UPDATE: The resort has recently changed ownership and is now Holiday Inn Resort Orlando Suites (Nov, 2016).
From the moment you pull up to the Nickelodeon Suites Hotel in Orlando, Florida, you know your kids are in for a unique experience. It’s hard to miss the bright orange landmark when you first drive up and if that isn’t enough to spot it among the Florida landscape, your kids squealing in delight from the backseat of the car will definitely let you know that you’ve arrived.
LOCATION: Nickelodeon Suites Hotel, 14500 Continental Gateway Orlando, Florida 32821
DURATION: two nights, two days
DATES: Sept 27, 2015 – Sept 29, 2015
WHO: Rick, Angie, 1.5 year old (boy), 10 year old (boy)
Prior to our stay at the Nick Hotel, I did some research. Most popular sites rate this place anywhere from a 1-star to a 3.5-star. I was a little nervous going in to it, to be honest.
After our visit, I understand the reviews, but wouldn’t agree with them. If you’re expecting a luxurious, Disney-esque quality hotel, you might be disappointed. On the other hand, if you select this resort for what it’s intended to be-a vacation destination designed and intended for children- it’s a more pleasant experience.
You need to book the Nick Hotel based on the design intention–a hotel specifically catering to your children.
To be honest, as parents, this wouldn’t be our first choice for another Orlando stay, but our reason behind this statement defends why it exists in the first place: the Nickelodeon Hotel is simply too kid-centric for our particular taste. Very few components of the ‘resort’ target adults, which is why some people shy away from it. The building’s not polished, sparkling clean, elegant or luxurious. Instead, it’s an upbeat, brightly-coloured, child-focused, energetic experience. Bedrooms have themed walls, some are lined with bunk beds, food choices are straight off of a kiddie menu (chicken fingers, grilled cheese, hamburgers, pizza, fries, microwave mac n’ cheese, pre-packaged sandwiches and so on). It’s all a clear result of a hotel that’s managing a constant flow of young children.
I’m not going to try and persuade or dissuade anyone from planning a trip here. Instead, I will highlight the reasons families would love it and some factors to consider while booking your stay:
PROS TO STAYING AT THE NICKELODEON HOTEL:
- First and foremost, the entire atmosphere is based on your children’s favorite Nickelodeon TV shows so they’re constantly submersed in a fun, themed experience
- Amazing water park/lagoon for kids that’s hard to find in other hotels (zero-entry pool)
- A lot of activities (day and night) specifically geared towards children
- Character driven experiences for your kids including meet & greets, character breakfasts, photo opportunities and more
- Cabanas available for privacy at the pool
- Live Double Dare show in the Nick Studio which families can audition to take part in
- Fun bunk bed rooms with themed, painted walls really make kids feel like they’re in a special place
- Opportunities to really get involved with the characters and resort operations (be a lifeguard, participate in double dare show, get slimed etc)
- Brings a light to your child’s eyes that in turn warms your heart and makes it worth it.
- Lots of amenities including basketball, mini golf, arcade, on-site movie theatre, turtle feeding (in the pond) and so on.
THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN PLANNING A STAY:
- Most families book a Friday to Sunday stay so the weekends are exceptionally busy (hotel pool area seemed a bit unkempt on the Sunday of our stay). We recommend booking a weekday visit.
- Carpeting in rooms is a bit worn out so pack slippers or throw-away socks
- Laundry is available on site for those planing a longer stay
- Slime green shampoo is provided in each room making shower time for kids that much more exciting
- Complimentary shuttle buses to local theme parks, which are barely 10 minutes away
- Kids After Dark program is geared for parents
This whimsical all-suite Nickelodeon resort is 1.9 miles from Walt Disney World®, 6.8 miles from SeaWorld and 10.1 miles from Universal Orlando.
The 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom suites sleep up to 8 guests (in double beds, bunk beds and a pull-out sofa) and all have flat-screen TVs, dining tables and kitchens/kichenettes with microwaves and coffeemakers. Upgraded rooms offer Nickelodeon-themed wall
Between daily character breakfasts, nightly interactive game shows in the Studio Nick soundstage, two pool areas with play areas and mega super slides, as well as lots of messy pie-in-your-face fun, parents will be hard-pressed to get their kids to leave.art.
Nickelodeon’s outdoor Lagoon courtyard features a zero-depth entry heated pool, which anchors a four-story interactive water tower with flumes, slides, climbing nets, water jets, and a 400-gallon dump tank that splashes green gooey slime on guests during the daily mass sliming. Kids fewer than 40 inches tall are not allowed to use the Lagoon slides; rather, they may use the toddler areas which include a kids’ wet/dry pre-school play area with a five-foot slide and Nick Jr. branded water activities.
In addition to the pool and water slides the Lagoon courtyard has other recreational activities including a netted basketball court, a nine-hole mini golf course, a mobile kids’ spa, at which kids can get hair wraps and other treatments.
The resort has 2 water parks and a kids’ spa. There are multiple dining options, including breakfast with Nickelodeon characters (surcharge). A resort fee covers WiFi and shuttle service to Walt Disney World®.