This hotel came highly recommended to us - which might be why we were a little disappointed. It was totally fine...but not over the top. However, that said, it totally worked for our family.
We had read the reviews about how large the resort is and about how 'tired' the rooms were and got a little nervous. Now that we've stayed there I can understand the comments. My take on this was that the resort is really large - but you're really only staying in your room and going back-forth to the main building. It didn't seem that any of the "sections" were all that far from the main building. The rooms are dated in that they have an out-of-style feel to them but they were clean and not torn to shreds or anything. We found some videos on You Tube of people who posted videos of their rooms here and I think they were valuable to see.
So - all that said - we are a family of 5. Two adults and 3 kids under 5. Just going to Disney was an adventure for our family. We opted for the 2-room villa which was perfect. The two older kids had their own sleeping section and the baby slept in a pack and play in the master bath. The rooms come with a pack and play and a high chair. We brought our own pack/play mattress pad and sheets and were glad we did. (Every time the baby rolled over it was kind of 'loud' and woke her up until we put the mattress pad on.) The kitchenette was a good size. We ordered groceries from Garden Grocer to be delivered the night we arrived which was HUGE. We had breakfast, lunch and most dinners in our room and were very thankful to - our kids are so young we knew it would be tough to do restaurants all of the time. And it was soooo much cheaper. (We spent $250 on groceries, including snacks and juice boxes for the park and $300 on the 3 restaurant meals we had.) The main room was a decent size. We actually rolled the coffee table out of the room into the bedroom to give us some extra play room.
The kids were REALLY into the pool. We initially spent all of our time at the main pool. (Our room was in The Grandstand.) We didn't like the pool at the Grandstand because the sprinkler things were broken and the pool didn't have a shallow area so it was tough to manage with three kids. The pool at the main house was nice because it had both a zero-entry area, life jacket rental, a small toddler water slide and a bigger kid water slide and a little sprinkler area. Somehow we managed this area with three kids and two adults. We soon discovered the pool at the Paddock section, however, which was way better suited to little kids - plus the big pool there had a big water slide that my 4 year old loved. This is where the 'huge resort' and 'tons of walking' thing comes into play. It was a haul for us with the little kids. We brought one umbrella stroller and rented a double at the parks. We should have used the stroller rental service where they deliver the double stroller to your room. Our kids were just too little to do all the walking to the pool we did like and back and really, too small to do all the walking between all the buses and park entrances, etc....it was A LOT for the little kids. You can't go wrong having a stroller at all times with a bunch of little kids.
One of the reasons we stayed at the Grandstand section was that our friends had told us this was the first bus stop. This was nice in that it was the first pick up stop so we were always guaranteed a seat. It was also the first stop on the way back so when our kids were tired we just had to get back to the hotel and we were the first ones off. This was uber helpful for us.
One weird thing about the room I feel i have to mention is that the bathrooms all have fans that automatically go on when it senses you are in them. The main bathroom was actually divided into three sections (toilet, sink and shower, sink and tub) and if you walked through it the fans would all go on. I think I was sensitive to this because we were trying to help the kids nap and just when it was quiet all the fans would go off.)
I am not sure we'd stay here again. I think we'd try to find a place closer to the parks and maybe one a little newer. We also had issues with the buses while we were there. From what I hear this was an anomaly but we had days where it took us an hour from when we left our room to get inside the park. That is just miserable with three little kids.
I did really like the size of the kitchen area. There was ample tools in the kitchen to cook meals like mac and cheese, tacos, spaghetti, etc. It was a tad annoying that the TV didn't have on-demand and we realized late in the trip there was a DVD player and apparently you could rent videos in the main building. The main building also had a little store where you could buy a lot of groceries - everything from salt and pepper to bacon, sour cream, cheese, etc.
We found the people at the hotel to be kind of helpful. By this I mean they fall all over themselves to address you and give your kids stickers but a) there are a lot of socially awkward people who are just uncomfortable to talk to and b) I can't count the number of times I asked directions to something and walked away totally confused. We also had some confusing issues when it came to adding days to our passes.
Couple of hints about your trip - our baby ended up with an ear infection on the plane on the way down. We actually had a pediatrician, who traveled with medicine, in our hotel room only about an hour after we checked in. This is huge to know. You have to ask for it - otherwise the hotel just tells you to take a bus or taxi to a medical center. Another is that if you want to go to SeaWorld the people at Disney could not be less helpful. However I did find a cab company that was willing to pick us up, with 3 car seats, and take us to SeaWorld for a total of $18 each way. Another is that with little kids they will be really overwhelmed by EVERYTHING so build in plenty of down time. The kids will be just as excited to play in the pool as they will be to go to the parks (if not more so) and even though everyone told us this we totally underestimated it.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Inspired by historic Saratoga Springs-a late-1800s' New York retreat famous for its spas and horse racing-this charming, Victorian-style Resort hotel is nestled between rolling golf course greens and the shimmering Village Lake. Delight in stately Studios and multi-bedroom Villas, dazzling pools and a spa. You can also explore the fun activities and exciting dining options of the Downtown Disney area, just a boat ride away. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Disneys Saratoga Springs Hotel
- Saratoga Springs Disney
- Disney Saratoga Springs Hotel
- Saratoga Springs Resort Florida
- Disneys Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
- Saratoga Springs Orlando
- Disney Saratoga Springs Resort
- Saratoga Springs Fl
- Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa Orlando, Florida