Westin Imagine Orlando
- Staying at the
Westin Imagine Orlando with Health
- In-Depth Review & Description
Address: 9501 Universal
Boulevard, Orlando, Florida 32819
very new addition to the Orlando area, this resort opened on April 3,
2008. Within walking distance to the
Convention Center, it's also close to
Universal, Sea World,
Aquatica and International Drive. It’s also not far from a wide variety
of restaurants and stores including a Whole Foods and Walgreens
Pharmacy. Located 12 miles from Orlando International Airport, it took
us approximately 11-12 minutes to get to Downtown Disney, and 11 minutes
to get to the Magic Kingdom entrance.
We enjoyed our stay at
this resort and would describe it as a more upscale Residence Inn with an
art-deco flavor. The subdued and earthy tones throughout the resort are
calm and pleasant, and touches such as the marble tiled walls and
leather chairs in the lobby add a sense of luxury. The newness of the
resort has everything in excellent condition.
We’ve experienced some
great service in other resorts we’ve visited, however this staff seemed
unusual. Our requests were fulfilled quickly as with some of the other
resorts, but they were carried out with sincere smiles and enthusiasm.
We had the feeling that they were not just in there because they had to
be, but that they were actually happy to be helping. For us, the
outstanding service added to the upscale feel of the resort.
Although it’s not far from
activity, the Westin Imagine Orlando appears isolated except for the view of the
rear of the Convention Center across the street. Although the Convention
Center is within walking distance for those without mobility issues,
it’s a wide street and there’s a lot of land between the resort and the
convention center. This leaves the resort with a quiet and peaceful
feel. Resort attendance tends to depend upon whether there’s a
convention going on or not. During our stay it was extremely quiet
although it was a peak season for the Disney resorts. However it can
fill up and get busy when something is going on across the street.
There are 12 floors and
315 guest rooms, including one- and two-bedroom suites. All king bedded guest rooms
have either kitchenettes or full kitchens. All of the two-bedroom suites
have full kitchens. These suites are fantastic for those who need space
and privacy, and for those who wish to do some cooking. This resort also
has over 7,100 square feet of conference and meeting space. Although we
feel it’s a great pick if you’re attending a convention, we also think
it’s a good choice for families.
The hotel is 100% smoke
free. Westin Imagine Orlando
guests can participate in the Starwood Preferred Guest Program.
Reservations and special
We made our special room requests when we called in to make our
reservation, and when we arrived everything was exactly as we requested.
If you must request a handicapped or specially equipped room, they
recommend that you inform the reservation agent of any special needs to
ensure they have that room type available. They will guarantee a
handicapped room. They do accept special requests such as a deep
cleaning for dust allergies, and no fragrances in the room prior to
check-in. Please note that they have feather pillows, and you can
request non-feather substitutes. All rooms are non-smoking.
When we drove up to the entrance, there was no one there at the
time. We went inside to the check-in desk. Check-in was very easy, quick
and friendly. The desk person mentioned each of our special requests and
let us know that they were all taken care of. Later, when we got up to
our room, we saw that indeed they were. Once we had checked in, she
asked us if we needed help with our baggage. Of course we did, so a bell
person was called. He arrived almost instantly. Throughout our visit we
noticed that there usually was a bell person out front to greet new
lobby has a very faint fragrance called White Tea; however it was so faint that it won’t
be noticeable by most people.
When you check in you can
request a Westin Kids Club amenity bag which has a variety of items to
entertain your kids. It usually includes a coloring book, crayons, hacky
sack and ball, and a scavenger hunt game.
You can book a wheelchair
or ECV with an outside company and have it dropped off at the hotel.
They’ll hold it for you, and they’ll bring it out to you when you check
If your room is not ready,
bell services can store your luggage until it’s available. If you wish
to temporarily store your luggage on the day of departure, you can do
that as well.
I’d describe the interior as modern, with clean lines and subdued earth
tones mixed with shades of aqua and pale greens. The use of wood,
leather and marble brings a sense of quality. It’s a calm atmosphere
that’s a step up from many of the other suite resorts in the area. The
resorts’ one restaurant is off of the main lobby, while the pool and
health club are just outside the back door. You can purchase sundries
next to the front desk, with items including snacks, drinks, magazines,
cameras, Westin Heavenly Products, personal hygiene products, batteries
Although the front door
has a wheelchair accessible electric door switch, the rear of the
building has only manual doors. All of the rooms are accessed through
interior hallways. There are no guest rooms on the first floor.
They are found on the second floor and above.
We were very
impressed when we walked in to our two bedroom suite(left). The rooms
felt spacious and open. The wood furnishings, flat screen TV, gleaming
granite kitchen countertops and wrap around windows all contributed to a
sense of quality and calm. We found the design of the rooms as well as
the color schemes of aqua and
blue or sage and green to be pleasant and comfortable!
