Old Key West Grand Villaby Sue Holland, contributing writer
A Grand Villa at Disney's Old Key West Resort. Photo by Sue Holland.
The original Disney Vacation Club (DVC) resort, Disney's Old Key West Resort is known for its spacious villa accommodations. The top of the line is the grand villa, which sleeps up to 12 people plus an infant. With three bedrooms, four bathrooms and approximately 2400 square feet of living space, it's especially hard to return home at the end of the vacation!
Of the four DVC resorts at Walt Disney World, only Old Key West and Boardwalk Villas have grand villa units. Beach Club Villas and Villas at Wilderness Lodge do not have any units larger than two bedrooms, because those are smaller resorts and it was felt the grand villas take up too much space when the resort is small. The upcoming Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa (the next DVC resort) at the Disney Institute will have grand villas, which are very popular with DVC members wanting to share their vacation with the whole family or a group of friends. Any grand villa not rented to DVC members would be available through Disney reservations, although it would most likely be only on fairly short notice. Expect to pay from $1040 to $1460 per night, plus tax, and do not expect any discounts.
If spending that kind of money on lodging is not in your plans, or you were not able to reserve a grand villa, at least this photo tour can serve as a substitute for actually being there. At Old Key West, the grand villas are located on the second and third floors of the three-story portion of buildings. I believe there is also at least one on the ground floor for guests who require an accessible unit, but the rest require you to climb the stairs to get inside
The entire pink area is a single grand villa. Photo by Sue Holland.
From the outside, it is easy to spot a grand villa. Simply look for a section of a building where there is a third story but no visible exterior door to access it. Some buildings have two or more grand villas, while others have none. During my last grand villa stay, we were a party of five adults staying in building 43. Another grand villa was immediately next door to us, and I believe our building was the only one in that little section with any grand villas.
While the outside is beautiful, the inside will likely take your breath away! It is far more spacious than any other accommodations I've seen at Walt Disney World (or anywhere else for that matter), is beautifully decorated, and all of the furnishings are a high quality.
The kitchen is complete - and nicer than what many of us have at home. Photo by Sue Holland.
The kitchen comes equipped with just about everything a person could want, and considering we're on vacation there's a good chance it will mostly sit there unused. There is a separate laundry room with a full-sized washer and dryer off the kitchen as well. The cabinets are an attractive light-colored wood, and the island is a popular gathering spot for conversations in the morning. All appliances are full-size and modern, and all have either been replaced in the past year or will be soon as part of the routine maintenance. We enjoyed using the blender to whip up pina coladas, and with 12 wine glasses we were able to invite guests over without running out of glassware.
The dining room seats eight comfortably. Photo by Sue Holland.
The dining room is just off the kitchen, with a large table and eight chairs. If there are 12 people in your party, there is another table with four chairs in the corner of the living room, plus another table with four chairs out on the porch. Throughout the dining room and living room are beautiful hardwood floors, which look great in the grand villa, but can be a pain to the unlucky person staying in the unit downstairs. We spent time under a grand villa in Hilton Head one year, and it was quite noisy - we heard every footstep downstairs in our unit.
The living room is bright and airy. Photo by Sue Holland.
The living room is spacious, with a large sofa, smaller love seat, and chair with ottoman. If that is not enough to seat everyone there is a table with four comfortable chairs - including at least one rocking chair. The television is fairly large-screen, and Disney is in the process of putting DVD players in each villa.
From the living room, looking to the upper floor. Photo by Sue Holland.
The hallway between the two bedrooms upstairs is open to the living room below, which makes the villa seem even more roomy than it is. A large porch with a ceiling fan can be accessed from either the living room or master bedroom. The fourth bathroom is off the hall leading to the master bedroom, and contains a shower stall rather than a bath tub. There is also a closet for use by anyone who may be sleeping on the sleep sofa in the living room.
The master bedroom has a king-sized bed. Photo by Sue Holland.
The master bedroom is located off the living room, while the other bedrooms are upstairs. During my stay I never heard any noise from the other people staying with me, so anyone in the master bedroom should have plenty of privacy. The bedroom is large, with a king-sized bed, armoire, two nightstands, chair and ottoman, bench, and chest. It's really no different from the master bedroom in the one- and two--bedroom villas, but the master bathroom is different.
The master bathroom. Photo by Sue Holland.
Instead of being a series of smaller rooms, the grand villa master bath is all one room. A door that can be closed for privacy separates the toilet, but the rest of the bathroom is open to the master bedroom. This can be a challenge if you share the master bedroom with anyone who is not a spouse or significant other. There is a large Jacuzzi tub that seats two people easily, plus a separate large shower stall. Two pedestal sinks provide separate areas for each person, and there is plenty of shelf space for toiletries. If only bathrooms in regular hotel rooms were this spacious.
Staircase to the upstairs bedrooms. Photo by Sue Holland.
Although I think the staircase to the top floor bedrooms is not as attractive as the one in the Beach Cottage at the Vero Beach Resort, they have placed plants and large shells to make it look nice. A bank of windows at the top provide lots of natural lighting, which also helps.
Larger of the two bedrooms upstairs. Photo by Sue Holland.
Upstairs there are two bedrooms, each with their own private bathroom. The larger of the two bedrooms contains two queen-size beds, while the smaller has two double beds. There is ample closet and drawer space for up to four people in each room, although the smaller of the bedrooms is about the size of a moderate resort room. Chances are, anyone you invite to use that bedroom will be so thrilled with the grand villa that they will not be complaining.
Smaller of the upstairs bedrooms. Photo by Sue Holland.
Whether it's a once-in-a-lifetime splurge or an annual family gathering, staying in a grand villa is sure to exceed your expectations. The only difficult thing (besides paying the bill if you are not a DVC member) is returning to a regular room on a future visit!