Just a serious FYI to anybody traveling to the Orlando area to beware of booking anything at the International Plaza Resort Hotel, Orlando.
Our district council for ministers is being held at the International Plaza resort this week, and most ministers have had their reservations MONTHS in advance. We are not sure of what happened because hotel employees are giving everyone different stories, one of which is that the hotel had double booked the rooms. One hotel employee explained that another large conference is meeting here and they allowed them to stay over for an extra night, as a last minute request. Another hotel employee said that they were remodeling and thought rooms would be done by this conference, but they were not. Who knows what the real story is - but I DO know one thing to be true -- they kicked LITERALLY HUNDREDS of ministers out who had a confirmation/reservation with what seemed like little regard! How can you be off on booking by HUNDREDS?
Well, what did all this mean? First, different groups of ministers were trying to check in all day long and were told, "come back later, your rooms are not ready." This was nothing but a stall tactic to figure out what to tell all of them. Finally around 4 pm they started giving people the TRUTH: NO ROOMS. By 4 pm, the lobby was literally jam packed with ministers and spouses and all were being turned away and told that although they all had booked rooms with bona fide comfirmation numbers, they did not have rooms! Scores of them were being sent packing, quite literally, to another property. The line that all of the people had to stand in to receive this news and their new hotel assignment was also a extremely long because one employee insisted on taking care of it herself and no one else was allowed to help. We are not sure why she insisted on doing it herself, with other employees standing there doing nothing, after having offered to help. It wasn't that she was so comforting or such a great customer service rep. On the contrary, some people were treated not only coldly, but poorly.
Scores of pastors were displaced without rooms. But the staff at the plaza said never fear, for a few dollars cheaper for our inconvenience (um this is BEYOND inconvenience, not being able to stay where the conference is being held) they would put everyone at a sister property. Upon seeing the other hotel property I became convinced it would be best for them to disown their sister or at least make her a secret sister. After driving quite a ways down the road we pull into what is an ugly dump of a property that has a huge pineapple sticking out of the roof. They also accept PETS at this other property, the Orlando Vista, so you can just imagine...
We were only in the hotel for a few minutes and I was sneezing terribly. The place smelled moldy and the carpets felt damp. Literally I have had better accommodations in third world countries and Im not kidding.
When we saw these conditions we were determined not to stay there so we got a refund and we went to a nice clean place a few miles down the road - the Galleria Palms in Kissimmee. This hotel is smaller, however it is CLEAN and the employees are very welcoming.
I know many people plan years in advance to travel to Orlando. It's the vacation capital and families invest a lot to come here. I would hate to see people or their families fly or drive all this way and think they have a decent place to stay and then arrive here to this. Please, please warn your friends and family and do not book at the International Plaza.