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June 25, 2017

REVIEW: The Florida Hotel - Orlando

This "Spring/Summer Series" spotlight takes us back to our home turf in Orlando. Originally opened as a Crown Plaza more than thirty years ago, The Florida Hotel is a 511-room facility with the distinction of being recognized by TripAdvisor as Orlando's "Friendliest Hotel". 



The Florida Hotel is anchored to The Florida Mall - a nearly two million square foot, indoor, shopping center that is home to a wide variety of retailers, dining establishments, and unique attractions like The Crayola Experience and M&M World. Designated parking is fenced off and separated within the mall parking lot. Valet parking is available for $20 per night. The hotel's location is more centralized than the majority of the area's accommodations - nearer to the airport than most tourist zones, but still within 15-25 minutes of our theme parks and the culture-rich downtown district.


The Florida Hotel's grand lobby extends from the front entry straight back to the hotel's dedicated mall entrance. Aside from clustered seating areas, the first floor lobby area is home to the hotel's bar and restaurants, convenience store, 24-hour fitness center and business center, and a Starbucks. The second-level boasts multi-purpose ballrooms and board rooms. The outdoor pool is heated, and secluded by a wall draped in ivy. The business center features computers and other office equipment for guest use. The hotel also has dedicated staff to assist with catering and wedding services.



You have multiple options for dining as a guest at The Florida Hotel. Aside from the easily accessible mall food court for quick bites, diverse sit-down restaurants encircle the perimeter of the mall. Of course, for the utmost convenience, you will find both dine-in and in-room opportunities within the hotel!

Marcelo's Bistro offers breakfast in the form of a buffet ($14/$18) or ala carte (average $11/$12 per person). Lunch and dinner service is available from Marcelo's and Cricket's Bar. Here, you'll find specialty drinks for $8/$10 and a reasonable beer/wine list. Meal options vary greatly, with appetizers and salads for $10-$15, sandwiches and wraps for $11-$18, and seafood, beef, chicken, and pasta entrees ranging from $15 to $34. You can also keep it simple with a pizza for only $13 (before toppings). 



Sometimes you just need a simple snack while you bustle around, and The Florida Hotel has you covered for this scenario, too! Grab a quick pick-me-up at Starbucks before you hustle on into the mall, or stop by the Grab-N-Go for a canned or bottled drink, candy, chips, or any of the little necessities you may have forgotten at home. Of course, you can just opt for in-room dining, where most of the Marcelo's menu is available for delivery to your own cozy haven!



Speaking of the rooms - curious about where you'll be hanging your hat?



The standard rooms are very spacious, with ample seating and surfaces for work, storage, or dining. The room includes a mini-refrigerator, free wi-fi, safe, and large flat-screen television with a nice assortment of channels and on-demand selections. This is also a perfect space if you should choose to take advantage of in-room spa services!

Most notably, the bed was easily one of the most comfortable I have ever experienced, and it was piled with exceptionally enticing pillows as well!

The bathroom was beautifully decorated, including a lighted makeup mirror and detached hair dryer. This would be a wonderfully accommodating area to prep for onsite business meetings or events. 
Two rather unusual inclusions I took note of at The Florida Hotel... 
Although it is a smoke-free hotel, there is one designated smoking area just outside the main entrance. Unlike many establishments, The Florida Hotel does not relegate smokers to a confined space lacking in comfort. A wide open area full of shaded tables is a hospitable change of pace from the modern norm! Additionally, The Florida Hotel welcomes their guests' right of choice in transportation with a designated Lyft and Uber pick-up zone!


Check-in at The Florida Hotel was a breeze - quick, efficient, and living up to their "friendly" reputation. The hotel was generally quiet, even with a large youthful gathering taking place onsite. Pricing for a standard room seems to range from around $120 to about $180 typically, though both lower and higher prices can be found through various websites. This hotel is a perfect choice for business travelers, couples, young adult vacationers, or anyone who plans to explore the Orlando area from a wisely-located, centralized home base.

For more information on The Florida Hotel visit their official website, or follow them on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. To view our Florida Hotel photo album, click here.

Photo: The Florida Hotel