01-12-2008, 08:14 AM
I just booked on Travelocity a package for $999. (w/tax it was 1200) It included R/T air out of NYC, 7 nights at the Best Western Lake Buena Vista and Hertz intermediate rental car. I couldn't believe the price since it is Spring break week, April 11-18. The reviews look pretty good, the location looks great as it is right next to Downtown Disney. Website says within walking distance.
Has anyone stayed there?? Would love to hear how it was!! Oh, and this package price is for four people!!!
01-12-2008, 08:51 AM
are you sure thats not per person? thats crazy
01-12-2008, 09:54 AM
are you sure thats not per person? thats crazy
Nope, the whole package, I just need to buy the Disney tickets through AAA...
01-16-2008, 07:32 PM
I just stayed at the BW LBV over this last week, for the Disney Marathon. It's a great location, about a 15 minute walk to either the Crossroads Plaza or DTD. I can't tell you much about the bus transportation, as we used a rental car (we needed to drive to the races).
The hotel itself is pretty basic, either a 2 or 2 1/2 star by most guidebooks. The rooms are average in size, clean, and appointed well enough for that level. I've posted a few pics below, to help give you sense of a standard room with two queen-size beds. The rooms weren't huge, but spacious enough for 2 people. It might be a little tight for 4 people, forcing you to make use of the pool & lobby areas.
We picked a standard room, so our balcony faced Crossroads. We weren't planning on spending a lot of time in the room, so we didn't want the upgrade for a better view. (We might rethink that if we were to stay there again, as it got some traffic noise from 535.) We did pay the $10.00/day fee for a fridge, as we needed to store our fuel for the 1/2 and full marathons.
http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b109/deekaypee/Disboards/CIMG1196.jpg Beds, with a glimpse of the balcony
http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b109/deekaypee/Disboards/CIMG1197.jpg TV, fridge, microwave
http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b109/deekaypee/Disboards/CIMG1199.jpg Dressing area, with coffee maker. The closet is behind me--it's covered with mirrors.
http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b109/deekaypee/Disboards/CIMG1200.jpg View one of the bathroom.
http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b109/deekaypee/Self-Portraits/CIMG1202.jpg View two of the bathroom. Try to look past me.
Here are some more detailed comments:
The beds were nicely firm. The pillows were plentiful (6) but a little soft for my taste. The bedding seemed clean.
The TV programs were basic, but apparently those service included games (I didn't try them).
Lighting, like in most hotel rooms, was inadequate for working, but allowed one to read in bed.
The dresser drawers in our room were sticky on one side--inconvenient but not a deal-breaker.
There was plenty of hangers & closet space in the dressing area. The closet also has a good-sized safe, which fit my laptop nicely, plus other stuff. It works using your credit card, which for some reason made me feel my stuff was safer.
The coffee was pretty bad, and I'm not that picky.
We couldn't seem to control our climate easily, with the air/fans being quite noisy, without seeming to make a big different in the room. It was more effective, if also noisy, to keep the window open.
One thing that was odd was that there was no artwork in the room at all; it struck me at first, but I got used to it.
As I said, there's a $10/day fee for a fridge. I didn't know it at the time, but that includes a microwave.
There's also a $6.95/day resort fee, which includes the transportation to the park, the fitness room, the daily newspaper (Orlando Sentinel), and free wifi in the rooms/public areas (and some other stuff I don't remember).
Prices are high for the sandwich shop & convenience store, more in terms of snacks & drinks than in terms of "real food." It's still just as easy to go to Goodings or DTD.
Free wifi in the rooms/public areas. There's also a computer/printer in the business office and next to the sandwich shop (which also serves basic coffee, pizza, soft drinks, muffins).
The grounds are pretty basic. It does have a nice heated pool, good for a dip but not for exercising. The fitness room has two treadmills, an elliptical, a bike, free weights, and a weight machine. There are towels in the room, but no water.
In addition to the sandwich shop, there's also a bar/lounge and a restaurant. The latter features Pizza Hut & a pizza buffet; I didn't eat there, so I can't tell you anything about it.
There's a souvie shop and a small convenience shop. Prices are outrageous, of course.
Hotel information indicates you can rent an Alamo car there, but you can't return on there. You can return it to the Buena Vista Palace resort, which is also in the Downtown Disney area.
One thing that really annoyed me as the week went on was the resort music--80's pop music played constantly!
Don't expect stellar service. When I was there (9 days), it was all over the place.
The front desk was reasonably efficient if not personable.
The concierge didn't seem to know much beyond the basics.
The employees in the convenience store were just this side of dismissive/rude.
Housekeeping was spotty. We left our rooms before 9 every day, sometimes well before 9.
During the week, mostly, our room was cleaned promptly.
But on Friday, we returned at 2 to find our room not cleaned.
On Saturday, we returned from the 1/2 at 10.30ish to find the room cleaned; another housekeeping staff showed up unexpectedly, seemed surprised to find us there and the room cleaned, and dropped off more towels (which we hadn't requested).
On that same Saturday, our parents--who were in the room next to us--didn't get housekeeping until late in the afternoon; again, housekeeping didn't knock before entering & seemed surprised to find people in the room.
On Sunday, we returned around 1.30 p.m., after having left our rooms by 4.00 for the marathon; our room hadn't been cleaned. And because we needed to shower/sleep, we didn't request housekeeping, but stole towels/coffee from the housekeeping cart the next morning. Housekeeping never called to ask us if we wanted our room cleaned.
That said, the housekeeping staff was some of the friendliest on the property.
As I mentioned earlier, we did get some noise from 535. There was also hotel noise.
We couldn't hear people staying on either side of us, but we had a fair amount of ceiling/hallway noise.
There was also the fairly constant noise of maintenance & delivery people. It appears that the hotel, like WDW, is doing some refurb right now. Nothing major, just furniture replacement, painting, etc., but enough to create a constant flow of noise. The good news is, the furniture they're replacing is that ugly faux-blonde wood--and they're replacing it with not-as-ugly faux-cherry wood, I believe.
Like I said, it's a basic hotel. We stayed there because we, like you, got a great deal through a Southwest Vacation package. We weren't planning on spending a lot of time in the hotel or on its grounds. To be honest, I've stayed at several hotels in the DTD area (Buena Vista Palace, Hilton, Doubletree) and this one is my least favorite. It met our needs for this trip, and the location is hard to beat. So long as you don't have your expectations up, and you're planning on spending most of your time at Disney, I think you'll be satisfied.
I hope this helps. Feel free to PM me if you have questions.
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