As many of you may know, I spend a lot of time at Walt Disney World. I’m not local, so that tends to allow me to try a variety of different resorts as a result. My most recent trip was no different and as family actually joined me for part of this journey to the parks, we decided to try something entirely new to us – A Deluxe Suite in Coronado Spring’s Gran Destino Tower with Club Access.
I know that description is a mouth-full so here’s the gist of the room. Rather than a standard resort room (which I also reviewed recently in – Disney’s Gran Destino Tower – The Best Deal on Property? – and still remains true!) this room offers up a one bedroom type resort room experience with a living area, bedroom, larger than usual full bathroom, and an additional half bathroom. In a one word description, this resort room was huge. As an added bonus to booking this particular tier of room, you do get the added benefit of club access, which is actually why we booked it in the first place.
For those of you who may not be aware, most deluxe tier resorts have a designated “club level” of accommodations that offer up a “club” where guests can go and eat a light breakfast, afternoon snack, or even late night desserts and drinks (including alcohol) for an additional cost when compared to a standard room. Additionally, you’re offered up a full service club level designated concierge that will help you before and during your trip if you choose to utilize it and a custom phone number to contact the club by phone or text message during your stay.
As an added bonus, drinks are provided to guests in the club and I can’t stress how big of a benefit it is to be able to hit the club (not that kind of club) and grab a bottled drink, can of Coke, or even a Smart Water before heading off to the parks. It’s incredibly convenient and in so many ways worth the extra cost in my opinion. Plus, the more you eat and drink, the less you have to buy in the parks.
While I obviously already touched on this, it’s important to note what all club access entails. Many resorts have a designated “club” floor but at Destino your club level is denoted by access to a Magic Band restricted room rather than putting all club level guests on one particular floor… hence why it’s listed as “with club access” rather than as a club level room. Upon check-in you can request a room on the club’s floor (floor 15) but it does not appear as if there is any guarantee of room placement.
The club itself is on the 15th floor of the tower and showcases some of the most impressive views on all of Walt Disney World property. Your immediate line of sight is a birds eye view of Hollywood Studios peering out towards Tower of Terror as you eat snacks or finish out your night with a dessert and a fireworks view!
The Chronos Club is one of the more impressive club level experiences I’ve heard of or experienced myself, especially at this price point. The cost tends to blend the difference between Deluxe resort club level accommodations and a standard deluxe room. Which, in turn, puts it in a category by itself as the most budget friendly way to experience club access (I know “club” and “budget friendly” in the same sentence sounds kind of ridiculous). However, while Gran Destino is a moderate resort, it feels more like a moderate+ than anything else.
Personally, I think this is going to be a growing trend among future improvements to existing WDW resorts and could be a way of Disney expanding their offerings to cater to more audiences at different price points.
Chronos is, without a doubt one of the best bang for your buck club level experiences around. Compared to our club level experience at Wilderness Lodge (which was also great) the breakfast offerings here were insanely nice. While the offerings do tend to vary, we were treated to Mickey shaped waffles, eggs, bacon, and an array of fruits and other breakfast pastries that were all incredibly good and way more than we expected. Typically, I’m hesitant to recommend this resort tier as a meal replacement, but for breakfast it really can be if you want it to be. We use dit as a substitute breakfast every day of our trip and it was more than worth the time spent to sit back and enjoy a nice view. It was a great way to start the day. If you’re a big coffee fan, there’s even a pretty impressive machine that will create cappuccino on demand and other coffee creations beyond a typical regular coffee.
The other food offerings aren’t bad. The food itself is great but it’s not a meal replacer and rather a good snack between meals or something to munch on after a trip to the pool or even an afternoon break from the heat to recharge a little bit. It’s not designed to be a meal replacer but nonetheless it does help bridge the gaps!
The current hours for the club are as follows and it is only available to Club Level Access guests. However, you do have access to the club all of your check in day and all of your check out day (if you have an early or late flight, that’s always good to know):
- Coffee: 6:30am to 7:00am
- Continental Breakfast: 7:00am to 11:00am
- Light Snacks: 12:00pm to 4:00pm
- Hors d’oeuvres & Select Beverages: 5:00pm to 8:00pm
- Desserts and Cordials: 8:00pm to 10:00pm
It is worth mentioning as well that the club doesn’t close, accept for the overnight hours. I spent around 3 hours hanging out and working between food times and they didn’t care at all (or at least they didn’t seem to).
Lastly, it is highly recommended that guests in the lounge be wearing clothes and not swimwear. It’s even included in a welcome document they present to you with club timeframes and information about your stay. Chronos is *not* open 24/7 but when it is open, prepare yourself to be greeted with golden silverware on the table, a pleasant welcome from the cast members, and a beautiful atmosphere to hang out, get some work done, or simply enjoy being there in the moment.
The Resort Room
I mean, you can’t do a review like this without mentioning the price. We got a good deal on this room or we wouldn’t have booked it and likely would have planted ourselves over at the Boulder Ridge Villas of Wilderness Lodge as usual instead. This was too good to pass up. In the case of full disclosure, we were *not* hosted by Disney for this and we did pay for it out of pocket. The resort room cost per night was $544 for the cheapest night and $633 for the most expensive night of the pricing breakdown on the receipt. It’s not cheap to say the least but there is a lot of value for the dollar being added. It is also important to note that this is a room that is near equivalent to a one bedroom villa in the deluxe tier of accommodations even if they don’t have club level access.
While we’re on that topic, there is a cheaper way to do this and get club level access and it’s by booking a standard view room in the tower that is listed as “with club access.” Those rooms start at $333 per night but most nights should fluctuate around the $400/night if I had to guess. It is expensive but if you’re used to paying deluxe resort prices, it isn’t that bad in the grand scheme of things. You do lose a bit in the realm of transportation compared to some deluxe resorts. Bus transpiration is all that is provided, but it’s a small sacrifice to get club access at a vastly discounted price when compared to deluxe tier club level accommodations and pricing structures. Plus, look at this room!
(And I do apologize for these next photos. You’re about to see a rare thing… me taking photos with an iPhone *audible gasp*… but I was in a hurry and ready to go get some more food at Chronos!)
In the grand scheme of things, this is a stunning room and really is a great value for the money. I kid you not, someone walked me from the front check in desk of the lobby to the elevator, rode with me to the 15th floor, walked me into the Chronos Club, made sure I had everything I needed, offered me a mimosa (because it was breakfast time still), and then proceeded to get me checked in while I sat there eating breakfast. Now THAT is impressive and it takes a lot to impress me at Disney World.
If you’re debating it, try it! The cost can be scary up front but if it’s reasonably within your budget, this is a must-do experience.
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