Staying at a timeshare property like Hilton Grand Vacations Club SeaWorld Orlando has some advantages for traveling families, but it wasn’t a great fit for my family.
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Just off Central Florida Parkway, the Hilton Grand Vacations at SeaWorld Orlando is nearly inside the park. For those visiting Universal, the drive is about 10-15 minutes, a little farther to Orlando International Airport. It’s a short distance from the Orange County Convention Center as well and plenty of restaurants are just a short drive away.
Address: 6924 Grand Vacations Way, Orlando, FL 32821
Phone: +1 407 239-0100
The hotel felt like a blend between a resort and a timeshare property, though unabashedly the latter. Throughout the property there were tennis courts, a fitness center, and Discovery Cove with swimming pools and a DJ booth. This is not the newest, biggest, nor best Hilton Grand Vacations property in the system, in fact, this is the first in Orlando. The pools are adequate but seating around them was not.
The property offers shuttle service around the area and a marketplace to purchase items to support longer family stays as well as basic sundry and deli items.
Hilton Honors members may be in for a bit of a shock when booking a Hilton Grand Vacations (HGV) location. While the properties are offered alongside other Hilton hotels on the company’s website, typical rules do not apply. There are no early check-ins outside of what the property has available to anyone else staying at the property. Check out was slated for 10 AM, I asked for a late check-out and was granted a one hour extension on the one bedroom suite, but 11:30 on the studio side. This is a far cry of what I’ve experienced elsewhere in the brand even as a lowly Gold.
There was no breakfast or on-site dining credit, in my experience as an Honors member, it was a Hilton in name alone. This is likely across the HGV brand, but from staying at other chain timeshare properties, to have no benefits at all was unique in my experience.
Initially, I booked a one-bedroom suite but upgraded for $90/night (with taxes) to a two-bedroom to accommodate my parents who were able to join my family for the trip. This was comprised of a one-bedroom suite and an adjoining studio (standard hotel room) with its own external access and a doorway internally.
The stuido (2305) was in every regard, a standard hotel room. Walking in offered a bathroom to the right, wet bar opposite, a small sitting area, and a king-size bed opposite a TV. The room featured a balcony with a table and seating as well.
A large, updated, and modern living room was far more impressive than the studio in which we initially entered. It was like stepping into a different property in many regards. The room opened to a large table and seating for four (with outlets integrated into the bench) followed by a large table and a huge sofa. This couch was a pull-out and it came in handy as our niece unexpectedly stopped by on her way elsewhere.
The suite included a full kitchen which came in handy. Opposite the stove, a washer and dryer combination made it easy for families that might stay for an extended period of time.
The master bedroom was even more spacious than the studio. Another king-size bed, large windows, and TV were coupled with a larger closet, dual vanity in the bedroom, and a large soaking tub. Perhaps it’s odd, but I find the bathtub in the bedroom to be strange but in our case, it came in handy as it freed the master (and guest) bathroom for others while our daughter relaxed.
The master bathroom featured a door ensuite to the bedroom, but also a connected ante room onto the living room. This allowed the bathroom to serve both guests as well as ourselves without guests entering our space. The shower was massive but it was hard to keep water inside and a door or more glass walls would have helped.
For our purposes, the HGV SeaWorld was satisfactory. For families visiting for an extended vacation, the full kitchen, laundry facilities, and extra space will be a welcome home away from home. However, the lack of Hilton Honors benefits puts it in the market with any hotel from any brand and there are far better resorts in Orlando for about the same money and substantially better amenities. While nothing went horribly wrong with our stay, we will probably stay elsewhere the next time we visit.
What do you think? Have you stayed at this resort? How was your experience?
Not sure what this sentence- which isn’t as there’s no verb- accomplishes: Throughout the premises, tennis courts, a fitness center, and Discovery Cove with swimming pools and a DJ booth.
Verbs now micro-aggressions. Sentences much more inclusive without them.
@Jason, it was fixed shortly after publication.
Timeshares are almost always horrible investments. There’s no way that anyone is saving money doing this vs. just booking a hotel for specific travel dates…
@RV – A post to come about this is in the works, your statement may not be true for all. That said, we are not “owners” but some families, especially large ones will save money booking this right from Hilton.com over an Airbnb or multiple rooms at other Hilton properties.
