It's primarily a business hotel -- it's next to the Orange County Convention Center and has loads of its own meeting space -- but the 832-room Rosen Plaza also includes a large pool, a notable steakhouse, and a small, windowless gym with Life Fitness equipment. Rooms have coffeemakers, free Wi-Fi, and traditional decor that's pleasant enough. The hotel is adequate overall, but its features and lackluster service doesn't rise above Orlando's stiff competition. It may be worth comparing rates with the Westin.
Older-looking, less-than-thrilling business hotel next to the Orange County Convention Center: At times, it's a bargain; at other times, it's a rip-off.
The Rosen Plaza Hotel is, first and foremost, a convention-focused hotel. It is next door to the Orange County Convention Center (the second largest convention center in the world), and it also has 60,000 square feet of meeting space. However, given its more affordable rates and broad range of recreational features -- a large free-form pool and hot tub bordered by palm trees, a small video game arcade, a steakhouse, and a nightclub (slated to open in 2015)-- it could still be a reasonable option for leisure travelers.
But it's not a great option. Guest rooms are about the average size of most Orlando hotel rooms (330 square feet for a standard room, called "Deluxe"), and received soft renovations along with the lobby in 2011. While this is still not a luxury hotel, the renovations have removed some of the mustiness associated with the hotel in the past. Rooms now have flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi. Its fitness center is just a small, windowless room (though there's enough solid equipment for a good workout).
Many other Orlando business hotels are very similar to the run-of-the-mill Rosen Plaza, including the Rosen Center, its slightly nicer sister hotel across the street (which received similar renovations to its rooms and lobby in 2011). Most of the big chains, however, like the Westin or the Marriott, best it in terms of overall room quality. Also, the Peabody Hotel (also next door to the Convention Center) looks and feels much classier (though the Peabody is often more expensive, at off times of the year the rates between the two hotels can be much closer). For a family vacation, take a look at the Universal properties, such as the Royal Pacific, or any of the Disney resorts (or the Nickelodeon Suites near it), which offer much more exciting pools, play areas, and on-site attractions for kids.
The Rosen Plaza is located next to the West Concourse of Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) on International Drive, a 14.5-mile road parallel to Interstate 4 that's full of hotels, strip malls, outlet shops, and restaurants. The OCCC is the second largest convention center in the U.S., with 7 million square feet of meeting space, so convention-goers should pick a hotel that’s close to their concourse. There are no notable tourist attractions within walking distance of the hotel, though it only takes a short drive or bus ride to get to the different theme parks.
Across from a strip mall with good restaurants
Free shuttle service to Universal Studios (10 minutes away) and SeaWorld (five minutes away)
15-minute bus ride to Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom parking lot, followed by a 15-minute ride on a tram and monorail to the park itself; similar commute to Animal Kingdom, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios
15-minute drive to Orlando International Airport; the hotel can arrange an airport shuttle.
15-minute drive to downtown Orlando; Orange Avenue has a notable dining and nightlife scene, and non-theme-park attractions like the Orlando Science Center and Harry P. Leu Gardens are popular among tourists, but there's not much to see downtown.
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