Submitted on 13-07-2016
We stayed here for a week as guests of an owner. We came to Orlando to visit a family member who was interning at Walt Disney World. So we were planning to spend some time visiting the Walt Disney World Parks. Before we arrived, I checked on transportation to the parks. I had expected a complimentary shuttle to Disney World's Transportation & Ticket Center, so was very surprised that the only transportation they offered was 3 times/day to Sea World & Universal (free, but you needed to make ...
We stayed here for a week as guests of an owner. We came to Orlando to visit a family member who was interning at Walt Disney World. So we were planning to spend some time visiting the Walt Disney World Parks. Before we arrived, I checked on transportation to the parks. I had expected a complimentary shuttle to Disney World's Transportation & Ticket Center, so was very surprised that the only transportation they offered was 3 times/day to Sea World & Universal (free, but you needed to make a reservation in advance). If you wanted to go to Disney World, you would need to make an advance reservation & it would only take you to Epcot for $10 (one-way or round-trip were both $10).
The check-in process was not good. The male worker at the front desk was just slow to get up to greet us & then kind of just went through the motions of handing us a map. He then directed us to another counter in the lobby where we were to get our parking permit (we rented a car after learning about the lack of complimentary transportation).
At this counter, a sloppy looking man went into the "pitch" of making us sign up to go to a meeting (ride a bus to another area Hilton Vacation Club property), even though we said we were guests of a member. He said we could get some kind of passes or discounts to Seaworld, which we were not interested in at all, but he seemed to think he was giving us a fabulous "gift". So we had to sign up for his meeting before he would give us the parking permit. Needless to say, we did not attend his meeting.
We were not informed about any of the hotel's restaurants, pools, activities, gates to get out of the property,etc. We just got the map (with the free WiFi code) to study ourselves.
We did pay $10 for a a ride to Epcot one day. The large bus arrived when scheduled, the driver was courteous and explained about if you wanted to cancel or change your return time to call a certain phone #. You wait for the bus out in the front arrival area, There are benches or you can stand in shade.
The pools were nice, however, there was construction going on at the pool bar. It was dusty & noisy there in the AM. We ordered pizza twice during our stay. (Two of the 3 phones in our room did not work). They will deliver or you can walk there & pick it up. The pizza was very good & the workers there were courteous.
The little market area was handy, too. You could get your morning coffee & light breakfast there. Outside this area, which was just off from the front lobby, there were several table to eat at. The business center was fine, too, in case you want to print boarding passes.
We noticed activities & music going on in the aft. by the larger pool area and had to ask for a paper to learn about these. The activities seemed to be targeted for younger kids. Also, you needed to pay additional charges (such as to do T-shirt Tie-dye). They had an Ice Cream Sundae buffet set up, but you had to pay $4 for it.
The floor plan of the rooms was very nice: 2 bedrooms, 2 screened balconies with chairs & table, good closet space, washer & dryer, a big living room with dining table & chairs. The full kitchen had dishes, utensils, some cookware, dishwasher. They provided some dish detergent, laundry detergent, paper towel, trash bags, as well as the usual lotion, soaps, shampoo, conditioner.
However, the floors(carpet) seemed grungy as we noted the bottoms of our socks & feet were black after walking around. So we kept our shoes or sandals on.
We were there 7 nights & the "rules" of this vacation club specify they only clean once on the 4th day. (Unless you ask, they will then charge you extra for that). Well of course, the housekeeper came just as I stepped out of the shower. It was difficult to communicate with her. I asked if she was going to change the sheets & she shrugged her arms & shook head no. I don't know really what she did, except make the bed & leave new towels & shampoo products.
I guess I do not understand why people want to "purchase" membership in a vacation club as it seems that you get better service just being a guest at a hotel. We feel like we have have had better service/experiences just staying at Hilton's Hampton Inns than at this Hilton Grand Vacation Club Property.
There is a very large shopping mall next door to The Tuscany Village. There are 2 gates for hotel guests to exit for a shorter walk onto the Mall property. A third gate to exit the Hilton property though, was broken.
This gate would allow you to get out onto Vineland Ave. & walk across the street to the Publix grocery store or a little farther to Walgreens. We only found these exits by studying the map we got on check-in, they never mentioned them. Well, we were trying to get out on this side so our family member could catch a bus for work (at Disney World). We were shocked that this gate was "Out of Order". (Another guest was even on the other side trying to get back in from the grocery store without success). Now our family member was in a hurry & we quickly walked back to the front desk to inquire how to get out on this side, or could we get a ride in the golf carts that we saw buzzing around the property. The woman at the desk did not even get up out of her chair (or offer an apology for the inconvenience caused by their broken gate), but said she would call a bellman to give us a ride. He was right out front. I can not recall his name, but he was very friendly & took us as far as he could to the street by the front entrance. He said "yeah, that gate has not been working for quite awhile now" & that other guests have complained about it.
Since there is minimal shuttle transportation offered to guests, people must drive to get to other areas such as Disney Springs. Well, when you return in the evening, Good Luck getting a parking spot near your room. One night we had to park on the complete opposite side of the building from where our room was located and then walk all the was across the bridge. They must not have planned enough parking spaces, plus we noticed that hotel vehicles such as the golf cart/luggage transporters were parked in guest spaces. This doesn't make you feel very welcome.
The place has a good look with the buildings around the lake, & nice landscaping, but not so much for service or convenience.
I would never recommend this place if you are coming to Orlando to spend several days at Walt Disney World. You would be wasting so much time paying to have a bus ride to Epcot, or paying to park your rental car at the Magic Kingdom, then not finding a space to park when you return.
You would be much better off to stay at one of the Monorail Resorts in WDW or at least 1 of the Disney hotels.
This property, however, is extremely close by to the apartments that Disney offers to the college students participating in the numerous programs/classes/internships there. So in case you are planning to visit a student working there, but not planning to go to Disney World itself, this would be a handy location.