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at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort
Terrible job handling pandemic closure!
Jul 3rd, 2020
Our disappointing saga with The Dolphin started when I learned that hotel would not reopen until the middle of our late July stay on a Disney Blog before we received an email from the hotel itself. We called both The Dolphin and the JW Marriott Bonnet Creek where the email said our reservation had been transferred to confirm our stay. We were giving a confirmation number for the stay, so we assumed everything had been handled. A few days later we received an email canceling our reservation at The Dolphin, which made us worry that we would get down to Orlando with no reservation. We spoke with someone with the JW Marriott and the confirmation number we had been giving a few days earlier belong to someone else. We had no reservation. Luckily, we are annual pass holders for Disney World and our park reservations were attached to those rather than our hotel reservation. I am so disappointed in how poorly this situation was handled by The Dolphin. I had heard nothing, but great things about this hotel until this point. We were very proactive by reaching out to both hotels as soon as we found out we were being moved and even talked to representatives several times to confirm our stay. It will be a long time before I attempt another reservation at The Dolphin, if at all. TRIPADVISOR.COM USER
Christmas at Disney’s Dolphin Hotel
Jun 11th, 2020
The staff at the Dolphin resort in FL was so accommodating and spectacular. My dad booked the rooms and my sister and I were easily able to check in early and leave our belongings with the hotel bell stand so we could enjoy the afternoon and evening in the parks. Due to the Christmas holiday, Wait times were naturally longer, however my sister and I are naturally sociable and friendly and we engaged in fabulous conversations with the hotel staff (cast members). The hotel cast members couldn’t have been kinder, we even got our room upgraded to a balcony (on the second floor which was slightly difficult to find at first by stairs) and were able to enjoy our short stay in Disney in a fabulous room away from the parks, at our favorite hotel. TRIPADVISOR.COM USER
Great location and amenities, but definitely needs updates, renovation and some staff training
Jun 3rd, 2020
I stayed at this hotel late January/early February 2020. Overall, it's in a great location, on the edge of the "Boardwalk" area of Disney World. You can also earn/use Marriott Rewards points there, yet it is considered "on property" in terms of being a Disney hotel and you get many amenities usually only available to guests staying at WDW hotels. The hotel also has great amenities, like great swimming pools, playgrounds, an arcade, bars, wonderful restaurants, a great coffee shop, Disney reservations center and so much more. As the saying goes, first impressions can be last impressions, and unfortunately the check-in experience I had at the hotel was horrible. I am a Marriott preferred member and I requested an early check in. 9/10 times, even when my request is for an extremely early time (e.g. 8 a.m.) the hotel will give it to me. I went to check in and asked, right behind a lady with a similar request. The lady in front of me (didn't know her) received an incredibly courteous, apologetic explanation from a guy working there that no rooms were available and that they would let her know as soon as one was available. Hearing that, I was prepared to get denied and have to wait but thought that maybe because of my request a room might have been held for me. K (I was originally going to write her full name but as she has likely been furloughed/on unemployment I'll be nice and not say her name) decided that she could vent at me and take out her bad mood on me. I have no idea why she was so upset, but her face expressed frustration and annoyance even from a distance. In an angry tone she told me "check out is 11 a.m. and check-in is 4 p.m.!" I had to bite my lips to keep from replying in kind, and I could see that her colleague standing next to her was visibly embarrassed at her behavior. When I asked if an upgrade was available for when I would be able to check in I again got an angry "No!" She also tried very hard to push me to waive housekeeping in exchange for Marriott Rewards points. When I declined she continued to try to convince me and I finally had to say "No!" and she finally gave up. Ultimately what they did was to say that they would message me when a room was ready. A tip is that if you are ever in this situation, be proactive in checking on the room's availability. I kept checking every 30 minutes or so and eventually they said a room was ready. I recommend being proactive because I received a text message saying that a room was ready almost an hour after I had gotten to my room. When I went back to check in "K" was there again and the floor manager at a stand up desk could see that I was aggravated about having to deal with her again. He kindly checked me in at his station and was incredibly courteous. But then when my luggage was brought to the room (I left it at the luggage station) again the luggage attendant was shockingly grumpy and unprofessional. We all have bad days, but it is a hotel's responsibility to ensure that their staff act 100% courteous and professional with all guests at all times. I was in the area for a conference at the neighboring Yacht Club, but chose to stay here because I am a Marriott Rewards tier member. While Marriott is 100% proactive in telling members that higher-tier member benefits are subject to different policies at different hotels/brands, in light of the cost of the hotel and the prestige with which it describes itself, it is bizarre that benefits for Rewards members are fairly limited. I've stayed at $79 a night Courtyard and Fairfield suites hotels where I received more perks than I did at the Dolphin. I did not get offered any vouchers, coupons, complimentary drink or anything else. Again, I know it's not guaranteed but it is surprising that the Rewards benefits are so limited here. The hotel has a relatively stylish, modern lobby area. It is a great place for larger families or conventioneers to mingle. However, as many other reviewers noted, this hotel is in desperate need of renovations and updates in many areas. The Picabo cafeteria in the basement does not look like it has been renovate for at least 20 years. The carpets in the hallways around my room were so worn that in some areas you could see the underlying floor. Doors to housekeeping/staff areas were just left open. The housekeeping staff were incredibly loud when talking to each other in the hallways. In my room, there was rust on bathroom fixtures, doors that squeaked loudly, and frayed furniture. Housekeeping also seemed to miss/forget something almost every day of my stay, e.g. one day they'd forget to replace the coffee, the next they didn't replace towels, then no vacuuming, etc. Considering that rooms there are mostly in the $250 and up a night range, this really is inexplicable and inexcusable. Some of the best reasons to stay at this hotel are connected to it being considered a WDW hotel (in spite of it being Marriott branded/owned). I would caution future travelers to check into available benefits before booking here. The shuttle boat to Epcot and DHS, extra magic hours, 60-day fastpass bookings (instead of usual 30), and ability to make Disney reservations on site are a huge reason why the hotel is worth the price (when much newer, nicer hotels like the Orlando World Center and Gaylord Marriott hotels are not much further away and usually much cheaper). If these benefits are no longer available when you're booking (they apparently won't be available when Disney reopens in July) I would not recommend this hotel unless the room rates are drastically cheaper. Otherwise, shop around. Overall, with some renovations and staff training this hotel could warrant a five-star review from me. TRIPADVISOR.COM USER
Marriott property with WDW perks.
May 11th, 2020
This property is within walking distance to Epcot and the Boardwalk, which is great! The pool is large, you can ride on a swan boat and enjoy the variety of eateries inside. If you are a Marriott regular, you receive those perks and the early access to the parks. TRIPADVISOR.COM USER
A shadow of its former self
Apr 16th, 2020
I grew up loving this hotel but sadly, it has fallen victim of its age. The lobby appears quite dirty (especially the large sails on the high ceilings) and you are immediately hit by the musky smell. However, the location of the hotel is fantastic. TRIPADVISOR.COM USER
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