Am I just a Disney Snob???

Discussion in 'Universal Orlando Resorts & Hotels' started by catyanna, Jul 27, 2012.

  1. catyanna

    catyanna Mouseketeer

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    My husband & I spent a night at Portofino Bay this past weekend. I picked this resort because from the website it looked absolutely BEAUTIFUL. As we drove in, still Beautiful. The lobby, beautiful. However, as we walked around, we realized that all the details that in our opinion made this place beautiful, were just painted on. Not only were they painted on, but the paint job was not that great either. We were very disappointed.
    We are Disney people but decided to spend some "alone" time w/o our 4 yr old son. Since he is not tall enough for most rides at the Universal parks, we went w/ Universal. Boy was "alone" the correct word to use. The bay area of this resort was EMPTY. We thought that maybe in the evening things would pick up a bit & we'd see more "life". But nope. At about 8pm, the place was a ghost town.
    We wanted to eat dinner & at 9:55 were turned away from one of the restaurants. They closed at 10. Disney would NEVER do this. So we walked around some more & found Trattoria something or other. We were seated & our waitress came & she was VERY nice. We orders some Pomegranate martinis. (Bonefish has amazing pom martinis) Needless to say, our martinis were not what I expected. We ordered soup, ahi tuna & an entree to share.
    Before I go on, I must say, I am in no way a food snob. I will eat just about ANYTHING. With that said, the onion soup was the worst I've ever had. I could not finish it. It was very bitter. The tuna came & I was exited because I love tuna. The best thing on the plate were the pieces of lime garnish. Finally our entree comes & we were pleasantly surprised that they served it on 2 plates for us. Thank goodness the sauce that came w/ our mahi mahi was good. I was able to dunk the tuna in it.
    When our bill came, we were hit by a not-so-pleasant surprise. Our disgusting martinis were Grey Goose! We didn't order them that way. Either way, we didn't complain as we didn't want to get our waitress in trouble.
    So we leave & take out bottle of pellagrino w/ us to our room. When we get there & try to put it in the fridge, guess what? NO FRIDGE! I assumed that "Refreshment Pantry" had something to do w/ a fridge. My mistake. It was LOCKED!

    At the end, everything happens for a reason! My husband, who is happy w/ a bed & a shower, had to make it know to me that he now understands why I always chose Disney. He can now appreciate the fact that while we pay more at Disney, you get what you pay for. He noticed that the quality of Disney is far better than others. Port Bay, while beautiful from afar, was somewhat run down, stains on the outside wall, empty bottles around the ground.
    This helped me w/ the idea of staying at Disney's Boardwalk in October. So like the title says, I may be a Disney snob But that's OK with me!
     
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  3. Rip

    Rip Proud Redhead

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    I don't mean to sound like a jerk, but it honestly sounds like you were looking for reasons not to like it. I've stayed at every deluxe Disney has except the AKL and the Portofino is leaps and bounds nicer, cleaner and more appealing. As far as being turned away just prior to closing - yes, Disney would do it, I've had it done to me, but you also have to keep in mind that neither the hotels nor the restaurants (for the most part) are owned or operated by Universal. Go to the Swan at 5 minutes (or less) before closing to one of the restaurants and they will tell you "the kitchen closes in 5 minutes" and you will not get food after that. It's really quite common, and the only reason they will let you in is because the bar is still open.

    I didn't really get past the first paragraph, so I won't comment further. I am sorry you didn't enjoy your stay, and I do think you should stick with Disney, I just don't think you're being quite fair at least with the first couple of criticisms.

    ETA - I did notice that you've obviously never stayed at a hotel with a minibar - they are required by law to have locks on them. Personally, I love the fact that, unlike the empty, mostly worthless mini-refrigerators at Disney, Loew's has a nicely stocked mini-bar and refreshment center in each room.
     
  4. JessicaR

    JessicaR <font color=blue>DIS Veteran<br><font color=green>

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    That is intentional and expensive.

    If you’re familiar with the real Portofino, you’ll be amazed at how closely the architects and designers have come to re-creating the ambiance. If you’re not, you might think the designers have cut corners by painting architectural details on the facades. Not so. This is exactly the way it’s done in Portofino, Italy. It’s called “trompe l’oeil,” French for “trick the eye,” and it’s considered quite posh. Indeed, Loews brought in Italian artists and local scenic design wizards to cover the hotel’s public spaces with a wide variety of trompe l’oeil effects and colorful murals at a reported cost of $70 a square yard.
     
