Amida Spa, Farnham
Bailiffscourt Spa, Climping
Barcelona Spa And Hotel Escape
Bath Spa And Hotel Escape
Top Tips For Visiting Florida
Driving in Florida
Health & Safety in Florida
Orlando - The Sight – Zumba Convention
Orlando - The Flight – Virgin Atlantic London Gatwick to Orlando
Orlando - The Hotel – Hilton Orlando
Orlando - The Shopping – Zumbawear Retail and Outlet
Orlando - The Healing – Hilton Orlando Spa Pool or Massage at the OCC
Orlando - The Food – Denny's
Orlando - The Packing
Orlando - Other Tips For Surviving Convention
Clearwater - The Sight – Dolphins – Caladesi Beach and Little Toot
Clearwater - The Hotel – Pier House 60 Marina Hotel
Clearwater - The Healing – Full Moon Fall Clearwater Beach
Clearwater - The Food – Frenchy's Saltwater Café
Clearwater - The Journey – Drive From Orlando
Clearwater - The Shopping – Caladesi Island
Clearwater - The Packing
Clearwater - Side Trip – Homosassa Springs
Key Largo Escape
Vero Beach Escape
Vero Beach - The Sight – Sunrise, Turtles, Waves
Vero Beach - The Hotel – Costa D'Este
Vero Beach - The Healing – The Spa at Costa D'Este
Vero Beach - The Food – The Wave Kitchen And Bar
Vero Beach - The Journey – Drive From Key Largo (and back to Orlando)
Vero Beach - The Shopping – Shells And Things
Vero Beach - The Packing
Vero Beach - Photos
The Glorious Spa Company Chichester
Iceland Spa And Hotel Break
About Our Trip To Iceland
Iceland - The Spa - Blue Lagoon
Iceland - The Sight - Northern Lights
Iceland - The Hotel(s) – Northern Light Inn, Grindavik and Centerhotel Arnarhvoll, Reykjavik
The Activity - The Icelandic Horse
Iceland - The Restaurant - Eldur and some more eating and drinking tips
Iceland - The Flight - Icelandair from London Heathrow to Reykjavik
Iceland - The Shopping
Iceland - The Rest
London Day Spa Retreats
Marrakech Spa And Hotel Escape
New Forest Spa And Hotel Break
New York Italian Escape
Paris Escape With Kids
Tuscany Spa And Hotel Escape
Zadar Spa And Hotel Escape (Croatia)
My brain hurt from trying to pick which hotel to stay in, but I'd decided already to stay in a convention hotel (choice of Peabody, Rosen or Hilton) and the Rosen was fully booked (it’s cheaper). Thankfully I picked a good 'un.
Having said that, when I walked into my room the air conditioning unit was already making a heck of a noise. So I simply called reception and they shifted me down the hall (do not wait to report any problems with your room – especially not until 3am!)
Second room was perfect. Massive king size bed, shower and tub, reasonable toiletries (although the worst of any of the hotels I stayed in for my hair and skin), (no bathrobe unfortunately), an armchair and foot stool that were almost too comfortable, coffee maker, fridge, $5 bottles of water, massive TV (that didn't get switched on once) and huge desk for me to explode my business cards, cables, passes and seventeen zillion other essential things on.
For some reason in many hotels they do this weird thing with the duvet cover/sheets which always feels to me like someone has put the duvet back on the bed the wrong way up – but maybe it's so you can choose if you just want to have sheets rather than the duvet – anyhoo, apparently it's normal for Florida.
Great things about this hotel are the pool area (open 7am – dusk) (and at convention they do not charge you the resort fee!) which has a lazy river, which is fun for the first day or so, water slide (very dark and very fast for me), a fun pool with zero entry (this means you walk into it like a beach and not down steps), and the hot tub or spa which I found essential once convention started. There is also a quiet pool around the corner, but I loved this area so much I never visited it (which, when you know me and how much I love a bit of quiet is kind of a shocker).
There is also a great bar restaurant in the centre, which I got to eat at on the night of my arrival. The meal was so huge I took half back to my room in a doggy bag (thank heavens for the fridge.)
Yes, the fridge and the coffee maker allow you to save a lot of money, by enjoying fresh milk in your tea and coffee in your room, and putting half your meals (or your day's meals if you have the energy to pop to Denny's at 6:30am in the morning) in the fridge. Luckily most of my sessions were in the Hilton or the East side of the OCC so my room was much more convenient than a room at the Peabody. I also noticed an awful lot of queuing at the Peabody whereas the Hilton's queues seemed much shorter. Convention goers also get a handy 15% discount on services/food etc. from the Hilton, and when you look at the actual portion sizes in the different hotels I think the Hilton was often better value.
I also loved the quick check out. On the morning of your departure your bill is left under your door – check it and if it's okay, you just press a code on your phone and leave. If not, leave a voicemail. Perfect.
The only thing the Hilton really misses is the Peabody ducks.
Many people do share rooms or hire apartments close to the convention centre, but for me as a first timer this was absolutely ideal, right in the heart of things with no cabs to worry about late at night, and close enough to do an early morning hit of the outlet store downstairs, dump my Zwag back in the room and then head back for my class. (Not to mention close enough to run up for lunch, dinner, tea and coffee and miss mealtime queues.)
P.S. Ladies only – don't flush certain items here, use the bins, or you may end up having to call maintenance when your toilet backs up – not that I did this myself of course.
Room $124.00 plus $15.50 room tax per night (no breakfast included) Convention Rate
Six nights $837 - approximately £550
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(c) Pearl Howie 2013. All rights reserved.