By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2019, the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever.

Available on Amazon here.





Review: The Doubletree Suites by Hilton Orlando in the Disney Springs Resort Area



By Dave Shute

THE DOUBLETREE SUITES BY HILTON ORLANDO

Guests at the Doubletree Suites by Hilton Orlando, like those at the other six hotels in the Disney Springs Resort Area, became eligible for FastPass+ at 60 days and Extra Magic Hours—the two most valued Disney World perks—in 2018, eligibility that will extend at least until 12/31/2019.

The extension of these perks to these hotels, owned by third parties but located on the far southeast corner of Disney property, made them much more interesting options for Disney World visitors.

The Doubletree Suites by Hilton Orlando is distinguished by being the only all-suite hotel among the Disney Springs Resort Area offerings.

Its (largely) two-bay suites have two queen beds (or one king bed) and an undivided bath in a back room, and a living-dining-mini-kitchen area (with a microwave and mini-fridge) in the front bay, including a couch that will fold out to sleep two more.

That said, design and furnishing choices make the space awkward for more than three or four, it is tied for being the furthest of the Disney Springs hotels from Disney Springs itself (although that matters little if your focus is on the theme parks, not on Disney Springs, which is a dining and shopping area), its amenities are adequate but undistinguished, and like all the Disney Springs Resort area hotels, it suffers from a transportation system that is weaker than what you will find at Disney’s own resorts.

Positives at the Doubletree Suites by Hilton Orlando include its pricing—typically in the lower range of the seven hotels here, and competitive with the weaker single-room offerings here like those at the Best Western and the Garden rooms at the Wyndham (not the Tower rooms there), and its sports and tennis courts, unmatched among the Disney Springs Resort Area hotels except, perhaps, at the Wyndham.

I stayed here in April after guests at these hotels gained eligibility for FastPass+ at 60 days and EMH, and my full review has four pages:

ACCOMMODATIONS AT THE DOUBLETREE SUITES BY HILTON ORLANDO

Most initially interesting to families would be the suites at the Doubletree that sleep six. (Suites with a king that sleep four are also available.)

The living-dining-kitchen area includes a microwave and mini fridge, a table that seats four, and an easy chair and couch that also folds out into a bed that sleeps two.

This spacious area could be furnished to seat six in both areas, but is not.

The bedroom area includes two queen beds in a cramped space…

…and an undivided bath entered by an open hall from the queen bedroom area with much wasted space.

A better design would be to add a second sink in the current closet area, close off this space from the bedroom area with a door, and add a door from the new divided bath to the kitchen-living-dining area, converting what is left of the area currently covered by the six foot long table (!) to a new, smaller closet.

A divided bath which could be entered from either sleeping area without disturbing the other would make this space much more livable for larger families.

More on accommodations at the Doubletree Suites is here.

DINING AT THE DOUBLETREE SUITES BY HILTON ORLANDO

The principal dining venue at the Doubletree Suites is the Evergreen Cafe, serving a breakfast buffet, and also lunch and dinner, and which also has an attached bar.

Snacks, drinks, and grab and go items are also available in a small but well-stocked shop near it. A pool bar might also offer food, but it was closed during my stay here.

There’s also a Disney gift shop offering souvenirs, park tickets and such off the lobby.

There’s more on dining–and the other amenities here, except for the pool–at the Doubletree Suites here.

THE POOL AT THE DOUBLETREE SUITES BY HILTON ORLANDO

The pool at the Doubletree Suites has the basics–a pool and a hot tub–but nothing else–at least not that I noticed.

It is adequate, but in the bottom rank of the pools at the Disney Springs Resort Area hotels.

For more on the pool at the Doubletree Suites, see this.

THEME PARK TRANSPORTATION AT THE DOUBLETREE SUITES BY HILTON ORLANDO

The Doubletree Suites participates in a transportation program sponsored by all the Disney Springs Resort Area hotels. One group of buses serves the four hotels on the side of Hotel Plaza Boulevard that the Doubletree Suites is on, and another group serves the two hotels on the other side and the Hilton Palace on Lake Buena Vista.

Buses run about every thirty minutes, each serving two parks–so, for example, to get to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, you may have travel to the Magic Kingdom first.  Moreover, unlike the buses from Disney-owned resorts, Magic Kingdom buses drop off at the Transportation and Ticket Center, not the park itself, necessitating another transit, via monorail or ferry, to get to that park.

In addition to the theme park buses, buses to and from Disney Springs run through the evening.

On the important dimensions–frequency, and the time it takes to get to and return from the parks–the transportation system at the Disney Springs Resort Area is much worse than that at the Disney-owned resorts, but better than that at most off-site hotels.

Having your own car or a rental is a much better option. Self-parking at the Doubletree Suites is $22/night and valet parking is $27/night. Parking at the theme parks is $25/day.

For more on transportation at the Disney Springs Resort Area hotels, see this.

PRICING AT THE DOUBLETREE SUITES BY HILTON ORLANDO

Pricing at the Disney Springs Resort Hotels is much less visible than that at the Disney-owned resorts, and multiple prices for the same room e.g. for non-refundable stays, stays by folk with AAA, etc. are common.  Discounts and deals are also common, especially for the hotels without significant convention business, and these hotels commonly show up on the various hotel deal sites.

Pricing for most of them is also obscured by mandatory “resort fees.”  Resort fees are added every night of your stay, whether you like or not. I personally find mandatory resort fees a misleading and unethical practice.  A fee that is mandatory, and charged each night, should simply be rolled into the nightly room price.

The Doubletree Suites by Hilton Orlando, bless its soul, is the only one of the seven Disney Springs Resort Area hotels that does not charge a resort fee. I honor it for not doing so.

Prices at the Doubletree Suites (before any discounts) are otherwise generally a bit more than a single bay four person room in a Disney-owned value resort, and less than a single bay four or five person room in a Disney moderate resort.

For some large families on a tight budget, the ability to sleep six here might trump any other issue with the Doubletree Suites. But, as noted, the rooms awkwardly fit the six they sleep (the undivided bath, lack of access to it from both sleeping areas, four person table, and seating for four in living room area).

These rooms are better seen as affordable but more spacious alternatives for smaller families to other Disney Springs Resort Area options, and perhaps, if you can get them on deal, to standard rooms at Disney’s value resorts.

Kelly, the long-time travel agent partner of this site, can book your Disney World vacation at the Doubletree Suites–or at any other Disney World hotel.  Contact here using the form below.

PHOTO TOUR OF A ONE BEDROOM SUITE AT THE DOUBLETREE SUITES BY HILTON ORLANDO

This review continues here.

MORE ON THE DOUBLETREE SUITES BY HILTON ORLANDO

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