The Sheraton Vistana Resort Thread

Discussion in 'Hotel & Accommodations Reviews' started by bankr63, Jul 28, 2013.

  1. Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina

    Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina DIS Veteran

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    Overall, the Super Pool was definitely our favourite. For several reasons....

    - it was very close to our villa
    - it was consistently deep throughout (better for our teenager)
    - there was a volleyball net on one end (DH & DS are both volleyball fanatics, so they loved this particular feature)
    - it was open until 1 am (but to be fair, so are the Cascades and Fountains pools)
    - there were less little kids there (probably because those with the little ones seemed to gravitate towards the Cascades pool, where it had the shallow areas and the little fountains to run through)
    - we loved the raised up, more secluded hot tub

    That said, the Super Pool was also much warmer than the Cascades pool. It was actually TOO warm for us one afternoon....so much so that we didn't find it refreshing at all. On that particular afternoon, we went to the Cascades pool and cooled off, which was just what the doctor ordered. It was great to have the cool water from the waterfall beat you over the head when its 95 degrees in the shade :rotfl: .

    While offering slightly different atmospheres, we did enjoy both of them for different reasons.

    We visited the Falls and Courts pools to check them out, but Jake would have been way too big for the Falls pool slide (it seemed to be a favourite of the young ones, though...they looked like they were having a ball!) and the Courts pool was kind of...plain?...so we stuck with the Super and Cascades pools pretty much exclusively.
     
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  3. jaspereira

    jaspereira Earning My Ears

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    Hi, all!

    This one goes for you, Sheraton Vistana Resort insiders, who can help me satisfy my curiosity...

    We'll reach the resort on mid-October for a 15-day stay (no timeshare, common guests).

    We're a family of four, and booked a 2-BR Villa (with 2 DOUBLE beds in the second room).

    We requested a new/refurbished/updated and quiet room, in a building with elevator or a ground-floor room, if the ground unit is better/newer/bigger than a high-floor room.

    Where will they accommodate us???

    Thank you!
     
  4. Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina

    Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina DIS Veteran

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    Courts and Falls have the twin beds in the second bedroom, so that would probably exclude those two locations.

    I think all of the rooms have now been refurbished (and let me say.....they are fabulous!) so all rooms should qualify for that request.

    You can check out the various room configurations and sizes here:

    http://www.starwoodvacationnetwork.com/sheraton-vistana-resort/villas/

    Only Lakes and Cascades have elevators. The remainder of the buildings are two or three stories and will have stairs to walk up.

    The whole darn resort was very quiet, in our experience, so I don't think you'll have any problems there (unless you get a unit that borders on one of the highways.....some of the Springs, Palms and Cascades buildings border SR 535, and I think it some of the Fountains II buildings that also border a busy road).

    What is your check-in day? That will make a difference, as some parts of the resort are for Friday check-ins, some for Saturday, some for Sunday, some for "anytime".

    I am also sure bankr63 will chime in with his expertise.
     
  5. jaspereira

    jaspereira Earning My Ears

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    Thanks, Gina!

    Our check-in day is a Thursday. Actually, our first reservation was set to begin on a Thursday, but we added a day before the original booking, because we really need an early check-in.

    Our flight arrives early in the morning and, with two little kids, we just can't wait until 4 pm to check-in.

    So, they promised us we will have the room ready upon arrival.

    This way, the check-in is on a Thursday, but the room will be waiting for us since Wednesday (don't know if this makes any difference at all...).
     
  6. bankr63

    bankr63 DIS Veteran

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    With a Wednesday/Thursday checkin I don't think there is any way of predicting which section you will be in. I would give better odds to your being in a "Sunday" building (since they get their mid-week cleaning on Wed), but that is only a slim increase in probability because there might be more cleaned units there from early checkouts.

    As Gina states (and boy is she a good student ;) ) you have only ruled out a couple of sections based on the 2 doubles in the 2nd bedroom. All sections have 2BR units on the ground floor. The Cascades and Lakes buildings have a fair number of 2BR with Kings in the 2nd BR (the lockoffs), but they also have conventional 2BR units as well. I think you will find that wherever you are placed, the unit should meet your requirements.
     
  7. Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina

    Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina DIS Veteran

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    Coming from someone with YOUR knowledge...what a huge compliment! :goodvibes
     
  8. c4alymom

    c4alymom Mouseketeer

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    Okay, we arrive on the 6th of Oct. Can I submit this Diamond Lane request now? We booked through II as an exchange through my in law's timeshare. Are we allowed Diamond Lane requests? We have a 2BR booked. We would like to be close to the Marketplace and have doubles in the 2nd bedroom. I am just so confused with what is what as far as the different sections... What should I request? Arrgghhh.... Sorry to be so dumb about all of this.
     
  9. Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina

    Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina DIS Veteran

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    IIRC, bankr63 has indicated in previous replies that the resort doesn't begin room assignments until 2 weeks before check-in (or thereabouts). So I would probably wait for another week before sending in your Diamond Lane requests. Somewhere around the 20th of September.

