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View Full Version : Marriott Grande Vista: Report


rejobako
06-16-2003, 09:43 AM
Just got back from a week at Disney; we stayed at Marriott's Grande Vista, and since there were some inquiring about the place last week, I figured I'd post a report.

First of all, the exterior photos on Marriott's Vacation Ownership website aren't really representative of how nice the landscaping is now. The palms and tropical foliage have grown in nice and thick around the main buildings. We stayed in building 91, recently remodeled, and we had absolutely no complaints. Our 2/2 unit was elegantly furnished and well appointed. What I really liked about the furnishings was that it wasn't the typical wicker and rattan faux Florida stuff that you always see in these places. The room was done in medium to dark tones; burgundy sofa, glass dining table with high backed chairs, etc. My favorite part was the two person jacuzzi tub in the main bedroom area; I watched the US Open just soaking away with a Red Stripe. Perfect.

Our room overlooked the main pool area, and if you need absolute silence, you might want to ask for a room in one of the outlying buildings, perhaps overlooking the golf course, because you will definitely hear kids yelling in the pool, and there is upbeat latin music being piped over the hidden microphones in that area, and you can hear that if you have your balcony doors open. The pool area is closed at 11:00 p.m.; we didn't have any problems with noise, but I can see how some people would prefer more quiet.

There's plenty going on there this time of year. There are short morning programs for the kids, boat rentals on the small lake; a big game room and a fun indoor playroom area for the kids with one of those large contraptions they swing and crawl around in. Our daughter couldn't get enough of that.

Friday night there was a "going away party" with face painting, juggling, music, etc., and they brought in some animals from a local wildlife shelter. Our daughter's apparently not scared of anything. She's three years old and had a snake as thick as my bicep curled around her neck and she was happy as a clam. The highlight was a Florida panther that was lounging on a sofa in the main lobby. Kind of freaky, though. There's this 100 pound feline lounging around with it's head propped up on a female trainer's lap, with no leash, restraint, or anything. I was a little leery of what might have happened if someone had walked in the door with a housecat or a dog or something.

I took a morning golf lesson at the adjoining Faldo facility. If you're a golf fanatic, they have a great training facility with all sorts of lessons and programs available. I got my swing analyzed on video; they compared my swing in slow motion with Nick Faldo's. Kind of humbling, to say the least, but I really learned a lot about what I'm doing wrong. They give me the video as well, so I can show my friends how pathetic my swing is, complete with slow motion and graphics showing the angles, trajectories, etc. Very high tech. With the lesson, you're granted a half day's privileges on the 9 hole course that surrounds the property. Well maintained, but fairly short holes.

The resort is located just next to Sea World, so there's easy access there and to Universal, as well as to the Convention Center and the I-Drive madhouse. Disney's easy to get to as well, but it's at least a 15 minute drive to get to the Magic Kingdom parking area. If you need to feel REALLY CLOSE to the mouse for your entire vacation, you might want to look elsewhere.

The pool area is awesome. There are three pools, two of them more quiet, but if you have small children you definitely want to take them to the main pool area, which has a large C-shaped pool, a kiddie pool with a couple of fountains; a lap pool, and even an area with water jets that shoot out of the ground that the kids can run around in. It gets to be crowded there, but not so much that you can't find a lounge chair. The Lighthouse bar is close by so you can grab a soda or rum runner.

If you want to eat but don't want to leave the premises, you have some choices. There's a Pizza Hut on site that will deliver to your room. There's also a store called the Marketplace that has a little deli, and which also carries virtually everything you could possibly need while on vacation. Nick's Grill is the high end choice; it's a fairly unassuming restaurant overlooking the golf facility, but we were pleasantly surprised at the quality of the food. The filet mignon was one of the best I ever had, although be warned, there are no budget choices on the menu in the evening. The cheapest entree was $20 (they do have kids' meal choices, however).

There's a very helpful concierge on site that helped us get tickets to some events. We got a $7 discount per ticket for our evening at Medieval Times. (My wife gets very randy at the site of men wearing armour, so this is always on our agenda. ;) )

The staff was professional; my only complaint was with one of the bartenders in the Lighthouse Bar, who really shouldn't be working in the service industry. Otherwise, I can't recommend this place highly enough. We're going back next year. If anyone has any questions, let me know.

Robinrs
06-17-2003, 06:28 AM
Wow, rejobako!

Great report!

The Marriott properties are high on my short list of things to visit! Now I'm really impressed.

I cannot imagine them being more beautiful than the pictures. The pictures I've seen are breathtaking!

ttfn3
06-17-2003, 07:09 AM
Nice trip report!

I had to smile when I read your report of your golf lesson. My DH took a lesson at the Marriott Grand Vista last November and we had a ball watching his video. He had a great time.

MGV is a great resort!

Harryo
06-19-2003, 09:18 AM
I'll second that! My family and I will be there for a week in August. Grande Vista is a great resort.