As promised, here are the links to all of the articles and blog posts I did last month:
Lodging Blog at Uptake.com
- Marriott Resorts Giving Away Free Trips to Hawaii Via Twitter, Facebook and YouTube
- Five US Treehouse Lodgings
- Hampton Inn in Fargo, North Dakota
- Five Reasons to Stay in a Hostel
- Five Reasons Not to Stay in a Hostel
- San Diego’s Rancho Bernardo Inn Asks If You Want to Splurge or Purge?
- W Hotel South Beach Offers Limited Time Entourage Bungalow
- Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park in Wisconsin Dells Wisconsin
- Barona Valley Ranch Resort and Casino in Lakeside, California
Budget Travel @ Suite101.com:
- SkyEurope Goes Bankrupt
- Ft. Lauderdale Spa Chic Promotion Offers Deals
- Orlando Magic Dining Month September 2009
- Save Money with Extended Stay Hotels
- San Diego Fall Restaurant Week 2009
- One Tank Road Trips Save Money
- JetBlue Introduces One Month Flying Pass
- San Diego’s Rancho Bernardo Inn Offers $19 Rooms
- Cheap Eats in Hollywood California
- Virgin and JetBlue Add Fort Lauderdale to Route Maps
Other Topics @ Suite101.com:
- Ellen DeGeneres Becomes American Idol Judge
- Fingerprints (2006) Horror Film Review
- Carver (2008) Horror Film Review
Why Go Las Vegas:
- Cheap Trick to Play Sgt Pepper’s at Las Vegas Hilton
- DJ AM Found Dead In NYC
- Vegas Openings: First Food & Bar at Palazzo, Feelgood’s Rock Bar, The Pub at Monte Carlo
- Vegas Dining Deals: Dick’s In a Box; Payard Prix Fixe; Company’s $4 Menu; Mandalay All-You-Can-Eat
- Las Vegas Restaurant Week 2009 Offers Amazing Dining Specials
- Vegas Nightlife News: Prive Reopens, Poetry Finds New Location, Sapphire Pool Closes
- Opening Soon: Cabo Wabo Cantina; Nancy’s Luncheonette; Pink’s Hot Dogs
- Hotel32 at Monte Carlo Opens For Guests
- Treasure Island Dining Choices Change
Thanks again to all who take the time to read my articles and click on some of the ads. You’re helping me earn a living, and I do very much appreciate your support!
Tags: American Idol, budget travel, California, camping, Ellen DeGeneres, Florida, Hawaii, horror film reviews, hostels, Las Vegas, lodging reviews, Miami Beach, North Dakota, roundup articles, treehouses, unusual lodging, writing
Feb 7, 2008 travel
One of Walt Disney World’s original resorts, Disney’s Grand Floridian resort is popular both for its proximity to the Magic Kingdom and for its location on the monorail transportation system.
An ode to the luxury seaside resorts of early 1900s America, the theme is present inside and out. Pulling up to valet, a gentleman dressed in an outfit reminiscent of a 1920′s paperboy took my keys and unloaded my luggage. Passing a white antique Rolls Royce parked along the entry walkway, another gentleman in a top hat welcomed me inside the front doors.
My first steps into the hotel landed me in the Grand Lobby which is a five-story tall atrium resembling a Victorian parlor room, complete with grand piano. Despite a lengthy check-in line, the actual process was quick and painless. Luck of the draw netted me a lagoon room in the Conch Key building with a view of the Magic Kingdom.
The room itself was a good size, with a bathroom that featured a vanity area separated from the bath area by a door. A closer look at the room decor and it became apparent there were several Disney touches: a lamp in the shape of Mickey; bedding with quotes and images from Alice in Wonderland. It was subtle and not overwhelming, unlike Disney’s value or moderate properties.
The room had a balcony facing Cinderella’s Castle, offering a great view of the park’s nightly fireworks later that evening. Unfortunately, the dividers separating the balcony into sections for each room on that side of the building didn’t extend all the way to the floor, allowing the child in the room next door to crawl under and visit me several times. I was also puzzled as to why there were huge spotlights aimed at that side of the building, making it necessary for me to close my curtains to sleep. So much for waking up with a view of the castle.
Other drawbacks to the location of the room became apparent with the early fall weather that fluctuated between hot and humid and stormy with strong winds. With my room in a separate building at the far end of the resort, it was very inconvenient to get to the on-property restaurants or the main lobby to catch the monorail during afternoon rain showers. And with only two pools for over 850 rooms, it was like a sea of people at either of them during the hottest parts of the day.
Another guest inconvenience is the self-park lot, which is located almost two city-block lengths from the lobby. Those with large families or lots of luggage will want to splurge on valet, as it’s quite a hike.
Disney’s Grand Floridian features several fine dining options, including Narcoossee’s (seafood), Citricos (Mediterranean) and the ultra-luxurious Victoria and Albert’s, which offers a four-seat “chef’s table” for the ultimate dining experience. Those with kids, however, may want to opt for the more family-friendly options of the Gasparilla Grill or 1900 Park Fare, which offers buffet-style dining, including a morning breakfast with Disney characters from Mary Poppins, as well as Pooh and Tigger.
Other guest amenities at the resort include a spa and health club, a complimentary shuttle boat to the Magic Kingdom, a small marina with jet ski and boat rentals, and a wedding pavilion.
Despite the few inconveniences mentioned above, Disney’s Grand Floridian is a beautiful resort and those that want to stay in luxury when visiting Walt Disney World should find the experience worth the price.