Convenient location for Universal Orlando and other theme parks
Within walking distance of numerous restaurants
Large outdoor pool with kids' splash pool and poolside bar
Updated room all have mini-fridges and microwaves
Free shuttle service to all major theme parks
Free simple buffet breakfast included in room rate
Free Wi-Fi throughout complex
Bathrooms in need of overhaul
Wi-Fi can be spotty in places
Some rooms prone to traffic noise
No proper restaurant on-site
This value property is one of the most affordable options on International Drive, but for a reason -- features are few and much of the interiors feel distinctively budget. Aside from the low rates, the location at the entrance of Universal Orlando is the main selling point, and the hotel provides a free shuttle to several attractions, as well as a free breakfast. Updated rooms are also decent enough with microwaves, mini-fridges, and pay-per-view movies, though bathrooms need an update and rooms close to the freeway get noise. A large pool with a poolside bar is also a bonus, though the neighboring Rogen Inn also has a pool, plus a restaurant and fitness room.
Low-rise value hotel popular with budget-minded families with kids
In 2016, this property changed its name from The Metropolitan Express to the Floridian Express Hotel and updated all its guest rooms, but the makeover fell short of addressing all the building's shortcomings. This low-rise property still has budget written all over it, with its cracked tarmac forecourt, mismatched lobby furnishings, and unkempt corridors. The complex is made up of two L-shaped accommodation blocks centered around a pool terrace, and little else. A casual though occasionally hectic atmosphere prevails, especially in the mornings as guests wait for the free shuttle. Considering its location at the entrance of Universal Orlando, it's no surprise that this hotel attracts plenty of budget-minded families in town for the city’s kid-friendly attractions. A number of international travelers also stay at the hotel as do business travelers in town for meetings at the Orlando Convention Center.
Set on busy International Drive next to the Universal Orlando entrance
The Floridian Express Hotel sits conveniently close to the entrance of Universal Studios on International Drive, Orlando’s main tourist corridor -- albeit its seedier end. As well as the Wet 'n Wild theme park just opposite, guests are within walking distance of the many shops and restaurants that line the street, and there are wide sidewalks that make pedestrian traffic possible. However, guests -- especially those with small children -- should be careful as the road gets heavy traffic. Numerous other restaurants, shops, and attractions are just a short drive away, and the Orange County Convention Center is 10 minutes away by car. The hotel provides a free shuttle to Disney and Universal theme parks, while Orlando International Airport is about a 20-minute drive, without traffic.
Updated decor and modern amenities, though bathrooms need work
The hotel has 218 guest rooms, all updated in 2016 and largely identical with traditional-style dark wood furniture, carpeted floors, and a gold-and-yellow color scheme. Still, lumpy textured walls detract from the makeover and bathrooms were clearly overlooked in the renovations. They suffer from dated and tired fixtures and old, discolored grouting; all come with shower/tub combos (with clingy shower curtains), wall-mounted hairdryers, and surprisingly decent toiletries. Amenities are modern enough, with 25-inch flat-screen TVs (with pay-per-view movies), microwaves, fridges, and electronic safes. In-room Wi-Fi is free of charge, though the speed can vary significantly. Rooms overlook the hotel car park or pool, though they lack outside space. Rooms closer to the freeway are also prone to traffic noise.
Large swimming pool with separate kids' section and Tiki-style bar
The hotel's L-shaped swimming pool is certainly the main attraction at the Floridian Express, relatively large for the size of the property, clean and well-maintained, with a separate splash pool for kids, plus a poolside Tiki-style bar. Guests also get a basic breakfast buffet with cereals, waffles, juice, and coffee included in the room rate. While there's no proper restaurant on-site, there's a Dairy Queen fast food joint next door and a Brazilian eatery. The free Wi-Fi extends to the pool area (though it generally isn't very fast). Practical facilities include a coin-operated laundry, free parking, and ice machines.
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