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“extremely distressed about the accommodations” 1 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 #213 of 326 Hotels in Orlando
A TripAdvisor Member
“extremely distressed about the accommodations”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2006

June 29, 2006
The Buena Vista Palace

I am writing because my wife and I were extremely distressed about the accommodations at your hotel this week. I attended the Florida Public Pension Conference from Sunday June 25th through Wednesday June 28th, 2006.

Our reservations were made for this date well in advance. I arrived at approximately 3:45pm on the Sunday with my confirmation in hand. In the lobby, there was an extended line and wait time. When I got up to the reservation desk, I was told that my room was not ready even though I had reservations and a confirmation number.
This was unacceptable.

I had to give the clerk my cell phone number and hang out in the crowded and stuffy lobby with bags all around. Finally, at about 5:10pm I received a phone call that my room was ready. Since my banquet dinner had already begun there at the hotel starting at 5pm, I quickly got my card and went to my room - # 350. My wife and I went up to the room to drop off our luggage. My wife thought the carpet looked wet, so she took off her shoes and walked around the carpet. The carpet was wet throughout half the room- from about the armoire, in front of the bed, and almost to the bathroom!!
This was unacceptable.

We then had to drag our luggage downstairs to the crowded lobby once again to explain the situation. We explained what had occurred to the clerk, and she mentioned that they had previous problems with that room but that she thought they were fixed (obviously not). She then gave us card keys to a new room - # 573. Once again, we had to go back upstairs with luggage in tow to the new room.
This was unacceptable.

The following day on Monday in between my conferences, my wife and I tried to find out about free Internet wireless service. No one in your hotel seemed to have the same answer. We were sent from the front desk, to guest services. Guest services told us that the Internet service was free in the Library but this was not the case. Then we were told that there were computers in another area where they had wireless service. There were four computers being used to check email, but no place for wireless laptop service. We then asked the person in your offices there, and they sent us to the Business Office where they said they had free wireless service. When we went to the Business Office, they said they are sub-contracted and that Internet service was .68/cents a minute using your credit card. It seemed that no one at your hotel had answers to simple questions. Most hotels and restaurants of this caliber are wireless now and this service has become expected. Finally, someone told us that indeed there is no free service at the hotel and guests must pay 9.95 a day, which I eventually did since work needed to be completed. Much time and aggravation could have been saved if your staff were knowledgeable and could have given us correct answers from the very beginning instead of almost two days later.
This was unacceptable.

On Tuesday, after paying 9.95 to have Internet service for my wife's laptop in the room, she had to leave her work because she had no water or toilet. At approximately 11am, she went to flush the toilet and it wouldn't flush- no water. She went to wash her hands and couldn't- no water. She said she called downstairs to the service desk to find out that the tower had a problem with a water break and that was why we had no water. She asked if they would be letting us know when it was fixed- she was told we would know "when you hear the water running in the toilet." She then had to leave the room once she finally found out that they were expecting the water to be off until between 3 and 4pm. She needed to be near a bathroom- that's why she paid the 9.95 for that day to work in the room- which she had to leave- because she had no bathroom and water.
This was unacceptable.

When my wife plugged in her laptop into the plug by the sofa, the plug-in jack was loose on the wall, and the baseboards were filthy. I'm not sure how often the rooms are wiped down, but I know that my baseboards are clean at home, and I don't expect to pay to stay at a hotel with filthy baseboards.
This was unacceptable.

On Monday, we had noticed water on the floor next to the toilet (under the toilet paper roll). After moving rooms twice already we thought we would wait and see. Then, on Tuesday we noticed the water again. When sitting on the toilet, if you didn't turn sideways, your feet would get wet. The water was not coming from the shower in our room - it was dry all along the bottom of the floor in that area. The water pool began about 10 inches back along the wall on the floor more towards the toilet- almost as if there were a leak coming from between the walls and on the floor. The water was even more apparent after the shower next door had been used. This we could hear through the walls. We had to call downstairs once again, and they sent the engineers up to the room. We showed them the puddle of water, and they said it might be coming from the tenth floor where construction was being done. We were on our way out to dinner with pension consultants so we left them going from our room and into the room next door to try and figure things out. I'm not sure where it was coming from- either there or from the shower next door.
Once again, this was unacceptable.

I went downstairs to complain about all of these things that happened on our stay. Never before at any hotel have I had to complain about the service and about the quality of the hotel and rooms. We had more problems and aggravation in those days at your hotel than ever before- in any hotel we've ever visited. We had stayed there previously when the hotel was the Wyndham and it has changed dramatically. The manager that I needed to speak to was out on the Tuesday evening when I went to the desk to discuss all of this so I tried to speak to someone on the Wednesday morning before leaving the hotel. No compensation has been made thus far for the days of aggravation. I went there for a relaxing conference and my wife came to relax some and to work.

