Sunday, November 6, 2011

"Location, Location, Location" As The Demise Of The Quality Inn Airport

Quality Inn Orlando Airport
Quality Inn Airport - Orlando, FL

Click to reserve a room directly through Choice Hotels!

The Good: Clean, Good amenities, Good television options
The Bad: Pain to get to, The usual safe charge stuff
The Basics: If you're staying in Orlando and going to the major sites there, you could do a LOT worse than the Quality Inn Airport.

In my continuing effort to branch out in my reviews, I'm proud to begin evaluating hotels I stay at. I'm a pretty loyal Choice Hotels member because for the last few years I've traveled for business quite a bit. One year, I was on the road 40 weekends and with the Choice Rewards program, that built up a fair number of free stays. I tend to stay at Choice Hotels (Quality Inn, Comfort Inn, and every once in a while a Sleep Inn) because my business is a fickle thing and inexpensive accommodations help me keep my bottom line low when I'm on the road.

This past weekend, I went to Orlando and I stayed at the Quality Inn near the Orlando Airport. This is the Quality Inn Airport (FL389 in the Choice Hotel numbering system - having that number may make telephone reservations real easy!) at 2601 McCoy Road, Orlando. This is a nice, affordable option for a traveler who is looking for a place to sleep when traveling, not so much for hanging around the hotel (some hotels are nice getaways like that). This is located quite close to the Orlando International Airport, so it's nice if you have an extended layover, I suppose.


The Quality Inn Airport's main detraction is in its location. 2601 McCoy Road is a one-way street at an interchange of a toll road, a highway and two divided roads. This hotel is a real pain in the butt to get to. First, it's on a one-way street. Second, the driveway is a poorly-marked right turn that is a bit in advance of the hotel. So, if you're looking at the hotel, you're likely to miss the only way into it because the lone entrance/egress from the parking lot is a barely noticeable driveway that comes before the hotel, right near where traffic is merging onto the main road. The is VERY inconvenient.

Note to cheap travelers: the Quality Inn Airport in Orlando is located right next to Florida Toll Road 528. Most directions sites (i.e. MapQuest) will have the user take 528 for such simple jaunts as to the nearby mall and to the airport. This costs money and for the thrifty traveler (or just the one who objects to the state of Florida getting any more of my hard earned money!) it can save money (and not seriously cost time) to simply take McCoy Road. McCoy Road parallels 528 and with traffic on the toll road, I was able to easily beat some people from the airport to the hotel and for less money! On many of the mapping services, there will be an option to eliminate toll roads; this will provide you with a less expensive way to get around this part of Orlando and from the hotel to the airport or the Quality Inn to the nearby mall, McCoy Road can be a wonderful, less expensive option!

The Quality Inn Airport is located 12 miles east of Disney World (if such things matter to you) and Universal Studios is 10 miles west of this hotel. Basically, the heart of Orlando (the tourist area) is about ten miles away. When my business for the day was done, I sat in the hotel watching a Heroes marathon on the Sci-Fi network and when I got hungry for some food, I discovered a Panera Bread located nearby at an inconvenient to navigate shopping center. According the the website for the Quality Inn Airport, the mall is five miles west of the hotel, but it was generally easy to get to as it, too, was on McCoy road. Within a mile of this hotel there were Denny's, diners and fast food restaurants. Within five miles - to the west - there were at least a hundred dining options.

Outside that, the location is fine. There's not truly a neighborhood to describe as this is pretty much on the outskirts of everywhere. Interestingly, for being so close to the airport, the rooms were quite quiet. The property has a parking lot that wraps around the building, the requisite palm trees and a central breakfast nook in the main lobby.

Room Size

My stay at the Quality Inn Airport (this was my second time staying there!) was for a weekend and even booking my room less than three days in advance, I was able to find a decent room with a single queen bed, no smoking, for $58.49 + taxes a night. The final price was $65.80 a night. For those who've not traveled much, rates change drastically in Florida depending on the time of the year. As well, as this review ages, obviously that price is likely to go up.

Compared to any number of underwhelming hotels I've stayed at, I have to say the Quality Inn Airport's rooms were quite spacious for one or two people. The room was approximately twenty-five feet deep and ten feet wide, extending back from the front door. Like virtually every hotel these days, the door opens inwards with a key lock. Inside, there is both a chain and deadbolt lock. This room has a pretty secure feeling.

The bathroom had a shower/tub combination with a toilet next to it that is best described as mildly claustrophobic. The sink and mirror outside the bathroom feel more like a continuation of the main bedroom area. Regardless, this is a decent sized room for one or two people and it was remarkably uncluttered. Furniture included: a loveseat, the queen-sized bed, a desk, a kitchen assembly (microwave above a refrigerator) and the obligatory television stand with the dresser drawers beneath it. There was a nightstand between the loveseat and the bed. This is a well-lit room with no less than eight lights (wall and floor lamps) around the room. Only one light is activated by the switch when entering the room.


