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Orlando Resort Review

Reviewing: Sheraton Vistana Resort 2 Bedroom Villa  |  Rating:
bosoxy By bosoxy on
Badge: Publisher | Level: 12 | Destinations Expertise:
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While planning for our last Disney vacation I ran across a deal for the Sheraton Vistana Resort that I could not possibly pass up. I booked a room from December 4th through the 21st.

We were driving in and arrived a day early… so we stopped in to see if we could possibly get a room the day before, knowing that it would be OK if we did not.

When checking in, there was a delay as one of the employees at the guest check in had made an error in the line that I was in. After over 30 minutes of waiting another employee offered to check me in as the first one kept saying, “No, no, it will just be another minute.” 10 or so minutes later I was moved to another lane…. Check in from that point took another half hour, and after telling me that I could not possibly get the same rate, going into the back for a few minutes to speak with someone else and typing what appeared to be a book (no kidding!) she out of the blue (after I had already accepted the higher rate) said that she would give me the lower rate…. But I would have to switch rooms as the room they planned on us staying in was not ready and due to our length of stay we could not stay in the room that she was giving us that night…

The room the first night was just gorgeous!

It was a 2nd floor 2 bedroom villa in the Cascades section. The master bedroom had a king sized bed, a huge bathroom with a shower, a whirlpool bathtub, and a large counter with sink, lighted mirror and small bench, dresser with large TV, a separate entrance onto our private balcony… etc, etc. The second bedroom had 2 queen sized beds, a regular sized bathroom with a bathtub/shower combo, dresser with TV, etc. The living room had a queen sized sofa bed, large TV, VCR, sliding glass doors to private balcony, chairs, coffee table, etc. There was no separation into the dining room which is a nicely laid out table with 6 chairs, next to the kitchen which has 2 high stools for a breakfast nook type area… Full refrigerator, stove/oven, microwave, coffee maker, toaster, dishwasher, blender, utensils, pans, dishes, glasses, etc and then an apartment sized washer/dryer combo, an ironing board and iron.

I think that the carpet in this unit was new as it had a bounce to it… the unit was immaculate, spacious and beautiful… We would have been pleased to stay here the whole visit…

The next day once we had confirmed an early check in time we headed off to the grocery store to fill in the time between our late check out and early check in… We had a full sized cooler for our road trip and I did purchase ice at the store…

Although our check in was not as delayed as the night before, it was not smooth… Trying to pay for the room up front was a problem, and it took a while to arrange payment… We had the same problem at checkout as although they stated that they would deduct the room charges daily when I checked in, that is not what they did, electing to charge it all at the end… I will not get into the details… but it was a bit of a hassle… plus there were several phone charges made on our phone, yet we never used the room phone for anything but to call the front desk… As we had several repair men in our room, they did take the calls off of the bill… however I have yet to see a final bill.

Walking into the second room, a first floor room in the Cascades section and handicapped accessible, the door handle remained in Joe’s hand as the door closed….

This was our first sign that this was a “well loved” room.

The door handle was repaired that night and promptly fell off the next day and was repaired again…

The master bedroom bathroom was much smaller and the secondary bathroom was much larger as that is the one that was accessible… What is really odd about the setup is that the secondary bedroom was much much smaller and with the 2 queen sized beds squeezed in there, it would have been difficult to impossible to squeeze a wheelchair into that room…

The TVs were smaller, 13” TVs all around, even in the living room in the huge TV stand, which looked absolutely ridiculous… The dresser/TV stand was smaller in the secondary bedroom so that nothing larger than a 13” would fit in there… and the reception was fuzzy on the cable channels… with a strange buzz on the resort channel making it impossible to watch it without putting it on mute.

