I spent four days and three nights with my family of four at the Buena Vista Palace Hotel & Spa for spring break. We were all very excited to go to Orlando, to visit the theme parks and to stay at a hotel so close to Downtown Disney and the Disney theme parks.
Appearance-wise the hotel is impressive. A grand entrance leads into a moder and airy reception area. People are at hand immediately to help with luggage, valet parking, etc. The first impression was good.
After check-in we needed to transport ourselves to another building in the hotel complex were our rooms were waiting for us. An enormously over-eager and condescending hotell employee repeatedly educated us on how to use the elevators, as if we had just descended from the hills of Tennessee and never had experieced riding elevators before. Very annoying, escpecially since I several times tried to thank him for his services and politely tell him to get lost!
Our room - a family suite for four persons- was a big disappointment. The room itself was beautiful and modern. However, we found pubic hair on the bathroom floor, there were only towels for two, and the sofa bed was not made up. When I called room service to have the bed made, a rather surly woman showed up and demonstratively showed us how to do it ourselves. No tip for her.
The biggest disappointment, however, was the fact that the room overlooked a carpark. We had specifically booked - and paid for - a room overlooking Downtown Disney and with a view to the Disney fireworks. When I complained the hotel "remedied" this by offering me to deduct USD 100 for our total bill, the same amount I would have paid to get upgraded from a regular room to a room with a fireworks view. Not good enough! We hadn't travelled half way across the world to look at a car park, and 100 dollars was not enough to make us happy.
And it went downhill from here:
- breakfast was not included (which it had been in all the other, supposedly lower standard hotels we had stayed in earlier on our trip
- only one of three pools were heated, and that was a pool that was too deep for my 5-year-old to play in by himself (with my supervision, of course)
- our room was consistently supplied with towels etc for two despite my making the hotel aware of the fact that we were four several times
- the shuttle bus to Disney's Magic Kingdom tok 10 minutes, but the ride back took nearly two (2!!) hours. The hotel was the last stop on a huge loop, so the ride back from Magic Kingdom with a sleepy child on an overcrowded bus (half the people had to stand!) was torture
And finally, the hotell slapped us with a bogus tax they call a "Resort fee" of USD 25 per room per day to cover gratuities for their staff, the supposedly free wifi, etc. I was furious!
Why is it that the Holiday Inn can manage to offer complimentary breakfast, free wifi, a heated pool, enough towels, etc - and a luxury resport cannot?? Ridiculous. Next time I'll stay at the Holiday Inn - at least there you get what you pay for!
And to add insult to injury, one person in our party got food poisoning in their restaurant.
I WILL NOT recommend this hotel to anyone - ever...
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Experience an Orlando resort getaway that ascends above the rest. Soaring 27 stories above the world's favorite destination, Buena Vista Palace is a beautiful resort in the Walt Disney World® Resort just a short walk from Disney Springs™. Guests can enjoy complimentary transportation to Disney Theme Parks and the Disney Springs™ area. Feel the magic the moment you arrive. For work or play, delight in our exclusive amenities, stunning accommodations, and alluring setting. Plus, we're just 25 minutes from downtown Orlando and the Orlando International Airport (MCO). ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Buena Vista Palace Hotel And Spa
- Buena Vista Palace Orlando
- Lake Buena Vista Palace
- Buena Vista Palace Hotel & Spa