PDA

View Full Version : Vistana Resort - Our Home Away from Home (Review) LONG


ttfn3
08-01-2005, 04:58 PM
Since we have stayed at the Vistana Resort 3 times in the past year, I'm beginning to feel like this resort is truly our home in Orlando! (don't I wish!). We just got back yesterday from a wonderful 7 day stay. We drove over after staying 4 nights at the Marriott on Hutchinson Island (great resort!) and arrived about 1 p.m. on Sunday, July 24th. We had signed up for Diamond Lane checkin. We had just a few minutes wait until our turn. The regular line had at least 10 families. Make sure you are in the right line. The Diamond Lane is to the back of the checkin (right hand side). I've got to say the checkin procedure is the worst part of the trip. It usually takes us a good 1/2 hour (minimum) - and it's very stressful. I'm not sure what system they use - but it must not be a very good system to let their people know what all is available. We were very nice to the ressie person and got a great unit - 1426 Fountains. Our room wasn't ready so we headed to the Super Pool for 2:00 BINGO (and a swim). We headed back to get our keys around 4:30 - man the lines were HUGE!! We were greated with the jello "shots" LOL. (no thanks!). DS stood in the kids checkin to get a balloon sword. The line was pretty long just to get keys. I'm not very patient ;-) so I let DH take care of this. We got our key cards and headed to the room to unload our stuff - then make a quick trip for a few things at the Publix on Vineland Ave. The traffic was crazy on 535. If you need to turn left on 535, make sure you take the road by the back section (Fountains/Lakes). It will take you to a traffic light by Walgreens.

Our unit was gorgeous - and had been recently renovated. Seaside decor and lots of light. We had so much room. The unit was well stocked (even had packets of salt/pepper), so we just had to buy food and some laundry stuff. The beds were very comfortable. I was glad I had brought nightlights for both bathrooms since the rooms do get dark at night. The beds were so comfortable! We had daily housekeeping - and it was a real treat to come back to a clean room each day.

We spent the whole week hanging out at the resort and participating in the activities. We really like the college interns that work in the activities department. They are from all over the world and so nice. My DS hit it off with one of the guys from Holland (hi Eric!!) and they had a shared birthday celebration while we were there. DH is hooked on the poolside BINGO and the water volleyball. We also went to the Casino Night (South Korean theme that night), Extreme Mini Golf, BINGO mania, free throw contest, scavenger search, pool games, newly wed/oldie wed game, etc.

The weather was very HOT so we were glad we didn't go to the parks. (We did have dinner at the CG after dropping DS off at the Neverland Club - and then watched Wishes from the Poly beach - and hit Downtown Disney, of course!). Some of the pools got a bit warm while we were there (we hit them all except the Springs). You needed to put on your shoes to walk in the pool area.

It was very fun being in Florida during the tax free holiday and I enjoyed shopping in the early morning/late evening ;-) Got to GREAT bargains. We were fortunate to see the shuttle launch (from an open parking lot) WOW! We also did a bit of touring of other resorts (HGVC on International, Caribe Royale, Gaylord Palms, Orange Lake CC, etc) which reaffirmed our love of the Vistana Resort.

snappy
08-01-2005, 05:40 PM
Great review, thanks. I did not know housekeeping was included at Vistana.

luvdisney14
08-01-2005, 09:55 PM
Great trip review, I am glad you had a great time. Can you tell me how many ice cube trays they give you. Also, do they provided bath soap, shampoo and conditioner. I am glad to hear that there are so many fun things to do at the resort because my boys want to mostly stay at the resort rather than go to the parks. Sorry for all the questions, but this is our first time there. We do not have cleaning service, so I will pack lysol wipes to clean with. I am starting to panic with only a few days to go. :blush:

MiaSRN62
08-01-2005, 11:05 PM
We drove over after staying 4 nights at the Marriott on Hutchinson Island (great resort!)
Nice to hear you had a nice time ttfn3 :flower: We'll be there this week ourselves :banana:
Just had to mention, that Vistana's "sister" resort, the Vistana Beach Club is on Hutchinson Island. Dh and I keep saying one of these days we'll have to trade our Vistana week in for the Beach Club.

swilshire
08-02-2005, 05:27 AM
Dh and I keep saying one of these days we'll have to trade our Vistana week in for the Beach Club.

