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Old 01-04-2013, 10:19 PM   #1
tiggerfied
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Maybe I'm just being picky but Saratoga Springs is such a disappointment.

We've stayed at the Boardwalk Villas twice in the last four months and we thought we would try Saratoga Springs. What a big let down...I just don't see how this can be viewed as comparable (both Deluxe). I know I may sound like a spoiled princess, but here are a few of my issues: very remote... I don't even feel like we're on Disney property; too spread out...we have to drive our car every time we want to go to the lobby/gift store, no room service, very small room (studio is approximately 75 to 100 sq. feet less than the Boardwalk Villa). And little things, like one ice machine per four story building. Once again, not a big deal but if I'mpaying Deluxe prices then I would like to have certain things. Like when we were getting ready to go to bed and opened up the sofa bed and there were no sheets! Called Front Desk and they said that the sheets are in the closet and that we have to make up the bed. Really? What hotel doesn't put sheets on the sofa bed.? It was made worse by the fact that three calls made to the front desk over a matter of 2 hours inquiring about this matter resulted in three completely different responses: ranging from apologizing for the oversight and would send someone up to make the bed to another front desk person saying that what I was asking for was turn down service and that even though she didn't know why, they were not allowed to provide that. Needless to say housekeeping never showed up.
All right. Thank you Disboards for letting me vent. Live and learn. I know there are many people who love Saratoga Springs and I hope I didn't offend anyone.
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:33 PM   #2
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Sorry you were disappointed
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Old 01-05-2013, 01:25 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiggerfied View Post
We've stayed at the Boardwalk Villas twice in the last four months and we thought we would try Saratoga Springs. What a big let down...I just don't see how this can be viewed as comparable (both Deluxe). I know I may sound like a spoiled princess, but here are a few of my issues: very remote... I don't even feel like we're on Disney property; too spread out...we have to drive our car every time we want to go to the lobby/gift store, no room service, very small room (studio is approximately 75 to 100 sq. feet less than the Boardwalk Villa). And little things, like one ice machine per four story building. Once again, not a big deal but if I'm paying Deluxe prices then I would like to have certain things. Like when we were getting ready to go to bed and opened up the sofa bed and there were no sheets! Called Front Desk and they said that the sheets are in the closet and that we have to make up the bed. Really? What hotel doesn't put sheets on the sofa bed.? It was made worse by the fact that three calls made to the front desk over a matter of 2 hours inquiring about this matter resulted in three completely different responses: ranging from apologizing for the oversight and would send someone up to make the bed to another front desk person saying that what I was asking for was turn down service and that even though she didn't know why, they were not allowed to provide that. Needless to say housekeeping never showed up.
All right. Thank you Disboards for letting me vent. Live and learn. I know there are many people who love Saratoga Springs and I hope I didn't offend anyone.
We stayed there recently at the Congress Park area, so we could conveniently walk to Downtown Disney. Most nights we walked to the main dining/shopping area. It was a 4~5 minute walk, very easily done. Without knowing where you stayed I cannot comment how far or long you may have walked in your circumstance.

Room size , from Allears :

Boardwalk Villas : Studios: These rooms are 359 square feet and come with one queen bed, a double sleeper sofa, small dining table and two chairs, armoire, TV, bathroom and a private balcony or patio which has two chairs and a small table.

Saratoga Springs : The Studio Villas sleep four in a room of 355 square feet. There is one queen-size bed and one full-size sofa bed, one bathroom, a wet bar, small refrigerator, microwave, and coffee maker, and a porch or balcony.

