One of the best vacation values for families and couples alike is a Disney World holiday. However, this may lead you to wonder where you should stay.
After all, Disney World is a popular resort location so there are plenty of hotels from which to choose. However, they’re not all the same.
That is why hotels are given one-star to five-star ratings. However, don’t get these ratings confused with a property’s overall quality. Star ratings for hotels indicate a property’s frills and perks. Naturally, if you enjoy more amenities, you’ll generally pay a higher price.
The Hotel Star Rating System
Before you review a hotel then, it is helpful to get acquainted with the star rating system. Let’s look at what these stars mean.
One-star hotels are properties that feature basic amenities. That does not necessarily mean you’ll be sleeping in a dive hotel in a high crime area. It just means, in basic terms, you’ll have a place to sleep for the night. You’ll usually have access to a vending machine or self-service meal as well.
Two-star properties are typically less expensive than higher-starred hotels and also are quite comfortable. Rooms feature a phone and TV and normally offer an on-site restaurant and daily housekeeping. The front desk at the property is typically open 24/7.
Three-star hotels often feature a few unique amenities and offer upgraded services for check-in and check-out. Hotels of this caliber are more comfortable than their 2-star counterparts and offer a broader range of services. These amenities typically include a fitness facility, pool, on-site dining, valet services, and room service.
Four-star properties are often recognized for their extraordinary comfort and upscale attention to detail. They feature concierge services, multiple pools, spa treatments, hot tubs, upper scale fitness facilities and room service. Bellhops, valet parking, and limousine services are typically part of the package.
Five-star hotels offer personalized guest services and fine dining and entertainment options. Think “high-end luxury” when surveying these hotels. Some of the “regular” features of a five-star property include laundry bags and services, electric safe, luxury robes, flat screen TVs with access to a wide range of programs, charging stations, stocked mini bar, and lighted full-length mirrors. The highest attention is given to providing bedding that is of a premium quality and thread count.
The main difference between a 4-star and 5-star property is the degree of services provided. While a four-star hotel provides polite and gracious services to guests – turn down services, complimentary toiletries, and similar amenities, five star hotels often take on more personalized requests.
For example, if a guest wants a special tea made or a yoga mat for yoga, or even chocolate chip cookies made in the wee hours of the morning, the hotel will usually comply.
How Disney Ranks Its Resort Hotels
If you’re traveling to Disney World, the ratings Disney gives its resorts do not follow star ratings. Instead, they rate their resort hotels as value properties, moderate hotels, deluxe accommodations, or deluxe villas.
If you opt for a value sized room at Disney, it usually averages about 260 square feet while moderate sized rooms range around 314 square feet. Larger deluxe accommodations are 344 square feet to a little over 440 square feet in size.
Disney World’s Moderate Resort Hotels
Moderate properties are often good choices as they bridge the differences between the smaller value priced rooms and the higher prices of deluxe Disney resort hotels. If you’re seeking some nice perks along with a lower price, you’ll find a moderate resort to your liking.
Disney’s Top-Value Ranked Moderate Hotel: The Coronado Springs Resort
One of Disney’s popularly featured moderate hotels is the Coronado Springs Resort, located 1000 Buena Vista Drive in Buena Vista, Florida. A moderate hotel, such as Coronado Springs Resort, is considered a 3-star hotel when compared to properties outside of Disney World.
In Disney vernacular, value priced rooms translate to 2-star hotels and their deluxe choices, basically, rank alongside 4-star properties.
Coronado Springs Review
Like other moderate resorts at Disney, Coronado Springs’ middle price range (about $230) appeals to families. Parents traveling with their kids find the price point attractive, especially if they want accommodations that will hold 4 to 5 occupants. That is only one of the reasons that Coronado Springs is considered Disney World’s best moderate hotel.
You’ll Love Swimming at Coronado Springs
Unlike the value resorts at Disney, moderate hotels, such as Coronado Springs, feature slides at their pools. If you have kids, they’ll love the main swimming pool at Coronado Springs which displays a massive Mayan-themed temple. The built-in jaguar, next to the water slide, “hisses” water at guests as they glide down the slide.
Dining Options at Coronado Spring
Moderate resorts at Disney World, including Coronado Spring, feature table service restaurants, pool bars, lounge bars, and a food court. You can also request pizza delivery. Whether you’re traveling with a group or your family, you can pick up a quick meal or dine in or out.
