Just Back...Random Thoughts on AKL... LONG


Jun 6, 2001
Just got back from AKL yesterday.
My random thoughts:

Good things:

Mara: Great service, friendly staff
Hotel: Beautiful architecture and design. Pleasant ambience. Smells great. Nice area music.
Bus Service: Excellent. Very efficient.
I would comment on the restaurants but I refuse to eat at buffets and we were always too full in the evening to eat at Jiko. I wish Jiko had been open for lunch. My poor stomach doesn't do well with large meals after 5 or 6.
Animal viewing: excellent at night. Walked the wings at 2am while doing laundry and saw the animals grazing. One evening around 7:30pmish we saw the giraffe on Arusha rock. He/she came very close.
Pool. Not bad. Good for those with small children. I personally prefer pools painted with a blue bottom. I know this is supposed to look exotic with the semi-green/blue bottom but it looked more algae-like to me than refreshing. Not a big thing. Just my weird pool preferences ;)

Some annoyances:

We stayed there for 9 nights. I had faxed ahead of time and all my requests were granted. I had asked for a non smoking room on a higher floor. I also asked for a fridge. We checked in at midnight (after our Tiffany driver was almost an hour late picking us up from MCO-another story :rolleyes: so our room was ready. The girl at the registration desk was polite and efficient. She said she would put in a dispatch for a fridge and that it would be in our room in about 10 minutes. Anyhow we went upstairs to room 4002 (which was convieniently located close to the elevator, pool, Mara and Bus Stop) This room is on Giraffe trail. It was a standard room with a semi-pool view.

We put our bags down and started to get settled. First thing was we couldn't find the remote for the tv. There also wasn't a do not disturb sign for the door. I search everywhere for it. I opened the tv unit and inside the space where the doors are stowed away was several crumpled up pages of newspaper. Inside it was a lovely dust bunny. I threw it away.

At this point an hour had passed and there still was no fridge. We never expected the fridge to be delivered that night so we were quite surprised when the girl at the desk said it would arrive in 10 minutes. My mom called downstairs and asked about the fridge. "Oh no problem it will be up in a few minutes" said another front desk clerk. So we wait. We are starting to get really tired. It is now 3 am and we are still dressed and waiting. I guess we were stupid thinking it would actually arrive after the last phone call. So we finally go to bed.

We decided on room service breakfast since we didn't have dinner the night before (due to the flight time and late arrival) The room service clerk arrived right on time and delivered breakfast. We sat at the table in the room and ate in our jammies. I had bare feet and felt something stick into my foot. Upon closer inspection it was some sort of ring. Looked like it came off a suitcase. I wouldn't have been bothered about it if there wasn't what looked to be pubic hair on it. YUCK.

I really don't thing the room was ever vacuumed. I dropped somthing on the floor and went to retrieve it when I noticed a cap of some sort under the bed.

We picked this hotel because we wanted interior corridors. I detest getting bugs in my room. We also didn't use the balcony because of the love bugs and the mosquitos. We do know the maid was out there because the chairs were rearranged one day. Anyhow one night we hear this sizzling sound. We look to the lamp by the bed and see a 3 inch dragonfly buzzing around. Now it is midnight and we don't want the thing flying around us while we sleep. My mom ends up killing it. (Not that we wanted to because I know they won't harm you but we couldn't figure out how to capture it and release it) It falls behind the night table between the beds. We pull out the table to dispose of it and there are a ton of candy wrappers and some unidentifiable gross looking thing behind there. BLECH. I guess I'm not understanding why when the rooms are made up between guests that they are not vaccuumed? I supposed I should have addressed this when I first checked in with the ring/hair incident but I figured it was just a minor thing. But when we saw all the wrappers/garbage it was close to checking out time

Finally after about 6 days into the trip the maid finally brought a do not disturb sign. We appreciated this.

I understand that the bed spreads aren't cleaned between guests but I thought the beige blankets were. Apparently mine wasn't since there was something smushed onto it. I also found the bed quite uncomfortable. There wasn't anything wrong with it and I'm sure others here will love it.

I'm not one to be too picky over rooms but this is the first time I was a bit dissapointed in a Disney hotel room. The room in itself looked nice but the cleanliness was something to be desired.

