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“Great holiday” 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 #207 of 327 Hotels in Orlando
Sheffield, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
“Great holiday”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2013

I have just returned here from a 2 week holiday to Disney World and we stayed as a couple at the Buena Vista Palace Hotel & Spa. We booked our holiday with Virgin Holidays (which becomes relevant later in the review).

We arrived at the hotel late afternoon and self parked the car before walking up to reception. The walk wasn't too far, 5-10 minutes from the furthest point to reception. You can choose to enter via the conference centre too and walk inside the building, we did this most days but particularly when it was raining.

The RECEPTION desk was busy and we had to wait a few minutes to check in. Check in was fairly easy although we didn't have our virgin holidays confirmation voucher with us so had to pay to print it off and bring it back later on. When we came back there was again a queue at reception but this time the wait was 10-15 minutes. While at reception we overheard another customer complaining about the resort fee which had not been included in her booking with expedia. It had been included in our booking with Virgin Holidays.

This brings me on to the RESORT FEE. This hotel has a resort fee of $21.95 plus tax per day. It seems this comes as a surprise to some people. I kept the list of what this includes, so here it is with my views:
*Disney bus transportation - we did not use the buses as we had the car. My only comment would be that Downtown Disney was easily walkable, we did this most nights so that we could have a drink if we wanted.
*Internet - good connection, better in certain parts of our room but overall perfect for what we needed
*Daily self parking - car park always had enough spaces for us to park. Walk to reception wasn't to terrible in my opinion.
*Fitness centre and spa access for over 18s - we foolishly didn't explore the spa until week 2! It was excellent. There was a square pool with sun beds surrounding away from the noise of children. There were 2 saunas, 2 whirlpools and steam facilities. My only observation would be that the facilities are all single sex which for us as a couple was a tad annoying. The steam rooms double as shower cubicles. The area was clean, lots of towels, footwear available, products to use. Overall lovely. I didn't use the fitness centre.
*Personalised pool amenties and services - We didn't use the pool services. On two occasions I popped down fancying a post theme park swim but was put off by how busy it was with families (hence wishing I'd visited the spa area earlier). It looked perhaps a tad dated around the pool but seemed busy with families having fun.
*In room tea and coffee - very nice, not much more to say, coffee maker rather than a kettle.
*24 hour cyber cafe access - We used this room to print our confirmation. Easy to access the room with the room key but still cost per minute to use the computer.
*In room refrigerator
*Airline boarding pass printer in hotel lobby - didn't need to use this
*Unlimited local and toll free calls - We used our phone to book reservations for dinner and found this handy.
*weekday New York Time newspaper in the Hotel lobby

The ROOM we stayed in was in the main building on the tenth floor. It had a queen bed. The size was good. As well as the bed there was a desk and chair, some seating areas, a chest of drawers, a wardrobe, bedside shelves, a cupboard containing the fridge and safe and a balcony with a table and two chairs. The bathroom had a double size shower cubicle but no bath. There was a TV in the room with a good number of channels available. From our balcony we could see some of the fireworks. The general view was of a car park and we paid the resort view room price but if you sat in the right place you could watch the fireworks (we just both had to share the chair).

On the first evening we noticed the pillows and quilt were feather and rang to ask for an alternative due to allergies. Within 30 minutes a maid came to the room with 4 new pillows and some blankets for us. She offered to make up the bed but we did it ourself as we were ready to get into bed after a long flight and weren't too bothered about it being made.

HOUSEKEEPING in general were great for us during our stay. We had enough towels on arrival and continued to do so throughout the stay. The bed was always made nicely and there was a card to request a sheet change which we used a couple of times. I noticed there are a few reviews relating to housekeeping and so wanted to spend a bit of time describing our experience. We didn't always get a bathmat but there was always a towel or bathmat left to be used for this purpose. We always had 2 towels, 2 hand towels and 2 face cloths minimum and often more. One day we arrived back as housekeeping were cleaning our room so we waited at the end of the corridor for a good 15-20 minutes (obviously we don't know how long she was there before we got back). When we went into the room the tiled floor areas had all been freshly mopped and everything was nice and tidy.

ON SITE FOOD was excellent. We ate in Avu-Avu three times during our stay and each time was as good as the last. The service is great and the food was excellent. It is very fresh and a welcome change for the standard fried american offerings of most places. I would even recommend this place to people not staying at the hotel. We also ate in the Watercress cafe one lunch time. This was nice and freshly prepared food as well. We had breakfast in our room each day which we purchased at the Watercress Mini Market. They do cereal pot and milk for $3.50 or pastries. We also ate pizza from the mini market take out menu one day which was again nice and freshly prepared.

Complaints about this hotel:
*the room had a door which could be used to access the room next door if needed (both room guests had to open the door from there own side) which meant I was woken one night gone midnight by a noisy child who was banging on the door asking his parents what it was for (why they didn't stop him I don't know) but I can appreciate that wasn't the hotels fault.
*lengthy wait times at reception a couple of times
*pool was bit busy and run down

OVERALL we really enjoyed our stay and I would happily stay again. My feeling is that in order to achieved an extra star from me they would need to improve on expected areas, for example we had to wait to speak to someone at reception and to swap our pillows but there were always more than enough staff in the mini market etc (where you will be spending more money).

Room Tip: Ask to stay in the main tower as it is closer to the car park.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
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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
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San Diego, California
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2013 via mobile

Our stay was very pleasant. The private dining was very very delicious, made by a real chef. I would go back just to have dinner in the room. (Thank him and give He or she a raise) The room had a great view on a spacious balcony with a table for two (perfect for early breakfast) facing downtown Disney, where we could see circo de solei, planet Hollywood and pleasure island. The hotel was on the same road as the Entrance To the disney parks, prefect. The bed and pillows were very comfortable. The only thing I would change is the parking, the parking lot was always full and it was quite a walk to the lobby entrance. But I am glad it was free, unlike the Hyatt. I enjoyed the fact that there is a Disney store inside the hotel.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2013

My 7 year old son and I stayed in this place to stay close to the various Disney areas. There are 2 nice pools to enjoy at all hours of the day. There are a few restaurants to eat from inside if you choose to and the rooms are very very nice sized rooms. Hotel is very clean and the service is fantastic for a Hotel literally across the street from the Disney shops. I have been here twice and my son and I really enjoyed our stay. When we decide to do a Disney trip we always stay here.

Room Tip: Stay close to the parking lot. If not you will have to walk a heep to your car.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2013 via mobile

This hotel sometimes runs specials $129 for a room including breakfast for 2 and resort fee. This is a great value for a Saturday night stay because on Sunday morning they feature a Disney character breakfast buffet which is always a hit with the family and has a nice selection of hot and cold items! The hotel is right across the street from downtown Disney which has plenty of shops, restaurants and entertainment! They have transportation to the theme parks which we don't use due to the limited schedule but it beats paying for parking at the parks. Rooms are clean and staff is friendly.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Lake Worth, Florida
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2013

Overall it was a very nice hotel. Clean, safe. Amazingly good location by Downtown Disney, though with all the traffic that actually worked against it a little. Just to drive around the corner to eat was very difficult. One bad thing, on top of the price of the room and tax was a $22.00 resort fee which was also taxed so it came out to $24.15. They break it down to show you what you get but I didnt use the shuttle bus, the spa, the internet etc. Also, while there is free parking (a $11,00 value) it was a pretty far walk. If I had known I would have had to pay another $24 I would have found a different place for the $120 it cost me.

Room Tip: If you book real early you can request a room with a view of the fireworks at Epoct.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Tampa, FL
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2013

We stayed for two nights during the 4th of July. This was a blind booking through Hotwire and we were pleasantly surprised by the accommodations. The staff was very friendly, the room was clean. We had a nice lake view on the 11th floor.

Breakfast was a little pricey, but that is anywhere on Disney property. The buffet was good, but if I could do it over I would have ordered from the menu.

The pool was relatively clean, considering it is open 24/7. It wouldn't hurt to use a skimmer once in awhile.

We hung out by the pool all day during the 4th. The kids ate from the poolside cafe and my husband and I had some drinks from the poolside bar. Everything was good. It never got too crowded by the pool. There were always plenty of chairs open. Towels were plentiful in the morning and disappeared by mid afternoon.

Parking was pricey. We used the valet because the self park still had a fee and was super far away. Not thrilled about the added daily expense which could easily rack up if you are staying for an extended period of time.

All in all we had a good time. Our only hesitation with this hotel would probably be the parking fees. You can valet at a Disney Deluxe Resort for $15 per day, which is cheaper than the self-park here. Otherwise everything was good.

Room Tip: Lake view room on a high floor.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2013

This hotel is a great place to stay if your going to any of the disney parks. They are with in walking distance to Disney Village. In fact it's less than a quarter of a mile walk. They also have free bus rides to all if the disney parks. We loved this hotel. We will definitely stay there again. The rooms were nice and the facility was wonderful.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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 Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#42 Luxury Hotel in Orlando
#46 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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