View Full Version : My Not-So-Humble Opinion of the Dolphin

08-03-2006, 08:33 AM
Hello all! :wave: I'm here at the Dolphin (will be here a total of 7 nights) after having just been at POR for 5 nights. Although I will say the Dolphin is a nice resort--clean, lots of restaurants and shops, excellent location for Studios, Epcot and Boardwalk--I have to admit--it's no Disney. Here's why:
1. No fridge included in room rate. Okay--I can rent one at $12 a day, or I can pay $21 to have the mini bar emptied (and contrary to what I've read on the DIS, I was told at check-in that whether they empty it or I empty it, I'd still be charged $21). But this is a Deluxe resort--one that many have said is equal to or far surpasses any Disney Deluxe. I expect a 'fridge included, as I would get with Disney.
2. Inconsistent quirks with housekeeping. Several examples:
--Housekeeper threw away my newspaper, which I had set aside on the dresser. When she came back to change the sheets (which she had already done), I asked if she had thrown away the newspaper. She said yes, but she could go find it. Brought me back a newspaper she'd dug up from the trash--it was wet with a coffee spill. Ugh. I told her I'd rather not have a paper that's been in the trash. No attempt to find me a paper that hadn't been in the trash.
--No mints with the little "turn down-what's the weather like tomorrow" card. Except for the one time we were in the room when housekeeping came to drop it off. What--did the mints get eaten if we weren't there to get them personally?
Oh, and that same time--the housekeeper asked if we needed anything. We said, yes, some more washcloths, please. Housekeeper said she didn't have any. Again, no attempt to go get some for us.
3. No lifeguards at the pool, so the slide was not open. Kind of disappointing for my son.
While I can't complain about the room rate--got a teacher's discount--I guess I can just say that I agree with others who have stated that there is a lack of Disney touch at the Dolphin. The employees are friendly enough, but there's no bending over backwards to make our stay magical, as there was at POR.
Would I stay here again? Perhaps with another great discount. :sunny:

08-03-2006, 08:55 AM
I am sorry that your stay at the Dolphin was such a let down. The discounts are pretty good, but I'd rather stay at a Mod. We stayed at the Dolphin last year, was not impressed at all. We even got the $99 rate. DH says 'never again'.

08-03-2006, 09:01 AM
I am with you on this one. We stayed once and never again. The only thing we liked was the tennis courts and the room service. Otherwise it was just not the same to me. I found the hotel to be a bit overwhelming in size too.

Emmaline Lola
08-03-2006, 10:01 AM
With regards to the mints during turndown, the Swan/Dolphin does not offer mints, because of the danger of children finding them and choking on them....and also something to do of them being wrapped in foil (posed some sort of danger...don't remember.........)

ps: I worked for the Dir. of Rooms at the resort years ago, before I was married, and that was the reasoning behind taking away the mints then.........


08-03-2006, 12:47 PM
Hmmm..we got mints (well, chocolate mint candy) every night last June, as well as the little "What's the weather going to be like?" cards.

Wonder when that stopped?

08-03-2006, 12:54 PM
Oh no

say it isn't so

We are planning our first ever onsite trip and staying at the Swan

Please tell me there are some good points

08-03-2006, 12:55 PM
Hi DisneyDotty

If you are still there.... call down to the guest services and register a complaint. It's their policy to make it right if you're not happy. Seriously do this.

We had a simular incident on our last trip at the Dolphin. The housekeeper threw out a whole bunch of fruit that we had out for our kids (that we had taken from the CL lounge) and some food of our own that we purchaed. She said that we should have put a note on it and really was rude about it. Ohh.. Kay... man were we mad. So we just politely called down to the guest services and explained the situation. They applogized profusely and said they'd rectify it. About 5 minutes later they called back and again very apologetic offered us money off our stay or SPG points. We didn't see that housekeeper again. :)


08-03-2006, 01:00 PM
Oh no say it isn't so. We are planning our first ever onsite trip and staying at the Swan. Please tell me there are some good points

Don't worry the Swan and Dolphin are really (no really) nice resorts. We've stayed at both and really enjoyed both. The incident I posted above urked us a bit but really it was not a big deal and was fixed right away. Our kids love it too. There are sooo... many pluses to these resorts you won't go wrong. You'll have a wonderful time, don't fret.


