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BedKnobbery2
06-25-2006, 10:28 AM
My 2 sons (ages 12 & 13) and I were staying for one night, at my youngest's request--it was the "only thing" he reallyreallyreally wanted to do in Orlando. We had reserved a room with the 2 single beds rather than the bunkbeds. We were there for one night, June 22.

Got to check in around 10:30am--VERY short line, just 2 families ahead of us, but a large group arrived after we did, so I guess it really is just hit or miss in terms of waiting time at check-in.

They did not have a room ready for us, but took my cell phone number and said they would call us. The clerk told us there were "changing rooms" in the pool area, and we were welcome to use the pools, and they would call us when the room was ready. We got our wristbands, hotel map, and "script" (list of activities), as well as our parking pass. Clerks were very helpful, told us the best places to park for pool access.

The hotel is very modern in appearance--bright Nick-related colors, scandanavian style furniture in the public areas. It is EXTREMELY clean--I constantly saw personnel picking up trash, wiping down tables, etc. I was very impressed with the cleaniness of everything for our entire trip. It is DEFINITELY a step up from your standard Holiday Inn (which the Nick Hotel formerly had been).

Our first stop after grabbing our swimsuits was the Lagoon pool. After only spotting one rest room (1 boys, 1 girls) in the area, I asked a staff member where the changing rooms were, and she informed me that all they had were the restrooms. I told her that the guy at check-in told us there were changing rooms, and she said "A few people have mentioned the same thing, but we don't have anything like that down here". The rest rooms, while clean, are 2 small stalls and one handicap stall. Although clean, the floor is soaking wet, making it difficult to change without getting your clothing all wet. My advice--WEAR YOUR SWIMSUIT TO THE HOTEL if you plan to get there before check-in time (4pm). If you are coming straight from the airport, you'd be better off changing there first, IMO.

The Lagoon pool was very busy, but there was adequate seating available. As is the case with most pools in Orlando, shaded seats are at a premium during daylight hours--but after some searching, we managed to find a table with an umbrella. One tip, behind the slide structure at the Lagoon pool, there are several umbrella tables, so that is your best bet in finding a shaded spot if the pool is crowded. There is also a small mini-golf area back there, which is fairly quiet and can be nice break from water activities.

We stayed at the Lagoon pool until we got the call that our room was ready--around 2pm. The clerk informed me that we could go to Guest Services in the Mall area to pick up our room keys rather than coming to the front desk. Since it was close to check-in time, I figured that was the safer bet--and it paid off. Only one person ahead of us in line.

We were in Building 4, facing the parking lot, to my relief. If you or any of your party are light sleepers, I strongly advise that you request a room facing the parking lot--the pool areas are EXTREMELY LOUD from about 9am until about 10:30pm. Plus, the pool opens around 8am, and the entry gates CLANG VERY VERY LOUDLY when they close. Seriously, if you value your sleep--get a room away from the pools.

Another thing to note, the elevators are small, busy, and slow (probably because they are so busy). The stairs are also VERY hard to find (behind closed doors with cryptic markings, not clearly marked as stairs) so you are pretty much at the elevators mercy when you want to get to your room if you aren't on the first floor.

The rooms are small suites, and if you plan to use the sleeper sofa, don't plan on leaving the room after it is out--it takes up almost the entire living room area. They are, again, extremely clean and modernly decorated. The beds are eh, ok--nothing special. A bit too firm for my tastes. The pillows, thankfully, are plentiful. One each on the twin beds, and 4 on the Queen, 2 in the adult room closet and 1 in the kid room closet area. Towels were also plentiful, both in the suite at in the pool areas. You WILL NOT need to bring your own towels to the pool. Although the towels are small, they are in high supply, so you can pretty much take and use as many as you need.

As others have reported, the Lagoon pool is THE place to be. The Oasis pool would be great for those with very little ones--say, 4 & under. It is less crowded, so easier to keep an eye on them, and less likely for the kiddos to be pushed away by over-eager older kids. I'd also recommend the Oasis pool for couples, again because it is quieter--although why any couple would stay at the Nick Hotel is beyond me. If you aren't going there with kids, no point in going, unless you have a major jones for Spongebob.

