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It's Not Just the Bedspreads That Will Drive You Mad at the Hilton Bonnet Creek

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  Site Where: 14100 Bonnet Creek Resort Lane [map], Orlando, FL, United States, 32831
March 17, 2010 at 9:25 AM | by | Comment (1)

Every so often we feature a hotel review from our readers that we feel should be shared with the rest of you dear hotel guests. These reviews are highlighted because they are timely, about cool hotels in cool places and are relatively level-headed. Think you can submit one just like this? Send it in. Now, our latest reader review comes straight outta the badlands of Orlando.

I've done stayed in a lot of hotels in my time. Consider it an occupational hazard. I like hotels big and small, boutique-y and branded. I require only a few things; hi-speed Internets (preferably free), a comfortable bed, and relative quiet.

I found all three during a stay while attending an on-site conference at the sparkly new Hilton Bonnet Creek complex, a stone's throw from the Walt Disney World madness in Orlando. (Ed. Note: It's also home to some dizzying pattern overload in the guestrooms.)

Normally, I would have no complaints and wouldn't consider passing a report along to my friends at HotelChatter. But this new hotel (open officially since last September) has left me scratching my head in a variety of ways.

Here are the oddities:

My 15th floor room has no safe, which I consider essential for storing my laptop when I'm out and about. Also good for locking away passports, jewelry and assorted sex toys. I looked high and low. No safe.

The very same room has no minibar. There's a cutout with a door in the dresser for the bar, but no fridge. I'm not a big minibar guy, but it makes me feel warm and safe to know there's a hunk of overpriced Toblerone and a $9 Coke or bottle of water if I get thirsty at 3 a.m.

The bathroom and shower/bathtub are relatively shiny. But the water pressure is like trying to get clean during a heavy mist in London. I mean it's pathetic. It's Orlando. There are 20 lakes within sight of my 15th floor view. Dial it up a bit, Hilton!

Also, the bathroom has a wastebasket shaped like a squished U. The horizontal opening for trash is slightly wider than a Kleenex box. I like to shoot a baskets with my tissues and other trash. Didn't come close to getting any of my trash shots in. No rimshots, even. Airball City! You literally have to stand over the wastebasket and put the trash in. Stupid.

Anyhoo, the conference services and facilities have been top notch, though there's no wireless (either paid or free) available in the main ballroom. WiFi is available for a fee in-room and might be free in the lobby. Another strike. Also, the distances at this property are huge, owing to the fact that it's a newfangled combo-property; it's got a full-service Hilton (my accommodations) attached via looooooong interior walkway to a big Waldorf-Astoria (the first one outside NYC). That makes everything far and gave me a nice blister on my heel.

End of story: Even though Hilton scored well on the big things, I am perplexed that they've missed so many of the little details that typically I let slide. But in the face of so many little annoyances, they added up to become detriments to my stay. Also, extending your checkout past noon = $25 per hour fee. That's pretty ballsy on a quiet Wednesday, Hilton.

Still feel like taking a chance on the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek? Room rates start at $199 a night for a king bed. But ask if they can throw in a mini-bar will ya?

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new era

i'm sure someone at Hilton/Blackstone had to a lot of value engineering to get this property open, hence the lack of a safe and minibar. the $25/hour late checkout fee is pretty outrageous and insulting in a "full service" hotel. expect lots of nickel-and-diming and reduced services/amenities at hiltons for the next several years.

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