Vienna House Dream Castle Hotel Review

To finish off this week's series of Paris themed blog posts, I thought I'd go into detail on where we stayed which was the Dream Castle hotel by the Austrian chain, Vienna House. I feel a little awkward with regards to what I'm about to say as I wouldn't go back to this hotel nor would I recommend it to others, but a review is a review and since we paid for this trip with our own money, I'm not obliged to sing it's praises, especially where they don't exist *ouch*.

We knew the hotel was close enough to the Disneyland Park's to get a free shuttle bus to the Disney Village which was perfect for us as we were travelling from the hotel to the train station daily, which is next door to the Disney Village. Little did we know upon arriving at the hotel however, was how 'Disney' like the hotel would be and really, it was more aimed at families with super young children rather than a couple's break. It was musketeer and King Arthur themed, with a mini arcade area for kids, pool tables and various photo opportunity points with statues.

Let's start with the free shuttle bus service. Shouldn't really complain too much I guess since this is a 'free' ride into the parks (if you ask me, the price of your hotel room covers the usage of the buses so it's not really free at all) but these are meant to run every 10-15 minutes. Having used the shuttle buses before from the Newport Bay hotel which is much closer to the parks, I can say these usually ran on time, but not to the Dream Castle. Morning's weren't as bad and we waited around 20 minutes for each bus apart from the last day when we were actually checking out of the hotel were we waiting literally 30 seconds, typically. But getting back to the hotel after a long day in the city, we were waiting at least half an hour each time and on one occasion it was a 40 minute wait.

When we first checked into the hotel, it took a further 30 minutes to be greeted by a member of staff as there was only one lady manning the desks as a queue started to form. Considering there were at least 4 spaces behind the front desks for staff to be present, it literally felt like when you're in a supermarket and the tills are closed despite the amount of people trying to pay. Check in was pretty quick and we were given our keys and directions to our room, however when we got to our corridor we noticed a foul smell like someone had dropped their guts. We laughed it off and decided it must just be a passing smell, but unfortunately it smelt the entire time we were there. Five stinking nights! The room itself wasn't smelly but it certainly could have been a lot cleaner...

The bathroom we got was an absolute disgrace and part of me feels like a bit of a snob for being what some may feel is quite picky but if there's one thing that makes me super uncomfortable in a hotel, it's a dirty looking shower and bath. To make matters worse, the water was never warm let alone hot and luckily I managed to get away with only washing my hair once whilst away for the week because it was torture having such a cold shower that dribbled out water and had no power behind it whatsoever. 


The room we got was an okay size, some of the space was taken up by a set of bunk beds which luckily had a curtain around them which you could draw across and pretend weren't there. Or banish away your kids, whichever you fancied really. I used the lower bunk as a dumping ground for my clothes and suitcase so this wasn't so bad. Our bed however had two measly pillows and I mean they were tiny, looking ridiculous on what must have been a queen sized bed. The bed was a little too soft for us but it wasn't terrible to sleep in, I think James suffered with it more than I did.


Screenshot from a vlog of our bed in the hotel room

We got free wifi in the hotel which is very important to me when travelling anywhere, I like to not worry about data usage and be able to watch Netflix or YouTube videos back in the hotel. We took our own teabags as we're crazy vegans and weren't able to take advantage of the teas/coffees that they left for us in the hotel room but the kettle worked fine and it meant we were able to cosy up in bed with the biscuits we took with us after a mad day in the city.

We tried out the all-you-can-eat buffet restaurant on the first evening just because it was easy after a day of travelling and at €30 a person along with our dietary requirements, we weren't really able to get our money's worth out of it so we didn't go again. One positive about the buffet though was the selection of cakes and puddings. Any sweet treat lover would have adored it as there was a range of tarts, doughnuts, sponge cakes, drizzles, pancakes wrapped around fruit and even a chocolate fondue with a selection of sweets, fruit and popcorn to make little kebabs with to dip into the chocolate. Kids would have loved this! We obviously weren't able to have any of it so instead I took a banana back to the room with me.

