Doubletree Hotel At The Entrance To Universal Orlando Rating: 3.5 Pearls
Universal Orlando, Orlando, Central Florida

Oyster Review Summary

Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators

Pros

  • Sunny, clean rooms were renovated in 2009
  • Located at the entrance to Universal Resort
  • 24-hour business center
  • On-site Starbucks and Uno Pizza Express

Cons

  • Barely there service
  • Small, outdated fitness center
  • Room-service menu limited to Pizzeria Uno for lunch and dinner
  • Relatively far (15 to 20 minutes) from Disney World

Bottom Line

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.

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Oyster Hotel Review

 Scene

Clean, bright rooms and a convenient location across from Universal, but amenities and service cater to business travelers, not park-visiting families

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.

 Service

Very basic and impersonal service, with none of the perks of a Universal- or Disney-owned property

The bell stand is inconsistently staffed
The bell stand is inconsistently staffed

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.

  • Free Doubletree chocolate chip "welcome cookies" on arrival
  • Inconsistently staffed bell stand
  • Concierge open throughout the day, available to help book activities and restaurant reservations
  • Airport shuttle contracted through outside provider charged per person
  • Self and valet parking charged per day
  • Shuttle service to Disney World departs the hotel every day in the morning and returns in the evening, and is charged per person, round trip.

 Location

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.

  • Next to Universal Studios and Universal's Islands of Adventure
  • 10- to 15-minute drive to SeaWorld and Wet 'n Wild parks
  • 10-minute drive to International Drive, a 14.5-mile road that runs parallel to Interstate 4 and is full of hotels, shopping malls, outlet stores, and restaurants. In the middle of this stretch is the Orange County Convention Center, the second largest convention center in the U.S.
  • 15- to 20-minute drive to Disney World's main parking lots
  • 25-minute drive to Orlando International Airport

 Rooms

Bright, cheery rooms are well appointed and clean after a 2009 renovations.

A standard room
A standard room

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.

  • Standard rooms are comfortably big, and the size is fairly typical of Orlando's midrange resort rooms: Standard rooms are about 360 square feet, Corner King Rooms are 444 square feet, and suites are 816 to 1,757 square feet
  • Comfortable queen or king-size beds have down comforters and pillow-top mattresses that were replaced during the 2009 renovations.
  • 32-inch flat-screen TVs with basic cable and pay-per-view movies; no DVD players
  • Bathrooms are spacious and have large vanity counters and bathtub/shower units; full sets of Neutrogena toiletries are provided.
  • Bedside alarm radio with MP3 hookup
  • Mini-fridges in rooms, but no minibars
  • Daily fee for Wi-Fi or wired Internet

 Features

Underwhelming amenities provide basic conveniences, but this is one of Orlando's least resort-like hotels.

The gym
The gym
  • Courtyard pool and Jacuzzi -- a fine place to cool off in hot, humid Orlando, but no special features or kid-friendly features
  • 24-hour business center has five Dell computers
  • Small fitness center with outdated equipment
  • Avis car rental desk in lobby
  • Free Wi-Fi in the lobby; daily fee for in-room Wi-Fi or wired Internet
  • Self- and valet parking are charged per day

 Family

Clean, bright rooms, but minimal family-friendly amenities

The pool
The pool

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.

  • Limited room types; most rooms' maximum capacity is four
  • Rollaway beds are charged per night; cribs are free
  • Kid-friendly dining, including kids' menus at Pompanos for breakfast and for room service (which includes Uno Pizza Expressdelivery)
  • No free shuttles or extended access to parks

 Cleanliness

Very clean

Rooms and hallways were renovated in 2009; other spaces are older but still well kept and clean.

 Food

Several convenient but mediocre dining options; Pizza Hut Express, Starbucks, and a breakfast buffet

The breakfast buffet
The breakfast buffet

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.

  • Starbucks located in the lobby serves coffee, snacks, and pastries.
  • Uno Express Piza located in the Palm Court Deli.
  • Spritz and Carnival, full bar and restaurant located in the lobby.
  • Pompanos Restaurant serves breakfast and lunch daily, including a mediocre breakfast buffet.
  • Lakeside Pool Bar (open seasonally from March to October)
  • Room service available during the day, breakfast includes assortment of entrees; a limited all-day dining menu includes salads and appetizers, sandwiches, and Uno Pizza Express

 Bottom Line

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.

Things You Should Know About Doubletree Hotel At The Entrance To Universal Orlando

Address

  • 5780 Major Boulevard, Orlando, FL, 32819

Hotel Is Also Known As...

  • Doubletree Orlando
  • Doubletree Universal
  • Orlando Doubletree

Room Types

  • 2 Bedroom Suite
  • Corner Room
  • Executive Room
  • Hospitality Suite
  • Hypo-Allergenic Room
  • Junior Suite
  • Parlor Suite
  • Standard Room
  • Standard Room with View

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Hotel Features

Number of Rooms: 742
Pool: Yes
Fitness Center: Yes
Internet Access: Yes
Cribs: Yes
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Hotel Information

Location: Universal Orlando, Orlando
Address: 5780 Major Boulevard, Orlando, FL, 32819
(See Map)
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