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News Disney Riviera Resort announced

SorcererMC

Well-Known Member
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Riviera's rooms are nothing like that.

I know. But it might explain the bright colors of the exterior awnings, and it mimics the geometric pattern in the lobby, which didn't make any sense to me otherwise. It seems to be, um, a curious expression of Art Deco 🤷‍♀️. I have questions. I just keep staring at it in awe (which is why I wanted more information and asked what people like about it).
 
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Sir_Cliff

Well-Known Member
There's something about those open, white, tiled, and vaguely continental interiors that is giving me a suburban wedding reception venue vibe.

I'm sure it will look a lot nicer than that in person as I don't think these computer renderings do the hotels many favours. I still don't love the exterior, but I have to admit that it's nicer than the early renderings/concept art they released made it look.
 

creathir

Monorail and PeopleMover Fanatic
Premium Member
The Destino lobby is certainly grand and deluxe looking, much more so than the Riviera, as you said.

I wonder how the Riviera lobby will feel, though? Like I said, it might be able to give the exclusive ambiance of a smaller hotel.

Actually, I wonder if what's pictured as the "lobby" is meant to be for check-in at all? I was recently watching a video of the Le Negresco in Nice and noticed that the design has the check-in lobby as a room separate from the "salon" where you might sit and wait to meet someone:

Speaking of Le Negresco, have we discussed it as being one of the inspirations for Riviera? I searched the thread but didn't find anything.

Back to Riviera, one thing to remember is that it is 100% DVC. Those always seem a bit more cheaply built than the "real" deluxe resort hotels, sadly. The OKW and SSR check-in are nice but don't strike me as "grand." I haven't checked in to VGF or BLT either, but I don't recall BWV being so grand, even though I like it a *lot*.

Really it's all in the details so I'm going to reserve judgement until I walk through it myself.
The lobbies of all of the 100% DVC that I’ve been in are definitely more understated than the standard resort lobbies.

Kidani Village is a perfect example of this contrast.
Compare it to the absolutely jaw dropping Jambo House lobby. It’s cavernous at the deluxe resort, yet much more simple at Kidani. Even simple things like the atmospherics such as live music make it feel more subdued. I’m positive this is on purpose though.

The clientele at DVC are looking at the resort as a relaxing getaway, with the peacefulness and calmness you would find at home. They return every year to Disney World. The grandeur of the giant lodge like lobbies of the deluxe resort is almost wasted on us. The lobby is a meeting point, a place to traverse, or to relax in. The overwhelming grandeur of a deluxe resort lobby, while impressive, detracts from that quaintness which is loved by so many DVC folks.

I personally find the Riviera’s lobby to be refined, appealing, and serving the purpose it needs to: be the gateway to the rest of the adventure which lies beyond checkin.
 

LuvtheGoof

Title Removed by Request
Premium Member
The lobbies of all of the 100% DVC that I’ve been in are definitely more understated than the standard resort lobbies.

Kidani Village is a perfect example of this contrast.
Compare it to the absolutely jaw dropping Jambo House lobby. It’s cavernous at the deluxe resort, yet much more simple at Kidani. Even simple things like the atmospherics such as live music make it feel more subdued. I’m positive this is on purpose though.

The clientele at DVC are looking at the resort as a relaxing getaway, with the peacefulness and calmness you would find at home. They return every year to Disney World. The grandeur of the giant lodge like lobbies of the deluxe resort is almost wasted on us. The lobby is a meeting point, a place to traverse, or to relax in. The overwhelming grandeur of a deluxe resort lobby, while impressive, detracts from that quaintness which is loved by so many DVC folks.

I personally find the Riviera’s lobby to be refined, appealing, and serving the purpose it needs to: be the gateway to the rest of the adventure which lies beyond checkin.
^^^^This exactly!
 

LuvtheGoof

Title Removed by Request
Premium Member
That at least has a continuous Mansard roof instead of bits of one that are visibly propped up with a wall.
Have you read the Disney Parks Blog reasoning for the design? That it started in the early 20th century, and was then added on to? What do you think of their reasons? Personally, I think it looks good, and we will definitely stay there at some point. Of course, not having been to the Mediterranean coast in the early 20th century, I don't know if the architecture is similar or not.
 

lazyboy97o

Well-Known Member
Have you read the Disney Parks Blog reasoning for the design? That it started in the early 20th century, and was then added on to? What do you think of their reasons? Personally, I think it looks good, and we will definitely stay there at some point. Of course, not having been to the Mediterranean coast in the early 20th century, I don't know if the architecture is similar or not.
I have read the DisneyParks Blog posts and I think the story of expansion over time comes across as ex post facto rationalization for a disconnected assortment of interior spaces. The blog posts have stated that the design is Beaux Arts, Art Nouveau and Art Deco. That is a broad span of styles, with Art Nouveau even being a reaction against the École des Beaux Arts (the ‘new art’ to the established, old art), and they’re all inside a very large, uniform building that is definitely not Art Nouveau or Art Deco. There are some traditional features but Beaux Arts would also be a stretch as a description of the building.

