I had this idea in my head that when I visited Disney World in Orlando, I would be staying at the glorious Grand Floridian Resort & Spa… That idea was kicked to the kerb when Sanjay & I saw the price we’d have to pay, especially for six nights! We just couldn’t justify this astronomical cost, so we started researching other accommodation in the area and that’s how we discovered the Waldorf Astoria – Such magnificent opulence for less than half of the Floridian’s price tag, we were sold!
The Waldorf is part of the Hilton Group and is located within the gates of Disney World on the Bonnet Creek Nature Reserve, it’s the closest ‘non Disney’ hotel to Epcot and offers complimentary transport to all the parks as well as Downtown Disney. We arrived at the resort around 9.30pm, off a 14 hour flight, tired and hungry but the grandeur of Waldorf hit us as soon as we walked in with its high ceilings, plush carpets and marble floors, we soon forgot our troubles.
The check in process was smooth and hassle free and we were up in our room in no time at all. The room itself was huge and had a balcony overlooking the pools and golf course and had a view of the nightly fireworks, perfect! There was a lounge/dining area and a bar, all separate to the bedroom. The bathroom had a bath as well as a separate shower and a beautiful marble vanity. The beds are heavenly and of course bathrobes and slippers are provided.
My flamingo Richard and I admiring the view! (Richard was one of my birthday presents 🙂 )
The Waldorf is located next door to its sister property the Hilton Bonnet Creek and guests staying at either have access to the amenities in both properties. The Hilton and the Waldorf are interconnected via the conference centre space.
The Waldorf’s signature restaurant Bull & Bear wasn’t a great option for us (I was a vegetarian at the time) so we dined at the Hilton’s signature restaurant, a brilliant Italian place called La Luce instead. The food is absolutely delicious and the staff absolutely amazing! 😀
Peacock Alley is located in the lobby of the Waldorf and is a great place to get a coffee and a sweet treat in the morning before heading to the theme parks, it transforms into a small plates restaurant for lunch and dinner.
There are two pools open from 0700 – 2200, they’re quite an impressive sight really, lined with grand palm trees and loungers, they also have cabanas available for hire, a great idea if you plan on staying at the hotel during the day. You can also make use of the Hilton’s pool and lazy river, which we loved!
The lazy river over at the Hilton is just a quick walk away!
So I didn’t end up at the grand Floridian but in my opinion I ended up at a far better property which exudes ultimate luxury at a far more affordable price and compared to the Disney hotel, it’s half the size making it a much more intimate setting. You can probably see where I’m going with this….Stay here if you get the chance!! They even give you chocolate on your birthday, need I say more!
Happy Travels, Priti X