The Villas at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa are among the most sought-after Disney Vacation Club rooms, in part because it’s the only DVC resort at Disneyland and in part because it’s one of the nicest resorts in the U.S. This makes the 3-Bedroom Grand Villa among the hardest of the hardest DVC rooms to book.
Given that it requires more points to stay in the Grand Californian Grand Villa for 1-night than we have total, it’s pretty unlikely we will ever stay here ourselves. So, when a reader invited us to check out the room, I jumped at the opportunity. (Thanks, Joe!)
The Grand Californian 3-Bedroom Grand Villa sleeps 12, with 1 king-size bed, 4 queen-size beds, 1 queen-size sleeper sofa, and 1 double-size sleeper sofa. It also has large common areas that make it great for family reunions, parties, group thetan auditing sessions, and other grand gatherings.
While this visit to the Grand Californian did not entail an overnight stay, we have stayed in both the hotel and villas several times now, and cover those stays in our Grand Californian Hotel & Spa Review. Moreover, since moving to California, we have spent a lot of time in the Grand Californian, and the resort has really grown on me. I was once torn on its ambiance, questioning whether the style was befitting of a flagship resort.
After spending a lot of time at the hotel, particularly its common areas, I’ve come to appreciate the details of the resort, and find its Arts & Crafts style to work really well. It’s like a mix between Wilderness Lodge and the Grand Floridian: it has a sense of rustic-ness like Wilderness Lodge, but with a more polished and classy pedigree. It’s definitely not as lavish as the Grand Floridian, but its level of distinction is still readily apparent in its furnishings and design. The somewhat rustic style might appear less-refined at first blush, but upon closer inspection, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
This is carried through to the 3-Bedroom Grand Villa, which itself has detail-work that elevates its theme to flagship status. Let’s start with the layout of the room, to give some context to the photos…
The only Grand Villa at which we’ve stayed is Bay Lake Tower, and the layout seemed pretty comparable. Obviously, some details differed, but same general idea.
I absolutely love the main living room downstairs. I think the details here convey the theme perfectly, and there’s a striking grandiosity to the space thanks to its two-story window. The views into Paradise Pier at Disney California Adventure don’t hurt, either.
While nothing beats being immersed in the action like the front rows for World of Color, there’s certainly something to be said for watching the show from a couch, without being elbow-to-elbow with other sweaty tourists.
The pool table stuck out to me as having an inordinate amount of wear for such a high-end unit, but I still liked its inclusion in this Grand Villa. Seemed fitting, and a nice recreational option for those grand gatherings.
Now if only we could get some Ludwig Von Drake graphics on the walls explaining how to dominate at billiards. (Also, I love the light fixture above the table.)
The kitchen and dining area are also nice; again, I really like the light fixtures and wood trim. I feel like a bit more could’ve been done here to capture the essence of the Arts & Crafts style. If you look at something like Pasadena’s Gamble House, there are stylistic flourishes and details present that define the style.
By contrast, this kitchen and dining room look nice, but falls well short of extravagant or being an exemplar of the theme. In fairness, that’s probably a lot to expect from a hotel room kitchen…even a pricey one.
I wouldn’t expect Disney to go ‘all out’ like the Gamble House, but a couple more special details (no, not hidden Mickeys) would’ve given these rooms more character.
I love the headboards and lamps above the beds in each of the bedrooms.
I prefer the mission style lanterns elsewhere in the unit, but otherwise, the bathrooms in the Grand Villa are nice.
Being a two floor villa, there is an entrance on each floor, which makes it convenient if part of your party will be getting up earlier or staying out later than the others.
Another bedroom; more or less the same as the first one, except with the layout flipped.
Although I have some quibbles with it, I really like the Grand Californian Hotel & Spa 3-Bedroom Grand Villa. There are a lot of lovely details that gave the Grand Villa a well-appointed feel and execute its Arts & Crafts theme. One of the nicest, a grandfather clock, I neglected to photograph (but I swear, it exists!). Stained glass lampshades, tile work, wood trim, and other details also helped strike a balance between outdoors-y and luxurious. If I had a big group going to Disneyland and the Disney Vacation Club points, I’d definitely attempt to rent this.
Hope you enjoyed the photo tour, and thanks to Joe for inviting me to check out the room! If you’d like to have a strange man come rummage through your luggage and take photos of your hotel room, please drop me a line. While photo tours like this obviously aren’t as detailed as a full-blown review, I think they still are helpful to readers considering certain resorts/rooms…or just wanting to daydream about cool rooms!
Have you stayed at the Villas at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa? Which type of room? What did you think? Are you a fan of this style, or do you prefer a different theme? Please share your thoughts and questions in the comments section below–we love hearing from readers!