I spent a lot of time looking for our place to stay while in the Orlando area and there are so many options available. I am so glad I did my homework and found this resort because it made our vacation feel luxurious. The resort grounds are secure, beautiful and feature numerous amenities, the room was spacious, clean, and we felt like kings, the service was great, and the location is perfect. We opted to do the timeshare presentation and saved hundreds of dollars on attraction tickets. This resort is shockingly amazing for the price.
The resort features a security guard at the gate and vehicles need a parking pass, reservation, or must be expected in order to pass. The grounds of the resort were beautiful with two pools, two lakes with fountains, a few hot tubs scattered among the gardens, a basketball court, a tennis court, a putting green, and a couple shuffle board courts. The pools were well maintained and very clean; the water was warm and perfect. Plenty of loungers with padded bedding as well as tables and chairs. There's ample parking that is convenient to all units. The lobby building is luxurious looking inside and features a concierge desk, leather furniture, an arcade room, a large television room with free to use computers, a pool table, and tables and chairs, as well as a small but adequately equipped fitness room. Free news papers were available in the lobby. The resort also has activities all week long - such as kids activities, crafts, pool parties, karaoke, spa treatments, etc (some are free, some have a small cost associated). The units are located in various buildings that are either two or three stories tall. The buildings are slightly different from each other but all are close to a pool.
The service was also exceptional here. Right from the front desk attendant, to the house keeping and grounds staff, and especially the friendly security staff at the front gate.
The location of the resort is one of its best features. It's a quiet area on a not busy street. You have immediate access to 535 and 192 which will both get you to the I4, you can also get to International Drive via the 535 - these are the major roads you will use to get around. I was surprised how quickly you get to Disney from the resort property - less than 7 minutes. Similarly, was the distance to the Premium Outlets. Sea World/Aquatica/Discovery Cove are only 15 minutes away and Universal and Islands of Adventure are only 25 minutes away. Oldtown is about 5 minutes away. The traffic is a little heavy on the 535 at times but it was never a problem to get around. There are PLENTY of restaurants within a 5 minute drive and there's the new Lake Buena Vista Outlets just off the intersection of Polynesian and the 535. I would say it was the perfect location.
In regards to the room, firstly, I need to caution that our room was in building 13 which housed only four 2-bedroom units on two floors - the only building like this. We were in room 1322 which was on the second floor overlooking pool B and the lake. I believe this building was the only one that had both interior and exterior access. Basically the room was half of the second floor so we had balconies on both sides off both bedrooms and the living room area. I provide this caution because the other buildings looked different so the rooms may not be as nice as I describe.
When we entered the room we were blown away at the space.
Of our the two bedrooms, one housed a king sized bed and the other held two double beds. Both beds were very comfortable and offered pillows of varying hardness/softness. Both bedrooms had bathrooms; the master bathroom was gorgeous - large shower stall, double sink vanity, jacuzzi tub, and very spacious; the second bedroom had a bathroom that as accessible from the living room/kitchen area as well as the bedroom and it had a tub/shower, vanity, and large closet. There were plenty of bath towels and larger pool towels - we stayed for 10 days and only had to request more towels on our second last day. The hotel provides toilet paper, tissues, and other bath items for free... you just have to ask for more supplies from the front desk. A hairdryer was also available. Both bedrooms also had large closets, dressers, televisions, and a ceiling fan, and there was a free electronic safe in the master bedroom. All windows/doors in the bedrooms had blackout curtains.
The kitchen had literally everything you could possibly need, even paper towels! It's a small kitchen but the appliances were good quality and there's enough room in there. The fridge had an ice/water dispenser, there was a garbage disposal, even dish washing liquid and a dishwasher.
The living room area featured a very spacious area for watching television that had a sleeper bed couch and two arm chairs. None of the furniture was particularly comfortable. The television was a tube television (fat kind) and featured sometimes spotty reception of the less than 100 cable channels. There was also a DVD player. The eating area had a bar and a large table with adequate seating. There were perhaps a dozen light switches in this area so it may take some experimentation to figure out what controls what. This area also had a closet with laundry appliances and the heating/cooling system. The digital thermostat was also in this area just inside the kitchen (took some searching out).
