Thursday, 3 July 2014

Ramada Plaza Resort and Suites on International Drive

My first impression when I arrived at Ramada Plaza was a positive one. The lobby was big, modern and clean, with plenty of sofas and chairs for people to sit in as they waited. The staff was friendly as they told me where the breakfast was and where to go for my room.

When I got upstairs to my room, which was on the top (12th) floor in the south tower, I was pleasantly surprised at the size. I keep forgetting that everything is bigger in America. The room was big with a large, firm, double bed. It also has a small table with two chairs, two desks, a TV stand that also houses a fridge and a microwave. There was also an old kitchen part with a sink, cooker and kitchen cabinets. I don't know if it actually works, and there is no way I'd even try the cooker, as it's gas, which I don't like using, especially when it looks old.

The bathroom had a bathtub-shower combo, a hairdryer and a kettle... Why they didn't just put the kettle in the old kitchen part is beyond me. The shower pressure was really good, as you all know I can be very picky on that. It did take me a while to figure out the taps though. I had to pull the knob towards me to turn it on.

I had a magnificent view of a small lake from my room, with Wet'n'Wild on the other side of the lake. I could also see downtown Orlando in the distance as well as Islands of Adventure.

The air con unit in the room looked like it's quite old, and it was so loud I actually had to turn it off at night to be able to sleep, meaning I woke up all clammy in the mornings.

Breakfast was ok. On a few of the mornings they had waffles, they put out 3 waffle irons and a batter dispenser. I only managed to get waffles one morning when I was there early (7am) as on the other days there was a long queue. An idea might have been for the kitchen workers to cook the waffles in advance and have them ready-made on the side for people to take if they wanted. Other than waffles, when they had them, there was toast, bagels, porridge pouches, and cereal. You could have butter, peanut-butter, jam or cream cheese to spread on your bread. To me that's a bit plain, it could have been made miles better just by adding some cheese slices for example.

The Ramada Plaza provides a curtesy shuttle to and from Epcot (you can get free transfer from Epcot to the other Disney parks) and Universal studios. There are two shuttles to Epcot in the morning; 7.30am and 11.15am and only one to Universal at 10.15am. Going back there are 3 shuttles from Epcot at 6pm, 9pm and 10.05pm, but only one from Universal, at 8pm. I do wish there had been more shuttles. I realise Ramada Plaza isn't on either of the theme park resorts, and I'm not expecting a shuttle every 20 minutes, but every hour, or even every 2 hours both ways would be nice, that way people would also be able to go to both Disney and Universal in one day if they wanted to, without having to pay for a taxi. There should also be a shuttle after all parks were closed, most of the parks have something going on just before closing time (parade or fireworks).

I think I must have had a couple of different people proving my maid-service while I was here. On a couple of the days I didn't get a new face cloth, even though they took away the old one, which I though was a bit strange, whereas on other days they made sure to give me a new one. Other than that I don't really have any comment on the maid-service, my room was clean and the bed was made.

In all; Ramada Plaza has been an ok place to stay. I'm not sure if I would stay here again due to the limited bus schedule to the parks, but then again I don't know if any of the other off-resort hotels are any better.
View from my room

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