Stayed here recently for a special occasion, and we were generally very happy with the hotel. The king suite with pool view was beautiful. Our dinner at Bull & Bear was the highpoint and one of the best I've had in Orlando (or elsewhere for that matter). Decent pool and great service there. If I had not stayed at the Ritz Grande Lakes I might be tempted to say this was the best hotel in the area.
Unfortunately, in my opinion, Ritz wins in the comparison. It's hard not to compare these properties since they are basically the 2 premier luxury properties in the area. They are also very similar in that they share facilities with entry level lux sister hotels on same property (JW Marriott for Ritz, and Hilton next to Waldorf). Many guests with kids send them next door for the lazy rivers. The Grand Lakes properties taken together are better landscaped and nicer. The JW Marriott pool is far better than the Hilton, which also has a lazy river but the pool scene feels more crowded and parking lot like. Pools at Ritz and Waldorf roughly similar. View at Ritz is better, since the grounds are better landscaped. We had a nice big balcony at Waldorf and were able to watch the Disney fireworks, but the view is compromised by the large convention building roof and noisy HVAC equipment. Very poor design which detracts from overall experience. Beds very nice at Waldorf but also at Ritz. Breakfast in the room was far better at Ritz.
Service was better at Ritz. At Waldorf we had to wait for valet on arrival (even though they weren't busy, and no doorman to greet or open door as at Ritz. Waldorf is nice inside, but Ritz is nicer. I do give the nod to Waldorf for best restaurant, as we were not blown away by Normans, but LOVED Bull & Bear. Probably because we are steak people. And I will never understand failure to have mini bar at luxury property like Waldorf. No excuse for that. Waldorf is in the middle of Disney, Ritz is closer to Universal and Sea World. If given the choice would probably go with Ritz in the future, even though it's a close call.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A contemporary, luxury resort surrounded by the gates of Disney theme parks, Waldorf Astoria® Orlando is nestled in a peaceful 482-acre nature preserve near the Walt Disney World® Resort. The hotel’s elegant setting includes fine resort amenities like the award-winning Waldorf Astoria® Golf Club, the luxe Waldorf Astoria® Spa, a formal swimming pool with private cabanas, and access to more than a dozen dining and lounge experiences, including an outpost of New York City’s famed Bull & Bear. The hotel features 498 deluxe rooms and suites, and nearly 42,000 square feet of exclusive flexible meeting space. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Waldorf Astoria Orlando Hotel Orlando