On my recent visit to Walt Disney World for the Disney Social Media Moms Conference I stayed at The Contemporary Resort. Disclosure: This was not a free trip, I did purchase a conference ticket which include my hotel stay and park tickets and I bought my airfare. This is the first time I have stayed there, although I always wanted to try because I thought it was cool that the monorail went right inside the hotel. Part of the resort I liked, other parts not so much.
It was super cool to be able to ride in and out of the actual hotel on the monorail. That was probably my favorite part of this property. And, as cool as it was, it is not enough to make me stay at the Contemporary in the future. The main hotel building seems fairly modern and up to date. When you arrive a greeter comes up to you with a tablet and takes your name and walks you to the right part of the check-in desk and presents you to the cast member there. The cast is very professional and friendly. Now the Contemporary is not dirty really, but I did notice a few things that I do not usually at a deluxe resort. On the outside walkways I saw several old pieces of gum, you know those little dark blobs that have been there a while, in multiple places. Those really should be scraped up. There was a fairly significant crack in the sidewalk at the entrance to the Garden Wing too that really should be fixed right away. Then on Sunday they really needed a cast member to keep up with the cleaning in the main lobby area. I totally understand lots of kids were there and kids are messy, but at a deluxe resort I expect them to keep it clean and not have food crumbs all over tables in lobby, cushions askew, and trash on the floor. Had I seen someone cleaning up I may not have mentioned this, but I never did.
Sadly, the California Grill is closed for remodeling. I was really hoping to try that, maybe on another visit to Walt Disney World. There are several dining options at the Contemporary though including bars, quick snacks, self-service, and full service restaurants, even a coffee bar. I heard many other conference attendees say positive things about The Wave restaurant. There is also a little store that has shelf foods, refrigerated and frozen items, snacks, and even liquor and wine. It is a bit tucked away on the 4th floor corner, but the prices are not bad. Room service is available 24 hours a day – yay! I did utilize this and the service was prompt and the food was good. A little pricey, but isn’t all room service? They do add just a $3 delivery fee and the already have the tip in which I did not notice until after I had already added another generous tip. The iced tea room service sent up was especially good by the way.
Inside the building the elevators were a tad slow, but not a deal breaker. There are several escalators also to use, but people going to and from the monorail seemed to all try to use the elevators. If you do not have a stroller or wheelchair your quickest bet is the escalators for floors 1-4 in the main building. I did see cast members near the elevators on several occasions trying to direct people to the escalators to avoid long waits at the elevators.
On Friday we used the conference center at the Contemporary all day. It is a really huge area and the staff did a great job of getting things set up for different events during the day. Convenient restrooms. And plugs on all the tables to keep our laptops and other devices charged up. The stage was huge and they had 3 giant screens. Thumbs up to the conference hall.
When I finally got into my room Thursday night I did a quick video of the room to share with you all.
Now about this Garden Wing at the Contemporary. I was not pleased with this at all. It is a long, long building that is separate from the main building where everything is. You have to go to the back of the Contemporary and then go outside and then down a path and then into the building. There are just 3 floors – steps or an elevator just inside the door. Then one on your floor chances are you have a very, very, very long walk ahead of you still. It really reminded me of being at a motel rather than a deluxe hotel. I did call the front desk and ask for a room change to the tower but was told there were not any other rooms available. The room itself inside is very spacious with 2 queen beds, a sleeper sofa, coffee area with refrigerator, a very large desk and office chair, plenty of drawers and 2 closets. The bathroom has 2 sinks and a full bathtub in the main area and then the toilet is in its own little space with a door of its own. The bathtub was starting to show its age with a few chips and such, again not what I expect at a deluxe resort. While the sinks looked cool, they were super shallow so not as functional for everything. Several of my friends commented their young children could no reach the water faucet either. The other problem was that there is no counter space in the bathroom by the sink to put your toiletries and makeup. The air conditioning worked very well in the room and cooled quickly, always a plus, and it was not humid in the room. I did have a large sliding glass door, but no balcony, just a railing right there. There is a gap between the floor and the railing when the door is open, not very big, but I could easily see a small child’s foot getting caught or them dropping things down there. They also need to install signs to guide you back to the main building inside the Garden Wing. The actual room I could deal with, but only if it were in that main building. Again, this is a quite large room and easily sleeps 5 and would be a tolerable amount of space for a family.
The Garden Wing really is not a deluxe resort type building in my opinion. I’m not sure what the main building rooms are like, but that main building itself is much more in the style of a deluxe property. This resort also has the Bay Towers which is part of the Disney Vacation Club. Like the Garden Wing you have to go outside the main building to get to it I noticed. I did just check the pricing on on the Contemporary Garden Wing Garden View rooms and they start at $425 per night right now – there is no way I would pay that much to be in that building, maybe in the main hotel building, but not the Garden Wing at all.
For me, I would not stay at the Contemporary again. The Garden Wing really kind of ruined the coolness of it all for me. Some of the things I mentioned will not matter to some and that’s okay. For me though I do love having a really nice hotel to stay in and be able to enjoy all the amenities of it while on my stay there during my travels. I still adore Walt Disney World and recommend it as a destination, I would just try one of the other hotels on property instead.
Have you stayed at the Contemporary Resort in Walt Disney World before? What are your thoughts on it?
© 2013, Robyn Wright. All rights reserved.