View Full Version : Pros and Cons of OKW Resort

07-18-2007, 02:05 PM
After doing a preview stay at the Sheraton Vistana Villages last month, we're looking to possibly buying a timeshare in Orlando. From what I have learned, it appears that Orlando is oversaturated with timeshares and has low trading power with RCI and II outside of Orlando. As such, I'm an now looking into the DVC as I have read that DVC resorts are not only among the highest rated timeshare resorts but are very good with regard to trading to other resorts.

In looking at the various DVC resorts, I believe that OKW is the one we are interested in for a number of reasons (larger units, theme, price, etc.). We are a family of 4 (ages 9 and 7) from NJ and have been to WDW once a year since 2003 with two visits the last two years.

I thought it would be a good idea to ask DVC owners on Intercot what they like and dislike about OKW and how it compares to the other DVC resorts in Orlando.


Maleficent's Dad
07-18-2007, 02:40 PM

Large accomodations, particularly 1BR & larger
Nice theme
Clean, manicured grounds
Views of golf & water from most rooms
Good bus service
Water ferry to DTD & SSR
Proximity to DTD
Proximity to golf
Nice main pool w/ slide, numerous quiet pools
Olivia's Cafe
Great Community Hall
Nice "boardwalk" area (small main area near pool)
Gurgling suitcase
Overall - a very, very nicely done resort
Awesome kitchens in 1BR & larger
Huge baths/whirlpools in 1BR & larger
Marina with rentals
Lots of freebies to DVC members (like DVD rentals, pool toy rentals, etc.)


Bus service to all parks
Very spread out (you could be FAR away from main pool) - for some this is a positive
Bus service used to be inconsistent (has improved a lot over the years)
Only 1 sit-down restaurant
No real CS - it's a take out window

Love the place - not too much bad to say about it. Only downfall is that the length of your DVC contract will be shorter than if you purchased at SSR or VAKL.

07-18-2007, 03:43 PM
What does "gurgling suitcase" mean?

07-18-2007, 04:19 PM
It is a small bar just off of the main pool.

Maleficent's Dad
07-18-2007, 08:17 PM
What does "gurgling suitcase" mean?
Yes it is a bar - but it epitomizes the theme of OKW. It's a small "hole in the wall" type of place. Lots of atmosphere, almost no place to even sit... it reminds me of some real Key West watering holes!

Simba's Mom
08-03-2007, 05:37 PM
Just to add a couple others to the pros and cons:
If you have a car, you can park very near your own unit
Likely feel that you are in your "home" rather than a "hotel" (although some people prefer the hotel feel on vacation)

No room service
No valet service

Since DH travels and stays in hotels so much for business, this is one of the reasons he loves OKW-the home rather than hotel feel.

08-03-2007, 06:32 PM
I really like OKW. We bought at SSR, but will stay at OKW for the second time in September. The pina colada's at The Gurgling Suitase are second to none. If you enjoy walking, it is not all that bad. We stayed at South Point and would walk to the Main Pool and Hospitality House often. We also walked on the trail to SSR. You can also hop a bus to the HH because all buses stop there last before heading out to the parks. Compared to SSR, the buses were much better. As you have learned, the rooms are much more spacious and you use less points to stay at OKW.

08-06-2007, 05:50 PM
Although we own shares in SSR and AKL, we still actually prefer staying at OKW. There's just something very restful and "homey" about the resort.

OKW was the first resort built specifically for DVC, and it pretty much served as the experimental resort to determine what worked and what didn't. One lesson that they apparently learned (unfortunately!) was that future DVC rooms/suites could be smaller than what they built at OKW. The units that we have stayed in at OKW are quite a bit larger than those at most of the other resorts.

I do have to agree that the fact that there is only one sit-down restaurant - Olivia's - in the resort is a bit of a negative. Olivia's is great, but it's small and it's often difficult to get a table on a walk-up basis.

Beyond that, I really can't say anything negative about the resort. I suspect it will always rank at or near the top of our list of favorites.

08-07-2007, 03:47 PM
Another Pro:OKW in the 1 bedroom and larger models have a huge laundry room with full size washer and dryer unlike the newer DVCS which I believe have smaller stackable washer/dryer in a closet. It really allows you to spread your stuff out comfortably.

08-16-2007, 09:14 AM
Although our home resort is BWV, we most often stay at OKW. As a childless couple in our mid-late 30s, we especially enjoy the theme and the quiet, laid back atmosphere of the resort.

Some of our pros:
Really enjoy the home atmosphere vs. a hotel-type experience.
There's really not a bad view to be had. Lots of wildlife - ducks, squirrels, etc. to enjoy when sitting on the balcony.
Rooms, although some are in need of some updating, are always clean and comfortable.
A bus stop, pool and laundry facility are never too far away.
The ease and convenience of renting a boat and crusing around.
The OKW style music that's always playing in the common areas - really puts you in a relaxing, vacation mood. :thumbsup:

Some of our cons:
Wish there were more dining choices.
For some reason, it's always difficult for us to get our entire stay booked at OKW - probably just a room issue or length of stay issue on our part, but it would be nice to not have to move during our trips.
Really, really wish there was more comfortable seating in the studio rooms. There's no couch or comfy chairs to sit and watch TV or just relax at the end of a long day. You have your dining chairs and the really chintzy plastic chairs from the balcony and your bed - those are your seating choices in the studio. Even a small love seat would be nice.

Overall, we totally enjoy every minute of our OKW stays and would highly recommend it for those wanting a relaxing vacation. It's so nice and quiet at the end of a busy day and really is just like coming home :mickey: I just love the way the security guards say "welcome home" when you drive through the gates :thumbsup:

08-16-2007, 09:21 AM
What does "gurgling suitcase" mean?

I can't remember where I read it - I think it's on the paper handout they give you at check in that lists the activities. But "gurgling suitcase" was the name given back in the time of prohibition when people would smuggle alcohol in their suitcases. All that liquid would make a "gurgling" sound - hence the name.

During the time of prohibition, Key West was a major connection point for alcohol smuggling - that's the OKW connection and why they chose the name for the pool bar.

Now if you ever get on Cash Cab, you'll have some more useless trivia to win a prize with - LOL! :thumbsup:

08-31-2007, 09:20 PM
It's quiet there, a nice escape from the lunacy of the parks
LOVE the music that plays around the lobby area.

Only con for me. Buildings w/ elevators are scarce.

Other than that: We LOVE it!:number1: