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Old 03-14-2013, 11:20 AM   #1
World Showcaser
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Off Site Recommendations?

I have always stayed on site but I'm wondering, if you were not staying at a WDW Resort, which hotel would you stay out? Are there any other places in the general area that feel just as magical?
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Old 03-14-2013, 11:42 AM   #2
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I have always stayed on site but I'm wondering, if you were not staying at a WDW Resort, which hotel would you stay out? Are there any other places in the general area that feel just as magical?
While I'm not sure I would call it "magical", when we stay off site we usually stay at Marriott's Cypress Harbour vacation club resort. You can get a nice, fully furnished 2 bedroom condo there for not a lot more than the price of a non-discounted WDW moderate resort. It's only about a 10 - 15 minute drive to any of the parks. They have 3 pools, tennis courts, etc. and a quick serve dining location (it was run by Pizza Hut last time we were there). We think it's a very relaxing place, and sometimes it's nice to get away from the crowds, noise, etc. at Disney.
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Old 03-14-2013, 12:16 PM   #3
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We stayed at the Downtown Disney Holiday Inn on Hotel Plaza Blvd this past Thanksgiving week. We really enjoyed our stay there. They had a great breakfast included in our price with Mickey waffles which made the kids very happy! They also had buses that ran every 30 minutes to all 4 parks. The only downside was the extra time it took to get to MK through the TTC, but since we went during a time with NO discounts, we preferred to save the money and stay offsite. We wouldn't hesitate to stay there again if no onsite discounts were offered for our dates!
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Old 03-14-2013, 12:23 PM   #4
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I guess I'm looking for places that have some theming or a unique or beautiful atmosphere ...not just a standard hotel. Do you think the hotels you mentioned are like that?
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Old 03-14-2013, 12:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
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I guess I'm looking for places that have some theming or a unique or beautiful atmosphere ...not just a standard hotel. Do you think the hotels you mentioned are like that?
The Holiday Inn DTD doesn't have a unique or beautiful atmosphere with great theming of anything like that. We had a balcony with a great view of DTD and we were very close walking distance to DTD. There was also a Disney gift shop in the hotel. Nothing as magical as onsite. If I were looking for magical, unique, and totally Disney-themed, I'd stay onsite for sure. We'd only consider offsite to save money if there are no onsite discounts.
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Old 03-14-2013, 01:01 PM   #6
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We've stayed at the Swan and Dolphin. This trip (April), we're staying at Wyndham Bonnet Creek resort. There are 2 lazy river pools and a few other pools plus playgrounds. It's right behind Disney's Caribbean resort. A 2 bedroom there cost less than a Disney mod. I got my reservation through a friend but many people go through VacationUpgrades.com. A 2 bd for 7 nights can be had for about ~$850.
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Old 03-14-2013, 01:26 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by World Showcaser View Post
I guess I'm looking for places that have some theming or a unique or beautiful atmosphere ...not just a standard hotel. Do you think the hotels you mentioned are like that?
Marriott's Cypress Harbour that I posted above reminds me of Disney's OKW resort. The pictures on Marriott's web site will give you a good idea of how it looks.
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Old 03-16-2013, 11:07 AM   #8
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If I were looking for magical, unique, and totally Disney-themed, I'd stay onsite for sure. We'd only consider offsite to save money if there are no onsite discounts.
I'm not looking for Disney-themed offsite. In fact, I'm staying on-site at POR because I liked being immersed in Disney. I was just curious as to what was out there as I have never explored offsite before and thought for a non-Disney trip, there might be some cool non-Disney sites to stay at. I'm not really concerned about price either.

So, the examples listed below are the kind of thing I was curious about. Thank you very much for all your recommendations. I like the thought of the lazy river pools very much!

Has anyone ever stayed at the Universal hotels? Are there any others that were neat?

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We've stayed at the Swan and Dolphin. This trip (April), we're staying at Wyndham Bonnet Creek resort. There are 2 lazy river pools and a few other pools plus playgrounds. It's right behind Disney's Caribbean resort.
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Marriott's Cypress Harbour that I posted above reminds me of Disney's OKW resort.
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Old 03-16-2013, 12:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by World Showcaser View Post
I'm not looking for Disney-themed offsite. In fact, I'm staying on-site at POR because I liked being immersed in Disney. I was just curious as to what was out there as I have never explored offsite before and thought for a non-Disney trip, there might be some cool non-Disney sites to stay at. I'm not really concerned about price either.

