What do a dance event, a trucking expo and a software convention have in common ? They were all in the Hyatt Regency, International Drive, Orlando at the same time that I was there. Such a hive of activity. About a thousand little girls and their parents taking part in a girls acrobatic dance contest, a group of trucking industry guys at an expo and everyone involved in the setting up of a software convention.
Arriving to acrobatic dancers galore:
I arrived at the Hyatt Regency, International Drive, Orlando at about 7 on a lovely spring evening but on entering the lobby I was immediately struck by the cacophony of sound and movement. There were hundreds of young girls and their parents moving all over. I found out later that this was an acrobatic dance event with girls from all over the country competing. They were in the hotel for the next 3 days and there were positives and negatives to them being there. The laughing and giggling and happy movement all over the hotel was fun to experience but of course this also meant longer lines for food and drinks in the hotel shops.
The pool restaurant and the pool were a hive of activity with lots of girls swimming before or after their performances. The parents had many different ways of passing the time while their daughters were busy but more on that later.
I was checked in by Carolina, a lovely lady who made the check-in a fun experience. I found out that there are 1634 rooms in this hotel, rates starting at about $205 per night for a standard room. The rooms are in 2 separate towers and I ended up in tower 2 on the 18th floor. On exiting the elevator I saw that the ice machine was in a room just one door down. This meant it would be less than 40 meters from my room to get ice, quite a bonus. There were 5 elevators which definitely served the crowds well. I don’t think I ever had to wait more than a minute or 2 for an elevator.
A nice sitting and meeting area was opposite the elevator lobby on the 18th floor.
Entering my room:
My room was a standard 2 bed. I see there are rooms at the Hyatt with Regency Club access which provide daily continental breakfast, light snacks, hors d’oeuvres, desserts and drinks. Quite a yummy thought, I would most likely not even leave my room or the Club if I booked that, I would be snacking all day. My room had quite a bit of space, there is a chaise lounge, a desk and chair and a small round table with a foot stool.
It has most of the normal, required amenities. A decent sized safe, ironing board and iron, small refrigerator, toiletries and nice size TV set.
The bathroom is also a good size with the basin and a large counter on the left, toilet in the middle and the bath with shower on the right. Having them in line gives a lot more space for moving around.
The Pharmacopia toiletries are really nice. There was soap, shampoo, conditioner and body wash provided. I know that you can usually get any toiletry item you need if you phone downstairs. I have had razors, shaving cream and many other items provided to me over the years.
Also in the room was a coffee machine, ice bucket and tongs and a luggage rack. There is a large cabinet under the wall mounted TV set that has many useful drawers.
There is a small cube clock on the center table between the beds that has power plug points as well as USB ports.
There is rather a pleasant view for a room at the back of the hotel facing the convention center side.
The view is of the number 1 tower and the rooftop garden party area.
Here is a picture of an event that was held on the rooftop garden area one evening.
All in all, I stayed 7 nights and the room played a large part in the pleasant time I had.
The Convention Center side:
There are at least 15 smaller meeting rooms and 2 big ballrooms. The Regency and the Windermere are the 2 ballrooms that can hold about 5,000 people each so really big events can be held here.
As the signs say there is also a Skybridge over International Drive to the Orange County Convention Center where all manner of massive events are held.
I was very pleased to see that 4 of the meeting rooms are named after Space Shuttles. Quite appropriate seeing as the Cape is only an hour away.
Dinner at Fiorenzo Italian Steakhouse:
This was a fun experience. If you are alone and would like to sit at the bar, Fiorenza has a different evening in store for you. They have large community tables for single people, the idea being that you can chat to the people at your table if you so choose. On the one occasion that I sat at those tables there was a lady eating who read her book so she didn’t take part in conversation, and a man who was there for the truckers convention who was fun to chat to for a while.
I had really good lamb chops which come served with seasonable vegetables, cauliflower puree, salsa verde and leek top oil. A gorgeous combination. Also a side of truffle fries which are decadent but wonderful. It was a top class meal, the chops were perfectly seasoned and medium-well done for me. An Absolut vodka with orange juice rounded the meal off. It is a highly recommended experience.
A friend and I ate at Fiorenzo a few nights later and we both had pasta dishes which were also fine to eat.
After that meal, a visit to the extensive fitness center:
For a hotel that size they have a suitably large gym available. I counted at least 4 different workout areas, including an area with mats for yoga type activities.
They have water dispensers, towels, banks of pedal machines and a multitude of treadmills.
What do a dance event a trucking expo and a software convention have in common ?
Their love of coffee:
There is a coffee shop cum snack bar cum supermarket that has a very useful array of items. You can get a cappuccino, a small hot pizza, a bottle of wine, an ice cream, a salad and all manner of other items. The next thing they have in common is loving coffee and snacks. The store was constantly busy with a line for the 3 days the dance contest was on, and it only became slightly less busy once they were gone.
Restaurants and bars:
There is another store which stacks clothing and other Hyatt and Orlando mementos. It also has drinks and snacks available.
There is the B-Line Diner which I heard does a great breakfast, and I experienced some absolutely decadent deserts.
Rocks Bar is a big bar with a view over the pool.
What do a dance event a trucking expo and a software convention have in common ?
Their love of the pool:
The third thing they had in common was using the pool and vicinity. The girls spent hours in the pool when they were not competing. The truckers and software attendees did not spend as much in the pool but spent more time more around the pool at Urban Tide for hamburgers, salads and such, Coconuts Pool Bar in the Grotto pool and Rocks, the bar which overlooks the pool.
When it comes time to leave:
There is a computer station in the lobby for checking flights and printing out boarding passes and such.
Oh, and about the parents keeping themselves occupied.
There are many couches and chairs and alcoves all around the hotel and as I strolled through I saw many different groups of parents seated around. Some were chatting, some reading books or computers, some even dozing. The ones I saw while I was in Fiorenzo having my wonderful lamb chops meal were having the most fun. There were 7 or 8 mothers having an absolute ball enjoying copious amounts of wine. They were at the table opposite mine and it was such fun watching the dynamics of the group in action. I am sure they had more fun than all the other parents had the whole week…
How good is the hotel ?
The Hyatt Regency is very good at doing what it does best. It is a large hotel with thousands of guests but it has the facilities to keep those guests busy and happy.
There is so much to keep you busy that I am sure you will enjoy your stay at the Hyatt Regency, International Drive, Orlando.
I was just in Orlando for a healthcare conference at the embassy suites BV. There was a cheerleader competition and thousands of young ladies practicing cheers everywhere and their Moms at the too small bar.!! Very busy and crowded.
I hear you Dee, hopefully the young ladies kept the atmosphere light and fun.