For the longest time, Disneyland Paris had been on my list of places to visit. In September, I was lucky enough to make my dream come true and I was able to see this gorgeous Disney resort! Since I have no idea if and when I would be able to return to Paris, I decided to splurge and stay at one of the resort hotels at Disneyland Paris.
Booking the Hotel
From having worked as a Disney Cast Member in hotels, I know from experience that booking direct is normally the best way to go. When I decided I would be staying on resort property, I started doing some initial research into the hotels. While the Disneyland Hotel looked amazing with its castle view rooms, I didn’t have the money to pay $700 or more dollars a night for 1 night. This left the Sequoia Lodge, Hotel New York, Newport Bay Club, Hotel Cheyenne and the Davy Crockett Ranch.
They all had their own pros and cons. This time around I wanted a hotel that was close enough to walk to from the park at the end of a long day and a hotel that was slightly nicer than average. Looking at the pictures and various reviews of Hotel New York and the Newport Bay Club, I decided to watch the prices for both and found that the best price out there for my dates of travel was for the Newport Bay Club on Hotels.com. The prices were over $200 cheaper than booking directly.
When using a third party site you have to keep in mind that the rates are often non-refundable and you need to read the fine print carefully. Bedding and is not always guaranteed and can be subject to availability. Rooms are booked by room type; this is what you are guaranteed. Once you submit the payment for the room, ensure you save your receipt for it and receive the confirmation e-mail. The confirmation number from the third party sites is NOT the same confirmation in the Disney system. Sometimes they need to reference it if there are any problems.
Arriving at the Hotel
The hotel security process is very different than in the United States. I arrived via the RER B train from Paris and had the option to walk from the train station or take the free shuttle bus. I opted for the bus with my luggage since I had no idea where it was. The bus was an easy 2 minute walk from the RER B station and ran about every 15 minutes.
I carried my luggage and decided to stand for the short 5-10 minute journey. There was not really a place to put my luggage on the bus so it was just easier to keep it with me. The bus stops were numbered like in Florida; you just needed to find the sign indicating where your hotel bus stopped.
The bus stopped directly at the main entrance for the hotel. Before you are allowed to enter the hotel lobby, you must go through a security screening. Any luggage, strollers, purses, backpacks and other items you have on you are placed through an X-ray machine. You will then be asked to go through a metal detector and empty your pockets. The French are very serious about security and although I was taken a little aback by it, I really appreciated it!
Entering the lobby, the first thing I noticed was the long line for people waiting to check out. I had arrived at 11 a.m. and had only hoped to check in, store my bags and go straight to the theme parks. I was directed by a Cast Member who asked what language I spoke and then asked if I was checking in or out. I was directed to the check in line behind about 4 other families.
The Cast Member advised me that only one person needed to wait in the check in line. I needed to make sure I had my passport, credit card and confirmation number out to help speed along the process. Passports are a must have with you when traveling in Europe. From my past 3 trips to Italy, the UK, France and Germany, at every hotel I stayed at, I was asked to for it at check in. Don’t be alarmed if the person checking you in borrows it and walks away with it for a moment. They will photocopy it and in some cases have you will out a short immigration form.
I only had to wait in line for about 10 minutes. The Cast Members were moving along very efficiently. The Cast Member who assisted me once again asked what language I preferred for check in. After handing her my passport, I was asked to read through the short immigration card while she looked up my reservation. She did not need to see the Hotels.com e-mail, but did ask that I have it available in case she needed to reference it.
The check in experience lasted less than 5 minutes. My Cast Member didn’t give too much small talk, but did let me know a few hotel basics (ie: where the pool was, hotel gift shop, luggage storage). I was asked to place a credit card on file for incidentals and pointed to concierge if I needed any tickets. She handed me a few maps and was kind enough to give me a ready room. It never hurts to ask.
The check in experience was not anything special to me. I was a little sad since I had really hoped to have a little more small talk and get excited over the check in and first trip to DLP, but I do understand that with a line CMs are expected to be fast and efficient as well. The CM doing the check in next to me showed a lot of personality with a lovely couple celebrating their honeymoon, but as I came to discover, the type of Cast Members at Disneyland Paris are very different from the CMs we have in the US. It was a unique experience to know intimately what it’s like to be on both sides as a Cast Member and guest.
If you book a “club” level room, you will have access to the hotel’s Compass Club. It includes a room where you are able to eat breakfast and pick up snacks throughout the day. Rooms on the Compass Club level are typically on higher floors. You also will receive access to a special concierge. The Compass Club was located on the lobby level.
The hotel has its own indoor heated pool at the basement level of the hotel and does provide towels are guest use. The hours were 7 am to 10 pm. The outdoor pool was not open when I was there. I really enjoyed poking in to see the nautical theme of the hotel even in the pool area!
The hotel gift shop, Bay Boutiques, is available in the lobby of the hotel. It has a few snacks and souvenirs available and I found it interesting that you can even view and purchase your Photopass photos there! All the store Cast Members are trained on the Photopass system!
The hotel fitness area was not an area I personally visited, but I was advised it had a good variety of machines. It is open 24 hours a day.
For dining, the hotel had a bar and two restaurants. The bar, the Captain’s Quarters was a bit crowded during my visit, but looked to have a full selection of adult beverages to choose from and snacks. The two restaurants are a quick service location called Cape Cod and full service restaurant called the Yacht Club. The Yacht Club did require advance reservations in the evening. In the morning, both had long lines for breakfast, I found the Disney Village to have more options to choose from and a lot more affordable. Prices began $15 Euros. They did have menu options, when I checked, for a wide range of dietary needs.
The theme parks opened at 10 am both mornings I was at the DLP resort. As a hotel guest, you were able to get in early to the parks with your hotel room key and park ticket from 8:30-9:30 am. You were to choose if you wanted to enter Hollywood Studios or Disneyland itself.
My hotel room was a superior room and had a very subtle nautical theme similar to that of the Paradise Pier Hotel at Disneyland in Anaheim. The view I had was of the side of the lake on the basement level of the hotel. It was a long walk from the lobby to my room, but the signs are pretty well labeled to get you from the elevator to you room. The Newport Bay Club has over 1000 rooms and is actually one of the largest hotels in Paris!
The room had a large bathroom with bathtub and mirrors and provided shampoo and conditioner to the guests as needed. The bathroom water pressure was very nice after a long day at the theme parks. I found that the towels were a little rough, but I wasn’t going to complain about it since I didn’t bring one with me.
Moving onto the beds, I found them to be a little stiff, but I slept very well! The only thing I had a hard time with is that the outlets were not close to the bed when I needed to charge my phone or computer. I had to walk over to the desk or to the stand where the TV was housed. The chairs in the room were not super functional, but if you have kids I can see them having a lot of fun with their kind of oval and awkard shape.
Other room amenities included a TV with cable, fridge, and mini bar. The inroom safe was perhaps the item I found the most useful for storing my computer and passport when I didn’t want to take it with me for the day into the theme parks. I wouldn’t recommend using the hotel drawers as most people forget items when they put them in there.
I can’t remember if I mentioned that wifi is free and easily available for all hotel guests. It’s fairly fast and easy to use.
When you check out for the day, you have until 11 am. I found that the checkout was set up for express check out and if you didn’t have any new charges to the room, you could in theory check out over the TV. I didn’t and just let the room expire on it’s own. I was out of my room by 9 a.m. I wanted to maximize my time at the parks.
When I stored my luggage it was easy to walk outside to the Bell Desk where I received a card with my luggage number. Just be careful not to loose it!
The Newport Bay Club was a very nice hotel and is situated in a convenient location where it’s only about a 15 minute walk through Disney Village to the parks. You also have the option to take a bus if you want. Disney characters are available in the lobby in the morning, but expect long lines. I saw Goofy and Donald twice. If you are looking for characters, you can always do a breakfast. It is more relaxed and often a better use of your time.
The hotel is a place I would stay again, but I would want to spend more time there instead of rushing around. It was hot and cold with the CMs. I found the housekeepers exceptionally friendly, but the same can’t be said for the others I’ve encountered. Most CMs spoke English, but some basic French would help.
If you do have a car, parking is free for hotel guests, but I was told that spaces are limited. I think that’s about it for now! I’m sure there are many of you that have other questions. This is my first hotel review, so I hope I covered all the basics! Until next time, happy travels!