Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Disney's Yacht Club Resort

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The Yacht Club and its sister resort the Beach Club are situated along Crescent Lake, directly across from Disney's BoardWalk. These resorts were designed to evoke the feel of the seashore -- in the Yacht Club's case, New England seaside towns of the late 1800s, like Newport and Bar Harbor. The Yacht Club is the gray clapboard half of the same building which also houses the Beach Club. A wrecked yacht, the Albatross, is on its sandy shore. (The Beach Club's side is sky blue, with a white sandy stretch of beach.)

When you enter the Yacht Club, you may be greeted by a dapper gentleman in a sharp double-breasted navy jacket, white
pants, and a white admiral's cap. This is one aspect of the Yacht Club that makes a stay there enchanting. The greeter is just one thing that sets the Yacht Club apart from most other resorts, even at Disney.

The Yacht Club's decor is distinctly nautical, and feels slightly more upscale, and formal, than its Beach Club counterpart. The motif is not abandoned once you leave the main lobby area -- it's carried throughout the spacious and comfortable resort, which houses about 540 standard rooms. Down the hallways leading to the rooms you'll find a padded bench surrounded by potted palms, or a credenza, curio cabinet or breakfront, filled with antique dishes and pottery. The details are even seen in the carpeting. Under your feet, you'll note the rugs and carpets not only bear the sailing motif, with their compass and stars, but they also feature not-so-hidden Mickey heads woven into the pattern.

The rooms themselves are decorated in a variety of blues and maroons, accented with sailboats and ropes (on the bedspreads), anchors (on the chairs), and Hidden Mickeys scattered here and there as well. While you're admiring all
these details in the room, don't miss the cute Skipper Mickey lamp on the desk. Rooms have one king-size or two queen-size beds with a headboard that sports a ships' wheel as the center point. There are also double sinks in the bathroom area, a makeup mirror, a small table and chairs, refrigerator, coffeemaker, and an armoire with a television and a minibar. Some rooms have balconies or patios. Other room amenities include room service, hair dryers, iron and ironing board, newspaper delivery, turndown service (on request), wall safe, toiletries, and voice mail. (The Yacht Club also offers a concierge service with slightly larger rooms on the fifth floor.

As comfortable as the rooms are, you probably won't want to stay there for long, especially since the Yacht Club is one of the resorts whose guests can enjoy the mini-water park known as Stormalong Bay. This oversized pool features a sand bottom, with bubbling jets, a water slide inside a shipwreck and two hot tubs. This pool is for guests of the Yacht and Beach Club and Beach Club Villas only. If you're looking for a quieter pool experience,there is a quiet pool, the Admiral Pool, located at the far end of the resort, near the tennis courts. For the kids, there's also a playground in the Stormalong Bay area.

Because the Yacht Club shares a lot of facilities with its neighbor the Beach Club, when you stay here you can take advantage of more than the usual number of amenities. For example, there's the usual fitness room, the Ship Shape Health Club, which also offers spa and massage services. And there's also the game arcade Lafferty Place. (Both are located adjacent to the pool area.) But there is also a beauty salon, Periwig's, and a
burger joint (the extremely popular Beaches and Cream). There's also the Bayside Marina, which rents pontoon boats, sea raycers (like jet skis),and surrey bikes.

Besides being walking distance to both Epcot (about a 5-minute walk) and Disney's Hollywood Studios (about a 15-minute walk), the Yacht Club's location is convenient to a number of eating
establishments. At the Yacht Club proper, you'll find the Captain's Grille which serves a buffet breakfast, and basic American fare for dinner. The Yachtsman Steakhouse, around the corner, is one of the better fine dining restaurants on Disney property. In the mornings, you can pick up a light breakfast and coffee at the Ale and Compass Lounge, located right in the main hotel lobby. And if you're looking for cocktails, along with appetizers or finger foods, the Crew's Cup lounge is located next door to the Yachtsman. And I can't forget to mention that there is 24-hour room service one of the advantages of staying at one of Disney's deluxe resort hotels.

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