During some of my September 2022 experience in Orlando, I stayed several nights at The Holiday Inn and Suites Across from Universal Orlando. I have stayed here before. For me, the location of this hotel being a reasonable walking distance to Universal Orlando offers some flexibility in terms of planning. For this trip, I stayed in a standard deluxe king room. As per usual, I enjoyed my stay here. Yet, in terms of hotels, I qualify as a simple person. As I usually say when reviewing off-site hotels near Universal Orlando, many people unfairly compare these hotels to the “Premier” level at Universal Orlando. That comparison is usually unfair based on price point alone.
My room at the Holiday Inn offered many positives. As a part-time blogger, l enjoyed the portable table set-up. If you need to do any work, this set-up continues to be very functional. I noticed plenty of USB outlets and standard outlets with this room. I lost count but I know you could easily have over 10 devices charging at once. Having also stayed at the Aventura hotel on-site at Universal Orlando this trip, I appreciated the increase in charging options at the Holiday Inn in this room even compared to Aventura. In addition, the bed provides good comfort.
Speaking of technology, the Wi-Fi signal worked far better here than over at Aventura during my stay there. Compared to some of my previous stays at this Holiday Inn, I found this signal improved noticeably.
Other good characteristics of this room involve a portion of the bathroom. The bathroom features a bathtub/shower combination which many guests would find useful after a long theme park day. Also, coffee drinkers should rejoice since a Keurig device resides in all rooms here. Finally on the pros, the blackout style curtains/screens for this room worked great. I woke up one morning to type a few reports without even noticing the sun had come up while I was working.
On the negative side, this hotel still needs more renovation work as an older hotel. They have been doing renovations but there is still some left to do. Yet, the price offered reflects not everything being perfect yet. For example, for a hotel of this type, the pool area meets expectation easily. However, signage might lead you down a narrow walkway to get to the pool. For record, another entrance to the pool provides a far more enjoyable experience.
In my room, there was larger than expected road noise issues. Yes, this hotel resides near a busy road near Universal Orlando. However, accounting for that, you might experience a bit more noise than desired if coming back to your room for an afternoon nap. However, your noise problem will be lower than staying at one of the Endless Summer Resort hotels at Universal Orlando. Also, I struggled to get the air conditioning to my liking. Still, that might have been a “Me” issue.
Another characteristic of an older hotel relates to the elevator issue. Two of the four main elevators were down during my stay. If you are a veteran of staying here, you also know that the “slow” elevator was running on one side to the right of the front desk.
Also, when you come down the elevators, you might want to book a spot on the limited complimentary scheduled shuttle service to Universal Orlando Resort. I would caution you to be careful that the staff member working three days of my stay did a lot of upselling of tickets when you went to schedule your transport. In many cases, the people were buying tickets they did not need. This criticism does not reflect directly upon Holiday Inn. This happens at off-site hotels with shuttle service of any type. I mention this occasion since I saw it more this time than normal here. I just wanted to mention it in case you were unaware of that possibility since I have seen it at over 12 different area hotels before.
My last concern about this room revolves around the size of the bathroom. The room itself provides an incredible “bang for your buck” in terms of space at this price point. Yet, the bathroom area ranks as small even when I stayed here as a solo traveler. I apologize for no photos of the bathroom area however.
Despite these negatives, this hotel offers many great reasons to stay here. If you want service and amenities like staying at Sapphire Falls, then this hotel will not appeal to you. However, for a hotel near Universal Orlando at a good price point, compared to sapphire Falls, with many positives, this hotel deserves consideration. For me, I would not hesitate to stay here again if I visited Universal Orlando. In fact, I have been known to add a night here at the beginning or end of my vacation to save a little money compared to staying on-site at Universal Orlando. I hope this helps as you plan your vacation to the Universal Orlando area.
Pirates & Princesses (PNP) is an independent, opinionated fan-powered news blog that covers Disney and Universal Theme Parks, Themed Entertainment and related Pop Culture from a consumer's point of view. Opinions expressed by our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of PNP, its editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. PNP is an unofficial news source and has no connection to The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal or any other company that we may cover.