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Old 03-16-2001, 06:20 AM   #1
jeff968
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Join Date: Oct 2000
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Vistana Resort Lake Buena Vista Review(long)

The family and I spent 8 nights at the Sheraton Vistana Resort in Lake Buena Vista from 2/16 through 2/24. We enjoyed our stay very much. Here are the details:

We arrived at the Vistana at about 3:30 and checked in. The resort was very easy to find and minutes off of Interstate 4. It made an impressive first impression. I had pre-registered with their diamond-check-in over the internet a week earlier. I was able to go to a special check-in line because of that. There was a special check-in area for the kids with face painting. The lobby was beautiful and the grounds nicely kept. We were given our room keys and we were off to our room in the cascades section of the resort. The cascades section was the newest section of the resort. Upon entry into our room all we could say was WOW! We had a large two-bedroom villa. There was a nice kitchen fully stocked with everything we needed (minus food). The master bedroom had a Jacuzzi tub as well as a full bathroom. There were three TVs. There was even a small stereo with a three-disk CD changer so the kids could play their music! The rooms were very nicely decorated and everything was clean and functional. There was also a nice balcony overlooking a pond with ducks. After this place the wife and I knew we would never look at a hotel room the same way again.

We got our swimsuits on and went exploring. At first I was overwhelmed by the size of the Vistana resort. There are so many sections (8?) and pools (7). We had a map to find our way around but after a day we became familiar with the place and its layout. The first stop was the cascades pool. This was the newest pool and it was big and beautiful. Nicely setup for the kids with an overhead waterfall and a large 1-foot deep play section with rubber islands and spray fountains. There was nice new furniture and a hot tube for 12. We found that everyone knows this is the newest and best pool and it is usually the busiest with families but that wasn’t a problem.

We ate dinner at the resort on Friday night. They had a prime rib dinner special for $15.95 each. The dinner was not very good. Salads were weak and arrived late. We were still working on them when the dinners arrived. Prime ribs were okay but the portions were small. The smoothie drinks were good. The restaurant location was nice over looking a pond in the Fountains section. A mandatory 15% tip was added to the bill. I would not have left a 15% tip for the quality of the food and service we received. We were not happy with the dinner and did not eat dinner at the resort again. We drove down 535 to 192 in Kissimmee to get our groceries at the Publix as recommended by other board members. Prices were good and we stocked our fridge.

Saturday we hung out at the resort all day and enjoyed the sun and cascades pool. We ordered a pizza from the pizza hut along with a few appetizers from the bar and ate lunch at the pool. It was very nice having come from cold Connecticut just two days earlier. All the pools are heated so you can swim even when the temp. drops into the 60s. A couple of nights we came back from the parks late but still went out for a swim due to the heated pools. Another nice feature was that a couple of the pools (including the cascades) are open until 1:00am. We visited 3 of the other pools during our stay including the springs, slide, and super pool. They were all very nice. I was able to join a water volleyball game at the Superpool which was a lot of fun. The hot tubs were nice as well.

On Monday I agreed to sit through the timeshare sales pitch at the resort. They gave us a free continental breakfast and opened up the game room for the kids and watched them for us. I was interested in how the deal worked so I wanted to go. Our sales person was very nice until I started to question her “fuzzy” math. Then her attitude changed but that was fine. They tried to get me interested in a new unit at their new development in Orlando called the Vistana village at $16K. Then we talked about a cascades until at $12K. I’ve seen units in the other areas trade on Ebay for as little as $3K and there are resellers all over the place so you can do a lot better. I’m not ready for a time-share yet but a least I know how it works. They gave us a check for $100 for sitting through the presentation and we picked up some drinks and snacks before we left. It took about 90 minutes to go through the entire thing. I did not feel any great pressure to purchase. They gave up easy and we had a $100 for the 4 of us(my in-laws were there too). I think you can do even better in ticket savings if you purchase from them.

We stayed at the resort for a number of days during our trip and enjoyed the pools. Housekeeping kept our room nice and clean and even did the dishes. The complex is very secure with a manned gate at each entrance. There were many activities planned each day but we only took advantage of a few of them. The kids did a Tie-dye tee shirt craft. We played the miniature golf course once which was okay. Nothing special but my daughter tried a hula-hoop game at the pool one day and they gave her a free pass. To play the miniature golf course it cost $3 each or you can pay $5 for an all you can play pass good for one day. The tennis courts looked very nice. People were taking lessons. The work out rooms looked nice. There were many playgrounds. It was nice to have the general store even though the prices were high. The location of the resort was great. Being only minutes from Route 4 and Downtown Disney it was very convenient. There were many places to eat nearby. I would highly recommend the Vistana. They did a nice job and I would visit the resort again. The rooms are large and comfortable. I got a good rate on the room through Hotelkingdom.com at $165.90 a night. The AAA rate was $205. If you have any questions please send me an Email.
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Old 03-16-2001, 08:44 AM   #2
momuv2poohs
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I am going to e-mail you.. Thanks for the great post!!!
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Old 03-16-2001, 10:06 AM   #3
aec
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Thanks

Thanks for the great review.
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