Florida, Orlando: Coronado Springs Resort at Disney World

Friction Factor = LOW FRICTION

Mixing Business and Pleasure


September 2010: I am here with my wife for a healthcare industry conference. Late September is off-season for Disney World. No crowds, short lines, and happily, no hurricane this week. It's hard to imagine a nicer time to be here, though in past years I remember saying the same for December and February.

For this trip we are staying at the Coronado Springs Resort on Disney World property. It has an attractive southwest theme. We are in the Cabanas complex which is nearest to the main lobby complex and restaurants. This was definitely the right choice. The complexes across the lake are a long (but pleasant) walk or shuttle ride and they are three story buildings vs. two at Cabanas. Our room is on the top (2nd) level.

It has been exceptionally quiet. Noise from neighboring rooms is no more than other nice hotels and less than many. Our room is very well laid out. There is a desk with convenient power and Ethernet connections and an unusually comfortable chair—nice for a working vacation. One of the most noticeable things to me because of its almost universal lack in other hotels, even very expensive hotels, is the great lighting. There are ceiling lights that actually let you see where you walk in the room. Yes, I know, it's unbelievable.

The king bed and pillows are as comfortable as in the most expensive hotels. There is plenty of room to walk around, a dresser with ample space and the usual amenities including a mid-size flatscreen TV and a small fridge. The entry to the bathroom has large solid doors that open wide to the sink and closet area, tub and toilet in a separate room. The towels are large and heavier/higher quality than many high end hotels. Simply put, we found the room to be very comfortable.

There is a quiet swimming pool a short walk from our room, a favorite for my wife. There is also a large main pool area—parties and loud music... which might have been fun back when our children were at home. Now? We're glad to not be in the complex in that area.

There are two restaurants. The Mayan Grill was easily our favorite. So far we've had two breakfasts and a dinner here and everything they served has been delicious. It has a very nice atmosphere with Mayan decor and very friendly staff.

The Pepper Market is like a food court. You are given a card and it is stamped with whatever you get from any of its food stations. You show the card to pay as you leave. We tried a rotiserie chicken and a chicken Asian salad. The salad did not live up to expectations. The chicken was...ok, but the veggies were overcooked. Caution, don't get up to check on dessert before you've finished your meal. We came back to find our half finished meals gone (yes, it was unusual to step away before finishing the entrée...so we deserved it). Nobody checks to refill your water, so ask for two glasses. We'll not be returning to the Pepper Market.

Everyone at the Coronado has gone out of their way to be helpful. If you pause to look at a map, somebody pops out of the air with a huge smile to ask if they can help you find something.

We are having a great time!

Be aware that in August/September and April/May you may run into Lovebugs by the gazillions. We had to sweep them off our door before going into our room. They don't sting or bite, so they're just a nuisance.

Many years ago we stayed at the Polynesian. I look forward to going back there again some day. Then, at least, it was a class act. And we loved being on the monorail.