You can’t imagine Orlando without kids but when my husband went on business mid-February there was no way I was not coming along to escape the cold – even if it was the home of ‘a small world after all’. So I started researching and found the Waldorf Astoria Orlando
– yes the same owners as the Waldorf New York set up a property in Orlando. It is fantastic. The rooms are a top notch beyond anything else you will find in Florida, the service was so outstanding you could be New York city (Miguel at the front desk treated me like a rock star so you gotta love it!) It has a great pool and poolside service (find Jason and you won’t regret it except for the number of drinks you consume as he is always at your side, for me it was bottomless Mimosas).
It also has an outstanding dinner option at the ‘Bull and Bear’ based on the New York restaurant. Psst – reserve a table by the back window and take in the 9pm fireworks at Epcot adding a nice romantic touch to your candlelit dinner. We requested a high floor room which was nice, the rooms don’t disappoint and look just like the picture which does not even show the gorgeous bathroom with tub and shower. If you want to pay extra you can face Epcot for the fireworks, if not, ask for a golf view which is off to the side and still has a nice view with morning sun filtering in. Room rates are about $250).
So this hotel may not be as serene during March Break, but mid-Feb it was great. Warm enough for the pool and the perfect temp for golfing as they have a tier one golf course steps outside the front door. Rent a car so you can hit the amazing Orlando Prime Outlet Mall Vinland Ave, which is only 10 minutes away. They have a ton of top end stores including Prada, Armani, Burburry, JCrew and the largest Tommy Hilfiger and Nike outlets you have ever seen – even my husband enjoyed it as we each set our own plan of attack on the mall map. Psst – Go in the morning 15 minutes before it opens at 10am to get parking and enjoy a Starbucks then shop all morning as when we left at noon it was a madhouse!
Since we never get to enjoy the big rides with a 4 and 7 year old we hit Universal Studios one afternoon and what a blast! It made me realize how old I was as I could not handle more than 2 roller coasters which my husband enjoyed teasing me about as he took second trips around that I couldn’t stomach. Psst – if it is busy go in the single lines, especially on longer lineups like The Mummy – you can walk right on and really once you are on it and screaming like a fool maybe you want to be sitting next to a stranger. Universal also has a great City Walk area for shopping and dinner so you can make an afternoon and night of it and find something to bring home to the kids.
So as you can see there is lots to do in Orlando so think about that the next time you go to Florida, let your ‘snow bird’ parents take care of the kids for a couple of days and check out for some much needed ‘adult only’ time.