Overall, the air temperature in the room was perfect to however you had it programmed. It would have been nice if the thermostat was programmable for the entire week so it would automatically adjust the temperature between day and night. They practically give those away these days and would save the resort some heating/cooling expenses as it's more energy efficient. The wifi was terrible though. I could occasionally get reception if I held by device up to the wall behind the couch. It was better reception on the balcony but not as good as on the grounds of the resort. We did not have any trouble with noise from the other units and the rooms were remarkably clean and well-kept (there was even a little placard under the bed that said "Yes, we clean under here too!" which I thought was cute.
There were a few things I would suggest the resort change in the unit to improve. First and foremost, the shower heads provided a really intense, hard shower. I don't know anyone who actually enjoys that kind of shower and if you have a sun burn that type of shower is unbearable. Also, it took a few minutes to heat up the shower water. A minor concern is the televisions. They were all tube televisions (the fat kind) and although they offered many channels the quality was often poor (ie. static) and most comparable resorts/hotels feature premium cable through a cable box. Understandably, no one is there to watch television but it would be a nice addition. It would also have been nice if at least some of the balcony was screened in as the bugs can be bad at night. A bigger expenditure would be to purchase more comfortable furniture for the living room. Finally, but perhaps most importantly, the wifi reception was spotty and poor in our unit. We basically could not connect to the internet on any of our devices (Apple, Android, it didn't matter). We got slightly better reception out on the balcony but it was no where near the good reception available out on the grounds. There's no excuse for this given the strong wifi on the grounds and all that would be required is a wireless booster in the unit or better yet the wireless transmitter.
Aside from these suggestions, we would have appreciated a book that told us about the resort and its policies. Perhaps these were available in other units and was supposed to be in ours but we didn't have one.
Overall, the resort was fantastic and we will definitely stay again in the future.
I also wanted to describe our experience with the timeshare sales. Basically the concierge is a marketer for the timeshare presentations for Diamond (which now owns the entire property). Great values can certainly be had on attraction tickets if you are willing to sacrifice a couple of hours. The concierge has you fill out a survey and if you meet the marketing criteria they are looking for they will give you anything to get you to their presentation. You can get the attraction tickets before the presentation, as well, and they will refund the difference after you attend the presentation. They have you drive to a nearby resort that Diamond built. They offer free snacks and drinks and there's a kids area where they can go watch movies or play video games and be watched by their dedicated staff while you attend the presentation. The presentation is one on one with a salesman. Diamond offers a different spin on the timeshare concept. At no point did I feel the salesman was being excessively strong... they are sales people after all so you have to expect that they will try to talk you in to a sale. If you say no, they will talk to you about why you said no, but ultimately they know when you're not going to buy and they know when to walk away to avoid a negative experience. That being said, I was honest on my marketing survey and hit a lot of the criteria they were hunting for so they tried REALLY hard to get a sale out of me. After 90 minutes with the salesman I got the sales manager and then 30 minutes later I got someone who was supposed to do a survey but they just tried to sell me on a cheaper trial package. Tip#1: lie on your survey; tell them your income is poor, tell them you don't travel, etc. And you may be able to avoid the hard sale. Tip#2: Insist you want to take the information home to review further. They want to make the sale that day and after some initial effort they will let you walk away if they know they won't make a sale that day. As long as you go to the presentation and give them an honest opportunity to sell to you there is no reason you won't get your discounted attraction tickets. In the end, we saved hundreds of dollars doing this and got tickets with early park admission to Islands of Adventure so we could do the Harry Potter stuff before it got crazy. I would definitely say it was worth the time... and what they're selling does sound interesting and tempting. It was educational if nothing else and most of the time we were there it was mostly casual chit-chat. No one forced us to attend the presentation or even approached us about it. We were only invited because we inquired with the concierge about discounted attraction tickets.
Ask for building 13 if you're getting a two-bedroom.
It's worth the 90-120 minutes to att...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.