I recently had the opportunity to stay at the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace right next to Disney Springs. While I was there only a few days for a special media event from Disney I did have a chance to check it out and give you guys a first hand look at this beautiful hotel.
The Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace recently started an extensive multi-million dollar hotel-wide renovation in 2016 and on my visit many of the updates were complete, the only work left was on the 1 bedroom suites which I did not have a chance to check out this visit.
One of the most noticeable updates was the outdoor pool. The hotel has opened a re-imagined recreation area, Float Lagoon, new pools and cabanas, as well as a new poolside restaurant, Shades, serving lunch and dinner.
Check out some of the photos of the pool and lazy river:
Walking out to the pool area felt like I was being taken to another world (like Pandora:World of Avatar). It was so calm and relaxing. You can tell the designers at the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace really took the time to make this area as serene as possible. While this was a very quick business trip I did take a few minutes to relax pool side and do some work. I could have relaxed here all day but I was a little hungry after my EARLY morning flight so I went inside to walk around a little more and grab a bite to eat.
The Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace has a quick service option called Citrus 28 which was my go to place for water, monster energy drinks, and snacks at the beginning and ending of each day.
They have everything from Starbucks coffee, to fresh fruit and even soups and sandwiches. I loved the bulk candy section in the corner.
I was pretty hungry so I wanted a nice sit down meal. I went just next door to the all new Letterpress Restaurant.
Letterpress is available for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They have an all you care to eat buffet for breakfast, and they feature delightfully plated meals with locally sourced ingredients for lunch & dinner. They even have a Disney Character Breakfast on Sunday from 7am till noon!
The food here was fresh and delicious. When I went up to get some bacon I asked one of servers if they had any crispy-er bacon or if they could overcook some in the back, he brought out a big ol plate of crispy bacon just for me! That was so nice of him to do that for me, talk about going above and beyond… I dined at Letterpress every morning before heading off to the parks. I was able to get in and get out pretty fast and have a good inexpensive, filling meal before walking around all day at the pakrs.
The Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace also has in room dining and lobby bar called Sunnies. I was beat at night when I got back to the hotel so I didn’t have an opportunity to check Sunnies out. I will say every night I came back it was quite busy. They had sports on all the screens and there were tons of people talking, laughing and having a good time.
Here are some of the photos I took of Sunnies and the lobby area:
Finally I wanted to share with you my room. The rooms at the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace have all been recently renovated and you can tell.
The refurbishments to the rooms were tastefully done. I was in a king suite with a perfect view of the pool and Disney Springs. It even had a pull out couch if I had the kids with me.
As you can see the Palace is conveniently located across the street from Disney Springs with access via a new pedestrian skyway bridge.
The slide out desk was nice and they had power outlets and usb ports all over the room. Which was essential for me as I am charging phones, portable chargers, camera, etc almost every night.
I am not a huge fan of hotel beds. I have back issues and usually wake up very sore. I can honestly say the beds at the Palace were soft, comfortable and like my home mattress I did not wake up sore. For me that is a HUGE bonus.
My only complaint from my room was the shower took a while to get warm on my 2nd night. The 1st and 3rd I had no issues, it just on the 2nd night I had to let it run for a while. No biggie.
Look how beautiful the pool and Disney Springs looked at night from my room. I was in a Disney Springs facing room but they also offer other views, here is a list of the available guest rooms.
Many people ask does the Disney Springs Hotels offer bus transportation or any other amenities? All Disney Springs Resorts have buses that run to and from the Disney World theme parks. They break them up into 2 destinations. One bus will go to Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom, the 2nd bus will run to Epcot and Hollywood Studios. I didn’t have to wait more than 15 minutes for a bus to pick me up the entire time I was there.
Next question is transportation to and from the airport.
Staying at a Disney Springs Hotel you do not get access to the Disney Magical Express, but you have a few choices…
- Pick up a Taxi at the Airport. I have done this and while its a little pricey it is fast!
- Take Uber from the airport. Again I have used this service and being picked up at the airport you have to use UBER XL. It costs a little more but you get picked up in a larger vehicle. This is just as fast as a taxi and a little cheaper. Going back to the airport I just used a regular UBER driver. I hear LYFT is an option as well but have never used them.
- Finally the best option is Mears. For $37 round trip you get picked up and dropped off in a Mears Van. Warning you will have to share the bus with other hotels in the area. On this trip we stopped at another Hilton just down the street and I was the 2nd stop. There were 3 stops total. On the return to the airport I had the van all to myself, of course it was 5am… Book your trip online and use the code Web10 for 10% off your ticket. When you get to the airport just grab your bags and visit one of 2 Mears Kiosks(they are in both terminals). They will assist you with printing out your passes and direct you to the place you wait for your shuttle. I have waited from 5 mins to 15 minutes as I have used this service A LOT! On your return trip to the airport you will need to call the night before and check in. Takes maybe 2-3 minutes. On this trip I lost my return voucher and called into Mears. They verified my info and let the driver know I lost my ticket. It wasn’t any trouble and they were quite friendly. Keep in mind Mears runs the Disney buses so you are going to get good customer service.
Ok so finally I am sure you want to know about the rest of the amenities at the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace. They pretty much have everything. You can do everything from order Disney tickets, to storing your luggage till your room is ready. I am going to share a link to their amenities page so you can check it out here.
So in conclusion… if you are looking for a great place to stay, want to save some money, love to hang out at the pool or want to be near Disney Springs the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace would be the right fit for you. The staff is friendly, the rooms are spotless, and it is right there on Disney property. If you are a Hilton member you can take advantage of the Hilton Honors program or you can just pop in for a quick few nights like I did.
I will leave you with one little secret. If you are at the hotel at night around Disney World Fireworks time. Go in the main set of elevators and head to the 27th floor. This is the view from the 27th floor and as you can see off in the distance you can see Epcot and Hollywood Studios. There are also windows facing the Magic Kingdom. For now the 27th floor is empty minus some tables and chairs but it is a great place to see the fireworks. If you time it right you can catch all 3 in the same night. How cool is that? Keep in mind there is no music but still it is very cool to watch.
Special thank you to the team at the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace for putting me up for a few days so I can check out their resort. If you have any questions about staying here just let me know in the comment box below!