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).
- 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
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with TravelClick, Booking.com, Expedia, Priceline, TripOnline SA, Odigeo, getaroom.com, Agoda, Hotels.com and Jetsetter so you can book your Buena Vista Palace Hotel & Spa reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Buena Vista Palace Hotel And Spa
- Buena Vista Palace Orlando
- Lake Buena Vista Palace