Photos & Thoughts: Beach Club’s New Rooms
Disney’s Beach Club Resort has redesigned rooms, which are one component of a significant multi-year improvements to make this Walt Disney World hotel (and its sister resort, Yacht Club) more appealing to convention guests. In this post, we’ll discuss the new rooms, share some photos, and offer thoughts on the changes at Beach Club.
These “new” rooms at Beach Club were actually completed prior to the Yacht Club refurbishment starting, around early 2017, I believe. My original intent was to write about them immediately after our trip last fall, but I forgot. At this point, I wasn’t quite sure whether to just plug them into our existing Beach Club Review as an update, or post them here as a quick new post.
Ultimately, I decided to do this because I figured a long and rambling tangent about the redesign was better suited to its own post…
When I first walked into the new room at Beach Club, I was almost immediately turned off. It felt like yet another room at Walt Disney World that had all of its character removed during its room renovations.
I’ve discussed the balance of theme and luxury in these Walt Disney World room redesigns countless times already, so I won’t rehash all of that here. Suffice to say, it’s a tough line to toe, and I think the results have been very mixed.
In my estimation, the new room at Beach Club looked pretty nice, but my main thought was how generic and bland it looked. If this were a hotel room in a mid to high end hotel in a Florida or California beach city, I’d be fine with it. Maybe not at the same price points as Beach Club’s, but close to them.
With Beach Club, one of the best-themed resorts in all of Walt Disney World, I expected more. The modern art is not as charming as the artwork found in the room before, there aren’t any touches of whimsy (like the old lamps), and the new style doesn’t really feel like an extension of the resort’s overarching theme.
That last item probably best gets to the crux of my issue with this–and a lot of–the hotel redesigns at Walt Disney World. Most Disney resorts are themed to a different time and place, and most of these redesigns have aimed at being lightly themed to a different place, but always in a modern style.
In the previous iteration of the Beach Club rooms, the room felt like something belonging to a bygone era. There were aspects that were arguably dated, but most of it was timeless. Some of the furniture included lattice that mirrored the exterior, and patterns similar to what’s in the common areas.
However, after thinking on it a bit longer, I’m not sure I’m being totally reasonable here. While I think the style is overly bland, there is also an undeniable quality to it. There’s a certain texture and depth to everything–from the headboard to the carpet–that offers a sense of luxury.
The furniture is high quality, the lighting is good, there are plenty of nice touches (like the trim and tile work), and the color palette works pretty well. I especially like the little wooden thing on the nightstand, which reminds me of the lifeguard tower on the old lamps. (Maybe that’s the intent…maybe not?)
My critique above is, in essence, that it should have a few thematic flourishes swapped out to make it more befitting of the time and place found in common areas at Beach Club. However, if so much about the room works so well and it feels like a high quality room, should little things like a bed runner or wall art really be enough to undermine all of that?
That’s not entirely a rhetorical question. On the one hand, it seems silly to let a few little things spoil what is otherwise a nice upgrade to make these rooms more well-appointed and befitting of their high prices.
On the other hand, Disney is all about those details. I could maybe give the modern tone a pass (after all, that’s what many conventioneers and luxury travelers want) if there was just a bit more to tie the room together and give it character. It just feels to me like there’s something missing–I can’t quite put my finger on what–that gives the best Walt Disney World rooms an inviting, charming quality. Maybe I’m crazy, or over-analyzing the new rooms. I don’t really know.
Ultimately, whether my quibbles with the new rooms at Beach Club are right or wrong is a bit of a moot point for us. We still absolutely love Beach Club on the whole, and these changes wouldn’t be enough to stop us from staying here. This is still one of the most pleasant resorts at Walt Disney World, with a laid back atmosphere and wonderful theming in the common areas. I think it’d be nice if the rooms were an extension of that, but perhaps I’m an old man shaking my fist at the clouds in this scenario.
