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“Clean, comfortable but oh so plastic”

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Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center
Ranked #18 of 152 Hotels in Kissimmee
Newcastle, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
89 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Clean, comfortable but oh so plastic”
Reviewed January 24, 2013

We stayed at the Gaylord Palms staying in an Emerald Bay King overlooking the atrium, for 5 nights attending a conference at the same location in May. We were immediately reminded of Las Vegas after a mediocre reception although it was almost 1100 pm.
The created environment smacked of replication of possibly a supposedly better location than Orlando. The atrium covered a very large area of palms,fountains , rock pools and simulated foreign locations.
We felt the need to get fresh air at times after attending lectures and events and then going to our rooms. It was not possible to open the balcony doors onto the atrium without the noise of Niagra Falls coming in ,supplemented by the noise of piped music and guests enjoying the 'ambience' below.
We ate twice at the buffet for dinner and found the service,food variety and the value very good. On one of these occasions we were booked into the funnily named 'Sunset Sam's but swapped to the buffet to avoid a noisy meal in a shed like noisy atmosphere with a restricted menu.
The service staff were excellent and the room facilities were also verygood and clean.

A prior communication confirming a king room had not been relayed to the reception staff by checking in time so a bit of room shuffling after an initial degree of difficulty resulted, which was not pleasant after over 26 hours traveling time and little empathy from our initial contact with reception.

The main problem attending and staying at a conference at the Gaylord Palms to was the fact that without having a car ,leaving the resort for quick bit of escape time was not easy and often expensive by cab or town car.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled on business
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Thank Auswalkers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Atlanta, GA
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed January 24, 2013

Stayed here with our family for 3 nights over New Years Eve, before staying at Disney. It is centrally located to most Orlando attractions and the decor inside of this hotel reminds me of a nice "mega-vegas" hotel. Tropical trees, amazing Christmas lights throughout and calming waterfall sounds. My kids loved the Koi ponds and small alligators. The pool/slides also looked great for kids, but pretty loud. We were promptly upgraded to an atrium room after night 1...so nice to put the kids to bed and eat room service on the balcony NYE. Both of our rooms were very clean and updated. This hotel is a little too big and commercial for my taste, but my kids loved it, especially the game room. We were not at the hotel the majority of the time, but our biggest complaint was they lacked restaurants that were "easy and family friendly". There was a sports bar, a nicer steak house and a buffett type restaurant for breakfast. I understand most of their business is probably conventions, but a hotel this size should have more options for casual dining. Which probably explains why the coffee shop had lines 20+ mins long each morning and no seating whatsoever. It was just chaotic. Everyone was sitting in rows of chairs left from a Christmas show the night before-without tables, which is hard with little kids. Needless to say we ate off-site for most of the trip. All in all, we got an excellent price and with the upgrade we received, we were happy. I am not certain I would choose this hotel again, but I can recommend it.

Room Tip: Ask for an upgrade to the atrium
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
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1 Thank gafaith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
Level 5 Contributor
26 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
Reviewed January 24, 2013

So much has already been said, that I will skip the hotel details and talk about the experience. Feel safe that rooms are nice, beds are great, bathrooms are roomy and every convenience you could possibly want is at your fingertips from pharmacy to souvenirs to nice clothing to toys to Lillie Vernon for your wife and daughter - they have everything!

The staff is awesome and they were very helpful with everything I needed. The room I had booked (king single) was not available, so I was upgraded to a king suite at no charge - more space than a human can use. I had a great balcony and spent some peaceful time there with coffee and a book until the morning business would begin. Food was convienent and really good and the different restaurant themes created great atmosphere. There are quick breakfast sandwiches or fruit and yogurt and specialty coffees for those on the move at conventions and the coffee shop opens early.

I can see the great attraction for families as this place is close to Disney and the atrium surely beats the Florida heat during the Summer. I was there in December, so it made no difference - the weather outside was beautiful. The outdoor pool area is huge with a mini water park, an awesome outdoor widescreen and nothing could be better for kids and families. I also loved the separate adult pool area. If you are a spouse along for the ride on a convention, you will rest at peace.

