DVC Polynesian Villas First Impressions - June 2015

DVC Doctor

Member since 2001
DVC Gold
Joined
Mar 19, 2014
I just spent the weekend at the DVC Polynesian Villas & Bungalows and wanted to share my impressions.

I have stayed at every DVC resort except Aulani and been in just about every room category from studio to grand villa.

The DVC Polynesian is a great resort that should please both current and new DVC members. I know there are lots of debate on the lack of 1 and 2 and 3 bedroom villas (excluding the bungalows) and I agree with those complaints, but having a resort on the monorail loop with 99% studios is not such a bad thing. At least the connecting studios make an interesting combination.

First of all, the resort is still under construction and that is very apparent to anyone staying here. If you don’t like the occasional noise and construction barriers, then you should probably wait 6-12 months before coming here. It is not bad, just a work in progress.

The layout looks exactly the same as the original Polynesian and that is both good and bad. The check-in was at the main great ceremonial house on the first floor of the monorail station. I had a car, so I had to park in the front (temporary) and then drive back to the east side of the resort where there was parking closer to the transportation and ticket center. I was in the Moorea building and had 3 studio suites (one lake and two connecting standard views).

The walk to Moorea from the parking lot was short, but will be an issue when it rains (and it rains a lot in Florida). In other words, there are not covered walkways between the buildings. To me, it looked like the Pago Pago (Rapa Nui) and Tokelau were still under construction along with the Quiet Pool.

First impressions of the building were impressive. They were clean, smelled nice, and the colors and theme were awesome. The hallways were SUPER wide. The elevators were in the middle, but I used the west staircase more during my stay. I lucked out and all three studios were very close to each other. I loved the lake view (much more than I thought I would) and think the 20% premium for points is a tempting choice in the future. The connecting rooms were across the hall and looking toward the courtyard and felt much smaller due to the view. I know it sounds crazy, but the lake view made the room seem larger and it was significantly more interesting to sit on the patio vs the standard view.
 

DVC Doctor

Member since 2001
DVC Gold
Joined
Mar 19, 2014
The noises from the boat horns going off every 15 minutes is SIGNIFICANT and if you are a light sleeper, then avoid these rooms. The Bungalows looked very cool and I would definitely want 1-13 instead of 14-20 and HATE 17-20. The landscaping was not totally done and when a large rain storm hit us, it washed away lots of the mulch onto the sidewalks and even forced the pool to be closed. The landscaping definitely needs some barriers or better drainage as this will be a constant headache in the future.

The rooms are very nice and definitely felt larger than all other studios. The entrance has nice wood (fake wood rubber?) floors in the entrance and hallway leading to carpet in the bedroom. The first bathroom has a toilet and tub and sink. It was very large and I would say too large as the second bathroom had a sink and awesome shower. The shower had two shower herd (wand and ceiling rain effect) and awesome stone flooring and high quality glass door. I even liked the material for the sink countertops. One impressive thing was the water pressure for the sinks and shower and it was powerful – like the old school showers not the slow eco-friendly drip faucets of today. This may change in the future as water use will be high in this resort vs other DVCs.

The queen bed was super firm for my tastes and I really did NOT like it. I have stayed in lots of DVC resorts and the bed just seemed harder to me. I liked the USB ports on the walls for charging. The pillows were comfy. I liked the lighting in the rooms and kitchenette area. The tv was fine and the pulldown bed was a cool feature for anyone under 12yo.

The couch was fine along with the table and chairs. I did NOT like the quality of the table near the couch that has a top that opens with two hinges to store clothes. I think this is a FUTURE HAZARD that has the potential to trap a little kid fingers or hands and will not be pretty. I am not sure how to fix this, but it just felt cheap. The closet was standard, but felt small and the lack of drawer space (I did not see the two drawers under the bed until the last day) made me live out of a suitcase.
 

DVC Doctor

Member since 2001
DVC Gold
Joined
Mar 19, 2014
The point requirement here is an issue for me as a studio lake view was 29 points and connecting standards were 24 + 24 (48) and if I booked a Bungalow it would have been 159. This is the same at VGF and I personally think it should be lower and at 48 points, I would rather have a 1 bedroom rather than two studios (but that is only my opinion). The VGF 2 bedroom lake view at 78 point and Grand Villa at 159 points are a bargain compared to the Bungalow. I would much rather stay at VGF GV than a Poly Bungalow for the same points. I also think this tilts the value scale to BLT as the studios are 12/23 and the 2 bedroom is 51/58/70 depending on view for the same time period. Even a lake view GV at BLT is only 119 points for that weekend.

I enjoyed the grounds at the Poly and liked the nightly tiki torches. I also liked the new volcano pool, but think it is on the small side for this many people. The one thing that was interesting is that the food is far better than in the past - even Captain Cooks was very good.

