In October 2013 refurbishment began on this majestic hotel, which is inspired by the seaside resorts of New England. Led by Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI) Creative Paris and Artistic Director Sylvie Massara, this involved a complete redesign of its facilities: new decoration for rooms and corridors, a new look for the lobby, a new shop, and a redesign of the restaurants and the pool area.


In order to meet this challenge, the whole hotel team had to be involved. For example, to prevent guests from accessing the construction site, temporary walls were built to cleverly mask it. For a five-month period, all the hotel dining was relocated to Disney’s Newport Bay Club Convention Centre and the teams went out of their way to ensure that guests had exactly the same quality experience.


Both inside and outside, the hotel is slowly but surely being renovated. The roofs, balconies and façades are being replaced by new and more durable materials, in warmer shades than before. The dock is sparkling new, and soon the lighthouse, the hotel’s symbol overlooking Lake Disney, will be too. Carpets and wallpaper in the East Wing were all replaced, giving the area a more luxurious aspect. The rooms were given special treatment: new furniture, lighting, flat-screen TVs, bed covers and headboards, windows, curtains, pictures and bathroom appliances. Sylvie Massara has completely redesigned the rooms, as she has done for the other hotels, discretely adding Disney characters in the decor, which is a popular added detail with our guests. The rooms are equipped with new air conditioning and energy saving systems, and the doors have new magnetic RFID locks.


But that’s not all! The pool area has also been brought up to current standards of accessibility, as well as of comfort, design and safety. The acoustics have been improved (-7 Db), the floors and external steps have been given a non-slip cover, and, when the warmer weather comes around, guests will be able to go from the interior pool to the outdoor one. The pools have been repaired and repainted, and the sauna, hammam and fitness rooms have been completely rebuilt and equipped with the latest appliances.


The second phase is well underway

The 524 new rooms and pool were handed over in December 2014, and WDI are already busy with phase 2 of the hotel’s renovation, which focuses on the central building (reception and public areas) and the West Wing guest rooms. The work will be similar, but there will be additional guest amenities. Those staying in the executive rooms will be welcomed with a concierge service at the new Compass Club executive check-in and the adjacent Compass Club Lounge, to be located in the area formerly occupied by the boutique. An elegant new design for the reception area will carry through the same tones and nautical motifs as the rooms and corridors. The charming Captain’s Quarters bar will be refurbished and a fresh new boutique will open adjacent to the reception. Toward the end of 2015, the final stage of this ambitious renovation will focus on the Convention Centre and everything will be in place by Spring 2016.


By Adam

Adam has been a fan of Disney since he was small. He runs the Disneybrit Podcast. He is also the author of several Disney books.

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