Just back from Polynesian May 5-12, 2007

Discussion in 'Disney Resorts' started by Disney-Kim, May 16, 2007.

  1. Disney-Kim

    Disney-Kim DIS Veteran

    Aug 17, 1999

    background: We are both 40 with no kids. We love WDW and are DVC owners. We have gone to WDW yearly for the last 8 yrs. This year we had some extra points and decided to splurge and book the Polynesian.
    We stayed there 5 yrs ago on our honeymoon and thought a 5th anniversary return to our favorite resort was due.
    room: We booked a garden view and requested non-smoking and Tokelau.
    I thought the location would be ideal and central to the TTC, the bus, and the GCH. Our flight arrived over 3 hrs late and we checked in at almost 8pm...my hopes were low of getting a good room that late. I asked the CM if they had a nice room left for us and he said they DID !! We got a fantastic room (imho).
    We were in 3948 in TOKELAU, which faces the quiet pool and is the first room off the little lobby. Yes its close to the elevator but noise was never an issue. The Southern rooms in Tokelau stick out farther towards the pool than those closer to the lake. To our great surprise we had a CASTLE view :yay: Ok...you had to look to the right but we had an unobstructed view of the castle at the MK. We looked directly out at the pool and Samoa and it was beautiful. The right side of our balcony was open so you could see thru it. There was a palm tree down the way but otherwise we could sit on our balcony and watch the fireworks (with sound too from the pool speakers) or if we stood up and looked to the right we had a perfect castle view.
    We were really happy with the room.
    The bathroom was laid out a bit differently than I had seen before. We had one sink and it was parallel to the bathtub. I LOVED the new decor of the rooms and our room was HUGE. I know the rooms in Tokelau are bigger but you really could feel the difference.

    My one complaint about the room is mousekeeping. They were really lacking in this dept. We waited until after 3pm for our room to be cleaned 3 days of our stay. We had requested softer sheets each day and the next day the sheet would be missing from the bed. We couldn't figure out why she kept taking our sheet. :confused3 ;) We would call, get bet better sheets, put them on ourselves over the old sheets and the next day they would be gone. this got old. I left notes, but I think there was a language barrier.
    I will be so happy when WDW gets new sheets. :) She missed bath mats and hand towels a couple days...you could just tell she/he was really rushed.

    We used personalized tipping envelopes printed up for each day and tipped turndown service too.....
    We didn't get one, not one, towel animal all week. Yes we were a bit disappointed since we tipped well and left the Disney envelopes. We also only got chocolates from turndown on 1 night out of 7 and turndown didn't even show up 2 of the nights. I enjoy turndown because we usually nap and shower in the afternoons and enjoy the fresh towels and nice bed later when we come back to the room. They showed up at 3pm a couple times and we had to ask them to come back after 5pm when we were gone for dinner...those are the nights they never came back.
    we got our room cleaned at 3 and turned down at 3:30...not much sense there.:upsidedow

    Food: We LOVED Kona Cafe. this is our new favorite restuarant. We had the char grilled filet there twice during our stay...our first night and last.
    This was a new place for us and we will be back !!
    oh and we found the food court to work out great and was very convenient. I like the order yourself system and we only had to wait about 5 mins in line during the am rush for breakfast. I ordered a kids breakfast everyday and it was perfect...the adult ones had too much food. The remodeled area was nice and we liked all our snacks there.

    Bus service: Seemed to be fine...we used it for MGM and AK. But the rides back to the resort took 45++ minutes after the extra stops and resort stops.
    You know AK is also Blizzard Beach. Downtown Dis is also Typhoon Lagoon. those were longggg rides.
    We loved using the monorail.....and walked to the TTC for Epcot and it was just 5 minutes...great.
    Service: We encountered lots of "alohas" and friendly people. With the exception of housekeeping I was really happy with everyone.

    We didn't swim on this trip...we had very cool weather for the first 3 days...windy and in the low 70's...and we have thin blood being from Phoenix, so this was not pool weather. It did warm up but we have a pool at home and its just not as big a thing for us to swim on vacation anymore now that we have a pool at home.

    We loved our stay and our whole trip. We will miss the Polynesian but look forward to staying at the VWL next year.

