We were in 342, which is a dedicated 2 bedroom, from 21 to 28 Jan. The rooms are standard old DVC layout, (the newer DVC villas like Animal Kingdom Kidani and Bay Lake offer 2 bathrooms in 1 bedrooms and 3 in 2 bedrooms, the old ones are 1 to 1 and 2 to 2), are very clean, and mostly up to date. Because we had 4 kids with us, we had requested a room near the famous Stormalong Bay pool complex. Once we checked in, we realized that wasn't really possible in a villa. The Beach Club is part deluxe resort and part DVC. This is true at many other Disney resorts that I have stayed, (Animal Kingdom, Wilderness Lodge, Boardwalk, Saratoga Springs), but Beach Club was the first time I felt like the DVC part was a "redheaded stepchild". The villas are all located in a separate building behind the main blue building, meaning they all seem to have views of the roads or small pool, no possibility of a view of the lake or even the large pool complex, much less Epcot. The resort is small overall, so I wouldn't say we were very far from the pool, but we did have to go out of the DVC building, down a covered outdoor walkway, into the "real" Beach Club, through the lobby, out the back and out to the boardwalk to walk back to the pool.
It is also lacking a community hall, which is a big thing for us, as what family with kids doesn't love a place with free video games, ping pong, foosball, movies, coloring sheets for little people, daily crafts for everyone, and the ability to sign out movies and board games for your room? Frankly I spent way more money in the arcade than I like, but unlike Boardwalk, Saratoga, Old Key West, AK-Kidani, etc., I didn't have the option of taking them to play free games! When I asked the concierge if they had a community hall she looked at me like I was nuts, she had never heard of it. I almost went over to Boardwalk to take a picture for her!
Bottom line, the villas were fine, but lacked the polish of the rest of the resort. I would agree with a previous reviewer that the rooms need an update, especially as the resort rooms looked beautiful, with white linings and much newer decor. The difference in decor and location and the lack of DVC amenities made us feel like second class citizens there, and we have never had that feeling before as DVC members. I have stayed at the Yacht Club resort and it was great; the Beach Club resort is probably great too. The shared brand new gym and renovated pool bar were great. But we all agreed that we won't be going back to the villas. My kids said the Boardwalk, Kidani, and Saratoga slides and pools were actually more fun anyway.
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