The shops are expensive averaging nearly double the prices of shops outside the Resort. You do get a 15% off card to use in the Marketplace with your welcome pack but it was still expensive. There is a Walgreens just along the road that sold most essentials at a fraction of the price. If like us you are not hiring a car The Vistana does provide free transport to the 4 Disney Parks and it just serviced the Vistana so you didn't have to go round dozens of hotels picking people up and the Vistana was the first drop off on the way back at night. Word of warning though you should get a complimentary pass to travel to the Disney Parks in with your welcome pack, if you don't then ask for it, the Hotel were charging people to go to Disney on the same bus as we were on. If the bus driver did not inform these people of the free pass we did. Also do not order a taxi through the Hotel. They have a deal with Far n Away which seemed to mean that your taxi was at least $5 more than the local Mears taxis depending on where you were going. They also run a shuttle service to Universal and Seaworld for a small fee. There is not a regular local bus service going past the Vistana and it was just that wee bit to far away from I Drive to catch the I trolley. However,
the Hotel is quite centrally situated and we did not find it a problem getting transport to go where we wanted.
The Vistana is a timeshare/vacation club resort and you will be asked to attend a breakfast presentation. We informed the guy that we were not interested. He did try to persuade us to attend with lots of incentives but once he realised we really were not interested he gave up and we were not bothered for the rest of the holiday. Spoke to lots of people who had bought timeshare at other resorts and were visiting the Vistana after exchanging their weeks and regretted getting mixed up in the whole timeshare thing. They all said the same thing that they got reeled in after going to a presentation and everything looks great when you're on holiday and that the presentations lasted alot longer than the hour and a half that was quoted to us. So unless you have a steel resolve or you are interested in timeshare do not attend the meeting.
The majority of the staff we met were very helpful, knowledgeable and friendly. However, we did find that the guest relations and desk people were very abrupt and did not take the time to explain things properly to you. I found myself repeatedly asking them to repeat themselves or explain themselves more clearly. The resort has minibuses for ferrying you to your villa if you need to use them. We were close to reception so only used this facility when we were checking in and then on checking out. They also kept our cases securely on the day we left until our coach turned up. These facilities just cost the price of a tip.
The grounds are landscaped and there are ponds everywhere. There was also geese, ducks and squirrels that quite happily wandered around the resort and did not bother anyone. This is the first hotel that I have stayed in where I have not had to wear ear plugs at night, it was so quiet. The I-4 passes by at the bottom of the road but it was far enough away that you didn't get bothered by road noise.
On summing up this is a great place to stay and if you are not doing the parks a very relaxing place to stay with all the facilities you would ever need. We would stay at this hotel again but when we return to Florida the next time we want to go to one of the Hotels attached to Universal Studios group. Overall this was a great place to stay.
Travel operator: Thomas Cook
Travel operator: last minute.com
We had a 2 bed apartment which was very spacious,and it was beautiful.
The master bedroom had a jacuzzi and huge bed, the 2nd bedroom had 2 double beds and the sofa pulled out to a double bed. Both bedrooms were ensuite. Housekeeping services daily. Swimming pools and areas nice and clean.
Reception was busy in the afternoons with people checking in. Free safety deposit boxes, staff friendly. the location of this hotel was fantastic, 5 minutes drive from downtown Disney not even a ten minute drive to the Magic Kingdom, 8 minutes drive to Seaworld and Discovery Cove, no more than 15 minutes to Universal.
Close to supermarkets and outlet stores.
Definitely going to go back again.
Travel operator: virgin
We have stayed in 3 or 4 hotels in the busier part of International Drive in the past, so I was a bit worried that staying at the Vistana might be too quiet and out of the way for us but it was not a problem.
If you did not want to drive you can take the I-Ride which is a trolley/tram, it travels the full length of I Drive for a mere 75cents stopping outside the Vistana Villages.
It is a spacious, clean and friendly place to stay, nothing is too much trouble for the staff and the apartments are home from home.
I would recommend this accommodation to anyone.
Travel operator: Virgin
It is very nice clean accomodation with a very nice pool area,which was relativelly quiet during our stay. It is ideally placed for visiting the theme parks as all are in less than 15 min drive from the resort (apart from the one at Tampa)
Unfortunately it is not really in walking distance of the main part of international drive where all the restaurants/night life are, however there is a curtosy bus and taxis can be ordered via reception.
We did not sample any of their own cuisine or entertainment as we used it solely as a base from which to do the theme parks and found it ideal for this purpose.
My wife believes that one of the cleaners took her credit card from her bag whilst we were there and it was used in some local car part stores, however there is a free safe in every room and in reality it is her own fault for not useing the facilities provided. But just be aware that human nature is the same wherever you are.
During our stay there was a new wing of the complex being added. However the building work was virtually un noticable and there was no significant noise.