  5. catyanna

    catyanna Mouseketeer

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    Actually, I have stayed in MANY hotels w/ mini bars. If u have a CC on file then the mini bar is open for you to use. At least that has been my experience at the places I've been to. If I want something from the fridge am I supposed to call for them to come up every time I want something?
    As far as my comparisons to Disney, you can't tell me that Universal & Disney are not competitors. I do understand that the hotels at Universal are not owned by Loew's & not universal, but regardless, they are connected & therefore one represents the other. I have never seen garbage on the hotel grounds at Disney. Nor have I seen black mildew running down the exterior walls as I did at PB. I don't think I was being unfair in my comparison. Just my opinion!
     
  6. JessicaR

    JessicaR <font color=blue>DIS Veteran<br><font color=green>

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    Actually, all you have to do is request the key.
     
  7. Rip

    Rip Proud Redhead

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    They give you an actual key to open the mini-bar. If the lady at the front desk forgot to ask if you wanted one (they virtually always ask rather than assume you do), there is a service button on your phone you could have pressed 24/7 and someone would have brought you one up in probably less time than it would have taken you to walk to the front desk (also an option).

    As far as garbage, etc., yes, I've seen it at the Grand Floridian, Boardwalk Inn, Wilderness Lodge and the Polynesian. Had to change rooms at both the Boardwalk and the Grand Floridian due to the stench of mildew.

    As I said, you seem to have checked in with the attitude of finding as many things wrong as you could by comparing to Disney.

    I never said Disney and Universal weren't competitors, not sure where you got that. I pointed out that you're complaining about a restaurant refusing to serve you 5 minutes before closing. That has happened to me at Disney, so it's incorrect to state that Disney wouldn't do it.

    At any rate, enjoy your stay at the Boardwalk, hopefully you won't get the room they gave me on arrival.
     
  8. Bonniec

    Bonniec DIS Veteran

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    I agree, it sounds almost like you are trying to find something wrong. As said, the paint is intentional. I have no problems with a restaurant turning someone down 5 minutes before close. I could see ordering one drink or an appetizer, but going in 5 minutes before close for a full meal is rude, imo. It causes all of the staff to have to work later. And quite frankly, I wouldn't want to tick off people making my food.

    All the garbage laying around would be a problem, but who knows why that was. Did you point it out to them? All parks are generally pretty good at handling trash. Ive seen occasional misshaps even at Disney.

    To answer your questions, yes I would say you sound like a Disney snob. But nothing wrong with that. Universal isn't for everyone. Sorry you had a bad visit. At least you will be happier on your next trip sticking to Disney.
     
  9. catyanna

    catyanna Mouseketeer

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    Thanks for clarifying. I have not been to the real Portofino. I don't mean to sound as if I thought it was awful. It's just that when you are expecting one thing & get something else, it's sometimes a little turn offish.(not sure if that's a word). But thanks again for the info. Very interesting!
     
  10. catyanna

    catyanna Mouseketeer

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    Actually, I didn't say I had a bad visit. My intention was not to go in w/ a "Disney is better" attitude. Believe me, this was our 1st trip alone. Our son will be 5 in October so it's been a LONG time. Just not what I expected w/ the hotel. But overall we had a nice time. The rooms were very nice & the bed was amazingly comfy. We really enjoyed the express pass. It gave us the ability to take our time at the parks & walk around to see everything instead of waiting in line. So you see, I'm not all negative. Just not what I expected.
     
  11. catyanna

    catyanna Mouseketeer

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    So, I just wanted to say that I was just on youtube & saw video of the actual Portofino, Italy, & now I can say that the hotel does actually look just like the actual place. Now I get why it was designed as it was. So w/ that said, I have to agree that they really did do a great job bringing Portofino to Orlando.
     
  12. damo

    damo Proud Redhead

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    The last Disney deluxe I stayed in was the Poly last year. It was absolutely filthy. The carpets looked like they hadn't been cleaned in years. I took photos because I was so surprised and disgusted. There was a large brown smear across the wall right outside the bathroom in our room. The ceiling above the tub was covered in black mold. I have never seen any of the three Universal hotels looking remotely like that.

    Those things are not just a bit of bad housekeeping but instead are due to years of neglect. Needless to say, I wasn't impressed.

    I am a Universal snob, lol.
     
  13. mercydisney

    mercydisney Is it on sale?

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    Yes you are.
    We have stayed in all the Disney Resorts except for AOA. Yesterday we decided to go visit AOA, my 16 yr old said her favorite hotel is in Universal. To each his own. As per garbage I have seen it in the resorts and in the parks while at Disney.
     
