Yacht Club Concierge ("Regatta Club")

We stayed at the Yacht Club concierge level in early January 2000. We received an AP rate for the room ($310/night + tax), which is what tempted us to try it. The concierge level was a new experience for us. We go to WDW so often for research for the PassPorter Walt Disney World travel guide that we're usually more concerned with value than luxury. But, in the spirit of research, we thought we should try a concierge room, too!

Since this was our first experience in the Yacht Club concierge level, we had plenty of first-time questions. To the right are the questions we had beforehand (based on everything we'd read about the concierge level) and the answers we discovered. We thought we'd share our experiences with you in the event you or someone you know is thinking of staying here.

Updated 04/26/06

Copyright 1999-2006
PassPorter Travel Press, an imprint of MediaMarx, Inc.

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  Questions and Answers

Q: What extra amenities do we get for our extra $150/night charge for concierge?
A: According to the two online sources we checked before our visit, Deb's AllEarsNet site and
Disney's official site, we learned that we should receive the following extra amenities and services:
- Private check-in and check-out
- Private key access to fifth floor
- Concierge desks for information and help making plans
- Lounge with snacks in the morning, afternoon, and evening
- Robes to wear in the room and around the hotel (i.e., pool)
- Television speaker in the sink area
- Hair dryer
- Makeup mirror
- Deluxe turndown service

Q: What is involved in private check-in (and check-out)?
A: Upon our arrival at the Yacht Club registration desk, we informed the cast member that we were checking in and gave her our information. When she saw that we were had a concierge room, she placed a call to the concierge desk and asked someone to come down and meet us. While we waited, she took our payment information and gave us our room/charge cards and the various resort maps and Disney literature you normally get. At this point, a woman came up to us and introduced herself as being a member of the concierge desk. Together we walked to the elevator and she instructed us on how to use our room card to access the fifth floor (slide it in the slot then press the floor button). Once on the fifth floor, she gave introduced us to the other concierge staff and gave us a grand tour (i.e., showed us the lounge and ice machine room), and then took us to our room. She informed us that the concierge level was called the "Regatta Club" (appropriate name). We appreciated the personal service, though we did feel a little self-conscious about such special treatment -- whether that was our own inhibitions getting in the way or the way we were treated, we're not sure. We have certainly received royal treatment from other Disney cast members and never felt self-conscious. We also got the impression that "private check-ins" usually take place up on the fifth floor, seated at one of the concierge desks. This feeling was reinforced when the cast member who brought us up returned to our room a few minutes after her tour to give us a folder she had forgotten earlier. Inside was a set of Disney guidemaps, brochures, and resort information, along with a welcome letter and a copy of the registration/payment sheet. The only problem is that the welcome letter was addressed to someone else and the registration sheet showed another family's registration and payment, including their address! Oops! Either this had been someone else's folder and they were recycling it, or the cast member made a mistake when assembling it.

Q: Is there anything really special about a concierge room and its amenities?
A: We stayed in room 5171, which had a king-size bed and a lagoon view -- it was also very close to the elevators. The room itself seemed to be about the same size as any other Yacht Club room, A peek into the sink area revealed the television speaker, hair dryer, and makeup mirror, as we expected. We had no interest in these items, nor did they seem terribly impressive to us, but we're sure they come in handy for some families. A further search of the room revealed little else special... and no robes! We first assumed that robes were no longer being included in the rooms, but we inquired about this later and it appears that the housekeeping staff simply forgot to put them in the room. We also noticed that one of the doors on our armoire was broken and would not close without special effort. Other than that, everything in the room appeared to be in good working order. Our room had a medium-sized armoire with a TV and mini-bar inside and dry goods for purchase placed on top, a set of drawers, two nightstands, a small table with two chairs, an armchair, a large balcony with patio furniture, very small bathroom, double sinks, hair dryer, makeup mirror, and toiletries (soap, shampoo, and toothpaste).