Transportation and Parking
The only real drawback to staying at Coronado Springs or other moderate Disney resorts is the transportation. If you take a bus to Disney World, it takes longer than it does at other resorts. That’s because the bus stops at each stop along the way. Compare that to a value hotel which only features one stop while traveling.
Alternatively, if you plan to park at the property, you’ll have to pay a hefty parking fee (about $20 per day). However, that fee also applies to other resort properties.
What Makes Coronado Springs Unique
Coronado Spring is considered a convention hotel, so its focus is on both businesses and families. The central building, the Gran Destino Tower, offers accommodations close to a variety of restaurants.
Club Level Amenities
The resort is different in that it offers amenities that other moderate hotels do not provide, including a fitness club, salon, and “Club Level” accommodations in the Gran Destino Tower. Normally, people staying in deluxe accommodations receive these amenities which are now featured at the Coronado Springs Resort.
Specifically, “Club Level” amenities include access to the Chronos Club, a lounge that features daily beverage and food servings, concierge services (including text and phone communications), and a FastPass* purchase.
*FastPass represents a digital ticket that allows guests to skip the line and enter up to 3 attractions at a Disney World park for the day.
The “Club Level” amenities are what makes Coronado Springs a best value property. Also, because the property focuses its services on both business travelers and families, it supports the needs of more travelers.
The Resort Layout
The Gran Destino Tower serves as the center of the Coronado Springs grounds and is where you’ll check in or obtain tickets or information. The grounds are divided into seven areas with the Dig Site representing the main recreational area. It features a playground, volleyball court, swimming pool, and Iguana Arcade.
The Resort’s Theme
While the hotel’s theme revolves around Old Mexico, it does not emphasize the motif in its exterior and interior decor. Yes, you’ll notice the Southwest accents and Salvador Dali influences, but, unlike other resorts at Disney, the idea is downplayed.
Some Facts about the Resort
The hotel, which debuted in 1997, features 1,917 rooms and suites located in three villages. All the accommodations surround Lago Dorado, a 15-acre body of water. In addition, the 15-story Gran Destino Tower features 545 rooms.
While most rooms at the resort are about 314 square feet, the regular rooms in the Gran Destino Tower are 375 square feet. This makes them the largest rooms offered among moderate accommodations. You can get a king-sized bed in 224 of the rooms and 99 of the rooms at the resort are disabled-access rooms.
Standard room sizes are made to hold up to four guests. The deluxe suites and one-bedroom suites in the Gran Destino Tower also offer “Club Level” Disney access. Like the standard rooms, they accommodate up to four adults. The Presidential Suite in Gran Destino Tower sleeps up to 4 adults and comes with “Club Level” amenities.
The large convention hotel provides a ballroom that can accommodate up to 5,000 people for sit-down dinners and a junior ballroom that is 20,000 square feet in size. The foyer features a domed ceiling that displays a beautiful mural that features a captivating floral garden with doves and a gazebo.
Gran Destino Tower is home to the site’s Catalonia Boardroom, which features wall-mounted screens for presentations, and Destino Plaza, an expansive patio area just outside the building’s Barcelona Lounge. The front desk in the building now serves as the resort’s central point and check-in location.
The Resort’s Casitas
The Casitas (small cottages) offer lodging among plazas, fountains, and palm-shaded courtyards. Three and four stories tall, they serve as a focal site for convention and family accommodations. In terms of architecture, the Casitas are reminiscent of cities such as Santa Fe and Monterrey.
The grounds of the Casitas are full of unexpected delights, including glistening fountains and a tranquil pool area. Topiaries that display the characters from The Three Caballeros sit among the Casitas, encircled by shrubs displaying blooms of gardenias.
The Ranchos at the Resort
The Ranchos are two- and three-story pueblo-styled residences with rivulets that topple over a stony stream bed, all which evoke a rustic ranch-like environment.
The Property’s Cabanas
The two-story tall cabanas on the northern bank of the property’s lake represent the serene coasts of Mexico. You can see Lago Dorado from more than half of these suites.
Book a Stay at Coronado Springs Today
You’ll love your stay at Coronado Springs Resort, whether you’re attending a convention or spending a day at Disney World. Enjoy 4-star services with “Club-Level” amenities at a hospitable and Mexico-themed type property.