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Do you agree or disagree with my take on the new Beach Club rooms? Would you still stay at Beach Club, or would you rather go somewhere with more interesting rooms? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing feedback about your experiences is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!
We love the beach club resort, but I agree I wish they would have kept the Mickey lamp. Your at disney for a reason. I also understand they want spa like treatment but I would rather have the little bottles of shampoo and co editor the pink one. I dont like the smell or texture of this new stuf
This this year again in december we will be going back this time at club level. Can’t wait.
I stayed at Beach Club for a week right after it was renovated and enjoyed it immensely. I’m not one for bright colors in room decor so the rooms suited my taste just fine. I chose Beach Club because if I was spending the amount of money I was for a week stay, I wanted the newest (cleanest) room I could get. And the mattress? If I could have folded it up and put it in my luggage I would have. Most comfortable mattress id slept on in a long time. I even attempted to find out the name so I could buy one but was unsuccessful.
I go back on forth on the refurbishments of any rooms that lose their Disney touch. I get that there is very little theming, but how much time do you really spend in your rooms?? My family wakes up and spends an hour in the room getting ready in the morning. Then it’s off to the parks for the day. We come back late at night, wash up and relax for maybe 30 minutes, then lights out. Repeat on all park days. On water park days we spend a little more time in the rooms, both morning and night, but our evenings are at Disney Springs. On non-park days, we are at the pool all day, or resort hopping.
I didn’t pay all that money to gaze longingly at Mickey & Minnie silhouettes in my room. As long as the QUALITY of the rooms hasn’t diminished, neither will the quality of my vacation. I do like the subtle touches that I can’t find at hotels anywhere else in the world. But I look for that Disney high when I am in the parks, not in my room.
Although I do love when there is a certain “Disney-fication” to the hotel rooms, I can’t complain about just having a nice, modern feeling place to sleep.
It’s funny the first thing I thought was it looked outdated. It’s very bland and lacks character. I’m not a fan. I thin they could have done better.
Although the rooms look nice, I am in agreement that “there’s something missing” when it comes to the theming of the rooms.
Interesting that they choose to stay with carpet instead of following the trend of ditching the carpet in favor of hardwood laminates. Nothing creeps me out more than hotel carpet, even WDW carpet!
This refurbishment was done before Pop Century and Yacht Club, which could explain the presence of carpet. I’m guessing it’s the last refurb we’ll see with carpet.
I actually adored these new rooms. I think the color palette is just gorgeous and coordinated well with the rest of the resort. The headboard was luxurious and feminine. I thought it was just perfect for my July girls’ trip. I honestly can’t wait to go back.
This is the trouble I have when critiquing the new rooms. Going item by item, I think there are qualitative improvements throughout the room (the new headboard is certainly nicer/higher end than the old one).
However, in the end it still feels like something is missing.
We stayed at Disney’s Beach Club Resort in June 2016 as part of our WDW wedding-cation. While I agree that they’re not as themed as many other rooms at Disney, they were undoubtedly luxurious and extremely comfortable. The fold-down back of the couch was the perfect bed for my son and the overall theming of the resort more than made up for the lack of it in the rooms. Ultimately, the fact that you have access to the best pool complex on property in Stormalong Bay, as well as the close proximity to 2 of the parks, is what really makes this resort worth it in my mind. Granted, I never pay rack rates to stay at a Disney Deluxe Resort so I’m sure I’d feel differently if confronted with the need to do that.
Total agreement on that the beds look unfinished without the runner, BUT bed runners are kinda gross. Most of us take it off the bed and put it in the closet, trying not to touch it as mush as possible (same with the throw pillows.) I would love to see themed sheets. Probably too much to ask, but it would be a nice finishing touch and add some much needed interest.
Eliminating bed runners is definitely a trend in the hotel reason, and it’s being done for sanitary concerns not for aesthetics. That’s fine–I’m on board with that.
