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“Kitch, Over-the-Top. Just "Okay" experience from this luxury brand.” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center

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Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center
4.0 of 5 Resort   |   6000 W. Osceola Pkwy., Kissimmee, FL 34746 (Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center)   |  
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Ranked #10 of 157 hotels in Kissimmee
Winter Springs, Florida
Top Contributor
112 reviews 112 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
“Kitch, Over-the-Top. Just "Okay" experience from this luxury brand.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2012

My husband, on a last-minute whim, decided to whisk me off for a holiday weekend and chose the Gaylord. As locals, we have visited the resort to view their annual ICE exhibit, but had never spent the evening or toured the hotel/atrium. Upon arrival, as we pulled up to the front entrance, I was surprised. We wanted to valet and carry our overnight luggage in as we checked in. We were told that they were "too busy to valet" at that time and offered self-park. Yes, it did seem as if there were a dozen or so vehicles waiting to be valeted, however; our wait to speak to the attendant was less than two or three minutes, so I cannot imagine they were "that" busy. Okay, so we asked if we could stop at the entrance to check in and then return immediately to self park. We were told "no, too many cars." Huh? So we made our way to the self park area (which in itself would be reason enough not to stay here. If I were to say that the parking spots were tiny, I would be exaggerating. As a matter-of-fact, they passage ways were so narrow that there was a traffic block which held us up for 25 minutes, just to park our car. Not enough room to park. Not enough room to back up to leave. Not enough room for cars passing in opposite directions to clear each other. It was actually a stand-still of no activity as guests had nowhere to move to in order to give way.) Once we finally parked and carried our luggage across the property to check in, we noted a line for check in that was probably 150 persons deep. Here's another surprise. They handled the check in lines VERY efficiently and we received personalized service by the front desk personnel, along with a room upgrade. Making our way to the room (with no offer to assist with luggage) we wandered through what seemed to be a Vegas-style atrium with faux rocks, supposed St. Augustine replicas (made of plaster), and a pond with a half-dozen of the smallest alligators on Earth. I was amused and a bit in awe of the kitchiness of this property. It was if they were attempting to replicate Disney in some sense. Not really hitting the mark, however. We found our room, which was wonderfully located very near the elevator on the 7th floor in what they called the Emerald section. The room was nicely decorated. We loved the carpeting. The bed was comfortable, and the amenities were adequate. I will say that the room was a big small, however nice. We had a room that overlooked the pool areas. Nice view, I must say. We were disappointed that the resort offers no "outside" rooms with balconies. I would guess not even suites, as we inquired and were willing to pay. We had a few requests for our room and pushed the "smiley button" for service. We were met with a recording which stated that their mission was to make their staff happy, which would translate into "consider it done" service. We waited 10 minutes on line to request pillows. The attendant was courteous. We waited for 15-or-so minutes, but were excited to wander around the property to check out the amenities, so we left a note on our door to please leave the pillows on our bed (a tip with another note was on the bed). As we set out to explore, we were taken aback by the vastness of the facility. HUGE portions, all assigned a theme such as Key West, or St. Augustine. Many restaurants, merchants, and souvenir shops were located all over. There property was nicely decorated for the holidays in a manner which was both fantastical and yet traditional. We appreciated this. It seems as if non-guests could pay to enter the property to utilize the free holiday shows (good talent and nice variety), shops, and restaurants, so the public areas were quite busy and crowded during this weekend prior to Christmas. The offered photo-taking opportunities for guest and visitors with Dreamworks characters such as Puss in Boots, Shrek, and Kung Fu Panda. Nice for families, if not for the congestion in walkways they caused. We attended three of the Christmas themed shows in the atrium...all of which were of good quality with talented performers. We also visited several of the property's food and libation offerings and found them to be good in quality and excellent in service. I will say, that as this time of year, if you are on a couples stay, this may be a bit too family-oriented of a location, as SO many children were everywhere. Although the weather was sunny this weekend, the temperatures never met the mid 60'sF. The pools, however, did have heating, and there were those that braved the chill for a Floridian splash. The activities for children, the towel service, and the libations were all very nice at the pool. I will say that the adult pool (although it was supposed to be heated, but evidently was not) was beautiful. We usually stay at hotels like The Four Seasons/Ritz and the adult pool at the Gaylord matched their beauty. Here's what we appreciated most. With the exception of nonexistent bell service, and the valet experience, there was not one employee that did not smile and welcome us with a perceived sincerity. It did seem as if the training they provide on "consider it done" had been effective for 95% of the staff. To sum up our experience, and considering it was a busy holiday weekend, this was a nice resort with adequate amenities and above average service. It is a shame, however, that the valet, parking, and bell service left a bad taste in our mouths. I'm not sure we will return as service is our desire, however if you have a family gathering and want something kitchy to keep the little ones busy, the Gaylord should meet your prescription.

Room Tip: If you don't mind lots a noise from the grand atrium, get an inside balcony room, otherwise, req...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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English first
Fort Stewart, Georgia, United States
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2012

We were taking a much needed family trip for Christmas before my husband's next deployment and this was the perfect place to do it! We loved EVERYTHING about the resort! It was decorated so beautifully for the holidays and we loved all of the amenities they offered. However, our only complaint is that the restaurants were pretty pricey for our family of 5. We understand that the conveinence of it all being right there for us was a key factor. But we could not pay $9 a child's plate for dinner when we have kids that barely eat. We choose to go off the resort several times for lunch and dinner. We had 1 day of the Character Breakfast in our package and the food at the Villa was AWESOME and we loved that it was buffet style! But, the rest of the trip we ate at Golden Corral, Logan's Steakhouse and McDonald's because of the prices at the resort restaurants.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Jacksonville, Florida
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2012 via mobile

Traveled to Orlando for ICE. Arrived in time and easily found close parking in the $15 self parking lot adjacent to the convention center. We bought and printed our tickets online so there was no need to wait at will call. We decided to get a bite to eat at Wreckers and 2 of us split the $18 half rack of ribs and it was plenty. The ribs fell off the bone and the fries were seasoned well. Neither of us cared for the beans but only because they were different from the ones we grew up on. The best part was learning that they validated parking so bye bye $15 self parking fee! Unlike some other reviewers experiences, there was no line to enter ICE and we moved through the entry area quickly. The provided parkas kept us warm and the ice sculptures were amazing! What was almost as amazing was how the hotel was able to create a structure to house the ice at 9 degrees! Although it was busy, it was not crowded and we moved through and took pictures at our own pace. Line for ice slide was brief. I suggest buying tickets and printing them in advance, picking a non peak time so that's its cheaper ($18) and less crowded and grabbing a snack to get free parking. Didn't have young kids with us but there were lots of other activities like cookie decorating too. Hotel grounds and atrium were beautiful. Really enjoyed the free holiday music concert in lobby, the shopping and the tropical plants!

Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
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Cape Canaveral, Florida
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2012

We went to this resort to celebrate our anniversary. We only live 50 miles away, but stayed 4 nights. This time of year they have the ICE show, which are ice statutes inside an area that's kept at 9 degrees. They are beautiful, and absolutely unbelievable.....I can't imagine how they were carved and colored in that kind of temperature. They also have Christmas shows going on. Had "Not a Boy's Band" for entertainment and it was so good. The "atrium" was decorated beyond belief in the Christmas spirit, and we had a balcony view from our room of it all. We have also been to this resort at other times of year and the restaurants are always great food' They are a little pricey, but not more than what you would expect. They have specialty shops, clothing, Brighton, Baskin Robins....just a great place to go to just relax. The best thing about this resort? It's SERVICE. Absolutely superb. Everyone is so friendly and willing to help...and the beds are very very comfortable. We are glad we are so close so we can go more often.

Room Tip: A balcony room overlooking the atrium is always the best. It will cost a little more, but it's...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2012 via mobile

The Ice event was impressive but we left feeling that it was over priced when you consider what you get and how long we were there. (90 mins)
I felt a little ripped off being charged the same price to park my car as a Disney park when there was less than a tenth of the entertainment available.
Ok but I wouldn't bother again.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Florida
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
65 helpful votes 65 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2012

