When ever I come to Orlando I like to stay on International drive. Our travel agent use to book me at the hotels near the airport entrance on Semoran, the problem with staying there is there is nothing to do within miles of the hotel. On the other hand there is tons of things to do on International drive.
The flight from Minneapolis was full but on time. Our travel agent booked my rental car with Hertz, which unfortunately is not located at the airport, so I had to take a shuttle ride from the airport to the Hertz location, Not a big deal but on Friday I will be cutting it close to catch my flight and I will not be able to drop my car at the airport. Our travel agent gave me "free day" coupons to pay for the car and I thought I would have to give them to the agent when renting the car, I was wrong. I waited in line for about fifteen minutes and gave the agent my coupons, she told me that I give them an agent when I return the car.
I stayed at a hotel across from the Doubletree Castle about seven years ago and I don't think this hotel looked like a castle back then, anyway I don't remember it as such. The address is on International drive but the hotel is not, it is located behind Cafe Tu Tu Tango and Vito's Chop House. Even though the hotel is not directly on International Drive it is nine stories high and looks like a castle so you can easily see it when you approach. It is kind of odd to stay here for work because it is geared mor towards leisure than business. There is a suit of armor in the lobby and the mirror in the hotel room looks like something from a Disney cartoon. Not what I am use to.
The hotel lobby is nice, the rooms are not bad but most of the Doubletree's that I have stayed at have nicer rooms. The workout room is nice but limited, it has newer cardio equipment with built in TVs but they only have dumbbells, no barbells or Universal gym.
The banquet room is kind of hidden in the back of the a small dining room. I was worried that the students would not be able to find it but it was not a problem.
The lunches were just OK, nothing to write home about. Afternoon breaks were good, they gave us a couple of dozen of the famous Doubletree cookies. The gave me a tin of six cookies, two waters and a thank you card for having the seminar at the hotel. I ordered room service on Monday for dinner, it's kind of weird you can only order appetizers, so I ordered three appetizers.
On Tuesday I went to a shopping mall just down the street from the hotel. I ended up at B.B. Kings, I love blues and ribs and B.B.'s had both. The ribs were good and the house band was also pretty darn good. The nice thing is the band started playing at 7:30 PM, which is nice for old people like me. I am usually back in my room by 9:00 PM.
On Wednesday I ate at Ming Court, also located just down from the hotel on International drive. It was a little disappointing. My wife and I have a scale for Asian food with LeeAnn Chin's being at the bottom and P.F. Chang's being at the top. I do like LeAnn Chin's but is is basically fast food. Ming was a little worse than LeeAnn Chin's and Ming is not fast food. The upside is that the portions are large. I did like the koi pond at the entrance.
Thursday was my last dinner in Orlando, I had passed Vito's Chop House many times during the week and decided to have dinner there on Thursday. I was by myself so I ate at the bar. Vito's reminds me of an old dinner club, very classy, decorated with a lot of dark wood work. It is a little spendy but the steak was good.
I have to mention Cafe Tu Tu Tango, it is located behind the Doubletree. I did not eat there but several of the students did and normally students do not talk about where they eat but they thought it was a cool place to hang out and have dinner.
The castle design of the hotel would probably work well with children but the hotel was just Ok from me.
The banquet room and staff were good but the lunches were so-so.
The workout room was nice, the cardio equipment was new with built in TVs. The workout room lacked barbells or an Universal type gym.
The location is ideal. Even though many of the students did not have a car they could walk to the many attractions on International drive.
If you don't know what you are looking for the hotel can be hard to find.