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“Didn't meet my expectations”

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Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort
Ranked #23 of 339 Hotels in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence
Level 6 Contributor
74 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Didn't meet my expectations”
Reviewed December 26, 2013

I did a lot of research for our first Disney World vacation -- a LOT! We booked 4 nights at the new DVC Villas at the Grand Floridian and we had an opportunity to add one night at Bay Lake Tower. I was excited to try this property as it is a clear favorite for many...
1. You can walk to the Magic Kingdom
2. Newer property and almost impossible to get a reservation

We rented DVC points (38 points) and managed to get a 1 BR Lakeview unit for $380 (Saturday before Christmas). Considering this property is only a few years old, it actually felt quite worn and dated. It was not nearly as nice as the new Grand Floridian property.

We were in room 7935 on the 9th floor. After spending some time in the room we noticed that the carpet was very wet in the bedroom. Upon further inspection, we saw drips of water on the ceiling and noticed that the baseboard outside the master bath was completely molded and rotting from water damage. I immediately called maintenance. It was not clear if anyone ever came to check the room. We returned late from the MK and went straight to bed.

I mentioned this problem again at check-out, but the staff did not seem to take this very seriously.
As much as I love the MK walking benefit, I would not stay at this property again.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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6 Thank PortlandWelt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Level 5 Contributor
53 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
Reviewed December 24, 2013 via mobile

Bay Lake Tower is amazing! The staff is great, the location is top notch, the food options are plentiful.

We were here for a short stay so a studio suited us well for this stay. Everything is meticulous in typical Disney fashion. I was more impressed with the staff at the hotel than the staff in the parks. I feel as though the "magic" within the parks is fading.

The view from the Top of the World Lounge is amazing! Will come back for a longer stay in a one or two bedroom unit.

Stayed October 2013
Thank YVR_orange
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed December 17, 2013

We just checked in on dec 17 today. We paid extra for a Bay lake tower room with a "lake view". The room we got had only a view of the tip of the lake & mainly faced the car park. When we asked for a change, the staff said this was a very good view since we could get a view of Magic Kingdom from an angle as well. There were no other rooms available. In the evening when we got back from the park we asked for a room change again. This time they let us change but to our dismay, after all the hassle, the room had a swimming pool view & a view of a small tip of the other end of the lake! Argggh! Why did they sell rooms online at a premium claiming lake view when it is not full lake view? I think this is dishonest & not right at all. I am totally disappointed:(
Another reason I will not stay here again nor recommend this resort is because the rooms are really too tiny for a family of 4. Maybe couples will find this cosy but definitely not for families. We got better value at a 2-bedroom service apartment on International drive previously. It was definitely more comfortable & better value.

  • Stayed December 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
15 Thank Hsuimei
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maywood, New Jersey
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed December 11, 2013

Stayed here in the summer. Best Hotel we ever stayed at. Stay here you will love it from the pool to watching the firework on the balcony. Very very clean and quite at night. Everyone is so nice we are a DVC member will stasy here again.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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2 Thank Yankees31
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hillsboro, Oregon, United States
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed December 9, 2013 via mobile

I know I am just writing this, but better late than never. We had just got off the Disney cruise in the morning and went to the hotel not expecting to get into our room, they had our room ready and not only ready but put us in an upgraded junior suite. I don't know it was because of our 1st time visiting their hotel, or it was our 10 year anniversary or we were extremely lucky. From the moment we walked in they treated us like we were important. That is why I would highly recommend this hotel or Disney hotel.

Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
1 Thank disfreak80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Freehold, New Jersey
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed December 9, 2013

Hotel is very clean, well kept. Grounds are spotless and kept remarkably clean. Personnel are all kind, friendly, and helpful for the most part. We stayed in a 1 bedroom lake view suite at the Bay Lake Tower. Awesome view. The room suite was spacious, with 2 bathrooms ( one being a master bath with a full whirlpool tub , separate shower room. ) a full kitchen with a dishwasher, full size fridge , stove, microwave. All possible utensils, pots and pans.all of which were clean, and looked new. Complimentary dish detergent, dishwasher pods. Only trial sizes, but it should last the week. Washer and dryer, also with trial size detergent. And , of course , your typical bathroom supplies. Beds were probably the most comfortable hotel beds i've slept in. housekeeping comes once every few days in this building, since its timeshare. So don't expect them daily. we used the provided vacuum or mop, if we felt it needed it. towels are available everywhere, so if you're in need, the housekeeping carts are everywhere. I am not one to complain about trivial small issues like a stain in the carpet, a scratch on the furniture, spider webs, or dust. If there was any of this stuff,I probably didn't notice And didn't give it a second thought, as I am a realist and know that this place is a venue used 24/7 365 days a year, non stop. If you encounter an extraordinary circumstance, like vomit, or blood, bugs, etc..keep in mind it is more than likely an isolated issue, and not the norm. Given the circumstances of how busy this place is, it is amazingly clean, well kept, and organized. Anyone who nit picks the little stuff is just being a bit neurotic, or looking for something for free.