    Both Spas and Cascades would fill the bill based on your room needs (2 doubles in the 2nd bedroom and close to the Marketplace), but Spas is normally set for Friday check-ins. So I would say Cascades would be your most likely section best based on your specific criteria.
     
  10. bankr63

    bankr63 DIS Veteran

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    Just be sure that your reserved 2BR unit is a "sleeps up to 8" configuration. If you have reserved a 2BR that only sleeps up to 6 then you are likely in Falls without double beds. It is harder to request a change if you are reserved into the smaller unit because that is different class of unit. They may be sticky about that unless they have lots of availability as those who reserved larger units obviously have to get what they reserved. Even if you have a sleeps 6 reserved, it can never hurt to ask for an upgrade - Sheraton knows a happy customer is a repeat customer.
     
  11. Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina

    Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina DIS Veteran

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    Hey everyone,

    I thought I would try to chip in with some photos and info from our recent visit to supplement the fantastic start that bankr63 has kicked us off with. He has been such an awesome resource for my family that I want to try and pay it forward with a few contributions of my own :goodvibes .

    This post, I thought I'd provide some details on (and pictures of) the Marketplace.

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    The Marketplace is located on the south side of the resort, central to where the Cascades, Spas and Courts phases all meet.

    The store offers "a little bit of everything". There is a small section of clothing and gifts, a jewellery counter, a dry goods grocery section, dairy and frozen foods, health and beauty aids, magazines, and a full service deli counter. They sell Starbucks coffee, Boar's Head meats and cheeses, and they always have a fresh supply of Krispy Kreme donuts. There's a limited supply of fresh fruit available (think bananas and apples), sunscreen, pool toys, kids books, you name it. From batteries to sunscreen to orange juice and Oreos, they have it. Prices are elevated (in most cases) over what you would find at your local Walmart for similar items, but there was nothing really ridiculous.

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    If you are looking for a ready-made breakfast, the deli counter has a reasonable deal on breakfast sandwiches. Start with your choice of a bagel, croissant or English muffin, add egg and cheese, and finish with either sausage, bacon or ham. They heat it up on a sandwich press and voila! You're out the door with breakfast in hand in about 5 minutes. Cost is $3.99 pre-tax, $4.25 after tax (per sandwich). A coffee can be added for an extra charge.

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    Twice a week (Tuesdays and Thursdays during the month of August...not sure if it varies during the year?), the Marketplace parking lot is home to a farmers market.

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    Local vendors offer everything from rosary beads and jewellery to clothing to boiled peanuts and local fruits and veggies. They were all very friendly folk who enjoyed chatting with guests and made you feel very appreciated for your business. For this northern girl, we very much enjoyed the fresh fruits available for purchase......there is nothing like fresh pineapple in the south.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina

    Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina DIS Veteran

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    On our August trip, we also did a bit of a pool tour to check out some of recreational areas that the resort offered. Being such a large property, we didnt get to see everything (particularly when the resort is split into two distinct sections, the north and the south sides) but this will give us a starting point.

    The Super Pool is located between the Spas and the Courts phases, and above the Cascades section. Its a very large pool with no real defined shape&&it almost impossible to get it all in one photo.

    This is looking from the end closest to Zimmies outdoor bar:

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    This is looking from the opposite end, looking toward the recreation center and bar:

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    This opposite end features a volleyball net which is quite popular with kids and adults alike. A volleyball can be signed out at no charge at the adjacent recreation center for anyone wishing to play. If the ball is not returned within their stipulated time frame (I cant remember how long, sorry!) then apparently they assess a charge to the room.

    Also at the Super Pool, there is a small childrens splash pool with a very shallow depth:

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    There is a family hot tub adjacent to the pool&..you can just see the corner of it on the bottom left of this photo (sorry I didnt get a picture of it on its own&.I didnt want to weird out any of the guests who were enjoying it with their families :scratchin):

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    Plus theres a raised hot tub located adjacent to the bar, a little further away from the pool. This was our happy place. No small kids, and generally less used (during our visit, anyway) than the hot tub next to the pool:

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    At the far end of the Super Pool, you will find a sand volleyball court that looks like this:

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    And heres the view of the pool, when standing in the middle of the volleyball court:

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    We very much enjoyed the Super Pool during our visit. We found it considerably warmer than the Cascades pool (which was also very close to our Spas villa), and less frequented by families with wee ones (not that I am against little folks in any way&..just mine is getting grown up and we felt very at home at this pool). There were at least two different nights during the week that karaoke was hosted here, which was a ton of fun (a GREAT DJ who kept things moving and grooving all evening long). This particular pool was fairly deep throughout, so no super-shallow areas nor any special kid-centric features (no slide, no fountains, etc.).

    The Super Pool is one of the three "main" pools open until 1 am (the other two being Cascades and Fountains), so you can enjoy swimming under the stars after an enjoyable day at the parks.
     
  13. Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina

    Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina DIS Veteran

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    Continuing our pool tour:

    The Falls phase offers a great pool area for the younger set. The highlight of this pool is the small enclosed blue waterslide:

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    They also have a small splash pool here for the wee tots, which you can see in the foreground of this shot:

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    Or perhaps THIS is the hot tub?? I'm not entirely sure....but I betcha bankr63 will know ::yes::.

