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Reviewed July 4, 2011

While this hotel is undoubtedly a beautiful place with clean, immaculate, beautiful, and spectacular physical facilities, golf course, etc., they just don't have it together yet. If you want a true 5 star experience you are going to have to stay at the Ritz Carlton. I commend the management on some things. For example, on check in, when we had been promised adjoining rooms when we booked, we found that they had put us across the hall from each other. When I refused to split the family and was ready to go elsewhere, the management actually upgraded us to a suite with an adjoining room for no extra charge. It was a spectacular suite. Well, the issue isn't the willingness of the staff, they are all very nice with good intentions and seem very capable. It's the forethought put into the way things are done here with the food services and other ancillary services like the valet. For example: twice, when we needed food or drink after 10 pm we were given the option of either ridiculously expensive room service(8 bucks for a coke), or "going to the Hilton next door"! You have got to be kidding ? Oh, don't worry about how far it is. "there is a shuttle". What an incredible joke for a supposed 5 star property to be sending it's guests to a 4 star property 300 yards away to get a damn coke! ( also no stocked minibars) . Another time we just needed a sandwich. Same deal- Hilton or room service. Then, for the valet, the guy has to run super far to the , you guessed it, Hilton parking deck, to even get to where they park you car to get it too you. We never had a wait under 10 minutes and had several more like 20 minutes for the car to be brought out. If you are in a hurry to drive anywhere you better call ahead - way ahead. Local car service to places nearby also costs around 15 to 20 bucks for a short trip. Nice to have it available, but it is complimentary at many 5 star properties. Also room service itself is super slow. 50 minute wait for burgers and a sandwich our first night when we were tired and hungry and arrived late. Had to stay up another hour and a half just to eat!. Food service at the pool - same deal - very slow and inconsistent. Wife at pool said waitress at pool didn't return with drink for 30 minutes and then forgot her bill so she had to get up and go find her.
So, I feel this place is rated 5 star based on it's name and it's sister property in New York. If it had any other name and had to be rated based on their actual performance right now they wouldn't be a 5 star property because of the service issues. It looked 5 star , but it isn't. It seems that while the staff is great and very willing( sent me a complimentary coke when I complained about having to go the Hilton for one), that some of these issues just haven't been thought out well by whoever is ultimately in charge. So, lot of loose ends right now in terms of service but not so much quality of the people but the systems themselves. They need a consultant to come in a fix this stuff. I definitely would not stay here again with all these inconveniences when you expect a 5 star hotel not to present any whatsoever .

Room Tip: the rooms are all great
  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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1  Thank trvlnsurgn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 4, 2011

I will make this brief and expand on the trip as it progresses (we have 3 days left). Bottom line this is a long way away from a 5 star property. We were very encouraged on check-in having the best welcoming treatment. Things went downhill from there...

We are staying under the Amex Platinum FHR program. It comes with breakfast. We have had meals at Oscars every day. The breakfast food was consistent with an average hotel cafe - i.e., not particularly good. The service at Oscars has been very inconsistent. Timliness and attentiveness is spotty (second seating waited 15 minutes for a greeting) although the restaurant is never busy. Children's bowl of Fruit Loops and Orange Juice is somehow a $15 "childs meal".

We have rented a cabana by the pool two of the days. The service here is abissmal. We received the only cabana without a fridge, without a couch, and without a working remote (okay I get these items are luxury amenities, but isn't that how one distinguishes or justifies a $200 rental of a canvas roofed square?). Wait staff didnt seem to know what to do. We requested our complimentary drinks twice before they came. The first day, they were servied in Corona buckets which is odd because there aren't corona buckets provided for those guests here clearly to drink all day, but somehow they were appropriate to provide for a family with children, just to make sure that were we assuming some welcoming or preferred treatment for a cabana rental we could be corrected. The cabana is dirty. As I write, we got stuck with the same cabana the second day (two days later). It is still dirty. The remote still doesn't function and other features are still missing (fridge, etc.). Again service here is very slow. All requests require a follow up request (glasses of ice, etc.). There is one server for 12 cabanas (both days). The servers, manager, and pool staff work very hard for a small group (two groups of 2-4 people) at the cabanas who have been at the resort for the majority of the stay. They appear to be friends of the hotel staff and receive a great deal of friendly attention. Glad someone among the guests receive something close to resort level (i.e., 4 not 5 star) attention.

The pool wait staff are aloof. The concierge is not aware of any activities being performed at the sister property Hilton nor did they volunteer to find out for us (keep in mind they are joined property and share a corporate parent). The food poolside is inconsistent, sometimes too salty, sometimes just bland. Never something you would say demonstrates any quality or care. I would not raise this were we staying poolside at a Sheraton or similar (where I assure you the service would be more attentive) but in fact this property asserts it is a direct descendant of the New York Waldorf, flys the Waldorf brand/banner, and asserts it is a five star property!

