It was another weekend, meaning we’re off to another adventure! This time, we decided to go back to Orlando to try the Holiday Inn Club Vacations Orange Lake Resort, one of the biggest hotel complexes we had ever been! What follows is a review of the property and at the bottom is our cost table.
First off, we booked this hotel because it seemed like a great deal and was listed as one of the best uses of IHG points at a few other travel blogs I follow. When the price of the hotel was $130 and had all these amenities plus a chance to get more points c/o of a promotion, we jumped on it! And of course, we wanted to go back to Orlando because you know, Orlando is Orlando!
We didn’t get to do much that first day, just drove around the complex and enjoyed our two bedroom villa at the East Village, complete with kitchen, balcony overlooking the golf course, a dining room and a Jacuzzi tub! We don’t normally stay inside a hotel room when we are traveling but this hotel definitely changed our minds!
The best part of our trip and the main reason why we booked is River Island: a water park with a huge lazy river, two pools, and two slides. Best of all, entrance is included with the hotel accommodation + resort fee! However, if you want a tube, you’ll have to shell out an extra $9 for the day – and here we thought it will be included in the cost. We loved that pool and spent an hour there. We could have spent more than an hour but it was January and is a bit cold, so even if the pool is heated and even if you alternate between the hot tub and the pool, the brisk wind will still give you some goosebumps!
What we didn’t like about the hotel is that it felt like they were nickel and diming you: pay $1 per minute for the business center if you need to print out your boarding pass; pay extra for the tube, pay extra for kids activities, pay extra for a few other things. Oh, and you do have to pay $8.95 (as of this writing) as a resort fee on top of your room rate. Not as bad as other ‘resorts’ in Orlando though (the Sheraton Lake Buena Vista charges $35 a night!)
Note that this hotel is actually a timeshare – so you may get an email offering you a discounted rate for a 3 day, 2 night stay for $x and maybe throw in a few thousand points as an IHG member for a few hours of your time to attend a presentation. Mighty impressive property for a timeshare, I would say. They created a mini-village of their own, complete with shops and a grocery store.
Overall, it was a great stay. Would we be back? Maybe. It all depends on the cost of the hotel (I would expect that the summer months will lead to a more expensive room rate) and if there are any promotions we’d like to chase. There are just too many great hotels in Orlando to just keep coming back to one and this is in the farther end of Lake Buena Vista from us.
And so, on to the costs incurred for the weekend. We didn’t really spend much as we opted to go to Disney Springs and went home after, so not your typical weekend trip.
Orlando Jan 30-31 2016 Expenses
|Date||Activity/Description||Points Used||Cash Paid||Comments|
|Jan 30, 2016, Saturday||Holiday Inn Club Vacations||$126|
|Jan 30, 2016, Saturday||Holiday Inn Club Vacations Resort Fee||$8.95|
|Jan 30, 2016, Saturday||Gas for our car||$30|
|Jan 30, 2016, Saturday||Groceries (Dinner for Jan 30th, Breakfast for Jan 31st)||$22|
|Jan 31, 2016, Sunday||Lunch at Cracker Barrel||$30|
|Jan 31, 2016, Sunday||Characters in Flight at Downtown Disney||$20||Bought via Groupon|
Expenses from our weekend staycation in Orlando, Florida.
As you can see, we paid everything in cash for this trip, we didn’t even pay in points! This stay hopefully will yield us around 40,000 IHG points as part of a promotion that they did (combined with another planned stay in Dallas, Texas). It may not be the best “mattress run” but it surely gave us a great weekend, and a chance to experience a hotel we might otherwise not be able to stay in if it was in the warmer months. You can use this as a potential reference for your future Orlando trips! 🙂