Then day 4 came and I had to get out. After a while I felt like I was living in a terrarium. I skipped the inside gym (which is very nice) and opted for a run around the hotel. There is no path so you have to make your own. This place is huge, so for those who run, it is 1 mile around the resort - sidewalks about 1/2 of the way and resort access roads for the rest. Back to the terrarium. The indoor atrium is really cool with the alligators, fish, turtles, plants, etc. but I think I started growing moss. There is no climate change from rooms to lobbies to restaurants and I began to feel like I was breathing the same air every day. I asked others in my business party and they all felt the same. Again, only after about 3-4 days. Still, I became paranoid about healthy air and attributed my newly arriving cough and throat issues to this (though probably not true). After morning runs, a trip to Epcot and purposely spending cell phone time out by the pool - I began to feel better.

The convenience factor is great - nice that the resort is attached to the convention center (again - you never go outside). All of the restaurants are good and I spent several nights at the great sports bar they have there. The place is kid friendly and when I was there, kids could have a special breakfast with Shrek and Fiona (and donkey). In general, it has great imagination and adventure potential for children - they will love it.

I would think as a family, you will run up a tremendous bill. I was on corporate expenses, so it was not a concern, but food prices are incredibly high ($35 entrees). I spent $17 every morning for a latte and a breakfast sandwich or a fruit cup to go - a family meal will set you back.

In short, if you are prepared for the cost you won't be disappointed with the Gaylord and it will prove a great experience if you are doing Disney during the day and coming home to this great environment later. However, if you are stuck indoors the whole time (ala conventions) be prepared for possible claustrophobic reactions and hefty invoices. Still, this should not take away from the beauty of the environment they have created.

Room Tip: Floors 3 and up will get you above noise traffic and the tree tops of the atrium decor so they you c...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled on business
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Helpful?
Thank Bearman1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orlando, Florida, United States
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed January 23, 2013

This place is a must stay as it is in my spiritual opinion- a piece of Heaven! The Bible describes heaven as a place where "in my Father's House are many rooms...and I go and prepare a place for you (Jesus speaking) I feel that this hotel is a fantastic depiction of Heaven :) John 3:16

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Matt B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed January 23, 2013

If you're attended a conference in the Gaylord Palms convention center then accommodation at this hotel is undoubtedly convenient, and while it looks spectacular inside, under the skin it feels just like the Marriott it has recently become. It's located a reasonable distance from Orlando International Airport and a taxi is likely to cost $50-70 depending on when you’re landing. If you're driving yourself, then you could end up with quite a walk from the customer parking areas to the reception, as the parking lots are quite extensive.
Check in was nice and efficient, with them having five stations open and turning over new arrivals within a couple of minutes. Maps of the hotel are issues as part of the check in process to help you navigate to your room and if you're on the opposite side of the hotel from the check in area then you'll end up referring to it a few times.
The rooms are clean and tidy, reasonably comfortable beds, good number of TV channels, functional bathroom, complimentary internet that was stable, but ultimately, they're unremarkable standard Marriott fare.
Breakfast is held in the Villa de Flora restaurant and consists of a typical hot/cold buffet - all of which was okay, but not brilliant. The staff were always friendly and courteous, although their conversation seemed a little scripted at times. The chairs also seemed to be quite low at a lot of the tables, so it sometimes felt as if you were just shoveling food off the plate and into your mouth.
Without doubt Wreckers, the sports bar, has the best atmosphere of all the eating food/drink establishments housed within the hotel. The food surpassed expectation and was consistently good - surpassing that on offer at Key West but a large margin. Waiting staff were great at getting food/drink ordered and delivered, and were constantly having a laugh and joke with the customers. If you're only staying for a couple of days, then you could easily have lunch/dinner in Wreckers without getting bored.
Sunset Sams, the Key West Boat/Bar is located in one of the corners of the hotel. The menu is biased towards seafood and the food is reasonable but nothing special. To be honest, it feels a bit soulless in comparison to Wreckers, and periodically there's a happie chappie who turns up on the balcony overlooking the boat and sings and plays music. Unfortunately it’s at sufficient volume that it becomes difficult to carry on a conversation with those sitting around the table. It's not that the singing/music is bad, it’s just too loud.
The Old Hickory Steakhouse is the closest to fine dining the hotel has to offer, and the steaks are good - on a par with surrounding higher-end steakhouses. It can get busy in the evenings, so it may be worth making reservations if you want to guarantee a table. The only criticism is that of an evening it gets quite dark in the restaurant if you're seated out on the verandah and you can't see your food that well.
Java Coast is the Starbucks clone that allows guests to get their caffeine fix - and it does it reasonably well although it can get a bit busy in the mornings.
As others has said, the interior of the hotel as a bio-dome feel about it with the glass roof, tropical plants, alligators, koi, and snakes distributed around the place. And there is plenty to keep the youngsters occupied, but there aren't many places where you can lounge around in comfort (the metal chairs at Java Coast are seriously uncomfortable) and watch the world go by.
Rooms aren't particularly cheap, and there is an additional $15+tax 'resort charge' per day that they sneak onto the bill - something they could be a bit more open about. If there's no way to avoid it, then include it in the room rate. As others have mentioned, if you're not able to get away from the hotel, it can get expensive eating in all the time, and if you're wanting to get out and about, get a rental or expect to spend a fairly large lump of cash on taxi.
Is it a bad hotel? No. Would I come back? Probably not - it’s too large and you feel more like a cog in a machine rather than a valued guest.

