Back in February, our family was SO blessed to be able to escape the frigid, snowy mountains of NC to sunny (however, still pretty cold) Florida!
SO we said goodbye to this:
And said “Hello” to this:
We had such a great time as a family at the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration (Which I have yet to write fully about…), and when the SM Moms fun was over, we made our way over to another one of the Orlando area’s premier resorts: The Gaylord Palms Resort .
What an amazing place the Gaylord Palms was! We got there in the evening, and we were so tired from our day at Disney. But right when we walked in, we marveled at the vast space inside the resort!
We were amazed at the 4.5-acre glass-enclosed atrium with several themed environments that depict destinations like Key West, St. Augustine, and the Everglades. Of course, we didn’t see all of it until the next day, as we explored in the daylight. That night, the kids immediately started jumping on the bed in our suite, and looking in the cabinets for the TVs. They ran out on the balconies, and thought it was funny that we were inside while out on the balcony! We finally got them tucked in and resting up for the next day of fun!
I was really impressed with Gaylord’s signature “iConnect,” set up in all the 1,406 guest rooms. There is a computer in the room, where you can order room service, access information about the hotel or surrounding area, get meeting schedules, and access your email or the web.
The next day, we explored the resort, played in the stone castle, looked at the fish, alligators and turtles, swam in the pool, and strolled the walkways. As I say in this video, “This place could be a family vacation in and of itself!” Here is some footage of our exploration, some of the reactions of the kids are precious!
When we were ready to go back to Disney, the Gaylord had free shuttles to and from the Disney Parks. Just be sure to get there on time, because they leave PROMPTLY! Yes, we missed the bus once, but that just gave us more time to hang out in the atrium.
Now, even though the kids went in the pool in 50 degree whether, I stayed firmly ensconced on the pavement- bundled up. But it would be SO amazing to go back and take advantage of the beautiful pool and patio area, while the kids played in the octopus slide.
Overall, our experience at the Gaylord Palms was amazing! I was slightly worried that the kids might be looked down upon, since it’s such a fabulous resort. But that was not the case! The staff was very nice to our kids in all areas of the hotel. However, they were on their best behavior, and I was thankful! When we pulled in, 6yo Princess said, “Wow, this place is fancy! And fancy places do NOT like crazy kids!” I really think she got this idea from watching Eloise movies!
We wrapped up our stay with the breakfast buffet at Villa De Flora Restaurant inside the resort. I can tell you that anything I have ever even imagined eating for breakfast was offered at this buffet! You can see for yourself in the video above! My girls were in heaven, as they got to pick out their favorite foods. HipChick got a healthy serving of bacon, while Little Pea loved the grits (or “gwits” as she calls them). You can even have an omelet made to order right there.
There are just a few things to be careful about before visiting a Gaylord Resort. The stay itself was awesome, but you just have to be prepared for the extra costs.
The fees associated with the rooms are pretty high. Parking is $12 per day for self-park/ $20 per day for valet. And there is a $15 per day Resort Fee, which includes
- Wireless internet access in guest rooms, atriums, and poolside
- Daily newspaper delivered to your door
- Dasani bottled water ( 2 replenished daily)
- Access to the resort’s state-of-the-art Fitness Center
- High-speed internet access in each guestroom
- Local phone calls up to 20 minutes ($.10/minute thereafter)
- Toll-free and credit card calls up to 20 minutes($.10/minute thereafter)
- Scheduled transportation to Walt Disney World theme parks
I could really care less about the newspaper, water bottles, and fitness room, so it would be nice to have a choice of whether to use these things. And I have never really understood why more expensive hotels charge for internet, while moderately-priced ones offer it for free.
It is very convenient to have shops and stores that carry “necessities” right in the hotel. But you do have to be prepared for the higher price. Just as you would expect to pay more for things at a theme park, just treat this experience the same, and you’ll be prepared. Having been horrified by my chipped nail polish for the past three days, and not finding any polish remover at Disney, I was SO pleased to find it at the Gaylord. I did pay $3.00 for a sample size container. But I’m telling you, my nails were so horrible, it was worth it! (Yeah, yeah, we didn’t have time to make a run to Walmart.)
Here are a few upcoming special events at the Gaylord Palms:
- Mother’s Day Brunch at Villa de Flora - reservation required
Treat mom to a Mother’s Day Brunch at Villa de Flora, located inside Gaylord Palms. Brunch begins at Noon, serving nearly 100 specialty items such as Quiche Lorraine, Broccoli & Cheese Quiche, Made-to-Order Omelets, slow-roasted Leg of Lamb, carved Prime Rib, and Belgian Waffles. Brunch at Villa de Flora is such a feast, it’s served all day long! At 3:00 p.m., the menu includes such additions as Rotisserie Chicken, Duck Breast with Shallots and Port Wine, and Baked eggplant with mozzarella and Asiago cheese.
- Remember Romance – 2 night: $487* per couple/ 1 night: $279* per couple (that’s a great price, in my opinion)
Room accommodations at Gaylord Palms Resort
Romantic welcome amenity of champagne and a special treat, delivered after check-in
$40 daily meal credit applied to your room folio
20% off select spa services at Relache – The Spa at Gaylord Palms
Daily resort fee including daily in-room bottled water, access to the Fitness Center at Relache Spa and more
After attending the Blissdom Conference at the Gaylord Opryland in Nashville, I knew the Palms would be just as wonderful. But it might just be my favorite Gaylord hotel yet! Of course, I haven’t visited the Gaylord Texan in Dallas, or the Gaylord National just outside of DC!
Have you stayed at the Gaylord Palms, or any other Gaylord hotel? What did you think? What do you think your favorite feature would be?