Navigating the Orlando hotel scene can be a challenge, even when presented with a limited set of parameters. I had a chance to review the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort on a recent Disney trip and was pleased with the value despite some initial challenges.
The resort is located less than five miles from Epcot Center and amongst other Disney properties such as Disney Springs Shopping, Disney Caribbean Beach, and Disney Hollywood Studios. Most importantly, it’s close enough to see the fireworks each night from your hotel room or from the pool area. It’s accessible from Interstate 4 and less than 30 minutes from the airport.
The property shares pools, restaurants, and shuttle services with the Waldorf-Astoria next door.
14100 Bonnet Creek Resort Ln, Orlando, FL 32821
Why I Chose This Property
When writing about a glitch in pricing I found for the Waldorf-Astoria, a reader wrote in with some helpful advice:
“Having stayed here before on a free night, this is an incredible waste of points. Better to stay at the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek next door, still have access to the Waldorf and amenities within walking distance, and pay half the points.” – Marvin
“I agree, the Hilton bonnet creek is an excellent property.” – Fred Marshall
I can’t argue with that. While it wasn’t quite half price (I had gotten the Hilton website to price the Waldorf-Astoria for 80,000 points per night, Bonnet Creek was 50,000), it was close. What made it more enticing was that I was booking two nights for two rooms. Switching from 80,000 points per room, per night meant a cost of 320,000 points plus resort fees, my cost was reduced to 200,000.
I also wanted to give our family an option for a premium experience in the event that our day at Disney didn’t go as planned or we would want to switch to a pool day for the second of our stay. The lazy river on site, multiple pools, and easy restaurants made a lot of sense for our trip.
The room is kind of standard. It was clean and up-to-date, but it was a standard hotel rectangle: walk into the room, the bathroom is to the right, followed by a desk and drawers to the left with a TV over the top, and two queen beds to the right. A window at the back showed the golf course and pool area.
I was pretty disappointed that for the cost of the hotel (either points or cash) that the bathroom was a shower over tub with bar soap. This was later swapped for shower gel.
Frankly, I have not yet been to a full-service Hilton that followed the Diamond breakfast policy (complimentary Continental breakfast) to the letter of the law. This property does. In fairness, it is a mega property, but so is the Hilton Waikoloa and they offered full breakfast to Diamond guests and the other guests in their room without hesitation. I can’t really be mad about the hotel following the policy, even though other properties go above and beyond.
In fairness to the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort, they offer Gold and Diamond guests (who receive free continental breakfast) the option to upgrade to the full buffet for $10 each and that’s more than fair considering what’s included.
The pool is the main attraction but it’s really a collection of pools. In addition to zero-entry pools, there are a number of hot tubs amongst the deck chairs to make both kids and parents happy. Wrapping around those is a lazy river with a gentle current and a number of inflatable rings available for any of the guests of the property. We didn’t golf at the course just outside of the pool area, but we did get a chance to spend an evening watching the fireworks and swimming in the lazy river. Even late into the evening, the patios were packed with families eating and kids playing.
The hotel reached out with a standardized text response survey “How are we doing on a scale of 1-10?” When I didn’t answer with a 9 or a 10 because of the bar soap and a misunderstanding about breakfast, they helped me understand the policy and shower gel was waiting for us when we returned from the parks. I try not to judge any service situation by an initial issue but rather how they react to it. When I brought these issues to the attention of their staff, they reached out with a solution and provided an unexpected result.
While the hotel was fully booked and I didn’t receive an upgrade, the staff went out of their way to show us that they appreciated our business. That gives the hotel a premium feel and gave us a reason to leave fully satisfied.
The cash price for the room during our stay would have been $400+/room/night, pretty steep for a standard Hilton, but given this was over a holiday weekend and the hotel was fully booked, it’s probably fair. We used our points to pay for the stay and received about twice the average rate for Hilton properties ($.008/point as opposed to $.004/point). For everything the property offers, the proximity to the parks, and the service onsite, I thought the value for money was pretty good.
Do you have a favorite Orlando property you prefer?