Lastly I purchased a Pal Mickey as a souvenir to tour around WDW with. I removed him from the box and kept it in the luggage space between the tv and the wall of the closet. In this space you can also store your suitcase. There was a recycling bin and garbage pail at each end. I kept my shoes there as well. I decided to leave the box near my shoes because I wanted to pack Mickey in it to take it home. I also put the receipt in the box for customs inspection. When I'm packing to leave I start looking for the box and it isn't there. I check the closet and under the bed and it is nowhere to be seen. It dawns on me that the maid has thrown it out. I never put the box in either the recyclying bin or garbage. It was on the floor with my shoes. I guess he/she thought that because it was near the bin it should be disposed of. UGH. The instructions were also inside the box along with the receipt! I've never had Disney housekeeping remove stuff that wasn't in a garbage. Not even half cans of pop. I was quite annoyed with this but it was too late to do anything about it because we had to leave. :mad:

Overall the hotel is beautiful and I'm sure many will enjoy the ammenities. Personally I prefer a hotel with a waterview or walkways. I felt a little isolated here (which is good if that is what you want) I also like cheerier colors. I'm glad I got to stay there but I probably won't be returning. There are lots of things to appreciate in the hotel and I hope my report doesn't turn people off entirely.
I would have complained about the condition of the room. I hate knowing we don't have clean blankets or spreads. you wonder how often they do wash them.
This is my 1st time posting here. Hope I'm doing this right. I stayed at the AKL in Aug. My family liked it alot and luckily we didn't have any of the problems with the room being clean. We booked a standard room with 2 beds. When we checked in to our surprise we were given a savannah view (we loved it) with bunk beds. Funny thing was my daughter (12 yrs. old) brought a friend last min. and I wanted the bunks but didn't want to call again. I did think the AKL was a little too off the beaten path for my taste. I like being closer to Downtown Disney. We've stayed at Dixie Landings, Port Orleans, and Caribbean Beach Resort also. Oh and I had a coupon that came in the mail so our stay at AKL was cheaper the that of a moderate hotel : )
We stayed in AKL 2 years ago (just after it opened) and loved it. You really do feel as you are "away from it all," yet transportation was excellent.

I hope you told management about your problems because a room that is not clean is definitely NOT what I would expect from a deluxe resort like the AKL.

This resort is our favorite and it perfectly suits our taste in color, decor, and everything else. Beyond that I'm shocked by the condition of your room. I also can't believe they threw away something on you. Our mousekeeping was fantastic when we were there and the condition of the room impeccable. I'm truly sorry your visit to AKL wasn't everything that you had dreamed.
Did you ever get the fridge? This happend to us at WL. We reserved a fridge in advaced, asked again at check-in, called later check-in day and the next day - Nothing! By that point we had driven to a store off-site and bought a cooler for our milk for 1yo DD. So we stopped asking about the fridge and it was never delivered!

So sorry to hear about your room. An unclean room can make a visit a disappointment even if other things are fantastic.

We stayed at AKL this past Feb. and really enjoyed it. We also had a nice clean room with good room service everyday. You know the first day we checked in I thought the same thing you did about the pool, but then I started to really look at the whole view (we had pool view) and saw how the tan/sand colored pool bottom really fit the theme. The pool and grounds looked gorgeous up on our balcony. We were nicely upgraded when we checked in to this view and it was wonderful.

We loved being a quick bus ride away from the parks but feeling like we were in an African safari village. So very relaxing to us. But we really like that feeling. To us its not isolated but very relaxed with a total Disney feel theme and then you can just hop on a bus and quickly be at a park. All the different themes and feels you get while you are there are really what make Disney special to me. :)
Since Boma is on the of the best meal I have ever had on property -- I wonder why your REFUSE to eat at a buffet?


Not sure why no one complained about the mediocre housekeeping. I would have. The frige thing is tricky. Not one of the resorts have fridges fromevery room. And the priority is those that need to store meds in. Did you every get the fridge?


Just to answer a few questions.

Yes we did get our fridge. My mom had to call yet again the next morning and a maid brought one right away. Yes I realize that the fridges are a priority for those with medical conditions but we were told one would be on the way in 10 minutes. We would have been happy to wait until the next morning for one. It was just the fact that they kept telling us it would be coming in a few minutes and we waited up until 3am.
We don't know whether we were charged the first night or not because we checked out at 4am and didn't have the Express Check Out invoice. The funny thing is on the phone they say Express Check out will be left on your door between 6 & 8 am and if you are leaving before then to come to the desk. So we go down at 3:45am and the computers are down so we have no idea what the balance is. Guess we should have gone earlier.

I won't eat at buffets anymore after two cases of food poisoning at WDW. It isn't WDW's food preparation I'm worried about, it is the guests handling utensils, people licking spoons, hands in food, etc...I'm sure the food at Boma is great (certainly smelled good) but I won't take the risk again. Not to say it can't happen in any restaurant either. Guess I read too many horror stories on the restaurant board. :o

Initially the room didn't seem to be a big deal, but then towards the end of the trip the other incidents occured. The maid did do a good job with the bathroom as it was always immaculate and plenty of towels were left. The maids were not intrusive and had great timing for making up the room.

I really think that vacuuming isn't a top priority and probably isn't done as frequently as we think it is. They probably had no idea there was garbage behind the night table. We didn't until it was pulled out.

We originally had three pillows on each bed for 6 days and then one day one was gone. :confused: Weird.

The maid did end up bringing another remote thankfully.

