Nickelodeon Suites Resort Rating: 3.5 Pearls
Lake Buena Vista, Orlando, Central Florida

This hotel has undergone significant renovations since our visit.
We will update our photos and review as soon as we can.

Oyster Review Summary

Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators

Pros

Cons

  • Shuttle service to Orlando theme parks runs rarely; hours are limited and vary throughout the year.
  • No special privileges at Orlando's major theme parks
  • Units' doors and windows all face noisy exterior corridors.

Bottom Line

One of Orlando's best options for families outside of a theme park. The property's 777 suites, all with kitchens or kitchenettes, are spacious and well designed to sleep families. The huge range of kid-pleasing features include two water parks, an arcade, and a "4D Experience" theater. The resort focuses on entertaining on-site, but also offers infrequent shuttles to Disney, Universal, and SeaWorld.

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Oyster Hotel Review

 Scene

Ideal for a family vacation that won't revolve around visiting Orlando's theme parks; an affordable option with spacious accommodations, loads of on-site entertainment, and several cheap, kid-friendly dining options

Loads of on-site, kid-friendly entertainment
Loads of on-site, kid-friendly entertainment

This sprawling, Nickelodeon-themed property is one of the best family options outside of Disney, and ideal for families who want a sunny, activity-filled vacation but aren't determined to spend a lot of time at Orlando's theme parks.

Designed to be a kid heaven, it's full of amenities like waterslides, "4D Experience" movies, character breakfast buffets, and a 3,000-square-foot video arcade -- all coated in signature Nickelodeon orange and green and heralded by giant statues of SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer, and Rugrat characters. Accommodations -- one-, two-, and three-bedroom suties -- are configured to give parents and children separate bedrooms, with plenty of shared living space and the convenience of kitchens or kitchenettes. The property's layout is confusing, but walking distances between rooms, restaurants, parking, and the lobby are manageable compared to Orlando's often massive, 2,000-plus-room resorts.

For around the same price as Disney's "Value" resorts -- Disney's All-Star Movies and Pop Century Resort, for example -- Nickelodeon Suites offers far more on-site features and dining. (The Disney Value resorts typically offer little more than a pool and a single cafeteria.) On the other hand, the Disney properties offer better transportation to the parks and special privileges like extended visiting hours and room charging throughout the World. Shuttles from Nickelodeon to Disney World, Universal, SeaWorld, and Wet 'n Wild are available, but they run infrequently and the shuttles times change depending on the time of year.

 Service

Service is very basic, with little beyond front desk staff, restaurant staff, and lifeguards to assist guests.

Guest services staff is friendly, and very helpful
Guest services staff is friendly, and very helpful

Service here is extremely basic: The staff efficiently moves guests through check-in, restaurant lines, and waterslides, but don't expect any markers of luxury like poolside drink service or bell service in the lobby. The staff is friendly and, on the whole, very helpful, but next to nothing is personalized.

  • Guest services desks in both the lobby and Nickelodeon Mall; agents available to assist with on-site and off-site activities and ticket bookings
  • Free shuttle service to and from Orlando theme parks, including Walt Disney World, Universal, SeaWorld, and Wet 'n Wild; schedule changes seasonally, but usually shuttles run every two hours
  • Free self-parking on property; no valet
  • Bell services available only by special request
  • Gated property has 24 hour security staff posted at gates.
  • Room service available throughout the day

 Location

A 10-minute drive east of Downtown Disney on World Center Drive, a divided highway dotted with large hotels and occasional chain restaurants

The hotel is located just three miles outside the entrance of Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, an area 25 minutes south of downtown Orlando. It's difficult to get around without a car -- there are no restaurants or attractions within walking distance -- and the nearest strip mall is a five-minute drive.