We did this once. It's a very nice resort. We were in the building closest to the water and with the sliding glass doors open, it was like sleeping on the beach. The beach isn't very wide there.

I don't care much for the east coast of Florida and the one downside to the trip was gunk on the beach the last couple of days that would get all over your feet and anything else that touched the sand. It was hard to scrub off and we wound up with it all over the floors in spite of our best efforts. If it had been like that all week, I would have been annoyed.

The kids thought the area was too quiet, but I enjoyed it. We went into Stuart a couple of times and they were having a terrific weekend event with art and music.

Sheila

MiaSRN62
08-02-2005, 08:02 AM
We did this once. It's a very nice resort. We were in the building closest to the water and with the sliding glass doors open, it was like sleeping on the beach. The beach isn't very wide there.
Thanks for the report swilshire. Quiet doesn't bother us. We stayed at Disney's Vero Beach resort one year and it's quiet as well. The beach there is also very narrow. Much different than the beaches we're used to in NJ. But just to be ocean front. Heard all the villas in bldg 1 are ocean front and the villas in bldg 2 are ocean "view". I'd love the ocean front ! I know our kids would be bored after 3 or 4 days there though. :bored:

ttfn3
08-03-2005, 01:32 PM
snappy We rented directly from Sheraton this trip so we had daily housekeeping. The cleaning staff was very good.

luvdisney The refrigerators have ice makers so no ice cube trays! If you have a small softsided/collapsable cooler, take it with you. It comes in handy to take drinks to the pool. I also take various sizes of plastic ziploc bags and for sandwiches/snacks - and leftovers! You sons will love the Vistana. Lots of activities and great pools.

mia We stayed at the Marriott Beach Resort on Hutchinson Island. A great place! We actually stayed in a 1 BR condo next to their oceanfront Sandpiper building - privately owned but the Marriott rents them out for the owners. Free beach chairs and umbrellas! Free coffee at the main restaurant with flavored coffees! Yum. One day one of the staff brought those of us on the beach cold clean wash clothes to wash the sand/salt off our face and hands! I was spoiled. We have stayed at the Vistana Beach Club on Jensen Beach. It's not as nice at the Vistana Resort but it was acceptable for a few days. We enjoyed our stay but didn't like the teenagers yelling down from the balconies to the pool area in the evening. - I will say the beaches on Hutchinson Island have changed quite a bit since the hurricanes last year. Larger sand areas - but much darker with steeper dropoffs. Great shelling, tho!

luvdisney14
08-03-2005, 02:44 PM
ttnf3

thank you very much Hopefully just one more questions, i just read another thread stating that they only give you one pack of dishwasher detergent. since you were just there so they give you enough for a week?

DreadpiratK
08-03-2005, 04:51 PM
Possibly stupid question, but is this the Vistana Villages? I know that there are two in orlando, villages and something else. I ask because we traded into the villages for sept 10-24, and I can't wait! Sounds awesome, I hope we have as good an experience as you did. Thanks for the tips on check-in. Seems to be a common problem with time-shares. Any more advice to make it easier? We have a very early flight, so we should be able to check in as early as possible.

ttfn3
08-03-2005, 07:57 PM
luvdisney We rented directly from Sheraton so we had daily maid service - and they replenished our dishwasher detergent supplies (left more than one packet each visit). Last year, we had a skyauction week and they replenished the supplies mid week of our trip. I believe they left more than one packet of dishwasher detergent. You get a bottle of handwash dish soap that is more than you will need for the week. Can I join you? I'll wash your dishes :rotfl:

DreadpiratK We stayed at the Vistana Resort not the Villages. We stayed in the villages a few years ago. The units were really nice but they don't have as many activities as the resort. DH prefers the more active place - especially since we like to just hang out at the resort. Checking in early should be helpful. I'm sure you'll enjoy the Vistana Villages.