This was or 6th or 7th stay at Orange Lake Resort (I've lost count) and it was one of the best stays we've had yet. This primary purpose of this trip was to attend the wedding of a niece whose family lives in the area. We stayed in a 3-bedroom villa in The North Village. It is the same type of unit we own, and cost less in points than our yearly allotment. We had 6 adults in our party (7 for 2 nights) and everyone had ample space and privacy. We ate most of our meals there, and it was a perfect home base for all activities leading up to the wedding on 11/11/11. The unit was right on the Legends Walk course. I was the only golfer in the group and I’ll detail my golf experiences at Orange Lake Resort and surrounding area later in this review.
Before coming this time, I decided to look for some recent reviews, and was pleased to see most still thought the place fantastic but there was 1 resounding negative theme: the hard sell, high pressure tactics to attend a sales meeting or owner update meeting. I have found this to be true in the past as well. So I went in with the mind set that at check-in, the person checking us in would know that for this trip we did NOT want to attend any “owners updates”. We upgraded from a 2-bedroom villa to a 3-bedroom villa on our last visit and saw no need to be bothered with any of that stuff this time. Much to my amazement she said, “I just learned how to do that today, so you won’t receive any sales calls to your villa”. She was very cordial and the check-in was quick and painless. At the end she stapled some kind of a $20 voucher on the check-in folder. I said we’re not interested again and left the counter and walked straight out of the door to my car. People insisting that I needed to “redeem” my voucher as I had read about in a review on this site did not accost me. We did not receive any sales calls per se, but we did receive a phone call from someone who said they were our point of contact if we decided that we would like to attend an owner update or needed anything else while at OLR. My wife took that call and told her thanks but no thanks. That was after the phone had rung twice before and upon my answering a recording said, “please hold for a Orange Lake representative” I waited about 10 seconds and then hung up. Same thing 20 minutes later, this time I hung up right away. If you want to call me, be on the other end of the line. I am not going to talk to you at your convenience. I am on VACATION. I think it is rude and disrespectful to make calls in this manner to your guests.
My Customer Service Rating: Excellent Check-in experience
Check-in time 5:30pm on Sunday
The 3-bedroom villas in The North Village are very nice. They are a bit older and in need of some minor repairs and upgrades. There are TV’s in every room, but they are the ancient CRT type. OLR needs to upgrade to flat screens TVs and HD programming. I believe people are beginning to expect that type of TV unit in accommodations above Motel 6 level. There is high speed Internet wifi in the units. I was able to connect my android phone and my ipod touch to the wifi without issue. I did, however, have trouble navigating past the terms and conditions page with my laptop. A nephew staying with us had no problems with his. I called Resort Services and was transferred to their IT department. The tech I was connected with actually in PA. He was very professional and knowledgeable, but was unable to solve my problem that evening and would have to submit a ticket. He said someone would contact me the next day. I did not hear from IT again. I didn’t pursue the issue because we did have access via various devices and having MY laptop operational wasn’t critical. Still, no one called. I did not have any issues using this same laptop on my previous stay in the west village.
Another really nice thing about these units is that the 3rd bedroom is down a long hall away from the living room area and other bedrooms. We call it the “in-law suite”. The bedrooms are large and have great closet and drawer space. The master bedroom has a King size bed and a spacious bathroom with a walk in shower and also a Jacuzzi type tub. The 2nd bedroom has 2 double beds and is right next to another bathroom. The washer and dryer are in that area as well. The in-law suite has 1 double bed and a pull-out sofa bed, along with its own bathroom, which is kind of smallish but adequate. The beds were firm but not uncomfortable. My biggest complaint is with the pillows. Everyone in our group agreed that the pillows were too thick and hard. There were no other choices. I stayed at several Holiday Inn Express hotels this past summer and they have choices of pillows. They even have fancy sashes around them saying Soft or Firm. I think Holiday Inn Vacation Club should adopt the same type of thing at their resorts.
The kitchen has just about everything you need to prepare a full home cooked meal. The appliances in our unit were older. The toaster was in need of replacement and was only a 2 slice type. I think the 3-bedroom units should have 4 slice toasters. It just makes more sense. The icemaker worked great and the counter space is good with numerous electrical outlets so you can plug in all of the devices of today’s life. There are stores and restaurants very near by. The nearest useful Starbucks is in the Super Target just south of the east entrance. The Starbucks in The Market on the resort is limited in their drink options.
We only used Paisan Pizzeria on the resort for pizza one night. We used a coupon given to us in the check-in folder. 2 xl pizzas for $25. I remember the pizza being better from this place before they moved it out of the main west village building to the Market, but it’s still OK. It was a good value with the coupon.
Customer Service Rating: Very Good
Pick –up quick, ready in 15 minutes. I didn’t check the pizzas before leaving, discovered mistake on 1 pizza, not a big enough mistake to complain about.
The units have a covered patio that is nice. They have a table and chairs so you can enjoy the beautiful weather while dining. The units are non-smoking and this patio is just fine if you do. There are no ashtrays in the units, so you’ll have to make do with what is available or bring your own.
Another big concern we have is that there is no apparent recycling effort ongoing at the resort. We generated a lot of bottles and cans of various beverage types during our week stay. We took them to Super-Target, which has some small bins for recycling. OLR could start a recycling program and then tout itself as a “Green” resort. Also very disappointed that activity pass that used to be offered is no longer available.
The mini-golf activities on the resort are now very over priced.
Checkout is 10am on the final day of your stay that could be made a little more generous. Housekeeping crews didn’t rush us as I saw mentioned in reviews. Checkout was quick and efficient.
Customer Service Rating: Excellent
No waiting in line. I asked to put the stuff I had charged using the room key on to a different card. That was handled efficiently and quickly. I was on my way in no time.
All in all if you are going to Orlando and not staying at Disney, but still want to go there and/or other attractions, Orange Lake Resort is a fantastic place to stay. It is a quiet, restful environment away from the hustle and bustle of the parks and has its own qualities. Just remember it is a time-share Resort and they want to sell people on the benefits of ownership. You will need a car to get around if you have big off resort plans. I think the Orlando area is pretty easy to get around in if you take the trouble to familiarize yourself with a map of the major roads.
This rest of this review is about my golf experience at Orange Lake Resort this trip.
We have been owners at OLR&CC since April of 2002 and 1 of the main reasons I bought into this was the golf courses here at Orange Lake. I thought since we would probably come and visit relatives here from time to time, why not have a great place to stay and squeeze in some golf around other family activities over the years. I had the pleasure of playing the courses before the Crane’s Bend course was built out of the original Resort course. I think it was 27 holes then. The new configuration of the Resort and Crane’s Bend is very nice. Overall the golf at Orange Lake is great. This trip I played The Legends on Monday afternoon. Legends Walk on Tuesday night and Friday morning, The Resort course early Weds. On Thursday I ventured over to Orange County National and played the Panther Lake course. OCN is a golfer’s die and go to heaven kind of place. Look it up. I wish I had had more time to be able to use the facility more. It is only 15-20 minutes and $2.50 in round-trip toll away using SR417, which is very accessible from OLR. It was well worth the seasonal rate of just under $80 with tax. It is has also been the site of the PGA Q-School finals, most recently in 2010.
Back to golf at Orange Lake Resort,
The Legends is a very nice course, kind of tight, but playable if you keep it straight. Greens were smooth and not lighting fast but still have to pay attention. I got my tee-time off of golfnow.com for $31 plus tax. I had always just paid the owner’s rate and not checked for deals before. It is well worth that kind of a deal if you can get it. I have never had trouble getting a time to play here as a single. Nice driving range, GPS on the carts. Pro shop had the kind of soft spikes I needed. I played with some very nice folks from Scotland, who weren’t staying at the resort, but liked the course from a previous visit and stay at ORL and found the golfnow deal online as well. Saw an alligator along the lake on 16. Biggest one I’ve seen yet on that course.
