A SIDE TRIP FROM
Yesterland
Photo of Marriott’s Village d’Ile-de-France
The charming French villas overlook the Golf Disneyland course.
Disneyland Paris Villas
A Vacation Club that hardly anyone knows about

When visiting Disneyland Paris, would you rather stay in a conventional hotel room or a 2-bedroom, 2½-bathroom, 2-story townhouse overlooking the Golf Disneyland course?

Not many people know about the on-site Vacation Club at Disneyland Paris. This timeshare resort is beautifully “imagineered” to make you feel as if you’re staying in a traditional French home in a French countryside village.

However, this isn’t Disney magic, and it isn’t a Disney Vacation Club. It’s Marriott magic, and it’s called Marriott’s Village d’Ile-de-France, a Marriott Vacation Club Resort.

Photo of Marriott’s Village d’Ile-de-France
It’s a Marriott Vacation Club, not a Disney Vacation Club.

Why is there a Marriott Vacation Club on-site at Disneyland Paris, but no Disney Vacation Club? There isn’t an official answer, so we can only guess.

Euro Disney, as the Disneyland Paris Resort was originally called, opened with six Disney-branded hotels, all owned and operated by Euro Disney S.C.A. It took a while until the demand for rooms caught up with the supply, which was one of the factors in Euro Disney’s well-publicized financial woes. Eventually, there was a need for more hotels. Euro Disney S.C.A.—presumably having neither the desire nor the resources to build more hotels—turned to outside companies. The result is that the Disney-branded hotels have been joined by Vienna International Dream Castle Hotel, Hôtel Kyriad, Holiday Inn, My Travel’s Explorers Hotel, Hôtel l’Elysée Val d’Europe, Pierre & Vacances City Aparthotel Val d’Europe, and Radisson SAS Hotel.

Photo of Marriott’s Village d’Ile-de-France
Marriott’s Village d’Ile-de-France is like a French village.

There have been claims on the Internet that the beautiful Marriott Vacation Club site, which is surrounded by the Golf Disneyland course, was originally slated to be a Disney Vacation Club. Such claims are logical, but, in the absence of inside information, they may or may not be true. In contrast, Disney actually announced plans for a Disney Vacation Club located a half hour from Disneyland in California, but that site eventually became Marriott’s Newport Coast Villas.

Keep in mind that we’re talking about different companies. The Walt Disney Company owns 100% of Disney Vacation Club through a series of wholly-owned subsidiaries. However, The Walt Disney Company only owns about 40% of Euro Disney S.C.A.; Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and his family own about 10%; other shareholders own the rest.

In any case, it made sense to build a timeshare resort at Disneyland Paris. Clearly, if Euro Disney S.C.A. and Disney Vacation Club had been able to work out some sort of mutually beneficial business arrangement, that timeshare resort somehow could have been branded as a Disney Vacation Club and affiliated with the DVC point system. But that didn’t happen. A press release on November 14, 2001, began with these paragraphs:

ORLANDO, Fla., – Marriott Vacation Club International (MVCI), the Vacation Ownership division of Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE:MAR), and Euro Disney SCA announced today the development of a new property near Paris, France and neighboring Disneyland Paris. Scheduled to open in June 2003, Marriott’s Village d’Ile-de-France at the Disneyland Resort Paris is the first MVCI project in France.
 
The property, located within one mile of the Disneyland Paris theme Parks and the adjacent Disneyland Paris golf course designed by Ronald Fream, is approximately 20 miles east of Paris. Marriott’s Village d’Ile-de-France at the Disneyland Resort Paris will consist of 275 two-bedroom/two-bath villas (proposed) providing 1,250 square feet of living space. Creating the atmosphere of the French countryside with fabrics and artwork accenting garden prints of Impressionist painters, each villa will offer a golf course view along with a master suite featuring a soaking tub and two vanities, fully-equipped kitchen and dining area, living room with fireplace, washer/dryer and patio. Sales are targeted to begin April 2002 with prices ranging from $12,100 to $23,100 per week of ownership.
Photo of Marriott’s Village d’Ile-de-France
A statue of painter Claude Monet stands in a garden inspired by Monet’s Giverny.

Disney Vacation Club claims to be the “best kept Disney secret.” Marriott’s Village d’Ile-de-France is an even better kept secret.

The Disneyland Paris brochures and website prominently include on-site, non-Disney hotels, such as the Kyriad and the Holiday Inn—but the Marriott is completely missing. There are no kiosks promoting Marriott timeshare tours in the parks. While Walt Disney World guests cannot help but to hear about the “best kept Disney secret,” Disneyland Paris guests are unlikely to hear anything at all about the Marriott.

Also, Marriott’s Village d’Ile-de-France is invisible to Disney Vacation Club members. Through the end of 2008, DVC’s World Passport Collection allowed DVC members to exchange into the “cream” of Interval International timeshare resorts worldwide, including all non-Orlando Marriott Vacation Club resorts in the Interval International directory—with one exception. Because DVC members could use DVC points to stay at Disney-branded hotels at Disneyland Paris, the Marriott timeshare were excluded from the World Passport Collection. That was fine for DVC members who liked regular hotel rooms. But it was unfortunate for DVC members who had been spoiled by 2-bedroom accommodations at DVC resorts and wished they could have something similar at Disneyland Paris.