    We saved lots of money with the DDE card and ate lots of good food.
    I am sure I have forgotton a few things but will post if I think of more to say. :rotfl: :) :) :)
  2. luvlumpy

    luvlumpy Mouseketeer

    Feb 20, 2006
    Thanks for your review! Sounds like you had a great time. We will be staying for the first time at Poly in September and I am soooo excited!!:goodvibes
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  4. SeaSpray

    SeaSpray Disney World fan since 1976

    Jan 11, 2001
    Welcome back, and I'm glad you had a great time at the Polynesian resort! :sunny:

    The Kona Cafe is my family's all-time favorite WDW restaurant. You should try the pineapple macadamia nut pancakes some time! :thumbsup2

    P.S. We haven't gotten towel animals while at the Polynesian either, so don't feel bad. :upsidedow Although I think one time there was a small bird or something in the bathroom holding the tooth brushes and toothpaste (this was in concierge), otherwise, no towel animals.
  5. kaysmommie

    kaysmommie DIS Veteran

    Feb 27, 2006
    I had the same mousekeeping issues as you. I finally canceled turndown because they arrived ay 4Pm and our room was just cleaned at 3PM :confused3 . We never got chocolates( not a big deal) or towel animals either and we tipped too. Also I called housekeeping and asked if they could possibly make our room up before 1PM since we come back in the afternnons. Most of the time it was done by then after I made the call. I did have to ask to have the sheets changed and that was after 3 days :rolleyes1 They definately don't have the best housekeepers at Poly, but we still love it there.
  6. Tikiman

    Tikiman He kuikawa ka 'ikena o kela wahi ho'oku ka'a e wai

    Apr 28, 2001
    Great report. I know exactly what room you where in. I even took a photo of it.


    Tokelau is one of my favorite buildings. The bathrooms in Tokelau are like that because they were test rooms for the later construction of Tahiti and Rapa Nui. They tried different bathroom arrangements but in the late 90’s they just made the bathrooms the same as what most of them in the building were. They are basically the same layout as Tahiti but with one sink. I wish you took photos. I would have loved to put them on my site.

    Just FYI for you and others, tipping has absolutely nothing to do with towel animals. I have had long discussions with housekeeping and management. Tipping should be and is considered for them doing a good job of cleaning and since they did not I would not have tipped. Towel animals are not part of their job and some housekeepers do it on their own. It is up to them if they have time or want to do it. Their duties do not include making towel animals and tipping or not will not get them to make them for you.

    I love Kona for breakfast, Lunch and Dinner and it is so different for each meal.

    So will you try and go back again?


  7. PolyAddict

    PolyAddict Donate Life

    Mar 13, 2004
    Can you tell me what mugs wer being used at Capt. Cooks?

    Did it have the Poly on them or the new yoamd?

  8. Gus

    Gus Mouseketeer

    Apr 18, 2007
    Us too. I can't wait! :thumbsup2
  9. PamNC

    PamNC DIS Veteran

    Aug 19, 1999
    I'm glad you enjoyed the Poly, our favorite resort. Tokelau is a great location. I like to face the quiet pool. Perfect!! Love that sideways view of the castle. :thumbsup2

    We go 7/21 - 7/29. Haven't seen the new rooms yet so I'm very excited.

    We've never gotten towel animals at the Poly, but we just don't expect them. We've gotten them at CSR, YC, and WL. Like Tikiman said, they are totally random.

  10. PrincessPaczki

    PrincessPaczki Mom of 2 Prince's

    Apr 1, 2006
    Thanks for the review. I am glad to hear good things about Kona because we have never tried it and are going to in Sept.
  11. Marty Joe

    Marty Joe DIS Veteran

    Nov 30, 1999
    Nice report, glad you had a good time. Rarely have we gotten sub-par service from the Polynesian mousekeeping, but it has happened. I'm sure that it in not isolated to just the Polynesian - it happenes everywhere. As for the towel animals, it is always a treat but we don't expect them.
  12. BigDis

    BigDis Mouseketeer

    Jan 4, 2007
    Love the Polynesian. Our favorite. Glad you got a great room. Can't wait to go back!

    Tikiman, do you have an address for your site? Thanks.
  13. ekball

    ekball DIS Veteran

    May 25, 2006
    Thanks for the great review. Would LOVE to have that room with the great view!!! Fingers crossed for our Sept. stay. We Want TOKELAU!!! ;) (but we'll be happy with whatever we get :thumbsup2 )

    I hope we don't have those lengthy bus rides when we are there in Sept. My little ones would not be much fun on the 45+ minute rides. Am I alone in thinking that direct bus service to & from all of the parks would be a nice 'perk' of staying deluxe?! A pipe dream I suppose.... :rolleyes:

    ETA - Tikiman...I love your site and have found a ton of helpful info there. Thanks!!!

