Holiday Orlando – Disney Springs is a hotel at Walt Disney World. This review covers our stay at the hotel, featuring room photos and thoughts on the hotel’s amenities. In some ways, Holiday Inn Orlando – Disney Springs was exactly what you’d expect from a Holiday Inn. In other ways, it was a pleasant surprise as far as these Disney Springs Resort Area Hotels go.
It’s not a surprise to the extent of the slate of amenities or quality of any of them. In real world terms, I’d peg Holiday Inn as a fairly middle of the road chain. It’s certainly not in the luxury tier, but it’s also not a barebones motel experience. It’s where form meets function, in the gap between utilitarian and extravagant.
This means that it has amenities guests would expect from full service hotels, like a pool, fitness center, laundry, bar, restaurant, and cafe, all of which are reasonably nice, but nothing mind-blowing.
This particular Holiday Inn recently completed a $35 million top-to-bottom remodel, and I would put it on the mid to upper-end of Holiday Inns at which I’ve stayed.
The pool is solid. It’s larger than the norm with a layout that’s more interesting than a standard, cookie-cutter pool.
The arcade is…an arcade. I honestly don’t know why hotels still have these. I can’t remember the last time I took photos of a hotel when there was actually someone in the arcade. I’d imagine the only time anyone goes in here is when they get lost looking for the laundry room.
Conference space for those who are into that sort of thing…
I dined at the restaurant in the atrium for breakfast (pictured above is the bar, not the restaurant), and it was decent. Free breakfast is included in many packages here, and it’s definitely a step up from typical free continental breakfasts. Better than paying for powdered eggs and rubber bacon at a Walt Disney World quick service, but not better than a standard table service breakfast.
The same is true with the guest rooms. There’s no distinct style here, and it’s all very forgettable and interchangeable with numerous other Holiday Inn locations, but it works. The rooms are clean and fresh, and everything about them is more than satisfactory.
There’s a slight uptick when you get to the bathroom, which appeared to have been newly remodeled with walk-in showers, and upgraded fixtures.
It’s my understanding that not all of the rooms are like this (yet?), so you might still get stuck with a tub on your stay here.
The room again underscores the notion that this hotel is form meets function. Everything about the room gets the job done and is perfectly comfortable, but nothing wows. It’s the kind of place that I can see appealing to families who want a safe, clean, and pleasant place to stay during a Walt Disney World trip, but aren’t intending upon spending a lot of time at their hotel.
All of this is true until we get to the beds. Holy cow, the beds. On this same trip, we also stayed at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress, Waldorf Astoria Orlando, Villas at Grand Cypress, and Wyndham Bonnet Creek (yes, it was a busy trip for hotel testing). I would rank each of those hotels among the top 10 hotels in Orlando. I would say the Holiday Inn could go toe-to-toe with any of them in terms of the mattress comfort. Seriously. Prior to me commenting on the mattress, Sarah remarked on the bed’s comfort, so I know it’s not just me imagining things. This bed felt like sleeping on a cloud. (Well, I’ve never actually slept on a cloud, but I’m guessing this is about how it would feel.)
What really has me singing the praises of the Holiday Inn Orlando – Disney Springs even more than the beds is the lack of fees. The hotel proudly boasts itself as “The No Resort Fee Hotel,” and this is something behind which I can get. If you’ve spent any time on this blog reading hotel reviews, you know I think resort fees are the work of SATAN HIMSELF…or greedy hotel management. Regardless of their cause, they are an abhorrent, consumer-unfriendly practice against which I think people should rally. No need to do that here, as the Holiday Inn Orlando – Disney Springs does not charge resort fees or parking fees (or internet fees). Huge kudos on that.
Also kudos in terms of price. It’s frequently in the $110-130/night rack rate range (full disclosure: my stay was comped), with special offers including free breakfast and kids eat free. For a hotel that’s within walking distance of Disney Springs and with rooms and amenities of this quality, I think that’s fairly good (especially those who are IHG Rewards Club members).
Overall, the greatest strength of the Holiday Inn Orlando – Disney Springs is that it doesn’t make any mistakes. It’s like the Tortoise of hotels (I’m sure they’ll love that comparison)–in some cases, slow and steady wins the race. Whereas it seems every flashy (“Hare”) hotel I’ve reviewed here has some caveat, this one doesn’t. There’s no resort fee, no parking fee, the beds are insanely comfortable, the amenities are solid, the rooms are nice, and the location is good. This hotel isn’t going to offer an unforgettably great experience, but it’s also not going to offer an unforgettably bad one. It’s a known quantity, and one that can be booked safely by families on a budget looking for a place to stay that offers good value and quality. That’s not exactly the highest praise that can be bestowed upon a hotel, but it should meet or exceed the expectations of its target demographic, and that’s what matters here.
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Have you stayed at the Holiday Inn Orlando – Disney Springs hotel? Are you a fan of this hotel, or do you prefer something else in the Disney Springs area? Considering this hotel? Have any other thoughts or questions–please share in the comments below!