The problem arises in eliminating it without regard for what that does to the overall look of the room. We recently stayed at another high end hotel (of course I can’t recall which now) that resolved this by using sheets with a light pattern and texture. It was barely noticeable (the sheets were still totally white), but made a big difference. Something as simple as sea turtles would be great here.
I agree the room looks bland, but staying in a hotel room for a few days will make any room seems cluttered and the theming will be overlooked. The room can benefit from a WOW upon entry especially for the prices paid, but you’re not paying enough to get it. The bathroom is really where you’re paying the difference.
Most rooms in the outside world have bed runners to protect the bed from dirty luggage. Functionally, it usually gets tossed on the ground. It’s not particularly thematic. So this is about preconceived expectations rather than consistency.
I agree with everything you’re saying, except the “you’re not paying enough to get it” part. Rates at Beach Club are regularly above $500 or $600/night. I think that’s enough for the room to make more of an effort at a strong first impression.
As much as I love the Disney touches and agree that Beach Club could use a few more, I love the color and feel of the new room. We last stayed in a 2br villa and it was luxurious, including a tub that I actually felt okay using after a long day in the parks. The bed was outstandingly comfortable!
Wow. Those rooms are so very meh. I understand stepping away from the kitschy beach cottage look, but there’s a way to do coastal in a classy way. This just looks like a slightly nicer Hampton Inn.
“This just looks like a slightly nicer Hampton Inn.”
My first draft of this post actually had the first two images being of this room and a Holiday Inn from a seaside town in California followed by asking readers to guess which one was Disney. I opted against that because the Holiday Inn photo wasn’t mine…and because it’d probably be easy to guess since the thumbnail image was of Beach Club.
The loss of bed runners has been the single greatest travesty of the modern room refresh. That one thing immediately makes the room so boring, then the other changes lose character on closer inspection. Aesthetically I like the refresh, but if I saw this photo with no comment could I guess which hotel it was?
Agreed… though it is still our favorite resort, we have been a bit embarrassed taking our guests there since the refurb. After building up the charming era the Beach Club to our guests, we saw the looks on their faces as we showed them to their newly blah-ed rooms. Next week we take another grandchild for her first WDW visit. A missed opportunity for powerful memory-making. Thoughtful room theming is usually one of Disney’s strengths and one reason usually we stay on Disney property.
I agree that while the quality may be there the rooms look bland. Boring, actually. Disney usually finds ways to add a little magic to their rooms – something that lets you believe that dreams really do come true. A musical headboard, a clever pattern in the covers, artwork etc. They are as great at the subtle nods to Disney in some hotels as they are at the theme-in-your-face ones for others.
This looks like a generic room that could be in any Marriott or Hilton in any city in the US. Clean, nice colors, bleached bedding, but still nothing special. It looks like a room that you could have gotten just off property for about $200 less per night.
They removed the separate toilet/shower room in the studios. A downgrade. They removed the hot tubs in the 1BR rooms. Another downgrade. These refurbishments are done on the cheap. The BCV refurbishment is a travesty.
I am surprised at this design or lack of design. You could have told us those were pictures of the Disney’s Springs Best Western and that would be perfectly plausible. I personally want a Disney’s Resort and room to feel different and look different than a regular hotel.
Nope, I’m with you Tom. If the convention people that come to DISNEY don’t want to see Disney themed rooms-don’t come to Disney!
And while there is no one who would prefer a slightly dingy dated room to a refurbished room, there are definitely was to “Disney it up”, with soft goods. Bed runners, clever art, lamp bases and touches in the bathrooms.
Yep, I want it all when I stay in any Disney resort and like so many things these days there is a swing to neutrality that is just sucking the fun right out of life.
I’m the female version of the old poop shaking my fist!
I agree Tom! I would LOVE to see some more unique Disney touches here but I think the desired effect was successfully achieved… luxurious feel, soft color scheme and rich character all blending together to portray a “Beach Club” vacation getaway destination fit for a prince and princess!! â›±