Aloha! Welcome to Disney's Polynesian Resort - Part II: Tokelau

I hope you enjoyed Part 1 of my review of Disney's Polynesian Resort.  In case you missed it, be sure to click here to catch up.  Now for more specifics about the Tokelau building and my Garden View room...

After consulting the Tikiman Pages, I requested the Tokelau building. I chose this building for it's fairly central location, large rooms, and patio/balcony options. The room itself was clean, comfortable, and spacious - which was important since we were planning an full week of "family togetherness".
I also liked the general layout of the room. As you open the door you walk down a mini hallway with the bathroom on one side and a wall of storage on the other. The "storage wall" consisted of two closets, one with double rods and the other with a single rod, safe, and shelving unit. In between the closets was a mini fridge, with counter area and coffee station. It is nicely designed and very functional.

The main part of the room featured a desk area with a chair large mirror over it. This served as a nice make up/dressing area, freeing up the bathroom area for showers, saving and, you know, other stuff. Next to the table was a nicely sized dresser with 6 drawers. An HD television hung over the dresser, and a small, but useful shelf over that.

We had two comfy queen sized beds, a day bed that easily converted to a comfortable twin size bed (no bar in your back!) a chaise type lounge, upholstered chair, and drum shaped table. (I cannot tell you how much the 4 year old enjoyed her "Congo Drum"). Outside on the balcony were an pair of chairs and a small table.  I do wish that the "Congo Drum" table were more dining table height instead of coffee table height.  Watching my girls hunched over in the chair while trying eat their cereal off the low table made me nervous.

With the dark browns, burnt orange tones,and dark blues the room felt rather dark. While the room itself showed minor wear and was quite clean, the dark colors left me feeling like there was a possibility that it could be "hiding" a lot. Of course, that is my hotel room neuroses talking.

The bathrooms were spacious and clean as well, but they are about due for a face lift. A corner of the wall paper was peeling up and the artwork was warped from constant moisture exposure and was beginning to peel. Both quite minor and very cosmetic. I must say that the back of the bathroom door was in very bad shape. The paint was peeling off the back in a pretty significant way. Again, this is just a cosmetic issue due to moisture, but I feel it should probably be addressed. For a room that goes for $385 in the value season and over $600 at peek times, I expect a little more. To be fair, I did not bring the issues to the attention of hotel management, as they truly were cosmetic in nature, and while it effected my overall impression of the resort, it did not effect my enjoyment of it.

We did have a minor issue that did effect our enjoyment of the room. There was a large wet spot right out side the bathroom door the night we checked in. Of course, I noticed it as I was unpacking the last of our stuff when I stepped into the bathroom and nearly broke by neck by slipping of the floor. (OK, that is a bit dramatic, but I slipped enough that my heart beat a little faster!) I pointed it out to bell services a few minutes later when they delivered our groceries. The very kind man apologized, said he would bring it to the attention of management and they would move us to a "much better room". I would normally light up at such a possibility but a) I had just finished unpacking, b) it was time for the kiddos to go to bed, and c) I was trying to ditch the rest of the family and head off to the Magic Kingdom to watch Wishes solo! I thanked him for the offer, but just asked that they just take care of the problem in the morning. When I returned later that evening I noticed several towels had been laid down and they brought in a fan to dry things out the next morning. Problem solved...or so I thought.

What I should have realized and what they certainly should have realized was that a puddle in that particular location was an indication of something else going on. On day 3 of our trip we return "home" to a funky smell. I finally figured out that the refrigerator was broken and the contents had spoiled. Unfortunately, my husband did not notice that he gave our children vaguely warm yogurt (eewww!!!) for breakfast that morning. Fortunately, no body got sick. While I think the staff should probably have known what that puddle meant, I must stay the issue was handled was appropriately. I called bell services and explained the problem. Within minutes, a new refrigerator was delivered, the spoiled food removed and I was sent to the lobby to explain what happened. The desk agent apologized for the problem and offered a $50 credit to the room for my trouble and the spoiled groceries. The carpets were cleaned the next morning as soon as we cleared out for the day. The mini fridge break down was certainly beyond their control, but it did cause me a bit of inconvenience. The $50 credit replaced the groceries with enough left over for me to get a few pins. While I would have preferred to spend that credit on some extra undies, I left happy.

As much as I did enjoy the Polynesian, there were a few other "misses" during our stay. We arrived prior to check in and our room was not yet ready, which was fine. We got our key anyway, checked our luggage with bell services and headed off to the parks with the promise that we would receive a text message telling us our room number. Unfortunately, the text was never sent and we had to stand in line again to find our our room assignment, then head over to bell services to ask that our stuff be sent up. Overall, that process could have been a little more smooth, but was just a minor bump.

I was also a little bothered by the cleanliness of the public areas in our longhouse. While the "Mousekeeping" staff did a great job with our room, and left a lot of wonderful towel creations for my little princesses, the seating area in front of the elevators and the elevator itself seemed a bit neglected. If someone read a newspaper while enjoying a soft drink in the common area at 1:00 and left their trash behind, it would not be cleaned up until the next morning. Yuck! At a place known for their service and attention to detail this just seemed a bit odd. A gum wrapper will not remain on Main Street USA for more than 2 minutes, yet a crumpled up newspaper and an empty soda can will sit around the resort for 20 hours? And the elevator was just plain old dirty. There was dirt and dust in the corners and a sticker stuck to the floor for the duration of our stay. Clearly, nobody has been assigned "ownership" of these areas, and it shows.

On a humorous note, I have never stayed in a hotel with attractive carpet in the hallways.  Never.  I am not sure why hotels feel compelled to have tacky carpet.  Perhaps it is to urge people to leave the hallways and move along to their rooms?  In any event, in this respect, the Polynesian does not disappoint...in fact, it may take things to a whole new level!

Finally, I must mention the staff. Other than the fridge snafu, we had very normal contact with the staff. I must say that I found everyone to be friendly and helpful. I was always greeted with a smile and an "Aloha!" from everyone we met - or even passed on the sidewalk.  It is clear that the staff is dedicated and cares about their work.  When I asked the husband to list some Polynesian "stand outs", the staff was one of the first things he mentioned.

Overall, we really enjoyed the Polynesian.  While I cannot say that everything was absolutely perfect, I can say that our overall experience was wonderful. I pride myself on honest opinions, so if I have a "nitpicky" thought or if I thought something could have been better, I will certainly share it.  However, I do want to be clear that sometimes I really am "nitpicking".  I think the way a resort staff handles and unexpected problem or issue far out weighs whether or not there is peeling paint on the bathroom door.  Based on that, I would happily stay at the Polynesian again, and feel comfortable recommending it.  In fact, my husband fears we may have made a fatal error...Once you stay deluxe, especially on the monorail, it is going to be really hard to go back to anything else!

I would love to help you plan your next visit to the Polynesian or to any other resort!  TMC Travel offers the same rates (and discounts) as if you booked through Disney directly, but with lots of extras.  Please Email me if I can help!

Check out TMC Travel's You Tube Channel to view my Polynesian slide show.  Double click on the video to open in a new window.

No comments:

Post a Comment