Holiday Inn Club Vacations at Orange Lake Resort - River Island
Holiday Inn Club Vacations at Orange Lake Resort - River Island
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There are four villages which make up the Orange Lake Resort property, all of which have distinct offerings and charm. River Island is a tropical lover's paradise, centered around a fabulous water park that includes two beach- style pools and a lazy river. East Village is noted for its central location to all the action and also its proximity to world-class golfing. North Village is a water lover's delight and offers a smaller, more intimate setting for family fun. West Village is the original phase of this resort which has been refurbished over the years and features a clubhouse overlooking the lake, a themed restaurant with patio bar, putt-putt golf, arcade, cabanas and retail shops.
Orange Lake's River Island provides you access to all the amenities at Orange Lake and you'll also discover that River Island is a tropical paradise offering fun for everyone. River Island is centered around a fabulous water park that includes two beach- style pools and a lazy river. Here, you'll find everything you need for a fun vacation--a 30,000- square-foot clubhouse, a 36-hole miniature golf course, luxurious cabanas, variety of restaurants, bars, and other specialty shops, and much more.
I am a owner at this resort (River Island section) and it is one of the best in the area, however the staff is clueless. If you have a question and call for information nobody seems to know anything. You are transferred several times to get the wrong information however, the staff is friendly. The property is very clean and well maintained besides the lazy river need screening done more often to keep the leaves out.
My family and I stayed in a 3-bedroom Signature Collection Unit in River Island from 10-25-14 to 11-01-14. It was an end unit on the top floor. Last week, I stayed in the North Village and overall had some issues with not only the villa itself, but the layout of North Village, the lack of a hot tub at the pool, and the liberal smoking policy (See the separate review I completed on 10-25-14).
This week, staying in a Signature Collection Unit, most of the issues were resolved with the excepting of the smokers. First, I want to start off by stating that the villa itself was beautiful. It was decorated very ornately, and was absolutely huge (over 1700 square feet). My kids basically had their own wing to themselves! Staying in a Signature Collection Unit has several perks, and if they are used, makes staying there a really good value and worth the extra money. The perk that had the most value for us was the unlimited use of the tubes, mini-putting, hippo slide, and rock-climbing wall. Not having the unlimited use of these would cost you $28.00 a day per child, so it adds up. The other so-called perk of staying in the Signature Collection, which ended up to not be helpful at all, was an email from the concierge a week before our stay asking if they could help us with anything in anticipation of our arrival. I asked if we could have some baby items placed in the room that we would be needing. I also asked if they could help facilitate our move from the North Village to River Island so we wouldn’t have a huge gap in time where we had to wait for our new villa (by either allowing us to transfer to River Island a little early or leave a little late from the North Village)…However, none of my requests from the email were granted. In fact, no one even bothered to answer my email, so that was disappointing and not very good service.
However, once we did arrive, I was extremely pleased with the villa. It was the nicest timeshare I’ve stayed in, with many extra amenities inside, including an espresso machine, daily delivery of a USA Today paper, extra razors and toothbrushes, and even eyemakeup remover provided. The kitchen was, of course, all stainless steel and granite, with plenty of storage space and cooking items.
We had a distant view of the Disney fireworks from the rear-screened in porch (we had two screened-in porches total). They provided robes in the bathroom for us to use, and had a bathtub with nice strong jets in it.
Beyond the villa itself, I loved staying at River Island, much more than I liked North Village. If you have children, this is the ONLY place I would stay on the resort. You will want to use the beautiful pools and lazy river here, and if you stay in any other village, you will have to either drive or use a shuttle to get here, as the resort is a few miles long. It’s definitely the biggest resort I’ve ever stayed in.
The landscaping, waterfalls, etc around the pool are breathtaking. The pool is extremely large. You have to pay $9.00 a day for a tube/per person to use the lazy river. The lazy river is extremely “lazy”. I wish it had a current, but it almost had none at all. I found myself having to paddle myself along much of the time.
Besides the pool, there are multiple restaurants in River Village, as well as a nice work out room, definitely the best work out room of the resort. They also have free children activities every day, such as scavenger hunts and kickball. If your kids like soccer, they have a soccer net and a small field next to it, and soccer balls can be rented for 2 hours at a time for free. They also have an outside playground for kids, as well as a huge inflatable slide called “The Hippo Slide”. My kids climbed on the rock wall, and also went mini-putting right at the resort. The mini-putting course is very, very nice. They also do hair braiding, temporary tattoos, and art projects for the kids, all at a varying cost.
The only real negative about River Island, and really the whole resort itself at Holiday Inn Orange Lake, is the liberal smoking policy. No smoking is allowed in the rooms, but it is allowed in the screened in patios and ANYWHERE, yes I mean ANYWHERE at the pools. That means, I had people smoking right next to my two year old playing in the baby pool, as well as next to the hot tub, and pretty much anywhere I went outside. It was very annoying. The management needs to re-evaluate this policy, as it will drive away families. They need to make a set place outside, AWAY from the pool, where people can smoke. The property is certainly large enough to do so!