My family (2 grandparents, my husband, my 2 year old and myself) spent 1 night at the Gaylord prior to Christmas to enjoy the hotel decorations as well as the ICE Dreamworks Experience. I booked our reservation after seeing the BLACK FRIDAY SALE SPECIAL. Our rate was incredible & the room did not disappoint. It was spacious and clean. We had requested early check in which was accomodated without any problems. The hotel is spacious with plenty for everyone to enjoy. The hotel offers several restaurant options. We tried the Key West themed restaurant and thought the menu had a lot of variety. We also tried the Sports Bar and although the ambiance was fantastic, the menu left a little more to be desired as far as options, in my opinion. The food was still great though. Hagen Daz is a great stop but its pricey.
We enjoyed watching the Alligator feeding, walking the atrium and seeing beautiful decor, there was plenty of options for shopping. The hotel as a direct walkway connecting to the convetion center where the ICE Experience was located. The set up was seamless which made coordinating our plans very easy. We packed warm clothes knowing that the ICE experience would be 9degrees. We even used the additional jackets provided. We were comfortable and we were blown away by the gorgeous detail, color and magnitude of the sculptures! What a cool event. The experience didn't end there. In the Holiday Hall area there was: A meet and greet opportunity with the Madagascar Penguins, a set up to meet SANTA, a concession for hot chocolates, warm cookies & other yummy treats, as well as a room set up for Gingerbread decorating & to meet GINGY the Gingerbread man. We took advantage of every activity available. Professional photos can be taken & purchased (again, pricey but sometimes SUPER CUTE!) We thoroughly enjoyed the gingerbread decorating. Our whole family gathered at a table with our gingerbread 'train' kit that we chose & we took our time sitting together, talking, decorating and taking pictures with Gingy! We must have spent a good 30-45 min enjoying this station. Another highlight was the FANTASTIC gift shop they have in the Holiday Hall offering TONS of ornaments, figurines & misc decorations & gifts! We picked up some really great new ornaments for our tree at home! Finally, the hotel offered a holiday show featuring music, acrobatics, tree lighting & more. The show is featured several different times during the day but our favorite was the 645pm show! What a way to capture the spirit of the season with all the stunning lights & holiday songs! We couldn't have been happier with our time at the hotel.
We did not have the opportunity to enjoy the pool/play area but it looked fantastic.
We also did not have the opportunity to have enjoy the character breakfast with Shreak & misc which is offered on Saturdays and Sundays. I imagine it would have been great!
We are hoping to make the Gaylord Palms ICE experience a new family holiday tradition and we would HIGHLY recommend going !

Room Tip: request an "atrium view room" but keep in mind that sometimes "shows/music" will...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Sarasota, Florida
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2012

My husband and I stayed at the Gaylord for a couple of days after Christmas and absolutely loved it! I read previous reviews prior to going and was a bit skeptical; however, I can honestly say that I found a lot of the complaints over the top, petty and ridiculous after having stayed there. In some cases, I believe some of the complaints come from those who are simply trying to receive "free services" or "discounted" fees, of which I'm sure they [employees] have heard every plea known to mankind - and I'm also certain, they can ascertain those with validity as opposed to those with mocked outrage. The decor was gorgeous, the hotel was clean, plenty to do, the staff friendly - though I did sense a slight attitude from our server at the Old Hickory Steakhouse when we declined an appetizer - not sure why since we ended up spending $160.00 without it! It was very minimal, certainly not enough to complain about. With all the pros on this resort, I do feel inclined to point out that the dining options are very pricey so unless you plan on battling the insane Orlando traffic to drive a few exits up, be prepared to pay a lot of money towards meals. The Villa de Flora breakfast buffet is delicious, with an enormous amount of choices - not to mention the Shrek characters visiting each table to interact with children and adults alike (but comes with a hefty price: $60+ including tip for just two of us). We had an Atrium room, that provided outstanding views and allows you to sit on your balcony to enjoy the festivities going on below (it is loud and noisy but it did not bother or prevent us from sleeping.) The rooms were not "luxurious" by some standards but were very clean with comfortable beds. We did not enjoy the pool area since it was very cold during our stay, but the set up was ideal for a great time. We used the valet parking after reading the many complaints on self parking distance and hassle - never had a problem retrieving our vehicle. They told us upon check-in to allow 15-20 mins for delivery and most times it was quicker than that. All in all, it was a very enjoyable stay and we highly recommend it to those ready to have a great time and prepared for the expense of it all.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center

Address: 6000 W. Osceola Pkwy., Kissimmee, FL 34746
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Central Florida > Kissimmee > Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Luxury Hotel in Kissimmee
#3 Business Hotel in Kissimmee
#3 Spa Hotel in Kissimmee
#3 Romantic Hotel in Kissimmee
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Kissimmee
#9 Family Hotel in Kissimmee
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Just minutes from Central Florida's world-famous theme parks, including Walt Disney World, Sea World and Universal Orlando, the 1,406-room Gaylord Palms Resort is the ideal destination for leisure and business travelers alike. This spectacular resort features 4.5 Acres of beautifully manicured gardens and themed environments beneath a signature glass-covered atrium. On-site leisure and recreation opportunities abound with the Cypress Springs Family Fun Water Park, featuring a multi-level water playground and four water slides; the adults-only South Beach Pool; Forbes Travel Guide's Four Star Relache Spa & Salon; Wreckers Sports Bar, featuring a two-story sports screen; and a 24 hour fitness center. And with eight restaurants and lounges ranging from fine dining at Old Hickory Steakhouse to casual poolside fare at SandBar, Gaylord Palms offers something for every appetite ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Gaylord Palms Hotel Kissimmee
Gaylord Resort
Gaylord Palms Resort Orlando
Gaylord Palms Orlando

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