News Disney Riviera Resort announced

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
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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.
 

trojanjustin

Well-Known Member
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.

I do think it's a lovely resort but the big error was in the scale of the pool area. It was built on the scale of a Walt Disney World hotel, with some added amenities as there was a common assumption that the majority of guests would be out during the day, exploring the island. Instead, nobody leaves. This is problematic as it means people have to get up at 7am to get a lounge chair or sign up for any number of activities in moderate-to-peak periods. It's not relaxing or good service.
 

creathir

Monorail and PeopleMover Fanatic
Premium Member
I do think it's a lovely resort but the big error was in the scale of the pool area. It was built on the scale of a Walt Disney World hotel, with some added amenities as there was a common assumption that the majority of guests would be out during the day, exploring the island. Instead, nobody leaves. This is problematic as it means people have to get up at 7am to get a lounge chair or sign up for any number of activities in moderate-to-peak periods. It's not relaxing or good service.
This was totally not our experience in the slightest.
Maybe it was the time of year (late Feb/early March) but it was empty in the pool area.

The lagoon was a different story, primarily due to the crowding due to sharing it with the other resort. I’d imagine once Atlantis goes in it will only get worse.
But the pool area was usually quite empty, particularly the lazy river or island in the middle of it. The adult infinity pool was somewhat busy, but overall the pools were not busy enough to be noticeable.
 

trojanjustin

Well-Known Member
This was totally not our experience in the slightest.
Maybe it was the time of year (late Feb/early March) but it was empty in the pool area.

The lagoon was a different story, primarily due to the crowding due to sharing it with the other resort. I’d imagine once Atlantis goes in it will only get worse.
But the pool area was usually quite empty, particularly the lazy river or island in the middle of it. The adult infinity pool was somewhat busy, but overall the pools were not busy enough to be noticeable.

That was the slow season. Nearly every review of the place now expresses frustration with this fact. It’s miserably crowded during moderate to peak season.
 

cosmicgirl

Well-Known Member
I do think it's a lovely resort but the big error was in the scale of the pool area. It was built on the scale of a Walt Disney World hotel, with some added amenities as there was a common assumption that the majority of guests would be out during the day, exploring the island. Instead, nobody leaves. This is problematic as it means people have to get up at 7am to get a lounge chair or sign up for any number of activities in moderate-to-peak periods. It's not relaxing or good service.
This was totally not our experience in the slightest.
Maybe it was the time of year (late Feb/early March) but it was empty in the pool area.

The lagoon was a different story, primarily due to the crowding due to sharing it with the other resort. I’d imagine once Atlantis goes in it will only get worse.
But the pool area was usually quite empty, particularly the lazy river or island in the middle of it. The adult infinity pool was somewhat busy, but overall the pools were not busy enough to be noticeable.
We were there in September and didn't have a single issue with crowds, either. The beach was empty and most people seemed to prefer the pools. We never had an issue getting chairs at either. In peak season the pools will be crowded anywhere, including WDW resorts.

As for hardly anyone leaving the resort: they kind of brought that on themselves with the insane parking fee and equally insane Alamo rates if you pick up a car there. Picking up at the airport and staying on points with free parking is the way to go, but most non-DVC guests won't do enough research to realize that.
 

creathir

Monorail and PeopleMover Fanatic
Premium Member
We were there in September and didn't have a single issue with crowds, either. The beach was empty and most people seemed to prefer the pools. We never had an issue getting chairs at either. In peak season the pools will be crowded anywhere, including WDW resorts.

As for hardly anyone leaving the resort: they kind of brought that on themselves with the insane parking fee and equally insane Alamo rates if you pick up a car there. Picking up at the airport and staying on points with free parking is the way to go, but most non-DVC guests won't do enough research to realize that.
This is what we did.
We had a pretty big party and had two rentals.
We also stayed up on the windward side of the island for a week before Aulani in a house we rented on the beach.
Honestly, this was a mistake.
The fear had been the house would be a dump and we wanted the memory of Hawaii to be saved by a fun Disney resort. Instead, the house we rented was amazing. On the beach, a beautiful lanai with a sea wall next to the beach, an absolutely gorgeous drive out to the house along the twisty King Kamehameha highway thru the “country”, with nothing but locals around.