The only thing I'm truly annoyed at was the disposal of the packaging, receipt, & instructions of Pal Mickey. I had hoped to display him in the box at home. I also wanted it for storing him. I totally would be understanding if I'd placed the box in or on the garbage pail, but I didn't. It was on the floor next to my shoes. Be careful where you place things that may look like garbage in your hotel room.
I wish Jiko had been open for lunch. My poor stomach doesn't do well with large meals after 5 or 6.

I really wish there was a sitdown lunch option at AKL, too. I know this doesn't bother many but I think a deluxe (especially one as isolated as AKL) should have a lunch option besides fast food.

Sorry to hear about the condition of your room. Very disappointing.

(Love your Larry David pic. Curb Your Enthusiasm is the best!)
Hi Jen :)

Gotta Love Larry David ;)

Yes I too wish there was a full service restaurant for lunch.
What did the management say about your unclean room? This seems to be a reoccuring problem and needs to be corrected. We were told per the executive office that they were truly surprised that our accomodations were unclean and that is not reported very often so it must have just been a fluke! Perhaps that is the problem, no one wants to complain and put a damper on their trip. Including us!!! But if we don't complain to management nothing will change. I really feel if you go home and then write a letter it does not have as much of an impact as if the supervisor can be shown the uncleanliness. That being said, a letter should be written if it wasn't noted while you were there so the higher ups have knowledge of what is going on.

Sorry you had this experience with the room.:(
Hi Wilderness,
I agree with you. Whenever we noticed something that wasn't up to par it was so late and we were so tired we didn't want to deal with tracking down management when we wanted to go to bed (ie late fridge delivery) . I think I will forward a note about the minor problems with vacuuming. I'm mainly concerned with the fact that stuff was thrown out without being put in the garbage. Like I said before the majority of the problems cropped up before we checked out so there was minimal time to complain anyways. This is the first time in the last 15 years I've had any problems with a resort room. The room in itself was very nice and functional.
Thanks for posting the review Tracy. We will be at AKL in about a week and half so its nice to know the good and the bad. I guess you had that 7AM Air Canada flight... we've got that one too and will be leaving at 4AM (that's bad for me because I am so not a morning person :rolleyes: but hey, they were Air Miles tickets so I can't complain too much :p) Out of curiosity, what was the airport like so early in the morning? Were there long lines at the ticket counter or security?
Hey Bunnyfoo!

I hope you have a terrific trip!

We left AKL at about 4am to get to the airport at 4:30 for the 7:20 am flight back to TO. They usually advise being at the airport about 3 hours prior to departure. They didn't open up the check in until 5:15 am. Wish we'd known that. Could have got a little more sleep. No one asked us any questions. My mom had to remove her shoes and jacket before going through security. Funny thing was I didn't have to scan my electronic equipment seperately. It wasn't particularly busy, but the check in line was SLOW. There were several large groups ahead of us and they didn't have any of their ID ready and a ton of luggage so it took awhile. They will put your luggage through one of those giant suitcase scanners. You may have to remove the locks. Pearson was dead when we arrived at 10:10 am. I was back home by 11am.
I understand what Wilderness01 is saying about not wanting to complain. The 1st time we stayed at Dixie Landings we payed for a water view. The yr. before we payed for a water view at CBR and it was beautiful. When we went to our room at DL, no view of water, just trees. I called the front desk and they asked if we could see the pool. Not only could we not see the pool, we were no where near the pool. They moved us to another room and again no water view. I guess that's not altogether true. If the wing blew the leaves just right, while the sun was glistening on the river, and you peeked through the right branches you could kind of see something shining which in fact was WATER. :D Anyway, I didn't have the nerve to call the front desk again and I have wondered ever since if I would have been moved again or maybe reimbursed for the difference in room price. Oh well, I'll never know. We liked the hotel so much we stayed again but we just got a standard room.
"I personally prefer pools painted with a blue bottom. I know this is supposed to look exotic with the semi-green/blue bottom but it looked more algae-like to me than refreshing."

Just to let everyone know who may not realize, the pool at AKL was designed to look like a watering hole in Africa. I think that is pretty cool!

I like your Strong Bad Tracy:)
Hi Patricia,
I realize it is supposed to look like a watering hole. I knew that well before I booked the room. It is pretty cool too. Again just my weird pool preference. Nothing wrong with the pool whatsoever.
I just returned from AKL yesterday too. We were on the Kudu trail and absolutely loved the resort. I loved the decor. I also loved the smells around the resort. We didn't have any problems with cleanliness of our room. Mousekeeping did a great job. We didn't eat on-site because we had a car and chose to go elsewhere. I understand your feelings about the pool. We also stayed at the Royal Pacific (Universal) this week and liked their pool better. But the animal viewing can't be beat, and we will go back. We loved it!! Any questions? Sorry your stay wasn't what you hoped.
Did you ever let them know about the box being thrown away? I remember reading a while back about a maid who threw a box away that they'd wanted to keep, and when they let the resort know, they actually bought them a whole new whatever it was (a Cinderella of doll, I think).


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