As you might know (if you have been reading my blog posts of late) I recently visited Orlando for a family vacation. The first week we enjoyed an amazing time at the Hard Rock Hotel. For the second week, we decided to move closer to the Disney theme parks, and to go a little more refined (read even more luxurious). My husband does the best job of researching and selected The Waldorf Astoria Orlando for this part of our vacation.
The Waldorf Astoria Orlando is a perfect location to base yourself if visiting the Disney theme parks is on your agenda. Located within the gates of the Disney World complex, the hotel provides a peaceful haven from the hustle and bustle of the nearby roads and attractions. The hotel offers complimentary coach transportation at various times throughout the day to all the parks, and also to the Disney Downtown area. Of course, Orlando has plenty of other treasures to keep you occupied. Shopping, museums, and ballet are just some of the other options for visitors to Orlando.
Tip: Visit Orlando.com is the official source for travel planning and is a great resource when looking for all the attractions and events happening in Orlando during your visit. Check out their website here for a direct link.
The Waldorf Astoria Orlando has almost 500 guest rooms and suites. We had pre-booked a delux 1 king bedroom. When we checked in we were offered an upgrade to a delux golf view suite with balcony for a nominal charge and decided to indulge.
I was quite impressed with the standard of our suite. The view overlooking the golf course was beautiful, and so relaxing to sit and watch the sunset. I can understand why families with children might opt to get a park view, as that way they can enjoy the evening fireworks display from the comfort of their own room.
Our suite was around 945 sq ft. The main living room had a dining area, that could comfortably seat 4, complete with a built in wet bar. The bedroom had a king sized bed with a sizable en-suite marble bathroom with a separate bathtub and walk in shower.
Tip: Ensure you are a member of Hilton Honors program to receive complementary WiFi at this hotel. Sign up is easy, just complete this form
The large outdoor pool area is quite the impressive sight. Surrounded by plenty of sun chairs and private cabanas (available to hire) there are actually two pools to choose from. One of the swimming pools has a ‘zero depth entry point’, making it ideal for the little ones (or adults that only want to be partially submerged).
Tip: if you get tired of the two pools at this hotel then you can walk over to the adjoining Hilton hotel and make use of its pool, complete with a 3-acre lazy river lagoon feature.
As you might expect, the Waldorf Astoria Orlando has an onsite spa. Sadly I did not get a chance to try out any of the numerous facial or body treatments on offer on this visit. The spa is open daily from 9am-8pm
One amenity that we did get to enjoy was the par 72, Rees Jones-designed golf course that winds its way through the wetlands adjacent to the hotel. The hotel offers numerous golf packages, including private lessons with the local pros. The Clubhouse had a pro shop to stock up on all the necessary supplies and to take home a few mementos from your round.
Tip: The putting green and practice range area are included in the green fees so be sure to take advantage and arrive early for your round.
The large lobby area lounge, called Peacock Alley (check out the carpet) offers a good selection of small plates. We enjoyed snacks in this lounge when we first arrived, and again while waiting for our transfer to the airport.
Tip: There are charging stations dotted around the room so if your phone of laptop needs a top up you can plug in while you enjoy a cocktail, or two.
Oscars is the location for the daily breakfast buffet. We tried this on our first day and lasted all of five minutes, as it was just too busy and full of rather excitable children. I’m hoping we just had an unlucky encounter, but we did not go back again as although the breakfast buffet looked very inviting, that is not my idea of a relaxing breakfast.
On a better note, we enjoyed a fabulous dinner at the Bull & Bear restaurant. The elegant setting looks out onto the pool area and allows diners to catch glimpses of the evening Disney firework display. This restaurant is designed after the original Bull & Bear in the Waldorf Astoria in New York. The staff were extremely friendly and attentive. Our dining companions were particularly taken by the iPads that we were all given to make our food selections. The iPads were loaded with photos of all the dishes offered and full descriptions (making ordering quite time consuming because you cannot help but flick through all the photos).
The Aquamarine is the poolside grill that opens from 11am daily offering drinks and a limited selection of appetizers.
The Waldorf Astoria Orlando offers great value for a luxury class hotel. Compare a room at this hotel with any of the higher end Disney hotels, and you will soon come to the conclusion that The Waldorf Astoria Orlando is far and away the best option. All members of staff were extremely friendly and helpful yet seemed to disappear into the background when not needed (a good skill to have in a luxury resort). I enjoy the Waldorf Astoria as a brand as they seem to strike the right balance, offering luxury but with good value for money.
Address: 14200 Bonnet Creek Resort Lane, Orlando, FL 32821
Contact info: 407 597 5500
This post is part of Weekend Wanderlust at Justin + Lauren and The Weekly Postcard at Travel Notes and Beyond. Do some armchair traveling, and please visit the sites for other travelers’ wonderful photos and posts.