DoubleTree or Holiday Inn?

Alli1988

Earning My Ears
Joined
Oct 1, 2018
My husband and I are coming for 4 nights to Universal in September on a BASIC & BUDGET trip - as perspective we are both flying for $185 round trip (total), including sharing a checked bag. We don't have P2P or EP - we got the 3+2 base tickets for ~$220 each on 3rd party site. I currently have DoubleTree booked through a discount site at work for $377 for 4 nights - I picked DT because I thought it included breakfast (because I set this as requirement when I searched) but now I'm reading it doesn't. Prices on DT and HI have dropped since I booked, and for $20 I can cancel and re-book, so either one I book this time is going to save money. DT is $65/night and HI is $57. We will be using Uber, not parking a car. We might get alcohol/food delivered, but otherwise don't need any service (except breakfast, which isn't free at either place so doesn't matter).

Which should I choose, or does it really matter?
 

osufeth24

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jun 9, 2019
Haven't stayed at Holiday Inn, but I like the Double Tree a lot. I'm assuming you are talking about the one right at the entrance to Universal on Major Blvd?

The best part with Double Tree is it's closest to entrance so you could actually just walk to the parks if you wanted (they also have a shuttle).
 

Alli1988

Earning My Ears
Joined
Oct 1, 2018
Yes, HI and DT across from the parks - I believe they are next door to each other, walking would be the same but someone can correct me if that's wrong.
 
  • osufeth24

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 9, 2019
    HI is behind doubletree and a little bit further away. I think it's almost a half a mile apart, maybe just a tick less. Doubletree is right there at the intersection. Even ignoring that part, I think Doubletree is the better hotel, but that's just my opinion
     

    Alli1988

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Oct 1, 2018
    Maybe I'm confused. I was picturing the properties of both being at the intersection of Major/Kirkman - maybe the actual route into the park via foot varies and makes it different.
     

    mjhtvchick

    Universal Fan-atic
    Joined
    Apr 10, 2012
    There are two "Holiday Inns" in the area - the "Holiday Inn & Suites Across from Universal Orlando" is across the street from the DoubleTree with the entrance on Caravan Court off Major Blvd. There is another "Holiday Inn Express & Suites Nearest Universal Orlando" further up Major Blvd, kind of behind the DoubleTree.
     

    Alli1988

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Oct 1, 2018
    There are two "Holiday Inns" in the area - the "Holiday Inn & Suites Across from Universal Orlando" is across the street from the DoubleTree with the entrance on Caravan Court off Major Blvd. There is another "Holiday Inn Express & Suites Nearest Universal Orlando" further up Major Blvd, kind of behind the DoubleTree.
    I'm referring to the one right across the street = Across from Universal Orlando
     
  • Beer Me

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 3, 2014
    I’ve stayed at the Holiday Inn across from universal. Can’t remember it’s exact location in relation to DT but we walked to the parks which could save some Uber $. It’s maybe about 20 minutes.

    It was nothing special but perfectly acceptable. I stay at Double Trees sometimes and it’s comparable (minus the silly cookie) so I would go with the better price.
     

    gregorykicks

    Accio Vacation!
    Joined
    Jul 19, 2019
    If you have, or can get, Hilton Honors Gold status or above, the breakfast at the DoubleTree is included.
     

    Alli1988

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Oct 1, 2018
    If you have, or can get, Hilton Honors Gold status or above, the breakfast at the DoubleTree is included.
    I don't know anything about Hilton Honors Gold, but assume it's based on points or something? If so, definitely can't get by September... probably wouldn't ever - we have kids and at general travel always choose Drury Inn due to free breakfast/dinner. But this is good information, thank you.
     

    Alli1988

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Oct 1, 2018
    For those that have stayed at HI or DT across the street, does using Uber even help much with walking/time? We will typically walk but I can see us staying in the park for too long and being tired or drinking a little too much and not wanting to walk late night :-) I'm asking this because I know the actual drop off places that Uber is allowed at Disney are sometimes not too helpful (MK) but sometimes easy to find and great (AK). Ultimately it's so low cost we can just try it, just wondered what you guys thought. Also, are they always readily avail? We used at Disney and it was amazing - came to our exact building at the resort.
     
  • Sue M

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 27, 2009
    We stayed at The Doubletree and liked it. The rooms are spacious and have floor to ceiling windows. We could walk and tried it one day! Other days we used their bus service which was the best of all the hotels in that area. Way more pickup times. One day we wanted to check out the other hotels on the street so we went in them and asked at the desk about their shuttles. They were minimal compared to Doubletree.
    The Holiday Inn was across the street. We ate in the TGIF Friday’s one night.
    There is also a Golden Coral up the block and Ale House nearby.
     

    gregorykicks

    Accio Vacation!
    Joined
    Jul 19, 2019
    I don't know anything about Hilton Honors Gold, but assume it's based on points or something? If so, definitely can't get by September... probably wouldn't ever - we have kids and at general travel always choose Drury Inn due to free breakfast/dinner. But this is good information, thank you.
    There are a couple ways to get Hilton Gold.