We didn't do any character meals, so no comment on those. We did do the dinner buffet (available based on hotel occupancy, so probably not there in the slow months), which was nothing special. Kids 12 & under eat free, and it is totally geared towards kids. Adults are $14.95. Very basic "salad" selection (think big bucket of iceberg lettuce, smaller buckets of tomato, carrot, celery and pepper), 3 fruit selections (honeydew, cantaloupe, and orange sections), 2 "adult-ish" meat options--beef marsala (don't get excited), very watery looking roast chicken, and decent mashed potatoes. The kids buffet had burgers, hot dogs, chicken strips, and mac & cheese. The desserts, again, nothing to get excited about. Sheet cake slices, pudding, and cupcakes. Beverages are included. The best thing about the buffet is that once you pay and get your hand stamped, you can go back as much as you like until it closes (9pm). So you can get your ice tea or soda later in the evening, or if you have a teen with a hollow leg (like my 13 year old) he can nosh at his heart's content all night.

For me, once is enough for the Nick Hotel. I think it is ideal for ages 4-9, good for an active & social 3 year old, still much fun for the 10-12 set (although probably one night would be enough for them), and 13 & older, not that great. My 13 year old was "bored" more than once, probably because there weren't many kids there his age. Once he met a 13 year old cutie in the evening, though, I heard no complaints for the rest of the night--but the next morning, he was ready to leave ASAP.

asramears
06-25-2006, 12:31 PM
I posted a question about the Nick hotel last night on another thread and was wondering if you could answer it. Here it goes...

Question about the Nick Hotel

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We will be staying 3 nights at the Nick in 2 weeks. I have talked to 2 different people at the hotel and gotten 2 different answers to my question. I was wondering if someone here could answer it for me. I printed he recreation schedule from the web site. It has things on it like Dora's Party, SB Bash and different craft projects. Most of these things have a fee associated with them. My question to the hotel was do I need to sign up/make reservations for these things ahead of time. One person told me no to sign up when we get there and the other person told me I could sign up now. Does anyone have any info of this? Does any of this make since? LOL

Any info would be greatly appreciated!!!

BedKnobbery2
06-25-2006, 02:55 PM
I don't know the answer to your question, since we didn't participate in any activities. I can say that the craft activities I observed were not in the least bit crowded, so my guess is you can just do those at will, without bothering to sign up in advance. I was not aware of any ability to sign up before checking in, but if you can do so for the nightly shows, I would recommend it. When we tried to sign up, we were told the only show with seats left was the 10:15 show. Hope that helps!

TerBear4
06-25-2006, 04:23 PM
What a great review!! We were there at the same time. We stayed the entire week and just checked out yesterday.

I, too, was very impressed with the hotel and staff. We found the bathrooms in the mall much larger and better for changing into your swimsuits. We had only been there for about an hour (having lunch at Pizza Hut) when Spongebob made his appearance. My 9 year old daughter was so excited to have her picture taken with him. I think just that alone made it worth it!!!!

We found the bathrooms in the mall to be much larger and great for changing into our swimsuits. We were given a room behind the Lagoon pool's slide on the third floor. Strange since we had requested a quiet-nonpool side room. Within minutes of our inquiry, a guest relations agent was able to switch us to a Lagoon view first floor room in Bldg. 7!! It was perfect!!

Even though my son is 12 years old he did enjoy our stay there. We spent two days at the hotel and switched between the two pools. The kids enjoyed both, and found the lines at the Oasis pool shorter for the slide.

As far as reservations it appears that you need to make them atleast 24 hours in advance for any of the Nick Studio evening shows. I think the others can be made shorter. I'm not for sure. We spent so much time at the parks that I didn't want to commit to any evenings shows, neither did the kids.

I was definately ready to checkout yesterday morning. Seven days is a very long time to stay at the Nick Hotel, but I was pleased with the rooms and the service. It's extremely noisy and not very relaxing :)

mamalle
06-26-2006, 07:16 PM
you have to preregister for the spongebob bash and dora party. we got there and it was sold out when I went to guest services. we too were told there was a changing room and it was a restroom- with out of order on the handicap and a door off on the other.. :confused3 it was okay for one night but if we had to stay more than that- wouldnt be worth it to us. I had to wait in a long line to get my room key at guest services. it was nice that our room was ready at 2pm since it was raining and everything was shut down. My kids loved the spongebob room but honestly for that price- they would of loved the animal kingdom lodge even better with the bunkbeds and view..