Waldorf Astoria Orlando Hotel Review

Considering hotel options in Orlando? Check our review of the Waldorf Astoria Orlando located in the Disney Resort.

Located near Walt Disney World, the Waldorf Astoria Orlando is a luxury experience that will redefine what you may expect from a hotel in tropical Orlando.

Waldorf Astoria Orlando features 498 deluxe guest rooms (and 171 exquisite suites) with sweeping views of the area and the 482-acre Bonnet Creek nature preserve. It features many of the traditions of the legendary New York City original.

Experience Waldorf Astoria Orlando:

  • Waldorf Astoria Orlando 2014 Cupcake Competition Waldorf Astoria Orlando 2014 Cupcake Competition © 2014 Rob Hard

You’ll find 12 restaurant and lounge experiences. There’s a formal pool that’s lined with private cabanas and two fire pits, as well as an award-winning Rees Jones-designed golf course.

And it’s adjoined to the 1,001-room Hilton Orlando Bonnett Creek (4.5 star). The two hotels are joined by An impressive 42,000 square foot convention facility adjoins the two hotels — it’s private, flexible and elegant for meetings and special events.

Waldorf Astoria Orlando Guest Rooms

Waldorf Astoria Orlando offers a total of 498 guest rooms including 171 suites with separate living rooms and spacious bathrooms, and two Presidential Suites. They reflect sophisticated and warm colors and tones, with marble bathrooms.

I stayed in a king deluxe suite with balcony — a one-bedroom suite (945 square feet). It includes a living room with a lounge chair, sofa (sleeper), a flat screen TV, a dining area for four, a kitchenette and wine refrigerator, and a walk-out balcony (tip: request a golf course view). The separate bedroom includes premium linens, a work desk, a flat screen TV and access to the bathroom, which includes Italian marble bath with glass shower, separate soaking tub and luxurious bath amenities (Salvatore Ferragamo during my stay).

Housekeeping maintains rooms twice each day, and all rooms feature marble bathrooms, plus bathrobes and slippers, 42” high-definition LCD televisions, blu-ray player with DVD/CD/MP3 capabilities, dual-line telephones, in-room safe suitable for a laptop, complimentary in-room premium cable, video check-out and Internet access. You’ll enjoy the plush cotton bathroom and slippers.

Waldorf Astoria Orlando Dining

If you’ve been to the Waldorf Astoria New York, you will appreciate Waldorf Astoria Orlando’s re-imagined versions of its famous dining establishments:

  • Peacock Alley is where everyone can relax and wait to gather just off the lobby anytime of the day. It offers an inventive small plate menu and creative cocktails — including the Peacock Egg, a signature drink that has a carefully sculpted frozen egg sitting on top of the glass and made of lavender syrup, Blue Curacao, lemonade and Bombay Sapphire. The lounge has nightly entertainment, and there’s also an amazing chocolate bar organized on select Friday and Saturday evenings.
  • Bull & Bear is sophisticated, renowned for tableside preparation and the highest levels of personalized service. Signature dishes include 32-Day Dry-Aged Tomahawk Rib Eye and Flaming Lobster on the Spit.
  • Oscar’s is a stylish and contemporary American brasserie offering casual dining that offers one of the most extensive breakfast buffets that you’ll find on the road. It includes dishes that Waldorf Astoria New York made famous, such as Eggs Benedict.
  • Sir Harry’s Lounge is the quintessential “big city” lounge, providing a subdued yet inviting atmosphere for conversation. It features a modernized, pre-prohibition beverage menu and exclusive, ultra-premium label selections. Open seasonally. (Meeting Planners: This is a great room for a private event).

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. Other dining options include: Aquamarine offers casual poolside dining, featuring fresh salads, flatbread pizzas, and fish tacos.

The Clubhouse Grille, located at the Waldorf Astoria Golf Club, serves as the 19th hole for guests. Waldorf Astoria Orlando guests also have convenient access to Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek’s array of dining options with include La Luce, ZetaTM Bar & Sushi Lounge, Harvest Bistro, MUSE, Beech, and MYTH Ba.

Waldorf Astoria Orlando Meeting Space

Waldorf Astoria Orlando can handle everything from small executive meetings to large conventions (and weddings) and uses cutting-edge technology. It offers up to 42,000 square feet of multifunctional space, including an 8,100 sq. ft. Grand Ballroom with magnificent chandeliers and soft decor (divisible into two sections). It has 15 meeting rooms and two executive board rooms. And the 4,049 sq. ft. of pre-function space serves as an impressive and open area for your attendees and guests to gather. It offers sweeping views of the pool and golf course.