The next area was the room. We booked and paid for a deluxe suite. We were supposed to get an upgrade with the program and allegedly did (I dont think this was really the case - room is disney view but all deluxe suites available for booking regularly were Disney view - there is nothing special about this view as Disney is very distant). In any event, the room itself is nice. The service to the room and housekeeping is another matter. One evening our room service waiter (room service food is average, not memorable, but pricey) noticed none of the lights in our dining area were not working. He indicated that is not acceptable (agree) and noted he would mention to engineering upon his return. We did not hear from engineering that night or the next morning. The next morning (11 am) I phoned the Guest Services department to share with them that the lights did not work in the room and we were assured this would be taken up with engineering to resolve. We returned at 9 PM (10 hours later) and nothing was done about the lights. No message, no indication of what we could expect. At around 930 PM, I phoned guest services again, indicated that the lights did not work. After apologizing, guest services indicated that we would receive prompt attention. Over an hour passed (room service again arrived with another meal). Although unexpected, I thought I better call again (as at this point the children were exhausted even on West Coast time) to be sure they were "on their way.' The next "guest services" attendent answering, who I shared my concerns with this having been the third mention of the problem, repeated my problem. "Sir I understand you need a light in your room in the dining area. Did you check the swtich on the wall to be sure the light switch was in the on position." At this point it was clearly an antagonistic response to a guest who was clearly frustrated with the experience. After sharing my view that yes, I did in fact attempt to use the light switch to turn on the lights, I asked to speak to a manager. It was not until this point, the fifth point of contact, that the request was taken seriously. Engineering finally responded, at 1130 PM, and addressed the problem which turned out to be a tripped breaker in the dining/kitchen area, which is approximately 30% of the room floorspace. Problem solved. Although we can all probably recall a similarly frustrating experience in a 3 star vacation hotel or resport, I cannot recall one at a four star or above.

That night we became aware that the linens weren't changed, possible for a couple days. We are well aware of the linen program, i.e., there is a card to leave on the bed if you want to keep the linens and have them changed every three days. Bottom line, we wanted to linens changed daily and did not place the card on the bed (exactly as instructed) only to discover unclean linens. (To reserve judgment on expectations, were we at home they would have been changed). Shower was not clean (hair in the drain), washclothes missing, bathmat missing, etc. (this should not have been retaliatory - we were tipping). While these may have been overlooked at a lesser property or were it not for the continuous breakdowns in service during our stay. However, it seems to be systemic throughout the property and for that reason I find it notworthy.

Finally, we have met some folks here who have spent time at the property. They have shared similar stories about timliness and attentiveness (1 hour to receive an order of sliders at Peacock Alley, food arriving cold at same, etc.) but somehow remain drawn to the general lack of crowds at the property and the fact that the facilities themselves are quite nice. I agree the facilities are well constructed but this won't justify our return. Suppose that leaves the 'lack of crowds' attractiveness intact. (Incidentally, there is little acknowledgement of the guests here by name or reference so dont expect Ritz or Four Seasons caliber service in this area as well).

I will update this review upon completion of the stay. This is the first review I have prepared notwithstanding continuous and frequent travel professionally and for leisure as I think the hotel and potential guests should be aware.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
4  Thank Family_Venturer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 3, 2011

We stayed at the Waldorf Orlando in late November 2010. We wanted to try the Waldorf because we felt the nicer Disney properties (Grand Floridian, etc.) weren't that great for the price. We loved the Waldorf - property is beautiful, service was great and the suite was fantastic. We stayed in the Waldorf suite which had a lovely view of the Disney fireworks at night. The location is perfect for Disney. We will stay there again when we return for a Disney visit.

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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Thank BeachGal3333
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 1, 2011

We stayed 3 nights in the summer of 2010 and received top notch service from front desk to complimentary cart shuttle staff. There's exclusive Disney resort air conditioned transportation, shared only with next door Hilton guests. Beautifully maintained interior and grounds, free coffee and tea and super value for a 5-star hotel.

  • Stayed: August 2010
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
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2  Thank ChiqueTrendz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 28, 2011

Just returned from a 3 night stay at the Waldorf Astoria in mid June. We were fortunate to reserve our room using our American Express Platinum card, and we were upgraded to a deluxe king suite with a balcony and a Disney view! So luxurious! It was my son's birthday, and we told American Express Travel, who informed the hotel. Our first evening at the hotel, they treated my son with a birthday surprise and had room service deliver us a plate of cupcakes, and a snack basket of goodies. My son was thrillled and felt very special. My son slept in the sleeper sofa in the living room, and he thought that it was comfortable. The suite had a wet bar area with a sink, subzero refrigerator and a table for four, and we were able to enjoy our Nepresso every morning, sitting on our balcony. The bath products were Agraria San Francisco, which is a luxury bath product line with amazing scented shampoo, body lotion and bath gel. The marble bathroom was exquisite and I looked forward to using it everyday. The buffet breakfast at Oscar's had a great variety of breakfast foods, including a homemade crepes and an omelette station. The servers at Oscars were friendly and helpful. The gym on the first floor had plenty of the top of the line cardio machines, and there was bottled water and towels readily available - plus, the gym was very clean. My kids loved going to the Hilton next door and using their pool , which has a "lazy river". My family enjoyed their entire stay at the Waldorf, and I am looking forward to returning soon.

Room Tip: Use the American Express Platinum Card!
  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
1  Thank BasketballMama
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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