I suspect that a portion of this complex is owned by time share groups. Whilst we were there it was noticable that people were being shown around the complex by the management and from overheard conversations it was along the sales pitch line, however this did not detract from the complex one bit.
Overall I would say this is a really nice clean place to stay with lots going on nearby. The nearest cheap supermarket is Publix, Take a left out the gate for about half a mile and its on your right. There is also cheap outlet stores also in the estate accross the road from Publix
Travel operator: Lets go direct
The staff were very pleasent and kept our villa in tip top condition I would not hesitate to recomend this place to anyone.
It was a very happy holiday for us made even better by all concerned at sheraton vistana villages.
Travel operator: virgin
We were in a one bedroom/one lounge apartment suitable for two adults and two children of 9 and 11. For 4 adults or teenagers you would probably need a 2 bed as the sofa bed was quite small. I asked at reception and I think it was 80 dollars per week per apartment to upgrade. (Didn't bother as I had unpacked!)
Accommodation was very clean, complimentary toiletries, loads of towels and a jacuzzi bathroom bisecting the apartment. Loads of storage. Also a large balcony with insect screen, table and chairs, overlooking a small (presumably man-made lake) on which we ate breakfast.
Kitchen facilities good, dishwasher, washing machine, tumble dryer. Not used much as out and about all the time in theme parks but still nice to have.
Two huge TV's which we hardly used, one at the bottom of our bed and one at the bottom of the kids sofa bed.
Didn't experience the on site eateries as we lunched and dinnered away from the complex.
The on-site shop was good for OJ, water, breakfast foods and we used this alot.
There are loads of pools dotted around the complex we went to the closest to our block and it was very nice with water spouts etc for kids to play in. Also plenty of sunbeds and a pool shop.
We were on the second floor, lifts always worked.
Places like the Vistania Suites are very very large and not intimate places to stay. I guess people need to be aware of this. I knew what to expect but it could be an eyeopener for those who have not visited before.
We had a car, location was good for us, as we never seemed more than 15mins drive from where-ever we wanted to be. This is a peaceful place to stay away from main hub of activity. Not sure how it would work out for non-drivers.
Didn't come into contact with many staff only the cleaner who was fine (but we always put our valuables in safe were-ever we are), reception staff also v.helpful, and the salesman who tried to sell us one of the suites on timeshare was also nice!
On registering, we were invited to a breakfast sales pitch which we decided to attend because they said they gave you a free 100 dollars for attending. Because we couldn't believe that we would get this, me and hub went along and yes we did get 100 dollars, and breakfast. It took an hour, we said no thanks and then went and spent 100 dollars in mall on clothes the for kids. Don't know if we got off lightly as have never done this in Europe, but it seemed more like soft sell than hard sell, unless we are just strong minded.
Didn't experience any entertainment on complex not sure if places like this do entertainment.
All in all a great base in Orlando.
Travel operator: Virgin
12401 International Drive
Phone (407) 238-5000
Fax (407) 238-5005
The Sheraton vistana villages, Is made up of spacious one and two bedroom villas that can be booked as part of a package via some UK tour operators or can be booked direct with Sheraton hotels and resorts or via one of the many hotel booking agents online
This apartment complex is located on the south end of International drive, and it is well placed for getting to all the theme parks
five to ten minutes to the front gate of Disney
ten minutes to universal studios
five minutes to seaworld
Free shuttle transfers are provided to the Disney and Universal parks, and there is a stop for the I ride trolley right at the entrance to this complex
The nearest large supermarket is Publix and is located at the entrance to Vineland village/Orlando premium outlet which is half a mile south on International drive
we stayed here from the 6th sept 2002 for 14 nights
we stayed in a two bedroom appt which was really fantastic I cant begin to describe how nice it was
we had a fully equipped kitchen with full size fridge washer dryer dishwasher and every gadget you would ever need, you had a dinning area with seating for six and a breakfast bar with seating for a further two
in the lounge area you had a TV video and hi fi and a wet bar and the sofa in the lounge turns into a double bed
on the balcony we had a table and four chairs
in the first bedroom had two double beds with on suite bathroom and a TV and phone in the room.
In the master bedroom we had one very large double bed with on suite bathroom with shower wash basin and toilet and in the corner of the master bedroom was a huge Jacuzzi tub, we also had a TV phone and safe deposit box which was located in the wardrobe of the master bedroom and was operated using a four digit pin
they have two pools on this complex , one quite pool, and one very large free form pool with waterfall and a large area that is only one foot deep and ideal for the younger children
they do not have a full service restaurant on site but do have a small shop/deli and a bar with grill where you can get snack type meals
all I can say is this was one cool place to stay and I would go back and stay there anytime
Travel operator: virgin
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