We are pretty seasoned Orlando travellers, having stayed at the OLCC and the Sheraton Vistana (to name 2) previously. I had read with interest the reviews on here and asked LOTS of questions.
We had a relatively early flight this time, and arrived from the UK to Orlando about 2:30pm. By the time we got through customs (an absolute breeze this time) and went to get the hire car, we finally arrived at the Hotel about 3:30pm.
We went to check in, and I was already aware of the process of being invited to the tour aka getting your parking permit. We've been here before, so agreed to the tour on the basis that we were getting $$ off Disney tickets, and we weren't going to budge (we knew what we were letting ourselves into, so didn't feel like it was any big deal). The reception staff were great. Not at all rude or "off" like others have experienced. I thought they were polite, happy and very helpful. .. and that was after an 8 hour flight !!!! We were then directed to the room, which was in Block 2, and on the ground floor. It was great. It was near a trash room, but that was OK, as this wasn't open, it had doors that were always kept closed, and emptied several times a day. The proximity to the pool was excellent. We were only about 8 rooms away, and right opposite the Activity Centre / Arcade - couldn;t ask for more !
The room was as to be expected. It's the same layout as the other 2-bed rooms we've stayed in at other resorts. It was spotlessley clean - the only thing I found odd, was that there were no handles on the drawers, so you had to grip the edges to open them - which got annoying when you were in the middle of cooking, and needed a spoon !! There were welcome packs on the black marble worksurfaces. Everything was well equipped and clean.
The bathrooms had enough towels to dry an Army. There were soap and toiletries on the work surface here too. The beds were AMAZING !! If I could have brought one back with me on the plane, I would have. Nice and high, REALLY comfortable and the bedding was white, crisp cotton. I switched the Air Con off, as I found it too cold. We managed better with fans - I didn't like the effect of coming in from the heat to a room as cold as a freezer. One thing missing from the bathrooms, is a magnified shaving mirror.
The pools were great. As previous people have said, not massively huge, but very large, all the same. The pool near our room was the larger of the two, and we counted 50 sunbeds, and 10 parasol covered tables with chairs. There also small tables to have by the side of your beds, and these were plentiful. We took a cool box to the pool every day with drinks (NO BOTTLES) and this wasn't a problem at all. Some resorts don't like you taking food/drinks to the poolside, but as long as you are sensible, and make sure no breakables are used, you will be fine. The water in the pool was just the right temperature. The water in the Hot Tub however, was just that - HOT HOT HOT !!!! After 5 minutes, I had a red mark (not attractive). One day I noticed the pool side shower had broken, as someone had pulled the chain a little too hard - this was fixed within 2 hours - now that's what I call service.
The Activity Centre staff came to the poolside a few times during the week too. One day they brough cookies for everyone, and another day it was snow cones, another it was popcorn. There was also free tea, coffee, do-nuts and popcorn in the main activity centre - little touches like this are great.
There are at least 2 gas powered BBQ's on site. One was just outside the larger pool. This was only used a handful of times, and given a REALLY good clean by the staff every morning. You had to ask a member of staff to light it for you too.
There were a few families of ducks that had not long had ducklings. These were really cute, and friendly. There was even a resident cat - an an alligator ! This was only 6 months old, and sunbathed on the bank near the smaller pool. Not to mentioned the zillion lizards and a few squirrels.
The resort is tucked behind a Chilies, Macaroni Grill, Uno's and Cracker Barrel. There is also a CVS Pharmacy and Krispy Kreme within 2 minutes walk. There was a Wal-Mart within 5 minute drive, and directions to the Disney parks were straightforward and we made it within about 10 minutes. (not too happy with the $15 to park the car in the parks on this trip though). On the opposite side of the 192 (which we find amusing you are timed to have to cross) there was a Longhorn steakhouse and Ruby Tuesdays. There was also a Chinese (all you could eat) which I did NOT like, as this had been open since 11am, and we had no idea how long the food had been standing under a lamp. My little boy only had a few pieces of fried chicken inthere, and later that evening was really sick. We went to Unos a few times - they wwere great with kids and the food there was great. They've cottoned on that the Brits like a large cold beer :)
Overall, we loved this resort. We were there the last week July/first week August. There were never more than a quarter of the beds used, and the pool was really quiet. We had a few thunder storms and the pools were rightly closed, but reopened within 20 minutes of the last clap of thunder.
The rooms were spacious, spotlessly clean and very well equipped. There was a seperate washer and tumble dryer - even iron/board if you felt so inclined. The staff were really friendly, and the Activity Centre girls tried so hard to get the kids invovled with what was going on ....
I would 100% recommend this resort, and would be happy to answer any questions you may have.
ask for a reconditioned room.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.