I want to start by saying I am a Disney Vacation Club member and have been since 2000. I have not stayed off property since I was married in 1990. My wife and I decided we wanted to celebrate our 23rd wedding anniversary in Disney once again. This was an adult only trip but we had a dilemma because we had just used all our 2013 points for our Disneyland trip (http://www.thewdwdads.com/?p=2009). We started to research “off-property” hotels and were a little shocked when we found the DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista. This hotel is considered a “Downtown Disney” hotel and has a lot of the perks that you would find staying “on-property”.
If you have ever driven past Downtown Disney, you will come to what I call, “hotel alley”. There are several hotels that are walking distance to Downtown Disney. When I visited the Double Tree’s website (http://doubletree3.hilton.com/en/hotels/florida/doubletree-suites-by-hilton-hotel-orlando-lake-buena-vista-MCOFHDT/index.html) I was a little surprised to see all of the benefits! First thing that I found was this hotel has recently been renovated. For me that is always a big plus seeing a hotel invest in making itself better. However, the biggest surprise was the Disney benefits. They have their own buses that travel to the Disney Parks and leaves from the hotel every half-hour. Another HUGE perk is that when staying at the Double Tree you can take advantage of extra magic hours at all Disney Parks. For anyone visiting Disney those are some pretty big perks.
Now for the real reasons people stay at hotels, the rooms! ALL the rooms at the DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista are either a 1 or 2 bedroom suite! That means a family of 4 or even 6 can comfortably stay with plenty of room for everyone! We stayed in one of the newly renovated 1 bedroom suites. There is a TV in both the bedroom and the living room area which came in key as my wife was feeling a little under the weather on Sunday and the New England Patriots happened to be playing the 8:30pm game. The king size bed was comfortable with plenty of pillows and sheets. The living room area has a small wet bar with a coffee maker, “dorm size” refrigerator, sink, microwave and spacious counter. Wi-fi is available in your room for a fee or you can take advantage of the free Wi-fi in the public areas such as the hotel lobby. The room has your standard amenities such as a hair drier, safe, MP3 alarm clock and dining room table with chairs. In addition to the standard room amenities, the hotel has a pool, hot tub, tennis courts, jogging trail and workout room.
The staff was extremely friendly and we were even greeted with a nice warm chocolate chip cookie! There is a small restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as a small lounge just off the side of the lobby. There is a Disney store as well as a small convenient store for all those little supplies you forget to pack.
With an affordable rate, I would seriously look at staying here rather than one of the Disney “value” resorts. The only difference would be you would not be eligible for the Disney meal plan. If you are a Hilton rewards member, you can use your Hilton points or earn points by staying here as well. For not staying “off-property” for several years, I was extremely impressed with the DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista.