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“Terrific home away from home”

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Sheraton Vistana Resort - Lake Buena Vista
Ranked #69 of 338 Hotels in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Lenox, Massachusetts
Level 6 Contributor
317 reviews
71 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 324 helpful votes
“Terrific home away from home”
Reviewed March 14, 2006

We recently stayed in a 2 bedroom in the Lakes section on an RCI trade for one week in March. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and recommend it highly.

POSITIVES:
The room was very spacious. We had 4 adults living very comfortably. 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, full kitchen.

In-room washer/dryer was really nice, especially because we were away for about 2 weeks on this trip. It made packing a lot easier.

HUGE master bedroom had a big jacuzzi area separate from the bath. Nice for relaxing after the Disney/touristy stuff.

Furnishings were in very good shape.

Grounds and pool areas were beautiful. Each early morning we went for a long walk around the grounds (more than 130 acres). They were constantly attending to the gardens and grounds. Many stocked lakes, fountains, and bridges.

Great location if you're doing the Orlando tourist thing. Disney, universal, etc. all within a very short drive.

All staff was pleasant and helpful. We were asked but never pressured to attend their timeshare pitch. (We didn't attend.)

NEGATIVES:
The size of the place can be an issue if you have little humans. It can be a pretty long walk to the pool depending on your location. You may want to get a place next to a pool.

We had a car, but there didn't seem to be much in the way of regularly scheduled ground transportation among the grounds or to the theme parks. You should ask about this if you are not planning to rent a car.

Gym areas were small considering the size of the place.

Housekeeping was 2X per week. You had to pay extra for more frequent housekeeping. The room; however, was very clean.

  • Stayed March 2006
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
31 Thank C from NY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed March 13, 2006

We were concerned about the reviews and complaints so we called two months in advance of our trip, and requested a two bedroom villa, in the Cascades section and Diamond Check In. We have were travelling with a 22 month old, so we also asked for a crib and a highchair.
We requested an early check in time. Staff at the front desk were friendly enough, and we were given the keys to our villa arround 1:00p.m.
We walked into a fifth floor cascades villa, with vaulted ceilings, large skylight, beautiful view of the pond from our screened in porch. The layout was great with seperate sinks in the washroom/powder area, so you could get your self prettied up while the hubby is in the shower. All seemed well.

The wallpaper in the kitchen and washroom was not beautiful by no means and the draperies where frightening, but I was not going to be overly particular about the decor, it was overall, pretty and clean.
The beds were terribly uncomfortable, and for 14 nights, it was like sleeping on concrete. And watch out for the toilet!!!
At check-in, we were informed that after the first week, we were being moved to another villa, because the "owner" was coming, blaming the mistake on RCI.
After 20 telephone calls, an entire vacation day ruined, and a lot of "passing the buck", the situation was resolved and we were able to stay in the unit. Apparently the "owner" must have changed his mind.
Housekeeping was disgusting. We were given a few garbage bags, two J-Cloths, and that was it. In the two weeks we where there, houskeeping came three times, and the carpets were vacumed. The linens were not changed, the washrooms weren't touched, and the floors unswept.
We were given one fitted crib sheet, and when it was overlooked during laundry, another 10 phone calls and 5 hours later were were given another.
Cable was out for a day and a half, and the VCR worked, but try to find a VHS movie!
DONT USE THE TELEPHONE. For $6.70 per minute, you really don't need to phone anyone, send a postcard!
Food on the resort was ok, I don't recommend the Flamingo, but the Pizza Hut was great.
This is NOT a Gold Crown worthy resort.
I thought the other poor reviews were a bunch of "whiners", but if the Cascades is the best, then I fear for those who get stuck in the back corner of this place.
Don't shop at the General Store, or Super Market across the street, don't use the so called shuttle service, EVERYTHING on the resort is EXTRA $$$.
We will not return, it was just OK.

