We just returned from a week-long stay in a two-bedroom villa at Bay Lake Tower at the Contemporary Resort. Our party included four adults (husband, wife, and two grandmothers) and two children (ages 2 years old and 3 months old). Generally, the hotel room was amazing, and exceeded our expectations! The layout was perfect because a living area separated the two separate bedrooms, which afforded everyone a little privacy. Was also great to have three full bathrooms, which we used. Washer/dryer was awesome for those baby blowouts (hotel provided Tide detergent). The room had two balconies and wall-to-wall/floor to ceiling windows in the living room, for breathtaking views and lots of natural light. We also loved the large jacuzzi bath in the master bedroom, which was great for Mom and Dad to enjoy after a long day of walking.
We were in room 8002. Our room had a gorgeous view of the Lake with a family of hawks which provided a lot of entertainment for our little ones to watch. The week we visited WDW there were record cold/freezing temps, so it was nice to have such a lovely room to come back to, since we spent more time there than we had hoped. Unfortunately we couldn't use the hotel pool because it was so cold. However, we could see the fireworks from the Magic Kingdom right from the room, which saved us from venturing out in cold temps.
Room was clean, convenient, and super close to everything, e.g., a 7-min walk to the Magic Kingdom.
Now for the pros and cons:
- Luxurious suite.
- Large sized rooms,
- Plenty of room for large parties.
- Comfortable beds.
- Even the pull outs in the living room were VERY comfortable (which was surprising).
- Great view.
- Nice kitchen facilities - all new and modern.
- Layout of suite was nice and afforded privacy for everyone, e.g., separate bathrooms, etc.
- Hotel was new and clean and fresh looking.
- Lots of places to watch fireworks and water parades from in the hotel, e.g., elevator lobbies, walkways, etc.
- Pool area looked nice, even though we didn't use it.
- 7-min walk to Magic Kingdom!
- Easy access to busses and monorail.
- Kitchen facilities to save money on meals (we ordered from Garden Grocer, and our food delivery was waiting for us at the hotel when we checked in. Super convenient!).
- Walls were very thin. E.g., You could hear toilets flushing in other suites above and below, and the flushes were even louder in your own room. We found ourselves leaving #1s in the toilet at night because the flush was so loud it would wake the kids up!
- Doors on bathrooms are sliders and do not close all the way or lock (a little weird).
- The hotel does not have any restaurants or food on-side, so you have to walk over to the Contemporary to find anything. This is a bit inconvenient, especially when it's freezing out and you have to walk through the uncovered walkway just to get fresh coffee or a snack. It can be a long trek to the Contemporary depending on where your room is located, like ours...far from elevators and walkway. We found ourselves using room service often, to avoid having to make the trek to the contemporary.
- Another small con for us was the shower in the Master Bath - it was a nice shower with a double shower option of either a rain shower or normal shower. However, the door didn't close all the way so water kept leaking out all over the floor, which made things dangerously slippery.
- Monorail lines were long and trains kept having mechanical problems. We were told it was because of the low temperatures, so things were malfunctioning. So, we found it easier to just walk to the Magic Kingdom.
We hadn't been to WDW in 20-some years, so a lot of things had changed and were new to us. For example, we are used to being able to get restaurant preferences at the hotel you stay at. Not the case here. We were guests at the Contemporary, but had a difficult time getting reservations at the hotels there, even the more basic restaurants like Chef Mickey's. We did eat at the California Grill, and the food was quite good (and fantastic wine list). But the prices are incredibly high and perhaps not quite worth it. E.g., $20 for a basic sushi roll. Not somewhere for kids.
All in all, we were very pleased with Bay Lake Tower and would most definitely stay there again. It was worth the premium price for us because we had two little ones and preferred a nicer room since we spent more time there for naps, etc. Also because the weather was so cold, it was nice to have more luxurious accommodations.
- 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