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Saratoga or OKW? Any comments?

Discussion in 'Resorts, Hotels, DVC, Villas' started by Deb, Nov 11, 2010.

  1. Deb
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    Deb Serious Forum Regular

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    We are lucky enough to be able to go away again at the end of January for 2 weeks, and are not sure whether to go to the Caribbean or WDW. We really WANT to go to WDW, and are trying to not be too bothered by the fact that when we went in Jan last year the weather was freezing! We are hoping it wouldn't be quite so bad this time!

    Anyway, we ideally wanted to go to Y&B Club so we could easily go out on an evening without using the car or the bus, but pricing it up, even with a little discount from Virgin, it is still quite expensive, and for £1000 overall less we can get a studio in either Saratoga Springs or OKW (both have special rates in January/February).

    We do feel we would like easy access to some bars & restaurants, and I know we can supposedly walk to DTD from SSR, and from OKW too, but I hear that from there it's a longer walk and it is closed off at night? DTD isn't anywhere near as good as the Boardwalk and EPCOT at night but at least we could have a drink and some food there on the nights we aren't using the DDP (the free plan is on too, which is a bonus, but I don't think it includes many DTD options). We can't seem to justify the extra cost to go to the BC at the moment, even though we know we'd love it....

    Anyway...does anyone have any thoughts on SSR vs OKW as we have no experience of either other than driving or boating past them? We love the look of OKW but SSR is newer....and also maybe more convenient for DTD....:unsure:

    Thank you!!
  2. DisneyFreak
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    DisneyFreak Serious Forum Regular

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    Deb, if your looking for the dinning and entertainment aspect then go with SSR. You can walk or boat over to DTD. You can do the same at OKW but it takes longer to get to and from. If you were looking for a more relaxing vacation I would recommend OKW.
  3. uscwest
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    uscwest Senior Cast Member

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    Although we didn't stay there we actually went and visited OKW for the very first time on this last trip. We found the resort to be absolutely beautiful. We ate breakfast at Olivia's and must admit that there were some interesting items on their breakfast menu.
  4. Casey3557
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    Casey3557 Earning my ears

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    We’re long-time OKW owners and absolutely love the resort. It is in the midst of being renovated right now; that is scheduled to be completed sometime in the spring. We were there in August in a unit that was not yet renovated and it was just fine. We had a great time, as always! :yes:
    <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p> </o:p>
    The units at OKW are more spacious than those of SSR. But SSR is within pretty easy walking/busing/watercraft distance to DTD. Both are large resorts, but SSR is larger (and newer).
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Have you looked into one of the DVC units at the Beach Club or Boardwalk? Since you enjoy the area, it might be worth looking into those costs. Since they are centrally located, I know they are quite popular.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    We enjoy OKW because it is a bit off the beaten track. We do not feel isolated, but it is quite calm and peaceful and we greatly enjoy the atmosphere. We find the transportation to be excellent.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    We will be in WDW next week and the weather is forecasted to be in the low 80’s. I can’t wait! :happydance:
  5. Deb
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    Deb Serious Forum Regular

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    Thanks all :wave:

    Casey, anything at the Beach Club or Boardwalk area is coming up WAY more that SSR or OKW. The only other option is POR, whcih comes up a bit cheaper, as we stayed last time and liked it, and liked the boat to DTD, but DH would prefer to stay somewhere different, and the only other affordable options are CBR and CS which we don't fancy as there is no access to anywhere else without a car or bus.

    I actually hadn't realised that you could get to DTD on a boat via OKW, so that's good info....we don't mind if it's a bit longer as we were used to the trip from POR and coped with that! Though we still like the idea of walking from SSR..... We also like the idea of having a balcony to sit and have a nightcap or early coffee on - missed that staying in POR.

    Having done lots of frantic reading around the last 24 hours, I think my main concern is the state of the rooms. I seem to be reading a lot of stuff saying the studios at OKW are tired, and I thought the decor looked very old-fashioned. I guess it would be good to have a refurbed one but we couldn't guarantee that. But i have also read some stuff that talks about some of the SSR being shabby :sigh: I think I'm just tying myself in knots a bit!! The villas get great reviews but as for the studios in each....I'm not sure....and we aren't prepared to upgrade to a 1br on this trip.

    We're not sure how Mousekeeping works either....it seems we look after it like a little rental proerty rather than a hotel? That doesn't seem a bad thing, but are there any drawbacks to that? :unsure:

    Anyway, not sure what I was saying there, just having a ramble to help my thought process :confused: :D
  6. Rosie0610
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    Rosie0610 Imagineer

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    If you aren't staying on points, which I assume you are not, you will get regular hotel treatment at the DVC resorts-regualr cleaning and towel service.

    We liked SSR. Honestly, we think it's WAY too big and would not be my first choice but it is beautiful and clean looking. We stayed 2 times, once overlooking DTD and once overlooking the golf-course.
  7. Tink
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    Tink Cead Mille Failte! Staff Member Administrator

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    Well, you know we love OKW. :yes: It's beautiful there, Deb and you'll feel as though you've had a proper holiday.

    SSR is very nice too, but I'm not as fond of the layout for the villas or the entire resort. I don't care for the "food court" area at all, but they do have the Turf Room... (no real lounge/bar/pub though)...

