping never showed up. On the fifth day, housekeeping never showed up. On the day of check-out, I cleaned the room - above and beyond. I bagged all garbage, wiped the dressers and counters, piled all the dirty linens together on one bed, put all the dirty towels in the bathtub. Other than vacuuming, the room was in check-in condition. Upon checking out, the front desk rep said there was a problem with the state of the room and they would be keeping the deposit. I demanded to meet with housekeeping in the room, where a young girl explained that the room was not up to their standards. "It is not the responsibility of housekeeping to clean the room," she said. WTF? I asked her to point out the problems and she was quiet for a long time. "The room is fine, I will let front desk know to release the deposit." She and the front desk rep went back-and-forth on their radio for a few minutes, until the deposit was finally released. The housekeeping attendant told me they had visited the room on the fourth and fifth days but never replenished the towels or made the beds because they didn't want to work around the toys. I told her everything had been picked up and put back in the suitcases and she just shrugged. My two sons and I slept in a bed where syrup had been spilled (and hardened) for the entire week.
Calls from family and friends. My mother and my son's father called us several times during the stay. EVERY time they called, they told me about the terrible service at the front desk. At one point, my mother phoned and our line was busy. She tried back again a few minutes later and the front desk rep snapped at her that she already told her the line was busy. My mother had to argue with her to ring the line again.
Cribs. I was advised that a crib would be available, so I called two weeks before checking in. I was told a crib can't be requested until check-in. Upon checking in, I was told they were out of cribs. Later that day, a hotel rep showed up with a playpen (I had two infants with me).
Free shuttle to parks. I'd tell you to check the times, but you'd probably get snapped at, like I did when I called ahead to ask about the times so we could plan our days. "There are too many times to list them all, you'll have to wait until you check in!" The buses to Disney leave late and all of them come back too early to stay for fireworks, etc. If you're traveling with kids, be forewarned that the shuttles are super crowded because they pick-up/drop-off from other hotels, too. We only used the shuttle once and stuck with the Lynx buses and trolley for the rest of the vacation.
I ignored many of the poor reviews because we were on an incredibly tight budget and couldn't afford to change hotels - PLEASE don't do the same. I can honestly say this hotel stay ruined much of our vacation and cost us four park tickets (we never did have a chance to use our Aquatica tickets because it took us so long to sort out hotel issues that we couldn't do anything the first day). I would never, ever stay at this Travelodge again, based solely on the customer service - even if everything else had been okay. Sometimes your plans don't go as expected and you need helpful staff and reliable internet access.
Pros: It's located on a Trolley stop (but almost all hotels on International Drive are) and the guys working in the convenience store downstairs were great. That's it.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Heart of I-Drive. Welcome to the all new rooms Heart of I-Drive - Orlando. We are centrally located on International Drive in front of Econolodge and just minutes from Universal Studios, Disney World, SeaWorld and all the other wonderful attractions that Central Florida has to offer. The Heart of I-Drive is just a few miles away from some of the finest shopping in the world, including the Mall at Millenia and Prime Outlets. A complimentary shuttle service to and from all the major theme parks is included in your total room price. We look forward to having you visit the new Heart of I-Drive. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Orlando Knights Inn
- Heart Of I-Drive Orlando, Florida