from Austin, Texas
Submitted on 25-05-2016
We only travel during off season time (no spring break and never in summer to high traffic areas like Disney World), so we were able to get a better price than the peak season rack rate. But you should know that in addition to the price of the hotel, they charge a $20 per day Resort fee, plus, if you have a car, they charge another $20 per day for your car. After working as a road warrior for many years as a consultant, flying every week and staying in hotels, I've stayed in a lot of hotels wh...
We only travel during off season time (no spring break and never in summer to high traffic areas like Disney World), so we were able to get a better price than the peak season rack rate. But you should know that in addition to the price of the hotel, they charge a $20 per day Resort fee, plus, if you have a car, they charge another $20 per day for your car. After working as a road warrior for many years as a consultant, flying every week and staying in hotels, I've stayed in a lot of hotels who had shuttle service to pick me up and take me to the airport, or other places like restaurants whenever I wanted, nice swimming pools, and work-out rooms. So it is frustrating to have to pay an additional $20 for what so many hotels provide as a service included within their room price. But if the hotel calls itself a "Resort" hotel, then they seem to feel they can charge you extra and you will just pay it for limited shuttle service, a pool, and a work-out room.
The shuttle service at this hotel only takes you to the TTC or Epcot, and has a very limited number of morning deliveries and evening pick-ups at Magic Kingdom and Epcot. We used the shuttle every day to go to and from the TTC, but we also made sure we were there early to be able to get on the bus and get a spot. There was never a problem early in the morning, but two evenings at the TTC, the drivers were late. The second late day, instead of the larger bus, the driver arrived in a small van. There were about 6 people that couldn't get on the van. The driver called his dispatch area and asked what to do. They told him to just leave the people and tell them that they'd have to wait for the next bus (about an hour and a half later). It was 91 degrees and 100 % humidity. The next stop for the driver was supposed to be Epcot for a pick-up, but obviously the van was full, so the Epcot pick-up was just missed. The driver said there was nothing he could do. So note that your $20 resort fee to pay for the shuttle (pool, and work-out room), doesn't guarantee you service. They have some fine print that covers this area with language that says something like if it's available. In other words, their lawyers have written in CYA language to say that they get your money, but you may or not get service. The trick to make sure we got transportation was to be at the pick-up spots early and making sure we were first in line to get on. By the way, the times listed are DEPARTURE times from the pick-up points, NOT arrival times. The bus driver told us that each morning. So you have to be there before the times listed on the schedule as they leave when that time arrives. Another tip to help make sure you have a better chance of getting picked up is to take the monorail, or the Disney bus from Epcot back to the TTC as that is the first pick-up point for the hotel shuttle. (The shuttle does not go to Animal Kingdom, nor is there a monorail from Animal Kingdom back to the TTC)
So since we had a car, you're asking why we didn't just drive our car to the TTC and park at the Magic Kingdom? Because Disney charges about $20 per day for parking. So either the hotel or Disney is going to get your money, and we preferred to only have to pay once. The good thing is that the hotel's parking is accessed by swiping your room key at the parking garage and you have all the In-Out privileges you want. So we took our car out of the hotel several times to eat, buy snacks, and supplies, and souvenirs.
As to the room, it was great. Our room was on the 10th floor facing the swimming pool and lake, and also facing toward Epcot and Magic Kingdom so every night we were able to watch the tremendous fireworks shows from both venues without having to stay out past our bedtimes. The beds were great, the pillows were great, the room was very quiet, there was a small refrigerator in the room, and a microwave, so we were able to keep my wife's Diet Coke's cold!
The people at the front desk were very helpful, except for one area. With all the travel we do, we've only run into one other hotel in the world, including lots of other resort hotels, that refused to allow us to use a baggage cart. The Wyndham staff refused to allow us to borrow a luggage cart here, but offered to have their help load and deliver our luggage for no fee. Other hotels also always offer to have their bell hops or porters load and deliver our luggage, but the point is that it is customary to tip the person at least a dollar a bag for the delivery and since we are perfectly healthy, we are capable of moving our own luggage. You may say that you don't have to give a tip, but I don't have people do work for me without paying for it. That's not right. So even though I told them I really wanted to use a baggage cart, the front desk refused again and said it was against their policy to let guests use their luggage carts. It is very interesting that in Wyndham properties that don't have "resort" in the title, they have luggage carts at the front door and you can just use one. But here, even though they've already got your $20 resort fee, they want some more money, at least for their porters. So we used our wheeled luggage to tote our bags to our room, which many other people were also doing, after also apparently being refused use of the luggage carts. We're not the only ones who do not want to be intimidated into spending more money that they'd rather use on something better. On this very trip, we stayed at two separate Holiday Inn RESORT hotels on this trip in Panama City and in Pensacola Beach, and both offered to handle our luggage, but also had the luggage carts there by the lobby where we could use them. And the Holiday Inn Resorts in both places were much nicer than this Wyndham. At the Holiday Inn Resort in Panama City, every evening, they had professional entertainment on the back patio by their lazy river pool. They truly are resort hotels with 5 star restaurants.
This is a huge convention hotel and there were hundreds of convention attendees and other guests in the hotel while we were there, with several conventions and meetings going on. That is to say that there were lots of guests who should have been using the restaurants. Tesoro Cove Restaurant is on the Lower Level on our way to and from the shuttle pick-up and we went by there at least 10 times. Even though there is only one other restaurant in the hotel, there were never more than two tables of 2 to 4 people in this restaurant at any one time we passed by. We ate there the first night after long hours of driving, but we found the food to be poor quality, over-priced, and even the mixed drink my wife ordered tasted so bad, she couldn't drink it. How can you ruin a mixed drink?. So we found out why there were so few people using the Tesoro Cove restaurant. (BTW, my bottled beer was very cold and tasted good.) I don't know if Wyndham owns this restaurant, but if they do, they should require their managers, or at least one manager, to eat there and see what it's like and pay for the meal out of their own pocket! After eating there once, we took our car out of the garage when we wanted food and drove into Kissimmee where there are some good restaurants. Your GPS can find lots of places to eat within a few miles of the hotel.
Bottom line is that the hotel is very clean and comfortable, but if they want to truly be a resort, and charge you a resort fee, then they need to provide more shuttle service, fix their restaurant problem, and allow customers to use their luggage carts. This is not the Ritz Carlton where the only people staying there are rich people who have people who wait on them all the time. Nor does this hotel have the features of other "Resort" hotels that provide all the amenities and entertainment, and outstanding restaurants that truly make them a resort hotel. The only truly qualifier for "Resort" for this hotel is that it is near Disneyworld. And perhaps given the over 19 million people from all over the world who come to Disneyworld every year, that is apparently enough and there is no incentive for Wyndham to improve when they probably can stay full just because of proximity to Disneyworld. Everyone knows the rule: Location, Location, location. The other rule that some forget is related to competition and customer service. This could be a truly outstanding hotel with some fairly quick management fixes.