Part of the purpose of this blog is to give you all great advice so you can plan your dream Disney vacation. We also like to keep it real and give you the truth. So that’s what I plan to do with my series of hotel reviews, the good, the great and the meh.
There are seemingly endless places to say in and around Walt Disney World. My family and I live two hours away from Orlando. Close enough to make it a day trip, but far enough away ( and fun enough ) that we often want to make a 1 or 2 night stay out of it. That being said we are looking at budget friendly places that you won’t be scared to sleep in, but also won’t break the bank.
In absolute full disclosure we have been using Hotels.com. On this website after you book 10 nights you earn one hotel night free. This free night will be the average cost of the nights you spent on the previous 10. So if you spent and average of $150 per night you have a $150 credit to apply to any room you book through the site. ( I am not being paid for this post just sharing ).
Side note: You may have seen my post on ways to save for Disney. We book our Hotels.com room via Swagbucks.com and get 8-10% back on the cost of our room by doing so.
Well, I was excited to cash in our free room for a night in Orlando. We opted for the Hilton Lake Buena Vista Palace. This would be our first time staying here. This room was a little more than our per night credit. I think the cost of the room was around $165 a night. Our total out of pocket cost so far was $28 after our hotel.com credit.
- Proximity to Disney Springs. This hotel is about as close as you can get to the shopping meca. It is approximately a .5 mile walk to Disney Springs. Considering the amount of walking you will do on your Disney vacation this is a drop in the bucket.
- A lazy river. The pool ( which we did not have time to use) looked amazing. A lazy river, water features and regular pool made this pool area look like a day well spent.
- Multiple restaurants: A super cute pool side bar and grill with modem fire pits and decor. The sort of place I would love to have a cocktail. There was also an open fake grass field for the kids to play around right next door. See where I am going with this?
- Also the restaurant Letter Press is at this hotel it was super cute and super popular.
- We had a balcony – I love having some coffee on a balcony in the morning.
- A conveniently located laundry room. If you are staying for a bit, have messy children or like to work out on your vacation; laundry facilities may be a welcome amenity.
- It was LOUD. So LOUD we could not sleep. The rooms all face inward to a center courtyard… at least all the rooms on the 2nd floor did. It was very loud. We were also located directly below the lobby… I think they rearranged the furniture all night. Luckily the boys were knocked out.. my husband and I were not so lucky.
- The beds were not comfortable. Did I mention we didn’t sleep well….
- The room was a little dirty.. yuck.
- The in room fridge did not work all that well. Pro tip: we have learned to pack our mini fridge with ice from the vending machine or ice packs from home.
- Extra Fees: This is always a big thing to look out for in Orlando. There was a $35 resort fee per night and a $30 parking fee per night. So our “free” hotel room was now costing us $93 for the night. If you add that to the listed per room cost you are looking at $258 a night!
The hotel did send me a few text messages to see how our stay was. Since they asked I did tell them. Not in as much detail as here of course. They were gracious enough to refund our resort fee for our trouble.
My husband is convinced they gave us the worst room in the joint since it was “free”, I’m not so sure. Bottom line: would I stay here again? Nope. There are so many great places to stay in Orlando I am going to cross this one off our list. Maybe I have been spoiled by Disney Hotels. If I am just spending my days at the parks I want a quite room and a comfortable bed. Is that asking too much?!
Have you stayed here? What did you think? I hope you had a different experience! What is your go to resort? Let me know in the comments or tag me in your favorite resort pictures @drennons_do_disney on instagram.