This was a brief staycation for my wife and I and our anniversary as well. I wanted to plan some special events for my wife, so I contacted the hotel several weeks in prior to our proposed stay. At first I was not impressed, as no one returned my call. However, when the communication issues were resolved, and I met with Michelle Maynard of the Personal Concierge staff I was greatly impressed.
She met with me and conducted a tour of the property to include the suites and helped me decide what would be the best fit for my plans. She was pleasant, helpful and extremely polite and respectful of my wishes. Having stayed several times in the Waldorf New York and experiencing what that property offers, I had very high expectations. I was very pleased with all this property had to offer.
The hotel is set in the Bonnet Creek area of Disney World. Slightly secluded, but close enough to the action. It is connected to the Hilton by way of the convention/meeting rooms. Upon arrival, we were immediately greeted by the valets. They opened the doors on both side of the car and welcomed us to the hotel with smiles. The drive has an understated elegance, as does the rest of the property. It was decorated for the holidays and looked very festive. Our luggage was taken by the bellman and the car was parked in minutes (no self park option). The door was held open by another employee and we entered a very refined lobby.
The centerpiece of the lobby was a large clock that was a wonderful focal point. Looking beyond the clock, you saw an incredible golf course. The feel of the lobby was open and inviting. The front desk staff was fantastic and very helpful. I booked the hotel via American Express Platinum Fine Hotels and Resorts Program. The desk clerk delivered our amenities provided from the program and offered us a room upgrade to a larger suite. I declined as I wanted to be on the side of the hotel from which you can view the Disney and Epcot nightly fireworks. We walk to the elevators and were met by the bellman with our luggage, who again greeted us by name and escorted us to our suite.
The suite was very large and very well appointed. There were 2 large screen televisions, a dvd player, sound bar, wine chiller and small refer as well as a Nespresso machine. The decor was warm, soothing and calming. A perfect room in which to relax. We had a wonderful view of the golf course and the Disney parks. We had a very relaxing afternoon and at night we went out by the pool at sat at one of the two fire pits. On this first night, I requested a rose petal turndown service for my wife. When we got back to the room there was a train of rose petals leading from the front door to the bedroom, a large rose petal heart with 2 long stem roses in the center of the bed and a plate of chocolate covered strawberries on the dining room table. At the foot of the bed were 2 large towel swans. The room was beautifully lit and it was very well done.
The second night I requested the en suite dining Bull and Bear Experience from the Waldorf's Signature Steakhouse. For this I worked with Alexandria Herndon, another standout. Outstanding customer service. She listened and had a positive can-do attitude. I felt like she could fulfill all my requirements to make the night special. The only miscue was a requested floral arrangement was not delivered to the room, but that could have been a miscommunication.
The Bull and Bear Experience was outstanding. Our server was great and the food was fantastic. I had the veal oscar and my wife had the black grouper. Both of us had the lobster bisque and everything was as fantastic as the original in New York. The food at breakfast was equally as delicious. The breakfast buffet was one of the most complete and outstanding I have ever had.
My wife enjoyed a spa appointment and had only wonderful things to say about the staff, and I will echo those comments about the attendant in the sauna. The place is in my opinion the best hotel in the Orlando area, and being a local I have stayed at many.
While no trip is ever perfect, and there were 1 or 2 miscues on this trip, overall the hotel and its staff are heads and shoulders above most. The property had a low occupancy during our stay, but I believe they would perform to the Waldorf standard no matter the crowd. This property was an oasis in the midst of the din that is Disney.