    They do status match challenges, so if you have status with any other chain you may be able to initiate a challenge which could give you Gold for 3 months.

    The other option is to get their credit card which gives you Gold or Diamond status. If you have a good relationship with credit cards (don't overspend and always pay the card off 100% each month) there's a lot of value in their Surpass and Aspire card. They have annual fees, but the bonuses you can (and should) earn more than make up for the annual fee for at least the first year. Again, these are only good options if you can use the card in a healthy way and always pay off 100% so you don't incur fees.
     

    Esmerelda

    DVC'r 10/04/Dis Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 19, 1999
    My husband and I stayed at DT last spring. It was a lovely hotel, our room was very big and everything was clean. We walked to Citywalk and it took about 11 minutes. I have 2 bad knees and arthritis and my husband has MS and uses a cane. We are just shy of 60 years old. (Also, the cookies the desk gives you are really good). I hope this helps. Be sure to read at least 20 reviews on TripAdvisor for both hotels. That’s very helpful also.
     

    Alli1988

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Oct 1, 2018
    There are a couple ways to get Hilton Gold.

    They do status match challenges, so if you have status with any other chain you may be able to initiate a challenge which could give you Gold for 3 months.

    The other option is to get their credit card which gives you Gold or Diamond status. If you have a good relationship with credit cards (don't overspend and always pay the card off 100% each month) there's a lot of value in their Surpass and Aspire card. They have annual fees, but the bonuses you can (and should) earn more than make up for the annual fee for at least the first year. Again, these are only good options if you can use the card in a healthy way and always pay off 100% so you don't incur fees.

    Hey thanks for the insight. My credit score is about 815 right now - I've never paid interest but have many cards I use and pay off, etc. We often use them for travel reasons - flight points etc. I've opened cards to get what equates to multiple free flights, but for breakfast for 2 for 3-4 mornings I don't think it's worth it. We don't otherwise use hotels that often that the benefits would roll into. This is very insightful though, thank you.
     

    Alli1988

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Oct 1, 2018
    My husband and I stayed at DT last spring. It was a lovely hotel, our room was very big and everything was clean. We walked to Citywalk and it took about 11 minutes. I have 2 bad knees and arthritis and my husband has MS and uses a cane. We are just shy of 60 years old. (Also, the cookies the desk gives you are really good). I hope this helps. Be sure to read at least 20 reviews on TripAdvisor for both hotels. That’s very helpful also.
    11 minutes sounds amazing. Since we are used to Disney - 5 min walk from room to bus - 5-20 minutes to wait for a bus, load, 10-20 min ride and then 5 minutes to security, security line wait (we will be bag less), then entrance line wait (I've heard Universal isn't as bad)... I bet this ends up feeling very fast.
     

    osufeth24

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 9, 2019
    Helps when Universal is all in one place and not spreadout like Disney is.

    It'll be better to stay there once that pedestrian bridge is finished being built. Been a while since I have driven around there so not sure on the progress. It does suck crossing that intersection. You get plenty of time to cross, but I still don't trust the people driving around there. And if walking from DT or HI, you enter where the valet parking is and the security line there is way shorter (pretty much no line) than if you are parking in the garage, which is nice as well.
     

    gregorykicks

    Accio Vacation!
    Joined
    Jul 19, 2019
    Hey thanks for the insight. My credit score is about 815 right now - I've never paid interest but have many cards I use and pay off, etc. We often use them for travel reasons - flight points etc. I've opened cards to get what equates to multiple free flights, but for breakfast for 2 for 3-4 mornings I don't think it's worth it. We don't otherwise use hotels that often that the benefits would roll into. This is very insightful though, thank you.
    Yeah, you have to make sure the value is there for sure. In the past couple years I've been able to start accruing points from what we spend normally, plus some work expenses and travel. We're driving down to Orlando for a week in Dec and I paid for our tickets and hotels with points. If you do want to know more, the "I love credit cards" post under the budget board has a lot of good info.

    Hope you enjoy your trip!
     

    Alli1988

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Oct 1, 2018
    Thanks everyone for your help... I had left the reservation alone intending to re-book DT for less but when I checked today DT was about the same and HI was $50/night plus tax. I ended up saving almost $100 total, even after paying a $20 cancel fee on DT.

    Our round trip flights including a checked bag were $185, park tickets for $450, and hotel was $260. This is for a Sunday-Thursday trip. Sure beats our $5k yearly Disney trip and will be great for a couples trip.
     

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