Where the Disney Traveler Goes When Not on a Disney Vacation
Where the Disney Traveler Goes When Not on a Disney Vacation
Let’s face it. We Disney travelers are a pretty dedicated bunch.
The most committed among us will take at least an annual vacation to Walt Disney World (or perhaps Disneyland Resort for those closer to the West Coast), and many of us take more frequent trips than that. However, as I am sometimes reminded by my better half, there are other destinations out there than Disney destinations.
She is right of course.
And while she does love Disney destinations almost as much as I do (perhaps more in the case of Disney Aulani in Hawaii), she also wants to ensure that we continue to see other places and experience new destinations and global luxury retreats. I agree. It is for that reason that I also provide luxury travel services to global resorts and destinations above and beyond Disney destinations.
Five Luxurious (Non Disney) Resorts Recommended for the Disney Traveler
So what are some of my top recommendations for the Disney traveler when they are not on a Disney vacation? In no particular order, here are five luxurious and family-friendly resort hotels that you should add to your list of must-stay luxury properties.
1. Hotel del Coronado, Coronado Island, San Diego, California
The Hotel del (as it is affectionately known) is a stunning luxury property located on the Pacific Coast of Coronado Island in San Diego. The Del is steeped in history and has as much intrigue and star power in its past as just about any property around (including an engaging ghost story). I love the Del and often recommend this destination, which recently became part of the Curio Collection by Hilton—a move that promises to enhance the resort even further.
For the Disney traveler, the Hotel del Coronado holds special appeal because it is reportedly the inspiration for Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa at Walt Disney World. At a glance, it is not difficult to see the resemblance and inspiration. Regardless, the Hotel del Coronado is a premium luxury destination that I highly recommend.
2. Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach, Huntington Beach, California
Keeping with my theme of the picturesque California Coast, the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach is another property that I often recommend. This is a luxurious resort property with a wonderful layout and a very cool little courtyard area that really comes alive at night — reminiscent of a small European town with music, dancing and food. Kids love it here.
The Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach faces the Pacific Ocean, however, on this stretch of the coast the Pacific Coast Highway separates all properties from the beach area. No worries though, as the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach has a a dedicated bridge walkway to the beach. This makes it very convenient for hotel guests to head back and forth and you can even pick up and drop off towels on the way.
The Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach is an easy walk to the Huntington Beach Pier and all of the fun and activity that happens in that area. Plus, Disney travelers will enjoy knowing that it is not very far to Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, giving you a little sense of a Disney connection nearby.
3. The Ritz Carlton, Amelia Island, Florida
Speaking of excellent locations not that far from a Disney theme park, Amelia Island is a spectacular and remarkably still unspoiled island on the Atlantic Coast of Florida. Just minutes from Jacksonville, Amelia Island is a highly recommended destination that you don’t often hear too much about (and that is a good thing). When you visit, you must stay at the stellar Ritz Carlton, Amelia Island.
The Ritz Carlton, Amelia Island is a luxury resort property located oceanfront on the Atlantic and features all of the top amenities that you would expect from a Ritz. There is no feeling of pretentiousness here, however, in keeping with the laid back island vibe of the area. It is simply pure Ritz luxury in a beautiful and serene coastal setting. The surrounding area is not built up, so you will appreciate the relative quiet and peacefulness that awaits you. Amelia Island has the potential to become another Hilton Head Island, so visit while you can and while it still holds much of its relatively undiscovered charm. Hopefully it remains this way for many years to come.
4. Hotel Le Negresco, Nice, France
Across the Atlantic I now jump to the South of France and the picturesque stretch of magic known as the Cote d’Azur. Nice, France is very much a travel hub as it is easy and convenient to explore points east and west of Nice.
Hotel le Negresco is a classic old world luxury property that is steeped in history and very much exudes a sense of historic classic ambiance. The Negresco exudes a sense of turn-of-the-century wealth and is very much a period property in that regard. If you like to be surrounded by palatial charm and extravagant indulgences, then this hotel will appeal to you. It is well known as one of “the” places to see when in Nice.
I am going to hedge a little here and recommend two favourite properties in Nice. Both are spectacular in their own right, but their ambiance is so different that it is worth featuring both.
4 a. Hyatt Regency Nice Palais de la Mediterranee, Nice, France
Nearby but at the other end of the ambiance spectrum, Hyatt Regency Nice Palais de la Mediterranee affords guests a more modern luxurious feel. The Hyatt will appeal to guests who do not care for the old world surroundings and prefer to see Nice in an environment of more modern luxury.
Both of these properties are ideally located facing the shimmering waters and storied rock beach of the Mediterranean on Le Promenade des Anglais in Nice. They are also very close from a room rate perpective, so cost would not be a consideration when choosing between the two.
I lived in Nice, France for over a year at one point and as a result I have an excellent depth of knowledge about the entire stretch of the French Riviera: from St. Tropez to the Principality of Monaco. This is an ideal area to combine with a vacation to the Paris region, especially if you are considering visiting Disneyland Paris. Please feel free to contact me for any inquiries you may have about the South of France.
5. Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa, Koloa, Kauai, Hawaii
No list would be complete with a stop in the Hawaiian Islands. While I am a huge fan of Disney’s Aulani Resort & Spa on Oahu, the island of Kauai is probably my favourite of the Hawaiian Islands.
The Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa is a beautiful resort property where you will truly get a feel for luxury in a Hawaiian setting. Located very close to the popular Poipu Beach area, the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa is a spacious resort that has a more laid back vibe than its counterparts on the island of Maui, for example. Overall, the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa is more spread out and has a true resort-like feel in that regard.
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As a Luxury Travel Blogger, I write about luxury travel properties in key locations around the globe (both Disney and non-Disney) to help my readers make informed decisions about where to go on their next vacation.
Mike Belobradic: The Finer Side of Disney Travel
Luxury Travel Blogger – Deluxe Disney Travel Specialist
The Finer Side of Travel™