Free shuttle to Universal Studios (but runs infrequently)
Mediocre and pricey restaurant on-site and no others within walking distance
Daily fee for Wi-Fi.
Daily fee for self-parking and valet.
Catering primarily to business travelers, this 315-room Westin has spacious and well-appointed rooms with kitchenettes, a superb pool, and a small, but well-equipped gym. Located across from the Orange County Convention Center and 10 minutes from SeaWorld, this hotel stands out in an area mostly dominated by enormous, bland hotels.
An all-around solid hotel near the convention center with enormous rooms, a great pool, and a top-notch gym
Opened in June 2008, the 315-room Westin is a welcome addition to the glut of chain hotels surrounding the Orange County Convention Center, the second largest such facility in the U.S., with a jaw-dropping seven million square feet of space. Located across from the North/South Concourse, and within a 10-minute drive of both SeaWorld and Universal Studios, the Westin offers some of the most elegant -- and largest -- rooms in the immediate area, if not in all of Orlando.
Rooms start at a generous 450 square feet and, unusually for a Westin, feature kitchenettes stocked with dishes, a small fridge, and a coffeemaker with Starbucks coffee. (Two-bedroom suites come with full kitchens.) The décor is soft, warm, and comfortable, and rooms come with all of the Westin signatures: white-tea-aloe bath products, double-headed showerheads, and the popular "Heavenly" beds that live up to their hype with pillow-top mattress swathed in three layers of silky cotton sheets, a plush duvet, and goose-down pillows.
The best feature about this hotel is probably its free-form pool, set on a nice deck with a lot of comfortable wood loungers, palm trees, and pleasant music. The fitness center, though not especially large, is really bright and well equipped with 10 cardio machines, all Precor and all with personal monitors, and a selection of weight machines. The least impressive feature is the restaurant, Fiorella's Cucina Toscana, which serves mediocre Italian food at inflated hotel prices. Head to the Pointe Orlando Shopping Center for a wider selection of options.
The service is efficient and cordial, but not doting -- in other words, just what you'd expect from an upper-middle-range chain hotel in a city setting. The concierge posted in the sparely furnished lobby is helpful with directions and some basic restaurant recommendations, and service requests are answered promptly -- but no one's bending over backwards here.
The Westin is family-friendly enough thanks to its large rooms and its close proximity to SeaWorld and Universal Studios, but the hotel mostly traffics in conventioneers and business folk.
Across from the Orange County Convention Center's North/South Concourse on Universal Boulevard, 10 minutes from SeaWorld and Universal Studios
The Westin is situated across from the North/South Concourse of the Orange County Convention Center on Universal Boulevard. The convention center is the second largest in the U.S., with seven million square feet of meeting space, so conventioneers should pick a hotel that's close to their concourse. Universal Boulevard runs parallel with International Drive, a 14.5-mile road parallel to Interstate 4 that's chockfull of hotels, strip malls, outlet shops, and restaurants. There are no notable tourist attractions within walking distance of the hotel, but both SeaWorld and Universal Studios are about a 10-minute drive. Downtown Disney is about 20 minutes, or 9.1 miles.
Free shuttle service to Universal Studios, but with extremely limited pick-ups and drop-offs, it's neither frequent nor convenient
Both SeaWorld and Universal Studios are a five to 10-minute drive.
Five-minute drive from shops and restaurants at Pointe Orlando Shopping Center
15- to 20-minute drive to downtown Orlando. There's not much to see downtown, though 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 with tourists.
20-minute drive to Orlando International Airport
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