In addition to the pool, key highlights of Waldorf Astoria Orlando’s scenic outdoor options include:

  • Signature Island — this is a private outdoor island venue with sweeping views of the resort’s waterways and golf course.
  • Waldorf Promenade — this outdoor terrace with views of the resort’s pool, waterways and golf course. This versatile space is a picture perfect ceremony venue, and is equally prized as a venue for cocktail parties or outdoor receptions under the stars.
  • Central Park (8,712 sq.ft.) & Central Park Gardens (5,544 sq.ft.) — these venues offer you a private oasis. They include lush gardens with a covered pergola perfect for your ceremony and cocktail hour, and a tented ballroom for your reception is adjacent. (Note: This is a very flexible space that can allow you a tremendous amount of creative thinking.)

Catering services incorporates responsible sourcing and promotes healthy eating options for meetings and special events. Executive Chef Bernard Fiemeyer has even taken proactive steps to create menus that avoid common items that cause dietary concerns for some guests, including gluten-free products (e.g., using quinoa flour for pasta rather than wheat).

“We don’t want to be a diet hotel, but we do want to be health conscious,” Fiemeyer explains. “So, we can offer pastry for breakfast, but we are conscious of what we buy.”

Fiemeyer chooses ingredients that are as natural as possible. And he recommends keeping portion sizes appropriate. For breaks, he suggests fruits, vegetables and nuts. And he embraces a Mediterranean cuisine, and recommends limiting meat with catering to once a week. He also keeps his menus current with the freshest seasonal items possible, and planners really embrace the suggestions.

The Business Center provides secured wired and wireless internet access. Teleconferencing equipment is available for global real-time communication. An information technology Concierge is available 24 hours a day to support business and meeting needs.

Waldorf Astoria Orlando Spa & Fitness 

The 24,000-sq.ft. Waldorf Astoria Spa blends health and wellness, offering classic treatments. With an emphasis on customization, treatments are personalized to your skin and the spa also sources local ingredients for its therapies, including its signature ingredient, honey. (See, Waldorf Astoria Orlando Spa Review for more details and my recommendations.)

While there are 22 treatment rooms, spa director Valerie Maloff suggests that event planners consider the space for unique incentive activities.

For example, depending on the group and its needs, perhaps it’s worth hosting a spa reception. Planners can include chair massages and offer manicures and pedicures. And organizers can incorporate spa cuisine options.

The 4,000 square foot fitness center can be accessed directly or through the spa. It offers views of the grounds and pool, and has a sufficient amount of equipment to keep you on schedule with your routine while you’re on the road. I used it, followed by a little bit of time in the spa’s wet areas (separate for men and women).

Waldorf Astoria Orlando Golf Club

Nobody minds having to travel a short distance to get to a great club, but when you just have to step outside, it’s even better. The 7,108-yard Rees Jones-designed championship golf course is the first Waldorf Astoria Golf Club, received a Silver Medal in Golf magazine’s Premier Resort Awards, and made Golf magazine’s prestigious list of Florida “Courses You Can Play.”

The course winds through a large wetland preserve and measures 7,108 yards with a Par 72, Slope 139, and 74.6 rating from its Professional Tees. Holes are visually arresting from tee to green and require intelligent management of the game. Bunkers are carved to be reminiscent of the hazards designed on courses a century ago. Majestic stands of pine and cypress trees line the fairways.

Central Florida’s premiere golf course staff schedules PGA certified instruction, coordinates tee times and manages corporate outings and tournament events.

The Verdict?

It may be a luxury property, but Waldorf Astoria Orlando — along with its sister property the Hilton Orlando Bonnett Creek and its convention and special event facilities — is really designed with business travelers in mind. Your meeting or incentive event will flow easily and your attendees will have a memorable experience.

For those who wish to bring their families along, it’s even better. The property is large enough to give everyone in the family a range of choices without really running into each other during the business day (or special events at night).

During my stay, the hotel held its annual cupcake lovers weekend. Employees from various departments compete with each other to offer the most creative cupcakes. They also host a range of other special events throughout the year, adding that extra special touch that makes the hotel stand out.

And if you’re interested in going Downtown Disney or the Disney Theme Park, Waldorf Astoria Orlando has its own motor coach that will take you directly to where you wish to go.

Waldorf Astoria Orlando is nestled in a nature preserve that is surrounded by the Walt Disney World Resort. It’s 20 minutes from Orlando International Airport and five miles from private jet preferred Kissimmee Gateway Airport.

Spacious rooms, excellent dining, forward-thinking chefs, modern convention facilities, multiple options for outdoor special events, a top spa with a wellness philosophy, an award-winning golf course, privacy and nearby airport access. What more can you expect for your convention or hotel stay in Orlando?

Are you considering Orlando for meetings or events? See, Orlando for Business Travel, Meetings and Events Review.

Have you stayed at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando? Share your experience with us.

Rob is editor of Business Travel Destinations. He reviews international destinations for meetings and events -- where business travelers go, the hotels where they stay and their lifestyle preferences on the road. Rob was previously the event planning guide for About.com (owned by The New York Times Company) from 2007 - 2011. His articles also appear in business travel publications and travel sites internationally.