The good the bad the ugly of OKW renovations (update pg 13)

Discussion in 'DVC Resorts' started by dianeschlicht, Dec 1, 2010.

  1. dianeschlicht

    dianeschlicht <font color=blue>DVC-Trivia Contest, Apr-2006: Hon

    Nov 22, 2000
    I was pretty critical of the first photos of the OKW renovations, but I determined that I would reserve judgment until I stayed in a renovated unit. Well we are here in 3621...a renovated 1 bedroom on Turtle Pond area.

    First of all...I know I've mentioned it before, but I HATE Turtle Pond! I was so hoping I'd get our request of building 45 or 46, but with the computers being down today, check in was a bit chaotic, so I figured that was the reason for not getting our request. This is the first time we haven't gotten our request. We don't always make one, but every time we have made a request, we have gotten it.

    The renovations are some positive and some really negative, but I'll try to be fair in my evaluations.

    The good:
    *The new upholstery on the sofa and love seat looks very nice.
    * I really like the braided rug. In fact, that is about the only "new" thing that truly fits the OKW theme.
    *Surprisingly, I kind of like the new dark stain on the dining table. It does look so much better than the "pickled" finish it previously had.
    * it. Very nice subdued color, and is the only part of the renovation that has a rich look to it.
    *The roman shades are nice....BUT...the mechanism to open and close them stinks!
    *The kept the old art work...good, but now it doesn't go with the rest of the decor.

    The bad and Ugly:
    *Why oh why did they keep the old cupboards that are broken and beat up???? They tried to make them look different by putting a "finish" on the old knobs....It didn't work.
    *The fake wood floor....UGLYYYYYYY!!!!! It has a strange finish on it that looks dirty all the time, and whomever installed it didn't make sure the floor was totally level underneath, so there are bumps and little "hills" in it....looks incredibly cheap.
    *Color in the livning room. It just doesn't look like Victorian 1900's Key West. Looks more like Beach club updates. Too light.
    *The coffee table finish....UGLYYYYYY!!! It looks and feels like a cream and aqua allegator!
    *Upholstery on the sleeper chair and side chair in the master.....UGLYYYYYY!!!
    *Same goes for the dark headboard in the master. It really doesn't fit the theme at all, and the bedspread looks like another Beach club reject.
    *What's with the strange Italianate lamps in the master? They just don't fit ANYTHING about the theme or the decor.
    * I was especially disappointed to see they didn't change some of the simple things that really needed to be addressed.
    For example: mismatched door handles with different metal colors between hinges and handles. What is with that???? I started noticing this "fix" at OKW a couple of years ago, and I was so hoping it would be made right again with the renovation, but that didn't happen.
    *The old outlets and light switches: For the past 3-4 years we have complained about the loose outlets that are so worn out plugs wont stay plugged in. At least this unit STILL HAS THIS PROBLEM!!! Replacing receptacles is about the easiest and cheapest fix around....Why was that not done????
    *The new "updated" thermostat....There is nothing about this that makes it comfortable at all. You are either too hot or too happy medium, and no way I can see to make it work correctly to make you comfortable. It's cool here today, and the room alternates between being too hot and stuffy and too cold. Have no idea what to do about it.
    *BIG disappointment with the loss of the unique finish on the bathroom wall. I loved that shabby chic paint job, and now the solid color just looks bland.

    My overall impression is that OKW used to impress me with a nice high end look with quality tile etc. Now the old tile, just looks like that...OLD. Why did they not change that too? There was even some of the cove tile in the master bath that has been painted over to make it look the right color again....Tacky! On top of it all, the corners are so dirty and stained, they look worse than before. Removing the tile from the kitchen floor looks like a downgrade too. The whole place just kind of feels a bit low end compared to the impression I had the first time I stayed at OKW 15 years ago.
  2. jade1

    jade1 I spend half my money on WDW, and waste the rest.

    Dec 30, 2001
    That's too bad. Well at least your missing 10 degrees right now. Have fun.
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  4. Deb & Bill

    Deb & Bill DVC-Trivia Contest, Apr-2006: Honorable Mention

    Mar 20, 2000
    How did I know that this would be your response? We'll be at OKW in Jan if the BLT one bedroom waitlist doesn't come through. And I'm sure I'll feel the same way.
  5. dianeschlicht

    dianeschlicht <font color=blue>DVC-Trivia Contest, Apr-2006: Hon

    Nov 22, 2000
    Deb, I'll admit the photos had me anticipating not loving it because of the lack of fit with the theme, but I was surprised that I was so much more disappointed than I expected to be. I expected that the lack of theme wouldn't matter so much if I liked the fresh new feel. doesn't have a fresh new feel. Some of it's new, but most of it looks like a cheap facelift...doesn't quit hit the mark.