We even joked about selling our home and moving here permanently.
To the right is a studio suite:
The hallways are long, so request a room near the elevators if you’re
looking for a shorter walk. The two bedroom suites are all on the far
ends of the resort. There is one suite that is closer to the elevators
than the others; however it’s still a fairly long walk. However you may
wish to request this one if you want to minimize your walk. On the other
hand, the farther you are from the elevators, the quieter it usually is.
The resort has 132
one-bedroom suites, and 100
king guest rooms with kitchenettes. There are 24 two-bedroom suites with
full kitchens. There are also 59 queen/queen bedded guest rooms. Each
room has a Heavenly Bed® (very comfortable!), and a 32-inch flat panel
HDTV LED television. The multi-room suites have televisions in each
bedroom as well.
Suites are fully furnished
with a nice dining room table with chairs, marble-topped desk ideal for
setting up your computer, and a sleeper sofa. All guest rooms have
balconies. Our suite had a full dining set outside on one of our
balconies. There’s a full length mirror, dresser in each bedroom,
tables and wood/fabric chairs. Suites have high
speed internet access (charge), alarm clock, in-room video games, free
daily national newspaper, hairdryer, bathrobes, iron and ironing board
and cable channels. Connecting rooms are available. Westin mentions that
some of the above items may not be available in all rooms.
The bathrooms differ
slightly depending upon what type of suite you have. With the
bedroom suite we had two bathrooms. One was a full bathroom off of the
main living area which had a shower, toilet, and a granite counter top
vanity with a single sink. The master bedroom had a full bathroom with a
bathtub, shower, toilet and granite counter top vanity with a single
Each sink has a halo light
magnifying make-up mirror. Fragranced bath products are in each
bathroom, which you can request to have omitted. Both bathrooms had the
Heavenly Bath® dual showerheads. These were definitely a very pleasant
luxury, and great for working out the knots! In each bathroom you’ll
find a small sewing kit, shower cap and vanity kit.
The full kitchens include
a side-by-side refrigerator, microwave, full electric stove/oven,
dishwasher, double sink, garbage disposal, toaster, coffee maker with
complimentary Starbucks coffee, and a variety of pots, pans, utensils
and dishware. We found that everything was in good condition. The
refrigerator is pre-stocked with various drinks, and you’ll find snacks
on the counter. Please note that if you eat or drink any of the
offerings you’ll be charged. Many of the snack items are on the
healthier side, such as the honey roasted nuts, smoked almonds, cashews,
dried fruit and protein bar.
Salt, pepper and napkins
are provided by the resort, and we found the kitchen to be well
equipped. We loved being able to prepare our own healthy meals and
snacks, and the kitchen was a breeze to use. Housekeeping will put your
dirty dishes in the dishwasher and run it for you. This was a service we
The Kitchenettes include a
microwave, sink and a mini-bar or small refrigerator, which is small,
but should be large enough for some medication or 1 restaurant “to go”
box. Of course you’ll also find the mini-bar offerings inside. Please
note that if you eat or drink any of the offerings you’ll be charged
We had requested that no
scented products be used in our room. We did not detect any perfume
smells, chemical odors or strong fragrances at all. In the hallways we
did not discern any strong smells during our stay. All rooms are
non-smoking and there’s a $200 cleaning fee applied to your bill if the
staff detects that you’ve smoked in the room. Pillows are feather;
however you can request hypo-allergenic pillows instead. The can
accommodate other special requests such as a deep cleaning. We are also
told that they have fans and air purifiers available upon request. It
would be a good idea to confirm and request this in advance if you think
you’ll need this.
All rooms are accessible
to wheelchairs and ECVs, but there are specially designed rooms for
those who need them. We were in a standard room, but there was plenty
of room to drive an ECV in. There are conveniently located electrical
outlets appropriate for recharging your chair. Standard rooms are
approximately 447 square feet, while two bedroom suites are 1082 square
feet. Accessible rooms have the same dimensions. Rooms have either two
queen beds or a king bed. Handicapped amenities include Roll-in showers,
grab bars, wide doorways and telephone amplifiers.
You can request late check out, but it’s based on availability. We were
able to obtain a late check-out for 4 PM.
room - Fitness
Guests have free access to the fitness facility. It's located outside,
next to the pool in a free-standing building that houses the restrooms
and the 24 hour fitness facility.
can only enter by using
the automated card reader, so
remember to bring your room key card with you. The room is well stocked
with free weights as well as various exercise machines. For aerobic
exercise you’ll find recumbent bikes, elliptical machines and
treadmills. There’s a flat screen television in the room. The equipment
seemed to be of good quality and in great condition.
restrooms serve guests using the fitness center as well as the pool. The
door to the fitness center building and the restroom doors
on the heavy side. The restrooms each have an accessible toilet, shower
and changing room. The fitness center is accessible to wheelchairs.
