The Best Western Lake Buena Vista Resort is located on the grounds of Walt Disney World at the far Northeastern side of the park in the area that was formerly known as Walt Disney World Village, but just known as the ‘hotels near Downtown Disney’. It is a 19-story beige colored balcony clad building with three inward curved sides. It was built in 1972, and looks like it. It was formerly known as the Travelodge Hotel and Viscount Hotel, and probably other names before that. The hotel has free self parking on site. There are frequent complimentary shuttles to Downtown Disney, Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, etc., etc.
The front entrance is quite attractive with a nice updated porte cochere and cobblestone walks. This gives way to a small foyer with bellstaff (one was a total jerk and I dismissed his services) and then into the lobby. The lobby was nicely decorated in a Fun Contemporary style. Typical furniture, with fun colors and whimsical light fixtures. There were cream colored marble floors and purple rugs. On one side was a gift shop and the other a Disney Store. Our desk clerk was very friendly and asked if we wanted to upgrade to a fireworks side of the building for $5/night. We accepted. I requested the highest floor available, and he gave me the 12th. Not too bad, but I’d have preferred higher. I then wrestled all of our luggage together to go to our room, as I refused to use the bellman after his bad attitude. I wonder who was the most affected by my decision?
Just right of the front desk is a Guest Services Coordinator. I guess that’s what they call Concierge in a Family Style Hotel. He smiled to us and offered his services as we walked by. On the short walk to the elevator lobby, though, we were annoyed by the Sheraton Vistana Timeshare solicitors. This would not be the last time, either. I cannot believe a hotel would allow these sharks to patrol their lobby. They must get a nice kick-back from it. I also cannot believe a company as reputable as Starwood, owner of Sheraton, would resort to such measures to sell it’s product. But hey, this isn’t a Starwood branded hotel, so what’s their loss?
We finally made it the 20’ to the elevator lobby. My 2½ year old daughter pressed the UP button, which she really loves to do for us. A cab arrived quickly and the trip to the 12th floor was very fast. Good elevators…a nice change on this trip. The corridors are lit acceptably and the décor was kinda cool with vivid jewel tones and neat patterns. You have to wind your way though some archaic passages to get to another wing, as this is an odd shaped rounded three wing, three sided hotel. It’s hard to explain.
We stuck our key card in the door and the green light comes on. Turn the knob though…and nothing. Next try my wife did it…same thing, green light, but no entry. Third time was the charm, this time I actually heard the lock engage with the green light. This problem with our door was a frequent occurrence during our stay. The door opened up to reveal a pie shaped room. The entrance side is the wide side and it gets narrower toward the balcony. It tapered quite gradually and isn’t as annoying as it may seem. Room decorations were a contemporary family style with pale driftwood colored wood furniture and vivid rainbow colored patterns on the beds and drapes. It was pretty clean and furniture was in good condition for the amount of use these rooms must get, especially the number of kids that must stay here. Our furnishings consisted of two queen beds with a nightstand separating them (telephone and alarm clock radio here), an armoire with TV (PPV and video games), two credenzas and a wobbly round table with two sitting chairs. We had floor to ceiling sliding glass doors with a good view over Walt Disney World. Beyond this was a small balcony with room to stand and fit their two lawn chairs and matching table. This was a great place to watch fireworks displays over EPCOT at 9PM, the Magic Kingdom at 10PM and Downtown Disney at Midnight. This was the schedule during our stay, but I don’t know if that’s typical.
The beds were surprisingly comfortable. Pillows pretty good and linens immaculately clean. This was the quality I get at a Hilton Garden Inn. The Air Conditioner was controlled by a wall-mounted thermostat and it worked acceptably well, however slightly loud.
The bathroom was off the front entry, with a small vanity area and closet first. The vanity was a nice area to get ready, with a small counter, power outlets and a convenient chair (no sink). It also housed the coffeemaker and wall-mounted hairdryer. The closet had mirrored doors and it was of average size. It stored an iron, ironing board and a safe (awkward to use and it took a credit card swipe to lock it and open it). The water closet beyond held a bathtub, toilet and vanity. It was a little on the small side and had white tile floors and cultured marble sink/vanity area. It was pretty clean. The shower had a Water-Pik multi-setting showerhead…which was pleasant, but Best Westerns offer Jhirmack branded bath care products. I didn’t even know they still made this stuff. I can’t say I cared for them. The towels were teal colored and it was refreshing to see something different than bleached white.
The LBV, at it is affectionately referred to on Shuttle Buses, has one restaurant and an internet/coffee cafe. The main dining restaurant looked pleasant enough and you could order off a menu or eat their buffet for all 3 meals a day. Also you can get Pizza Hut at any of their restaurants or room service. We didn't eat any meals in the hotel. We had dinner at Medieval Times one night and took the rest of our meals in Walt Disney World. I cannot recommend Disney Character Dining enough. Additionally, there are 100’s of great restaurants in the area. Seems like a waste to eat in a hotel. Downtown Disney is just down the street and there are many fine restaurants there, including a Wolfgang Pucks.
I tried to go to the coffee bar one morning to use the internet and get lattes and pastries (because there is no broadband internet access in the room), but their internet service was down. The clerk told me it had been down for weeks and didn’t know if it would ever be back up again. They sent me to the Business Center off the lobby, but the computer was down there too. There was no internet access anywhere. Argh, I guess I had better go have fun instead.
The Lake Buena Vista Resort has a nice pool area with a large heated pool. It is shaped in three curved wings to match the hotel. It was nice and liberally sprinkled with children…go figure. Amazingly it had a real deep end going up to 8 feet, a rarity anymore. There was a kiddy pool and a playground, but oddly no spa. There is a bar just inside the hotel to get drinks. Additionally, there is a small fitness center with an even smaller selection of equipment inside the hotel. My wife said she saw a small video arcade, but I didn’t check it out.
My conclusion is the Best Western Lake Buena Vista Resort is a decent place to stay in a good location. I would definitely stay here rather than an equivalent place out of park. This is hands down the best Best Western I’ve ever stayed at. The location is good and Downtown Disney is close by. The shuttle system to Disney Parks works well, but one late night return trip involved a bus with no air conditioning. Very humid and we were miserable, looking like we had been in a sauna by the time we got off. We got a fantastic rate and the LBV was well worth it. Given some bad reviews and the fact this is a Best Western, I was expecting this place to be the least desirable during our two week vacation. I have to admit though that I was pleasantly surprised. Maybe the hotel suffers from consistency problems? However, with the many, many choices in this area…I don’t know if we’d stay here again. I must try them all! As a Hotel Dork, I rarely stay the same place twice.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Create memories that will last a lifetime during your stay at the Best Western Lake Buena Vista - Disney Springs Resort Area! Walt Disney World® Resort is where treasured stories magically come to life. And as a Guest of The Best Western Lake Buena Vista Resort Hotel you can enjoy Extra Magic Hours benefit during your stay in 2018, where each day, select attractions are open longer at one of the Walt Disney World® Theme Parks. The fun doesn't stop once you leave the theme parks. Within walking distance from the Best Western Lake Buena Vista, you have access to world class dining, one-of-a-kind shopping, and live entertainment! If you choose to stay in during the evening, you will appreciate the amazing views from your private balcony from which you can watch the nightly fireworks! Come and see all of the magic that the Best Western Lake Buena Vista has to offer! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Best Western Lake Buena Vista Hotel Orlando
- Best Western Orlando
- Orlando Best Western
- Best Western Lake Buena Vista - Disney Springs Resort Area Orlando, Florida