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“Good value, great location for a Universal vacation...”

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Crowne Plaza Orlando - Universal Blvd
Ranked #162 of 340 Hotels in Orlando
Reviewed 23 March 2012

I have lived in Florida for over 27 years, including 3 years in the Orlando / Universal Studios area. That's obviously not nearly enough time to sample the thousands of hotel options available in the Sunshine State, but I've stayed in a wide array of resorts, hotels, and motels over the years.

The Crowne Plaza Orlando Universal isn't the fanciest or the most elaborate hotel you'll find in the greater Orlando area, but from my recent experience, it's a solid value with alot to offer. (Especially if you are able to use the booking tips I've provided below.)

We booked two rooms for our stay -- one for my wife and I, and one for her parents. Both rooms offered a good amount of space, but ours was particularly nice, because it happened to be in the corner of the hotel. The layout of our room in the floorplan of the hotel basically made it into more of a Queen Suite than a regular room. Both rooms and bathrooms were clean and fairly well-appointed with the usual things you'd expect in a nicer hotel in a very busy area -- hair dryer, coffee maker, toiletries, lotions, plenty of towels, etc. Our room even came with a refigerator and little cocktail sink, though I don't believe that is standard for regular rooms. Additionally, and importantly, the beds and bedding were very comfortable.

ROOM TIP: I'd definitely recommend trying to request a corner room as I described, if you are staying for a while.

The public areas of the hotel aren't overly fancy, but they are clean and fairly spacious. The layout of the hotel makes it easy to find your way around, get in and out of your room easily with your luggage in hand, and enjoy the straightforward amenities provided by the hotel.

We ate at the bar / restaurant in the main lobby for dinner one of the nights we were there and the food was surprisingly good, though there was a rather limited selection of options. And, the service was adequate, but not overwhelming.

The pool area and outdoor patio are nice, though nothing spectacular. You shouldn't expect a resort-style spa experience, but they are certainly adequate for a family or couple looking to spend an hour or two sunbathing or enjoying a cocktail after a long day trekking around the nearby amusement parks.

One of the greatest strengths of this hotel is its LOCATION. You are very close to Universal Studios, International Drive ("I-Drive" if you are local), and I-4 (the main interstate that runs through Orlando and connects it to Tampa on the Gulf Coast and the beaches along the Atlantic Coast.) The hotel offers a shuttle service, but we were able to drive to Universal and park in about 5-10 minutes, start to finish, although in a busier tourist season you can probably expect more delays.

Perhaps most importantly, though you are right next to International Drive -- which offers a huge variety of options for dining, entertainment, and shopping -- but the entrance to the hotel is not actually ON International Drive, and is instead on Universal Blvd. This means you can walk or take a shuttle to many places that are within a mile or so of your hotel, but you are not forced to drive in the horribly congested traffic that International Drive is plagued with. Still, you are able to drive directly to Universal Studios with almost no chance of getting lost.

DRIVING TIP: The hotel is not particularly close to the Orlando Airport. If you can arrange shuttle service or splurge on a taxi, that could work, but it might be nice to rent a car of you are planning to be in town a while, or want to go to more than Universal Studios. If you do, however, be aware that Orlando has some terrible traffic and a GPS is a great idea. Also, if you arriving to the hotel by travelling East on I-4 (from Tampa or Disney) do not take Exit 74A even though it is very close to the hotel. Especially at night, this exit can be backed up for a long time. Instead, keep going to Exit 75A and turn right on to Universal Blvd and proceed directly to the Crowne Plaza, allowing you to skip the congestion of I-Drive and Sand Lake completely.

The one main negative of this hotel is that there isn't a ton of parking in the hotel parking area. It was fine when we were there, but I could see it being a hassle in the height of tourist season. And, because its location is so good for being in the middle of things on I-Drive, there's not a great view of much of anything natural or beautiful. But, these are tradeoffs you might be willing to make if you can get this hotel for much less than one of the Universal or Disney Resorts.

Room Tip: ADDITIONAL BOOKING TIP: the Crowne Plaza Orlando Universal is the ONLY 3.5-star or 4-star hotel curr...
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  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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5  Thank Mark B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 20 March 2012

I had a hard time deciding on where to stay since there are so many choices in Orlando but I kept coming back to this hotel.

I was travelling with my 22 yr old son and my 13 yr old son and I wanted a place that would be quiet and not over run with kids. We were going to Legoland and Universal but I really wanted to come back to peace and quiet.

Our arrival went very smoothly and only took a couple of minutes and I was so glad cause we were so tired after driving from Nashville. We left on Sunday the 11th not realizing it was the day time changed so we lost an hour for daylight savings and an hour for central time. We also got hung up in a wreck and so we arrived alot later than we intended to.

Our room was on the 15th flooor executive level which has special key card access to even be on the floor which was important to me since I was just with the boys. The room had an awesome view and the beds were really comfortable and had lots of nice pillows. They had left cookies on the bed for us. We were so exhausted that we just ordered room service. The boys got a pizza and I got a sandwich with homemade chips and the food was great. Not too expensive either as it just came out to be 34 for the the large pizza and my food. Room service was really quick and when they brought it up, they brought plates, napkins, and assorted condiments that might be needed.

We ordered from the pool bar one night as well and the food was really good.

Staying on the executive level, you get a complimentary continental breakfast in the lounge and snacks in the evening. Breakfast was the normal stuff but they didn't care if you took it back to your room. I went in just to get my morning coffee most mornings before going to get breakfast. The evening reception was nice. One night they had meatballs, salsa n chips, and cheese and crackers along with awesome chocolate chip cookies. They had beer and assorted soft drinks out. One night they had small quiches but every night they had the awesome cookies and once even brownies.

The people in the exec lounge were very nice and helpful. I had to take my laptop to do timesheets for work and could not get online so the lady in the lounge called down and had them waive the paid internet charge so I could get online.

Our room was always clean when we got back and laways had some type of treat on the bed which my 13 yr old loved. There were children at the hotel but they were all polite and well behaved kids. This hotel is caters mainly to the business crowd and most were there on business.

The pool and hot tub were great and never really crowded. Also universal is really close. We could see Hogwarts from our window.

Finally, we left at 4:30 in the morning and check out was a breeze. It took about 2 minutes and was painless.

I am glad I picked the Crowne Plaza and will stay there again.

Room Tip: Pay the extra to stay on the exec floors.
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  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank walker_sam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 March 2012

Pros: Free parking, clean room, unique room layout, cold A/C

Cons: Loud A/C, dated decor, subpar tv (no guide, no hd, picture below grade), must pat for wifi in room (rediculous since it it free downstairs in lobby), small bed, desk clerk was distracted.

  • Stayed: March 2012
    • Value
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Thank mmbaker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
IHGCare, IHGCare at Crowne Plaza Orlando - Universal Blvd, responded to this reviewResponded 28 March 2012

Dear mmbaker,

Thank you for choosing the Crowne Plaza Universal Studios in Orlando and for sharing your experience with us. We appreciate your compliment on our room quality. Sorry you were not pleased with the pricing of our in-room Wifi charge. The charge is pretty standard among Orlando's deluxe hotels. Again, We appreciate your time and comments.

Lin S.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 March 2012

My husband and I stayed here for two nights in March. We had informed the hotel we were celebrating our anniversary and about an hour after we checked in we heard a knock at the door and were pleasantly surprised with a silver tray with a cheese and fruit platter, bottled waters, and an anniversary card signed by the staff. The rooms have a more modern look to them than the rest of the hotel, which is more "tropical" decor.
The fitness center looked well equipped and the pool and jacuzzi also looked well maintained.
Perhaps we were placed in the "Anniversary" section of the hotel- beware of "noisy" neighbors at 2am. A/C unit was also very loud.
The location of the hotel puts you between Downtown Disney and Mall at Millenia if you want to explore those.
Parking is free. Internet is $12.95 per 24 hours in your room; but free in the lobby.

Room Tip: Ask for pool view
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  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank DrJB_08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 March 2012

Nice clean rooms. Location traffic a bit of a nightmare as it can take 10 minutes to get to the hotel once you get off the exit ramp. Weekend parking can become difficult also especially at night. There are restaurants about a 10 minute walk on international drive for places to eat as well as a Whole Foods a short drive away. Probably more of a place for holiday then for work.

Room Tip: Pure rooms I am not sure worth the extra cost. I have allergies and have stayed in regular rooms ju...
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  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled on business
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1  Thank MelvinFurd68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Crowne Plaza Orlando - Universal Blvd

Address: 7800 Universal Blvd, Orlando, FL 32819-8950
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Florida > Central Florida > Orlando
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#49 Luxury Hotel in Orlando
#72 Business Hotel in Orlando
#96 Romantic Hotel in Orlando
#123 Family Hotel in Orlando
Price Range: $176 - $310 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Crowne Plaza Orlando - Universal Blvd 4*
Number of rooms: 400
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
When visiting the adventure capital of the world, enjoy the award winning service and experience of Crowne Plaza Orlando Universal. Recently voted the top hotel in guest satisfaction among all Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts, this Orlando, hotel is where relaxation meets adventure! The perfect blend of modern luxury and impeccable service with a premier setting soaring 15 stories over world renowned International Drive and offering views of popular local attractions and their fireworks or seasonal light shows. A masterpiece that blends Park Avenue elegance with the chic deco of South Beach. The hotel features complimentary scheduled shuttle service to the Universal Orlando Resort including Islands of Adventure, City Walk and Universal Studios, the Worlds of Discovery theme parks including Sea World of Orlando and water pakr, Aquatica, the Walt Disney World theme parks and Wet n Wild. The hotel is also a stop on the I Ride Trolley, serving Universal Boulevard and the International Drive areas for just dollars a day. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Crowne Plaza Orlando Universal Hotel Orlando
Orlando Crowne Plaza
Crown Plaza Orlando
Crowne Plaza Universal Orlando
Crowne Plaza Orlando - Universal Blvd Florida

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