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“More Shuttles than Cape Canaveral”

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Best Western Lake Buena Vista - Disney Springs Resort Area
Ranked #177 of 340 Hotels in Orlando
Reviewed 17 July 2004

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.

16  Thank NVherron
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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A TripAdvisor Member
Newport News, VA
Reviewed 14 July 2004

I read so many horrible review on this site about this hotel that I was so nervous about my upcoming 9 night stay at this hotel. I guess the only people that have written in about this hotel are those with bad stories. I loved this hotel and wouldn't stay anywhere else. It is convienent to everything and within walking distance to Downtown Disney. The staff was very friendly and the rooms were huge! The restaurant was great for breakfast and room service food was out of this world. I highly recommend this hotel. We booked early and received a great rate of 59.00 a night. The pool was really nice and clean, towels are provided poolside. They kept the pool open all hours. The bar was really nice. Everything about this hotel was extremely pleasant. The other hotels at Downtown Disney didn't look half as nice as this hotel did.
I highly recommend a stay at this hotel!

4  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 June 2004

As P.T. Barnum put it there is a sucker born every minute. Well, noone comes to Disneyworld with any other idea other than having fun and parting with one quarter of your annual salary in the meantime. But to the Best Western which should be called the WORST WESTERN.

The hotel's AC is a HUGE problem, it either freezes you to death or leaves you in a sweat of misery. We had to call their "engineering" staff twice a day to try and fix the problem.

Worse still, being on the Disney Resort property you'd think they'd spruce up some of the amenities like the towels, that were of the lowest stripe. Cheap, overused, worn out and thin they looked more like pale green car wash scrubbing towels than anything fit for your body. Luckily, I always pack my own.

Maid "service" A FLOP, our room typically never got done before 3:00 P.M. long after you are likley to flee back to your room to avoid the daily thunderstorms and the ensuing humidity of 300%.

Visiting the park is only humanly possibly from opening til noon, and that's a stretch. I highly recommend any Orlando visit to begin in late October - Early March, after which it should be shut down as a health risk.

Now, let's go to Room"Service" where I orderded from their menu with enticing adjectives like delicious, creamy, fantastic, etc. etc.

What we ordered was a basic onion soup and a croissant sandwich with Ice Tea and a Beer. After waiting an hour (we were told it would 30 mins. or less) I call back and the room service attendant, who by the way takes the orders, prepares some of it and delivers it, (it must be just as bad to work there as to stay there) and the guy says in a sarcastic voice, it's only been 29 minutes. When he does come up, I check the sandwich for a luger or spit of some kind. He hands me the tray without so much as a "Enjoy your meal." which would prove impossible. The beer (bottled) was delivered without a bottle opener. The "Iced Tea" was delivered as a Lipton canned "Ice Tea" with no glass, no ice, no lemon wedge. I tried to run out catch him but as I yelled out into the maze floor plan heading to the elevators, I heard the DING of farewell.

I called again and asked for a bottle opener and a glass of ice for the Iced Tea. I was told Ice Tea is delivered as such and that I should get my ice bucket and get some ice from the ice machine somewhere on the floor I was on and that the bottle opener would be "right up"! Ten minutes later, I gave up and used the corner of their formica end table, it worked just fine.

By the time I bit into the cold wooden "crocksandwich", it didn't matter that the bacon was placed on the cardboard croissant from a sub zero freezer after having been made two days prior, or that the turkey had slime. Chattering from the sub zero temps in the room, I cursed to the clacking of my anguished teeth and carried it downstairs in my pajamas and left it at the Guest Relations desk, I should have kept walking to my rented car and headed straight for the airport.

I VOW never to return to Disneyworld, Disneyplanet, Disneyland, DisneyUniverse Disney nada. I'll enjoy their movies from the comfort of my local cinema and I'll make my dreams come true elsewhere, like say, the real Paris instead of the Epcot copy.

Dreams do come true........It could happen to you.........

IF YOU MUST go to Disney, do make it a point to spend the couple extra hundred bucks and stay at their own high end resorts, I'm told, it is worth every dime.

This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 22 June 2004

We were very satisfied with our stay here. Got a great rate thru Hotwire and after reading some bad reviews, we expected alot worst. The rooms were huge compared to most Disney resorts and we had a great view of Downtown Disney on the 14th floor. Only complaint is that bars on the balcony are a bit too spread apart (so heavily watch babies, toddlers) and the pool is pretty small. Other than that we had a very comfortable 2 night stay!! I would stay here again on a discounted rate.

2  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 June 2004

We booked our stay here, and after reading some of the reviews was skeptical about the quality of the hotel, but I must say we had a great room, with a wonderful view of disney. We had no problems checking in, there was plenty of elevators, and the whole hotel was very nice. The front desk clerk was very helpful, they had us booked into one of the lower floors but changed it with no problems to an upper floor as we requested. I had a problem with the data port, and within just a few minutes, someone was there to get me set up. (and by the way, it was my mistake)... I hope to be able to stay here again, it was a memorable stay.

1  Thank ths2wllps
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 May 2004

This hotel was a great place for my family of 5 to stay. We had a room on the 16th floor with two double beds and a sofa sleeper. There was plenty of room for us to spread out. We were at the end of the hall near the fire escape and it was very quite. No problems with the room or the staff at all. Housekeeping was great. Ate the breakfast buffet one morning. Plenty of good food to choose from.(Mickey waffles excellent!) We had our own car so did not use the bus system. 10 minute walk to Downtown Disney. Watch the EPCOT and Magic Kingdom fireworks from the fire escape on the 17th floor. (Only after you have seen them in the parks!) Disney store in Lobby had a good selection of last minute souviners. We will be staying here again soon!

  • Stayed: May 2004
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    • Rooms
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6  Thank txcowpoke61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
walsall, england, uk
Reviewed 18 May 2004

nice hotel food good transport to disney was ok wouldnt like to try catching bus in high season as they soon filled up and this hotel is next to the last for pick ups no transport available to sea world or universal studios but taxi's were easy to get.

1  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Best Western Lake Buena Vista - Disney Springs Resort Area

Address: 2000 Hotel Plaza Boulevard, Orlando, FL 32830-8440 (Formerly BEST WESTERN Lake Buena Vista Resort Hotel)
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Florida > Central Florida > Orlando > Lake Buena Vista
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#114 Business Hotel in Orlando
#122 Romantic Hotel in Orlando
#146 Family Hotel in Orlando
Price Range: C$149 - C$276 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Best Western Lake Buena Vista - Disney Springs Resort Area 3*
Number of rooms: 325
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

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