Tour the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace

About a fourth of my work involves this: telling readers how to get the most for their money in Orlando. One of the always-valid tips involves choosing hotels that are on Disney World property but owned by others. Today's feature is the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace.

Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace tubes

I am not in any way saying Disney World's 20-or-so lodging facilities aren't absolutely fabulous. From the value-priced to the deluxe, each one is, I promise you, as terrific as it gets, from Mickey Mouse waffles at breakfast to every staffer wearing a costume that fit each hotel's theme. But let's say you want to be on Disney property, with extras like free shuttle rides to the theme parks, but you're willing to give up all that clever theming to save money. Bingo. This is a good choice.

 You'd never know it driving by, but the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace has a large pool complex with a lazy river. It's all new.

You'd never know it driving by, but the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace has a large pool complex with a lazy river. It's all new.

Tour the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace loungers

The Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace has been around since the 1980s, although it has had a variety of names ending in Buena Vista Palace. The 'Hilton Orlando' part is new, and came with a $50 renovation that lightened and brightened a hotel that debuted during the time when we all wore skirt suits with giant shoulder pads. (I miss those.) The new decor is refreshing. You can still see the classic atrium from that era from some places, but it has been camouflaged in others and replaced with contemporary touches.

 Dramatic atrium adornment

Dramatic atrium adornment

More to See in the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace

 LetterPress, the three-meals-a-day restaurant, has alphabet members scattered throughout.

LetterPress, the three-meals-a-day restaurant, has alphabet members scattered throughout.

 Note the illuminated letters hanging flush to the ceiling at LetterPress in the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace.

Note the illuminated letters hanging flush to the ceiling at LetterPress in the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace.

Primarily a convention hotel, this behemoth has 1,011 rooms, 800 of those in the main tower. Back in the day, its penthouse restaurant, Arthur's 27, was an Orlando signature dining experience. Now the space with its expansive Disney World views is used for meetings.

 At the grab-and-go market Citrus 28, sundries are stored in a colorful file cabinet.

At the grab-and-go market Citrus 28, sundries are stored in a colorful file cabinet.

 Citrus 28 counter

Citrus 28 counter

 Citrus 28 take-out fridge

Citrus 28 take-out fridge

Prices might not be super-low when the placed the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace is packed for a conference, but if you're looking for convenient digs over a weekend, or an off week, you'll find a welcoming space that is walking distance from the dining/shopping/entertainment complex Disney Springs for as low as $129 per night.

 The main indoor portion of Sunnies Lobby Bar.

The main indoor portion of Sunnies Lobby Bar.

 Another Sunnies spot

Another Sunnies spot

The Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace has a sprawling pool complex, lawn games, a spa, two indoor restaurants, a poolside restaurant, an upscale food market, a Sunday character brunch buffet, a lobby bar with outdoor seating options, and a fitness center. And a fruity cocktail that's served in a pineapple wearing sunglasses. That alone is worth the trip.

Tour the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace pineapple cocktail
 Here's another image from Shades, the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace pool bar and restaurant. As you can see, sunglasses, aka shades, play a prominent role.

Here's another image from Shades, the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace pool bar and restaurant. As you can see, sunglasses, aka shades, play a prominent role.