Written on: 26/06/2006 by Clair
I have just stayed at the Ramada Inn on International Drive, Orlando, and I have found the experience to be satisfactory. The room had two very comfortable double beds, a bathroom with both bath and shower, a TV, fair sized fridge, microwave, air-con and a hair dryer all as standard.
In the reception there is free Internet access. I believe this can get quite busy, but I never had to wait more than a few minutes. There is also a desk where you can buy your park tickets if you haven't already bought them, and they do have some good deals. Also at this desk you can arrange your transport to the parks. It costs $4 per person return to Universal, and $16 per person to Disney. However, it just cost $5 by taxi each way to Universal, so if there are more than 3 of you, get a taxi as this will be more flexible and you will not have to keep to other peoples timetables.
The swimming pool is a good size to cool down and have a splash about in, but don't expect any Olympic swimming pool. There are enough sun loungers for 20, which although did get busy, it is the right amount for the hotel. I didn't however think much of the cleanliness of the pool, but there's a good chance that I am just being over fussy.
The room was advertised as room only, but a complimentary breakfast is available to all. This is available from 7:30am through to 10am, and it consists of cereal, bread (brown and white), plus several toasties, bagels, muffins (as in the ones that you get with your McDonalds breakfasts), plus normal muffins in different flavors (blueberry, passion fruit, banana and walnut), donuts, again with different flavours, fresh fruit, although if you want bananas get their early. There is also as much coffee and fruit juice (apple, orange and cranberry) as you want, and peanut butter, apple jam or cream cheese available for your toast.
The rooms were cleaned every day, and fresh towels are left, this is as well as more coffee if used. There is an on-site handyman, so if any problems occur then they can be fixed straight away, as we found with the bathroom light going after two days.
The location of this hotel was superb, and it was only a few yards from shops, pubs, restaurants and stop 18 on the i-ride (a local bus service where you can ride as far as you want for $1 per adult - kids go free). I recommend stop 48 if you like shopping, but do allow an hour.
Overall, this hotel served its purpose! It was clean yet basic. If you want a UK comparison, it is like a Travel Lodge (that sort of standard). I would stay there again, but more to do with the location than the standard. Top tip: buy bottled water. It is $1.99 for a gallon at the top shop (you will know when you get there), and keep it in the fridge to top up your own smaller bottles and you will save a fortune.
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