One small tip - the Front Desk line at most resorts goes to a call center, whereas the housekeeping line goes directly to the resort's housekeeping personnel.
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Old 01-05-2013, 08:26 AM   #4
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I was at SSR, for the first time, early last month. I normally stay at BWV or BLT...both home resorts. But, SSR was the only thing available when I finally decided to book!!!!
It's a beautiful resort. The CMs I ran into were all wonderful...especially Bell Services.
But, I doubt I'll stay there again. It is very spread out...and a car is a good thing there. I was in the Grandstand area, right next to the bus stop, with the pool area almost under my balcony!! I was completely unfamiliar with the resort to begin with. And the 'map' they provide wasn't much help as far as finding walkways. When I checked in, it was about noontime...the bus from AK to SSR took close to an hour to arrive. Figured that if I left AK by 11am, I would have no issue making my 2:00 LeCellier ADR!!!! Stood in that line for an hour.....finally got to SSR around 12:20. Now, I had no idea where to go. The bus driver told me where to get off to check in. But, do you think I could find any signage that showed me where to go once I got off that bus? Nope. Perhaps I was just not observant, but I saw nothing. After roaming around for a bit, I finally found checkin. My room was ready, but it 'seemed' to be a fair distance from where I was, so I decided I didn't have enough time to go there and then get to Epcot. I went to get a cab, but a Bell Services CM put me in a white WDW van and took me directly to BC so I could enter through the IG!!! Really nice guy!!! I made it to LC with about 10 mins to spare.
Okay...I get back to SSR later in the evening...around 10ish. I go to my studio, and my room key doesn't work!!! Of course..perfect ending to a nutty day. Now...understand...I have no idea where I am in relation to checkin. So, I wander around, trying to get my bearings. Nope, that wasn't a good idea. Finally got on the bus and went to The Springs. By now, I know how to get to checkin!!! The poor CM at the front desk took my room key to a manager who fixed it. Then, when I asked how to best get back to my room, she told me that a CM would go with me, in a golf cart!! Okay. The key worked fine this time.
My room was fine, but I wasn't crazy about the way it was set up. I'm used to having the tub/toilet area door open into the vanity area. But not in this room!!!! It faced the kitchenette/entry way!!! And every single time you went near the tub/toilet area, a very noisy fan came on!!! And it took forever to stop running!!! The room size was comparable to BWV, so no issue there. But, the next day, when I tried to open the slider? Nope, not so good. The grids, on the front and back of the sliders, were broken, so the doors would get stuck and jammed when you tried to push them open or closed!!! Made going out on the balcony a true production. And when I was in the room, with the curtains opened??? Could barely see out the windows due to a ton of dirt on them!!! I'm not picky, but that was disgusting!!!
I finally decided to explore a bit..and found exactly how close I was to the main area!!! I felt really stupid!! But, I think that they could have explained that to me upon checkin, when I asked how far the room was from where I was. The only answer I got was 'oh, not that far'. In all reality? It was about as far as the distance from one of my BWV studios, overlooking the Village Green to Boardwalk Bakery!!!! About a 5 min walk!!!! They just needed to point me in the right direction.

The ride on the bus, if in the Grandstand area, was long. It took about 15-20 mins before you actually got off the property!!! So, those that complain about the buses at the Epcot resorts?? Yeah, there are some that are worse!!!

All in all...it is a beautiful resort. If you normally rent a car, this is the resort for you. I did feel a bit 'out there' vs other DVC resorts. But, I felt the same way about OKW as well. If I had to choose between OKW and SSR?? Just not sure which one I would choose.
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Old 01-05-2013, 08:59 AM   #5
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I am sorry you were disappointed! SSR is set up very differently than BWV. Like OKW, SSR is not part of a hotel, but 100%DVC units. More like a typical condo/timeshare set up. There is indeed no room service and the WDW website does list the amenities but it can still be a shock and disappointment. It is very spread out. However, I do not agree that a car is a necessity. We had a car I believe two of the eight stays there and managed fine. There are short cuts and once you get the lay of the land so to speak, it gets easier. It is close to DTD, which is its draw, just as BWV is close to Epcot. I do know some people do not like the way you can see some of the DTD hotels and how close it is to the edge of WDW property and understand that.