  • Stayed March 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
16 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
State College, Pennsylvania
Level 6 Contributor
96 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 165 helpful votes
Reviewed March 11, 2006

As many reviewers have also noted, I was a little apprehensive about not getting the requested Cascades or Lakes unit. Never fear! We got a lovely two-bedroom top floor unit in the Spas section. It may have been recently remodeled; it was tremendous. The master bedroom is large, with a nice chair and ottoman and a floor lamp for reading. The beds and linens are very comfortable. It was nice having the extra sink outside of the main bathroom, which contained another sink, shower unit, and a jacuzzi tub, which I soaked in to revive my weary feet and legs after the first day at the parks. There is tons of closet space, and the washer and dryer are great for packing less. Our son and his friend had a very comfortable room with two full-size beds and the same quality comforters and linens, plus they had their own bath as well. Each bedroom has a TV, plus there's one in the living room. There is a nice screened-in porch with table and chairs (not the cheap flimsy stuff) that you can access via the living room or master bedroom, and it overlooks a tranquil pond with ducks and gazebo.

The kitchen is fully equipped with a full-size fridge, dishwasher, stove and oven, and servingware for 8. There is also a counter/breakfast bar with two stools.

The unit was beautifully decorated in contemporary blues and yellows. There is even a game board table and two chairs in the living area. All in all, one of the nicer units we've exchanged into over the past 25 years of timeshare exchanges. The only drawback may have been the climb to the third floor via three stair flights, especially after walking the parks every day. However, this was a minor thing to us.

The pools were very nice and well-maintained. The boys went to the game room frequently during our stay, and pronounced the game selection as awesome. We did not eat any meals on site.

Check in at the Diamond Lane was speedy. I really appreciated reading all the tips about registering for this prior to arriving, because the normal check in lane would probably have taken us about 40 minutes. The tips about avoiding the timeshare sales people and the "welcome packet" in the lobby are well-heeded, also. We breezed right by them, and we only got one call later in the week from a sales rep who said she had a hard time reaching us! She was very polite when we refused the ubiquitous "breakfast".

Another convenience was the fact that we didn't have to return to the lobby to check out--we just left our card keys in the unit. As others have said, this place felt very safe, and we had no qualms about leaving our young teens walk back and forth to the game room or pool in the evening.

A tip: Do not shop at the "Super Market" right across the highway--it's a major price rip-off. You can drive down the highway a bit and find a Winn-Dixie with reasonable prices. The location of the Vistana Resort is very convenient to Disney parks, shopping and restaurants. We had good meals at Golden Corral, Bahama Breeze and the Olive Garden nearby. Even the trip to Universal Studios is pretty quick on I-4.

One more thing: because our flight home was a day later than our exchange week's last day, we rented an extra night at the resort, and although we asked, the resort could not let us stay in our original Spas unit because the owner was coming in that day to stay. So the bellmen took our bags early that morning, stowed them and even our refrigerated foods for the day, and then we just stopped at check in--once again Diamond Lane-- at the end of the day to pick up our new keys. This last night we stayed in the Courts units and had a two-story townhouse; while not as new as the Spas unit, it still was very nice. It lacked some of the amenities, such as the extra sink, jacuzzi, screened in porch, etc., but still had very comfortable furnishings and the same bed linens.

Lastly, as soon as we had checked in the first day, a resort rep came to our door to ask if everything was okay and to our liking, which we have never experienced in all the many, many timeshare exchanges we've made over the years. This was a very nice touch and appreciated. I think it speaks to the quality of service at this resort.

  • Stayed March 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
33 Thank mderabas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed March 11, 2006

We just returned from the Vistana and had a wonderful time. The villa met our needs perfectly and was a great value. We will go there again.

We stayed in the Fountains section of the resort near the recreation building.

The gym had three treadmills (one out of order for the week) and two ellipticles that were full size and in good condition. They had dumbells up to 50lbs which was nice but they only had four (two legs, two upper body) other machines which was a little dissapointing (oh well, I was on vacation).

The main pool was large and varied in depths from 3 ft to 6 ft. My twin girls (age 4) and son (age 2) loved the toddlers' pool which was off to the side. It was large enough for them to have fun without being crowded but small enough for me to reach any child in two leaping steps if needed. There were a lot of people on the deck but my wife and I did not feel crowded.

The playground was decent sized and had a huge slide that would shoot the kids about four feet past the bottom. They loved it.

