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“Great value and location for families”

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Marriott's Harbour Lake
Ranked #16 of 340 Hotels in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 7, 2008

Well, first let me say we never used the pools or other amenities because we were only there for the July 4 wknd and spent most of our time at Disney.
But, I totally loved having a two bedroom, two bath villa with full kitchen and all flatware, cookware, and tableware for 8 at my disposal. And a combo washer/dryer, even if I never used it.
I actually got a great deal due to my Marriott membership (one night free with purchase of two nights) and the total price was less than two nights at Disney Animal Kingdom standard room (which I've also reviewed).

Positives:
- Lots of room
- Very clean and nice decor
- Up-to-date appliances (stove is newer than mine at home)
- Great view (Villa # 1243)
- Great A/C (My husband is always stuffy at Disney, but no trouble here and it kept 70-75F easily)
- Literally seconds from I4 exit (great for getting to Disney).
- One block from SeaWorld (almost walkable but not with toddlers)

Negatives:
- No real serious ones
- Our rooms were limited with outdoor light (small windows) so needed electric light even during the day in the bedrooms).

Recommendations for travelers:
- Shop at nearby Publix (2 blocks East on Central Florida Parkway) and have breakfast or snacks in house
- If you're going to be on property for a while, they have lots of kiddie activities and the waterplay areas looked great.
- Don't travel on Central Florida Parkway after 8:30 am or late afternoon. SeaWorld traffic is ridiculous. Shortcut that may help is to take a right on SeaWorld Drive from Westwood and then you have the right-of way to turn right on CFP.
- If you get a room/villa with a balcony facing north, you have a great view of the SeaWorld and Universal Studios fireworks at 9pm nightly. Our balcony faced South, so we stood in front of our door on the fourth floor of bldg 12.

Recommendations for Hotel:
- Do housekeeping earlier in the day. The two days we were there they came at 5:30pm.
- Elevators seem slow and are very hot. The corridors aren't that visually appealing either but that may be a factor of them being outdoors.

Overall, our 3yo son loved it, as did my inlaws. As for the distance, I've stayed on Disney and driven almost as long to get to the park so offsite is fine for me.

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled with family
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6  Thank CanJam94
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 6, 2008

My wife and 2 year old just returned from a week at the Horizons and had a pretty good stay. Let me state right from the start that we stayed in a studio and we have recently stayed at the Ko Olina Beach Club on Oahu and the Surf Club in Aruba - both are very nice. So we had those two resorts to compare to, which isn't fair for the Horizons, especially when staying in the studio. I looked at a 2 bedroom unit and it's definitely smaller and not as nice as the Ko Olina (or the Grande Vista, where my in-laws were staying on this same trip). Anyway, the Horizons is definitely aimed at families who are not looking for a luxurious resort experience. Decor was nice but not over the top - to compare, Ko Olina had granite counter tops in the kitchen and both baths! The pools were great. The bigger version with the pirate ship had an area bigger than most resort's entire pool where my 2 year old could walk around easily. Lots of slides and spouts to play with. There is also a kiddy pool. The location was great for Sea World and just off the freeway for about a 8-10 mile journey to WDW. It was nice to have the exit right off of the freeway. As an aside, I noticed some people talk about freeway noise in other posts. We stayed in building 29 which was a bit further away from the road, but not much. I never heard the freeway. There was construction and we did receive 3 calls at around 9.20am regarding various sales pitches. We were gone by then anyway, so it didn't bother us at all. My in-laws told us that the pools were very busy at Grande Vista, and found it difficult to get a chair one day. We only spent about 3 part days at the pool, but never had any difficulty getting a spot. The negative to the resort is probably the food/restaurants or lack thereof. I only found one restaurant, near the pirate ship/bigger pool. It was more like a casual take out from the bar type place, and was fine. I would've like more choices. But there are plenty of restaurants within easy driving distance, so it's really not a big deal. I would highly recommend NOT staying in a studio!! Especially if you're used to the one bedroom type place. We had the lockout portion to "use up" as I like to say, and felt like this room was jammed in a corner. I won't do that again!! I really felt like I was slummin' it! :) It was better than a regular hotel room, though, in that we had a toaster :) Lastly, I was expecting laundry as other studios at mariott properties have had it, and this one did not.

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled with family
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5  Thank sithdent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 5, 2008

If you are looking for a place to stay with your family, this is the only place to look.

My wife and I took our 11 and 9 year olds to this Marriott. It is fantastic.

We've stayed in many places and this is the first place where we have really only positive things to say. Here's an overview of what we liked about the place.

The location is right next to SeaWorld. Out of the front door, we could see the fireworks a little after 10pm. We were in building 12 and had a clear view of it. From our back patio, we could see the Disney fireworks.

The 2 swimming pools there are great. One has a pirate ship and the other is almost like a water park. It has a 16 foot high slide and a play area with 2 dunking water tanks that drops hundreds of gallons of water on you.
The rooms are well kept and very clean. The room has a screened in back patio. There are plenty of BBQ places, a miniature putt-putt course, arcade and a snack bar.

Here's an overview of what we did:

We went to the Kennedy Space Center and took the tour there. It's a great place to show the kids how our space program evolved over the years.