08-03-2006, 01:26 PM
How strange because we are also at the Dolphin - arrived on Monday for 7 days. We didn't receive mints on 1st day but did next day -not that they're important to us! We've had the little weather card each day.
There have always been plenty of lifeguards and the pool has been open when we've been there (within pool opening hours)
We asked for our fridge to be emptied on check-in and the receptionist comped us a fridge.
No probs at all with housekeeping.
We love this place. There's been a big conference on & the delegates have been totally polite and charming and it's meant there have been loads of beds by the pools.
Bought 2 refillable mugs from Picabu - $20 for a week's worth of drinks for thirsty kids - excellent value.
Love it here!

08-03-2006, 02:52 PM
Just a note.
As a general rule "Deluxe" hotels don't have Refrigerators. Only at Disney is that the standard, so in that respect the Swan/Dolphin are comparable to thier peers.

(I have to say that I have stayed there several times. My experiences with housekeeping aren't real great. At least ONCE on the last three stays they just didn't make up my room.)

08-03-2006, 03:44 PM
That's so bizarre. The Swan/Dolphin resorts are our favorite places to stay in WDW precisely for the High Quality of service we always recieve. In fact, over the past few years, the service we've had at Sw/olphin has far exceeded what we've had at Disney-Owned resorts.

Every request we've had has been met promptly and followed up on by a call to make sure it was met satisfactorily & to see if we needed anything else. Our housekeeping has always been wonderful, with a fridge for medicine, extra towels & bedding delivered upon request. One time, my son used a rollaway bed. They delivered the bed, brought the sheets & refused to allow us to make it up, saying "It's not your job - It's your vacation. Let us do it for you."

In Decemeber 2005 when staying at the Swan, I didn't feel up to leaving the room with my family one night. There was nothing on the room service menu that appealed to me. I called guest services and asked if I could have something sent up from Palio. Within minutes, a room service attendant was at my door with a Palio menu. Within a half hour, I was happily indulging in some fabulous Palio cuisine in bed, watching a movie.

I'm sorry you aren't having the same wonderful service that we've had at the Swo/olphin our last 5 trips there.

08-03-2006, 04:03 PM
Hi again! Some updates/responses:
--My DH called about the newspaper, and the desk comped us $15. :sunny:
--However, we've been charged twice for the fridge clean-out--gotta sort that out, but don't want to wait in a very long check out line for that one right now. We typically stay at Hiltons, which do indeed offer fridges in just about all that we've stayed in. I wouldn't even say Hilton is top-of-the-line deluxe, but yes, that service is offered at places other than Disney. I just think it's kind of a ripoff to charge $21 to have the fridge cleaned out.
--We did get mints last night. Just not any other night.
--There are lots of conventioners here. And yes, they've been friendly. No complaints there.
--If you're looking to sleep in after an EMH night, be sure to put your Privacy sign out. Housekeeping came by at 8:00 a.m. this morning!
--And if you're planning to do EMH, be sure to get room keys for all in your party when you check in. The receptionist only gave us keys for the adults when I checked in--I forgot about the EMH til later...
--Last thing--at check in, I asked if Picabus offered refillable mugs. The receptionist said she didn't know. Again, she made no offer to check.