What we liked about SSR over BWV, were the grounds. We prefer a spread out resort. BWV felt too small for us! And while BWV does have room service, its onsite dining was a complete joke to us. SSR does have two cs locations a full serve restaurant and three bars. We do love the convenience of the restaurants at BC, YC Epcot and the Boardwalk, but also loved being able to walk or boat to DTD and all its options.

Have you been able to swim? The pools at SSR are some of the best. We loved the main pool but the quiet pool at Congress Park is probably our favorite pool in WDW. The views of DTD at night are really nice.

I think its what you are used to. For you its BWV, for us it was SSR and OKW. We missed the grounds, numerous pools, convenient bus stops, or being able to park right outside our door and more onsite dining. We loved BWV, but would never do more than a few nights there again, whereas we could and have done 10 to 14 nights at SSR and OKW. We were at the end of an endless hallway at BWV and about as far from the lobby and only bus stop as possible and that definitely affected our opinion. It felt inconvenient over what we were used to at SSR of having a bus stop near our building. The parking at BWV was awful, we were thankful we didn't have a car there and sorry for our friends that did. We also hated the shared bus route. But loved walking to Epcot and Studios. We had a love hate kind of feeling about the location of BWV, but thats been our experience with all resirts. WDW is so huge, every resort is convenient to some things and some things only! Again, its about what you are used to and what set up works for each individual.

I have seen similar reviews to yours,many either don't research the differences in SSR over a standard hotel, or don't realize until they get there how much they will miss a typical hotel atmosphere. At least you now know what you don't like and I do suggest you avoid OKW since its very similar.

Your post will help others so its good you did post your experience!

Bottom line, its spread out with multiple bus stops (our numerous experiences never had us on a bus for 20 minutes just to get out of the resort, maybe we were lucky). Research the resort sections and request the area that will fit you best. Location is really important at the large resorts.
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Old 01-05-2013, 09:10 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiggerfied View Post
We've stayed at the Boardwalk Villas twice in the last four months and we thought we would try Saratoga Springs. What a big let down...I just don't see how this can be viewed as comparable (both Deluxe). I know I may sound like a spoiled princess, but here are a few of my issues: very remote... I don't even feel like we're on Disney property; too spread out...we have to drive our car every time we want to go to the lobby/gift store, no room service, very small room (studio is approximately 75 to 100 sq. feet less than the Boardwalk Villa). And little things, like one ice machine per four story building. Once again, not a big deal but if I'mpaying Deluxe prices then I would like to have certain things. Like when we were getting ready to go to bed and opened up the sofa bed and there were no sheets! Called Front Desk and they said that the sheets are in the closet and that we have to make up the bed. Really? What hotel doesn't put sheets on the sofa bed.? It was made worse by the fact that three calls made to the front desk over a matter of 2 hours inquiring about this matter resulted in three completely different responses: ranging from apologizing for the oversight and would send someone up to make the bed to another front desk person saying that what I was asking for was turn down service and that even though she didn't know why, they were not allowed to provide that. Needless to say housekeeping never showed up.
All right. Thank you Disboards for letting me vent. Live and learn. I know there are many people who love Saratoga Springs and I hope I didn't offend anyone.
I agree with you. We tried it one time and won't be back again. It's just not my type of resort.
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Old 01-05-2013, 09:40 AM   #7
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And this is why I love the Disboards... Such thoughtful replies with great insight! FYI I ordered the room delivery pizza last night and it wasn't bad...certainly beats the cost of room service. We're dying to try the pools here but unfortunately we hit WDW during kind of a rainy chilly few days.
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Old 01-05-2013, 09:46 AM   #8
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I completely agree with you. I stayed there for ten nights in 2008 with some family who were DVC owners. I couldn't stand it; it felt like a generic apartment complex. I swore I'd never be back.

Then, this past October, Disney bumped us from the overbooked POFQ (which we love) and put us at SSR. I should have fought it, but I didn't. I'm glad I gave it a second chance though, because now I can definitely say, without a doubt, that it's my least favorite Disney resort, and I'd choose a value over it any day.

You're entitled to your opinion. No resort caters to all people! I hope you have a magical stay anyway.
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Old 01-05-2013, 09:58 AM   #9
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So what section are you in? Crummy weather and a disappointing resort experience, I feel so bad for you!

Also, it sounds like you are staying on cash, not points. If so, and you have some length left on your trip, ask to be moved! A trip down to the front desk speaking directly to a manager might yield you getting moved to a resort you would enjoy far more.

Either way, I hope things get a lot better!
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:05 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amy&Dan View Post
I am sorry you were disappointed! SSR is set up very differently than BWV. Like OKW, SSR is not part of a hotel, but 100%DVC units. More like a typical condo/timeshare set up. There is indeed no room service and the WDW website does list the amenities but it can still be a shock and disappointment. It is very spread out. However, I do not agree that a car is a necessity. We had a car I believe two of the eight stays there and managed fine. There are short cuts and once you get the lay of the land so to speak, it gets easier. It is close to DTD, which is its draw, just as BWV is close to Epcot. I do know some people do not like the way you can see some of the DTD hotels and how close it is to the edge of WDW property and understand that.

What we liked about SSR over BWV, were the grounds. We prefer a spread out resort. BWV felt too small for us! And while BWV does have room service, its onsite dining was a complete joke to us. SSR does have two cs locations a full serve restaurant and three bars. We do love the convenience of the restaurants at BC, YC Epcot and the Boardwalk, but also loved being able to walk or boat to DTD and all its options.

Have you been able to swim? The pools at SSR are some of the best. We loved the main pool but the quiet pool at Congress Park is probably our favorite pool in WDW. The views of DTD at night are really nice.

I think its what you are used to. For you its BWV, for us it was SSR and OKW. We missed the grounds, numerous pools, convenient bus stops, or being able to park right outside our door and more onsite dining. We loved BWV, but would never do more than a few nights there again, whereas we could and have done 10 to 14 nights at SSR and OKW. We were at the end of an endless hallway at BWV and about as far from the lobby and only bus stop as possible and that definitely affected our opinion. It felt inconvenient over what we were used to at SSR of having a bus stop near our building. The parking at BWV was awful, we were thankful we didn't have a car there and sorry for our friends that did. We also hated the shared bus route. But loved walking to Epcot and Studios. We had a love hate kind of feeling about the location of BWV, but thats been our experience with all resirts. WDW is so huge, every resort is convenient to some things and some things only! Again, its about what you are used to and what set up works for each individual.

I have seen similar reviews to yours,many either don't research the differences in SSR over a standard hotel, or don't realize until they get there how much they will miss a typical hotel atmosphere. At least you now know what you don't like and I do suggest you avoid OKW since its very similar.

Your post will help others so its good you did post your experience!

Bottom line, its spread out with multiple bus stops (our numerous experiences never had us on a bus for 20 minutes just to get out of the resort, maybe we were lucky). Research the resort sections and request the area that will fit you best. Location is really important at the large resorts.
Not sure if you're responding to the OP or to me, but I will respond. I did my homework. I am very familiar with all the different setups at the various DVC resorts. I don't think my issue was one of 'hotel' vs ' villa'. My issue was more with the room I got. I have never seen a room with the issues mine had...at any other DVC resort, and I've stayed at all of the WDW ones.
If you don't mind waiting for the buses (and I usually don't) and then spending a fair amount of time on them, then fine, use the buses. But many posters complain when they have to spend more than 10 mins on a bus, let alone wait for it to get there. And at SSR, it's a long time on the bus if you're at Grandstand!!
It's a lovely resort..quite beautiful and peaceful. If I were to go to WDW, and not spend extended times at the parks, then SSR would be a great fit. It is more like a true resort, or time share village. Same with OKW.
But for those that want easy, quick access to the parks, these two resorts may not be the best choice.
It's a wonderful thing to have so many choices. And just because I found some things I, personally, didn't care for at SSR, doesn't make it a less than wonderful spot for others. I love BWV, but I realize there are some that don't...for various reasons. And others should be able to read varying posts about all the resorts. That way, they can do their homework, and choose the best resort for their family!!
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:10 AM   #11
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Goofy4tink, I was responding in general. As I said, I have seen similar reviews. I also said this review would help others, as in future guests.

