For our most recent visit to Orlando, we had the pleasure of staying at the Waldorf Astoria. It’s located minutes away from the Disney parks and offers a variety of Disney perks. More about that shortly. Let me start off by saying that this hotel was our favorite one in proximity to Disney. If you’ve been following along, you know we haven’t been too impressed with the Disney properties. They’re expensive, and the value simply isn’t there in our opinion. For more about hotels, click here, here, and here.
So what made this stay better? First off, the hotel is more secluded since it’s located at the far end of the Bonnet Creek Resort area. The Bonnet Creek Resort area is five minutes from Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Disney Springs. Second, the amenities are more consistent with a five star resort. Amenities include a luxurious spa, access to amazing pools (includes access to the lazy river at the Hilton), fabulous restaurants (a continental breakfast for Hilton Honor Gold & Diamond members), golfing, and more. The continental breakfast at Oscar’s Brasserie is the best I’ve ever had, and we had the opportunity to upgrade our breakfast to include the entire buffet. The food was delicious. The pools were great, including the lazy river at the Hilton. It’s a short walk to that property. We did not have an opportunity to visit the spa this trip.
Since I mentioned Oscar’s above, I also want to take a moment to mention Peacock Alley. It’s the lounge located directly across from check-in. We received two drink vouchers at check-in. We decided to grab a late lunch before Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween party (review coming soon). We shared the filet mignon sliders and polenta fries. I order the strawberry mint spritzer, and it might just be one of my new favorite drinks. The meal was bit pricier than we’d typically spend on lunch, but it was really good. I would go back for drinks for sure. We would also like to try their afternoon tea, available on Sundays.
As far as the room goes, it was very spacious. I mean it honestly was way too big for just Ryan and I. We were upgraded to the Deluxe Suite with Balcony. We actually didn’t spend any money on the room this trip, because we used points. That room is typically starts at $300 per night.
Some of the highlights of the room included:
- Large bathroom
- Bar with a Subzero mini fridge and Nespresso machine (which we didn’t use)
- Dining table
- Water heats up immediately…no wait
- Lots of closet space
- Two thermostats (we kept it super cool, which was amazing)
- Spacious balcony
- Comfortable bed and bedding
- The room was super quiet
The only critique I have is regarding the shower/tub. It was your standard shower/tub (like you’d have at home or see at a Hampton), and it didn’t make sense for this level of room. I would have liked to have seen a separate shower and tub or just a large shower. That’s just more of an observation/preference though.
Just a few other items I want to mention. The grounds were well maintained, and we enjoyed the walking paths. The elevators were very fast compared to other resorts. Staff were very welcoming and attentive. Much better service here than at the Contemporary and Grand Floridian. As I sorta mentioned above, you get many of the perks offered at Disney properties. You’ll receive a magic band, be able to reserve fast passes sixty days out, and access to extra magic hours. A total win if you ask us. The only real negative for us was the valet parking. Unfortunately, you have to pay for parking (typical of most places now). That wasn’t the issue. Our issue was that it took forever to actually get our vehicle each time. I’m not sure they had enough staff to handle the number of vehicles.
Overall, we were much happier staying here. We will most certainly return in the future. We will be staying at the Dolphin in November, and I’ll be sure to share that experience with you all.