Other than the smoking, I was extremely happy here. I would consider going back, but would also look at Marriott Harbour Lake, which has a better smoking policy and a nice pool as well.
For those of you who are debating on which village to stay in at Holiday Inn Orange Lake, I will give you a run down of what you can expect in each one:
West Village: Good for kids, with a larger-sized pool/hot tub, sprayers for little kids, and an inside arcade/game area. It also has restaurants on site. There is a boat rental place and golf here as well. It is the first village you come to when you go through the front gate. There is a nice workout room near the front desk located here. On the outside, the villas look pretty old, but I did not see the inside of them.
North Village: The next village you arrive at after West Village, about a mile from the entrance to the resort. The North Village looks older as well on the outside. In Both North Village and West Village, you can park your car right outside your villa and walk to the door from the outside. North Village has its own pool with NO hot tub. It has sprayers for kids and a zero-entry pool that is nicely landscaped. There is golfing as well.
East Village: The village most remotely located at the resort—all the way in the back, about three miles from the entrance. The buildings appear newer on the outside and it is nicely landscaped. There are parking lots outside and one can only enter the villas from interior hallways. There is a small pool/hot tub, and a miniscule work out center. This area might be better for those wanting it to be on the quieter side.
River Island: The largest pool area of the entire resort, with a lazy river, zero-entry pool, sprayers for toddlers, restaurants on site, a playground area, mini-putting, inside arcade, hippo slide, rock-climbing wall, soccer field, two hot tubs, and the best workout center of the hotel. Like the East Village, there are parking lots on the outside and one can only enter the villas from interior hallways. There are 8 floors.
I hope the above description of the different villages of the resort helps those of you trying to decide where to stay. The bottom line: If you have kids, I would stay at River Island. If you want more peace and quiet, go to the East Village. If you want to have lots of activities around you, stay at either River Island or West Village.
We have stayed at the resort before and are owners in the Holiday inn Club System at Marco Island. We chose the River isalnd area of the resort to try out the new Signature Units. We were very disappointed. We had a one bedroom unit and it was a lock off. It really is a 4/2 as they advertise. You can hear people above you sliding chairs accross the floor and next door when they do their laundry as it is located on the other side of the bathroom wall. There was a convection oven and two burner cook top. Sort of hard to cook eggs, bacon and home fries on just two burners! Also, the unit did not have a jaccuzzi tub, just a plain one. The unit had just one closet. Intersting that there were 9 plastic hangers for 4 people to use. Patio had a small table and two chairs so we could not all eat on the patio together either. Living room TV was not equipped with surround sound. There also was no room for a chair in the bedroom to sit in to watch TV or to sit and read. Took two people to move the coffee table as it is very heavy when you have to do this each day to use the sofa bed. Unit is very small for a "signature club" unit. Having seen one of the newly upgraded units in the 81000 buliding, it's not worth the extra points for your own elevator and free tube at the lazy river. So if you book, you should consider a two bedroom to get more bang for the buck. Also, unit had just a stack set for washer and dryer. Of course they say "most units have...." in the literature, which I'm sure they will use as their excuse when they reply to this review.
Resort is a cashless resort. Have to charge to your room or use credit/debit cards to purchase anything.
You could easily stay at the resort all week without leaving with the amount of activities and resturants on resort. But if you want to spend your time and money at the parks, you can do that as well. There are many things to see in the area as well. Only drawback is that you have to go to Orlando for parks other thn Disney.
As for the sales pitch, which was disguised as a "portfolio review," we took it to see what was new in the system. They did not push much once they realized we knew most of what they presented fromactually having read the club matierals and that our no was no. Also, we had another system we belong to to compare it with which is just as valuable. If we were taking it for the "gifts" it wouldn't have been worth the $50 resort cash and free lunch. Was more than disappointed when they origianlly offerd to upgrade us to a two bedroom for the remainder of our stay when we started the tour but withdrew the offer when we decided not to purchase more as it was "contingent on us having purchased something." Go figure. Was interesting when we got home though and found a letter telling us about our two bedroom reservation for teh second half of our trip. By the way, signature units cost more points than regular units as they have "upgrades." Fancy way to get you to buy more points in my opinion.
If we come back to the resort again, we definetly will not stay in the one bedroom but would spend the extra points for a two bedroom instead.
Staff is excellnt. Housekeeping and maintance were very responsive and went the extra mile to take care of any problems in those areas
What a great 5-star resort. We've atyed all over the country and also gone foreign and have not found luxery like this. To be able to walk out to the water is really nice and the choice of water activities is broad. We like the River Island Grilling Company reataurant - a short walk across the pool area. The unit was very clean and well maintained - no complaints. Disney is right next door. The check-in process was speedy and anxiety-free. The checkout process was nonexistant - we just drove away. Service from all the staff was first-rate.
Great Family resort! You never have to leave to have lots of fun.
