Airport hotels, as a rule, are not sexy. They are utilitarian. In too many cases, they are loud, worn, and co-located near a mediocre selection of chain restaurants. I’m rarely excited to book one, but they all too often make up a significant percentage of my hotel nights for work.
A recent 5:15 am flight (yes, the airplanes really do run at that hour) out of Orlando International Airport had me seeking the easiest alternative to minimize disruption to my personal routine. A familiar terminal-located property, the Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport, fit the bill perfectly.
Check in was efficient with two agents working the front desk and a dedicated Diamond/Platinum check-in. As both were occupied with other guests, I chose to use the bank of self check-in machines. The first machine I selected did not advance past the first screen and threw itself into a reboot cycle shortly thereafter. The second machine worked quickly however and I was on my way to my room quickly.
The hotel is designed in an atrium style with landscaping and fountains running down the long corridors. The fountains can seem loud in the hallway but they serve a useful purpose as a noise buffer and as a result, hallway noise is minimized within the rooms. This is an important highlight for an airport hotel where corridor traffic and slamming doors can easily make for a restless pre-flight night.
I was assigned Room 6117 which was located near a corner section of the corridor adjacent to the fitness center.
Rooms are spacious and relatively minimalist. My room had minor wear and tear as one would expect from the room turnover in an airport property but it was well-designed. Lighting was typical of many hotel rooms in that it was limited to bedside lamps, a desk light, and a floor lamp in the corner. The rooms include ceiling fans which are a welcome addition to keep air circulating preventing stale humid air.
The desk included a dedicated plug outlet with three electrical and two USB plugs. There were not plugs located by the bedside however, which necessitated plugging my phone in across the room at the desk. This always makes me a bit anxious when I have an early wake up time as I use my phone as an alarm.
The bed and room temperature were comfortable and allowed for a restful night.
The bathroom was large and could easily be shared. It included a large tub with a separate stall shower and both inside and outside sink/vanity combo areas. The shower boasted excellent water pressure and temperature control, important for a late night or early morning shower!
The property includes a nice fitness center from Hyatt’s Stay Fit brand – three elliptical trainers, three treadmills, three stationary bicycles, and a full circuit of LifeFitness weight machines were available. All equipment appeared to be well maintained and allowed me to get a quick evening workout in.
The co-location of the hotel allows for easy access to the terminal and all landside restaurants. Great food can be found, however, on the hotel property. Two restaurant choices are available – Hemispheres, a top-floor steak/seafood establishment (and also the location for the morning breakfast buffet) and McCoys, a lobby level restaurant with a sushi bar and separate lobby lounge. McCoys offers a wide range of chef’s variations on comfort food.
While I was intrigued by the Travelers Trio (which allows the choice of three small plates of tapas/appetizer type selections for $17) and the Create Your Own Main Dish (another “choose your own” option with a protein, a sauce, and two sides for $12-$28), I opted to sit at the sushi bar. I sampled Kaisou Salad, Tuna Nanban Tempura, and California Roll accompanied by a Markham Napa Valley Chardonnay. Service was quick and courteous and I enjoyed watching the sushi chefs at work. Many of the McCoy’s items (including sushi) are also available via room service. The drinks list is also impressive for an airport hotel – 15+ cocktail creations, 25 wines by the glass, 8 beer selections on tap (and almost none of the standard domestic selections) as well as 26 more available by bottle.
Checkout was painless. I was pleased that a bill was waiting for me under the door at 4 am when I awoke, accompanied by my free breakfast voucher (a perk as a Hyatt Diamond) and a copy of the Wall Street Journal. While my departure was too early to take advantage of the buffet, I have visited it in the past and it’s well-stocked for a hotel buffet and includes several healthy options.
My goal when checking into a hotel is to carry over as much of evening routine at home as I can and I was able to do that here with no issues. I woke up well-rested, despite the early hour, my devices were fully charged, and I was ready to tackle the two flights ahead of me.
While my favorite thing about this hotel is proximity (the elevator to the airport terminal deposits you literally steps away from security at one concourse and a short three to four minute walk from the other), this property has a lot going for it and will continue to have my business whenever I have late flights into or early flights out of Orlando International Airport.