A few weeks ago, the folks at IHG invited me down to Orlando to preview the debut of their newest hotel addition to MCO and to learn a bit more about their new Avid hotels brand. The Avid at Orlando International Airport is a new-construction, 91-room hotel that’s less than two miles from the Orlando International Airport.
The hotel neighbors the Holiday Inn Express at MCO, and a Cambria is in the process of being built next door. The hotel offers a free shuttle to/from the airport and nearby restaurants just by requesting by calling.
The Avid at MCO not necessarily family-focused, but is great for short stays – especially for those getting in late and leaving early to start your adventure the next day. Aside from Disney and the amusement parks, Orlando is also a big hub for conventions and the cruise markets with its proximity to Port Canaveral.
IHG’s new Avid hotels brand is thoughtfully designed deliver guests the basics done exceptionally-well at a great value. Each Avid hotel features a vibrant modern design, welcoming open public spaces, and guest rooms specifically designed for good night’s rest. The first Avid hotel opened in 2018 in Oklahoma, and now with the addition of the Avid at MCO, there are currently a total of 10 locations within the US.
I picked up on a lot of small touches that go beyond what you’d expect at a lower-mid scale hotel and cleanliness is a prime focus. In fact, Avid stands by a “just right guarantee”, which promises a perfect stay or your money back.
Great Use of Points
In terms of IHG properties at the Orlando International Airport, the Avid hotel at MCO is a great use of points – just 20,000 points per night. I typically value IHG points at 1/2 cent each, so that means that the 20,000 point redemption is worth about ~$100 including all taxes and fees.
It’s worth pointing out that the Avid MCO is currently the cheapest IHG redemption option at MCO. As a comparison, the Holiday Inn Express next door redeems for 30,000 IHG points per night.
Right now, the IHG Premier Rewards Credit Card is offering the highest-ever welcome bonus of 140,000 points after spending $3,000 within 3 months of account opening.
Speaking of points, Gold elite members will receive 300 points at check in and Platinum/Spire elites have a choice of 500 points or a water bottle and a bag of chip as a welcome amenity.
The room was basic, as I expected, especially since the focus of the room is to sleep. Since Avid hotels are designed for short one-night stays, you won’t find a full closet or drawers in your room (because let’s face it- you won’t be unpacking).
I was delighted to see that there were hardwood floors instead of carpets that overtime get grungy. Everything in the room was designed with cleanliness in mind, and I was told that housekeeping must complete a thorough 50-point checklist before the room is ready for the next guest.
Each room and features a soothing color scheme and a cozy premium pillow top mattress (in fact, it’s the exact same high-grade pillow top mattress you’ll find in IHG’s higher-end EVEN hotels). There are both firm and soft pillows on the platform bed (which I liked because that means you can’t lose things under the bed), and there are plenty of USB ports/outlets near the bed.
There is an also a 55″ IHG Studio TV in every room that allows you to seamlessly connect smart devices to keep up with your own entertainment/favorite shows/movies in addition to the standard live and cable TV programming.
I really liked the sound-minimizing aspect of the room, and though I personally sleep best with shades open to allow natural sunlight in, I know many travelers would appreciate that every room comes equipped with a full blackout shade for complete darkness.
The bathroom was clean, bright, and well lit. I was thankful to see that there are no bathtubs or shower curtains that are commonly found in lower-midscale hotels. The shower was large with a squeaky-clean glass door, and as you’d already find in many IHG properties, the shampoo, conditioner, and body wash is in the form of bulk amenities (J.R. Watkins brand).
The Lobby & Breakfast
In the hotel’s open lobby, you’ll find large windows and a “working-at-a-cafe” vibe, especially because you can treat yourself to free freshly-brewed coffee and still or sparking water 24/7 on demand.
As one might expect, there’s no dedicated meeting space or on-property restaurant, but there’s marketplace for quick grab-and-go snacks and drinks at fair prices and an impressive gym with state of the art equipment, which is a nice find at a hotel at this price point.
Each morning, there’s free breakfasts for all guests, regardless of status. The focused breakfast offering features a “grab-and-go” aspect of fruit, yogurts, cereal, oatmeal, granola bars, etc., as well as a daily rotating hot item such as a breakfast sandwich or egg scramble bowls.
As frequent travelers, we know that how inconsistent a lower-mid scale or “value” hotels could be. Avid specifically puts the guest on the forefront and promises to deliver the “basics” exceptionally well – and they did.
From a points perspective, you can’t go wrong with redeeming just 20,000 points per night all in for a quick and convenient stay at Orlando’s International Airport.
Have you stayed at a Avid hotel before?