Westgate Lakes Resort, Orlando

On our trip to Orlando this summer we stayed a week at the Westgate Lakes Resort and Spa.  It is one of 22 properties in the Westgate Resorts ownership club.  Seven of their properties are located in the Orlando area.  My mother-in-law is an owner in the Grand Crown vacation club and exchanged her points for us to have two units for our June vacation.

We were eager to get checked in to begin our vacation and take advantage of the great pools that are offered, so we were a bit taken aback by the amount of people and the noise level we experienced as we entered the lobby.  The lobby was very large and with the tiled walls and floor it seemed to increase the noise level dramatically.  We made our way to the registration desk and were checked in by a man who did not seem to enjoy his job very much.  Once given our room number and keys one would think you would be shown to your room, however; this was not the case as we were taken to the desk where they convinced you to take the timeshare tour.  You know, the one they say will take 90 minutes, but ends up being four hours.  Now this is where I normally say immediately no thanks and asked to be shown my room.  My mother-in-law on the other hand heard we could come to a buffet breakfast and get discounted Disney tickets and wanted to see what it was all about.  Turns out that it had to be a couple to do the tour and since my father-in-law didn’t come along on this trip, my husband and I had to be “the couple.”  I only agreed to this because we got a $300 cruise voucher and my mother-in-law who was buying our Disney tickets was getting a nice discount.

The next morning we went back to the same noisy lobby for this buffet breakfast, which was basically a continental breakfast and, after waiting for quite a while, were finally taken up stairs to an even noisier room where hundreds of more people were having breakfast with sales people.  It was a very awkward meeting trying to hear what he was saying and wanting to make it get over as quick as possible.  I hated every minute of it.  The guy told us he had been doing this for five years, however; I asked him questions he did not know the answer to and then would quickly change the subject.  The unit we were shown was nicer than the one we had rented, yet still was not impressive to me. 

Before we left to tour the property the salesman told us he was a big boy and could take no for an answer if that is what we decided.  As we arrived back at the noisy building he asked us what we thought our decision would be and we told him we were not interested in purchasing, but we were still led to a table for him to give us his sales pitch.  After politely telling him no several times and then getting impatient with him, he finally got the hint and gave us the voucher to claim our incentives so we could finally leave.

The resort itself was not a bad place.  The units, while very outdated and in desperate need of some new furniture and linens, were clean and comfortable.  They just needed a bit of TLC.  There were several pools on the grounds, one of which had activities going on throughout the day.  The resort is located on a lake and at the marina there were small electric-powered boats and paddle boats to rent, along with fishing equipment.  It is centrally located 5 minutes from SeaWorld and Discover Cove and 15 minutes from Walt Disney World.  One of the things I liked most about this resort is the screened in balconies where you could sit out for morning coffee, midday meal, or a night cap without being bothered by bugs.

Bottom line….. Westgate Lakes Resort is not a bad property.  Having said that, I will not stay there again.  Their major downfall is the people you have to encounter from the front desk staff to the servers in the BBQ restaurant on the grounds.  For a company that is in the hospitality business I have never seen a place with more inhospitable employees.  Westgate Resorts is seriously lacking in hospitality where this property is concerned.  I hope not all of their properties have the same hospitality as this property.

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