As I have mentioned in previous reviews, I frequent Orlando. Once a month is the minimum I visit, so I am very familiar with most amenities around town, as I have stayed in hotels, resorts and timeshares. This review is the hardest for me to write for a couple reasons:
The management staff, as well as most of the security staff is beyond sweet.
The place is beautiful and very updated.
I will try to make this review as informative - it will be honest and broken in to sections:
This is a gated community, which is nice- as it is 24/7 security, not possible for people to just follow someone else in.
From what I can tell, there is a lot to do on site, pools, tennis courts etc.
There is a full size apartment in the 2 bedroom we stayed at. It was tastefully furnished, had a full dining room, kitchen items to cook dinner and a full fridge.
The beds are quite cozy, and had true to size beds, unlike hotels which usually call their full beds, a queen.
The layout, with one bedroom on one side, and the other holding the 2nd bedroom is nice. It offers privacy.
The lobby is beautiful, from what I saw and has bathrooms inside of it- as well as pamphlets and brochures for local items. (this is not a complaint, but be aware the welcome packet IS trying to sell you a timeshare- just FYI- most know it is advance, but in the interest of a "review" it is nice to say again)
The place was CLEAN. As far as community rooms where many people stay, this may have been one of the best. Aside from a couple tears or stains- which is COMMON- it was nice.
The bad- (I will tell this is story line, as it will be easier to understand)
On Friday, the day that we were arriving, I called early to confirm a crib for our room. At that time I was informed by Becca that my reservation did not exist. Since It was just the day before I placed the reservation, I told her I would call around noon. I did this and was told at that time, by becca, that it had not shown up still. She sent information to the reservation desk, and she had tried contacting her manager, and said someone would call me soon. I called bit later, It was still not available. a bit later, nothing. Finally upon calling around 3:30pm, I was told by Andrea, my reservation showed up. I spend most of the day following up on this. I confirmed at that time that I would have a crib and also confirmed that my room had a king and queen room - She stated it had only king and twin, and I asked her to change that. She told me she would have it changed and call back. I told her I would be arriving late as well, and she stated it was not a problem. - I called around 730 since i never received that call and security told me it was not an issue- I asked if my crib was confirmed and they stated that if i requested it earlier, it would be no issue. I then called when we ran in to traffic at 9:30, to confirm we would not be there until Midnight. i again spoke to security, who confirmed it would be okay. I spoke to over 4 people that night, each was sweet- as it turned out, none were very informative though, as I kept having to call to get the information.
*We arrive and are greeted by one security guard, tell him we are checking in, and another comes to do the check it. It was raining, so they advised me to come inside the security booth and sign the paperwork. I wanted to confirm two things before check in. 1. the crib and 2. the bedding being one king and one queen. He told me he could not confirm it, as he did not have that information, but pointed to the reservation having only two adults and no children. When in fact I booked for 3 adults, one child, with crib. I suggested someone walk to the room with me, as I did not want to take the child out for no reason at all in the rain, if there was no crib. He did ask me what plan b was if they had no cribs, which angered me to no end. I told him there was no plan b, as i paid for a hotel to sleep in with my family and that should include a child. He called another guard over, and this guard went above and beyond in helping us. He came to the room, searched it with me, and when we found no crib, he immediately went searching in the rain. When he didn't return within 30 or so minutes, we had to wake up our son and bring him inside the room. About 45 minutes after that we received a call that they did have a crib frame, but no mattress and asked if we could accept a pack and play. Being after 1:30am, we accepted. Anyone who has a 2 year knows that if they have been asleep since 8:30pm, woken at around 1:00, they will be fully charged and really cranky- so needless to say, no one in my room got any sleep Friday night, and Im pretty sure there were others around us, woken by this. I apologize to them.
Saturday morning I received a call reminding me that since I checked in with security I needed to give my credit authorization- I told them I had requested a manager to call me back because of the pack and play issue- she stated she was the manager, and asked that I discuss it with her when I came down to do the authorization. When I came down to the office I was met with one of the sweetest women I have ever dealt with. Dee Dee was more then gracious in admitting that the crib issue should not have happened, apologized and offered to have a real crib brought from a sister company. Since we were going to the parks all day and would be back later and checking out early Sunday, I told her please do not go to the trouble, everything will be just fine. She could not stop apologizing, and my general idea on that is, "things happen" - when you spend about 50 nights a year in a hotel with a 2 year old, you learn these things happen. The only downfall I felt was that they did not have 24/7 management on site, and so the security guards had very little guidance to make a situation right for me at the time. I accepted her peace offering- a bottle of wine and chocolate, and thanked her again.
We spend all day and most of the evening out of the room and at the parks. Upon returning, it was cool outside and we spent most of the evening on the patio when the baby went to sleep. At around midnight, we called the security office because we realized that we had the temp set at 73, but the room was 87 degrees. We had tried to reset it a couple times before calling, and when TWO of them showed up, they looked at the screen, pressed the fan button and told us we had the fan on and that was the problem. Had they checked the vents or bothered to listed, they would have heard the sound of the unit trying to start, then stop suddenly, as well as not feel anything from the vents. They stated it would cool off soon and to give it some time. I gave it another 20-30 minutes before I called and told them it had gone UP not down, and we were now teetering at around 89 degrees INSIDE the building. I told him it was unacceptable and that we could not deal with the heat. the windows in the front room had no screens, so opening them was not an option in the interest of security. I tried hard not to be upset with the security guard, as he was not doing anything wrong, he was just simply not doing anything. I told him there had to be something they could do, bring me stand up fans, switch rooms etc. When he replied there was nothing, I asked if he was telling me my only option would be to go purchase a fan at a store, to which he said yes and offered to tell me where the closest Walmart was.
I feel that this was a case of "things happen" being compounded by not being armed with "alternatives" - I spoke wtih Dee Dee Again the next morning, and was sad to learn that not only did the security guards have the option to put me in a new room and did not mention it, but they also could have called Dee Dee herself to figure the situation out. There was no reason for TWO bad nights sleep, as it was a waste of over $215.00, and sadly enough, every issue could have been diverted or avoided all together, with some communication.
With such a beautiful property, and wonderful manager, I would like to rate this higher then I did. I would have given it 4-5 stars, even with the issues, if they had been easily taken care of. Dee Dee did state she would happily beat the priceline rate we paid in the future if we would like to stay with them. While we travel with family often, and have a need for 2 bedrooms, I am not sure we would stay again - as we usually arrive late in the evening, always need a crib and basically follow that pattern. This place just may not be a good fit for our family, but here is a couple tips if you do think it might be right for you:
Bring extra coffee- they are generous and give you 8 cups worth of coffee, but anyone who has used a coffee pot knows that the measurements for 8 cups is off, and its really about 5 mugs of coffee!
DO NOT SHOW UP LATE! if you have an specifics you may need for the room- or want to avoid issues, show up before the office closes. I know that check in starts at 4PM, and check out must be done at 10am or earlier, so i advise if you need anything taken care of, you deal with it away from those times, as they will be less busy.
This review was hard for me to write, as I had no problems with management, however, the issues are valid and in the interest of an honest review, needed to be told.
I would still recommend this place to someone, but would advise the issues stated.
If i stay again in the future; i will revise this review