We went to Universal Studios for 2 days -- Universal and Island Adventure. I preferred Island Adventure because I thought the rides were more fun. However, the Simpsons ride in Universal is excellent. The simulation of that ride makes you feel like you are actually free falling and riding on a rollercoaster -- well worth the visit and the wait in line. If you are going this summer, go online and get the 2 park 7 day pass for $89. It's a great deal.

We also went to the Animal Kingdom. The safari ride is very good and worth the price of admission. Just make sure you get there early so you can take that tour. That is when you can see the most amount of active animals in the safari.

We went to Siesta Key, south of Tampa and about 1 hour 40 minutes from the hotel. However, if you want to visit the best sandy beach in Florida, this is the place to go. The sand is ultra fine and the water is warm -- 80 degrees. The crowds are minimal, parking is easy and they have a snack shack there with all the beach food you would want.

Overall, this was a fantastic family vacation. The hotel and location is excellent. I would HIGHLY recommend this hotel and fully understand why this is one of the top rated hotels in the Orlando area. My kids told me already they want to come back.

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled with family
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8  Thank sapamire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 13, 2008

My family and I stayed at this timeshare property for 7 days and loved every minute of it. It very close to all of the theme parks and many restaurants if you're looking for that. I was traveling with my husband, mom, and kids ages 11 and 4 and everyone was more than pleased. We had two bedrooms and two baths which accomodated us just fine. There was everything in the room we needed to make us feel like we were at home and let's not talk about all the activities they have to keep the kids entertained. Although it rained a little when we first got there it did not ruin our trip. The staff was very friendly and didn't hesitate to assist you if needed. If you're planning on staying here you will be more than pleased and i'm looking forward to going back in the future.

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled with family
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5  Thank brooklynmommie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 13, 2008

We stayed at Horizons in early June and were very impressed. We had originally booked for 4 nights at Floridays, but I kept reading how rude the employees were there so I switched (and paid more) to stay at Horizons. Plus, after seeing the Pirate Pool area on the website, I knew my kids would have a blast there!

Check in was a breeze and we got a 5th floor 2 BR condo overlooking the Pirate Pool. Very clean, very well maintained, and larger than we expected. I especially liked the screened in balcony area.

The timeshare folks did leave a couple of messages on our phone, but we weren't interested in a tour. I didn't feel pressured at all.

There's actually two separate pool areas--one with the Pirate Ship, the other with the water slide. Both are within easy walking distance of each other.

There's also an outdoor bar and grill where you can get breakfast, lunch and dinner, but no indoor seating.

We never took advantage of the mini golf or basketball courts. They do have a beautiful boardwalk and dock area for fishing though--just watch out for gators!

Just a few minutes from Seaworld, Discovery Cove, Aquatica so very convenient.

Our stay here was fabulous, and we would definitely consider coming back. My only drawbacks were:

--The king size mattress we had in our bedroom was unusually soft. We got used to it eventually, but the first morning my wife and I both woke up a little stiff and achy.

--The resort is in desperate need of some sort of transportation option. I prefer not to rent cars, so all of our back and forths to theme parks, dinner shows, Publix store, even a walk in clinic (swimmer's ear) had to be done by cab. It really added up over 5 days. I would think they would at least have something complimentary for theme park transportation like the other resorts.

Other than those 2 things, I really don't have a complaint about Horizons. A high recommendation, especially if you have pre-teen children.

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled with family
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4  Thank jbird5150
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 12, 2008

My family and I absolutely loved our Orlando vacation! My sister and I took 6 kids, my nieces and nephews, and I could not tear them away from the resort. My 7-year old niece said this was her new home, I could go to work everyday and she would find a babysitter to watch her while I was at work, she would call her parents and let them know. My 12-year old nephew said this was the best "real" vacation that he had ever had. We visited Universal and Islands of Adventure (twice), and if the kids had their way, we would still be there. The unit was large and very comfortable. I would absolutely recommend this resort to anyone, we had such a fantastic time there, and the staff is to be commended, they were all wonderful and pleasant. Everyone is ready to go back, and my family and I have nothing but rave reviews.

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled with family
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5  Thank ReneeFlorida
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 8, 2008

The hotel looked great from tripadvisor. We got there and the pool was dirty and the room felt dirty. The straw that broke the camels back was the 8:00 a.m. wake up call asking if I wanted to buy a timeshare!! I was on vacation wanting to sleep in. We checked out and went to another resort we stayed at last year, Floridays.

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled with family
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3  Thank bruiserjohnson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Marriott's Harbour Lake

Address: 7102 Grand Horizons Boulevard, Orlando, FL 32821-7378
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Central Florida > Orlando
Amenities:
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 Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#12 Family Hotel in Orlando
#125 Romantic Hotel in Orlando
Price Range: $139 - $312 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Marriott's Harbour Lake 3*
Number of rooms: 900
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Also Known As:
Marriott`s Harbour Lake Hotel Orlando
Marriott Vacation Club Orlando
Marriotts Hotel Harbour Lake
Marriott Orlando
Orlando Marriott
Horizons Marriott Vacation Club Orlando
Horizons Marriott Orlando

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