    ILVPOOH DIS Veteran

    Sep 17, 2003
    Did you have problems with people from other resorts using the volcano pool? Did they check your room ID card when you went to the pool?
  15. stnet

    stnet DIS Veteran

    Sep 7, 2004
    We were at the Poly the exact same time. Had the same problems with housekeeping. My daughter ate her pop tart in bed one morning and that night when she climbed in there was still pop tart crumbs in bed. Now I know I shouldn't let her eat in bed but hey we were on vacation!! On the pool hopping issue - YES lots of people from other resorts where in the volcano pool. I myself didn't swim much but my husband and daughter did. He said everytime they were swimming he would hear other people talking about what hotel they were staying at. We were never once asked for a room key either. We also heard several people discussing which pool they were going to go swim at the next day. Most of these conversations happened while we were on the monorail.
  16. Disney-Kim

    Disney-Kim DIS Veteran

    Aug 17, 1999
    :cool2: Steve...I have pics of the room but we didn't get the bathroom..I kept thinking about it since it was different...but I ended up forgetting. You picture link didn't work.
    I will post a room pic later for everyone.

    I know that we shouldn't expect towel animals...we have been to WDW 13 times and on these boards for 8 yrs...;) but...I will still say we were a bit disappointed to not get a little toothbrush guy or anything.
    but my reviews of housekeeping are based on quality/timing...not that we didn't get towel guys...just so you guys know.
    You could just tell she/he was rushed...you know??

    We loved Kona and will eat there next trip for sure. We never made it to breakfast like we wanted...the food court was always good.

    We didn't buy mugs but they looked the same size as before and there was a coffee type mug too.

    Bus service wasn't bad...just remember coming back from Downtown Disney that you stop at the West Side, Typhoon Lag, Contemporary, then Poly.
    so that was 45 mins for us.
    MGM bus wasn't bad at all.

    We didn't swim at all this trip...so didn't notice pool hoppers. but I did see people walking from the ttc with a pool bag once...so...

    We love the Polynesian in every way as we are Hawaii/tiki lovers too.
    My DH loves the tikis there...he is a big fan of Oceanic Arts and we have a Pariarts custom tiki sign in our living room.
    We won't be back that soon though because the DVC points required to stay there were almost triple that of our regular DVC room. so....need to build up.

    We had a great trip overall and were really excited to get the room we did. It was so central and we liked our view. Remember for those who get it in the future...we did hear some people/elevator noise and people using the stairs a couple times...but just not enough to bother us. The room has a connecting door and for 3 nights of our stay we had LOUD neighbors...but again it didn't detract from our enjoyment. :cool2:

  17. Laren

    Laren Mouseketeer

    Mar 19, 2007
    I just read on another website that is about CM's that the Poly outsources it's housekeeping now, along with some of the other resorts.

    Maybe this explains the downward trend in housekeeping???

    I'm VERY picky about the cleanliness of our rooms. . .and I tip well to reflect that- hearing stories like this scare me for our upcoming trip in Sept; Poly is my hubby's "dream resort" and he's never stayed there (I haven't since the 80's. . .)

    Hoping for the best. . .

    thanks for the report!
  18. Disney-Kim

    Disney-Kim DIS Veteran

    Aug 17, 1999
    don't be scared...our room was CLEAN. the bathroom was very clean with no mildew or anything.
    they did their job and kept the room very clean.

    but...Polynesian has a 4 or 5 AAA diamond rating....and considering the hotels in that category....I did not feel that the housekeeping was up to par with some of the nicer hotels I have stayed at.

    I am picky...I admit it. But don't be scared of staying there. itchy sheets and missed towels were annoyances...not genuine concerns for cleanliness.
    you know??;)
  19. Laren

    Laren Mouseketeer

    Mar 19, 2007
    Thank you so much for posting that ! I was going to post to ask how the actual cleanliness of the room was but I got distracted over in the theme parks forum *LOL* happy to hear it was great, we aren't picky about when they clean our room and also we don't have turndown this trip so hopefully we'll be fine. Long as it's clean! :)

    thanks again!
  20. honeypot36

    honeypot36 Earning My Ears

    May 17, 2007
    I was interested in pricing Polynesian for July 31 to Aug 6. The DISNEY website portal is not allowing me to do so. Anyone know why?

    Thanks in advance
  21. Disney-Kim

    Disney-Kim DIS Veteran

    Aug 17, 1999
    oh I remembered something to tell you guys.

    the water pressure in the shower was GREAT !! it about knocked you over as opposed to barely a trickle....which it usually is in some hotels.

    it was really nice !!

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