The breakfast was included in the hotel price and was a typical continental all you can eat job, always bustling and hectic - not the nicest of environments to wake up and go down to I have to say. On the first morning, we stuck to toast and a glass of orange juice but the following morning I discovered the soya milk tucked away behind the yoghurts so I was able to attempt a milky coffee with some cereals, toast and a fruit salad. It's a shame we couldn't try the croissants and it was the first time I'd seen things like scrambled eggs at one of these breakfasts but the veganism is our choice so tough luck. There were also some freshly baked baguettes available so what we did was took a whole one back to the table with us after cutting it in half and filled it with some of the vegetables from the breakfast bar like sweetcorn, olives, cucumber and beetroot, then wrapped it up for lunch later in the day. There was some 100% vegetable based butter available so the sarnies we made weren't bad at all. Aside from the food, I didn't like how close the tables were to each other and some mornings you were practically eating breakfast on the same table as the family next to you.

Back in the hotel room, one of the biggest things I struggled with was the lighting and I noticed my eyesight started to get really bad along with headaches the further into the week we got. The room didn't actually have any lighting apart from a dull lamp on either side of the bed and another on the desk area where the kettle was. Doing my makeup was an absolute nightmare as was vlogging, but my eyes started to hurt so much as time went on and I was always glad to get outside into natural daylight because even our window didn't let that much in.


Screenshot from a vlog of the lighting in the hotel room

We paid around £600 for the room for 5 nights plus city tax of around £2 a person per night. To be honest, if we'd have stayed at one of the other Disney hotels for that length of time, we would have paid quite a bit more and the reason we didn't just stay in Paris and get a train to Disneyland for the one day we spent there was the city tax was a lot more expensive in the city centre. Definitely something to think about when travelling next time though...would it have been cheaper to go with staying in the middle of Paris and not have to pay for the train travel cards from our hotel?

The only way I would return to a Disney hotel now is if we stayed at the actually Disneyland Hotel which costs mega bucks and I have heard it's not that much different in terms of quality and comfort, you're just paying for the experience of staying on the doorstep of the Disneyland Parks. After choosing a vegan lifestyle especially, it's clear to us now that Disneyland isn't a great choice and hopefully when we have a child of our own, we're able to afford to stay at the Disneyland Hotel and do the whole shebang with them.

Thanks for reading,


2 comments

  1. Dear Ellis,

    First, thank you for choosing to trust our hotel when you did book your stay with us.

    Yes, our hotel is part of the resort of Disneyland Paris (even if it's not run by Disney) and our main target are the families with kids.

    I'm sorry you had to wait that long to get a shuttle after a day at the parks. Please notice that it's the same bus for all the hotels of the area (so the problem was identical for every guests of the others hotels) and that the frequency of the shuttle is around 20mn even on the evening. Waiting 40mn can happen depending on the traffic or maybe some other exceptional situation, and I assure it also happens to the Disney shuttle buses too. But again, I'm sorry it happend on that day as it's not up to the Vienna House standards.

    Regarding the room, it looks like something was really wrong with it and I'm sorry about that. Did you tell the reception about it so they could give you a different room? We always try to make sure we can please our guests during their stay if we can.
    I'm glad you were happy about the wifi connection.

    Our buffet always propose vegan food but we always try to do better and will consider any suggestion.

    Again, I'm sorry your stay wasn't as great as it should have been and we will make sure to do better in the future.

    Sincerely,

    David.

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    Replies
    1. Hi David,

      Thanks for replying to my review.

      The shuttle bus system I appreciate isn't directly a fault of the hotel, but running a bit more frequently would probably help to solve the issue that is people pushing and shoving their way onto the few buses that do turn up and as someone who suffers with anxiety, being crushed into a bus which is carrying way too many people didn't make any of the journey's pleasant.

      With the room, my husband and I aren't keen on making a fuss or asking to move rooms. It would have been an unwanted hassle and my husband in particular doesn't like to complain so we put up with it. The room was 2126 if you cared to investigate it further and also the smell on the corridor which was there the entire time.

      The buffet wasn't bad, but a few more dairy free options would have been ideal not just for vegans but lactose/gluten intolerant people too.

      Ellis

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