With all of the lights in the place, it was very easy to see that this was a well-maintained room. Opening the curtain allows the occupant to get a load of natural light (at least for the second floor rooms). I arrived early, having driven down to Orlando from Upstate New York, and I was allowed early check-in (regular check-in is 2 P.M.), which I always request. The room was very clean. I always get nonsmoking rooms and this room showed no evidence that it might have ever been anything other than a nonsmoking room.

The walls were clean, the windows were spotless and the mirror was clean as well. The first thing I ever check is the toilet and this one flushed with no problems. The bathroom was spotlessly clean and all of the linens were perfectly clean and well-maintained. As one often hopes when renting a hotel room, there was no evidence that suggested this room had ever been used by anyone else. Perfectly clean!

The main lobby was similarly well-lit and the breakfast nook was generally clean. At the height of breakfast, it seemed like the help was overwhelmed by the patrons and usual problem areas (like the juice dispenser and coffee station) became a bit messy. Regardless, I always recommend getting up early and hitting breakfast first thing, if for no other reason than I tend to like to avoid people. Sigh.


The view from the room was not much to look at; overlooking the parking lot and the highway, the view was mostly of the palm trees outside. My room was oriented facing the airport and it was not truly visible with the palm trees and the highway.

The room included a safe, which I never use. The hotel is easily able to remove the safe charge from the bill, but you need to tell them to remove it before they ring you out. I object to paying even the additional $1.60 for the service I will not use. The gentleman who checked me in and out had no problem with removing the fee.

As a Choice Privileges member, I get free local calls, which worked out well when I was calling Panera for take-out.

The breakfast was decent for a continental breakfast, though everything was prepackaged. The Quality Inn Airport offers a free continental breakfast which included the usual coffee, four juices from a machine (the Mango Orange juice was weak and gross each day, despite the fact that it was changed while I was there!), hot cocoa, milk, and fresh fruit. In addition to two cereal options, there were prepackaged plain bagels and cream cheese, danishes (3 types), and muffins (3 types). The only thing remotely interesting or well-done about breakfast was each day there was something unique there. The first day, there were dried apricots, the second a homemade jam. That was a nice touch, but generally the breakfast was adequate, as opposed to something worth writing home about. As well, as an asocial person like myself who would rather have breakfast in the room with my companions, I found the breakfast nook a pain to navigate with the tray provided in the room. There was simply not enough counter space to fit the tray while navigating the food and drink. As well, the tables were a bit crowded close to the L-shaped nook, so it was inconvenient to navigate around.

Every room at this hotel has a microwave and refrigerator. That was wonderful for me, because I brought food with me and the tiny freezer in the room was nice for keeping my freezer packs (and ice cream) frozen solid. The microwave was fine.

One of the highlights for me was the television. The television itself was pretty standard, but the Quality Inn Airport wants the users of the hotel to enjoy their stay and the hotel's television had over seventy-five channels, which was wonderful. While I was veging out at the hotel, I had choices (but, yes, I stuck with the Heroes marathon).

As usual, the room comes with the usual coffee, bible, shampoo and soap. Unlike all hotels, this one also had conditioner and lotion, which were convenient. Feeling especially unclean when I checked in, the help had no problem giving me additional shampoo and conditioner.

In fact, what put this hotel on the borderline between average and above average was that the help was helpful. The cleaning staff was quite friendly when I approached them for additional shampoo and conditioner and the front desk was helpful when I needed to check in early and have the safe charge removed from my bill.

The only place they fell down was on the second day of my stay; the linens and bedding were replaced with clean linens, but for some reason I was not given new washcloths.

The room comes with additional pillows and blankets and the air conditioner was especially nice (it is Florida after all!). The sofa was comfortable enough, but with all the extra pillows in the drawers below the television, I had no real reason to get out of bed. In fact, I did not even use the outdoor pool this trip, I was so comfortable in my room.


This Quality Inn is certainly one of the better ones in the chain and it left me with the razor decision between the above average ratings. Ultimately, the space problems with the unimaginative breakfast, the missing washcloths, and the irksome location led me to knock it down into the average hotel territory.

Having stayed at many hotels, though, this is a very clean, comfortable room and it's affordable. Having loathed many Florida trips for the expense lodging can incur, this is a great choice if you don't mind driving to your nearby destinations. So, while there are hotels closer to where the action is in Orlando, there will be fewer that are as affordable, private, clean and comfortable as the Quality Inn Airport.

For other hotel reviews, be sure to check out my take on the Comfort Inn North Shore here!


For other travel reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!

© 2011, 2007 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

Quality Inn Airport
Quality Inn Airport - Orlando, FL

Click to reserve a room through!

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