Boardwalk Inn Garden Club Room Review
In November 2016 we spent a week in a Garden Room at Club Level at the Boardwalk Inn. There are 14 Garden Rooms (occasionally referred to as suites) at the Boardwalk. These rooms are located on the ground level outside of the Innkeepers Club area.
The Garden Rooms are two storied, with living areas and a half bath on the ground floor and a bed and full bath on the second floor.
I’ll go over some facts about the room, my opinions about staying here, and some information about the Innkeepers Club.
The door to Garden Rooms 1-4 and 8-15 open to a living area. There is a couch, coffee table, sofa table, flat screen TV, writing desk, and golf umbrella. Off to one side there is a kitchenette area with a microwave, coffee maker, mini fridge and sink.
The half bath downstairs contains a toilet and sink. The half bath is spacious and easily fit a pack n play with room to spare.
There is also a small closet with iron, ironing board, luggage stand, and an extra pillow.
The stairs lead up to the sleeping area. This is open to the ground floor living area. There is a King bed, one nightstand (featuring USB charging), chair, a chest of dressers, and flat screen TV.
The upstairs closet includes an in-wall safe. The safe is roomy and we fit two laptops in slim cases inside.
The vanity with double sinks is open to the rest of the room.
There is a deep tub next to the vanities, also open to the room with a clear glass window.
Behind a door with a full length mirror is the toilet and shower. Hairdryer and makeup mirror are available in the upstairs bathroom.
There are windows looking out the second story.
There are mechanized blinds for these windows, which you control from a switch at the bottom of the stairs. The sun rises opposite most of the Garden Rooms and it can get very warm if you have the blinds open in the morning.
The front of the ground level is a wall of windows. These have permanent sheers attached to them. There are also a set of sheers and heavy curtains that pull over the entire wall when you need to block out the sun. Both these curtains must be pulled partially open to access the door.
The maximum occupancy for these rooms is 2 people plus 1 child under age 3. These rooms used to have a larger maximum occupancy which was accommodated with a pull out sofa. I’ve heard that these pull-out sofas were removed when the occupancy was changed, but our sofa still had a pull-out bed. It was a comfortable bed and could easily sleep 1 adult or 2 children.
We stayed here with a 2 year old, and would gladly stay here again once if the occupancy of these rooms was higher.
These rooms are sometimes called honeymoon suites, but having such a low occupancy for a large room shuts out small families who would also enjoy them. A big downside to families in these rooms, and perhaps why they changed the occupancy, is that there is little to no privacy to the upstairs bathroom from the downstairs.
Additionally, the half bath downstairs means any children would need to bathe upstairs.
One minor complaint I have with this room is the slick stairs. The glossy finish on the stairs makes them slippery, so I wouldn’t go down them in socks and always held on to the handrail.
One major complaint I have with the room is the outlets and lack of nightstand. There is one nightstand with a lamp, phone, and charging station with sockets and USB. The other side of the bed has nothing. Thankfully there were a few unused outlets behind the TV, so I stretched an extension cord from there for my phone charger. My suitcase was an inelegant solution to the lack of nightstand. There seems to be space for a small nightstand, so the absence of one was a big disappointment.
We stayed in Garden Room 1, which is unique in that it has access to a walkway to the side of the patio. That was very handy and shortened our walks. The other rooms have dividers between their patios that allow access only through the garden gate.
Garden Rooms 1-4 have large rectangular gardens. Garden Room 8 has a short but wide garden. Garden Rooms 9-12 have a short garden that is the same width as the room.
Garden Rooms 14-15 face south and share a garden gate. The gates on the gardens have no locks.
Garden Rooms 5-7 are unique. These rooms do not have a garden or gate, just a small patio outside their door. These rooms are turned 90 degrees to the other Garden Rooms. When you walk in the door, you’re entering at the end of a galley layout. You first encounter the living area, then the wet bar. The half bath and staircase are at the far end after you enter. Once upstairs, the closet and bathroom are near the stairs. The bed and TV are located closest to the exterior wall. These rooms do not have the second story open to the first, instead they feature private outdoor verandahs from the second story bedroom. Due to the lack of this open air space, Garden Rooms 5-7 are slightly larger than the other Garden Rooms.
The Innkeepers Club is located on the 4th floor, nearly directly above Garden Rooms 5-7. You have two options to reach the Club from the Garden Rooms. One is to enter the building from the lobby access, either the grand stairs to the 2nd floor or the ground floor entrance underneath them. You take the bank elevators immediately inside these doors up to the 4th floor, turn right out of the elevators, then right down the hallway. Then you’ll come to an end of the hallway, turn right again and come to the keyed Club entrance and Club desk. This walk using the elevators took us about 5 minutes from Garden Room 1.
A second option is to use the stairwell, which is very utilitarian. There is an ice machine in an alcove just past Garden Room 1. In this alcove is a door with a keyed entrance. Scan your Magic Band to open the door, then take the stairs up to the 4th floor. The stairs empty out immediately before the keyed Club entrance. Using the stairwell from Garden Room 1 took us about 2 minutes.
Once you enter through the keyed Club door you have a short walk through more hallway before reaching the Club Lounge. Since we were some distance from the Club we often sent one person up and requested a tray to bring our plates and drinks back to the room. We’ll have a separate review of the Innkeepers Club, which we’ll link here after it’s posted.
I should also touch on price, since that may be a deciding factor for many people interested in this room. In 2017, room rates start at $782 before tax for the lowest season and go up from there. The closest comparison I would give for these rooms is a 1-Bedroom Villa. A 1-Bedroom Villa for a cash booking at the Boardwalk costs less than this Garden Club Room. If you add a premium for Club Level, the cost is comparable but the experience is not. For a room that sleeps just 2 adults and has a semi-private garden, the price is high. We stayed on a discount and that would be an important factor for us to stay here in the future.
We enjoyed our stay in the Boardwalk Garden Rooms and would gladly do so again. The layout of the room worked well for us overall, with some squabbles over the outlets and nightstand upstairs. We loved the garden outside our door which made the room feel unique. I would consider requesting Garden Room 5-7 in the future for that second story verandah, but I might miss that open air feel that make the Garden Rooms feel so spacious.
The distance to the Innkeepers Club was not an issue for us; we easily found ways to work the short walk around our schedule as we were coming and going.
We hope this review of the Boardwalk Garden Rooms at Club Level gave you useful information if you’re considering staying here on your next Walt Disney World vacation! Submit a Quote Request anytime on our website if you’d like assistance planning your next magical vacation!