The theme here is one of an old-style yacht club where a navy blue blazer should be in order for a stay. Four- and five-story oyster gray shingle-style buildings with balconies shaded by red and white striped awnings front Crescent Lake and a sliver of groomed beach that stretches over to the adjoining Disney's Beach Club Resort. This near-perfect location is within walking distance of Epcot®’s International Gateway entrance as well as Disney's BoardWalk and just a short boat ride away from Disney’s Hollywood Studios®.
The polished, sleek lobby of ship-shiny dark oak hardwoods, potted palms, roped nautical railings, leather sofas, and overstuffed, striped easy chairs creates an environment reminiscent of an eastern seaboard hotel of the 1880s. The antique globe in the center of the room along with detailed ship models and oceans of gleaming brass complete the picture. The resort shares Stormalong Bay, Disney’s fantasyland of a pool complex, and all recreational areas and facilities with its sister property, Disney's Beach Club Resort.
621 rooms. 1700 Epcot Resorts Boulevard, Lake Buena Vista 32830; phone (407) 934-7000, fax (407) 934-3450. Check-in 3 p.m.; Check-out 11 a.m.
You’ll enter your casually elegant, but, in need of renovations guest room through a yellow yacht-style door. Two queen-size beds or one king with a daybed with gleaming white headboards in a ship’s wheel motif are covered in white duvets with blue piping and topped with nautical bed runners and red velvet throw pillow. Brass sconce lighting, gold and blue striped drapery, and lots of maritime accents add to the charm. Rooms are fairly spacious at 400 square feet. Cheery white furnishings include a writing desk, a bureau with a wall-mounted flat-screen TV above, and an additional bureau near the bathroom. French doors lead to a private balcony or patio with a variety of views. Some rooms have a blue chenille daybed, others a deep red anchor motif easy chair and ottoman. The marble bath vanity holds double sinks (sinks are beginning to show their age and need replacing), hair dryer, non-lighted makeup mirror, full-length mirror, and porthole-style mirrors. There is a separate tub and commode area with a sailing ship motif shower curtain. Amenities include an iron and ironing board, coffeemaker, refrigerator, keyed safe, iPOD docking station clock radio, and daily newspaper.
Cara's Tip: Standard View rooms come with a view of a slice of the parking lot or the rooftops so be sure to book a Garden View requesting one near the quiet pool that look out on the grassy area with a fountain and duck pond. Lagoon/Pool View rooms face Crescent Lake, Stormalong Bay, or sometimes both; ask for one facing Epcot for a distant view of the Illuminations fireworks. If too much walking is not your idea of a vacation request a room close to the lobby; the resort is quite spread out, and long treks to your room are not uncommon.
Most are located on the fifth floor and privileged to the newly renovated and expanded Regatta Club with it's nautical decor, one of only a few Disney concierge lounges with a full-size balcony but alas with a view of the front of the resort instead of Crescent Lake. A much calmer atmosphere prevails here as compared to the Beach Club’s lounge next door so if it’s peace and quite you are looking for choose this resort over its sister property. Most concierge rooms are standard; for extra space choose the 654-square-foot Deluxe Rooms, all located on the third and fourth floors, and all with two queen-size beds, a small parlor separated by a partial privacy wall, and views of Crescent Lake. They do, however, require an elevator ride to the concierge lounge.
