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Beach Club Resort

The grand, turn-of-the-century summer homes of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket are recalled in Disney's Yacht Club Resort and Disney's Beach Club Resort, two deluxe-category hotels at Walt Disney World Resort.

The luxury club hotels on the shores of 25-acre Crescent Lake are designed by noted architect Robert A.M. Stern, best known for his East Coast seaside homes. The resorts take guests back to the 1890s with fancy-cut shingles, French doors and other post-modern embellishments that are the trademark of Stern's work.

The imagery follows through in Stormalong Bay, a 2 1/2-acre water recreation area reminiscent of a Nantucket beach with a life-size shipwreck with water slides, snorkeling in a sandy lagoon and a meandering swimming area that seemingly flows into the surrounding lake.

Complementing each other, the three-, four- and five-story club hotels nonetheless have distinctive architectural styles. Each hotel has its own entrance motif, main lobby, restaurants and retail shops.

The pale-blue-and-white "stick-style" Beach Club is "a little bit of this, a little bit of that," said Stern with a smile. Stick style, he explained, was the prevalent architecture for seaside wooden cottages in the 1860s and 1870s, "like grandmother's fabulous beach house -- ceiling fans, chintz, gingham."

The crisp colors open up the hotel's lobby with white wicker furniture, 24-foot-high ceilings, natural French limestone floors and a seashell motif. Cast members are dressed in more casual pastel knickers or dresses.

All of the 576 rooms continue the "summer cottage" ambiance with cool colors, a scattering of seashells and French doors to outdoor porches and a white-sand beach.

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