  • Free shuttle service to and from Orlando theme parks, including Walt Disney World, Universal, SeaWorld, and Wet 'n Wild; schedule changes seasonally, but usually shuttles run every two hours
  • 10- to 15-minute drive to International Drive, a 14.5-mile road parallel to Interstate 4 that's full of hotels, strip malls, outlet shops and restaurants. In the middle of this stretch is the Orange County Convention Center
  • 10- to 15-minute drive to SeaWorld Orlando
  • 15- to 20-minute drive to Universal Studios theme parks
  • 20- to 25-minute drive to downtown Orlando
  • One-hour-and-15-minute drive to Kennedy Space Center
  • 20-minute drive to Orlando International Airport

 Rooms

Spacious and functional one-, two-, and three-bedroom suites that are smartly configured for families

The Two Bedroom Kid Suite
The Two Bedroom Kid Suite

One-, two-, and three-bedroom suites here are spacious and ideally suited for families, with rooms that are designed to sleep parents and children separately, with shared living space and kitchenettes. Furnishings are cheap and decor is generic, with a signiature Nickelodeon green tinge, but rooms were freshly painted and the mattresses recently replaced when I visited in 2010. Details that make the biggest difference for families -- playfully decorated kids' rooms with the option of twin or bunk beds, televisions in every room, kitchenettes -- are firmly in place. The quality of rooms is roughly equivalent to those at Disney World's "Moderate" resorts, with slight layout and decor differences.

  • One-, two-, and three-bedroom suites vary little except in size -- no upgrade options, no nonsuite options, and no distinction between views.
  • Suites are spacious, starting at 475 square feet.
  • Reasonably comfortable beds have conventional, non-pillow-top mattresses, cotton/polyester blend sheets, and polyester bedspreads.
  • Sofa beds in all family rooms can sleep two children comfortably.
  • 32-inch and 25-inch flat-screen TVs in living room and master bedroom; 25-inch tube TVs in kids' rooms
  • Full cable package, including special Nickelodeon channels, plus WebTV service
  • Bathrooms are plain but functional; bathtub/showers work well and are clean.
  • Kitchenettes in all suites have mini-fridges, microwaves, and coffeemakers.
  • Free wired Internet; wires are inconveniently located behind the couch
  • Rooms can be noisy because of thin walls and windows that face the building's exterior corridors.

 Features

Amenities like two water parks, a video arcade, theaters, and kids' spa designed to entertain kids, plus budget-minded conveniences like laundry and free parking

Water park is massive
Water park is massive

A wealth of on-site facilities are designed to keep kids busy day and night, and they do a great job of it. The water parks are the highlight (see below), but there are indoor activities and entertainment for evenings or bad weather (should you be so unlucky). Some of the activities require additional fees, but the pools and water-park facilities are all free for guests. Compared with Disney's "value" resorts (like the All-Star Movies Resort and Pop Century Resort), which tend to be in the same price range, there's far more to do on-site. The trade-off, of course, is that guests here aren't entitled to special Disney resort privileges or particularly good transportation to any of Orlando's theme parks.

  • Nickelodeon Mall houses most of the resort's indoor attractions, including the video game arcade, theaters, and the Kids Spa, plus a gift shop and food court.
  • "4D Experience" theater shows 3D movies with upgraded technology that includes smell, bubbles, and vibration; tickets can be purchased once for whole stay, kids three and under go free.
  • Small fitness center located in a repurposed suite, with five old cardio machines, two cable weight machines, and free weights
  • Nickelodeon Kids Spa located in the Nickelodeon Mall; services include manicures, pedicures, hair wraps and braiding, and airbrush tattoos
  • Video game arcade has extensive selection of games; points are purchased with cash on-site.
  • Three self-serve laundry facilities on the property; machines are coin-operated
  • Free on-site parking

 Pool

Two massive water parks with huge pools, waterslides, and tons of poolside activities

Huge, zero-entry pool
Huge, zero-entry pool
  • The Lagoon water park has a zero-depth entry pool, a four-story water tower, waterslides, two Jacuzzis, and a 400-gallon dunk tank; open year round.
  • The Oasis water park has an Olympic-size pool, waterslides, and a kids' play area, but is closed seasonally.
  • Lifeguards on duty

