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Disney's new hotels recall luxury resorts along the Eastern seaboard.

ROBERT A.M. STERN LOUNGES ON A LEATHER couch in the lobby of the Yacht Club Resort, one of two hotels built side by side that he designed for Walt Disney World. "This is like a dream come true," says Stern as he gazes around the lobby at its beamed ceiling, pickled woodwork, gleaming oak floors. "This is the living room I've always wanted."

The Yacht Club and its sister Beach Club Resort are grand, comfortable havens of leisure, full of intimate, human scale and perfectly composed vignettes. If you are looking for bold, angst-ridden grids whose collision reveals some dark, subterranean architectural agenda, you will not find them here. According to the official brochure for the hotel: "Disney's Yacht and Beach Club Resorts are reminiscent of gracious summer living along the craggy Eastern Seaboard. Although separate, the two distinctive resorts blend like a watercolor into one shared impression." You're on vacation. Relax.

Together, the Yacht and Beach, as they are collectively known, comprise 1,200 rooms on five floors. In plan, the pair creates the impression of outstretched arms embracing a manmade lake, the foreground of which is a 35,000-square-foot "fantasy pool," complete with shipwreck and windmill. In fact, the plans are nearly mirror images of one another – Siamese twins joined at the kitchen – each with its own distinct restaurant, lobby, bar, and gift shop. The distinction between the two hotels lies in their Disney "themeing." Le Corbusier might have said that the plan is the generator of form, but he never visited Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Here, the theme is the generator of form – and everything else.