We had to go to Orlando (again!) for Rosie’s gymnastics meet—it was to be held at the Orange County Convention Center and I wanted to stay nearby. I first checked the Peabody Hotel—only to find that it was hundreds of dollars out of my price range. Maybe someday.
My next choice was the Hilton Orlando. I don’t have a particular love for Hiltons. Actually, I have been quite disappointed in them lately. But, this one was connected to the Convention Center and had to be less expensive than the Peabody.
I was able to reserve a room for February 12, 2011 at a reasonable rate. It was quite unfortunate when we showed up on February 11, 2011 to check into our room. I made my reservation for the wrong date. Again! (No, this was not the first time this has happened to me. I think all of this travel is getting to me. I can’t keep my dates straight.) Anyway, the woman at the front desk was able to accommodate us in a handicap room for the same rate.
Phew! I was worried I would be schlepping two kids, a ton of stuff around Orlando looking for an alternate place to stay.
We arrived pretty late—around 7 pm– and we were all hungry, cranky and ready to watch American Idol. The only option, really, was to order room service! Room service is fun for the kids but the food was nothing special.
We slept soundly. In comfy beds with clean white sheets. I thought I would get a bed to myself but Rosie had a different idea. Rosie and I snuggled with her new lavender filled kitty cat stuffed animal—I think that may be why I slept so well.
In the morning, we quickly got dressed and walked over to the Convention Center for the gymnastics meet. See that photo up there—that is just part of the Convention Center. And, not the part we needed to be in. No one mentioned that the gymnastics meet was at the furthest end of the Convention Center from the Hilton. If we had stayed at the Peabody, we would have been right across the street.
So, we walked and walked and walked. It took about half and hour —and had to be at least half a mile. Luckily, most of the walk was inside the Convention Center. Yes, I was that mom that let her kids run on ahead—actually I just kept walking and pretended I didn’t know them. They were jumping over railings, playing on the moving sidewalks and just generally getting in the way of the business people trying to work. I didn’t want to disrupt their fun—I just wanted to get us to the meet, on time, with no fighting, no yelling. I pressed on.
Finally, we arrived. Rosie competed. They got awards. We headed out for our long walk home. And, once again this was the highlight of the kids day. They ran, they jumped, they raced. I swear that they enjoyed racing through that building more than Cirque Du Solei.
I guess I haven’t really explained why I liked the Hilton Orlando so much—and I really did like it. I loved the little touches—
the interesting chandeliers,
the modern and sleek lobby.
I really loved the spiral staircase into the pool complex…..
The lighting there was great and we spent a bunch of time there trying to get portraits of the kids.
Have I told you about the fitness center? This was no rinky dinky fitness center—it had over 15 treadmills, about the same number of bicycles, and stairmasters. I didn’t spend anytime working out but if I were on there on business—I would have loved that fitness room. Usually, hotel fitness rooms depress me—but this was nicer than my current gym.
The spa was also something I didn’t get to experience first hand. But, I am planning a family weekend trip to Orlando for my birthday and I am treating myself to a spa treatment.
We loved the pool area. They had a lazy river with waterfalls and water cannons, a water slide, and the pools were big and beautiful. Unfortunately, it was about 60 degrees out and after braving the lazy river once, I spent all of my time in the hot tub. The kids were brave—jumping the pool, lazing in the river—while I kept warm. The weather likely kept everyone away as we were the only people there. I’m sure on a beautiful Florida day, that place is packed.
We had a late lunch at the Tropics Poolside Bar. I was impressed with their options—everything from pizza, salads, burgers and sandwiches.
After one long stroll around the pool deck, we decided it was time to head home. Reluctantly, we left the hotel but I had to promise the kids that we would return. Soon. With Aaron. With time for a spa treatment. And, dinner at the fancy restaurant.
I highly recommend the Hilton Orlando if you are in the area for attractions such as Universal, SeaWorld or the Convention Center (If you are doing a Disney only trip, this isn’t really the place for you unless you don’t mind driving, and paying for parking both at the hotel and in the parks). If you live in the area, and want a relaxing staycation–they offer deals to Florida residents—like the 30 hour package–which allows for early check-in and late check out.
Disclaimer: I reserved and paid for my hotel rooms on my own. Hilton has no idea who I am or that I blog about all most of my hotel experiences.