Disney’s resort was amazing, fun, and spectacular.
And was a let down after the previous week.
But it did have the free parking, which was totally the way to go.
 

prberk

Well-Known Member
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.

I can agree on Aulani. But I was really only thinking about WDW hotels. But Aulani does give hope that the company can still do an immersive theme to another place and time if they really want to.... which is the point, really, of my post. The distinctive that used to mark a WDW or Disney resort was immersive theme (and customer service). That should still be true (of all Disney resorts, hence the term "distinctive"). I just wish that were still true.
 

flyerjab

Well-Known Member
If folks want to see that not all of Disney's refurbished rooms are quote/unquote sterile versions, look no further than the new rooms in AKL Jambo House. The redone rooms are incredibly themed. There are several videos on YouTube that cover the updated look and they are nothing like what we saw with the new test-rooms in WL.
 

Calmdownnow

Well-Known Member

creathir

Monorail and PeopleMover Fanatic
Premium Member
Sadly these aerial shots make this look like a Lego model where the builder has run out of rounded bits (for the roof) and run out of those little red and orange fiddly bits (window canopies) so has just dropped them in randomly across the model. Hope it looks better from ground level.
The design of this resort, at least on the outside, is an atrocity
So these type of messages are getting a tad old IMO... (see what I did there?)

We get it, it’s not for everyone.
But please take a look at other DVC properties. It’s very similar in design and uses very similar aesthetics.

Take a look at the Boardwalk Villas. Odd canopy placements, broken roofline, tall, empty vertical walls.

Or look at Boulder Creek at Wilderness Lodge...
Very ordinary looking building.

Look at Old Key West. It literally feels like an apartment complex.

Saratoga Springs, a retirement community...

The point is these have never been architectural wonders. Some stick out more than others, but there is nothing offensive about the Riviera. The resort has quite a few amazing features to it, and the rooms are likely the best looking in the entire system. (At least the display models at the info center are)

It’s a large building designed to hold a large number of time share owners at a time.

Compare it to other DVC properties and it does not look out of place in the slightest.

Compare it to other timeshare organizations’ properties, and it looks downright amazing.
 

lazyboy97o

Well-Known Member
So these type of messages are getting a tad old IMO... (see what I did there?)

We get it, it’s not for everyone.
But please take a look at other DVC properties. It’s very similar in design and uses very similar aesthetics.

Take a look at the Boardwalk Villas. Odd canopy placements, broken roofline, tall, empty vertical walls.

Or look at Boulder Creek at Wilderness Lodge...
Very ordinary looking building.

Look at Old Key West. It literally feels like an apartment complex.

Saratoga Springs, a retirement community...

The point is these have never been architectural wonders. Some stick out more than others, but there is nothing offensive about the Riviera. The resort has quite a few amazing features to it, and the rooms are likely the best looking in the entire system. (At least the display models at the info center are)

It’s a large building designed to hold a large number of time share owners at a time.

Compare it to other DVC properties and it does not look out of place in the slightest.

Compare it to other timeshare organizations’ properties, and it looks downright amazing.
Most of the examples you give are not at all similar. They feature variations in massing and appropriate ornament related to their intended styles. Differences are consistent and part of an easily legible pattern, not seemingly random. Being rectangular is not a problem, and nobody is expecting wild deconstructivist forms. Riviera’s tower is almost completely disconnected from it’s supposed storm.
 

MansionButler84

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
No
So these type of messages are getting a tad old IMO... (see what I did there?)

We get it, it’s not for everyone.
But please take a look at other DVC properties. It’s very similar in design and uses very similar aesthetics.

Take a look at the Boardwalk Villas. Odd canopy placements, broken roofline, tall, empty vertical walls.

Or look at Boulder Creek at Wilderness Lodge...
Very ordinary looking building.

Look at Old Key West. It literally feels like an apartment complex.

Saratoga Springs, a retirement community...

The point is these have never been architectural wonders. Some stick out more than others, but there is nothing offensive about the Riviera. The resort has quite a few amazing features to it, and the rooms are likely the best looking in the entire system. (At least the display models at the info center are)

It’s a large building designed to hold a large number of time share owners at a time.

Compare it to other DVC properties and it does not look out of place in the slightest.

Compare it to other timeshare organizations’ properties, and it looks downright amazing.
LOL

394041


394042


vs. the Marriott across from CBR...
 
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