We had been booked into the hyatt but they're doing major works so we moved to the BVP with virgin holidays. I have to say I was glad we moved. I love the hyatt aqnd it's luxury but the location of the BVP is so much better with it's close proximity to Downtown Disney and the crossroads. The grounds are very nice, big and landscaped. The pools are nice (no comparrison to the hyatt) but perfectly usable and never crowded. The free form one is freezing... we caught the tial of hurricane sandy and it was a bit cold for the first few days. There's a disney shop, a little clothes shop that was reasonable (except for stamps!) a market place that sold food and drink (expensive but very handy) excellent washing laundry that I used three times. You need 5 quarters and a credit card for the $3 fee for machine and $3 for dryer, but $3 is more than enough for a huge load of washing in both and to get it lovely and dry. It's on the second floor so you need to take the lifts that are not for the tower.
I agree reception was hard to find after travelling for 14 hours we stood in the concierge queue for 20 mins with suitcases before anyone said anything. Check in was good though and the one called Danielle was lovely.
They also have a spa which we didn't find until the last day. We were not allowed a late room which distressed me as we were up for 30 hours on the return trip but we used the spa,. It has the 3rd pool adults only though it's overlooked by balconys and little kids hanging over them yelling :P But it's lovely with a hot tub hot showers lovely toiletires and fab staff who wouldn't take a tip when offered.
Our room was on the 21st floor. We emailed them to say we wanted a non smoking room because of my husbands asthma and they upgraded us to a downtown disney view... WOW it was such a view. Wonderful in the sun but as it gets dark and those lights come on it's magical.
There was NO smell apart form the chest of drawers had a very woody smell, but no musty as some have said. It was impeccably clean. Lush comfy bed and sheets. Nice shower and the sink unit was good. The water tasted horrid so we brought water from winn dixie which was $4 for 24 bottles. lasted the whole 14 days. The resort has a fee which covers parking internet etc but virgin holiday guests don't pay it. The interent was super super fast and all those people who say the parking is miles away!! You kidding? Park outside the convention centre. Go in the doors and take the escalator up to the third floor. Very quick and no distance, maybe us brits walk more than americans LOL.
We had a lovely little balcony that was cleaned twice when we were there and was so nice to sit on. We heard no noise from anyone else. The TV was good but not a huge amount of channels we stayed at cocoa beach one night and they had a huge amount of channels. A great hairdryer and coffee maker, they left one coffee sachet a day there so we bought more from goodings at the crossroads. No tea though, well they left tea bags but how do you make that in a coffee maker? no kettle.Air con was fierce indeed. Made my mouth very dry at night. The room maids were nice and polite, they sometimes knocked at 9am to see if we were going out. That was a bit early for me!
My only issue with the place is with the restaurant the steakhouse place... lovely place. Ambience was great, koi carp fish and cocktails to die for. I'd lost my voice and one of those strong cocktails gave it back. However we are vegetarian... now why i hear you ask are 2 veggies in a steak and fish restaurant? We were so tired, we'd been travelling 14 hours. The airplane food was disgusting (virgin atlantic) and I had facebooked the hotel and asked if the restaurant did vegetarian food... YES madam they assured me... we will do you something great. At the front desk of the restaurant I asked the girl... will you have vegetairan food... YES she said ask your server. The server was Luis. Luis must have had abad day as he was the most miserable man I met in florida. We told him we were veggies... "pasta" he said we looked at each other and thought het this is a top class place in america... I bet it will be great. It was the most horrible dish I have ever been served. Penne pasta tossed in a harsh garlic oil with a few bits of roast pepper on top. No sauce no cheese. I ate three pieces and pushed it away, my husband a diabetic ate a couple more but the taste was so bad... someone saw I wasn't eating.. He asked why and I said it was horrible so he brought me a baked potato which we shared half each, so dinner was half a potato and it was not cheap either. No one asked if we were ok, if the meal was ok, if we wanted anything else... we're nice people. We never make a fuss but the service at that place was disgusting and if you are vegetarian as 10% of the population are DO NOT GO THERE. We tipped.... maybe we shouldn't have. They didn't deserve it.
The disney transport is good, they come every 30 minutes, Sometimes a bit hit or miss. They also say different things, one driver told me the last bus was 1 1/2 hours after closing but at epcot the last bus was 20 minutes after closing at 10.20pm. One day we caught the bus to epcot.from the hotel, but it turned into hotel drive and stopped at the holiday inn (which the b bus sisn't meant to do then best western and the wyndham... then it returned to the BVP I was on that bus 30 minutes beofre it even went anywhere! People are right it takes ages to go anywhere but it's free!
On the whole we had a great comfortable happy time and it was a great base and easy to walk to restaurants in the area. ps there's a HESS garage within walking distance that has snacks and stuff cheaper than the hotel if you have no car.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Buena Vista Palace Hotel & Spa offers 1,014 guest rooms and suites. Amenities include 3 pools, lighted tennis court, basketball and sand volleyball courts, 6 restaurants/lounges and a full-service spa. Located inside Walt Disney World, next to Downtown Disney, featuring over 75 specialty shops/restaurants. Guests enjoy access to 4 Disney golf courses and complimentary transportation to all Disney theme parks. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Buena Vista Palace Hotel And Spa
- Buena Vista Palace Orlando
- Lake Buena Vista Palace