So, the examples listed below are the kind of thing I was curious about. Thank you very much for all your recommendations. I like the thought of the lazy river pools very much!

Has anyone ever stayed at the Universal hotels? Are there any others that were neat?
You're welcome.

The Universal hotels leave Disney's in the dust. We haven't stayed at the Hard Rock but we have friends who have and they love it. They said the restaurant and pool are fantastic.

We've stayed at the Portofino and Royal Pacific.
The Portofino is gorgeous and is their most deluxe. Compared to the Disney deluxe, it is plus ultra-very understated and elegant. The rooms are beautifully decorated, the theme is outstanding. You could just stay there and make a vacation of it. It's my favorite.

The Royal Pacific is where we usually stay because my daughter fell in love with it on our first visit. The landscaping is lush and the restaurants are wonderful. It has a fun pool. The rooms are Polynesian themed without being dark and gloomy.

The staffs are outstanding at all 3. Just an example. We were booked at the Royal Pacific for 3 nights. On the first night, my daughter got sick and I made the decision to leave the next morning. The manager came out and said we would not be charged for that night and even though it was past cancellation, we were not charged for the other 2 nights either. I wasn't expecting it nor do I think she caught any bug specifically at Universal, after all we had just spent 6 nights at WDW and went to a few places in Orlando so she could have been exposed anywhere.
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Old 03-16-2013, 12:40 PM   #10
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You're welcome.

The Universal hotels leave Disney's in the dust. We haven't stayed at the Hard Rock but we have friends who have and they love it. They said the restaurant and pool are fantastic.

We've stayed at the Portofino and Royal Pacific.
The Portofino is gorgeous and is their most deluxe. Compared to the Disney deluxe, it is plus ultra-very understated and elegant. The rooms are beautifully decorated, the theme is outstanding. You could just stay there and make a vacation of it. It's my favorite.

The Royal Pacific is where we usually stay because my daughter fell in love with it on our first visit. The landscaping is lush and the restaurants are wonderful. It has a fun pool. The rooms are Polynesian themed without being dark and gloomy.

The staffs are outstanding at all 3. Just an example. We were booked at the Royal Pacific for 3 nights. On the first night, my daughter got sick and I made the decision to leave the next morning. The manager came out and said we would not be charged for that night and even though it was past cancellation, we were not charged for the other 2 nights either. I wasn't expecting it nor do I think she caught any bug specifically at Universal, after all we had just spent 6 nights at WDW and went to a few places in Orlando so she could have been exposed anywhere.
I've been wondering about the Universal hotels. I might like to take a trip over there one of these times. The website makes them all look amazing!
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Old 03-16-2013, 12:47 PM   #11
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They are . The rooms at the RP are smallish but very, very nice. The other 2 have larger rooms. If you decide to go, buy a preferred annual pass. It has a hotel discount and practically pays for itself with the hotel discount.
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Old 03-16-2013, 03:22 PM   #12
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When we stay offsite we go for the extraspace of a condo rental at Windsor Hills
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Old 03-16-2013, 04:52 PM   #13
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If you're looking for a themed resort, I've heard Gaylord Palms is just that. You can look it up on their web site for pics.
I haven't stayed there. We do stay onsite, but first visit we stayed at a Marriott Courtyard on Palm Pkwy. Another time we stayed 1 night pre package at the DTD Doubletree. 1 bedroom suite. But not the theming around the grounds of a WDW resort, The pool was just a pool.
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Old 03-16-2013, 07:17 PM   #14
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Moving to the Orlando Hotels board.
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Old 03-18-2013, 12:27 PM   #15
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They are . The rooms at the RP are smallish but very, very nice. The other 2 have larger rooms. If you decide to go, buy a preferred annual pass. It has a hotel discount and practically pays for itself with the hotel discount.
This is a great tip! I wouldn't have known about it.

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If you're looking for a themed resort, I've heard Gaylord Palms is just that. You can look it up on their web site for pics.
I have heard of Gaylord Palms...in fact I think I drove by. But I don't know anything about it. I'll take a look at the pics just for fun.

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Moving to the Orlando Hotels board.
Thank you very much. I realized after starting the thread that I likely posted it on the wrong board.
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