Published: August 27, 2015 at 10:58 AM
Our vacation this summer allowed me that chance. It took a lot of persuading on my part to convince the guys that this was the place to go. With our annual passes, I was able to book a club level room with a nice discount. Once I pointed out that this was the resort that we were dying to go due to the pirate ship slide, they were slightly ready to give in to my request.
We arrived early and it was immediately apparent upon entering that the lobby brought about a sophisticated ambiance mixed in with memories of a beach visit. The lobby is decorated in creams, browns, blues, and sea foam greens. Many of the seating areas boasts of shell-like furniture, which draws one to sit nestled, like a pearl, within it. The impressive chandelier has large seahorses and is draped with a string of pearls. The sconces also had shells and starfish as part of their designs. It seems to be the perfect setting to start one’s stay.
Our room was located on the first floor. I personally have never stayed on the first floor at any of the resorts, so this was also a new experience. Our room contained two queen beds and one daybed (with chocolate mints on our pillows each night). It was a corner room and it felt like we had more space than usual. The room contained two sets of windows and a sliding glass door leading out to a patio. Our room looked out over Crescent Lake of one window and a small pool out the other.
The wallpaper design had little seahorses and the pictures were of beach scenes. We even had a Mickey lamp that helped remind you that you were at a “seaside” resort. The bathroom was more nautical in design with a ship and lighthouse wallpaper on the walls and seashells as the design along the vanity area. Two of the things I liked most about this room was how bright it was and the fresh flowers that were placed on our chest each day. I was concerned that staying on the first floor would result in a more disruptive rest with noise, but we did not suffer from any of these.
The Stone Harbor Club is the concierge level where one can get snacks and drinks throughout the day. It is also decorated along the lines of the lobby. We were not as impressed with the selections that were offered here. The only items that caught our eyes were the desserts offered in the evenings. The other snacks offered were not appetizing. Our concierge stay at the Board Walk resort offered a much better selection of food. My boys did not eat anything here other than the occasional chocolate chip cookie. We would mostly come up here to get some cokes and the occasional dessert during our stay here.
Now for the entire reason I wanted to stay at this lovely resort. The most impressive three-acre pool ever created is known as Stormalong Bay. When I visit Walt Disney World, I don’t believe in hanging out at the hotel, much less the pool for very long. I’ve always felt that this took away from time I could spend riding rides at the parks. This pool totally blew that idea out of the water. Both the Yacht and Beach Club guests share this massive pool. It is such an incredibly popular place, that castmembers are stationed at the entrances to scan MagicBands to make sure that there are no outside visitors. I asked some of the castmembers about this and they informed me of how many people try and sneak in to this pool. They said that many attempt to climb the rocks to get inside, only to realize that there is no way to enter in through that path. Once your MagicBand is scanned and they see that yes, you are indeed a resort guest, you are given another wristband to wear so that you may come and go as you please into that pool. The colors of the wristband change each day. You are also checked for these wristbands if you are attempting to go down the slide.
This pool is by far the shining gem of this resort. I have never had so much fun at a resort pool. And we tried it all! It is a steep climb up to the pirate ship slide, but so worth it. There is also a lazy pool area (probably for those that climbed the pirate ship over and over), where there are floats available to allow the gentle waves to push you through the meandering path. I loved floating along, letting my feet drag along the sandy bottom. Absolute paradise. There are other sectioned off pools for little ones and for those that want a quieter swim without the lazy part. The proof that this pool is so wonderful is that my family (all of which would ride rides for as long as the parks stay open) actually chose to not go to the parks twice during our stay just so that we could spend as much time as possible at Stormalong Bay.
This resort is lovely. It was undergoing some refurbishment while we were there, yet it did not disturb our stay. We loved being here. The only problems we encountered were with food. With my picky eaters, it was hard to find quick service selections to meet each of these needs. We were satisfied with the room service we ordered during our stay. Transportation was excellent considering the summer crowds, and we loved being next door to Epcot’s World Showcase. Within five minutes we were at Epcot from walking along the pathway. The boats and walkways to Hollywood Studios were a pleasant change from the buses. We will definitely be returning to this resort for another visit. This resort dedicated to summer fun has won our hearts.
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