Customer Service Rating: Just OK
Upon arriving, greeted at bag drop, clubs taken and put on a cart. I told them my tee time was in 45 minutes.
Pro shop guy was great, let me borrow spike wrench to put in my new spikes.
Hit some range balls. Arrived at #1 tee, 5 minutes before scheduled tee time, there was a group hitting off tee. NO STARTER in the area, so I didn’t know if that was my group or not. Turned out it was and when the starter did show up, he didn’t seem very concerned or know what was going on with the people now lining their carts up. He just, at one point, threw his hands up and said I quit, then got on the radio to try to figure out what was going on. Eventually I tee off and catch my group on the first green. It took 4:15 to play the 18. That was one of the faster rounds I’ve played there. That includes ordering a cheeseburger on the 9th tee via the GPS system and stopping to pick that up at the grill. Service there was quick, not very friendly, but quick. Only saw the cart girl once on the 4th hole. She told us it would be are only chance that day.
The Legend’s Walk course is a great lighted Par3 course. From “the tips” it plays long enough.
It is very easy to walk and is great for kids. I played by myself one night and it is pretty cool.
Played though a couple of groups with small kids along, Perfect place for a very leisurely 9 holes. Played in 1:05. First one out on Friday morning at 8:50 finished in 1:15 playing as a twosome with my nephew who arrived for the wedding later that day after his own little golf excursion in the space coast area. Each round cost just over $15 with tax.
Customer Service Rating: Excellent
This was as no hassle as it gets. Walked in, said I wanted to play 9. They ask “need clubs”, I say no, pay them and tee off within 5 minutes. Staff very pleasant during both visits.
The Resort Course is my favorite course at OLR. It is a little more playable than the Legends course for the average golfer, but is a nice test of golf. Greens and fairways are great. They used to have a drainage problem over on the southeast side of the course and I think that is why Crane’s Bend was built and the Resort course modified. The practice facility is great, didn’t utilize it this trip but have in the past.
Customer Service Rating: Excellent
Greeted upon arrival, no starter problems here.
Staff friendly and attentive before and after round.
I didn’t play Crane’s Bend this trip but it is also a really nice par 30 9-hole course.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to the Premiere Family Vacation Resort in Orlando. The Holiday Inn Club Vacations Resort offers your family an unparalleled Florida vacation experience. Our Orange Lake Resort is next door to Walt Disney World Parks and Animal Kingdom. At our resort in Orlando you'll discover the wonders of a 12-acre Waterpark with a tropical lazy river, 7 pools and an 80-acre lake with watersports. You can even watch your little ones dance in concert with a dancing fountain. Get a head start on the fun with your own personal attraction ticket concierge located in the lobby at check in. Our 1450-acre Orlando resort hotel offers each member of the family interactive activities like the Gatorland Alligator Show where you can meet a gator face-to-face, 36 holes of fun at the West Village Putt-Putt Golf, a bowling alley, arcades and 54 holes of golf. What's more, we even provide a convenient shuttle to all our resort's activities. Our villas pamper you with the unexpected amenities like spa-inspired baths and fully equipped kitchens. Our deluxe Orlando resort provides a grocery shopping service, nine restaurants and did we mention free parking and high-speed Internet access? Your perfect Florida vacation begins at Orange Lake Resort. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Holiday Inn Kissimmee
- Orange Lake Resort And Country Club
- Orange Lake Kissimmee
- Orange Lake Resort Country Club
- Kissimmee Holiday Inn
- Orange Lake Country Club
- Orange Lakes West Village
- Orange Lake Resort Florida
- Orange Lake West Village
- Orange Lake Resort Orlando