  14. GreyStr0ke

    GreyStr0ke DIS Veteran

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    I just got back from my first stay at Portofino and loved it. In fact, we checked out on Thursday and went to the parks. We decided later on that we liked the hotel so much that we would see if we could stay another night and we did.
     
  15. Bluer101

    Bluer101 Waiting till vacation comes, oh that's next week!

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    Was any of the complaints brought up to the hotel staff, restaurant staff or management? It's hard to complain after the fact when you were just there and said nothing.

    As for any restaurant, if it's real close to closing time common sense would tell you not to go in.

    I think you went and painted your own picture before you even went. This will always end up in disappointment.

    We stay onsite all the time and if there is a problem you bet I'm talking to someone. Every time they have bent over backwards to try to make it right. :thumbsup2
     
  16. minniebeth

    minniebeth <font color=green>I count on y'all to keep me up t

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    OP, I'm sorry your experience at Portofino was disappointing. Everyone's experiences at the same resorts and hotels can be different, even when staying in the same place multiple times. I consider myself a Disney snob too, but have noticed that while Disney resort prices are creeping up and up, the upkeep is not keeping up which is disappointing. We were really disappointed with our last Polynesian stay as well with the cleanliness and maintainance of the rooms and common areas.
    We recently stayed at HRH and for the same price as a Disney deluxe, we felt it was head and shoulders above any Disney deluxe we have stayed at (we've stayed at them all except for Yacht Club). The rooms were way more comfortable and clean than most Disney properties (except for a few) and the food at the restaurants was fantastic.
    We did stay at RPH a few years ago and liked it, didn't love it, but LOVED HRH. It will be hard not to think of it going back to Disney on our next trip for Marathon Weekend, which ironically, we are staying at the Polynesian (with a group, so not our choice.)
    Glad you gave the PBH a try, you never know if it's for you or not until you try it!
     
  17. macraven

    macraven Proud Redhead

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    from the website on PBH:




    24-hour room service

    Eat in the privacy of your own room and choose from a wide variety of menu options, whether you have an early meeting or need a midnight snack - we'll bring it to you!


    i have ordered room service at 3:00 am after a night of hhn in the parks.
    great food too!

    next time you stay onsite at the darkside, fall back on the dining room service if you can't find a shop that is open late when you are hungry.

    but be aware gratuity is included in the room service charge.


    i stay at the motherland also and don't know of any of the resorts that has room service 24 hours a day.
     
  18. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

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    Such good info!

    Nope. Just use the key they tuck into your keycard packet.



    "The bay area of this resort was EMPTY. We thought that maybe in the evening things would pick up a bit & we'd see more "life". But nope. At about 8pm, the place was a ghost town. "

    I *love* this aspect of the resort. I get so tired of crowds that to have peace and quiet at the resort is a treat. Though I wouldn't call it a ghost town...we have so far only gone at quieter times of the year (late Sept, early Dec, and Feb), and there have been people going in and out of Sal's, listening to the opera music at sundown, etc etc, when we're out there.

    But we're mostly enjoying the parks or relaxing in the room!

    Just in case you wish to try it again AND bring your son...Universal's child swap is so much better than Disney, since you can wait *in line* with your child and only switch off at the end. They have rooms for the child and waiting adult to hang out in. So very civilized. There are also kid-play areas in both parks, and even though my son is almost tall enough for everything, he still LOVES playing in those areas!
     
  19. Disneyhappy

    Disneyhappy DIS Veteran

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    I have stayed at every WDW deluxe resort as well as all DVC resorts but our favorite resort is PBH. I truly don't feel that any WDW resort compares to the quality of Loew's PBR (Loews quality extends to all of their resorts I have visited nationwide). I'm sorry you didn't fall in love with it as we have. I love the fact that it is quiet for its size. The piazza does have its busy times as well but it is still quiet overall. I do agree about Trattoria. I have eten there a few times and the food is just ok for us. That said, Sal's is awesome and we love their pizza! City walk is a short boat ride away with additional awesome choices for later times. We visit Orlando about 4 times a year with just WDW visits, just UO visits and combined visits. We enjoy separate things at each resort.
     
  20. RMulieri

    RMulieri DIS Veteran

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    Sorry you were not happy. I actually LOVED PBH and thought it far superior than the Disney Deluxes and DVCs I have stayed at.In fact we enjoyed our time so much there, our next trip we are stying there and driving to Disney for the day
     

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