    We've stayed at both, and will prefer OKW over SSR. :yes:
  8. Deb
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    Deb Serious Forum Regular

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    Thanks again for the replies :thumbsup: Good to know about the housekeeping Rosie :thumbsup:

    Tink, we LOVE the look of OKW, the styling, the outside of the buildings, and style-wise, that's our preference. We like things to be a bit quieter, and I think that's why we enoyed POR last year - it was so green and spread-out, and relaxing. So it is winning out on that score

    But, one main thing that may swing it is the simple fact of the studio layouts. Apparently OKW studios have 2 queen beds, whilst SSR have 1 bed and a sofabed. That would mean that at SSR it would seem more like a little suite for us, with a sitting area, rather than a hotel room. For a 2 week stay, that may make a lot of difference when there are just the 2 of us.

    My main concern about SSR had been the size of the resort, but after some discussion, we have decided that after we have checked-in we may not be too bothered about the location of the eating places and pool, etc. We think that as we have a little kitchenette we may well just have toast and coffee before we leave for the parks rather than go to the food court. Last year we got a little tired of the food court breakfasts, and were mainly eating them for the sake of having something on our tummies, and it was the only option. It felt like it was wasted money somedays just to get us 'fuelled up'. With a kitchen, we can avoid that, and full breakfasts can be missed out or taken in the parks when we get there if we want them.

    Also, I know it's not a guarantee, but if we requested to stay in Congress Park in SSR we would be closer to DTD, and would probably prefer to walk there for food rather than the Turf Club. And if we use the resort pool it will be the quieter one, not the main. So the greatest thing that bothers us about the size of the resort is the long journey of the buses on the days we use them, but then POR had a lot of stops too....

    The prettiness of OKW beckons, but the practical reasons for the SSR are hard to ignore.... :sigh:

    We have to decide on the holiday in the next day or two anyway, but until then I guess my brain will keep hurting :D
  9. Tink
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    Tink Cead Mille Failte! Staff Member Administrator

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    The SSR studio is smaller than the OKW studio. There is a cute little table and chair set up in the OKW studio and the kitchenette too, of course. The bath is larger too. :D :D

    Just sayin'... :D :D
  10. Deb
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    Deb Serious Forum Regular

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    Ahhh!:D So you're just saying that in the OKW studio there may be a little extra room over and above the 2 beds in that room to make it feel like a suite-type thing? :D

    We have decided tomorrow afternoon is "make your mind up" time as if we leave it any later we worry the flights may go. I think I am getting a bit giddy with excitement and be leaning heavily away from a Caribbean holiday and strongly towards WDW. I may have even started to check out ADRs. Or not :unsure: :D
  11. Tink
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    Tink Cead Mille Failte! Staff Member Administrator

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    Yep! That's what I'm saying. :D :D We've almost always go with an OKW studio. The size is the reason. :yes:

    I understand what you mean about having a couch in place of one of the beds, but it's a sleeper sofa and ROCK hard. :sorry:
  12. Deb
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    Deb Serious Forum Regular

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    Thanks Tink :hug2: Ok. Final musings and ramblings...

    I realised I was focussing on one or two things rather than the whole. So....

    Theming....I find the theming of SSR a bit vague, and that of OKW something that appeals. I haven't really considered that before (sounds silly, I know).

    I still like the idea of being able to walk to DTD from SSR if we stayed in the right place. Though having used the boat at POR last year I know taking the boat is fine and it's even quicker from OKW than POR....so maybe it isn't THAT big of a difference?

    I am soothed by the fact that OKW studios are larger than SSR....though I still would prefer a sofa rather than a second bed. I suppose that we could lounge on the 2nd bed instead of a sofa....and for the amount of time we'd actually be spending leisure time in there it may well not matter....especially as we'd be on the balcony if there was a choice.

    Which brings me to the point that OK balconies are bigger than SSR, and the balconies are very important to us. Would the size matter that much in this situation? Not sure. Worried a little that some rooms at OKW seeem to back onto the main road. That really would spoil my time, really. It would be a big deal I think.

    Still worried about the many reviews about OKW studios showing their age. Wondering how likely it would be to get a refurbed one. Also worried that it seems that OKW shines with it's villas, and not it's studios? But would a simple room request deal with this? There seem to be more refurbs than non-refurbs at this point in the programme.

    Like the look of the location of the Gurgling Suitcase....just about on the water, and I'm guessing you could take your drinks outside of it? I could see us sipping cocktails there, waching the world go by, more so than the SSR.

    Yet, I'm STILL not certain!! Tomorrow is the day of choice...:unsure:
  13. Tink
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    Tink Cead Mille Failte! Staff Member Administrator

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    Yep, you can take your drinks out of the Gurgling Suitcase, and you can walk to DTD from OKW too. :yes: It's a lovely walk on a paved walkway that runs along the canal.

    We had a refurbished room when last there. Quite nice. You can ask (they'll love your accent :D ) at the check in. :yes:
  14. Disneybumble
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    Disneybumble The Secret is in the Sauce.

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    It was the balcony size at OKW that did it for us Deb. We really missed that POFQ. The ones at SSR loked really small.

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