For any vacation, accommodation is big part of it because you want to make sure you stay at good place and when you come back to the hotel, completely tired from sight-seeing, you want to come back to a really nice room to relax to. I booked the hotel and theme park tickets from orlandovacation.com, and they had couple of options to choose from for hotels and Baymont seemed the best option considering the price and amenities they offered. So here is my little feedback on the service of the hotel. I personally liked this hotel and would not mind staying here again if we ever come to Orlando to theme parks.
Room and Lobby:
To start with the lobby, it is huge and very impressive. They have couple of nice sofas and 2 big dining tables which could be used in the morning breakfast if the breakfast area gets full. We headed straight to the room where we had room on 4th floor and needed to get the elevator from outside the hotel lobby. Once we leave the hotel lobby, all of a sudden everything becomes pretty old-style hotel architecture. The elevators are not that great with few buttons having some marks on them and the corridors are ...yea..pretty old too. But to be honest, we weren't going to live in the elevators or the corridors, so I was looking forward to the room.
The room was really nice, big and spacious. More importantly, it was clean. After doing a quick run through of the room, the carpet, curtains, bathroom, bedsheets were all clean. It had nice 42"-45" plasma TV mounted on the big cabinet. It included two big wooden closets along with 3 drawer dresser with a desk and chair. Also they included iron and ironing board in the room along with pretty good size fridge (bigger than my dorm room fridge) and microwave. Choosing this hotel had another reason which was them providing a microwave in the room! This was important for us to make the maggie noodles in the room after we come back late from the parks :D. You even get separate kitchen sink with separate cabinet to keep food. I also liked how the bathroom sink and shower were separate already stocked with bath towels, hand towels, and wash towels. The air conditioner worked fine but it didn't look too clean, but we didn't mind. I was pretty impressed with the room and happy to make Baymont our choice of hotel.
Customer Service, Housekeeping, and Maintenance:
The front desk staff was very friendly and helpful everytime I had to ask them something. Check-in and check-out was very quick. Everyday, we left the room really early and came back late between 8:30-10:30 pm. When we left the room, it was pretty much in messed up condition with park maps scattered on the table, towels everywhere, bed completely undone, but whenever we came back, it was in exact same condition as it was on the first day we came. They did pretty good job in keeping it clean. Maintenance wise, they were pretty fast too. On the first day, we found out that the microwave was missing its tray and one of the lamps did not have the bulb, we called the front desk and the maintenance guy came within 5 minutes. We also needed more towels one day and the maintenance person was there within 5 minutes. No complains there.
Baymont had free breakfast for guests every morning which was very good for us to start the day. The breakfast included wheat and white bread, muffins, bagels, donuts (what?), butter, jelly, peanut butter, 4 different cereals, 2% and whole milk, orange juice, and apple juice. No fruits though. It doesn't seem very healthy breakfast but at least something to get you started. They also had about 3 toasters where one of them would toast your bread by the time you come back from the parks...haha....I mean it was going at super slow speed. I used the slow one only on the first day and based on the experience I didn't use it the other days but I am sure the other 2 toasters worked fine. The breakfast area is pretty big and spacious too. The breakfast ladies were doing great job of keeping everything filled up. I was also able to fill up our water bottles every day from the breakfast place, and with choice of bread/peanut butter/jelly options available, I was able to make our lunch sandwiches from there which was pretty filling for us at the parks.
So first thing first, here are the shuttle times that are offered by baymont:
PARK Morning drop-off Evening pick-up
Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC): 8:30 am 6pm/10pm
Epcot 10:50am/11:50am 9:45 pm
Universal Studios 9:25 am 7:45 pm
Sea World 9:25 am 7:30 pm
These are the fixed shuttle times that baymont offers to pick up from hotel and drop-off at the hotel. They normally say that the 8:30 am shuttle takes you to Magic kingdom but they don't. The shuttle takes you to TTC where you can catch buses for any park or monorail to Magic Kingdom and Epcot. We used the shuttle for all 7 days and it worked out great. The shuttle drivers are very friendly and helpful too. During our stay, we had 3 different drivers. If you want to ask about transportation for the parks, just ask them and they will direct you to the right place. Out of the 3 drivers, I found Tony to be very helpful and friendly. One day I had to go back to the hotel for a very urgent manner from Epcot and when he came to drop off people at Epcot around 11 am, I told him my situation and he took me back to the hotel even though it wasn't one of his stops back. It was very nice of him. I also realized that a lot of times we were very close to missing our shuttle since we were in the parks till last minute or we had to catch another bus to get to the shuttle. In this case, always ask the driver if they have a cell phone you can reach them at....some drivers might just say they can't give it to you but some drivers will give you their personal cell number in case you need to reach them so you don't miss the shuttle. Tony was one of those nice drivers to give us his cell number. Only one of the disadvantages is that sometimes the shuttle will stop at a hotel or two before leaving for the parks but that would be just another 5 minutes. The only time it took really long time to go to the park was in the Epcot shuttle because the shuttle stopped at like 3 other hotels which took us 45 minutes to get to Epcot.
Other than what I already discussed above, the hotel has nice pool where I saw a lot of people hanging out on the last day so I assume the pool was clean :). They have said that there is fitness room but I didn't have time to check it out and didn't plan on knowing where it was either. I was on vacation, not on workout mission...hehe. They also have laundry facility which I saw people using couple of times. They have something called business center which is a small, really small, room with one computer and printer which can be used by guests. The printer came handy when I had to print the show times for Sea world park and very handy when I had to print my boarding pass. So it was good.
The only problem we had with the hotel on the first day was the water fountain, which is the only source of water in the entire hotel. The first day we got there, we didn't have water with us and the water fountain was broken as well. We asked the front-desk agent and he said they have reported the problem to the maintenance people and they don't know when it will be fixed...well, it was not fixed until we checked out so I don't know what their window is on fixing things. What I didn't like is that the front-desk agent didn't tell me that I could just get the water from the breakfast area where they also have water source from the juice machine. I found that out the following day. Other than that, I can't really think of any flaws that the hotel had and it was wonderful staying with Baymont. We were at the parks all day long from morning to night, so we mainly used the hotel in the morning for breakfast and used it at night to come back and relax and sleep. For the price we got the hotel room at, $47/night for 8 nights + $5.09/night service charge, I think it was pretty good deal we had. I would definitely recommend this hotel to anyone who wants to go for Orlando vacation which is really close to the Disney theme parks.
With that said, I also found that there are dozen other hotels within 1 mile radius of this hotel. Some of the hotels have display boards which shows you what they offer along with their room rates, and some of them seemed to be offering the same thing as our hotel. Also there are a lot of restaurants within 1 to 5 to 15 minutes of walk. Just few steps away (maybe 1 minute walk), there is Denny's and McDonald's. About 3-5 minutes away, there is IHop, and Passage to India. About 5 minutes away, there is Cici's Pizza, Golden Corral, and Burger King. About 1 mile away (about 15 minutes walk), there are even more choices such as Subway, TGIF, Taco Bell and some other restaurants. The area is safe too to be walking to these restaurants. The first day we came, we went to Cici's Pizza at around 9:20 pm and came back after 10 pm. We went there twice and also went to Subway once. Everything worked out great on this vacation from hotel to the parks to the transportation. It was perfect!