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“Add the resort fee to the price of the room already” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Buena Vista Palace Hotel & Spa

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Buena Vista Palace Hotel & Spa
4.0 of 5 Resort   |   1900 E Buena Vista Drive, Orlando, FL 32830   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #214 of 326 Hotels in Orlando
Orlando, Florida
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Add the resort fee to the price of the room already”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2012

We stayed here for a company event. We arrive late in the evening around 8 pm. Upon check in, we were given our keys and headed up to change for the party.

Except, oops, that was someone else's room. We walked out and returned to check in. The employees seemed pretty passé about it, but apologized & gave us new keys to a room a few doors down and next to the elevator.

Ugh! I thought. But I never did hear the elevator. I was nervous about leaving my belongings in the room even though it was just my clothes.

We put the do not disturb sign up just in case another unsuspecting group was given our room key. Can't really keep out a dishonest person but I know I didn't touch anyone's stuff in that other room.

The room was nice and reasonably clean. It was an accessible room and the hand held shower squealed very loud! Thought it would kill me! I read elsewhere it was outdated and that was not the case in our room. It was updated and nice light colors.

The location is good for downtown Disney, on the very end though opposite of The House of Blues. We did not use the shuttle bus that was part of the $20/day resort fee.

I can't understand why these fees aren't just included in the room price. The room was very reasonable and I've paid 3x's as much for a room at Embassy Suites that wasn't as nice.

I was leery about the key situation and would not feel super cozy about leaving my stuff in my room if I was staying for awhile. But if that doesn't bother you, it was a nice place.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (593)
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New York, New York
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 17, 2012

Common Area Decor - modern. The hotel is older and was recently renovated so the decor is newer while the bones are still old.

Rooms - mine was in a separate building, beyond the pool. It was newer, nice, comfortable beds, modern fixtures. The bathroom was odd though, a sink was outside of the toilet area and another large one was in the tiny room with the toilet and shower. The door hit up against the toilet when opened. Cleanliness was above average, toiletries was from the "Clear" spa line. Wifi was included in my price but it was SLOW. So slow that my iPad failed to load many times. It's barely usable, be warned.

Sleep quality - this is where I encountered an issue. The outer building has a central foyer which the hotel used to accommodate an early breakfast for people in a convention. All the doors to the rooms in this building face this foyer. The noise from the people at breakfast from 7-8:30AM or so woke me up each and every time, earlier than I needed to wake. It was quite annoying. I have no idea why the hotel though that it was a good idea to host breakfasts in this common area - it was like people were camping out and eating in front of your door. A private room for this event would have made sense, not this. It was if the hotel is trying to squeeze out every inch of space to make a buck at the expense of the comfort of other guests.

Location - excellent. You are walking distance from Downtown Disney, literally a few minutes away. Room location - mine was in the back building which is a walk from the front desk - not a short walk.

Pool - decent, chaise lounges crowd the perimeter 3 rows deep though. Snack hut does not serve anything beyond sandwiches, no hot food to be found.

Overall - a nice, refurbished hotel that still has to work to balance it's business and vacation clientele. Unfortunately my stay was marred by being woken up early each of my 3 nights there.

Room Tip: Ask for a room in the main building to avoid the noise of conventioneers.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami, Florida
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 17, 2012

My husband and I came to Orlando for the weekend. The Buena Vista Palace was a good hotel, but not great. The rooms were fairly updated, but there are several things I'd like to point out that I didn't like.

First: I prepaid the room with a 3rd party agency. When I checked in, the front desk clerk said that they would only need my credit card for incidentals, but that I would not be charged anything otherwise. Of course that's okay. We're used to that. But when it came time to check out, I had a $42.64 Resort Fee. $21/night. They should have mentioned this fee at the time of check-in. I don't understand why now hotels are charging this. I used to think that this was only charged in "resorts", but seems that now 4 star and 3.1/2 star hotels are tacking this on to your bill. The point is that they should have made me aware of this resort fee at time of check-in. It represented 33% of the cost of my prepaid rate!

Second: The amenities are poor! This is supposed to be a 4 star resort. Hey, that's why I paid a resort fee, right? Well, they don't provide you with body lotion/cream. Only shampoo, conditioner, and soap. When I asked housekeeping for body cream, they told me that they couldn't give me any and that I needed to take it up with the front desk. Huh??? This is a 4 star resort, but you don't give your guests body lotion. I think that's a bare necessity as part of your amenities program.

Third: Part of your $21/night resort fee is the shuttle bus to your theme park. The only pet peeve I have with that is that the shuttle bus was always late. Not at all on schedule with their every 1/2 hour on the hour and 1/2 hour time slot.

Overall, the hotel is good if you've paid a good rate for it. But prepare to add $21/night to your rate.

The location was good, right next to Downtown Disney.

But I would probably not stay here again.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lehi, Utah, United States
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 17, 2012

Overall the hotel was okay. It seemed a bit lacking in warmth and character. The hotel was clean, rooms were nice.

There was plenty of work space for working out of your room. Location was great for Disney - right across the street from Downtown Disney.

Restaurants were good.

I would recommend this hotel for a business trip more than a family vacation.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 17, 2012

We checked in yesterday with some hesitation as we read negative reviews on this site and wanted to change hotel prior to leaving London. We are glad we didn't and really do not understand why the negative reviews. The hotel reception areas are smart, the room is fine, service so far good ... kooks was fine ..... All a million times better than expected after reading what others wrote .....

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wisconsin
Top Contributor
100 reviews 100 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 16, 2012 via mobile

We stayed here as part of a timeshare "deal" through Hilton honors program. Ugh is my overall opinion here. Rooms are older and needing repair. Outside balcony furniture was stained and torn, did not even use it because it was so dirty. Housekeeping did a VERY minimal job. Beds were incredibly hard and uncomfortable as we're the pillows. Buses to take u to the parks were always running late and took forever because they stop at other hotels. Not impressed with the overall look of the hotel or feel of it. We have stayed the past 5 years at the wyndham bonnet creek resort and have loved it. This is a far cry from that and one we wish we would have avoided. Nothing stands out as special or a step above. Plus their prices are far too high for what u get in return.

Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Daytona Beach, Florida
Top Contributor
265 reviews 265 reviews
52 hotel reviews
Reviews in 58 cities Reviews in 58 cities
303 helpful votes 303 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 14, 2012

I stayed here along with 50 other staff members for a retreat. Our meeting rooms were in the Islander Rooms which is in the very back of the property. Some of us were able to check in when we arrived in the morning and others received phone calls when their rooms were ready. The staff was accommodating at the front desk for check in.

The meeting rooms were just ok. The carpet was old and stained. The temperature was very difficult to keep level and with even a small group of 50 it was difficult to hear in the room and see with numerous columns and posts blocking the view.

The room at first look was spacious and modern. I had a small balcony which was filthy when I went out there. There were bird droppings and spider webs everywhere. Every surface was covered in dust which indicated to me that the room hadn't been used in a while which was interesting considering that I had to wait until 4 p.m. to check in.

The atrium set allows for it to be a very noisy place. Unfortunately for us there was a cheerleader competition going on in the area which mean girls from ages about 6 to tweens all over the place running and screaming. The adults are to blame for that and they were not mindful of their children at all.

I went to my room to go to bed at 10:30 a.m. It was so loud with screaming kids that I couldn't believe it. I decided to put on the t.v. to drown out the noise and the remote didn't work. It was cold in the room so I put the heat on. That didn't work either. I put it on 80 (highest setting) to warm my room which had a temp of 63 degrees and it took all night to get to 72. By 11:30 p.m. I got up to call the front desk to complain about the kids. It did quiet down. Then the alarm clock went off in the room which was set for midnight. The next morning the alarm in the next room went off at 5 a.m. and no one was in that room so it just continued on until I checked out at 8:30 a.m.

I did treat myself to room service for breakfast which was delivered quick and hot. The attendant was pleasant and friendly. That was something nice after no sleep the night before.

The last thing I would like to comment on is the business center. I was waiting for a package that was to be delivered on my first day there. From the front desk, to the concierge, and then finally to the business center which was closed! The sign on the door said back at 1 p.m. and about 1:15 the guy showed up. He could not have been less helpful and I finally gave up with no package. The next morning I called the business center because I asked for a 2nd package to be sent to me. Chance said the package wasn't there and transferred me to a shipping place where I got voice mail. Extremely frustrating to say the least!!! This is a conference center hotel so this should be routine business. I finally called back and got Chance again and asked him to please help me find the package and get it to my meeting place. Frankly, I thought he should have offered to do this without being asked but anyway...I did get my package delivered to me at the meeting room in a couple of hours. I did get a call from the shipping area where I left my phone number and a nice lady delivered the package.

So, this is the long story for a short review...there are a million hotels in this area and I would choose another. I wouldn't stay here again.

Lastly, the sports bar is where a group of us went for dinner and the service was a nightmare. The waiter actually started yelling at us! He was totally out of control so much so that the manager had to help retrieve our checks. The bartender wouldn't help us check out either and the place was empty! They get 18% auto tip for large parties and they acted like they were doing us a favor by waiting on us. The topper was that the food was absolutely awful.

Sorry for the long winded review. I think it is important to really tell the story of a place when you do a review. I'm a big Tripadvisor uses and I depend on the truthful reviews.

Now you can make your decision on where to stay from here.

Room Tip: Good Luck!
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Buena Vista Palace Hotel & Spa

Address: 1900 E Buena Vista Drive, Orlando, FL 32830
Location: United States > Florida > Central Florida > Orlando
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#34 Spa Hotel in Orlando
#40 Luxury Hotel in Orlando
#50 Top resorts Hotel in Orlando
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Buena Vista Palace Hotel & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 1014
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

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