Our family of four (2 adults, 2 kids aged 12 and 14) stayed in the Lazy River section of Orange Lake Resort during 4th of July week. Our building seemed quite full during our stay, particularly at night when the crowds returned from Disney (right next door). The adjacent tower seemed very quiet and dark at night, but was a beehive of activity during the daylight hours with timeshare salemen taking prospects on sales tours. We did not get solicited at all for a tour, but this was no doubt due to the fact that none of unit phones worked at any point during our week long stay (more on that later). We were told at check-in that we could get ticket discounts for taking a sales tour, but we didn't think the discount worth our time and declined. We did buy our tickets from them at full price however.
We stayed in a two bedroom unit which was very nicely laid out and nicely furnished, though the furniture was definitely showing some wear and tear. The white kitchen cabinets were de-laminating in a few places (poor quality?). The appliances were perfectly adequate and functional, but of low end quality. Make sure you set the refrigerator coldness when you arrive. I think they set it to a warmer setting to save electricity when no one is in the unit. We noticed when our drinks got warmer after moving them from our cooler to the fridge. There was sufficient dishware for the four of us. Cleanliness of upholstery was not the greatest, with stains on the breakfast nook seating in particular. The quality of the workmanship for the tile job in the bathrooms was terrible. The grout joints between the tiles were not even fully filled. There was no unit service of any kind during the week. Guest must do their own unit cleaning and take out their own trash. No towel exchange, but there were sufficient towels for the week so one was not really necessary. Internet service was on the slow side.
The Lazy River pool was a lot of fun for both the adults and kids in our party. We only bought tubes for one day ($9 per day per person) as we planned to be at Disney most of the time. The water quality seemed quite good. Everything seemed to be extra cost, from pool tubes to the slide to the mini golf. You can get multi day passes for these activities, but these would only be worthwhile if you planned to stay on the resort for a good portion of your stay.
There are nice clothing shops, food outlets, a coffee shop, and a bar right at the Lazy River complex. The prices were fairly reasonable and the quality quite good, though be aware that gratuities are already added to bar drinks.
Service: terrible. We complained about non-functional phones four times. We had to find somewhere else from where to call and report the problem, of course. During one call, the operator said that perhaps they could compensate me for the inconvenience and that guest services might offer to do this, but no such offer was ever made. After our first call, someone showed up at the unit and changed all the phone cables within the hour, but when that made no difference, he said they needed to bring in some phone specialists to diagnose the problem. That was on our second day. One staff person I spoke to said they've been having problems with a lot of the unit phones. The phones were never fixed during our stay, which meant I had to use my cell phone with its exhorbitant roaming charges because I didn't have a unit phone for local calls. At check out, I recounted my disappointment with the service and the apparent "we don't care if you are inconvenienced and it costs you" attitude. The check out clerk was apologetic, but that doesn't mean squat as the customer is on his way out the door. I left steaming.
Overall I think this resort makes a nice base for a Disney trip and it has numerous on-site amenities of good quality. It probably deserves a good rating for this reason, but the crappy service left a bad taste in my mouth. I'll probably try somewhere else the next time I go to Orlando.
Another annoyance: Sand from the sandy areas gets on the walkways in the River Island pool each day. Rather than sweep it back into place, they use a gas powered blower -- at 7 in the morning!!! We awoke several days to what we first thought was a gas chain saw. It was an idiot clearing sand off the walkways with a gas blower instead of a silent push broom. Pure laziness and total disregard for guest comfort. I was mad enough about the phones, so I forgot to communicate this problem to management upon departure.
Although I stayed in the East Village on my trip, we frequently used the pool, restaurant and shops at River Island. The Grill had excellent food and service, and my nephew loved the pool with the water slide and lazy river. Very friendly staff and clean pool and grounds. I look forward to coming back. River Island is the best out of the 4 Orange Lake properties here.
We love it, we have been owners for 7 years and we return every year. Golf courses are amazing and affordable, legends walk is great for beginners and the cranes bend give you the most value. We play putt putt a couple times a day, a pass for the condo is $25/week. The pools are always stunning. Many great choices for food and drink. Staff is friendly and courteous. You need a rental car, the resort is huge. The resort shuttle does the trick but it doesn't take you to the Publix. The only internet is below the guest check-in and is overpriced. A great place to stay and play for a week.
If you read the history of Orange lake you will realize that this resort will withstand time.
This is a fantastic resort for families. The pool, grounds and unit are wonderful. You can spend many days here soaking up the sun. The grounds are well kept and clean and tons of stuff to do. This is THE place to stay. We have four kids and there is something to do for everyone.Cheerful staff.
- Car Rental
- Children's Pool
- Game Room
- Grocery Store
- Handicap Accessible Units
- Laundry Room
- Live Entertainment
- Outdoor Pool
- Playground Area
- Snack Bar
- Theme Park
- Water Skiing
- Medical Facilities (2 miles)
- Shopping Area (1 mile)
8505 Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway
Kissimmee, Florida 34747
- Resort cluster
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