The general uniformity of the building also undermines the backstory of expansion. While there are most definitely buildings that have been expanded but look like they were built at once, themed experiences should easily communicate to their guests. It seems that a building that has been expanded should have some of the visual and spatial quirks found in many expansions, especially if you are going to claim a wide range of styles are present. It seems odd that someone would have their expansion meticulously match the exterior but then do a completely different interior.
 

teruterubouzu

Premium Member
I was admittedly very skeptical of this hotel's design and posted rather negatively about the rendering in this very thread. However, we drove by it a few times during my recent trip and it either looks better in person or it grew on me. Is it the most authentic architecture at WDW? Obviously not, but it's more attractive than I anticipated.
 

Bocabear

Well-Known Member
I was admittedly very skeptical of this hotel's design and posted rather negatively about the rendering in this very thread. However, we drove by it a few times during my recent trip and it either looks better in person or it grew on me. Is it the most authentic architecture at WDW? Obviously not, but it's more attractive than I anticipated.
I would agree it is not hideous, but the color palette for the exterior is pretty dismal looking... and it still just seems wrong... too plain, too commercial...too like every commercial hotel building in the world... But that is me I guess... I always expect Disney to do something a little more interesting... rather than commonplace.
 

Missing20K

Well-Known Member
I have read the DisneyParks Blog posts and I think the story of expansion over time comes across as ex post facto rationalization for a disconnected assortment of interior spaces. The blog posts have stated that the design is Beaux Arts, Art Nouveau and Art Deco. That is a broad span of styles, with Art Nouveau even being a reaction against the École des Beaux Arts (the ‘new art’ to the established, old art), and they’re all inside a very large, uniform building that is definitely not Art Nouveau or Art Deco. There are some traditional features but Beaux Arts would also be a stretch as a description of the building.

The general uniformity of the building also undermines the backstory of expansion. While there are most definitely buildings that have been expanded but look like they were built at once, themed experiences should easily communicate to their guests. It seems that a building that has been expanded should have some of the visual and spatial quirks found in many expansions, especially if you are going to claim a wide range of styles are present. It seems odd that someone would have their expansion meticulously match the exterior but then do a completely different interior.
I know when we do additions, we always be sure to have the new stair tower inexplicably break the roof line, becoming the tallest element of the mass. "Look at me, I'm a fire exit stair tower, all must bow to my authority."

The DPB explanation is vacuous and fails to connect it's varied descriptions with what is actually built. It speaks of elements being varied reflecting the nature in which the wings were "added progressively" but in practice it comes across as haphazard. They claim windows vary in size, shape and mullion design, but they are still repeated ad hoc over the course of the facade, belying the story of it being a progressive additive process. The ironwork balcony guards vary, but inelegantly so. Some being quite ornate and organic, and on an adjacent room balcony, the guards are vertical and parallel. Some obviously inoperable windows have guards, others do not. Some windows have a canopy, some shutters, some both, some neither, all on the same elevation of the building. Canopies and shutters are functional elements, particularly in the Mediterranean climate. Canopies and shutters are there to shade the sun primarily, and keep out the rain while providing airflow in the case of shutters. If a building would have them on one window of an elevation, they would have them on all the windows on that elevation that have the same exposure. This is not happening at Riviera.

Tell any story about "additions" to the original resort as you like, the absurdity of certain aspects of the design remain.
 