At the beginning of 2009, DVC’s World Passport Collection switched from Interval International to RCI. Marriott’s Village d’Ile-de-France is not affiliated with RCI.

Photo of Marriott’s Village d’Ile-de-France
Entrance hall with stairs to the bedrooms
Photo of Marriott’s Village d’Ile-de-France
Spacious living room on the ground floor
Photo of Marriott’s Village d’Ile-de-France
King-sized bed in the master suite
Photo of Marriott’s Village d’Ile-de-France
Second bedroom, with a second bathroom

A timeshare accommodation is often referred to as a villa—which means a country residence or estate. But in reality, most timeshare accommodations are simply small apartments. At Village d’Ile-de-France, villa is an apt description. These are country residences (if not quite estates) in layout, appearance, and size. Marriott is an American company, but the ambience is very French. The kitchens are stocked with all the usual kitchen items—as well as two sets on wine glasses, one for red and one for white. After all, this is France.

Don’t worry. Marriott knows that many owners and guests speak English, but not French, so the friendly staff has good English language skills. Très bien!

Photo of Marriott’s Village d’Ile-de-France
Breakfast is a treat with three bakeries in walking distance.

Depending on the location of your villa and how quickly you walk, the village center of Bailly Romainvilliers is about a 10-to-20-minute walk. There, you’ll find a Champion supermarket, a boulanger (baker), a florist, a drug store, and several neighborhood restaurants.

Photo of Marriott’s Village d’Ile-de-France
The Champion supermarket in Bailly Romainvilliers is a 15-minute walk.

Champion primarily serves local residents, not tourists, and the prices seemed reasonable. It’s a full grocery store, selling milk, cheeses, wine, frozen foods, fresh baked goods (another bakery!), meats, seafood, and more. In addition to the two bakeries in town, the Marriott Marketplace at the resort bakes bread and pastries each morning.

Photo of Marriott’s Village d’Ile-de-France
The Marriott shuttle leaves from the heart of Marriott’s Village d’Ile-de-France.
Photo of Marriott’s Village d’Ile-de-France
The public bus stops just outside Marriott’s Village d’Ile-de-France.

“Man does not live by baguette alone,”* so how about some fun? Village d’Ile-de-France offers complimentary, scheduled bus service to the train station at the entrance to the two Disney theme parks and Disney Village, primarily in the morning and evening. (It’s too far to walk.) There’s also a public bus that stops right by the resort entrance. Another option is to use a taxi. And if you don’t mind driving in France, the resort has parking spaces immediately in front of the villas.

* Okay, I know that pain is the French word for bread, and that baguette is a type of bread, but it looked painful when I wrote, “Man does not live by pain alone.”

Photo of Marriott’s Village d’Ile-de-France
RER commuter trains provides frequent service to Paris.

Needless to say, there’s more to Paris than Disney parks, Disney dining, and Disney shops.

A lot more!

The train station at the entrance to the Disney parks is where you catch RER commuter trains—your magic carpet to the wonders of Paris. The RER system connects to the Metro (local subway) system, so, with a connection or two, you can go all over Paris. Look into buying Paris Visite transportation passes before your get to France; they’re good on RER trains, Metro trains, buses in Paris, and even on the local bus that stops outside the Village d’Ile-de-France.

By the time you take a bus and a couple of trains, it takes over an hour to get from Village d’Ile-de-France to attractions in Paris. So if you’re only going to visit Paris, then Village d’Ile-de-France isn’t the best location. However, if you plan to spend a couple of days at the Disneyland Paris Resort, a few days in Paris itself, and perhaps a day in the environs of the resort, then Marriott’s Village d’Ile-de-France is a terrific place to call “home” for a week.


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© 2007 Werner Weiss — Disclaimers, Copyright, and Trademarks

Updated August 18, 2009.

Photo of Village d’Ile-de-France and golf course: 2005 by Werner Weiss.
Photo of Village d’Ile-de-France sign: 2005 by Werner Weiss.
Photo of Village d’Ile-de-France exteriors: 2005 by Werner Weiss.
Photo of garden inspired by Monet’s Giverny: 2005 by Werner Weiss.
Photo of villa entry: 2005 by Werner Weiss.
Photo of villa living room: 2005 by Werner Weiss.
Photo of master suite: 2005 by Werner Weiss.
Photo of second bedroom: 2005 by Werner Weiss.
Photo of breakfast table: 2005 by Werner Weiss.
Photo of Champion store: 2005 by Werner Weiss.
Photo of Marriott bus: 2005 by Werner Weiss.
Photo of public bus: 2005 by Werner Weiss.
Photo of RER station with train: 2001 by Werner Weiss.