For those of you who are planning a stay here--the Dolphin IS a nice hotel. Anywhere else in the world (little w, not WDW) I would seek this hotel out. However, I've been spoiled by amazing service at Disney resorts along with the Disney magic. So when we return to WDW, I'll probably choose Disney.
There are a lot of people who come to Disney who just want a nice, clean, comfortable and convenient place to rest their heads after long hours in the parks. If so, the Dolphin is an excellent choice. I think I'm looking for a little more... :sunny:

08-03-2006, 06:19 PM
I've never stayed at the Dolphin as I am a Swan fan and I have to say that my experiences with the Swan have always been excellent. If I ever had any type of problem I called down to guest services ASAP and it was immediately taken care of. To avoid any possible problems with the fridge I tell the front desk at checkin that I don't want the key, that way there is no misunderstanding as I can't open it anyway. I bring a large cooler bag from home, fill it with ice and it's my fridge. Works great!!!! I'll be there in 3 days and I can't wait.

Since I heard the club lounge is now closed I will be buying that refillable mug at Picabus. How much is it?

08-03-2006, 06:58 PM
I agree. We stayed at Swan in June.
Although nice.......... just not Disney..... just no magic.
The people were very nice.... that had to be the best part.
However... the room left a lot to be desired. We had no sheer curtain on the windows for the first 2 days... had to call twice for them to replace it.
We had no turndown service, but my DD who was in the room next to us did. We had exact same type of ressies, both Starwood members, etc. :confused3 ??!!
One day housekeeping never showed up until 5pm when we were trying to get changed for dinner. :furious:
The quiet pool was in AWEFUL condition. Not only was it dirty, but many spots needed a lot of work. By the second day there were "caution" cones around the pool.
And the $12 / day charge for the fridge..... We could have purchased a new one at Target for what we paid. :furious: But had to have one for the baby's formula, etc.
The view we had was of a roof top. So no magic there. :confused3
It was okay.... and if the price was right and there was no availability at any of the Moderates..... then we might stay again. But most likely not.

08-03-2006, 08:06 PM
We've stayed at the Dolphin (Dec 2003) and the Swan (Dec 2004). Both on the teacher discount. We paid $129/night in 2003 for the week between Christmas and New Years, the Value resorts were $114/night. The price was great the hotel was nice and we never had any service problems. DH didn't go with us in Dec 2003 (sister trip with the kids). So he was new to these hotels when we went back in 2004.

DS preferred the Dolphin over the Swan. I think it had more to do with, he was with his boy cousins and they went all the way to the top floor and could see the fireworks over the magic kingdom....pretty cool for a 10 year old :goodvibes

DH said it didn't feel like Disney. It was like staying off-site but still getting the Extra Magic Hours.

I would stay there again if the price was right, which is why we did it those 2 years. But I always start with a Disney owned on-site and hope for really good rates.

Anyway you look at it...you're at the happiest place on earth, you're in a great location....ENJOY!

08-03-2006, 08:13 PM
I have to say that I never had more of a Disney feel until I stayed at the Swan. I have never had so many views of Disney as I did from my room. Opening my blinds every morning and seeing Spaceship Earth. Going to the club lounge and looking out the window to see the Tower of Terror, watching Illuminations from my own balcony. All the on-site properties I have stayed on and I never could get views like I do at the Swan and it's why I'm going back again. Best of all, Epcot is my favorite park and it's just a walk away.

08-04-2006, 07:08 AM
I have to say that I never had more of a Disney feel until I stayed at the Swan. I have never had so many views of Disney as I did from my room. Opening my blinds every morning and seeing Spaceship Earth. Going to the club lounge and looking out the window to see the Tower of Terror, watching Illuminations from my own balcony. All the on-site properties I have stayed on and I never could get views like I do at the Swan and it's why I'm going back again. Best of all, Epcot is my favorite park and it's just a walk away.

I agree with you - I love looking out over Epcot, MGM or Boardwalk. It's our favorite area to be in, Epcot is our favorite Park. You just can't beat the views.

08-04-2006, 08:51 AM
I'm glad you agree with me Leota. I don't understand why some people say they don't feel like they are in Disney or can feel that "magic" when staying at the Swan or Dolphin. I don't know how much more of a Disney feel you can get when staying there. Every morning I start my day off with the magic of Disney when I open the blinds to Spaceship Earth. I guess for those who have stayed there and didn't get that Disney feel it really depends on which wing they are in.