Instead, we had to wait for over an hour for our first room even though we had reservations and a confirmation number. Then we were given a room with a wet carpet, then we were given a room that was so noisy we could hear showers coming on - on both sides at 6:15am each morning. The room had a leak in the bathroom that puddled at our feet on the toilet. After spending more than a day trying to get the correct answers regarding wireless internet service, we spent 9.95 for this service which was hardly used because my wife had to leave the room because there was no water/bathroom for almost five hours during the day when she wanted to stay in there and work. On top of all this, the baseboards in the room are filthy- if they're dirty and easy to see in plain sight- then what else is dirty or diseased?
This was unacceptable.

The hotel room charge was $169.00 per night (off-season) and for this price you do expect high standards and service, even more so given the star rating of this hotel. I am telling you that you, your staff and the hotel failed to meet these expectations and the star rating should realistically be a 2. I do believe that I would have had a far better four-day experience at a hotel costing half as much per night as yours.

I am sending this letter because it was a distressing and disturbing stay at your hotel. Again, this was all unacceptable and I would appreciate someone looking into all of this at the hotel.
Expecting action and a reply to this situation,

  • Stayed June 2006, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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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3,068 reviews from our community

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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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A TripAdvisor Member
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2006

My husband and I decided to take a family vacation from june 11th through the 17th to Disney World. We stayed in a Disney resort last trip but we couldn't seem to find an available date inside disney for the month of june. I looked at several hotels near disney and came across the Buena Vista Palace which looks great on the web site. I was nervous due to the reviews I read prior to making the reservation. But, i decided to take a chance on it. We arrived at the hotel on sunday, june 11, 2006. The rooms were beautiful!!! We rented two rooms and requested that they be together. Which we recieved which was wonderful. The room number was 2130 and 2131. They were newly renovated and very nice. There was a plasma tv, refrigerator, and a balcony with a wonderful view of the lake. The beds were great, they were pillow top mattresses, down comforter and feather pillows. It felt like you were sleeping on a pillow. The room was very clean. We were very excited. The first morning we were awakened by construction on the floor directly above us at 8:30 a.m. It was terribly loud. I let it go and thought that for sure it wasn't going to continue. But through out the day it did. Every morning by 8:30 a.m. we were awakened by the hammering and drilling directly above our bed. It was awful. I called the front desk to complain and they were not helpful in the situation at all, they just explained that this was a sub-contracted company which had a time line that the work had to be done in and we would just have to deal with it. You hope to go on vacation and sleep in but here it is impossible. If you happened to sleep through the noise, the maid service awakened you by 9 a.m. wanting to clean your room. I tried the do not disturb sign and thought that would help, but they still knocked on the door. My parents were in the room next door and complained that the maid actually came in the room after knocking and not getting an answer (my parents were in the bed, still in their pj's)!!!!! Also there is that $12 per night "resort fee" on top of your bill that you are not aware of until check out. We hated the shuttle buses to the parks. You wait for a bus and when it comes you have to go to all of the other nearby hotels to pick up their guests too. We rode it one day, and vowed to drive the rest of our visit. We were probably on the bus for nearly 45 minutes picking up nearby hotel guests. We were very disappointed. The hotel staff was friendly while we were their. Other than a few of the maids. We asked them to come back because we were still in bed and they never ended up coming back. I would revisit this resort AFTER the construction is completed. It is very beautiful. The staff and transportation could use improvement.

  • Stayed June 2006
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Woolwich Twp., NJ
16 reviews 16 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2006

My husband and I stayed here for 2 nights prior to a convention in Orlando (which was thankfully at another hotel). We booked this hotel on Priceline for $65 / night (excluding the $12 / night resort fee) by limiting the search to Disney area hotels with 3+ stars. I should not complain too much because we got what we paid for. The beds are extremely uncomfortable and our room was very small. I had a hard time sleeping on the bed - the sheets and the mattress were worse than any hotel I have stayed at in a long time. We were not in one of the renovated rooms and the hotel really needs it.
One the plus side, they gave us our room immediately when we checked in early at noon. The pool area was fine and the fitness center was a decent size. The location is excellent - walking distance to Downtown Disney and Pleasure Island. The free transportation to the theme parks is also a good thing to avoid dealing with and paying for parking. However, if you want a good night sleep, stay elsewhere!

  • Stayed June 2006
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Vero Beach, Florida
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2006

I spent one night and two days at a large conference at the Buena Vista Palace, so most of my time was spent in the hotel's convention center. The projectors ran perfectly, lunches and reception munchies were excellent, and the facilites were spacious and in excellent condition.

