Detailed review by LovesTravel
I stayed at the Marriott Orlando World Center Resort for four nights in June 2003, when my company chose the hotel for its annual meeting. With 2000 rooms and suites and over 450,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, it was ideal for the purpose. As a large company, we pretty much took over the place. We encountered our colleagues everywhere--in the 10 onsite restaurants and lounges, in the vast pool complex that seemed set on forcing concrete to resemble a tropical lagoon, in the various boutiques on the ground level, and of course in the meeting rooms, auditorium, and ballrooms.
The Orlando World Center was built as a convention complex, and it is large and rambling. It consists of several connected towers of various heights, the tallest one being 28 stories high, and from a distance it resembles a somewhat asymmetrical pyramid. The grounds are extensive, including a golf course and fitness center as well as the pool complex. Inside, the lobby is large and open—more practical than grand. Reception proceeded in a quick and orderly fashion, despite the demands of a large number of arrivals in a relatively short time.
My room was standard Marriott. I had a king bed to myself (others had two queens), with a comfortable mattress and comforter as well as plenty of pillows. The en suite bath was suitable for a couple, not huge but also not crowded. Furnishings included a desk and chair, easy chair and ottoman, chest, bedside table, and television with a range of channels. Other amenities included tea/coffeemaker, hairdryer, iron and board, and the usual small hotel portions of soap and shampoo. There was also a small balcony with table and chairs, though given the heat, these seemed more ornamental that practical. Bottled water was provided in the room, but using it would ensure an added fee on your hotel bill. Similarly, in-room Internet access was available for a rather hefty daily fee. The hotel had undergone a renovation just before our arrival, so everything was spic and span, showing its best face. The room was pleasant, but it was also rather bland—nothing exciting. Information on the hotel’s many facilities and local Orlando attractions was provided in the room.
Since we were attending a corporate event, the Marriott staff was responsible for serving us breakfast and lunch. Despite the need for speed in making sure that several hundred people were fed and sent off to their workshops in a short space of time, the food was tasty and attractively served. Breakfast for the three days of the meeting was different each morning, though each service was in the form of a buffet with a variety of fruit, cereal, and hot offerings. Lunch was served in a ballroom, with diners seated at round tables (eight people per table) flourished with table cloths, proper cloth napkins, floral centerpiece, and a variety of condiments and bread to accompany a three-course meal—salad, entrée, and dessert. Vegetarian and special diets were accommodated by prearrangement.
Meeting rooms, large and small, were well appointed and supplied. Each seat was provided with pens and paper pads for note-taking. The hotel seemed to have a good supply of audio-visual equipment and flip charts—whatever the presenter might need. Canisters of ice-cold water were placed strategically in or near each room—all the better to fight the effects of a Florida summer. Bathrooms in the convention center were large and clean, despite the demands imposed by several hundred corporate types running amuck.
The hotel is located less than 2 miles from the nearest Disney themepark, and transportation arrangements can be made through the concierge desk. Together with several of my colleagues, I took a shuttle to Downtown Disney and Treasure Island during a free evening. The shuttle service made traveling back and forth painless. For guests with their own wheels, onsite parking is available for a daily fee.
In my opinion, this hotel is better suited to adults than to families with young children. This is a conference center, and its décor and functions (pool complex aside) are really geared more toward the business of business, not the business of Disney. Still, a family could do worse than stay here. Kids will love the pool, and Mom and Dad will love the restaurants and lounges, not to mention the practical comfort that is the Marriott standard.
Marriott Orlando World Center