The only reference I made to you was in regards to the 20 minute time frame of getting out of the resort. And I did not dispute that, just said that was not our experience. For sure the Grandstand stop has you on the bus the longest since its the first stop. You do generally get a seat, but you ride around!

Your housekeeping issues were unacceptable. Had I been responding to you, I would for sure have mentioned that!

I do think SSR is a great resort and while I think it can work great for park trips, it can work even better for stays geared towards down time. The spa, pools, DTD and golf are truly the big draws.
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:13 AM   #12
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Sorry your stay was a disappointment. Sounds like SSR isn't the place for you.

As a pp pointed out, SSR and BWV villas are almost the same size. I don't notice any difference myself.

I think the sofa bed not being made up with sheets was a housekeeping oversight not exclusive to SSR. It could have happened at any DVC resort. The responses you received when calling the 'front desk' aren't acceptable, but over the 20 years we've been staying at Disney resorts, I'm not surprised at what you were told and that no one showed up to make the bed. Calling housekeeping or going to the front desk is best in my experience. I've also found calling housekeeping in the evening hours at any Disney resort can be an 'adventure'. Back when each bed only had 2 pillows I called at POR for 4 extra pillows and was told only 2 extra pillow per room were allowed After 2 pillows were delivered I called and asked for 2 more Some things you just have to laugh about.

We've stayed several times at BWV and all have been disappointing in some way. There has been problems every time and its the last DVC I would choose to stay at, even with its great location close to other resorts and Epcot. Our last time at BWV was in a villa at the end of the resort near the canal and the door lock was was having a problem that never got fixed during our stay. It was so aggravating to have to walk the long walk to return to the lobby every time we wanted to get into our room. We had to get someone to walk back with us that could get the door open with a master key!

We've stayed in Congress Park and Springs areas at SSR and really enjoyed our stays. I love the pools, food service, and closeness to DD. The resort is large and spread out and a car definitely comes in handy. And I probably wouldn't stay at SSR if I didn't have a rental car.

Hope your next stay is better!
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:46 AM   #13
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Though I enjoyed my stay at SSR and liked being near DTD it didn't wow me like AKL does and I am not itching to stay there again at least for now. May be that will change in the future - don't know yet. To each his own.


Hope you have enjoyable Disney stays in the future!
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:50 AM   #14
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That's one of the things that is so great about WDW... something for everyone.

For us, while we love the location of BWV, we find the pool area & lack of QS options a deal breaker. Different strokes for different folks.
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:58 AM   #15
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Ssr

Our family just got home from being at SSR for 7 nights and CSR for 3 nights (12/22/12-1/1/13). We had a wonderful time. We like the quiet/laid back feelings of these resorts (OKW as well), after being at the hectic parks all day, the quiet resorts are a big comfort.

We needed extra sheets/pillows, as our 17 year old son was not going to sleep with his 13 year old sister on the sleeper sofa (we had a 1 bedroom unit). We called housekeeping when we got to our unit in the evening after spending all day at the parks, and they had extra sheets, 2 extra blankets and 2 extra pillows within minutes of our phone call.

We don't mind the walking, the grounds are gorgeous and it takes the guilt away from the delicious food and extra treats we are eating during our stay.

No may matter where you stay, there may be issues. You learn which resorts fit your needs and which ones don't. They all have their plus and minuses. We have learned that we like the larger/quieter resorts for our visits.
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