    Adjacent to the pool is the Falls playground, which includes a climbing structure and swings:

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    And also very nearby, you will find one of the resort’s basketball courts (as with the volleyballs at the Super Pool, you can sign out a basketball free of charge at the main recreation center so need to provide your own).

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina

    Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina DIS Veteran

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    The Courts pool is located between the Falls and the Super Pools. It is a basic 4-sided pool, adjacent to the resort’s tennis courts. For those looking for a quiet place to swim, this is it. Definitely far less busy than any of the other pools we visited during our stay. We literally only saw one couple in this pool during our entire 8 night stay.

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    This pool area also offered these two amenities. I believe this one is a splash pool (I don't think there are any jets):

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    And this one is the hot tub:

    [​IMG]

    I thought it was great that the pools all offered a handicap accessible chair lift to ensure all guests can enjoy these excellent amenities :thumbsup2.
     
  15. Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina

    Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina DIS Veteran

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    The Cascades pool was the one we frequented second most often after the Super pool. The water temperature was much cooler than the Super pool at Cascades, so we found it more refreshing on the stifling hot afternoons.

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    The Cascades pool offered some neat features, including this waterfall:

    [​IMG]

    The water comes down quite hard from the waterfall. It’s not a gentle sprinkle by any stretch….its more like a massaging pounding! :rotfl:

    [​IMG]

    The pool has a very shallow area (not zero entry, but close) with lots of little fountains for the kids to play in. As you can imagine, this pool seemed to be particularly popular with families who had young kids.

    [​IMG]

    This pool also has a mix of shallow and deeper depths.

    This is one of the pools open until 1 am, and it hosted entertainment on certain evenings.

    Located adjacent to the Cascades recreation center, this would be the place to rent surrey bikes for a tour of the property:

    [​IMG]

    The Cascades pool area also had a playground quite nearby. Located in a shady area, it looked like a great place to play!

    [​IMG]
     
  16. bankr63

    bankr63 DIS Veteran

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    Gina, thanks for jumping in and keeping this moving along. I actually like your photos better; you have an eye for composition. You also have a knack for keeping things moving along, where I am a snail for posting.

    I am actually not sure about this pool either. I have been in this "tub" exactly once. I don't think it is heated, but it is usually pretty hot because it is so shallow. It is also usually overrun with kids when we are there in March - Falls is probably the most popular pool for the youth swimmers (because of the slide an fun playground area).

    Actually, I am shocked at how sparsely populated all these photos are; I would have expected much larger crowds in August. The pool areas at Vistana are generally very busy during March break right up to the dinner hour. I can't believe the number of open loungers!
     
  17. Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina

    Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina DIS Veteran

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    The resort also offers an “Animal Trax” mini golf course on site, located at the main recreation center (by the Super pool). For whatever reason, we just never seemed to have the right timing to go golfing here during our vacation (either it was too hot, too rainy, or we were too tired when the opportunity presented itself). Too bad, too, because we had “golf for $2 per person” vouchers from our bingo participation at the Tacky Tiki Bar earlier in the week, which would have been a great deal. Alas, it will remain on our to-do list for the next visit.

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    The resort did offer some promotional golfing evenings where they extended a special family rate of $10 per family. I am unsure of the regular price for one round, but I *think* it was $5 per person (with a lower rate for owners….help me on this one, bankr).

    [​IMG]

    Those looking to get spinnie on their vacation could partake in a ride (or rides) on the Fishpipe. Think giant hamster wheel, partly filled with water, and spinning like crazy (please pass the barf bag).

    [​IMG]

    Its billed as the worlds longest waterslide, or something along that lines. Made us a little queasy just watching :sick:, so we took a pass. I believe regular rates are $9 per ride or you could buy a selection of multi-ride tickets at a discount.
     
  18. Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina

    Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina DIS Veteran

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    My pleasure. I am glad to help out :goodvibes .

    We found the resort to be VERY quiet......never any crowds anywhere, any time. There were always a ton of open loungers available by the pools, regardless of the pool or the time of day. Here we thought it was ALWAYS that quiet!!
     
  19. Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina

    Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina DIS Veteran

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    I know bankr63 has already posted some pictures of his unit in the Spas section, however I thought I’ also toss in mine as well. The more, the merrier, right?

    Here is Spas #464, a second floor unit in building 2.

    The kitchen:

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    The dining area:

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    Living room, with access to balcony:

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    Master bedroom, with king sized be and access to balcony:

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    Master bath, part one (dressing table and therapy tub):

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    Master bath, part two (glassed in shower and toilet…located on the opposite side of the room from the tub):

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    Dressing area (between master bath and master bedroom) and walk-in closet:

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    Desk, located in the foyer immediately inside the door:

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    Second bedroom (both double beds):

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    Second full bath:

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    Balcony:

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    View from the balcony…..ahhhhhhhhh! :thumbsup2

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina

    Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina DIS Veteran

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    And finally....some general photos of the grounds of the resort. In no particular order:

    Cascades village:

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    (the above is a designated smoking area)

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  21. Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina

    Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina DIS Veteran

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    [​IMG]

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    Spas village:

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