Due to a refurbishing program, I was not able to check in until nearly 6 pm, and even then the front desk managed to assign the same room twice. Fortunately, I and the other customers arrived simultaneously. My newly refurbished room on the 20th floor of the tower had the best possible view, toward the creek, pool, and low-rise section of the hotel beyond the pool. Beyond that, across the street, is the Disney bus stop aat the entrance to the Disney Marketplace. The Wolfgang Puck restaurant is immediately inside the Marketplace entrance. Beyond the Marketplace, the view extended to Pleasure Island and beyond.

The new room decor featured nearly-black furniture (like Target or West Elm, but better quality) with a very useful oval glass-topped desk on casters, an Aeron desk chair (or very good imitation),a huge digital TV capable of being used for Internet access (with keyboard and directions provided), silent refrigerator hidden below the TV, and comfy new beds.

The low-key, urbane room decor is in contrast to the somewhat muddled lobby decor and in extreme contrast to the visual and auditory overload of nearby Disney.

The bath facilies were missing doors for the closet and a hair dryer (of all things). An iron and ironing board were provided. The high-quality floor and wall tiles were new, as was the elegant sink on an open black frame with a beige stone countertop and a simple lighted mirror. The entire floor smelled of fresh paint. Overall, the new room decor is sophisticated and highly functional.

I did not check out the hotel restaurants. Prices in the hotel convenience store are high, at least by Florida non-hotel standards. Prices at Disney are also rather high, so there are incentives to seek provisions on the nearby Apopka-Vineland Road, which also has a full suite of fast-food places. A new Publix supermarket is reasonably near, if you can navigate the confusing road network. So are outlet stores at the south end of International Drive.

The hotel's parking seems to have been laid out on the assumption that guests would use valet parking service. Buses are available to all the Disney facilities, so there was probably also an assumption that guests wouldn't use their cars much. The hotel is extremely conveniently located for exploring Disney, and there's plenty of sidewalks in the Lake Buena Vista resort area (except around the hotel parking).

The room rate for the conference was an amazing bargain, with the usual resort fee of approximately $12 waived. The rate certainly made the glitches in service forgiveable.

The pool is large and well-tended, with plenty of towels available and an interesting swim-through waterfall. The landscaping highlight is a splendid clump of Everglades palms in a circle where several walkways come together near the pool. This fan-leaved palm is native to the southern tip of Florida and parts of Yucatan and Central America.

  • Stayed June 2006, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
univ. of fl
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2006

This was our first visit since the hotel was bought from Wyndham. Check in was painless. Our first impression of the suite was dark & dingy. We were there for three nights and came home a day early. One desk lamp never had light bulb. The carpet is still old & industrial & the sinks were slow drainers. Last year for a third less, we got a 1.5 bath suite. This suite overlooked the loading dock and was next to the maid’s staging area. We called it the boom boom room. The maids started banging at 7 on a Sunday morning, at eight; the recycling crew started sorting glass. At 9 am, the Disney buses started running- the pleasure island bus station is 100 feet away. The bus’s roar could be heard clearly in the bedroom. The good news is that the maids came by at 10. The suites no longer offer free broadband. As a test, we left the ironing board out & it was still there when we got back. The cafeteria staff’s first priority was proselytizing over serving the customer. I would go back, but I might try the Marriott next door first.

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A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2006

WOW let me tell you this hotel goes above and beyond! we had a few problems but they were fixed ASAP! THANKS WE LOVED THE HOTEL FOR OUR HONEYMOON! I would stay sgain!!!

  • Stayed June 2006
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
A TripAdvisor Member
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2006

My husband and I stayed here for 4 days attending a convention. If you like paying $6 for a beer or $14 for a chicken sandwich, then this is the place for you.

Your first impression (the lobby) is great but the hotel doesn't live up to it's lobby. The bathroom is extremely small and there was "gunk" and rust in the shower tracks. I am very cold natured but even with the air set on 60 and the fan on high, the room was never cool enough. We were on the 12th floor overlooking the roof of the convention center which needed to be cleared of debris, including beverage bottles and several towels. You could see the fireworks from Epcot and Disney but without binoculars all you really saw were small pops of color. After the first few "pops" we went back inside - they weren't worth it. To top all this off, there was another convention coming in and setting up our last 2 days. While I consider myself open-minded, I was offended that the hotel let this "alternate lifestyle" group basically take over both pool areaswith banners, etc. If my children had been there, I would have strongly complained to hotel management.

Word to the wise - ALWAYS personally check with the hotel for what conventions and groups are booked at any hotel/resort you are considering.

Needless to say, we wouldn't recommend this resort to even our worst enemy.

  • Stayed May 2006, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 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
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
#49 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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