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Brian Bennett

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Holiday Inn Family Suites Resort Lake Buena Vista

Reviewer's Name:

Tom Granville

Reviewer's Email Address:

tjg3@mindspring.com

Date(s) of Stay:

June 11-17, 2000

Location:

International Drive Area

Ease of Disney Park Access:

Very easy....less than 10 minutes to Disney. Less than 10 minutes to Sea World/Discovery Cove. About 15 minutes to Universal.

Complimentary Park Shuttle Available?

Yes

Park Shuttle Comments:

We had a car but it appeared that shuttles were for Disney parks only. Don't know anything about the timeliness or ease of use of the shuttles. Also, there is a desk called Guest Services which mainly seems to function as a place to sell tickets for local attractions, including Disney. We already had tickets, but it seemed that some of the packages they were offering were pretty good pricing. Can't comment on their service or reliability since we didn't use them for tickets.

Address:

14500 Continental Gateway, Orlando, FL 32821, website: www.hifamilysuites.com

Phone Number:

1-877-387-5437 or (407) 387-5437

Facility Type:

Resort

Accommodation Used:

Suite

Accommodations Review:

First of all, I recommend a trip to the resort's web site at www.hifamilysuites.com. It provides an excellent overview of the facility and layouts of the various room choices. This concept of family suites worked perfectly for my family of four - mom/dad and children 11 & 9. We stayed in a Kids Suite layout with the children's room equipped with bunk beds, TV, VCR and Nintendo hook up. The kids loved having their own small room with personal reading lamps and speaker controls for the TV next to their beds. The layout is tight but adequate and gives some breathing room you won't find in a single room hotel, even a large one. Kids can be watching a tape in one room, Dad watching sports in the "living" room, and Mom reading a book or watching another program in the master bed room. A small collection of VHS tapes are available for rental for $4.95 apiece in the lobby....lots of Disney titles and a decent array of grown up titles. They have a deal for $9.95 where you can get an unlimited tape rental card....you can rent one movie at a time, return the movie and rent another. You can do this as often as you wish for 72 hours. Not a bad deal.

I can't improve upon Emma Aragon's description of the family suite. She did a thorough job. There definitely is an iron and ironing board. Also, not only a coffee maker but the fixings for you to make your own coffee every day are included with the room. The pool was very good with a snack bar/drink cottage with soft drinks, snacks and adult drinks (daiquiri's , etc). The maid service was dependable and thorough.

Rate/Night (for your stay):

$134.00 plus tax (just missed the off season rates by one week).

# of Restaurants/Lounges:

5

Restaurant/Lounge Review:

Right off the lobby is a fast food service area featuring A&W (hot dogs, burgers, root beer) and Pizza Hut (mini-pizzas, bread sticks, etc). Also, I think there was an ice cream vendor there as well. Limited room service that included the all-important 14" pizza's...not too bad. Free breakfast buffet in the morning....not a bad selection but definitely institutional cafeteria type quality. There is also a small mini-mart in the hotel for room snacks, sodas, and other sundries. We did not use the regular hotel sit down restaurant.

Amenities / Facilities / Activities Available:

Sundries Shop, Pool, Health Club/Spa, Playground, Hairdryer, Laundry, In-Room Safe, Cooking Facilities, Room Service, Handicapped Accessible Rooms, Non-Smoking Rooms, Smoke Detectors, Fire Sprinklers

Pool Description/Comments:

Two pools. Lap pool (we didn't use). Main pool was a "zero depth" walk in down to the deep end. Huge pool, easily 200 feet long with various water jets, etc. No diving boards or slides. Plenty of lounge chairs and a nice little snack/drink bar. One day when we were there they had two guys playing guitars and getting the kids to do hula hoop contests and limbo contests with some small prizes. They did a nice job of providing good family entertainment.

Other Comments:

The registration counter always seemed to be understaffed. We had a long wait for check in and other times that I had to go to the front desk for questions there was always a line. This is a large resort....don't know the number of rooms but it's a bunch. The staff was very friendly and accommodating. We have recommended this to anyone traveling with a family of 5 or less and will go back there our next trip.
 

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