SpringHill Suites Orlando Lake Buena Vista

April 12, 2011 by DisGuruMom

Marriott SpringHill Suites Orlando Lake Buena Vista

Have you ever had an opportunity to spend a day or two in Orlando with very little time to plan? This happened to us when a family friend offered us a short stay in his condo in Daytona, Florida. Being that close to our favorite place in the word, how could we not drop in for a quick hello? This offer came to us only about a week before the travel dates. Which happened to be the week before the Fourth of July. We knew we didn’t have the time to spare before or after the beach portion of the trip to go into the parks, but we knew we could do some resort-hopping, hit Downtown Disney, eat at a couple of Disney restaurants, and maybe even ride a quick loop on the monorail.

Like any good Walt Disney World fanatic, I was on the phone with Disney reservations in a flash. Having not traveled to the World during the busy summer season since I was a child, it didn’t occur to me that hotel reservations would be so limited.

The only rooms available were over $400/night. Since this was a spur of the the moment trip, that was not in the budget. So what’s a girl to do?

For the first time since I had been the one making the decisions and reserving the rooms, I had to look offsite. For the uninitiated, that means any hotel or resort not owned by Disney and usually not on Disney property. This was a bitter pill to swallow for a die-hard Disney resorts fan. I’ve often said I’d rather wait or go less often rather than stay offsite, but this time it was out of my hands. Mickey had filled all but his most expensive rooms.

My first choice was to stay on Disney property even if it meant a non-Disney resort. First, I checked the Epcot area Swan and Dolphin resorts. No luck there. Next up were the Downtown Disney area hotels. There are several from which to choose, but few allow more than four persons per room. We had five travelling, so we were somewhat limited. I decided to check for reviews and special offers on Mousesavers.com knowing they have some preferred offsite accommodations they recommend.

After reading and looking over picture,s we decided on SpringHill Suites Orlando in the Marriott Village which is off Interstate 4, a few miles from Walt Disney World gates. Marriott Village is a gated property with three different Marriott-branded hotels. The hotels share a Village Marketplace that includes shopping and dining.

SHS units are all studio suites that accommodate up to five guests. Continental breakfast is included. The hotel is a short distance from WDW gates if you are driving yourself, or you can use their transportation to the parks for an extra fee.

Each of the hotels in the Marriott Village has its own pool. Our room overlooked the SHS pool, which is large, heated, and has zero-entry which is especially nice for little ones who are not as comfortable in the water.

The unit itself was exactly as we had seen in the pictures – modern, bright, and attractive. It had two double beds in the sleeping area and a pull-out sofa bed in the seating area closer to the entry. There was also a mini kitchenette/desk area that included a desk, chair, and phone on one wall and cabinets on the other wall housing a small refrigerator, microwave, and coffee maker. Free wired high-speed internet access is included.

Each unit includes one full bathroom with a separate sink area which is convenient when five people are getting ready in the morning.

At the time we booked, they were offering a deal through Mousesavers of $89/night plus a $25 resort credit. We used the credit to stock up on snacks from the tiny snack bar in the lobby when we checked out. This gave us something to eat in the car on the way to the coast without having to stop or spend more money along the way.

To be fair, the hotel met our needs for space and budget. It was up to date, pleasant, and clean. The hotel staff were friendly and helpful as well. However, when in the Orlando area we would much rather stay at a Disney resort even if we aren’t visiting the parks. We would willingly give up the extra space this room provided for the “Disney resort experience”. For us that means exceptional service, cleanliness, themeing, and a full resort feeling rather than a hotel – albeit perfectly nice – that could have been located next to any highway in America.

Would I stay at SHS again? When in Orlando, maybe or maybe not and only if the Disney resorts were full. However, I would certainly consider it for a stay in another city based on the value and positive experience we had at the Orlando Marriott Village.

The SpringHill Suites Orlando Lake Buena Vista is located at 8601 Vineland Avenue · Orlando, Florida 32821. Visit their website for more information.

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