We booked a two-bedroom villa at the Sheraton Vistana Resort in Lake Buena Vista through Jet Blue Get-Aways bundled with a rental car from Hertz and flights on JetBlue. We got a great price which made the Sheraton Vistana an incredible value.
Following advice on disboards, I used an online service called Diamond Lane to submit room requests ahead of time. I requested a room in the Cascades section, on the top floor, a crib and high chair for our baby and room in a quiet location.
Finding the resort was easy, and we proceeded to the Welcome Center to check in. Check in was quick and painless. The clerk did inform me that we were placed in the Lakes section, in a building with an elevator on the top floor. This proved to work wonderfully for us. Lakes was quiet, parking was plentiful, the view was great, the room was quiet yet close to both the Lakes and fountains pools.
The villa itself was beautiful. The kitchen was clean and well equipped. It had a good selection of plates, cups and utensils. We bought some dish soap for hand washing dishes. The bedrooms, living room, dining room and porch were all lovely. Daily housekeeping was nice and included the maid taking all dishes in the sink and running them through the dishwasher. However, the initial housekeeping lacked thoroughness. Some areas were dusty, cobwebs were found and some trash items under furniture and in the corner of the closet. I have read other review which confirm that the resort should improve the thoroughness with which the housekeeping staff clean rooms in between stays. They had an “experienced housekeepers wanted” sign, so perhaps they are working on this.
We didn't find any issues with soundproofing, the unit was quiet and comfortable. The air conditioner worked wonderfully and the unit was full on light from windows and a skylight being on the top floor.
The location of the resort was great for quick access to Walt Disney World. It was also close to a Walmart Supercenter and a full service Starbucks across the street.
We enjoyed use of 3 of the pools. Fountains pool we found crowded and a bit rowdy. Lakes pool was nice and close by. There is a small zero-entry section which worked well for our toddler. However, the pool itself was on the smaller side. Cascades pool was great (we drove over there twice). It was especially good and quiet in the morning. The shallow section with the water features was great for our little girl. I had a great mudslide at the bar as well.
A bit about traveling with a toddler at the Sharaton Vistana. I made requests for a crib and high chair through Diamond Lane ahead of our arrival. Both of these requests were taken care of ahead of time and we waiting in our villa upon our arrival. However, it was impossible to slide the high chair under the dining table because the high chair was to high to fit under the table. The crib worked just fine. Being in the Lakes section is good for those with babies because it is quieter and there are elevators to use with strollers. I recommend Lakes pool and Cascades pool for those with toddlers. Security is great at the resort, but it is huge, so I would recommend staying with kids at all times.
There was some construction going on in the Fountains area which we needed to pass through each time driving in and out of the Lakes area. This should have been better signed. (Sometimes it was difficult to get around and you didn't know where to drive in order to get to your villa.) Also, it would have been nice to have knowledge of this construction ahead of time or at least upon check in because it was an inconvenience.
Overall, this is a nice resort. The renovation of the villa is wonderful and the pools on site are fantastic. Two areas of suggested improvement to the management are in the thoroughness of housekeeping in between stays and better signage and courtesy around construction at the resort. I would recommend staying here to anyone who wants to visit Disney World or the Orlando area and would like a villa/condominium style accommodation. It worked wonderfully for our family with a toddler and was a terrific value.
On a side note, while JetBlue is wonderful, I would not recommend Hertz in Orlando. They kept us waiting in line and then for our car for over 2 hours, with no compensation. Then, even though I have prepaid fuel, they claimed no knowledge of this and charged me over $175 when we returned the car with a partially full tank. I would stay away from Hertz, but enthusiastically recommend Sheraton Vistana Resort and JetBlue.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A Walt Disney World Good Neighbor® hotel featuring one- and two-bedroom villas providing fully equipped kitchens, washer/dryer, separate living and dining areas, and complimentary Wi-Fi. Enjoy resort amenities including 7 pools without the resort fees. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sheraton Orlando
- Sheraton Vistana Orlando
- Vistana Resort Orlando
- Sheraton Vistana Resort Lake Buena Vista
- Sheraton Vistana Resort Florida
- Sheraton Vistana Resort Orlando Florida
- Orlando Sheraton
- Sheraton Vistana Florida
- Sheratons Vistana Resort