    MELSMICE Hi Ho, Hi Ho, to Disney World we'll go. It'll be

    Feb 22, 2002
    I'll be there in a few weeks & we have asked & are hoping for a refurbed unit. We'll be a in 2BR.

    I've always loved OKW & hope these refurbs actually don't devalue it.
  7. Sammie

    Sammie DIS Veteran

    Aug 20, 1999
    Between the products not holding up well at BLT and this shabby redo of OKW, neither makes me feel they are spending our dues well.
  8. mvc1997

    mvc1997 Mouseketeer

    Dec 4, 2006
    Just returned from a renovated GV on Turtle Pond (dislike Turtle Pond too) and I agree with many of your views.
    I was disappointed with the decor and felt most of it will not be able to withstand the usage, ie the shades on the patio doors. Really dislike them, wish they left the wood blinds on the doors.

    The floor is not going to last either, already had a few loose planks!

    The GV master bathroom has changed, two pedestal sinks replace the vanity, no place to put your toiletries out of sight.

    Overall furniture looked painted dark brown, and looks cheap.
    Sorry cause OKW is my favorite, wish they refurbished it the way it was.

    And don't even get me started on the DDP! OMG!! Can they get rid of it and get different menus back?? The food is standard and not very good!

    On a happy note, we really enjoyed being with the whole family for Thanksgiving! Son & family live in a different state and nothing could spoil our family gathering!

    Thanks to everyone on the pool question before our trip. Everyone enjoyed the castleslide!
  9. Maistre Gracey

    Maistre Gracey DIS Veteran

    Apr 23, 2002
    Wow.. That was a great, in depth, thoughtful, and fair review.

    The fake wood looking cheap--> I thought the same thing from the original pics posted some time back.

    I have yet to stay at OKW. I want to, but the wife won't let me.
    I do as I'm told.

  10. Shadeaux

    Shadeaux DIS Veteran

    Aug 19, 1999
    We were in 4621 last month; I agree with a lot of what you mentioned. The roman shades looked okay, but it takes forever to open & close them with that weird pulley system.

    I disliked the look of the fake wood floors in the pictures I'd seen, but in person, I thought it looked pretty good. Ours didn't have any of the bumps or hills you described and the finish looked very nice. I wonder if they installed two different types of flooring in the units.

    All of the outlets & light switches in our unit looked new.
    I was also very disappointed that they repainted the bathroom wall.

    I'm still trying to figure out why the heck that coffee table was painted the way it was. Is it supposed to look like something?

    I'm glad I'm not the only one who had trouble with that new thermostat. Not being able to switch from heat to air conditioning is a real pain this time of year.

    In my opinion, OKW has lost that 'wow' factor. We still love the resort as a whole, but sadly, the units aren't on the level they were when we purchased in '94.
  11. lisaviolet

    lisaviolet Happy DVC Owner

    Jul 9, 2002
    First - thanks so much for posting.

    I need a sighing sad icon!!!!

    So sorry Diane. Thank you so much for such an in-depth and thorough critique. We all appreciate it.

    I knew the floor would not get by you - it looks so cheap in the pictures. And I too am going to miss the unique wall in the bathroom.

    Nice to hear about the table though. :goodvibes At least there was a pleasant surprise there.

    Okay, hmmm - it's very late and I'm sad about the outcome. Oh well. Smiling. At you. Here's to you having a fabulous time and having a great meet with everyone. :santa:

    Thanks so much Diane.
  12. rmcildw2m

    rmcildw2m DIS Veteran

    May 8, 2006
    We just got back home on monday the 29 th , from staying at OKW in a 1 br that was not remodled and it looked great ,you could see some wear and tear but not much .We were in the millers pond area and they closed that bus stop and moved it right in front of ouir building so that was great for us, a very short walk. From what i am reading it sounds like they are only giving a face lift to the rooms and not a true remodle to the room.
  13. Coach81

    Coach81 DIS Veteran

    Feb 14, 2007
    Wow.. this is upsetting.. our first experience with DVC several years ago was at an OKW one bedroom.. we LOVED IT.. sorry to read this... we do hope to stay there again someday.. hope things improve.
  14. staceymay00

    staceymay00 DIS Veteran

    Jan 12, 2008
    Thanks for the in depth review. We will be at OKW later this month...our first stay at our home resort. Since we are new members and have not stayed in an original unit I'm curious how we'll feel about the new design (assuming we get a refurbished unit). Based on pictures I actually like the refurbished look better than the original design (ducking for cover now ;) - I know how much the longer term owners like the original design). The new rooms may not fit the OKW theme as well, that I will agree with, but I can live with that.

