At ease: The Army’s
Shades of Green resort in Orlando
What would a resort hotel be
like if it were run by the U.S. military? There’s no need to
wonder, since the Department of Defense owns and operates several
top-notch “Armed Forces Recreation Centers” around the globe.
In downtown Tokyo, soldiers rest up at the 149-room New Sanno
Hotel, operated by the U.S. Navy; in Seoul, South Korea, the
394-room Dragon Hill Lodge is run by the U.S. Army; in Garmisch,
Germany, the 337-room Armed Forces Recreation CenterEurope provides
R&R for soldiers based on the continent; and in Hawaii, the
817-room Hale Koa Hotel, or “House of the Warrior,” sits on 72
beachfront acres in Waikiki.
The only AFRC in the continental United States is Shades of
Green, a 586-room resort in Orlando’s Walt Disney World. The
complex, comparable to deluxe Disney resorts like the Polynesian,
provides room service, valet parking, two outdoor heated pools, an
exercise room, a video game arcade, two lighted tennis courts, a
nature walk and access to five Disney golf courses.
Before you rush to book, be aware: These military resorts are
not for civilians. Patronage is strictly limited to active-duty
members of the armed forces, military retirees, reservists,
guardsman and civilian personnel with the Department of Defense,
along with their immediate families. Room rates, like so many
things in military life, are based on rank: The lower the rank, the
lower the rate.