REVIEW: Lake Buena Vista Resort Village, Orlando
- Location Three miles from Walt Disney World
- Bed comfiness 7/10
- Pool Animated outdoor pool with a Pirate Ship feature
- WIFI Free.
- Parking Yes. Included in the resort fee.
- Best thing? Pool and grounds
- Worst thing? Not much within walking distance outside resort
- The all-important plug by the bed? Yes
There is nothing nicer than resting your weary feet at the end of a fun filled day of theme park fun in Orlando, Florida. Along with rollercoasters, palm trees and activities galore, the other thing in abundance in Orlando is accomodation. It’s hard to decide where to stay but our review of the Lake Buena Vista Resort Village showcases what a great location this hotel is for families looking for a base to explore the nearby parks and attractions as well as chill out in their own space. Especially for first time visitors, deciding on a place to stay can be the trickiest part of your holiday. To break down some confusions about where to stay in Orlando, check out our Ultimate Guide to Orlando which explains the geography and layout of Orlando as well as offering some helpful tips and tricks.
The Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa is a self-contained resort, just three miles from Walt Disney World. It’s virtually one straight road to get to Disney from the hotel – so almost impossible not to get lost! If you are looking for a place to stay in Orlando without a car, this is good choice as the hotel offers a free shuttle service to Walt Disney World and many other attractions including Universal Studios, Legoland and SeaWorld. The four-star hotel is made up of condominium style hotel suites which are bigger than the average hotel room and perfect for a family vacay or for larger groups.
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THE LAKE BUENA VISTA RESORT VILLAGE REVIEW
We arrived in Florida at sunset and the resort, around 40 minutes from the airport, was a pleasant surprise. Despite being condo-style accommodations there is a 24-hour reception and a friendly face behind the desk. The hotel itself is set back from the road and surrounded by Florida’s signature lakes and woodland. Our room, a two-bedroomed suite that can sleep up to six people, was extremely spacious. There is a sizeable dining area and kitchen, two bathrooms (one ensuite, including a jacuzzi bath!) and a large lounge area with a sofa bed. I always try to book accommodation that has private outside space (even if just to hang up your wet swimming cozzie!) and I was more than happy with the decent-sized balcony that had seating and a table over looking the pool area.
The apartment is very ‘classic American vacation style’. I found the decor a tad dated but it had a homely feel that instantly made you relax. After a nine-hour flight from England, this was exactly what we needed. When you’re staying in a place for more than a few days, your own space becomes suddenly very important and this villa style suited us well. It certainly gave everyone enough room to relax without feeling you are living on top of each other. For extended families or different family groups staying together, I would highly recommend the complex.
Fun for the family
One of the main attractions of the hotel is the huge pirate ship, which is the focal point of the large pool area. The ship includes shooting water cannons and a water slide that keep everyone entertained all day. The kids won’t want to leave! Even if you’re visiting without a brood in tow, there is plenty of space to chill and catch a bit of Florida sun. There is a relaxation pool, Jacuzzi-style hot tubs and poolside hammocks. Note that there is a resort fee of $13.50 per day (Around £10) that won’t be included in your booking price but it covers parking, Wi-Fi, fitness room, pool towels, theme park shuttle and local phone calls.
For a relaxed evening taking in the sunset with a fruity cocktail, Lani’s Luau’s tiki bar is the place to be, serving food and drinks all day. Bargain hunters will also be pleased to find the Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores, which are open until 10pm most days, are right on your doorstep (walking distance) and I definitely recommend saving some time for a bit of outlet retail therapy.
All the essentials
The kitchen was fully equipped with a fridge, dishwasher, washerdryer, microwave, coffee maker, toaster, kitchen utensils and cutlery – everything a family would need for a self-catering holiday. Although, location-wise, you are also moments from the Lake Buena Vista entertainment area that has pretty much every mainstream restaurant you can think of (Hooters, Bahama Breeze, TGI Fridays…). There is also a large Walmart supermarket just a short drive down the road. On site there is a small shop you can buy any necessities from, including coffee and washing up liquid to freshly made Pizza Hut pizza.
The hotel also offers the option to have a grocery order delivered straight to the apartment in advance so you can have a fully stocked fridge when you arrive, which I thought was a great service. This is extra handy if you are coming to Orlando with babies and don’t want to carry nappies and jars of food from home. If, since you are on holiday after all, cooking isn’t going to happen, Frankie Farrell’s Irish Pub & Grille can also be found on the resort and serves up cold beer and surprisingly delicious chicken wings.
A holiday in Orlando will always have a lot packed in to it but what’s great about this hotel is that, despite being centrally located, it gives you time to relax away from the hustle and bustle of the parks. We love being a part of the action after dark but if you do want a relaxing night in and to feel like you’re at home rather than in a hotel, this has everything you need in one place. (Top Tip: from the higher floors you can even get a glimpse of the famous Magic Kingdom fireworks. Shh…)
For more information about the Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa, visit lbvorlandoresort.com
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