Where to start with this absolutely stunning, incomparable resort close enough to -- yet secluded from -- the Walt Disney World resort? I must admit that my family (me, my 7 month pregnant wife, and my 5 year old) were extremely excited to stay at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando. Beyond imagination, the Waldorf Astoria delivered in every way, shape, and form (with the exception of one, which I will explain later).
After the 7 hour drive from Metro Atlanta, we were eager to "get off the road." The entrance to the Bonnet Creek Resort seriously feels like you've entered a private, gated community usually reserved for athletes and movie stars. As far as I could tell, the Bonnet Creek Resort included a Wyndham Grand Vacations property, the Hilton Bonnet Creek, and the Waldorf Astoria Orlando. Despite these resorts, there is an incredible amount of raw, unspoiled land within Bonnet Creek with impeccable landscaping.
The Waldorf Astoria Orlando shares a convention center with the Hilton Bonnet Creek; however, the hotels do a great job of taking care of the needs of all of their guests. Upon arriving at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando front door, we were greeted by a very efficient and hard-working valet. He unloaded every piece of our luggage and quickly gave my pregnant wife a bottled water. I tipped him, and we moved on to the grand, main lobby of the hotel.
The lobby is what you would expect from the Waldorf Astoria brand. A magnificent clock is the centerpiece. Champagne was offered, and the front desk staff met you in front of the front desk. These types of personalized, hands-on approaches to customer service were provided throughout our stay. Check-in was quick and easy. We were in our room within 10 minutes, and our luggage arrived very soon thereafter.
We stayed in a standard room with 2 queen sized beds. The term "standard" does not do justice to the room, however. The room was gigantic! The bed was magnificent! The technology in the room was nothing that I'd seen before. A large, HDTV with a blu-ray player. The bathroom was similarly gigantic. Large tub, large shower, his and her sinks are just some of the amenities provided. Honestly, there is nothing negative that can be said about the rooms. If posts do say negative things about the rooms, the people are "of the type" that will find something wrong with anything.
The activities provided by the hotel were fun. My son had an absolute blast at the swimming pool each day. The Waldorf pool is much more quiet than the Hilton pool (which you are free to use), and the staff at the Waldorf makes chairs appear instantaneously. During our time there, a dance competition was being held in the convention center. However, I can say that it was like the multitudes of teenage dancers were transformed into societal ladies by the relaxing qualities surrounding the Waldorf Astoria pool. Most importantly, my 5 year old son found a play partner each day, and really loved his time at the pool.
As for dining, the breakfast buffet was the most extensive that I've ever seen. The quality of the foods was amazing; HOWEVER, the price of the breakfast buffet will give you heartburn even if the thick-cut bacon does not! It was definitely worth the experience once during our stay. Room service was delicious, as well. Service poolside was quick and efficient. There were multitudes of wait staff around the pool. The pool menu is tasty. We did not make it to the Bull and Bear Steakhouse, but we were on the elevator with a family (like mine) that was gushing about the experience they had in there. There was no question about "how it was," they were simply talking to each other about how great it was.
Last but not least -- and I know some of you have been waiting for this -- is my single service delivery issue with the Waldorf Astoria Orlando. As with most hotels this caliber, valet parking is required. Dropping your car off is easy. You drive up, get out, and go inside. However, retrieving your car is a different situation. No matter if you call ahead for your car or simply walk down and request it, the wait time is long. I found this aggravating at times. On more than one occasion, we waited in excess of 15 minutes for our car to arrive (even after calling ahead for it).
However, this one issue should not discourage anyone from staying at the remarkable place. I urge you to stay here, and truly see the magic that takes place in the Waldorf Astoria Orlando. The management and staff (excluding the valet manager:) should be proud of the product they have produced. I have never left a personal comment about any hotel employee on TripAdvisor; however, I must say that Ms. Barabas at the front desk is top-notch! She even called my credit card company to fix a mistake that it made with my reservation at check-out! What a great send off from the Waldorf Astoria Orlando.
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- Also Known As:
- Waldorf Astoria Orlando Hotel Orlando