Even though this was a free stay as part of a marketing gimmick, this was such an unpleasant experience that I was willing to drive 13 hours back home just to avoid staying. (My wife talked me out of it, though she was unhappy about the place as well.)
First, and most important, is the quality of the rooms in which we were placed. The first room was small and underwhelming. This wasn't too bad, but when my wife went to take a shower she noticed that not only was the water in the tub not draining, hair was coming up from the drain. This was unacceptable so they moved us to another room. As soon as I walked in I noticed the light fixture above the table was covered in dirt and dust. (Photo included). I immediately had to question the cleanliness of the rest of the suite since they didn't even bother to clean the first thing a guest would see. At this point my wife and I were tired and almost willing to just call it a night, but as I mentioned before, we couldn't imagine how dirty the rest of the place was. We ended up paying to go to a Holiday Inn Express that was cleaner and more accomodating than Vacation Village.
After our sales tour, which I will address later, we received our deposit reimbursement (which they refer to as a bonus gift card) and headed to the lobby to check out. We had until Sunday to check out, but the place was so gross that we just wanted out of there. We explained the situation to a manager who offered us a stay in one of the ownership suites. It was then explained to us that the suite we had been given is only used for marketing and doesn't receive the attention that the owners' suites receive. We hesitantly accepted since it was free and took a look at the place. Still small, but at least it was clean. I will absolutely give the management credit for being willing to accomodate us with a nicer suite.
I'll now explain the sales tour. We had a Thursday afternoon check-in so we went to the sales office to register for the tour. We were told that our tour time had already been scheduled for noon on Friday. At the risk of sounding like a diva, this was ridiculous. We just drove down to Orlando from Virginia (a 13 hour trip) and now we had to go to a sales pitch in the middle of the afternoon on a Friday instead of hitting some of the great tourist areas in Orlando. We asked to change the time and the customer service rep gave us a straight up "no" for an answer. She didn't even care to explain why not.
We've done sales tours in the past, so we kind of knew what to expect. That, plus the fact that our stay up to this point had been awful (remember, we paid for a room at a Holiday Inn Express just to get away from Vacation Village), turned us completely against the idea of purchasing a time share with this company. We explained that to our sales rep up front, but she explained that we would still have to go through the tour to get our gift card. (Again, this "gift card" is nothing more than a refund on a deposit that we made when we booked in the first place, hardly a gift.) We agreed and went on with the tour. We were asked to get in to the sales rep's car, which we politely declined so that we could drive our own vehicle. We went to a small office building where sandwiches, cookies, chips and drinks were being offered. Then we were herded into a conference type room with about 10 other couples for a sales pitch from an over enthusiastic (and somewhat cocky) saleman. After this we were taken to another office for the closing pitch. As we indicated to our sales rep (who I will say was a wonderful person), we had zero interest in buying. She then called over the "finance guy" who is actually the second line of sales. We told him up front that we would not buy from Vacation Village. He was agitated and walked away. Finally it was time for the 3rd salesperson ("quality assurance") where we received our aforementioned "gift." The sales part was finally over at around 3:30-4:00.
If I had this to do over again, I never would've gone. My wife and I could have celebrated our anniversary in some other fashion and avoided all of the headache.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
December 4, 2012
We’re very sorry to hear that our resort and sales staff didn’t meet your expectations during your time with us. We've had thousands of travelers take advantage of the perks provided in exchange for a preview of Parkway Resort, and many leave as a member of The Vacation Village Resorts family of owners. We regret that we could not provide you with a great stay on your anniversary and hope that this experience doesn’t deter you from visiting Orlando again.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.