Q: How are the robes?
A: Our robes were delivered by someone from housekeeping soon after we notified the concierge desk that they were missing from our room. We got two robes, both the same (one size fits all). They were thick, white terry robes with a gold Yacht Club/Beach Club logo embroidered on them. The sleeves were short, only come down to Dave's elbows and Jennifer's forearms. The length was also short, coming down to Dave's knees and Jennifer's calves. Nonetheless, they were quite comfortable and it was nice to slip into them when relaxing or before bed. We did not ask if they had children's robes, though it is likely that the do since they also do at the Grand Floridian. Naturally, guests aren't allowed to take the robes home with them, though we did notice there were some robes for sale in the gift shop if you became really attached.

Q: How is the lounge? What snacks were available and at what times?
A: The lounge, which is located right off area that houses the concierge desks, is about the size of two standard hotel rooms. It has a very "clubby" feel and sports several couches and chairs, plus a very large armoire with a TV. Movies are shown on the TV in the afternoons; otherwise the armoire doors are closed and locked. Double doors lead to a large deck, which is a nice place to go if you want some privacy. Snacks and drinks are set up in an alcove of the room. Here are the "Regatta Club Lounge Hours," which were presented to us on a card during our grand tour:

Continental Breakfast - 7:00 am - 10:00 am
Mid-Day Snacks - 11:30 am - 4:00 pm
Wine & Cheese - 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Cordials & Desserts - 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm

We expected very light snacks, but were pleasantly surprised by the generous portions and variety of foods. Breakfast was the most basic, with pastries, bagels, lox, juice, and coffee. Mid-day snacks were things like popcorn, pretzels, nuts, cookies, lemonade, and ice tea. Wine & cheese were just that -- several cheeses, crackers, and wines, plus a variety of hors d'oeuvres and some surprisingly large, thick sandwiches on foccacia bread. Cordials and desserts were basic cordials like Kahlua, Frangelico, and amaretto (they even had cognac), plus a variety of small desserts like brownies, cake, petit fours, and custard in pastry shells topped with fruit. We were also informed during our tour that soft drinks were available on request. Additionally, guests are allowed to take food back to their rooms to eat -- you don't have to stay in the lounge at all. All in all, we were very pleased with the lounge and its offerings, and this was the one place we felt truly "spoiled."

Q: How helpful is the concierge desk?
A: There are two concierge desks, both located right by the elevators. We stopped at the concierge desk several times to ask questions or request their assistance in making reservations. Each time they were cordial and helpful. When we needed priority seating for Flying Fish Cafe, they called over for us and were able to get us in at our preferred time even though no priority seatings were available for that specific time. The desks were staffed during the day only. We found their presence to be a mixed blessing. They were helpful when needed, but that wasn't often for us since we're WDW veterans -- we had to think hard to come up with things to ask them, which we did to evaluate their services. The ready available of the concierge desk encouraged us to make more requests than we would have of Guest Services, even though concierge admitted that the folks downstairs at Guest Services could do the same things for us. On the down side, we had the sense of being "watched" as we came and went by the concierge staff as their desks face the elevators. This was uncomfortable at times, but mostly only for Jennifer who is a private person.

Q: Is there anything else special about concierge?
A: Turndown service is automatic, whereas guests staying in non-concierge rooms need to request it specifically from housekeeping if they want it. (Turndown service is when housekeeping visits your room in the evenings, turning down your blanket/sheets and placing a chocolate and card with an "magical" quote on your bed.) The balconies on the fifth floor also appear to be a bit bigger than the other floors.

Q: Was it worth the extra price?
A: The answer to this question depends entirely on the person asking it. If you appreciate personal service and access to exclusive areas and services, you will probably enjoy concierge service as well. If you're looking for a particularly magical, special experience and are hoping to get it by spending the extra for concierge, you can probably get it without the additional expense. The concierge desk offers the same general service as the Guest Services desk at every resort, turndown service is available to all guests at the Yacht Club (as well as some other deluxe resorts), and Disney always treats guests like royalty. We certainly enjoyed our experience, but it is unlikely we'll stay at the concierge level again unless we're celebrating something extraordinary or we discover a rare deal.

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