Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators.
This modest, 742-room Doubletree has a sleepy lobby, hands-off service, and cookie-cutter rooms -- pretty much what you'd expect from a low- to mid-range hotel chain. The location couldn't be more convenient for those visiting Universal Studios (without staying at a Universal resort, that is). But the small courtyard pool, limited dining options, and dated, dingy fitness center are underwhelming. In fact, the available amentities seem more geared towards business travelers in town for conventions; they include a 24-hour business center, free lobby Wi-Fi, and on-site Starbucks.
That said, if you expect little more than a clean, reasonably fresh place to sleep between outings to area theme parks, this isn't a bad choice. Its 742 rooms, set in two tall towers, were gutted and redone in 2009; with floor-to-ceiling windows, they're bright, clean, and surprisingly cheery. The newly replaced furnishings are up to date and comfortable, making the rooms a great crash pad for travelers attending meetings at the on-site convention center, or visitors with cars -- other than Universal, there's not much within walking distance, and shuttle service is only available to Disney at intermittent times.
Very basic and impersonal service, with none of the perks of a Universal- or Disney-owned property
Check-in is the only consistent and predictable service here; finding someone to park your car or help with your luggage, for example, can be a crapshoot, even in the middle of the day. Despite using the word "Universal" in its name, this hotel is not connected to Universal Studios (or any of Orlando's theme parks), so guests don't get the special park-related services like off-hours access, free shuttle service, or charging priviledges at the parks.
Located at the entrance of Universal, but relatively far from Disney World and other Orlando attractions
The Doubletree is located next to the entrance of the Universal Orlando Resort, Orlando's second largest theme park. For guests planning only to visit Universal, or those visiting the hotel's convention center, the location is great -- but it's relatively far from Disney World and Orlando's other main attractions. There's no free shuttle service and little else to do within walking distance, so most guests will want a rental car.
Bright, cheery rooms are well appointed and clean after a 2009 renovations.
Renovated in 2009, the Doubletree's 742 rooms are clean, well furnished, and bright, with floor-to-ceiling windows. Amenities and furnishings are simple, but the bright, modern décor and reasonable square footage make even the smallest rooms cheery and livable.
Underwhelming amenities provide basic conveniences, but this is one of Orlando's least resort-like hotels.
Clean, bright rooms and a location across from Universal Resort are pros, but virtually nothing is specifically designed to appeal to kids. Multiple on-site dining options, a courtyard pool, and Pizza Hut room service are sufficient for a little down time at the hotel, but services are minimal and there aren't any activities or facilities specifically designed for families.
Rooms and hallways were renovated in 2009; other spaces are older but still well kept and clean.
Starbucks and Uno Express Pizza are the most reliable and convenient on-site options here, with a non-chain bar and restaurant open for dinner, and a breakfast buffet available daily. Room service is available during the day, but consists of a very limited menu that highlights Pizza Hut entrees.
Bright rooms (renovated in 2009) are the highlight at this otherwise unremarkable 742-room Doubletree across from Universal Studios. The courtyard pool is small; the service is bare bones; and Uno Pizza Express is the best on-site dining available. It's fine if all you want is a fresh, clean, and fairly inexpensive place to sleep -- and it has some decent business amenities -- but leisure travelers can do better elsewhere.