DVC Hotel Review: Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian

Welcome to Week 1 of our 7 resorts in 7 weeks DVC series. Before we get started, I thought I’d let you know a little about what to expect. Each Monday for the next 7 weeks we will highlight one of 7 DVC resorts. They are (in order of release):

  • Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian – 8/12/19
  • Copper Creek Villas and Cabins – 8/19/19
  • Beach Club Villas – 8/26/19
  • Animal Kingdom Lodge Villas – 9/2/19
  • Old Key West – 9/9/19
  • Polynesian Villas – 9/16/19
  • Saratoga Springs – 9/23/19

For each resort, there will be a show describing our thoughts and experiences, an overview video, a dining review featuring a restaurant at each resort, a detailed walk-thru of the resort, a photo gallery for the resort and an overview blog giving a breakdown of our ratings. So – let’s get started…

Stats and Facts:

The check-in experience here was a far cry from my experience checking in on the hotel side of the Grand a month prior. The attitude and incompetence I experienced on a recent hotel stay at the Grand was replaced with warmth, professionalism and first-rate service by the check-in staff at the Villas. As it turns out, the check-in staff at the Grand Floridian Villas are also part of the concierge team, and that was plainly evident. The Nespresso coffee machine and fruit-infused ice water available all day in the lobby only further added to the ‘concierge ambiance’. When I mentioned that I’d never seen any of these villas before, the cast member checking us in, Mari, took it upon herself to find an open 1br villa and let us in to take pictures!

Click on an image to view a larger version and to scroll through the gallery.

For our review, we had a deluxe studio. Make no mistake – these are stunning villas. However, we were a little disappointed in the fact that there was damage to the table in the room that went largely ignored by housekeeping. Someone apparently put a hot iron – face down – on the table. We’ll ignore, for the moment, the abject stupidity of the guest who thought that was a good idea and highlight the fact that housekeeping didn’t think anything should be done with it. In a deluxe villa at Disney’s flagship resort, this shouldn’t happen.

  • Number of rooms – 147
  • Room size (each type)
    • Deluxe Studio – 374 sq. ft.
  • One Bedroom – 844 sq. ft.
  • Two Bedroom – 1232 sq. ft.
  • Grand Villa – 2800 sq. ft.

Dining options at the Grand Floridian include Gasparilla Grille, which is the resorts quick service location. the Grand Floridian Cafe (table service) as well as Citricos (Signature dining) and the five star Victoria and Alberts restaurant. For our review, the team visited Citricos for dinner (See the full review above). I’ve also had several experiences at Gasparilla Grill and it’s a nice option if you want something quick. The Grand Floridian Cafe has long been a restaurant I’ve despised, but it appears to be on an upswing. I’ve had breakfast, lunch, and dinner there in the last few months and each experience was impressively good. CLICK HERE for our review of the Grand Floridian Cafe.

Rating for this resort

Overall Rating:  8.1 out of 10

  • Check-in experience – 10 out of 10
    This is about as good as a check-in process will go. The well trained, friendly and knowledgable cast members made the experience all the better.
  • Overall condition of the room – 7 out of 10
    The water damage above the mini refrigerator and the heat stain on the table definitely took away from an otherwise beautiful room. I understand that DVC works on a schedule of replacing/updating furniture, but I have to imagine that exceptions are made when things obviously need to be replaced. Not sure if the blame here falls on DVC or on housekeeping, but in any event it was disappointing.
  • Friendliness of cast – 9 out of 10
    If I was just basing this on the cast members working in the Villas area, it would have been a 10 out of 10. However, interacting with other CM’s at the Grand is, at best, professional but not at all on the level you’d expect from this resort. There are exceptions of course, which is why the rating is 9 and not lower.
  • Amenities/Common areas – 8 out of 10
    Whatever the hotels’ shortcomings may be, the Grand Floridian is a stunning property. The lobby is breathtaking, the views across Seven Seas Lagoon are unparalleled. One major downside for me is the amount of ‘golf cart’ traffic that is constantly present on all the walkways. Housekeeping, bell services, maintenance all have carts to navigate the resort. I understand it’s necessary, but the lack of any backstage infrastructure for these vehicles means they are constantly in the guest areas. At no point could we walk from one place to another, without having to move out of the way of one of these vehicles.

5 thoughts on “DVC Hotel Review: Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian

  • August 12, 2019 at 9:48 am
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    I’m glad you had a good check-in. I have not stayed there probably in 3 years but in my 3 stays there the check-in process was very mixed. The staff was just OK or poor. Their attitude was like they were banished from the main building. While you are at “The Grand” you are off to the side which make the points per night imo not worth it. Also while the Lobby in the Villas is pretty its only purpose for me is a place to wait while checking in or while you wait for the rest of your party to come down. The distance to the quick serve is pretty far so it is good they have the Coffee in the lobby.

  • August 12, 2019 at 11:54 am
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    My husband and I stayed in a one bedroom villa a few years ago. It was lovely! We’d asked for a water view and ended up facing the Polynesian. We’d hoped to see the fireworks, so were a little disappointed. However, when we went out to our balcony to watch the Electrical Water Pageant , I noticed something out of the corner of my eye and realized it was the floats of the Pageant quietly gliding out and unlit. They didn’t light up until they got to the Polynesian Beach. It was so much fun and we made sure to watch for the floats every evening! The only drawback to the villas is the distance to the monorail and bus area. But we would stay there again!

  • August 12, 2019 at 1:02 pm
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    Also for a water front dining experience do not forget Narcoossee’s. They went out of favor for us for a period of time, service and food were not up to their prices. But two years ago we gave them another look and were favorably impressed. This year as well.

  • August 12, 2019 at 2:28 pm
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    I’ve stayed at the villas a few times and my check-ins have been mixed. Once the two cast members stood around talking about inconsequential things and ignored guests waiting to speak to one of the cms. Another time waited way past the check-in time for my room to be ready. Loved having the coffee in the lobby. One other reason I like about staying at the villas is the path to the Poly. It’s a nice walk and if you enjoy the Kona for breakfast it’s more convenient than-maybe not-Gaspararillas, but the walk is much prettier over to the Poly. Of course another difference is ts versus qs.

  • August 14, 2019 at 9:06 am
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    My wife and Girls have stayed a few times in the two Bedroom Villas and they are by far our favorite. On one occasion a few years back we checked in for our wedding anniversary (as we always do since honey mooning at the Grand some 23 years ago) and to our disappointment found our room was on the first floor this was my fault as I failed to mention anything at the time of reservation. I explained to the cast member at check in and received a call about 20 min. later from “Anntoinett” who said she spoke with the manager and he said they would be happy to accommodate a room change in the morning and pick uo the cost of the one night house keeping as a curtesy !! What impressive service and such a memorable trip !! Love this place. RichV.

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