Marriott’s Grande Vista Orlando
This is not what you would expect from Marriott
So, I’ve been a Marriott customer since 2012, whenever we travel, which is a lot, we do our best to stay with Marriott because we know what to expect. When I planned a trip to Orlando for the kids since our friend was coming down from MA I went through the website and saw a selection for this hotel. I read through the amenities and everything looked great, we were going to have a two king bedroom suite, both were going to have their own jacuzzi baths, it was spacious, they had couches, desks, etc. There was a ton to do, s’mores at night, fishing lessons, tons of stuff to do, huge breakfast buffet, a sweet shop etc.
What they don’t mention is that this place is a timeshare. The website really pushes that this is a hotel. I find out the truth when the phone calls start coming in. They’re welcoming me to stay, telling me about the hotel, making huge promises, and then they start in about the timeshare and how you can get the last night of your stay free if you go to one of their demonstrations. I’m not interested so I decline. The person was in salesman mode and kept going, but eventually listens.
I get SEVERAL more of the same calls during the week before our trip, same exact call. I brush it off, no big deal.
We get here and the place is huge. We go to check in and find out, that this is not really a combination of a hotel/timeshare, it’s really pushed as a timeshare. No room upgrades, none of the basic stuff you would get at a hotel. They once again try to sell me a timeshare while I’m checking in. I said no. Then they sent me to the concierge for my free gift since I am a marriott member, promising me that it has nothing to do with timeshares.
It’s about timeshares. The guy was even more determined to sell them and get me to go to a meeting. You get a free sanitizer spray. Skip this unless you want to go to that timeshare meeting.
We hit the store there and the women was rude, very unfriendly and very unhappy. The same could be said for the majority of the staff here. They are not happy. We ask for help with our luggage, single mom with two kids here, and told the bellhop will meet us there and help us with our bags. We get to the building. He’s not there. We wait. He never comes. We get our stuff upstairs, (Only one small, hot elevator for the buildings). We get to our room to find out that it’s really a one bedroom suite with jacuzzi with access to an adjoining king bedroom with a regular shower/bath setup.
Since it look relatively clean, we shrugged it off. The golf view really isn’t much of a golf view which again, we’re good with since we don’t play golf. There are not trash cans anywhere in the halls or outside the buildings. If you want to get rid of your trash, go to the second floor and it’s a locked room. The ice machine is on the first floor, no ice bags are provided in room or there. There are no vending machines here. You have to go all the way to the main building or simply leave the property and get it cheaper anywhere else.
Housekeeping decided not to service our room. They skipped both rooms, claimed we had a DND sign out, which at the time we didn’t. We came back later that night, called the front desk, asked for service and told they’d be there by 6:30. That time comes and goes and they don’t show up. I get a call from the front desk promising me that someone is on their way. They don’t show up. I get another call hours later asking me how my room service was. I tell them it never happened and I just want towels. They show up with the towels an hour later, past the kids bedtimes.
Twice during our stay we got called before 9 in the morning with more “Welcome” calls, trying to sell us timeshares. The first guy seemed oblivious, but the second one was so blatantly rude and disrespectful that I ended up writing my first complaint letter to Marriott in five years. If you stay, unplug your phones. Seriously. I also received the same call later that night while we were at Disney’s Halloween party and the lady was rude, wondering why i wasn’t making time for the phone call.
Basically, if you stay here you really need to understand that the website is not a proper reflection of what is actually here. The sweet shop is just a small building with a small bulk candy section with old candy. No candy bars, etc. You can get old cookies here. The ice cream is sour and very limited selection and they do not know how to make milkshakes or sundaes. The milkshake was just milk. The staff here was actually friendly.
The game room was very basic, hard to win points and the prize section does not let you combine points off of multiple cards so use just one card for your whole party. Prizes are not great. You’re better off going to Dave and Buster’s if you want to play arcade games. There is a pool table, ping pong, and foozeball table, but it’s first come first serve. They do classes and activities, but they are limited, you need to sign up for most of them, and there are additional costs.
There is no breakfast buffet, no breakfast room service, etc. The food areas are very limited. You are better off going to Publix and buying everything that you need.
Also, avoid rooms near the elevators. We were placed right by the elevator on the fourth floor right next to the staff room. Every night during our six day stay we were woken up at 12:30, 2:30, 4: 30 and 7:30.
If you are looking for a home away from home where you have a kitchen, washer and dryer, then this is for you. If you are looking for basic hotel amenities like we were, this is not the place for you and I suggest you go to a regular hotel. The staff here is not friendly, they do not follow through, there is no communication. Also, since the prices are so good here and the rooms are pretty big, you will have people come here in large parties to share the room and save money and unfortunately, act up.
This is my first negative review for a Marriott and I hope it will be my last one, but I didn’t want anyone coming here without full warning. The over the top positive reviews here that wax poetic about this place are very questionable as well.