A close friend of mine who recently stayed at The Four Seasons Orlando graciously offered to review the property since my family is waiting a few more years to return back until Greenlee is old enough to fully appreciate the magic of Disney.
Within the gates of Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, a new family-friendly luxury hotel is open for business. My family of three visited Walt Disney World for the first time over Columbus Day weekend and chose the Four Seasons Orlando as our home base. We could not have been happier about our decision.
The hotel itself, which opened its doors just a few months ago, is spectacular, as are the grounds, facilities and water features. We stayed in a “park view” standard-sized room and it was lovely and spacious.
The hotel kids’ club mascot is a friendly amphibian, and, waiting for my daughter in the room were two alligators: a small stuffed one and a large chocolate one! She was thrilled. There was also a child sized bathrobe and tiny slippers for her use. A glass of milk waited for her in the fridge (which was so expertly hidden in an upper cabinet it took me all day to find it!).
Other amenities were as you’d expect from a Four Seasons property; a beautifully outfitted closet/dressing area led the way to the stunning bathroom, complete with gorgeous shower, separate soaking tub, and a television in the mirror, perfect for catching up on the news while getting ready in the morning. My husband loved the in-room coffee machine but I would have liked some tea available as well.
We had a small but comfortable balcony overlooking the beautiful grounds and water features, with a view of Epcot. Comfy chairs, a small table and outdoor lamp made for a lovely spot from which to watch the fireworks over the park each night.
The bed was extremely comfortable – which was most appreciated after our days of park-going. My five year old slept on the sofa bed, which was also very comfortable. At check in I requested the sofa bed be made up each day by 5pm, and on our first day it took 2 extra calls to housekeeping to finally have this done! Following that initial misstep, it was not a problem, thankfully.
Transportation between the resort and the Disney parks was easy and pleasant. The Four Seasons’ own luxury coach buses ran efficiently, every 30 minutes to the Magic Kingdom, and once every hour to the other major parks (Animal Kingdom, Epcot and Hollywood Studios). We were given a schedule at check-in and found the service to be timely and reliable, if underused; we were often one of the only families riding! On a morning when we had to be at Epcot before the buses began running for an early breakfast, the concierge arranged a private car for us at a rate of $15, which included tax and tip. I had done my research and knew that this rate was comparable to, if not less expensive than, the going taxi fare.
After visiting the wonderful Disney attractions each day, we looked forward to returning to the hotel to cool off in the gorgeous family pool, soak in the hot tub, ride along the amazing lazy river, and zoom down the three story water slides, which turned out to be my daughter’s favorite experience of her trip!
The pool is zero-entry and perfect for young swimmers, and almost as incredible looking as the adult-only Oasis pool, which I snuck into while my family played ping-pong and bean-bag toss games on the lawn.
The hotel offers a few dining options, including a character breakfast twice a week at their Ravello restaurant. Unfortunately the character breakfast was not offered on the days we were there, but now we have a reason to return. We did find dinner each night at PB&G (which stands for Pool Bar & Grill). They offered casual outdoor seating in a beautifully designed, shaded area overlooking the lake. Service was a bit slow, and the menu somewhat eclectic, but my daughter loved the kid’s menu, crayons and activity placemat. In the lobby, Lickety Split offered coffee, pastries, sandwiches, fruit and gelato. A bit pricey, but convenient when running out to the parks or grabbing a snack on our return.
The Four Seasons Orlando does have some kinks that have yet to be worked out: information on the hours of the various eating establishments was inconsistent, which caused some problems. We had some hot water issues in our bathroom. And, as mentioned, it took a few calls to housekeeping to have our sofa bed made up on time. However, each of these issues was addressed pleasantly and timely by the wonderful staff, and I have a feeling that, with time, the hotel will “earn its mouse ears” and become a favorite spot for those families visiting Disney World who enjoy true luxury, comfort and wonderful service. We cannot wait to return!