Disclaimer: I received a free stay in order to facilitate an honest review of the hotel which I’ve given. My opinions are my own and my differ from yours.
If you’ve been following my Florida vacation blog posts, you know that the kids and I have had a really enjoyable time on our trip. And if you’ve missed any of the posts, they are all linked at the bottom of this one.
Since my husband Kevin died, we’ve not been able to have a truly relaxing time. This vacation has helped out with that. It’s been a journey going through loss. Some days are okay and others not so okay. This gave us a chance to really bond in our new family unit. I am so thankful to the Buena Vista Palace Hotel and Spa for providing us with this chance to get away! You can read about our first impressions of the hotel and see our first day pictures on my Day Three of our Florida vacation post.
|This is the building where our suite was located on Recreation Island.|
|This is the main building where the lobby is located.|
Location, location, location! Not only is it important when buying a home, but it’s also important when choosing a hotel!! The location of Buena Vista Palace Hotel and Spa could not be better. It is right across the street from Downtown Disney. We literally only had to walk about 5 minutes, and we were there. Downtown Disney is a great place to shop and eat and kick back after your days at the parks. We could see the Rainforest Cafe’s volcano going off from our room every night. It was so cool sitting on the couch and looking out the window at that.
|I took this picture from our sitting room balcony. In the evenings, the Rainforest Cafe’s volcano goes off!|
But with that perk also came some noise. The buses which go to the other resorts from Downtown Disney make a beeping noise whenever they leave and that was bothersome til we got used to it. It didn’t bother Kyle at all because he is a deep sleeper. However, Molly and I sleep lightly, and it did bother us the first night there. It is a consideration when booking your room.
Speaking of the location, if you are not just visiting the Disney parks, the hotel is only a few minutes from both SeaWorld and Universal Orlando. If you are a golfer, it is close to the courses as well. But even if you are just at the hotel for Disney, it is definitely the place to stay. We had a suite, and it was perfect for the length of our stay. It was so nice to be able to spread out and have SPACE! If you are just staying for a couple of days, a room would be fine, but anything longer than that requires room to move around each other. Our suite had so much room. We had one and a half bathrooms, 2 queen beds, 2 balconies and a sitting room with sofa bed. The suite had 2 flat screen televisions, wifi, mini frig, safe, central heat and A/C, tub/shower combination, walk-in shower, and microwave as well.
|This is our sitting room. We had just gotten in and dumped our stuff all over! It was so nice to come into this comfy room!|
|This came in very handy! Molly could make her tea every morning and night with the microwave. The safe and refrigerator were located in the cabinets under the counter.|
|The master bath had this walk-in shower as well as a tub shower combination.|
|This is the sink in the half bath. The one in the master bath looks just the same.|
|Television in the bedroom. The one in the sitting room is identical to it.|
The amenities provided by Buena Vista Palace are many!
There is a Disney Store right inside! You can purchase your park tickets there if you choose to do so.
|It’s very convenient having this Disney Store right inside the hotel!|
Transportation to all Disney Parks is provided by shuttle bus. There seemed to be an issue with timing with the shuttle though. It says it leaves every half hour, but we were on the bus for quite some time when we left the park to take a break. I heard several people complaining about this. The shuttle goes to 2 other hotels as well, so that adds some time to your trip. I think adding more shuttles or else having the shuttles only service one hotel would be a definite benefit. But it IS nice to not have to drive and pay for parking! Just keep in mind that your total travel time to and from the park and to and from your hotel can be lengthy. They also provide car rentals through Alamo right on the property. Limo and taxi services can be booked on site as well. An airline boarding pass kiosk is provided for those of you who are flying. Next time I want to fly! Driving was interesting, but it is just so long!
|Kyle and Molly waiting for the shuttle|
|Area outside of the fitness center and Alamo Car Rental|
|Alamo Car Rental at the hotel|
For fitness and recreation, you have many choices! Golfers can get a preferred tee time from any of the four Disney courses. If you feel like a massage or need your hair and nails done, the on site spa has you covered. They’ve got three heated pools, a children’s pool and a whirlpool for those of us who love the water. You can rent rafts and pool toys from the pool concierge, and I believe that is where you would get your things for playing sports. You can play tennis, ping pong, basketball, and beach volleyball. If working out in a gym is more your style, they’ve got amazing facilities for you to use. If you get hungry or thirsty out by the pool, grab a snack or drink at the outdoor Shipwreck Bar or Castaway Grill.
|This is the smaller of the pools where you might want to do laps or just relax.|
|Larger of the pools…it is so nice and warm!|
|The larger pool goes into this covered area as well. You can swim under a waterfall to get to it!|
|Hot tub area|
|You can play sand volleyball by the pool.|
|Here’s the waterfall you can swim under to get to the hot tub area.|
|Get your pool toys and sports equipment here!|
|The sports opportunities here are a slam dunk!|
|Great fitness facility!|
|There are options for cardio and weight training|
|Hungry? Grab something at Castaway Grill.|
|Grab a quick snack here!|
Speaking of being hungry, The Watercress Cafe has a full breakfast buffet which offers you lots of choices and if you are dining there on a Sunday, you can dine with Disney Characters! They also offer lunch. If you just want to grab and go, check out The Watercress Cafe Mini Market. The one80 Sportsgrill & Bar is something I would take advantage of on our next visit. We didn’t go see it til the last day and by then it was too late! It looks very cool inside. There is also a small lounge in the lobby that serves appetizers and beverages. And, of course, they offer room service if you’d just like to stay in for the night.
|one80 Sportsgrill & Bar|
|Grab something quick at the Watercress Market|
|Heat your breakfast sandwiches and get some coffee here in the Watercress Market|
If you have your children with you, there are plenty of fun things for them to do. They’ve got planned children’s activities, a playground, a video arcade, a pool for the tiny ones, cribs, high chairs, and more to make your visit very easy! If you want to go out and need a babysitter, they will help you out with that too. They provide WebTV in every room (for a fee) and you can order movies if you want a quiet night in with the family.
|Great play area for the kids|
I highly recommend this hotel! I liked it much more than the hotel we stayed at the last time we went to Disney. It just has so much to offer! The location is perfect, our suite was very clean, the pools are beautiful as are the grounds, and the customer service is top notch. People from all over the world were there when we stayed as well. I talked to a very nice lady from England while we visited who was staying for two weeks! This is definitely a place I’d love to visit again.
Check out the rest of my vacation posts!