You’re incorrect and I have the figures to prove it. Be lazy using your timeshare and it’s a bad investment. Learn when, where and how to use your points and it can result in very good value. I’m 27 years in, paying $1,000 a year and getting an average of $2,500 per year in ‘stay value’. I’ve had years with $4,000 of value and never less than $1,500
Timeshares should never be considered an investment. One does not get a tangible return like investing in real property and stocks over time. Benefit from a Timeshare is derived from the frequent use of a Timeshare over an extended period of time. Like a couple of decades at least. I bought into my timeshare in 1993 or ’94. If an owner frequently miss years of using the Timeshare, then it diminishes the beneficial value derived from using the Timeshare compared to the monetary value spent to acquire, maintenance, and reserve, the Timeshare. Another benefit is derived from knowledge of the utilization features, especially those of a point system. Hilton Grand Vacation Club has a point system and features that I am familiar with. How to use the points for 3 night (required minimum with HGVC) or more multiple times per year. I can easily accomplish this because I unknowingly lucked out and bought my timeshare in Las Vegas. A location that became my favorite getaway from the Los Angeles area. So, it is important for a timeshare owner to buy into a timeshare company with a property in a location (s) that they will likely visit frequently. Also, through the HGVC website I can reserve as many rooms that are available at a members reduced cost for family and friends, as long as I am at the reserved resort to sign in. Learn how to use any perks, awards, and offers that don’t cost money, or are obviously great deals. A quality timeshare company can make a getaway pleasurable. Quality rooms that are maintained and housekeeping serviced well. Those are my few cents worth of thoughts.
Sorry Kyle but I disagree with the entire premise of your post.
First of all, it’s common knowledge that elite members don’t get benefits at timeshare/vacation club properties. No Hilton Grand Vacation, Marriott Vacation Club, or Vistana property gives benefits to Hilton Diamonds (0r lower), Marriott Ambassadors (or lower), etc. This has nothing to do with Hilton Grand Vacations or this specific property. It’s a completely different business model based on ownership.
Secondly, you fundamentally misunderstand the purpose of a timeshare/vacation club in your statement that “there are far better resorts in Orlando for about the same money and substantially better amenities.” Standard hotel resorts do not have kitchens or laundry machines. Also, in order to get a two-bedroom suite at a standard hotel resort (like what you got at this Hilton vacation club), you are going to be paying a huge premium. It would be extremely rare if not impossible to get a complimentary upgrade from the base hotel room to the two-bedroom suite even with Hilton Diamond or Marriott Ambassador status – the most you’ll get is a one-bedroom suite. Finally, a Hilton resort in the US would only give you a $30 credit that would barely feed one to two people of your family, whereas the full kitchen allows you to feed your family breakfast (or other meals) for way way cheaper than a resort restaurant.
So your basis for slamming this property (that it doesn’t offer elite benefits like regular Hilton resorts) is just weak since you’re comparing apples to oranges, and I didn’t really see much criticism of the property aside from the lack of elite benefits – in fact the rest of the review highly praises the resort.
@Daniel M – I think I mentioned that I did receive the most basic elite benefits when I stayed at a Sheraton timeshare property which was as simple as early check-in and late check out. A 10 AM check out is a little ridiculous. I also think that it needs very clear at booking that none of your elite benefits will be accommodated, not even the ones that cost the hotel nothing to give. You can say everyone knows it, you can say it’s in the Ts&Cs, but for the average person booking – it’s not clear and just appears as any other Hilton property.
What I should have said was “there are far better HGV resorts for about the same money and substantially better amenities.” Principally, the Parc Soleil was a far better HGV but was sold out for a larger room during our stay so we had to go to this property.
But I also don’t necessarily agree with your premise. For example, here’s a two-floor penthouse suite that had outdoor space, full dining room, full kitchen, and a massive lower living room for a simple upgrade for Gloablists at Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress. https://liveandletsfly.com/review-hyatt-regency-grand-cypress-orlando-bi-level-suite/
You can read it however you want, but to be clear: the property needs a refresh. The pool area is small with insufficient lounge space, bath tubs in guest rooms are tacky, but the hotel was serviceable. I wouldn’t go out of my way to book it.