The Hilton Bonnet Creek Orlando is a large 1000 room hotel set within the 482-acre Bonnet Creek Nature Preserve. This property located on the outskirts of Walt Disney World is close to Disney Springs. The hotel is a sound choice for conference well as families visiting nearby theme parks.Last June, we had the opportunity to stay while attending the 2017 Blogher Conference and check how family friendly it is.
What Works for Families
- The hotel features two sized bedding which easily accommodates families of four. Larger parties will have to book two rooms
- Guests get two pool areas for the price of one since they can use both the Hilton and Waldorf facilities.
- The hotel offers a complimentary shuttle to and from the Disney parks.
What Doesn’t Work for Families
- If your kids are antsy and want to walk around this is not in the heart of the action.
- When the hotel hosts a large conference, the lobby area can get somewhat crowded.
Before the stay
Even though my Hilton profile has the details, I called the front desk the week before our arrival. I spoke to the on duty manager and let her know that we will need a feather free quiet room to accommodate our son with autism
Our Welcome at the Hilton Bonnet Creek
Upon arrival at the Resort, we were greeted warmly and checked- in quickly. Unfortunately, housekeeping didn’t get a note with our requests.So I had to wait for the staff to de-feather the room while my family went for a quick dinner.
The week we stayed the hotel was filled with bloggers since there were more than 2,000 attendees. With that said, the hotel is an excellent choice for travelers on a budget who wish to stay near the parks but not pay the Disney hotel rates.
With medium brown furniture, light marble and abundant use of glass panels the lobby decor is somewhat unconventional. The airy open space plan, massive columns and velvet upholstered sofas reminded me of Palm Beach hotels back in the sixties.
The hip but mysterious vibe was provided a set of large ceiling lit up pictures depicting two young ladies in old fashioned swim wear. Along one wall they had large shadow boxes with several women’s vintage bikinis. When I asked about them, Staff members told me that the ladies the hotel mascots who ‘watch over’ the hotel.
Apart from ample seating areas the lobby had a large reception section, a bar that stood out lit in red neon lights. My favorite place was an elongate table in the front where you could juice up your electronics quickly without needing to go to the room.
Our room on the fifth floor decorated in shades of golden yellows wall colors and brown hued carpeting featured two queen size beds.
The amenities in the room included a mini fridge, a Cuisinart coffee maker and multiple outlets to juice up our electronics.
As we entered the room, we discovered the bathroom on the right and a full-length mirror and closet on the left.We were grateful to find robes and slippers already waiting in the closet for us.Surprisingly, we found the safe inside the nightstand instead of the closet, but it did turn out to be a convenient feature.
The bedroom layout was pretty standard with the two beds with wooden headboards facing a large chest of drawers with a TV on top. Alongside the chest, there was a curve table that successfully substituted as a work desk.Right across was a mini sitting area that constituted of a comfortable club chair and small glass table.
The room’s bathroom was surprisingly large and well proportioned. The vanity had a brown speckled granite counter top. It went well with the golden hues of the mosaic shower tiles and golden hued wall paper. A double curtain separated tub/ shower combo from the room which is safer for the younger kids.Being a Hilton the property had amenities by Peter Thomas Roth, a step above the kits by other properties.
Between the two properties, there are twelve dining venues to chose from. We tried the sushi place with its Happy Hour menu as well as the Harvest Bistro for breakfast.
The hotel bar is one of the ‘happening’spots in the hotel. It has indoor and outdoor sitting areas, refreshing mixed cocktails, and surprisingly decent food. We loved their BLT sandwich and the Mediterranean spread.
One of the best things was the 24 hr Pavilion Pantry Market in the main lobby that serves fresh food and snacks. In our minds, it will be remembered as the place with incredible ice cream.
If you are ever there try the fat Elvis flavor- it is utterly addictive!The employee there remembered our names and our favorite drinks each time we went back, and for that, the cafe gets two thumbs up from our family!
The three-acre pool with a lazy river was one of our favorite spots to relax and spend quality time together. The entire pool area is kid friendly with plenty of pool toys and lifeguards on duty as well. It was pretty crowded, but pool towels were available.
We also loved the size of the Fitness Center, and it has everything including state-of-the-art equipment with flat screen TV. It is open 24 hours and offers yoga classes at the Waldorf Astoria hotel for $15 per person on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Also, this is where you can enjoy the beautiful Waldorf Astoria Spa and all the fabulous treatments.
Families staying with young kids are welcome to enroll them in the Waldorf Astoria kids day camps and program.Particularly antsy kids can access the 24h game center (aka money pit) filled with video arcades next to their hotel Disney merchandise store.
I wish I could give housekeeping a better grade. Unfortunately, they dropped the ball on us. The staff forgot to clean our room on the very first day of our stay. The senior staff interceded and made sure to fix things.
The Wi -Fi
Since there was a large conference going on at the resort while we were there, the WiFi was understandably slow. I spent an hour with the IT guy trying to fix reception in our room. Luckily I had my T mobile hot spot to fall back on.
For what it offers the property is surprisingly affordable starting at around $160 per room a night. Of course the price tends to go up during conferences and holidays, but still, it is impressively low!
Autism Travel Tips
- Pack a nonslip bath mat because the hotel does not provide one.
- Parents should ask for a room close to the elevators in the middle part of the property. The hotel layout is complicated. Corridors are long, and it is somewhat of a labyrinth to find your way around
- Parents who wish to have kids watch the Disney fireworks should book a room on a high floor.
- If your kid has allergies, consider booking a PURE room. The PURE room goes through a unique cleaning process. It also has hypo allergenic bedding to minimize dust mites.