    We bought DVC to have kitchen/laundry while staying on site. What swayed us to buy at OKW was the more spacious villas, the laid back more casual feel of the resort and the condo layout vs. hotel feel, not the interior design of the rooms. Maybe the new rooms will appeal to us more since we don't know what we missed with the old design. I hope that is the case...guess we'll find out in a few weeks!

    Hope you have a great trip!

    ETA: One thing I forget to mention...I've noticed that anytime we redo a surface in our 30 yr old house, even if it is just painting, it makes other things that are not new look that much worse. It does not surprise me that the cabinets and tile look like they should have been replaced as well. Would have been nice if they had done so, but I suppose too expensive to include.
  15. rwcmath

    rwcmath DIS Veteran

    Nov 4, 2003
    Are the floors slippery?
  16. Simba's Mom

    Simba's Mom <font color=green>everything went to "H*** in a ha

    Aug 26, 1999
    Thanks so much for your very well-done review. One thing I'm wondering about is the sound level with the new floors. Do you notice an increase in the sound level, either within your villa or from outside?
    Also, I'm wondering about the toilets. Are they the extremely loud and powerful ones that sound like the whole villa's about to take off? As you can tell, I'm very concerned about sound. I always thought of OKW as peaceful, quiet, and I'm concerned about things seeming louder.
  17. dmoore22

    dmoore22 Old Rock n' Roller

    Jun 15, 2002
    The last two times we stayed, last Christmas and last spring, we were in a renovated unit. Your review comes very close to the way we felt. We had mixed emotions about the granite counters. They are nice but are they Old Key West? We did have an issue with the ground fault receptical but that was fixed immediately. I did love the new mattresses.

    The decor made me think of a display in either Lowes or Home Depot. We live in a 120 year old house so we do know that color charts are still available with period paint colors/schemes. They could have checked with the state preservation office if they were uncertain. I could continue to rant but Diane said it so well. The rooms are great with the lights off -- at night.
  18. Shadeaux

    Shadeaux DIS Veteran

    Aug 19, 1999
    :rotfl2: Too funny!
  19. Inkmahm

    Inkmahm Disney nut<br><img src=" DIS Lifetime Sponsor

    Jan 25, 2006
    It figures. We check in tomorrow to a 2 bedroom at OKW, our first ever stay there. I hope we aren't disappointed. I wouldn't care as much if it were just DH and me, but we have his parents with us on this trip as well as his sister and her husband. I'd like it to be nice for them.
  20. lisaviolet

    lisaviolet Happy DVC Owner

    Jul 9, 2002
    I would bet that would be the case. :goodvibes I bet you're right. It's hard to take in when some of us really liked the original. So I bet you'll be fine with it all. Hope so.

    Have fun! :woohoo:

    :rotfl2:OMG. :rotfl2:

    Really iwas thoroughly enjoying the rant. ;)

    Have fun! Once again, I would bet that you'll be fine with it all. Really. It's a lovely shock to the system just to see the size of those suites regardless and some of the views are very peaceful and beautiful.

    I walked into 4525 on my second DVC stay and almost started bawling it was so beautiful and I was absolutely overwhelemed. It was five years ago and I can still vividly remember that feeling.

    Well at the time I lived in a 440 square foot downtown condo - so doubling my space on vacation was a plus. :lmao:

    Have a wonderful vacation. I bet your guests will love it.

    And remember they haven't changed the best thing about OKW. The balconies. There is nothing like those balconies.
  21. mac_tlc

    mac_tlc DIS Veteran

    Aug 31, 2001
    I have eagerly awaited Diane's December trip, since I shared many of her "expectations" of the reno. I was hoping we were both over-reacting -- looks like that was not the case. Hopefully I will get a look at the new units in 10 days when we head down for our DD's wedding. We are staying at BLT, but the groom's family is in an OKW 2bdr. I hope it is a renovated unit so we can get a look.

    At least they can't make the units smaller -- if they could figure out how to do that they probably would---------

    I hope someone raises this issue at the condo meeting next week. While I'm sure we will get a "stock" answer, I'd like someone to say to Jim Lewis that they were not true to the theme of the resort and some of the "magic" was lost. Won't change anything but the feelings seem to be pretty widely held, at least by the longer--time OKW members.


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