Room Tip: Rooms on the outside are quieter than those overlooking the atrium
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Windswept_Traveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brookfield, Wisconsin
Level 5 Contributor
54 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed January 23, 2013

I attend 12-15 professional business meeting and exhibit conventions across US per year as a vendor. Recently attended the SLAS 2013 meeting and trade show inOrlando FL at the Gaylord Palms. It was by far the worst trade show venue yet i have attended. High priced rooms at $235 per night (group meeting discount rate!), $15 day charge for parking despite being 30 min from city center, and high priced tax/shuttle charges to go anywhere were shocking. I noticed greatly reduced attendance compared to previous years for this SLAS meetings when held in San Diego and Palm Springs and elsewhere. The food served on Orlando Gaylord exhibit floor was just awful - much worse than the recent Gaylord Nashville show attended last Oct. Is this because of the Marriott purchase?
One restaurant had consistently good food - Sora - albeit expensive.

Room Tip: Stay at the Hilton - much better value.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Lois_Ottobot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Georgia
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed January 23, 2013

My husband is a frequent visitor to Disney. We have stayed many places in and around Disney. I can honestly say that this is one hotel that we are thinking of returning to. You just cannot go wrong! There is so much to see and do there for the adults and the kids! The rooms are super clean, big, and great decor. The service was phenomenal! We went during Christmas and the decorations were outstanding! Not to mention, there were shows every night put on for the guest for free! The shows were great! My daughter loved to watch them! We were able to get the rooms for like 130/night with our Marriott rewards card! We have stayed onsite at Disney (not a fan of the Disney hotels), and trust me when I say this hotel is sooo much nicer than any at Disney and a much better price! The spa was wonderful! The ice room is out of this world (a huge ice display onsite). The water park was amazing as well!!!!

Cannot say enough great things about this hotel! Top notch! And eat the Mediterranean buffet! Sooo yummy!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank klpp17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center

Property: Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center
Address: 6000 West Osceola Parkway, Kissimmee, FL 34746
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Central Florida > Kissimmee
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:
#3 Business Hotel in Kissimmee
#3 Spa Hotel in Kissimmee
#3 Luxury Hotel in Kissimmee
#5 Romantic Hotel in Kissimmee
#8 Top resorts Hotel in Kissimmee
#12 Family Hotel in Kissimmee
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center 4*
Number of rooms: 1416
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Just minutes from Central Florida's world-famous theme parks, including Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando and Sea World, the 1,416-room Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center is the ideal destination for leisure and business travelers alike. This spectacular resort in Kissimmee, Florida 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 Water Park, featuring a double FlowRider and drop slide in addition to a multi-level treehouse water playground; 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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