I just stayed at the Walt Disney World Swan Reserve and was so impressed that I had to dedicate a whole post to the Swan Reserve review. The location, right inside Disney Springs in the heart of Disney World, is, of course, one of the draws. But as a solo traveler, I was more impressed with the Marriott Autograph Collection hotel’s hip styling and refined flair. On top of that, every Marriott person I met greeted me with authenticity and genuine interest. Read on to learn more…
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The entry experience was superb, with conversational bellmen greeting me at the door of my limo. I’d just taken a redeye in from Phoenix, and I must have looked quite a sight for sore eyes.
A young bellman took me under his wing and suggested that he keep my bag secure since I was unsure of when I could check-in. It was early in the morning when he ushered me through the goldtone revolving doors designed to conserve energy. An open escalator whisked me past large plate glass windows and up to the reception area.
The feel of the hotel at that point was light, clean and modern, and it seemed as fresh as its Grand opening on November 12, 2021.
Early check in? No problem!
I planned to camp out in the hotel cafe or lobby with my laptop until I could get into my room. The many intimate gathering spots were well-designed for business travelers, couples and families alike. It was hard to choose which refined, cozy place I would nest.
But first, I checked in at the front desk with Franky, a friendly guy originally from Las Vegas. The veteran of the hospitality industry and authentic promoter of Marriott Rewards gave me tips on using my points. “Let’s see if my manager can get you an early check-in,” he smiled.
Carrie David, the front desk manager, came out grinning, “I just spoke with housekeeping. There is a room almost ready right now. We’ll text you as soon as it is available.” It was so early in the morning that I hadn’t had my first coffee yet, so I was happy to have time to grab a cup at Grounds, the onsite cafe.
“Make sure you go to Gideon’s for the cookies while in Disney Springs,” Franky advised. “It’s a very local bakehouse that just opened a location there.”
Swan Reserve review: Comfortable public spaces
I settled down with my coffee, a fresh-baked croissant and my computer at a private nook with wood paneling and good lighting. (see the photo above.) The interior plants and large windows seemed to bring the Florida outdoors in.
I hadn’t finished my cup o’ joe by the time I was informed that my room was ready. Now that is what I call VIP service!
Comfortable guest room with space to work
The eye-catching feature of my room was the floor-to-ceiling glass window which provided views of the pool and the surrounding green countryside. Sophisticated lighting features enhanced the inviting ambiance.
The soft monochromatic color scheme of blue-gray carried through the textured carpet, sofa bed loveseat and two upholstered cubes, which doubled as footstools or coffee tables with a moveable cream bench that held them together.
The refined blue theme tied my guest room to the pool, which was seven stories below. I also got an underwater pool view from a painting above my bed. The huge five-by-five foot canvas depicted two women plunging in and made me want to get outside and do the same.
Room amenities - Swan Reserve review
Where is the Walt Disney World Swan Reserve hotel?
The Walt Disney World Swan Reserve hotel is right in the heart of Disney World near Orlando, Florida. There is complimentary transportation to the Disney theme parks and the Disney Springs shopping and restaurant district. Use the map above to check your dates to stay at the Swan Reserve.
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Swan Reserve restaurant:
Amare, the upscale Swan Reserve on-site restaurant, is headed by Chef Mauricio, who studied classic French cuisine cooking techniques at the French Culinary Academy. “Amare” means “to love,” and I loved the flavors at this Mediterranean restaurant where Chef shows off his French flair (the deconstructed Nicoise salad) as well as Italian pizzaz (tonnarelli alle vongole) that he honed in the Italy Culinary Academy in Europe.
I recognized Chef Mauricio from the research I’d done before leaving home and waved him over to the table. We chatted a bit about his culinary studies abroad.
Amare Swan Reserve review
I started with the Mediterranean White Wine Excursion, a trio of white wines. The Fleurs de Prairie rosé from Provence caught my eye as it has been a longstanding favorite. It paired very well with the deconstructed Niçoise Salad, which looked more like a seared ahi tuna appetizer than a salad (see below). Each ingredient–the seared tuna, boiled potatoes, crunchy green beans, grated hard-boiled egg, and marinated tomatoes–was done to perfection.
I loved the red-skinned potatoes so much that I told Chef that I thought he should include more. I’m a purist when it comes to French food so I would have preferred traditional portions of the fabulous ingredients.
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After the Niçoise salad appetizer, which my two traveling companions shared, the pasta dish arrived. I enjoyed the Tonnarelli Alle Vongole as my main course. The house-made tonnarelli pasta was al dente and came with six steamed baby clams. Unfortunately, I got so excited to see vongole on the menu that I didn’t look any further at the ingredients, so I missed that Chef prepared it with a roasted tomato sauce. Had I noticed that, I would have chosen the red wine flight.
Our fabulous server, Niki, had warned me that it was a spicy dish, but that didn’t deter UNSTOPPABLE Stacey with her Southwest USA palate.
Amare restaurant at Swan Reserve review: A fun, epicurean experience
My new foodie cohort Paula ordered Seabass Al Cartoccio that Niki placed on the table, still steaming in a parchment paper pouch. The server then slit the bag revealing potatoes and two filets of sustainable striped bass and releasing aromas of thyme, garlic and white wine. She deftly unwrapped the delicate fish using two forks and afterward poured a rich white wine sauce from a petite ceramic carafe over the fish and potatoes. The presentation was a fun, epicurean experience, and I recommend ordering the bass en papillote.
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Swan vs Swan Reserve
When it comes to Swan vs Swan Reserve, my personal favorite, hands down, is the Swan Reserve. We walked over to the Disney Swan and Dolphin Resort to look around and deek into the Blue Zoo, the Swan’s acclaimed cocktail lounge.
I found the Swan and Dolphin to have more of a Las Vegas feel. As in a hubbub of tourists, garish design features and disappearing staff. I enjoyed the refined design of the Swan Reserve much better, and the attentive Swan Reserve team made me feel quite at home.
Walt Disney World Swan vs Dolphin
I found both the Swan and the Dolphin to have a similar feel when it comes to the Walt Disney World Swan vs Dolphin. There were more Disney features at these two vs the Swan Reserve. At night, I enjoyed walking around the lake that separates the Walt Disney World Swan vs Dolphin.
Walt Disney World Swan Reserve review conclusion
In conclusion of this Swan Reserve review, I would like to give two thumbs up. If I had more thumbs, I’d give more!
What made my stay over the top:
- Welcome by bellhops and how they directed me through my entry experience, even though I was half asleep.
- Friendly Franky at the front desk and his insider tips.
- Special, last-minute arrangements for earlier-than-expected access to my room. Thank you, Front Desk Manager Carrie David.
- Superb dinner at Amare with the presentation by our server Niki
- The smiles and greetings from room keepers as I passed in the hall.
I recommend that you click the button below to check your dates:
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Hi, I’m Stacey
UNSTOPPABLE Stacey Travel is a travel blog focused on immersive travel that highlights food, wine and the spirituality of place. I also occasionally write about life as a Camino de Santiago pilgrim. I hope you enjoy what I post here. Feel free to leave comments! Read more…
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As is common in the travel industry, UNSTOPPABLE Stacey was provided with accommodations, meals, and other compensation for the purpose of review. While it has not influenced this review, the author believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest.
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