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Brian Bennett

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Holiday Inn Family Suites Resort Lake Buena Vista

Reviewer's Name:

The Schaefer Family

Reviewer's Email Address:

jen@southsideweb.com

Date(s) of Stay:

September 16-23, 2001

Disney Resort:

Walt Disney World (Florida)

Location:

Lake Buena Vista Area

Ease of Disney Park Access:

Took us no more than 3 minutes to get from the hotel parking lot to the main gate of the property

Complimentary Park Shuttle Available?

Yes

Park Shuttle Comments:

We had reservations for the shuttle then decided against it when we saw that the last shuttle back to the hotel was only 30 minutes after the parks closed. We wanted the option of lingering around if we wanted to.

Address:

14500 Continental Gateway Orlando, Fl 32821

Phone Number:

407-387-5437

Facility Type:

Resort

Accommodation Used:

Suite

Accommodations Review:

We had the kid suite in the hot air balloon theme. The room seemed a little smaller than I had imagined, but it was so nice. We walked in to find a sofa bed, rocker, entertainment center with a safe (which you could use at no extra charge).

The "kitchen" area had a small table with built in checkerboard, two chairs, a small refrigerator, microwave, coffeemaker, utility sink, and storage space for groceries or anything else like that.

The bathroom was a nice size and came equipped with a hairdryer and makeup mirror. It had shelves to put personal items and seemed really homey.

The master bedroom area had a vanity, mirrored closet, king size bed (I was only expecting a queen), two side tables with lamps, built in entertainment area with VCR, and also came equipped with a ceiling fan, iron, hairdryer, makeup mirror, and ironing table.

The kids "room" was the big hit though with my family. It had a bunk bed each with its own speaker for the TV and light. There was a built in entertainment area with a TV and Nintendo 64. There was also a rollaway bed that was stored in a secret compartment. There were two drawers and two shelves to put clothes, and a couple of hooks to hang things. Then, there was a phone, a play table with two chairs and a CD/tape/radio boom box.

The room was really clean and the maids left cute surprises for the kids by putting their stuffed animals in cute poses for them. The maids also after assessing we had small children left a cup at the bath tub for hair rinsing and put all of our toothbrushes in a cup which was very much appreciated. The hotel was only 25% full when we went and we had absolutely no idea that anyone was anywhere near us in the building it was so quiet.

Rate/Night (for your stay):

$99.00 (September special)

# of Restaurants/Lounges:

4

Restaurant/Lounge Review:

The restaurant was nothing to write home about. There was a free breakfast buffet in the mornings--you get what you pay for. They had eggs (tasted like powdered), bagels, ham or sausage, pancakes, French toast, etc... It sounds good, but it really wasn't that great and wasn't kind to anyone who was health conscious. Also, if you didn't get to the buffet by 7:30 am, you could count on having to wait in line for about 30 min and this was at 25% capacity. Saturday and Sunday were the worst. We did see that they had a second buffet that they would open up when it was busier. We only ate in the actual restaurant for dinner one night. It is advertised that kids eat free with adults. However, what they don't say is that one adult has to order the full buffet to get the free kids meals. The buffet is $13.95/adult. And, it's your regular run of the mill Morison's Cafeteria type food--Ick. I really couldn't eat because I didn't want to be up all night with heartburn. For lunch one day, though, we ate at the fast food restaurants they have there. They have a Pizza Hut & an A&W place there. Kids eat free there, too, and it's a little more reasonable. Personal Pan pizzas were regular price (about $5) and hot dog and hamburger combo meals at A&W were about the same. I think it is a lot better deal and the Pizza Hut was opened until really late, too. I want to say midnight, but I'm not sure on that. I do remember sending my husband down for breadsticks one night, though, around 10:30 pm. It was craving time. My advice is stick to the fast food places for lunch and dinner if you're on a budget and don't go for cafeteria type food. For breakfast, the parks aren't that unreasonable and there's always a fabulous buffet (which you have to pay for) at the Marriott across the street :c).

Amenities / Facilities / Activities Available:

Sundries Shop, Pool, Health Club/Spa, Playground, Hair Dryer, Laundry, In-room Safe, Room Service, Complimentary Airport Shuttle, Handicapped Accessible Rooms Available, Non-Smoking Rooms Available, Smoke Detectors, Fire Sprinklers.

Pool Description/Comments:

The pool was a blast. It has a zero depth entry at one end and goes all the way up to about 5 or 6 ft. at the other end. The two "areas" were separated by sprinkler like fountains that shot from the side into the water in an arc. The kids area had tons of "toys" to play with. There was a water umbrella, animal squirt guns, bicycle squirt guns, water cannons, and a big fountain to play in. The first night we went the water was a little cold so I don't think it is heated. There was also an area specifically for babies and toddlers. It looked really nice, but my four year old wanted to play in the big pool. There was also a shop there that you could rent floats, alligators, whales, etc... It was $5 for an hour and could be billed to your room. You could also get sunscreen and buy towels there. They provided towels at the pool and there was plenty of seating and shady areas to sit in. One day while we were there, Typhoon Lagoon people were there with coupons to the water parks and taking free digital camera pictures in a surfing scene. It was really cool.

Other Comments:

We really loved our stay here. The only complaint we had was the food. We totally intend on staying here again (we'll just eat breakfast at the parks and stick with Pizza Hut for any other meals). They also advertise a kids check-in, but that is only open M-F. They just give them a little treat bag with crayons and coloring pages which if you ask at the front desk you'll still get. I thought it was very well maintained and the theming was a lot of fun, too. All in all, I was very pleased and commented to my husband that I didn't see the need to stay on site since we were so close.
 

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