Villas at Grand Californian vs. Grand Californian Hotel
My daughter wanted to spend her 21st birthday at Disneyland because it is her favorite place. We were only able to get a DVC room for the first night, so we had a regular hotel room for the second night. There are some really big differences!
VGC Studio: Four of us in a studio was fine, because we don't spend time in the room. The carpets in the hallways were being shampooed and there were loud fans everywhere attempting to dry the wet carpet. The halls stunk really bad like barf. I thought that was probably why they were washing them. Turns out, our room stunk really bad, too. Everything was so dark from the lobby to the hallways to our room, even with all lights turned on.
The room had one queen bed and a sofa sleeper. The kitchenette is very small and much like an Embassy suites kitchenette minus the dishes. It did have paper plates and plastic utensils. It had one bathroom sink and one closet. We happened to be on the first floor which is probably the worst floor as far as not having any views.
Hotel Room, 2 Queens: Our second night was on the hotel side in a 2 Queen, park view room. The walk to our room was very long and like going through a maze. At least we had Bell services bring our stuff up for us. The room seemed much larger than the studio - I don't know why. The bathroom had the double sink and a small fridge was standard. It also smelled fresh and clean.
The shower was a total joke! The water alternated between hot and cold the whole time. For $400./night, they could at least have a decent shower.
Our view was great. 5th floor right next to Grizzly Rapids and Soarin. It was actually too hot to sit on the balcony during the day and we were out all night, so we didn't get to use it. When we came back in from the halloween party, our beds were turned down with chocolates and a note. They also left another full set of shampoo, etc. We enjoyed the hotel room much more than the DVC studio except for the shower.
Pricing is hard to compare being that we had a week night and a weekend night.
Thursday night in the DVC Studio was 17 points. If we stayed on points in the standard view hotel room, it would have been 46 points.
Friday night in our hotel room would have been 70 points (but we paid cash) and if we stayed in the villa, it would have been 22 points.
Our cash price for the Hotel room, including taxes, etc, was a little over $400. for the one night.
If you follow the idea that points are worth $10./per point, this is what our stay would have been:
$170./for the studio weeknight, $700./ for the 2 Queen weekend night.
While we enjoyed the hotel side much more, the price difference wouldn't make it worth it. Although I did decide that I wouldn't want to stay in the DVC studio room again. I'd do the one bedroom or larger, or just stay at the Sheraton or another outside hotel.
Wow. What a disappointment.
It seems the studios are getting so much wear and tear that they are really getting run down.
I had a problem with a studio unit lock off at SSR that really stunk as well. I was staying on the 1 bedroom side which was so much better.
In the end we tried to move but there were no rooms to move to so Disney compensated me for my disappointment. You may want to get in touch with guest services. They may refund you your points.