Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
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 Jacuzzi bordered by palm trees, a small video game arcade, a steakhouse, and a nightclub with live music -- 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 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.
On International Drive, next to the West Concourse of the Orange Country Convention Center
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.
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. It's adequate, but its features and lackluster service don't rise above Orlando's stiff competition.