Our room was a two bedroom villa. Although not new the room was clean and spacious. I noticed a little wear and tear around the bottom of the exterior doors and the stairwells looked well used, but otherwise the room was perfect for us. The appliances and furniture were neat and very, very clean. The villas are smoking optional but there was no smell (and my wife would know). The people below us smoked on their patio and we would smell that on occasion. To our delight, we found no evidence of previous occupants.

We selected the "no housekeeping" option which saved us on the cleaning costs. However, if you select this option bring (or buy at a nearby Publix or Walmart) the following supplies
- Laundry detergent
- Tall kitchen garbage bags
- Dishwasher detergent
- Hand soap
- A mop
Housekeeping would provide if requested but it was easier to bring the supplies rather than call housekeeping every day. Note that the washer/dryer were small but managed to meet our needs.

Many people appeared to have issues with the staff, however, we never had a problem and found them to be pleasant. Just tell them what you want (or don't want) and they will listen.

I did my research on tripadvisor and am more than happy to provide feedback.

  • Stayed March 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
25 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed March 8, 2006

Vistana reseort is the ultimate spot for families to visit. With all the great pools what more could you ask for. It's 15 mins away from Disney World and you can catch a shuttle bus to almost anywhere. Customer service is teh number one thing... This place is great even if you don't have young kids, teenagers love this place too. It os very well secured with tons of security and you can let your family walk around or take a bike ride without ever worrying... I can't wait for next year..:)

  • Stayed March 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
59 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed March 7, 2006

We just returned from the Vistana Resort. After reading the reviews, I tried to get our family into the cascades or lakes complexes. Neither was available, so it was with trepidation we accepted a 2 bedroom suite in the palms complex. While the decor was a little dated, it was very comfortable, a huge space and extremely clean. Everyone reads the reviews and tries for the cascades or lakes, as a fallback ask for the Palms. It is a bit away from the pools - but that makes it very quiet.

Front desk staff were not pleasant (in fact they told me they had read web reviews as well) - but everyone else was extremely nice - especially housekeeping. For families - you can really can't beat the pools - the cascades one has a great wading area for small children.

  • Stayed March 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
15 Thank slbe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ontario, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed March 1, 2006

My husband and I and our Three children, ages, 3,4,9, stayed at the resort from Feb4-11. We were so surprised when we walked in the doors. We were assigned to the Springs area, and were close to everything the resort had to offer. The main objective to our trip was Disney, but it was hard to leave the resort. We were right across from the Springs game room, and swimming pool. Our room was huge, we had a two bedroom condo, everything was in perfect condition when we arrived, even the oven was spotless. The kids room was so big, giving them lots of room to play with their new toys, and they had their own tv to help settle them at night. We had a jazucci tub, which was taken advantage of often after walking the parks all day long. The kitchen was stocked perfectly, I always found what I needed. Having Pizza Hut on site was also nice as after being at the park having a pizza delivered made for a quick supper. A note to smokers, our unit had a private screened in balcony to accomadate smokers which was great for us.
We were able to enjoy the resort for One full day and the kids loved it, we walked to the Falls area and spent the day at the pool, having lunch and drinks by the poolside. Our 9 and 4 year old participated in a childrens activity as well. When I inquired about the ages which was from 5-12, they told me to bring the 4 year old and they made an activity for him to enjoy, and did I mention this was free.
The grounds were spotless, there was always working on something. The staff were very polite.
Check-in was a little busy but having a kids check-in was great. The kids had their faces painted and animal balloons.
We took advandtage of the Diamond Lane to check out.
We would stay again, but we would be sure not to be as busy so we could take advantage of the resort and their activities.

  • Stayed February 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
19 Thank jenkens
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sheraton Vistana Resort - Lake Buena Vista

Property: Sheraton Vistana Resort - Lake Buena Vista
Address: 8800 Vistana Centre Drive, Orlando, FL 32821-6353
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Central Florida > Orlando
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#5 Green Hotel in Orlando
#45 Family Hotel in Orlando
#50 Romantic Hotel in Orlando
#95 Business Hotel in Orlando
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Sheraton Vistana Resort - Lake Buena Vista 3.5*
Number of rooms: 1682
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

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