Showing posts with label Hotel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hotel. Show all posts

2015 Review of Port Orleans Riverside

Port Orleans Riverside was enjoyable but we did have some problems... 

Entrance to Port Orleans Riverside
Let me  begin by saying we have stayed at Port Orleans Riverside one previous time and Port Orleans French Quarter two previous times.  We choose the Port Orleans moderate resorts because we like the landscaping, amenities, & having the boat ride to Downtown Disney available.
Resort area Port Orleans Riverside
So what are the pros & cons of staying at Port Orleans Riverside?

Building 18 is a good location.

Everything Good About Port Orleans Riverside - Port Orleans Riverside has a great pool area in Ol' Man Island.  We also enjoyed the FREE smores each night. My son enjoyed playing a few video games in the Medicine Show Arcade. Yee Haw Bob does a great family friendly live show a few nights per week. There is a different movie on the lawn each night at sunset, but we did not get to see it. The boat ride to Downtown Disney was pleasant as always. You can also go on carriage rides, rent bicycles, & rent boats for an additional fee at Port Orleans Riverside. If you are assigned a building close to everything you will enjoy it - we enjoyed our building assignment this year. (Building 18) The cast members were friendly and helpful. The landscaping is beautiful! At the theme parks Riverside does not share a bus with French Quarter.

Riverside Food Court

Lobby Area Port Orleans Riverside

Now for the not so good...
A corner room is good! (IF it is cleaned.)
Last time we visited Port Orleans Riverside we were in Building 24 and were a minimum of 15 minutes walking to the food court and Ol' Man Island.  After that trip we learned to request a building closer to "everything". I read online and saw that for the rooms that did not have an upgrade charge you should request building 16 or 17.  I requested building 16 or 17 when I booked my room 6 months before leaving and I confirmed it 1 week before my scheduled arrival.  We arrived early to check in to our room (11 AM) but I went to the front desk and once again made my request. I was told my room was not ready yet but they would text me as soon as it was available.  The cast member also told me I was to be in building 18 based on what she could see on the computer. She said it was actually a better building than the one I requested. I left, excited about getting a building that would not be too far from everything. I received a text message from Disney Destinations around 4 PM telling me there was a problem with sending me an assigned room and that I needed to contact front desk.  I was at Disney Quest in Downtown Disney so I called. I spoke with 3 people before they finally told me my room assignment, no one could ever figure out why I received the text message I received. We arrived back to our room at 11 PM after a long day.  Our MagicBands would NOT unlock our door.  We then had to walk to the front desk to get that fixed. Long story short it took a total of 2 trips to the front desk to get all of our MagicBands to unlock the door.  At 11:30 PM we got into our room to find a mess! The room had not been vacuumed or swept. At the conclusion of my stay the room had not been swept or vacuumed. In addition, there was a straw on the floor under the bathroom sink that was there when we arrived. There was also a white substance on the floor under the sink that needed to be mopped. The table in the room had a white substance looking like old milk on it when we arrived. The wall on the left of the toilet had a brown spot that looked like chewing tobacco that was spit on the wall. It was there when we arrived and it was still there when we departed. When we arrived the toilet had a 2" wide yellow streak going down the front that I had to clean. Because it was so late at night I just cleaned what I could and stayed in the room. We ate at Boatwrights Dining which is a Cajun themed restaurant at Riverside. The food was bland and downright tasteless.  FYI I don't add salt to my food at restaurants but at Boatwrights I had to. The trundle bed is uncomfortable and anyone taller than 48" 
should not attempt to sleep comfortably on it. My 11 year old son found the bed to be far too short for him.

Trundle bed - not for those taller than 48"
So what do I think about staying at Riverside again?  
We have never experienced such lack of cleanliness at a Disney resort like we experienced this year. Maybe this was a one time occurrence... However, I think we will stay at French Quarter next time. Because Riverside & French Quarter are sister resorts, you can enjoy the amenities at each resort. That is my plan for next time. UPDATE: After completing the survey Disney sent after my stay, I was contacted by a representative from Disney. He apologized for the problems I experienced and offered me two free nights stay at a moderate resort of my choice when I visit Disney World again. I add this to my blog as evidence that Disney really does know a thing or two about hospitality.  Will I go back? - OF COURSE! 