 Family

Does a great job catering exclusively to families with kids

Playfully decorated kids rooms
Playfully decorated kids rooms

Dedicated entirely to children's comfort and entertainment, "Nick Hotel," as it slangily refers to itself, is literally made for families. Accommodations are configured to give parents and children separate bedrooms, with plenty of shared living space and the convenience of kitchenettes. The entertainment and on-site amenities are unmatched outside of Disney; they include two water parks, a mall, and, during the busiest seasons, activities like live entertainment at the pool and Studio Nick.

  • Maximum room occupancy is seven.
  • All suites have sofa beds.
  • Cribs are free; no rollaway beds available.
  • Several kid-friendly dining options, ranging from "character" breakfast buffets to room service
  • Nick After Dark is a supervised program for kids 5 to 12 to enjoy while parents enjoy more mature activities; Kids will enjoy dinner, a snack, a Studio Nick show, SLIME experience, and workshops.

 Cleanliness

Well enough maintained, but furniture and carpets are starting to show wear and tear

The resort is clean and partially renovated, but the carpets and upholstery are starting to look worn out.

 Food

Several kid-friendly dining options conveniently located in a single food court, plus poolside snacks and room service

Buffet breakfast at The Nickelodeon Food Court
Buffet breakfast at The Nickelodeon Food Court

Several dining options are housed in a single food-court section of the Nickelodeon Mall, and at least two options are available at all times. The wide variety ranges from a coffee stand and Subway to conventional sit-down meals and character buffet breakfasts. All are kid-friendly, and there are plenty of relatively inexpensive options. Each water park complex has a snack bar. The suites have kitchenettes; room service is available.

  • Nicktoons Café serves a nightly dinner buffet with rotating menu themes like "Latin," "Home-Style," and "Blues Bodacious BBQ"; a la carte sandwiches and entrées also available.
  • Character breakfast buffets held at Nicktoons Café include an omelet station, pancakes, waffles, and seafood, but require reservations.
  • The Buffet Restaurant offers a more modestly priced breakfast buffet.
  • Food court includes several a la carte options from Uno Express pizza, Subway sandwiches, The Grill, and Barnie's Coffee & Tea.
  • Other Stuff convenience shop, in the Nickelodeon Mall, sells a small selection of groceries and prepared foods.
  • Kitchenettes in all of the suites have mini-fridges, microwaves, and coffeemakers.
  • The Lounge offers a full service bar for adults to enjoy.
  • Room service available during the day.

 Bottom Line

One of Orlando's best options for families outside of a theme park. The property's 777 suites, all with kitchens or kitchenettes, are spacious and well designed to sleep families. The huge range of kid-pleasing features include two water parks, an arcade, and a "4D Experience" theater. The resort focuses on entertaining on-site, but also offers infrequent shuttles to Disney, Universal, and SeaWorld.

Things You Should Know About Nickelodeon Suites Resort

Address

  • 14500 Continental Gateway, Orlando, FL, 32821

Hotel Is Also Known As...

  • Holiday Inn Orlando
  • Nickelodeon Family Hotel Nick
  • Nickelodeon Family Resort Nick
  • Nickelodeon Hotel
  • Nickelodeon Hotel Orlando
  • Nick Hotel
  • Nick Hotel Orlando
  • Orlando Holiday Inn

Room Types

  • One Bedroom Kitchen Suite
  • Three Bedroom Kid Suite
  • Two Bedroom Kid Suite

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Hotel Features

Number of Rooms: 777
Pool: Yes
Fitness Center: Yes
Spa: Yes
Internet: Yes
Cribs: Yes
Kids Club: Yes
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Hotel Information

Location: Lake Buena Vista, Orlando
Address: 14500 Continental Gateway, Orlando, FL, 32821
(See Map)
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