Our Stay at the Waldorf Astoria in Orlando, Florida
I think of New York City, the world’s first skyscraper hotel, a place where the rich and famous stay, and the inventors of the legendary Waldorf Salad, Eggs Benedict, Red Velvet Cake, Veal Oscar, Lobster Newburg, and Thousand Island Dressing.
But alas, on October 1, 2009 a new Waldorf=Astoria was born. In fact, this is the first “built from the ground up” hotel to ever possess the Waldorf=Astoria name outside of the original New York City landmark hotel.
Fascinatingly, being born in the land of Disney, this new hotel was re-imagined and designed to pay tribute to the NYC original’s acclaimed restaurants and bars.
Indeed, the hotel infuses the timeless Jazz Age-elegance of The Waldorf=Astoria in New York City, with the vibrant and modern ambiance of tropical Florida. An impeccable level of guest service is a nod to the original Waldorf, the hotel that set the standard for urbane sophistication. Waldorf Astoria Orlando features 498 deluxe guest rooms (and 170 exquisite suites) with sweeping vistas of Disney’s vacation kingdom and the Bonnet Creek nature preserve.
Re-imagined versions of famed New York food and beverage establishments are part of the guest experience, including Waldorf=Astoria legends Peacock Alley®, Oscars®, Sir Harry’s®, and Bull & Bear Prime Steakhouse®. Much like their Big Apple counterparts, the hotel’s restaurants have already become among the city’s most popular “go-to” restaurants to celebrate special occasions.
We arrived at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando after a very long day of travel from Scottsdale. We used some free tickets that we had available with our Delta miles program and wound up with nearly three hours of lay-over in Atlanta.
When we arrived at our room, we were very happy to see that our turn-down service had already been administered, chocolates and slippers were in their places, and our warm, comfy bed awaited us.
After a delightful night’s sleep, Carol had an early morning massage in the Waldorf Astoria Spa by Guerlain while I got a little work done on our website. A little over an hour later I was greeted by a wife who had the most relaxing countenance after her one-hour Guerlain Impériale massage. She was very, very impressed with this spa.
At 12:00 we had a lunch meeting with Director of Public Relations Keith Salwoski and Marketing Coordinator Catherine Segar in the re-imagined Peacock Alley®. It was there that we learned of the history of Waldorf=Astoria and how proud the whole company was of this very new luxury hotel.
Peacock Alley® features a menu of small-plate inspired cuisine. Here is our sample of Lobster “BLT” Popovers (Smoked Bacon, Haas Avocado, Micro Arugula, Tarragon Aioli). Major YUM!
We were planning to head into Disney’s Epcot Center while we were staying at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando, but a near tropical storm dumping nearly 12 inches of rain in nearby cities made us reconsider.
After a relaxing afternoon, we made our way down from the 14th floor to dine at the resort’s replica of the famous NYC Bull & Bear Steakhouse®.
We started off with a wonderful bottle of Pinot Noir and some wonderful bread.
Next up was Deviled Eggs (Shaved Black Truffle). Wow!
And then a Classic Caesar Salad prepared table-side.
And check out these Heirloom Tomatoes. Unbelievably fresh, sweet, and totally delish!
The Waldorf=Astoria was the first restaurant on the Eastern Seaboard to serve USDA-Certified Angus Beef®, the highest quality grade available in the United States.
As if to pronounce that we were about to experience culinary greatness, out came these wooden chargers for our steaks.
And then, drum-roll please, out came the Certified Angus Beef Prime Filet! Holy melt in your mouth Batman!
And of course, you can’t have a beautiful piece of filet without Mac and Cheese with Pancetta. Right?
Wow! That was good Mac and Cheese!
We then ended the night with a marvelous Chocolate Souffle. Piping hot and unbelievably good!
After spending a few nights at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando, this resort lands squarely in our list of wonderful places to stay. There is no comparable property so near to Disney World. But even if this property were in the middle of Timbuktu it would be worth your journey.