Just spent a week at the Holiday Inn Resort and it was fine: some good points, some bad. I spent $70 on a bidding site, however with resort fees and taxes it came out to around $93; still a good deal for that area.
First the good: The location is prime if you have a car. Seaworld, Epcot, Universal, Downtown were less than 10 minutes away. An added bonus was that our new favorite restaurant in Orlando (Bahama Breeze) was a 5 minute walk down the street. Very nice customer service - friendly and helpful. We also appreciated that they gave us a few coupons for free kids meals, however my family did not enjoy the onsite Applebees as the service was terribly slow, and the food mediocre. Also on the plus size was the large pool, attractive lounge area, 2 hot tubs, ping pong, pool and hourly activities. By the way, the movie theatre is smaller than our modest living room, it has a few ottomans and couches with a 55" TV. We would not feel safe leaving our child in there alone (not that we would in a cineplex either). The business center was useful and had quite a few computers ( 4 or 5). Our room was nicely furnished with comfortable beds, microw, minifridge, separate sink areas in kitchen area and bathroom. Plenty of easy parking near your room if you're on an exterior wall. We asked for a quiet room, and they placed us on the 5th floor, not facing the pool. Very quiet.
On the negative side I need to start with a pet peeve. I think free coffee in the lobby should not be a luxury item - it is a basic fundamental part of doing business. However this hotel wants you to pay $2.50 in the gift shop for a small cup of jo. One that tastes worse than you would find in a McDonalds. I find that to be very cheap of Holiday Inn, and not what you would expect for service at a "resort." I purchased this gift shop gunk once, and then spent the rest of the week driving each morning to Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks.
I also must say that this area and hotel were very damp. My family in the neighboring room, entered to find mold on the window curtains, in the kitchen area floor, and in a corner of the ceiling. Needless to say the staff did a great job re-assigning them to a room promptly. I found pockets of wetness in my room as well, but not enough to complain about. The night we arrived there was a heavy rain storm and there were puddles outside of the elevator.
We also had some trouble with our Wifi fading in and out every 30 minutes. Just a minor annoyance and I did see that they were trying to fix this.
We considered using the shuttle but the frequency is too limited to be useful. Most people want to get to the parks EARLY to beat the crowds and it drops you there too late. And there is just one return trip back around supper time. I think the ideal schedule would be leave around 7:30 am, return around 2, head back to the parks around 6, then return from parks at close. That's what many people do to beat the heat.
It's a pretty happy place! In terms of the clientele, this place was filled with young families, lots of noisy kids, entire teams of volleyball and baseball kids. At one point an entire team invaded the hot tub I was seated in. I walked along the inside of corridors of rooms (facing the pool in the center of the square). If you want a bit of quiet I would avoid these rooms as there was usually 20 or more kids screaming in the pool until 11 pm at night. Some people don't mind that kind of fun noise. This is not what I'd call a romantic hotel by any stretch of the imagination.
The decor in our room was bland yellow - a bit dated, but clean.
So in the end I'm not sure I would stay here again, but I wouldn't rule it out, either. I wouldn't want to spend more than $100 for a place like this. It's fine at a bargain price.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- When you stay at the Holiday Inn Resort® Lake Buena Vista, you are so close to the entrance to Walt Disney World® Resort, you can almost feel the Magic! This official Disney Good Neighbor hotel is fresh from a multi-million dollar makeover, making it perfect for your visit to the Walt Disney World® area. Take advantage of scheduled shuttles to the Disney parks, Sea World®, Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, Orlando Premium Outlets shopping and the Orange County Convention Center! After a busy day, come back to spacious, generously-appointed accommodations. Choose King or Queen-size bedding with 37" HDTV televisions, high-speed Internet, refrigerator, microwave, granite top vanities and upgraded bath amenities. Families love our KidSuites, a room-within-a-room that lets kids enjoy their own space within their parents room. Relax at the expansive, tropically-landscaped outdoor sundeck with plenty of lounge chairs, oversize heated pool, Splash Pad and two whirlpool spas! There is plenty to do onsite including outdoor pool tables, playground, basketball court, ping pong, fitness center and an arcade/game room. PLUS - a Daily Scheduled Activities and Movies program for kids and adults! Enjoy great dining at Applebees® located onsite, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Pinkys Market Place and Gift Shop is in the hotel lobby. Free high speed internet access helps you stay connected, and on-site meeting rooms are available for special events. Explore the Lake Buena Vista and Downtown Disney area’s plentiful dining, shopping, nightly entertainment and picturesque setting. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Holiday Inn Resort Lake Buena Vista Hotel Orlando
- Holiday Inn Orlando
- Holiday Inn Sunspree Orlando
- Orlando Holiday Inn