With all this being said, I did have just 2 issues with my stay...

1 ) upon arrival at 9 am, We were greeted from the Disney express airport shuttle by a hotel employee as soon as we stepped off the bus. Brought us right to the desk, where check in was quick, and friendly. Now, the problem...we had a sick child ( whom had gotten sick on the flight ) and the contemporary personnel were made aware of this. Because of this, They had promised us accommodations until our room was ready. Needless to say, we were never given these accommodations, and were forced to spend the next 6 1/2 hours on the hotel couch waiting for our room, with a sick child , no access to our luggage , and no place to go. ( it was pouring raining all day) asking all day when our room would be ready, l was never given a straight answer, or other accommodations I was promised upon arrival. By the time we settled in, everyone was wiped, tempers flared, and the trip started off on a bad note, with No apology , or attempt to make good for the inconvenience by the hotel personnel.
2) the meal plan...it is unwritten rule that you need reservations in order to guarantee getting seated in table service restaurants . So we attempted reservations 3 weeks prior to our trip. We were successful for the most part , except, when we attempted to make dining reservations at some places, like T-Rex cafe in downtown disney, i was told there were no openings at all , on any day. We eventually were able to make reservations at rainforest cafe in downtown disney, at an odd hour because, there were supposedly no tables available there at decent times either. So we go to downtown disney to spend the day. A lot earlier than we had wanted to , in order to make our dining reservation, only to find that both places were completely empty! Not just at the time we arrived, but ALL DAY LONG. I counted 80 tables empty at T-Rex cafe. that's right , "80".....95% empty. This is the place that was supposed to be booked solid, all day, every day that week. Very disappointed . When asked if they were expected to get busier, the staff told me they were slow all week. when asked why i couldn't get a reservation, i was told that people make multiple reservations at different places , As a backup . Therefore , people make backup reservations with no intention of going , knowing there is no penalty. So the computer thinks the place is booked, and its really not. There is obviously something very flawed with reservation system, so be advised.

With the exception of these 2 complaints, we still had a great time.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
4 Thank Anthony T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed December 8, 2013

I had been looking forward to trying this hotel for a while. I love the disney property hotels and always recommend them. This is a great hotel for those with a family (and really the purpose of the Disney Vacation Club hotels) but if you traveling as a couple and plan on eating out and such pick another hotel in my opinion. Here is why:

My pro's
- Nice and close to see the night-time fireworks, sound is pumped into the rooms
- Short walk to Magic Kingdom so you can avoid those long waits for the monorail
- New & Modern

- Wasn't as clean, I think thats because most people are DVC and are responsible for their own cleaning
- No in-house facilities for things like dining / gift shop / etc...
- Everything is shared with the contemporary (which adds more load to its facilities)

Room Tip: Rooms higher up have a better view of the fireworks in the magic kingdom. Pay extra for the Magic K...
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank siliconknight
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort

Property: Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort
Address: 4600 North World Drive, Lake Buena Vista, Orlando, FL 32830-8413
Location: United States > Florida > Central Florida > Orlando
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 Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#36 Family Hotel in Orlando
#61 Romantic Hotel in Orlando
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 428
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Warm luxury meets modern elegance at this lakeside Resort hotel just walking distance to Magic Kingdom park. Delight in Studios and multi-bedroom Villas, kitchens or kitchenettes and dramatic views that may include old-growth cypress trees, the shimmering Bay Lake, the lush courtyard or Cinderella Castle. Enjoy white-sand beaches, enchanting pools and award-winning dining-plus the extensive offerings of Disney's Contemporary Resort, connected by the convenient Sky Way Bridge, with access to transportation including the Resort Monorail. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bay Lake Tower At Disney`s Contemporary Hotel Orlando

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