How to choose your Orlando accommodation? Do you stay onsite (like the Polynesian) and have access to the extra Disney priviliges? Or do you save the $$ and stay within a shorter drive (like the Sheraton Vistana Villages). You can find both of them reviewed in this earlier blog post. Today we bring you another option, the Sheraton Vistana Resort (yes v. confusing I know)…
How did you book the hotel, what was included?
I booked direct via the hotel’s own website on a room only basis.
Where was the hotel located, how did you get there?
The hotel is on Vistana Centre Drive in Orlando. It’s close to Lake Buena Vista, and is NOT to be confused with the Sheraton Vistana on International Drive (where we stayed during the first part of our trip) or the Sheraton Lake Buena Vista (where we drove by accident). It took us around two hours to get there from Clearwater Beach. On arrival we parked in the main reception area and had to decline the usual timeshare sales pitch before we could access our room.
How were the hotel facilities?
This resort is huge, it felt even bigger than the Sheraton Vistana on International Drive. It’s so big that there are three separate entrances to it from the road, each with different addresses and security. We were not in the main section (with the biggest pool and the shop and restaurant), we were in an area that was accessed via Meadow Creek Drive. This made it a bit confusing when we were using taxis via Uber to get to Disney World.
The size of the resort was a big downside for us – we had chosen the resort because of all of the facilities on offer, but it took ages to get around. One day I even took a wrong turning and ended up back on the main road completely lost, although that’s more of a comment on my navigational skills rather than the resort itself.
There’s a general store (the Marketplace) in the centre of the resort with various food items and Starbucks coffee. Each section of the hotel has its own pool, fitness centre, and kids playground. We used the pool a few times but it felt a bit tired and was nowhere near as nice as the pool at the Sheraton on International Drive. The fitness centre was well-equipped and maintained. We didn’t try any of the family activities at the hotel.
How was your room?
Our two bedroom apartment (room 1438, block 6) was excellent. The layout made it feel incredibly spacious, with two bedrooms and bathrooms (one with a separate bath and shower, the other with a bath), plus a kitchen and lounge/dining area, utility cupboard with washing machine and dryer, and a nice balcony with a table. It felt even bigger than the room at the Sheraton on International Drive and it was a really comfortable place to spend our time. We were on the first floor with no lift, which was a bit annoying when we had to lug all of our suitcases up and down the stairs. Parking was directly outside the room.
How was the food?
We had one terrible dinner at Zimmie’s the main hotel restaurant. I really don’t want to moan but the food was very disappointing and the service was incredibly slow. It was also a really long walk from our room (again, due to the size of the resort) so for all other meals we just got in our car and ate out. There’s a Hurricane Wings in walking distance, where we had a nice dinner.
We probably wouldn’t stay here again. We really loved the other Sheraton we have stayed at in Orlando (the one on International Drive), and this one was too big and not as well maintained. The rooms were huge though, so if that’s important to you then this could be a great choice.