Part of the prestigious Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts group, the Waldorf Astoria Orlando is an exercise in style and class under the Floridian sunshine. Just like its big sister the legendary Waldorf=Astoria New York, the hotel has got elegance and grandeur written all over it. Perfect for couples on romantic getaways and anyone who loves classic luxury!
Situated among 482 acres of nature reserve, the Waldorf Astoria is about a 20 minute drive from Orlando International Airport. It is also within easy reach of the city's theme parks and shopping hotspots.
It couldn't be any easier to get to Disney's Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Epcot and Hollywood Studios etc; a free shuttle service operates approximately every 30 minutes during park opening hours.
Trivia: Lady Gaga stayed here!
The Waldorf Astoria Orlando's grand entrance includes a stunning Art Deco lobby with chandeliers, a vaulted dome ceiling and marble floors inlaid with pearly mosaic tiles. At the centre of it all: a circular banquette and lobby clock, just like the landmark clock at the original New York hotel. Large windows framed by luxurious drapes overlook the chic swimming pool setup below. We loved the shattered painted glass artwork behind the reception counter, awash in a myriad of rainbow colours and a real standout feature of the lobby.
The formal 'signature pool' evokes South Beach style and is nestled among lush tropical gardens. A neat line of private cabanas (with fridges and poolside service) provides a touch of chic, while active guests can set off on the jogging path, rent a bike or use the 370m² fitness centre with its state of the art equipment and personal flat screens. For the children, there is the special WA Kid's children's program, while frazzled mums and dads can retreat to the divine Guerlain spa, with a whopping 23 treatment rooms all made for pampering, or the 18-hole golf course.
The 498 guest rooms (including 171 suites) all feature cable flat screen televisions, blu-ray disc players, wired/wireless internet access, video checkout and a free daily newspaper. While the décor is undoubtedly classic, it is by no means dowdy: decked out in a play-it-safe shade of cream, all rooms boast elegant marble bathrooms stocked with Salvatore Ferragamo toiletries, plush carpets and big comfy beds. Even the standard category 'deluxe' studios are spacious (around 41m²), but for extra comfort, we recommend the 'deluxe suites' with separate lounge, kitchenette and dining area.
Just like the iconic dining at the Waldorf=Astoria New York, the Orlando branch of this famous hotel has its fair share of top-notch bars and restaurants. Peacock Alley is a classy affair with its carved wooden bar, comfy couches and grand piano; a good spot for aperitifs and cocktails. Sir Harry's is a big city lounge with a sort of private club, even masculine feel, thanks to an abundance of dark leather. While the original Peacock Alley was the place to be back in the day, the New York branch of Sir Harry's is famous for being the birthplace of many classic cocktails we enjoy today.
Casual dining is found at Oscar's, a contemporary all-American brasserie that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. For alfresco dining by the pool, Aquamarine has got salads, flatbread pizzas and the signature Waldorf Astoria hamburger on the menu. The Clubhouse Grille is open for lunch for those teeing up on the golf course.
The highlight of dining at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando is the award-winning Bull & Bear, a classic steakhouse and heaven on earth for carnivores. Like Sir Harry's, this à la carte restaurant also has a very masculine, private members' club ambiance with its cosy, dark interior. It was the first restaurant in Florida to serve Certified Angus Beef brand Prime and Natural cuts. Open daily for dinner, a meal at the Bull & Bear really is a treat!
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Mark out of 10 for geographical location
Holidays Orlando (1 week-end)
flights June : average price