Saturday 12 May 2007

Doubletree Castle's Elegance Will Surprise You

Doubletree Castle Hotel
8629 International Dr.
Orlando, FL USA 32819

Where is it?

From the back entrance, go towards the elevators, turn right and head towards the front desk, then head left, towards the front entrance. The bathrooms are found on each side of the door, men's on the right, women's on the left. (Or, if coming in from the front entrance -- facing International Drive -- they are to either side of you once you come inside.)

What's it like?

This hotel, located in the middle of Orlando's tourism district, is shaped like a castle, and from the outside you'd think it will be as tacky and ridiculously over-the-top as the ridiculous Excalibur Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. But step inside and you'll find a place that doesn't let it's decor overtake its charm or practicality. Sure, it's filled with castle-inspired decor, but the presentation of those items is done tastefully, even understatedly, giving the hotel a touch of unexpected elegance.

The bathrooms extend that medieval decor but also mix in many modern flourishes -- which heightened the experience tremendously. Marble tile covers the floor and walls. The urinals are separated by thick barriers, offering plenty of privacy to anyone using them. The stall feels more like an isolated room than part of the actual bathroom, thanks to full-sized doors. The main sinks are automatic and covered with thick marble. (The stall sink had a pedastal sink with a classy "magic mirror" hanging above it.) Also, the place offers real towels to dry your hands with -- and you drop off your dirty towels (or picked up new ones) in a dark wood-carved hamper set to the side of the main sinks.

Marks out of 10:

10. Truly regal public toilets. Unexpectedly so!

Comments to the Management:

Keep up the good work.

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