Here’s the rub: when I book on-property Disney World resorts, I really think that the time frame is sufficient. Then the time comes to leave Orlando and we always make our plea to stay an extra couple of nights. Happily, Mr. Locke loves the area and its parks as much as I do, so the answer is happily yes. So, what do we do? We look for affordable, off-property options. Earlier this month, we test drove Extended Stay America Orlando – Lake Buena Vista. Did it meet our expectations? Read on to get the scoop.
I can’t recall that I’ve ever stayed in an Extended Stay America before. I really had to think hard as to why I never have, too. When I got down to it, I thought it was for folks that want an affordable place to stay for weeks or months at a time.
As soon as I checked in, I happily realized that was not the case. What else did I realize about our visit to Extended Stay America Orlando – Lake Buena Vista? There’s plenty of reasons to book for only a day or two. Here’s the perks.
An Affordable Option for Extending Your Stay in Orlando
Truth? There are folks that do call Extended Stay America properties home for longer periods of time. I actually, met a very sweet lady that was calling the property we stayed in home for the month. And, while it is more cost-effective to stay for a week or a month, it’s very cost effective to stay for an extra day or two. At the time this post was written, booking a three night, mid-week stay will run about $110 per night. Did I mention ESA has invested over one billion dollars to upgrade its 625 properties. That, too.
So, let’s consider on-property Orlando theme park hotels for a sec. Sure, booked well in advance you can score a room for about the same price. Yes, there’s free parking and wifi in the theme park resorts, too. But if I’m being honest, Value Resorts’ standard rooms inside of the theme parks are pretty small and accommodate up to five people if you squish them all in. Add the fact that you get a free breakfast option each morning of your stay at every ESA property and the value really adds up.
What Worked for this Family of Three
Plenty of things, actually. But first let’s chat about the bed situation. There were two full size beds plus a pullout couch in our suite on the third floor. As our teen daughter likes to use an inflatable mattress when we travel we didn’t need the couch so I can’t comment on whether it was comfy to sleep on or not.
But the beds definitely were. Mr. Locke and I did the 1950’s television situation and each had our own bed for two nights. We both agreed that that they were super comfy and the sheets were really soft. I know that soft sheets aren’t deal breakers but it is worth mentioning.
Here’s another benefit to visiting ESA Orlando: no one came into our room. We’re well-seasoned travelers and as such we like to keep our room private. There have been times when I panicked thinking that maybe I didn’t put the DND on the door. With Extended Stay America, there’s housekeeping for visits of a week or longer. As adults, we’re perfectly capable of cleaning up after ourselves and The Kid is, too. We were able to order additional towels and blankets anytime we wished with zero hassle.
A Full Kitchen? Yep.
Another point to mention is that there’s a full kitchen in every ESA suite. This means less money spent on expensive theme park food. We made a trip to Walmart (only a few miles away) and grabbed snacks and drinks. Did I mention there’s a standard fridge included? That, too. Something to note: the suites come with silverware, plates, bowls, cooking utensils – you name it. But you will have to ask for them. They’re not left in the cupboards. Personally, I liked knowing that. It ensures everything you need is freshly washed.
There are no ice machines that are generally standard on every floor; we had to ask the front desk for ice. The hotel is only three stories tall so it wasn’t a problem to run down to the front and ask.
Free Wifi at Extended Stay America Locations
Technically, there’s free wifi at each ESA location. With our visit there was a bit of a glitch in that the hotel was having major issues with it so, what should have been an easy peasy login wasn’t so easy. I get it, though. Things happen. I can’t slight the property for running into wifi issues. What I can write is how the Assistant Manager came to the rescue.
When I walked up to the desk to ask about the wifi, he was on the phone trying to remedy the situation already. What he did for us was ask for each of our devices to be added in separately. A time-consuming task for him, but he took on the task with a smile. Actually, he even tried to call us the next morning to ask how our accommodations were. Think of the last time that’s happened at a hotel you’ve stayed at.
At the Extended Stay America Orlando – Lake Buena Vista, there’s a decent outdoor pool and a laundry room bang next to it. The prices on the washers and dryers are affordable, so doing a load or two of laundry would not be a problem.
We never had an issue with parking or finding a spot. Honestly, we didn’t have an issue with anything. I’d happily stay again as it’s only a few blocks from Disney Springs and a breeze to drive to all four of the Walt Disney World theme parks. There’s plenty of shopping and dining options nearby, too.
Disclosure: I was graciously hosted by the folks at Extended Stay America to give you fine folks the scoop on the property. I was not asked to state a particular point of view and all opinions are my own!