Joe called on that and a TV guy and a cable guy visited us… Apparently it was not just us with the cable problem but a resort wide problem… If we were planning on spending more time in the resort than we were, this would have been a problem… but really TV was not a big thing for us, while we liked to have it to unwind at night… and the gentleman from the resort did replace the TVs in the living room and the master bedroom for larger ones… My teenaged son was not pleased with his “tiny” TV especially after having the nicer and larger one the night before…

Everything in this villa was set up nicely but was worn… The carpet was not new, but not raggedy either… The sofa was not new, and there were no nice throw pillows like the night before… The bed was not as comfortable, but was not uncomfortable… a comfortable bed is REALLY important to me and had it been any more worn than it was I would have complained about this… but how much can one really complain about?

Our 2nd or 3rd day, we found out that our room was really not so ready for us, as although we were not aware, our oven did not work and there was a repair man in the room that day replacing the oven element… He left his card for us… This was actually a good save on their part as we were planning on using the oven that night and it would not have been good had it not worked…

One morning I got up and stepping in the wrong place after getting out of the tub and was caught in the heel by 2 metal things… maybe carpet tacks? They were about ½” long and sticking up on the seam of the carpet… Joe marked them with soap and called to have them removed… They did take care of the problem while we were out.

My son also had a hard time sleeping on some nights as the walls were a bit thin and he could hear the next door neighbors bathroom facilities and shower as well as the energetic children above us… While the master bedroom was in the rear of the resort and much quieter, while in the master bathroom you can hear the everything going on in the connecting rooms bathroom… While not unusual to have such clear audio into connecting rooms in hotels, I have found that when staying in deluxe type accommodations generally the noise is not quite so clear as it was in this case.

Although housekeeping was there everyday, they/he/she did not “clean” every day… One day when cleaning the shower doors were both knocked off the tracks and just left that way… More than a couple of times the pin was removed from the sliding glass doors and not replaced… We made sure to put the pin in every single day and double checked each other after this first time to ensure that it was not us that left it out.

Among the complaints and hassles, the resort is gorgeous… We had an amazing balcony pond/fountain view that we all just loved… The ground floor balcony was screened in, and the weather was nice enough that we could leave the doors open when we were in for most of the trip… I journaled almost every other day out on the balcony for my up and coming trip report.. ;) It was just so peaceful and relaxing with the sounds of the fountain, the breeze of the outdoors or the fan above, and the sites of the many different types of birds and ducks in the area.

My teenaged son was the only one of us to use the pool, and he only used it once as there was not a lifeguard on duty and we were not always available to go with him to the pool… We do wish that we had used the pool, but there was just so much that we wanted to do…. and we did do a lot while we visited!

Joe used the recreation room once or twice… It is a small rec room, but he stated that it has everything that a person would need to do what they wanted to do and since it seemed like it was always empty, he had his choice of machines and equipment.

We used room service once and used a restaurant on the grounds about 3 times. We found the food and service to be good. Everyone was friendly…

There is a small store with almost anything that you would need, most things being mini sized and overpriced, but there if you needed something in a pinch…. However with the location of the resort being what it was, there is a Walgreen’s right next door, a Super Wal-Mart a couple of minutes down the road and restaurants galore, so resort guests really have their pick of where to shop or eat… The location is super convenient.

At the beginning I stated that I had found an outstanding deal, and all things being what they were if I were to receive another outstanding deal, or just a great deal, we would stay here again.

The resort was obviously in the midst of refurbishment… and most of our “difficulties” can probably be attributed to that. The people were all very friendly… the grounds were nicely kept, and the villa had all of the amenities that we needed at a price that allowed us to have a lengthier than normal vacation.

I had saved for 2 years for this vacation and would not have been able to stay so long had I not found the price that I had… being disabled a washer/dryer is a must… a whirlpool tub is almost a must as it is a huge asset to the aches and pains of being in a chair for hours at a time… a kitchen helps to keep costs down, which allows us to splurge on a couple of nights, and with our family dynamics we cannot all possibly sleep in the same room so we need to either rent 2 rooms or a villa, and this villa was rented at a daily rate that was less than the rate of renting 2 moderate rooms at Disney…