ABQ

Well-Known Member
I would agree it is not hideous, but the color palette for the exterior is pretty dismal looking... and it still just seems wrong... too plain, too commercial...too like every commercial hotel building in the world... But that is me I guess... I always expect Disney to do something a little more interesting... rather than commonplace.
I could be wrong, but I think the Animal Kingdom Lodge was the last interesting, in terms of appearance, resort they built? That was back in 2001. If that's accurate, then the expectation of them doing something interesting is not really being backed up by much as of late, as that was 18 year's ago.
 

lazyboy97o

Well-Known Member
I know when we do additions, we always be sure to have the new stair tower inexplicably break the roof line, becoming the tallest element of the mass. "Look at me, I'm a fire exit stair tower, all must bow to my authority."
That’s a future blog post where we will learn that the hotel’s owner, and Walt Disney best pal in Europe, Antonio C. Riviera’s father was a fire fighter. The large stair is an homage to his dear papa and his belief that all buildings should be easy to egress.
 

prberk

Well-Known Member
I could be wrong, but I think the Animal Kingdom Lodge was the last interesting, in terms of appearance, resort they built? That was back in 2001. If that's accurate, then the expectation of them doing something interesting is not really being backed up by much as of late, as that was 18 year's ago.
Agree completely. There was someone recently who quoted one of my posts (in which I had bemoaned the current trend of Disney hotels being essentially new Marriotts with little to no real theming) and they essentially said that Disney hotels were not always "themed to the hilt," and I was just shocked that they did not seem to understand that Disney hotels used to be exactly that: immersively themed.

But reading your post may help me understand how someone may not necessarily see Disney as exclusively doing great theming in its resorts. It has been essentially 18 years since they have really done the immersive theming on every hotel -- the AKL and WL being the best examples from that time period. Even the value motels from that time period had major theming.

Since then they seem to have forgotten how to do it.

But I will maintain that the immersive theming used to be their hallmark. And should still be.
 

cosmicgirl

Well-Known Member
I don't agree, from what I've been able to see online. It doesn't look like "opulence" to me -- it reads more as "imitation of opulence". JMO.
Funny you should say that, that is exactly what my impression of Riviera is based on what we've seen so far. To me it feels like it's trying so hard to look classy European that it's tipping the scale to kitsch.

I'll go and have a look in real life to give it a chance, but from what we've seen and the stories they've published my hopes aren't high. Of course, one could argue that all the Disney resorts are kitsch but this is the first time it has bothered me. Maybe it's because their theming has never hit so close to home.

Agree completely. There was someone recently who quoted one of my posts (in which I had bemoaned the current trend of Disney hotels being essentially new Marriotts with little to no real theming) and they essentially said that Disney hotels were not always "themed to the hilt," and I was just shocked that they did not seem to understand that Disney hotels used to be exactly that: immersively themed.

But reading your post may help me understand how someone may not necessarily see Disney as exclusively doing great theming in its resorts. It has been essentially 18 years since they have really done the immersive theming on every hotel -- the AKL and WL being the best examples from that time period. Even the value motels from that time period had major theming.

Since then they seem to have forgotten how to do it.

But I will maintain that the immersive theming used to be their hallmark. And should still be.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: Aulani is proof that they haven't forgotten. And I'd say AoA is up there, as well, although obviously from a very different angle.
 

Casper Gutman

Well-Known Member
“OK, folks, I am very excited to announce an all new WDW hotel! Like all our resorts, it will have an intricate backstory! In this case, the hotel was designed in the early 21st century by unimaginative executives ashamed of the concept of theming and obsessed with a minimalist aesthetic that is already 15 years out-of-date! We’ve made sure that every aspect of the new Vaguely European Resort reflects that fun mythology!”
 

trojanjustin

Well-Known Member
Funny you should say that, that is exactly what my impression of Riviera is based on what we've seen so far. To me it feels like it's trying so hard to look classy European that it's tipping the scale to kitsch.

I'll go and have a look in real life to give it a chance, but from what we've seen and the stories they've published my hopes aren't high. Of course, one could argue that all the Disney resorts are kitsch but this is the first time it has bothered me. Maybe it's because their theming has never hit so close to home.


I've said it before and I'll say it again: Aulani is proof that they haven't forgotten. And I'd say AoA is up there, as well, although obviously from a very different angle.
Aulani is lovely but its essentially a take on the same aesthetic they did with Wilderness Lodge, DAK and Grand Californian. They just built up instead of out.
 

Lensman

Premium Member
Aulani is lovely but its essentially a take on the same aesthetic they did with Wilderness Lodge, DAK and Grand Californian. They just built up instead of out.
It is actually reasonably Hawaiian, so it's not like it's a clone.

I think they did a great job with Aulani, and most people I know who are from Hawaii agree.

Aulani can be critiqued, but I don't think it should be criticized. I'm with @cosmicgirl in saying that it demonstrates Disney's *capability* to commit to and execute a thoughtful, well-themed resort in recent-ish times.
 
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