In the lounge mornings begin with coffee from a self-service cappuccino machine, juice, coffeecake, muffins, croissants, bagels, cinnamon rolls, banana bread, pastries, oatmeal, yogurt, hard-boiled eggs, fruit, and cereal. Midday snacks consist of salted potato chips with garlic peppercorn ranch dip, Swedish fish, fresh fruit, milk chocolate-covered pretzels, hot and spicy trail mix, nut mix, multi grain bread, crackers, lavish and breadsticks with red pepper hummus, cookies, lemonade, iced tea, and Stormalong Bay Breeze concoction. Early evening brings wine (Penfold’s Rawson’s Retreat Merlot, Beringer White Zinfandel, Mirassou Pinot Noir, and Columbia Crest Chardonnay), beer, and hors d’oeuvres such as hummus, crudités, Artisan cheese and crackers, potato salad, orzo pasta salad, broccoli slaw, mozzarella and tomato salad, lobster salad, and Israeli couscous salad along with a hot item like potato and pea samosas with mango chutney, ginger pork potstickers, vegetable spring rolls with sweet chili sauce, conch fritters, red pepper and goat cheese in phyllo, crab rangoon, grilled chicken skewers with yogurt cucumber sauce, bacon-wrapped scallops with mustard dipping sauce, and spanakopita. Kids feast on peanut butter and jelly with rolls and apple slices with caramel dipping sauce. After dinner is a selection of cordials and desserts such as raspberry or chocolate/peanut butter mousse, chocolate teacake, brownies, caramelized cheesecake, mini cupcakes, and Oreo bonbons. Extra amenities include guest robes, turndown service, private check-in and checkout, and the services of a pleasant and service-oriented concierge staff.
A variety of suites are available, all with concierge lounge access.
Turret Two-Bedroom Suites offer 1,160 square feet. You'll first encounter a long and narrow standard guest room off the entry hall with two queen-size beds and bath. An equally narrow hallway leads to the second bedroom also with two queens and a slightly larger-than-standard bath; next to it is a six-sided turreted living area with sofa, two easy chairs with ottoman, TV, and four-person dining room. The suite’s only balcony is in the standard guest room making it not the most ideal setting, but saved by views are of Crescent Lake and Stormalong Bay.
Almost identical at 2,017 square feet but with different décor are the two-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath Presidential (4th floor) and Admiral (5th floor) Suites. The Presidential Suite overlooks the BoardWalk and Crescent Lake and is decorated in shades of rose and blue. There’s a hardwood foyer with half bath as well as two living areas—one turreted with hardwood flooring and porthole-style windows overlooking Crescent Lake, the other carpeted with a sofa, two easy chairs, coffee table, game table, desk, and gas fireplace. A separate eight-person dining room adjoins a service kitchen. The master bedroom offers a four-poster king bed and in its marble bathroom is an oversized whirlpool tub, shower, separate toilet area with bidet, vanity area, and two sinks. A second bedroom with two queens is a standard size room with upgraded bedding. Balconies are found in each bedroom and off the living area. Although I was told that these suites had been upgraded in the last few years, the only changes I could see were the addition of flat-screen TVs.
The two-bedroom VP Commodore Suite is not a favorite of mine. Just outside the suite is a housekeeping pantry whose door is open much of the day giving the small hallway a commercial feel. A marble entry hall has a half bath which opens into the suite’s small parlor. Decorated with pale yellow-striped wallpaper and nautical carpeting, there is a cherry wood entertainment armoire, understuffed blue sofa, easy chair, diminutive coffee table, and stand-up balcony. The master bedroom’s sleigh-style king bed is in need of a good refinishing to cover the scratches, and the room seems a bit empty although it also contains an armoire, desk, and easy chair, and full-size balcony. I do like the chocolate and cream-colored marble master bath with its whirlpool tub, shower, TV, separate toilet area, and double sink vanity. On the other side of the parlor is a slightly larger-than-standard guest room with two queen beds, sailing ship spreads, and full-size balcony. All views are of Crescent Lake and Stormalong Bay.
The largest suite at 2,374 square feet is the first floor, two-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath Captain’s Deck Suite. A marble octagonal foyer leads to a nautically decorated suite decked out in a rich sea blue and rose palette. The parlor features an open sitting area, living area, large business desk in its own alcove, dining room with seating for ten, full kitchen (minus a stove), and oversized brick garden patio (shrubbery blocks the view of the adjoining parking area). Each of the bedrooms has its own private patio, with the master bedroom offering a king-size bed, bureau, entertainment center, easy chair and ottoman, walk-in closet, and luxuriously large marble bathroom with vanity area, TV, immense shower, whirlpool tub, separate commode area, and double sinks. The second bedroom is similar to a regular guest room with slightly upgraded decor. Here also the only upgrade in quite a few years are flat-screen TVs and a new lighting and sound system.
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