My last hotel review was in February when we visited San Francisco. We did stay at a hotel in March, but it was a return stay to the Sheraton Times Square and not much had changed from our previous time visiting the property.
We did recently stay at an Airbnb cabin and wrote what we thought about that experience.
That was a cabin where we had the entire place to ourselves. It’s not the same as a hotel where there are common spaces with other guests and employees to interact with.
What did we think of our first post-pandemic hotel stay?
Disney’s Vero Beach Resort
9250 Island Grove Terrace
Vero Beach, FL 32963
The Disney Vero Beach Resort opened in 1995 as the first DVC resort outside of Walt Disney World. Just 90 minutes from Orlando, the location was envisioned at the time as a way for the Vacation Club to market a combo beach/Disney vacation to prospective buyers. Buyers weren’t as receptive as the maintenance dues for a beach hotel are higher than those for a resort in central Florida and it took a while for Disney to sell all of the units.
As owners of DVC Old Key West. we see it as a great place to take a long weekend getaway.
The resort has a main building called “The Inn” with hotel-style rooms, three outer buildings with studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom rooms and six three-bedroom beachfront cottages.
We booked a studio room for two nights using our Disney Vacation Club points.
When arriving at the resort, we were stopped at the guard gate. The masked guard asked us our name and looked up to see if we were on the check-in list. Once finding us, he walkie-talkied the front desk to alert them we’d arrived. No one met us at the porte-cochere, so we parked our car and walked into the lobby.
We were greeted by a friendly agent who checked us in and provided us with all of the resort’s information. She asked if we knew that many of the hotel amenities, such as the pool and mini-golf course, were closed, which we were. The hotel added many additional activities to make up for the loss of a swimming pool.
We were only there for one full day so we didn’t bother with the activities. We were assigned a room on the third floor of building 15, the furthest one from the main building.
The resort isn’t very large so it was only a five-minute walk from our room to the lobby. One issue we did have with the room was that the construction eliminated some parking spaces and we did have difficulty finding a place to park throughout our stay.
While it was a trek walking up three flights of stairs (we weren’t keen on using the elevator), it was nice to be on the top floor.
The best part of being on the top floor was the excellent view of the ocean from our balcony.
While the weather cooperated, we loved sitting outside and listening to the ocean. It was like having a real-life version of the Calm App.
Our studio room was just large enough for us to feel comfortable for a long weekend. Walking into the room, we were greeted by a comfortable couch and a queen-sized bed. Unfortunately, only Sharon’s side of the bed had a nightstand [Note from Sharon: Winning!].
On the other side of the room, there was a table with two chairs. It was plenty of space for both of us to use our laptops.
There was also a kitchenette with a microwave, mini-fridge and sink.
The bathroom was a suitable size. I say the towels formed a Hidden Mickey while Sharon says three circles do not always make a Mickey [Note from Sharon: the ears are WAY too out of proportion to be a “hidden Mickey”].
While DVC rooms usually don’t have housekeeping, even the usual services were not being provided.
The only onsite sit-down restaurant, Wind and Waves, only had indoor seating and we’re just not there yet. There is the quick-service Wind & Waves market which served breakfast, lunch and dinner and has three outdoor tables (or you can take your food to your room.)
The outdoor Wind & Waves Bar serves adult beverages.
Here’s what we got to see of the pool.
On the second floor of The Inn, there’s the Green Cabin Room where they serve drinks and light snacks in the evening. We spent both nights of our stay enjoying the evening looking at the ocean.
Finally, what would be a beach stay without the beach picture? DVC has its own beach access and rents chairs, umbrellas and cabanas. For us, the weather wasn’t cooperative (it rained a lot) so we didn’t go into the water.
In all, we only spent one whole day at the resort. Sharon summed it up the best when she said we spent a whole day doing a whole lot of nothing at all. If you do that when you’re home, you’re lazy, but it’s totally acceptable when you’re at a hotel. After months of not traveling, this was a nice way for us to get away from home without spending any money, besides our usual timeshare dues.
If we had been paying the $200+ a night that a room usually costs, it might have been a bummer that it rained for our entire stay. Beachfront hotels always charge a premium and usually don’t provide that much of a value. Disney has done a good job of bringing the hotel up to modern standards and we’d gladly plan another stay if we’re not able to travel as we used to before the coronavirus.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary