The Holiday Inn Resort Lake Buena Vista is located just across the street from the Downtown Disney entrance to Walt Disney World. The main gates are less than a mile away from the resort making it a great choice if you’re looking a close but offsite hotel to stay at.
I enjoyed my long weekend stay here during the Walt Disney World marathon weekend, it’s proximity to the property made getting to/from the race and events much easier. I didn’t actually pick this resort from the beginning of my planning(more on that later) but was happy that I ended up staying here.
Let’s take a look at a full review of the resort and all of the amenities it has to offer!
Even with it being part of the IHG loyalty brand I didn’t choose to use points for this hotel stay. The points value is not very good with reward nights starting at 25,000 points and room rates generally less than $100/night.
I didn’t actually choose this hotel to stay at, I went with Priceline.com‘s name your own price tool to find a good discounted rate for our marathon weekend stay. After going through the bidding process I ended up getting a rate of $68/night which is a good deal lower than the standard $91/night standard rate or a discount of 25%.
Arrival & Check In
Upon arriving at the hotel there was no line at the check in counter so things were taken care of pretty quickly and efficiently. They acknowledged my IHG Platinum status for being a cardholder of the IHG Rewards Club credit card.
You are awarded with platinum status as long as you’re a cardholder of the credit card. As a platinum member I received a welcome gift (bottles of water), free wi-fi though did not receive a room upgrade. Boo.
The front desk staff was friendly and welcoming, luckily there were no other people checking in at the time so they could take their time with me. The lobby was fairly basic, clean and comfortable but nothing very fancy which I wasn’t expecting from a Holiday Inn.
The front desk area also included a concierge desk which listed many different activities in the Orlando area to do plus a Disney and Universal park ticket sales center.
After checking in we took our rental car around back to go find our room, parking was free while we were staying there.
Sticking with the no-frills theme of the entire resort the rooms were just that – basic, nice and clean which is just about all I can ask for from a hotel at this rate. Everything was very standard and basic about the rooms, we had a two queen bed room which included:
- Coffee and Tea Maker
- Inn-room Safe
- Iron and ironing board
- Hair Dryer
- 42″ flat-screen TV
- Individually controlled heating/air conditioning
- Wireless high-speed Internet access
- Spacious granite tiled bathrooms
We had an view of the parking lot which was nothing to write home around, luckily we didn’t spend much time looking out the window.
The room was clean, no issues with anything being dirty or funky smells anywhere. Bedding was comfortable, nothing too amazing but good enough for a good nights sleep. The decor was bring and happy, lots of green in the color scheme along with the nice toned wood furniture.
One of my pet peeves in hotels is hearing anyone in the other rooms next to you can I can luckily report that we had no issues with noise from neighbors.
Pool/Other Resort Areas
The pool is located in the center of the courtyard that the hotel, surrounded by all of the guest rooms. The pool has a separate kids spray area that looked like fun and had many kids playing in.
The main pool was good sized for the size of the resort and featured a few fountains which made it a little more lively. Plenty of seating surrounded the pool so fighting for chairs was never an issue.
With the pool being in the middle of the hotel you did lose sun early due to the shade the buildings cast so we had to keep moving to stay in the sun towards the end of the day.
Off to the side of the pool attached to the on-site Applebees was an outdoor “tiki” bar serving drinks and food. You did have to get up and serve yourself as there were no attendants taking drink/food order from pool guests.
The food & drink were what you would expect from any other Applebees around the country – pretty average. We had a few drinks from the bar and appetizers one day, it was nice having the option available right there next to the pool, prices were reasonable.
Now the name of the hotel is the Holiday Inn Resort but I woudln’t exactly call this place a resort. I know there’s not really a defined line between what a hotel and resort are but I woudln’t call this place a resort at all.
In my mind a resort includes not only a really nice (big) pool but other amenities such as spas, entertainment, and shopping that make it a self contained resort.
I would classify the Holiday Inn Resort as just a hotel, a fairly nice one at that with nothing too special about it – just a nice clean place to stay while on vacation at WDW.
- Pros: Almost as close as you can get without actually being on property, clean, friendly staff, comfortable rooms, cheap
- Cons: No frills, not quite a “resort”, average pool, limited amenities.