Last August, D and I were just beginning to get settled into our new lives in the Sunshine State. We'd been in Florida for almost 2 months and were finally living in the home we'd bought prior to leaving Germany. Unfortunately, those blissful two months of new home ownership were clouded by the fact that we were still missing all of our belongings. Not a pot or pan to our name. As the military goes, they're not the promptest with shipping household goods across the ocean, so we were sleeping on rental mattresses (weird, I know) and doing a lot of microwave cooking. After our mattress rentals were up, we still had 1 month of air mattress sleeping before we were slated to be reunited with our own comfy bed. We were ok with that for a couple weeks...but one Tuesday morning we woke up both aching and sore from the uncomfortable sleep conditions. At that point, I'd had it. A few tears were shed (all mine, of course) and D suggested we do what we do best when faced with less than desirable life situations...go on vacation!
It was a stay-cation, to be honest. Orlando (and a few uninterrupted days at Disney) was the only place that seemed to shed any light on our discouraged, mattress-less attitudes. We'd just got our Disney annual passes and hadn't really gotten to use them to their full potential, so I powered up the laptop and searched for a nice place to recoup our exhausted bodies. Last minute Disney Resort hotels were slightly over the budget we wanted to pay just to sleep well, so I looked into our Marriott points account and realized we'd racked up quite a slurry of them during our time overseas. A few clicks later, we booked a weekend stay at a resort I'd only ever heard amazing things about...the Gaylord Palms Orlando.
Upon arriving, we knew we were in for a treat...this place was massive! The resort doubles as a conference center, but even so, the property still wow'd us with acreage (63 of them--you can see it from the interstate) and its beautiful tropical landscaping. After our super smooth check-in process (and being upgraded to an atrium view room, eek!) we decided to check out our room and take a wander around the resort. I think the most notable architectural feature of the Gaylord Palms is the hotel's massive 4.5 acre glass-enclosed atrium. Inside the atrium, guests can discover a variety of themed environments based on popular Florida destinations like Key West, the Everglades, and St. Augustine. It's really a sight to behold! So much lush greenery, it feels like you're entering into a secret oasis the moment you walk through the door.
Our over-sized Emerald Bay Atrium View guest room mirrored the ambiance of a private residence with French door terraces (our room had two!), luxurious decor, and plush linens. Each of our terraces overlooked the expansive atrium which filled with ethereal light from the sun each morning. The room decor, well, it was right within my style profile. Clean, modern, and with an air of fun sophistication--not something all resort accommodations can boast! I was slightly obsessed with the carpet...it was insanely comfortable for hotel flooring. Almost comfy enough to sleep on! We also loved the thoughtful little details (like the granite vanities, the deluxe bathroom toiletries, and video check-out). The Gaylord Palms really showcased its dedication to world-class amenities and service throughout every moment of our stay.
All rooms at the Gaylord Palms Resort Orlando include:
- Wireless high speed internet access
- Mini-refrigerators with daily replenishment of 2 bottles of water
- Safes with laptop charging ability
- Ceiling fans and in-room coffee maker
- Complimentary transportation to and from Walt Disney World parks and Disney Springs each day
I couldn't think of a more peaceful way to start the day than enjoying my coffee (fresh from the on-site coffee shop downstairs) on our private balcony each morning. You could hear the trickle of the natural area waterfalls in the distance, adding serenity to an already luxurious Florida escape. Every day we spent at the Gaylord Palms had me wishing we had just one more to savor. Plus, the property had so many unique areas to explore, you need more than a short weekend to experience everything this resort has to offer.
One of my most favorite resort features was the adults-only South Beach pool. D and I spent a half-day ordering poolside cocktails and reveling in the Miami-inspired pool deck lined with palm trees. We felt just like we'd been transported to the white sands of South Beach! And if you've got kiddos in tow, I'm positive they'll find Cyprus Springs Family Water Park as a splash-worthy way to end a long day of Disney adventuring.
With just a 5-minute drive to Walt Disney World and showcasing a plethora of resort amenities like restaurants, lounges, unique shops, a full-service spa, on-site child-care center and entertainment venues, it's easy to see why the Gaylord Palms Resort Orlando is a prime destination for Disney and Orlando lovers alike. Two BIG thumbs up from Team Cote! We can't wait for our next stay!
Want to experience the luxury of Gaylord Palms Orlando for yourself? Email me at Casey@destinationstoexplore.com and we can get you booked today!