This is a review of the Waldorf Astoria Orlando, and although this was complementary, all of the opinions about the property are 100% honest and my own.
I can’t remember a time when the name Waldorf Astoria didn’t mean the epitome of luxury to me. Even as a child I remember thinking that only the upper crust of society and wealthy stayed at that luxurious resort in New York City. Later as Chef in training, I was also taught to make a Waldorf Salad which had been created by Oscar Tschirky the Waldorf’s maître d’hôtel at the end of the 19th century. Classic dishes are timeless and Oscar Tschirky created countless dishes during his 50 years at the Waldorf.
Living in Orlando has provided me with a lot of opportunities I would never have had living in the Northeast. The atmosphere in Florida is much more attuned to social media, in the state where hospitality is king. So when I was asked to stay at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando not only did my heart skip a beat, I felt as though I had finally arrived as a travel blogger. #BigTime
From the very first moment we walked into the Waldorf Astoria Orlando we felt welcomed and so very special. And don’t think it was simply because I was there to review the property, that’s how they treat everyone, without exception. We were walked to the elevator after check-in and given a brief tour along the way. Our bags made it to our room minutes later as our bell hop made sure our room was perfect and we were happy.
Upon arriving at our room on the 15th Floor we found a welcome gift of a bottle wine and an ah-mazing cheese tray that Chef Fiorella had made up especially for us. Now I really did feel special….sigh.
But what took us over the moon, was the view we had from the top floor suite we had been given. If you look in the distance you’ll see the Tower of Terror at Disney Studios and Epcot. This meant we had views of the fireworks from both theme parks every night. You could even see the fireworks from the Magic Kingdom from another vantage point on property.
After getting situated we headed down to the pool to enjoy and check out or complimentary Cabana. I was surprised to see it reserved and my name on the sign. Again feeling very special thanks to the Waldorf and the attention to detail that they do so well.
It wasn’t difficult to get used to Cabana Life at the Waldorf as we savoured every Magical Waldorf Moment. As I watched other guests interacting with staff, I realized this was the norm. Unparalleled Service and Luxury was an everyday event of Waldorf Life. The hit of the afternoon was the fruit tray and Prosecco & Popsicles we were treated to each day.
The pool was magnificent and I enjoyed that as well as the hot tub throughout our stay.
It was even a little chilly one of the days dipping below 60 so they had the fire pits going to make sure we could warm up after our swim.
And then there was the food…… the OMG masterfully prepared and oh so delicious food. You wouldn’t typically expect poolside food to be this good, but the Aquamarine Restaurant was exceptional. Pictured above is the Florida grouper sandwich with house-made potato chips I enjoyed for lunch.
Since we’re talking about food lets chat a bit about Oscar’s Brasserie where we enjoyed breakfast each morning. If you’ve never been to Oscar’s and live or are visiting the Orlando area, you must…… I repeat you must come here for breakfast. You don’t see buffets of this quality and selection often.
Oscar’s offers an expansive breakfast buffet or an a la carte menu. The menu includes American dishes and re-interpretations of classic dishes such as Eggs Benedict – a hallmark of the original Waldorf Astoria in New York. My wife’s favorite was the French-Man; House Made Brioche, Bourbon Vanilla Custard, Caramelized Banana, Berries, 100% Vermont Maple Syrup and French Butter.
They have everything you could want at Oscars including an ah-mazing Charcuterie, which included smoked Scottish salmon. House-made French Pasties, juices, smoothies, perfectly balanced coffee, espresso, cappuccino and pretty much every breakfast food you could imagine was available each day at Oscar’s. In the picture above, I show the smoked salmon, cheese with honey, freshly carved prosciutto and salami.
Of course, the main event of your stay at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando has to be dinner at The Bull & Bear. Words could not adequately describe the level of service and perfection that came out of the kitchen the night we dined. We also got to sample their Gin and Tonic Tableside Bar featuring St. Augustine Distillery Gins. The Waldorf version of this timeless classic will change how you think about Gin and Tonic forever.
Named Diner’s Choice Top Restaurant by Hilton Worldwide, the Bull & Bear offers a menu featuring re-imagined steakhouse classics and trend-setting fare, including Fried Chicken, Escargot & Gnocchi, Pasta Explosion, Flaming Lobster on the Spit and its signature 32-Day Dry-Aged Tomahawk Rib Eye.
I wish I had pictures to share with you, but we ate after dark and the images I was able to take would not do their food justice. You’ll just have to go and experience for yourself! Remember you don’t have to stay on property to eat at any of their restaurants.
For dessert make sure to try the Lemon. Completely edible with its candied lemon curd and Chantilly cream. Topped with a shortbread cookie and cut tableside, is a perfect after dinner Indulgence. I also highly recommend the “Chocolate Bar”.
It was a very sad moment when we realized we had to check out and go home, but I will always remember my stay at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando. Although I never made it to the New York property, I have the memories of a #WaldorfLife and every #WaldorfMoment I enjoyed. Did it live up to my childhood expectations of luxury and grandeur? No, it surpassed them.
Don’t think that the Waldorf Astoria is out of your price range, it’s more affordable than you think and worth every penny you spend staying there. Check out the Special Offers they have for the Orlando property and you’ll see what I mean. They even have Teacher Appreciation rates that Lisa was very happy to see. She may be bringing her Millersville Girls down for a visit. They also just started a great deal for Florida and Georgia residents.