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Adventures by Disney

Grand Floridian Concierge

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The elegant ambiance of the Grand Floridian resort begins at the entrance where a double-columned walkway surrounded by a host of flowers leads into a very grand lobby. The lobby is five stories tall, and the ceiling sports a beautiful domed stained glass. For lovers of the Victorian era, the Grand Floridian lobby is a fragrance of lace and high-backed furniture blossoms. And, indeed, there are bouquets of fresh flowers in every direction the eye gazes. The color theme of the lobby is peach, beige, and purple; tile floors with carpet inserts.

We checked in at the lobby front desk and were promptly met by a concierge host who showed us around the resort and took us to our room on the third floor of the main building. There were three concierge floors (3, 4, & 5) in the main building and one lodge with concierge service as well. The lodge included concierge staff and buffet from 7:00 AM to 3:00 PM, while the main building provided staff and buffet offerings until 9:00 PM. The décor in the concierge rooms was more subdued than the regular rooms in colors of beige and salmon with sprinkles of purple. The layout for the basic concierge room was the same as a regular room with two queen beds, a small table with two chairs, a daybed, and a double sink vanity area separate from the bath area. The vanity, bathroom floor, and tub were marble. And the room had a live plant on the table a nice touch, in my humble opinion. There were robes in the closet for us, and the toiletries were a bit more elegant than the usual offering. We did peek at both a deluxe room and a suite. The deluxe room was very spacious, probably another 100 square feet, and done in the same subtle elegance with a sofa instead of a daybed. Well worth the additional $15 a night -- again in my humble opinion. The suite was pure elegance -- the master closet was the size of a small bedroom. The entry was marble with double columns leading into a parlor that included a wet bar and a Christmas tree (It was the season). The master bath included a Jacuzzi tub. And on and on....

The concierge staff, while reserved, were very responsive to all of our requests. There was a bit of confusion regarding the implementation of our special dietary requests at the outset. However, within 36 hours, the communication loop was in place and functioned smoothly. And we were sent a complimentary fruit and cheese basket for the inconvenience. There are three desks with staff on the third floor with staff available from 6:30 AM until 10:00 PM. We often found staff working later than that. By the end of our visit, the staff had warmed considerably and we were on a friendly repartee basis. I speculate that the reserved approach is in keeping with the elegant ambiance. We just happen to be royalty that prefer camaraderie so we encouraged a more relaxed attitude and were successful in evoking it. It's nice to know it can go both ways.

The concierge lounge and buffet are the shining stars of the Grand Floridian concierge service. The most spacious of all the lounges, area spreads overlooking the lobby on the fourth floor of the building. The ambiance is light and playful with pictures on the wall of Mickey and Minnie at a Victorian beach. Flowers abound, and there are phones placed conveniently for guest use. The buffet, on heavy silver, of course, offered the greatest selection of any concierge service we've sampled including a traditional tea from 3 PM to 5 PM. For example, the mid afternoon buffet had the makings for taco salad, and the early evening selection included tomato/mozzerella salad and roasted vegetables with several cheeses, crackers, and breads. Easily a buffet to make meals from.

The pool at the Grand Floridian is basic with no theming. The hot tub has excellent jets. The Spa is a bit of a walk, and while there is a large sampling of spa activities in the way of massages, facials, etc., the exercise room and steam room fall shorter than both Muscles and Bustles at the Boardwalk and Shipshape at the Yacht and Beach Club.

The Grand Floridian concierge service inspired me to add new criteria for review: Buffet quality. With this feature included, the Grand Floridian places very highly on the review chart: 9:85. With just a pinch more friendliness in the service, the Grand Floridian would take the lead in my personal favorites list.

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