Rodeway Inn Universal Studios Area
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Historical Traveler Reviews Rodeway Inn Universal Studios Area Orlando
Remember this is a BUGET hotel....
Reading most of the previous reviews you would think the hotel was only fit for a wrecking ball. I did not read any reviews before my holiday (early to mid September 05) and I am quite shocked at the severity of some of them which has prompted me to write my opinion of the hotel.
Granted the whole hotel has a somewhat dated look to it (The Tiki Bar has a backdrop that would be right at home in an episode of Magnum PI) and the management were first to admit that the whole place could do with a lick of paint.
Comments about the lack of staff friendliness I just cannot comprehend. Reception and bar staff were fantastic throughout and the energy of the Universal Resort reps next to reception had to be seen to be believed considering they work from 730am to 9pm more or less every day of the week.
Rooms; again, a little dated but certainly functional. Our room, at least, was cleaned every day without fail. The air conditioning unit worked just fine; there was hot water when I needed it and an in room safe (for a local charge). Yes the carpets could do with changing and the walls could do with a coat of paint and now the hotel has been taken over from Howard Johnson things were certainly looking up on our return to the UK (the hotel changed to Imperial Swan half way through our break) but lack of paint and dated carpets did not detract at all from the enjoyment of our holiday. I was fortunate to never encounter bugs in our room but this is the tropics and whilst staying at the 4 star (according to Virgin) Holiday Inn I-Drive in 2001, I awoke one morning to find a cockroach in the microwave and a small lizard type reptile running up the wall. My point is that it is the tropics and the local wildlife are not governed by star ratings or the cost that you pay for your holiday.
The dampness, I believe, comes from the air conditioning units that are used and has been a feature in all the hotels I have stayed at in Orlando and its something I just get used to. I certainly dont find the need to complain about it.
My number one reason for booking this hotel was the "free scheduled transport" to all the parks and yes there are some issues at times with overcrowding on the buses (particularly the return Disney Shuttle) but in Virgin's defence the schedule was changed after their brochure went to press and they informed us of the change before we flew out. The schedule change is also largely beyond the remit of the hotel as it is operated by a seperate company on behalf of several of the most popular hotels in the area.
Stay at the Quality Inn or Holiday Inn 2 blocks down I-Drive and you will have exactly the same problem with the shuttles as they all use the same company. One of the good features of the hotel is that it is more or less the first stop to pick up people before making its way down I-Drive so the chances of getting a seat on the coach if you get to reception in plenty of time is quite good and if the overcrowding really gets to you Universal is just a $5 taxi ride away and Seaworld is 75 cents per person on the I-Ride trolley. If Disney is going to be your main port of call all holiday what are you doing this far up I-Drive?! Get a hotel in Kissimmee that offers free transport to Disney.
Overall, I came to the hotel expecting basic and safe accomodation and that is what I received. If you are a family wanting to spend a little more time around the pool with the kids then this may not be for you and you would be wise in investing more in the accommodation choice but for the budget minded traveller who wants most of their money going towards having a good time in the theme parks and who can plan their days a little to take advantage of the free transport and just use the hotel as a bed stop for the night then you cant go far wrong with this hotel.
Will I be going back? I've just booked to go the first 2 weeks of October for Halloween Horror Nights this year and yes I am staying at this hotel once again.
OK Hotel -- If you're 19 and broke
The hotel was very dated, decor was not pretty. The shower did have mildew around the caulking with a constant drip and my T.V. remote didn't work. They did clean the room every day and restock any of the used toiletries. Not having an elevator was also another downside. Honestly, it had little to offer, but my room didn't smell as I've read on the site. For anyone who could afford better I'd recommend you do so. I would say this is a perfect place for college kids looking for fun with no money, but not for anyone else.
One Star is too generous. This place is a dump. The green carpeting in the common hallways is filthy and literally taped together with duct tape (silver duct tape). There is mold and mildew throughout. The shower curtain was missing rings. The box spring was exposed and the sheets were thin and uncomfortable. The room smelled strange. The counter service was okay, but not too friendly. Even at the price it is NOT a bargain. I was there with my daughter and the only reason I stayed was so that she would have something truly awful against which she could compare other accommodations in the future.
Very basic but okay - needs major renovation
My family (wife and children aged 9,6,3) and I stayed at this hotel between 26-31 December 2005.
I have read the earlier reviews and thought I was about to stay in a total dive, but this wasn't quite the case. Yes, the hotel is run down and not what I was promised or expected. It clearly is in need of upgrades and renovations and certainly isn't a Howard Johnson Hotel anymore. But the hotel is well located, the rooms were clean (but basic), and the service was fine.
Basically, the hotel is very run down. The hallways look tatty and very unclean. The hallway carpet is very old and doesn't appeared to have been vacuumed in a long time. The paintwork in the hallways is also in urgent need of repair/upgrading. Unfortunately, these first appearances are quite upsetting and make you wonder what the rooms might be like.
But the rooms were okay, although basic. The room did smell a bit musky when we first entered, but it was clean and after running the aircon for a while smelt okay. The room, like the rest of the hotel, also needed to be upgraded. Contrary to previous reports, our linen was clean and the cleaners replaced each used item every day. The bathroom area was fine but again in obvious need of upgrades. Everything worked okay although the toilet flush button was very loose.
The hotel has two floors (ground and 1st floor). There is no lift service, so if you don't want to walk a flight of stairs to your room, don't choose this hotel. We were on the first floor and didn't find it too much of a problem but didn't enjoy carrying our luggage up and down at the end and start of our stay.
The rooms do not come with a fridge or microwave... these can be obtained from reception at an extra fee ($10 USD per day)... although I wasn't actually charged any fee upon checkout! Ice for the ice bucket had to be obtained from the reception area (at the main bar), as no ice machines were located in the halls.
The rooms also offer a free in-room safe, but this too has to be obtained from reception at an extra one-off cost of $5 USD.
Our room had two double (not queen beds), which were small by general hotel standards. We also used the services of a fold-away bed which just fitted in the room. As we were absent from our room between 8am and 8pm each day (visiting Disney World et al), the size of the room didn't matter too much. After a long day, we all slept fine.
We found the reception area to be easy to access and quick to respond to requests for help. There was also a guest services desk that was staffed sometimes 'till late... they were reasonably helpful. There were no obvious security concerns for us at the hotel. We parked our car in the carpark at night - no problems at all. Apart from other guests, we did not see any other persons loitering around or in the hallways. Due to the time of year, we did not use any of the other facilities apart from the laundry (two washing machines & dryers).
The hotel's location just off International Drive was good, because International Drive is a nightmare because of its contstant bumper to bumper traffic flow. The hotel is easy to navigate to the main attractions... you just drive down Kirkman Road and turn either right on Sand Lake Drive to either go to the theme parts or left to drive to go to the East (Florida Mall or Kennedy Space Centre).
Given the overall presentation of the hotel, we chose not to dine at its restaurant. Instead, the Sizzlers Restaurant on International Drive provided an excellent buffet... using local vouchers meant kids under 10 years ate for free.
Would we stay here every again... most likely not. But if you want a cheap place to stay in a convenient location and don't mind appearances... then this may be suitable for you.
My recommendation is that this hotel is best for a short term, cheap stay option only. If you are looking for a resort or hotel with high appearances or a Howard Johnson... then don't choose this one.
Is there lower than a 1 rating?
I wish that I could give a lower rating than 1. We walked in the door of our room, and immediately booked a room at another local hotel down the street. It was a dump, carpets taped together in the hall, mold and musty smell everywhere. If you want a cheap hotel and don't care about your health, go for it, otherwise, steer clear.
Pretty grim really
Like previous reviewers, we arrived and were given a damp smelly room on the ground floor, with visible signs of a recent flood. Carpets were wrinkled and smelly and the furniture had disintegrated back to chipboard because of the water. Naturally asked to change rooms and were given 1st floor room in Block 2. This was at least dry and had a normal smell and the bathroom and TV functioned! The AC unit gave off a nasty smell but it was Nov so we could live with that as weather pleasant but not mad hot. Oh yeah, no lift though!!! Very funny (Not) lugging bags up stairs with grumpy husband muttering about hell hole.....
On the whole it is a dump, sorry but yes it is. Of course you get what you pay for so at $47.95 + tax at least you could get in your car and forget about the place until it was time to sleep :-)
The lobby/bar area was pleasant I must say but carpets in main hallways of Block 1 and 2 were knackered, wrinkled, water damaged and held down with tape! Panels on hall walls were out and on floor with wiring exposed behind but no workers present or work seemed to be going on during the 4 days we stayed there.
Maid service was fine but I think if your main holiday is here then you have to be a person who isn't bothered by the standard of rooms. Some of them are a health hazard and in no way acceptable but ones like our 1st floor are bearable if you keep reminding yourself that its cheap and you are out most of the days in Orlando.
You get what you pay for
We've just come back from 2 weeks here - we were a bit worried after previous reviews, but we couldn't find too much to fault the hotel for the price. We had an upstairs room in Block 6, overlooking the pool, and it was clean and well looked after. Bed linen and bathroom clean, although the carpets in the corridors were crumpled. There's renovation going on but it didn't affect us. Maybe it depends on which rooms you have - I'd previously read of damp, smelly rooms but that wasn't what we got. I think by next summer it will be a different, and better hotel, but at the moment we were happy that it gave value for money.
Give it a miss!!!
We saved up 15 months to go to America and was advised to go to this hotel. What a mistake!! The rooms were dirty with cobwebs on the walls, rust on the lampshades, hair dirt and crumbs of some kind all over the floor, carpets were all rippled as though it had been in a flood of some sort and the smell was disgusting!!! We walked into the rooms and straight back out booking into another hotel for the night until our rep could get us moved.
Ok for the money...not
on arrival got given a damp smelly room,no fridge or safe key, changed rooms immediatly as the damp was visible up the sideboard. Second room had loose light switches and a wacking great generator outside, couldnt sleep. Saw rep in the morning first choice got us moved to a much better room upstairs ,no lift. once in there everything was fine except a slight pong in the stairwells. but on the whole yea the carpets were taty n held down with tape in the hallways, the maid service was brilliant clean towels bed linen n vacumed daily. on the whole you get what you pay for.Dont expect the ritz. A word of warning try to get the upstair rooms stay away from 117, and you may have been told there undertaking paintwork and light touchups,as we were leaving luckily for us the place looked like a bomb had hit it. First choice have got some front sending people there and dont believe it when your travel agent says that your rep in orlando will swap hotels if your not happy, he will for a $400 price. please dont worry tho if like us you booked late you got it cheap ,orlando is wicked and truly unforgettable i seriously thought that prior to going reading the reviews that my holiday was doomed. just keep changing rooms till you get a gooden and ull be fine. would i stay there again, according to our rep its being turned into a five starr hotel, i think well pay a bit more next year
This Howard Johnson which is now called the Imperial Swan is definately not as bad as other reviews make out. Myself and my husband stayed at this hotel along with another 2 couples and I was dreading it after reading reviews but in all honesty could find very little wrong with it, yes the carpets definately need to be changed but apart from that I found everything in all rooms just fine. I read not to eat in the restaurant so I did'nt but the other 2 couples did and said it was very nice and the staff could'nt give them enough.
TripAdvisor Reviews Rodeway Inn Universal Studios Area Orlando
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