In the last post, we spent a considerable amount of time covering what to expect from the Club Level Lounge at Disney’s Polynesian Resort.
Of course, the Lounge’s food and atmosphere are only a part of the overall Polynesian Resort experience. In this post, we’ll take a look at what you can expect to find inside rooms on the first and third floors of the Hawaii longhouse, which is where all Club Level rooms are located. Every other room at the Polynesian looks similar – the only difference should be a lack of robes in the closet.
I’ll compare the accommodations at the Poly with others across property. Recently, we took a look at a Tower Room at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.
Next, we’ll take a look at a Club Level room at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and hopefully come to some conclusions about which monorail accommodations are the “best” given a variety of needs and budgets. Obviously your choice may be different if you have a really, really, really high budget or a really, really, really, really high budget.
Back to the Polynesian, where the in-room amenities are similar to what you’ll find at other Disney Deluxes.
Standard rooms measure 415 square feet, which is 23 square feet larger than the Contemporary’s 392 square feet and 25 square feet less than the Grand Floridian’s 440 square feet. It’s also about 35 square feet larger than Beach/Yacht/BoardWalk rooms and about 70 square feet larger than rooms at the Wilderness or Animal Kingdom Lodges. In other words, standard rooms at the Polynesian are the second largest on property.
Rooms sleep up to five guests with two queen beds.
This couch flips down into a daybed.
That measures about 33″ wide and 72″ long, compared to a standard twin bed that’s typically 38″ wide and 74″ long.
The lack of bed runners is common these days.
We all get why – but it seems like Disney could figure out some other way to add some color to the room and liven things up a little. The rack rate on this room exceeded a thousand dollars per night during our stay and it seems reasonable that Disney could start using a top sheet with some sort of fun design on it for that kind of money. Then again, that might “feel” a little “loud.”
But at least the tube pillows/jousting lances remain.
Recently, in reviews of the refurbished rooms at Pop Century Resort and Coronado Springs Resort, the narrative has been that Disney is “sterilizing” rooms and removing a lot of the “Disney touches” that make the spaces unique to the resort.
But while we do see more colors, textures, and interesting elements inside the room here at the Polynesian, there still isn’t anything overtly “Disney” about anything that we see. Perhaps the Polynesian does capture “cheap Polynesian-themed roadside motel” as well as a hotel that charges as much as $1,500 a night can. These rooms were last refurbished 5+ years ago and we’ll see a little bit of that as we take a closer look.
While it may be a matter of taste, I actually like the color palette, decor, and room layout inside of the Disney Vacation Club Studio rooms that I review in this post. Depending on how you go about it, renting points and such, a Studio may be less expensive than a Standard room.
Otherwise, there’s a dresser underneath the large television and a desk with a chair that was comfortable enough to do the five minutes of work that I complete for this website every day.
The flat area on top of the dresser was handy to set things down and unpack.
The easy chair was comfortable for lounging, though I found myself slumping a little more than with a chair with a higher back.
The drum-like side table is a suitable place for a Kona Longboard.
The table that splits the beds has a drawer where you can hide your late night Tambu Lounge Lapu Lapu receipts.
I was surprised to see the last bastion of digital clocks sitting on the table. There’s a couple more USB ports too. Maybe Club Level really is worth the cost.
Overall, it’s a relatively large, relatively livable area even with four or five people staying in the room.
Looking back at the entryway, the bathroom is on the right with the closets, fridge, and coffee maker on the left.
There should be plenty of room to hang up those swim trunks for the pool and tuxedos for Victoria & Albert’s. If you want a Keurig, you’re going to have to book a room that was refurbished more recently than 2013.
On the plus side, the old-style fridge has a door that holds a lot more stuff.
The single bathroom is sizable, but not split up in any way other than a shower curtain above the bath.
Depending on the dynamic of those staying in the room, this may pose a bit of a challenge at certain times of day.
Otherwise, there’s plenty of room for a couple of people to get ready with the double sinks and makeup mirror.
A nice lineup of toiletries.
This is the first time that I remember seeing the “Oasis Hydrating Treatments.” My skin has never been softer.
And the sinks do drain, unlike those we saw at the Contemporary. It’s the little things.
The shower/bath combo is on the small side and lacks the rainfall and handheld showerheads that we’ve seen inside refurbished rooms of varying price points over the last year or so.
You’re just going to have to stand there and wait for the water to hit you. The tub is serviceable, but far from the high-end, feature-rich whirlpool that you might expect from a $1,000/night room.
Unlike the Contemporary, there was no Polynesian detail on the toilet paper, either. I give this room ZERO STARS and I KINDLY ASK YOU TO ACCEPT THE THOUSAND DOLLARS THAT I HAVE SO ELEGANTLY PLACED ON THE GROUND AS I MAKE MY EXIT IN DUE HASTE. GOOD DAY, SIR. I SAID, GOOD DAY!
I booked a Lagoon View Room because that’s what was available with a month’s notice. Said Lagoon is largely blocked by the $3,000+/night bungalows that were installed a couple of years ago.
We discussed pricing for the various view types in the Club Level Lounge review, but it’s worth reiterating that the differences in cost are substantial. After tax, going from a Standard View room to a Lagoon View room for six nights would cost an additional $891. Typically, the more-expensive view types are what’s available with the various discounts that Disney offers. So you might book a Lagoon View room at 25% off and think you’re getting “the view for free” because the Standard Rooms aren’t available with a discount. What a deal.
Here’s a lousy panorama of the view from the first floor patio.
At least as we gaze longingly at the Grand Floridian, we can see a little bit of that Lagoon we’re paying so much to view. Otherwise, given rack rates, I typically book the least expensive view type possible. I can just as easily go sit on the swing or in a chair on the beach and enjoy a similar view at my leisure for a lot less money.
Keep in mind that second floor rooms in the Hawaii building have no balcony.
Here’s the view from a Theme Park View room on the third floor of the same building.
The view is beautiful, no doubt, but I think you’d have to spend a lot of time sitting out on the balcony to derive $200/day from it.
On the other hand, that’s how much a private, outdoor balcony view of the nighttime fireworks will run you. And it’s a pretty spectacular view.
Overall, Polynesian Village rooms offer a lot of space and a fun tropical atmosphere. The rooms do show their age with the older coffee maker, refrigerator, and showerheads, but that probably isn’t going to deter most guests from booking a stay. We got particularly unlucky on the noise front with what sounded like a camel race going on above us from 7am somehow through 11am on our first morning. Add the fact that you can easily hear normal conversations through the connecting door and you have the makings for an unpleasant stay.
But with a strong nostalgia factor, unique transportation options with the monorail and watercraft, great restaurants and bars, and a picturesque location directly across from Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Polynesian Resort is the complete package. It’s just going to cost some money.
We’ll move on to the Grand Floridian.