Trader Sam’s will require a special review as that place was simply amazing and the Nautilus drink was worth the $60 price. The Dole Whips were a great bonus and I am happy I could order one here.

Overall I enjoyed the DVC Poly and wish they had 1 and 2 bedroom options and understand why they chose to keep them as studios. I personally think Disney simply retrofitted the old existing structure and found a great way to monetize membership to pay for the construction and annual dues. I am sure this place will be super popular as it does offer a great location and great view of the nightly fireworks. I also find myself humming some Hawaiian songs as the music did add to the theme and made me feel like I was almost in Hawaii.
 
  • DVC Doctor

    Member since 2001
    DVC Gold
    Joined
    Mar 19, 2014
    Here is another observation:

    The DVC cash rate for a standard studio is $416 per night = $17.33 per point equivalent
     

    freediverdude

    Was very touched by the Tapestry of Dreams parade
    Joined
    Jun 16, 2002
    This is interesting that you had a first floor patio lake view, is that correct? I don't think we've had a good review yet of somebody staying in one of those rooms and really commenting on the view and patio. Interesting that you thought it was still worth the extra points, even though it was more of a bungalow view I'm guessing. Could you see castle or space mountain or anything?

    I'm going in Sept., and looking forward to that shower! I will check out the tables and see if I agree with your opinion on those. And yes, from what I understand, the beds are supposed to have drawers on each side, as well as being able to push a suitcase underneath the bed. And I'm looking forward to not having to bring the charging block for my phone- I may even be able to use the clock dock since I have an iPhone, I hear these new ones are the smaller lightning ports now.

    It does look like they based the points chart for the bungalows on the VGF grand villas, so they're upcharging to grand villa monorail points for these bungalows because of the novelty factor/extra features.

    I have visited Trader Sam's already, and had the Hippopotomaitai, but I'm thinking I will try the Nautilus next time. They didn't have any Nautilus glasses to take home when I was there, the order hadn't come in yet.
     

    DVC Doctor

    Member since 2001
    DVC Gold
    Joined
    Mar 19, 2014
    I was on the THIRD floor and I guess my opinion would be different if I paid 20% more for a lake view and was on the first floor. Like I posted above, the view was awesome and much better than I was expecting and yes you could easily see space mountain and the castle. Sure you could see the bungalows (better keep the curtains closed at night) but it was a nice perspective of the entire lake and all resorts. I would say I was overlooking bungalow number 16 so I was closer to the west side of the building than the east. Now that I think about it, I am not sure how much I would like it if I was on the east end (very close to the boat horn).

    The shower was excellent. You can push a suitcase under the bed, but without much storage, I used my suitcase as storage.

    Yes, the ipod docking stations have iPhone 5/6 lighting connectors.

    Currently, you can sell the Nautilus glass for more than the drink costs on eBay (hmmmm, I should have ordered two as they wont sell two glasses, you have to also buy the drink).
     

    freediverdude

    Was very touched by the Tapestry of Dreams parade
    Joined
    Jun 16, 2002
    Yes I am going to try to request 3rd floor, we'll see. I've never had a castle view room in all my tries at the monorail resorts, so I'm hoping. I've even stayed lagoon view at the Poly before (before they had the theme park view category), and didn't get it, an island with trees was blocking it, lol. That particular stay came to the attention of Tikiman here on the disboards that year, because I had pictures to prove it when everybody was saying that all the water view rooms at the Poly had a castle view, and actually led to Tikiman bringing it to the attention of the Polynesian, and the Polynesian doing a survey of room views and designating some as water view and some as theme park view with different prices.
     

    lfishe3

    Welcome Home
    Joined
    Dec 18, 2012
    Thank you for the review. I've been hearing so much complaining about everything from the price to the construction noise, it was nice to get a detailed description. DH and I are staying there in Oct. I will def have to report back on the changes/completions after our stay.
     

    DVC Doctor

    Member since 2001
    DVC Gold
    Joined
    Mar 19, 2014
    I really had no MAJOR complaints and loved the resort. I still like VGF better and even BLT (for less points), but I am really glad Disney made this a DVC resort and would only wish it had some 1 and 2 bedroom options. I think the large amount of studio rooms will be a great benefit for non-poly members to try to grab at the exact 7 month mark - which Disney will use as a selling feature to buy there.

    Some people will actually prefer two adjoining studios over a 1 bedrooms as it gives lots of rooms and 4 bathroom sinks.

    The noise of construction was minimal, other than the day they added mulch (loud machine) and the boat horns (you can't hear them from the standard view rooms).

    I also liked the new main entrance better than the original as it is more open and less humid. They even had roasted marshmallows on saturday night at the fire pit.

    I was surprised at how much this resort is for accommodations.