Washington D.C. on a Budget - Hotels

So you are thinking of visiting Washington D.C. but have heard how expensive it is to visit? The rumors are true however with a little forethought and this blog you can visit Washington D.C. and NOT break the bank. I traveled with my family in June of 2011 for 8 days which is not the cheapest time to visit, but school schedules did not allow cheaper travel dates. In this part of my blog I hope to help you find affordable lodging.
I began my search 6 months prior to my travel dates. I have 2 criteria when looking for a hotel: #1 clean and #2 safety of my family. After exhaustive searching and reading reviews I decided I could get the best deal in one of the outlying towns around DC. Yes, there are beautiful hotels in Washington D.C. however my family was on a budget and paying $300-$400 per night for a 3 star hotel was a bit steep. Hotels in D.C. that were more affordable left me worried about the safety of my family.
I looked at many options for lodging in cities around DC. I needed a hotel that was near a Metro station as my family would be travelling by subway.  Some areas you might want to consider include: Arlington, Alexandria, and Crystal City. I chose Old Town Alexandria Virginia and was glad I did. Old Town is very safe and is within walking distance from the King Street Metro Station. You have several hotels to choose from including, Embassy Suites, Hilton, Hampton Inn, Residence Inn, etc. The hotels that face the Metro Station (Embassy & Hilton) are about $50-$75 per night more expensive than those off the main street. I was lucky to find the Residence Inn on Duke Street about 2 blocks from the Metro. It was a perfect solution for my family. The price was affordable (based on DC prices), the hotel was extremely clean, and I felt safe in the neighborhood. It was a win win win situation!

Listed below are the reasons you should choose Residence Inn Old Town Alexandria:

  1. Residence Inn Old Town was extremely clean. All areas, room, indoor pool, hearth room, etc. were impeccably clean. The staff does a phenomenal job of keeping the hotel in tip top shape.

  2. The hotel was in a safe part of town. We arrived at midnight and had to walk 2 blocks from the Metro and we did not feel the least bit unsafe.

  3. The price was right. When I originally booked the hotel 5 months prior to travel dates I received a discount of about $9/nt because I am a teacher which made the room $211/nt. We were spending 8 nights and I wanted the best possible deal so I chose to have the option of cancelling the reservation up until the day before check in. Boy, am I glad I did! Over the next 5 months prior to travel I searched high and low for a hotel that would be less expensive but still adhere to my cleanliness and safety requirements. Needless to say, I did not find such a hotel within my budget. However, 2 weeks prior to travel dates I checked the Marriott web page and discovered Residence Inn Old Town was offering a weekend special that made the room $129/nt Thursday-Sunday. I called Marriott and a great rep was able to help me change my reservation. That one phone call saved me a couple hundred dollars! Yippee! I guess the moral of that story is to be sure and check back at your hotel website to see if a better deal can be found closer to check in time.

  4. Great FREE breakfast and evening social light meal. The best free breakfast I have experienced at a hotel. Every morning you have the option of a variety of breakfast options that alternate daily including: waffles, eggs, sausage, ham, biscuits, gravy, pancakes, bagles, pastries, fruit, yogurt, cereal, coffee, hot chocolate, milk, and juices. During the evening hours Monday - Thursday from 5:30 -7:00 PM a FREE light meal is served. Each night a different meal is served. For example one night stuffed peppers, mashed potatoes, and salad was served. In addition every night during the social you get 2 FREE Budweiser, Bud Light, OR wine per room. There is also Pepsi fountain drinks and tea available included. This really saved us ALOT of money as food is unbelievably expensive in and around DC. For example, the average meal price at lunch at a sit down restaurant is $22/ person and dinner is even more expensive.

  5. Full size kitchen in all rooms. It was nice to have a full size refrigerator, cooktop, dishwasher, garbage disposal, and microwave in our room. We were able to eat in the room 2 nights during the weekend thereby saving money. Note: Whole Foods grocery store is 1/2 block down Duke Street and is a great place to purchase items to stock the fridge. Pizza Hut and Dominos delivers to this hotel. We used Pizza Hut delivery one night and had the left overs the next night. We stayed in the smallest suite which was the studio. They also have available 1 and 2 bedroom suites if your family is larger than mine. The studio was very much like having your own efficiency apartment making it really feel like a home away from home.

  6. Close to shopping and entertainment in Old Town Alexandria. (See my other blogs for more information about touring Old Town.)

  7. Close to the King Street Metro Station. We cut through the courtyard of the Embassy Suites hotel and were able to make it to the Metro in about a 5-7 minute walk. We decided NOT to rent a car as parking is a premium in all of the DC area including Old Town. The Residence Inn charges $18/nt to park your car. However, I was told you could park your car during the weekends for FREE along the street in front and behind the hotel. If you have the option of bringing a car I would recommend NOT having a car. Driving is difficult in and around DC from all I have heard from locals ect. The Metro system is a great way to travel. (See my other blogs for more info.)

  8. You are 2 stops down the Metro line from Reagan International Airport. If you are flying to DC you definitely want to fly into Reagan if you are staying in Old Town.