Towels are available inside the fitness center.
fitness room doesn’t house spa services; however in-room massage
treatments are available. You’ll find a service menu in your room.
The walk to the
resort’s one pool is short and just outside the back lobby door. The
ground has decorative brick pavers, which are
but a bit bumpy for wheelchairs. It’s enclosed by a gate and surrounded
by nice Florida landscaping. We found the lagoon-style pool to be a
simple, pleasant environment designed for comfort and relaxation. The
lounge chairs have thick cushions, and there are a number of umbrellas.
Mellow music is piped into the area. There’s one hot tub. Towels are
available on a self-serve basis at the pool. The accessible restrooms
are inside the fitness center building. There is no lifeguard on duty
The pool depth is from 3.6
feet to 5 feet, and it’s heated to 81°. The pool does not have a zero
entry, but it does have a pool lift. Just notify them that you'll be
needing it when you make your room reservation, and they'll have it
ready for you. The pool deck is accessible to wheelchairs.
The poolside bar, called
the Tiki Bar, is opened seasonally, but the restaurant bar is just
inside the building a few steps away. We were told that if it’s not too
busy in the restaurant, you can let the bartender know and he’ll come
out and serve you.
Restaurant: Fiorella’s Cucina Toscana
serves breakfast, lunch and dinner,
the bar serves cocktails throughout most of the day and evening. The
small restaurant is intimate, with upscale
dining in a relaxed atmosphere. Executive Chef Robert Mason creates
simple, fresh and authentic Italian dishes from the regions of Tuscany
and northern Italy. The dining room combines a Tuscan theme with a
casual contemporary feel. There are dark cherry woods, modern
furnishings and original blown-glass art works by Orlando artist Charles Keila. The colorful abstract pieces contrast the restaurant’s
honey-toned Venetian-plaster walls.
In addition to the
Italian dishes you’ll find at lunch and dinner, you’ll find
American breakfast favorites along with some unusual choices
that are on the gourmet side. You can get the American breakfast
with 2 eggs, potatoes, choice of bacon, sausage and ham, and
choice of toast or English muffin. Or you can start the day out
with a Lobster and
Mascarpone Omelet. Healthy choices include the fruit plate and
the egg white frittata.
restaurant serves food from 6:30 AM to 2 PM, and 5:30 PM to 10 PM.
The restaurant is wheelchair accessible. For a listing of the menu,
Disney World & Orlando area dining & menus section on our website.
the special dietary needs policy as it was shared with us by the Westin
Imagine Orlando representative: “Chef’s
will make any necessary adjustments based on a persons needs; including
going off-property to purchase food items”.
Just contact the Executive Chef or the
Restaurant Manager directly by calling the hotel number. Of course as
with any restaurant, there’s always a better chance of success having
your needs met if you contact the restaurant in advance.
Room service is available
around the clock, but from 11 PM to 6 AM the menu consists of soups,
salad, and Italian meats and cheese. For room service, the staff recommends
that you make special requests in advance.
Within a short drive
you’ll find a wide variety of restaurants from casual to upscale.
express check-in and check-out, laundry and valet service, multilingual
staff, business center.
The Westin Imagine Orlando
does carry some manual wheelchairs, which are available to guests at no
cost. They are only for use on the property. You can inquire with their
Service Express Department by calling the main hotel number or by
dialing 0 on a house or room phone. If you need a wheelchair
off-property they can help you obtain one from a local vendor.
Parking at this
resort is for a fee by valet only, unless you are disabled. Those who
are disabled may self-park at no charge in the parking garage, which has
some handicapped spaces on the lowest level. Let them know when you
check in, and they’ll give you a card key that will permit you entry to
the parking garage. From there it’s a fairly close walk or wheelchair
ride to the rear lobby entrance. Please note that there are only manual
doors in the rear of the building.
Those who are disabled can
also use valet parking at no charge. Inform the person who checks you
in. This resort does not require a state issued disability plaque or
Transportation: There is
complimentary scheduled transportation to SeaWorld, Universal and Wet & Wild.
Depending upon where you’re going there are one to three buses departing
from 7:50 AM to 10:50 AM. To return to the resort you’ll have a couple
of time choices at Universal. There’s one shuttle only departing from
Wet & Wild and SeaWorld. Check with the hotel for exact times.
If you need an accessible
bus, notify the resort the night before and they’ll have one brought in
for you. Tell the bus driver on way there that you’ll need a ride back.
They’ll arrange it for you.
If you plan to go anywhere
other than SeaWorld, Universal, Wet & Wild or the Convention Center, you
may wish to rent a car while you stay here. Of course there are always
Pest Management in the
Westin Imagine Orlando:
Of course, pests are a
fact of life in Florida, and this resort uses a vendor who sprays the
exterior of the buildings once a week using green products. The rooms
are sprayed quarterly or when requested. You can request that your room
not be sprayed just before or during your visit.
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