    Using the three rooms available, the price per night is:

    24 points studio standard @ $13pp = $312, @$15pp = $360
    29 points studio lake @ $13pp = $377, @$15pp = $435 (21% premium over standard view)
    159 points Bungalow @ $13pp = $2,067, @$15pp = $2,385 (equivalent to 6.6 standard or 5.5 lake view studios)

    So tell me again, how are we saving money with DVC here???
     

    DVC Doctor

    Member since 2001
    DVC Gold
    Joined
    Mar 19, 2014
    I forgot to mention, the artwork inside the DVC Polynesian is LAME. I mean it is really cheap, not interesting, and looks bad. They really could have made some really nice pictures and the just put up small pictures on the wall that had noting to do with anything.



     

    DVC Doctor

    Member since 2001
    DVC Gold
    Joined
    Mar 19, 2014
    When we went to our three rooms, one of the rooms did not open with the armbands, so, rather than walking all the way back to the lobby, to call them on them phone.

    Of course they started to ask my name, address, phone number, etc. and I said I am calling from the adjoining room, but they still needed that info.

    Then they wanted me to read the incredible small numbers on the back of the MagicBands that were not opening the door and the numbers are very small. However, they were able to get it to work via a phone call and that was impressive.
     

    freediverdude

    Was very touched by the Tapestry of Dreams parade
    Joined
    Jun 16, 2002
    I forgot to mention, the artwork inside the DVC Polynesian is LAME. I mean it is really cheap, not interesting, and looks bad. They really could have made some really nice pictures and the just put up small pictures on the wall that had noting to do with anything.



    The artwork was picked because it's Mary Blair. It wasn't just random pictures. There is supposed to be a Mickey design in the carpeting too, I'm going to try to find it when I get there.
     

    DVC Doctor

    Member since 2001
    DVC Gold
    Joined
    Mar 19, 2014
    The artwork was picked because it's Mary Blair. It wasn't just random pictures. There is supposed to be a Mickey design in the carpeting too, I'm going to try to find it when I get there.
    The art work is very small and not impressive (in my opinion).

    I looked for hidden Mickeys in the carpet, but did not see any.
     

    DVC Doctor

    Member since 2001
    DVC Gold
    Joined
    Mar 19, 2014
    I'm intrigued by this Nautilus drink. Why on earth is it $60? Please describe!
    An awesome tribute to 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea can be yours for the low, low price of… $52 Plus tax and tip. It’s filled with Barbancourt Pango Rhum, Appleton Estate Reserve Rum, Combier Creme de Peche de Vigne Liqueur, tropical juices, and Falernum, and made to serve two.

     

    jerseygal

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 1, 2008
    THANKS very much for the update; hope you had a great trip!:goodvibes I have read about the boat noise from Moorea and I am a light sleeper. I think that I may request Tokoleau for our October trip. CAN'T WAIT!:PinkbouncYour lakeview studio view looked VERY NICE by the way!:thumbsup2
     

    RS Applecore

    Official Dole Whip Taste Tester, MI branch
    Joined
    Mar 30, 2015
    When we walked around the property a couple of months ago, we actually thought the courtyard looked very nice, and for fewer points,we'd just as soon get a studio overlooking it. Interesting to hear that you felt those rooms seemed smaller. I imagine that the ferry noise is probably less too.
     

    the3dwizard

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jun 6, 2011
    I had not looked that closely at PVB before, really surprised at the lack of 1 or 2 bedroom options. We always go for about 5-6 nights and make use of the washer and dryer in the 1 or 2 bedrooms. Did you see this as an issue when you visited for someone who doesn't want to go full bungalow?
     

    DVC Doctor

    Member since 2001
    DVC Gold
    Joined
    Mar 19, 2014
    When we walked around the property a couple of months ago, we actually thought the courtyard looked very nice, and for fewer points,we'd just as soon get a studio overlooking it. Interesting to hear that you felt those rooms seemed smaller. I imagine that the ferry noise is probably less too.
    The courtyard studios are about 20% cheaper than the lakeview rooms and the ONLY difference appears to be the view and as I said the view from the 3 floor is impressive. There is also ZERO boat horn noise in the standard views and when you close the curtains, the room is super dark except the bright fire alarm green led light in the ceiling and the stupid blinking red light on the phone (message waiting).

    I had not looked that closely at PVB before, really surprised at the lack of 1 or 2 bedroom options. We always go for about 5-6 nights and make use of the washer and dryer in the 1 or 2 bedrooms. Did you see this as an issue when you visited for someone who doesn't want to go full bungalow?
    I did not investigate the washer/dryer as I was only there two nights. If your family is 2-3 people, it will not be a big deal, but it will be a challenge to have 5 people in a studio for a week. But there was a laundry basket in the closet.
     

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