Last spring a dear friend called me and said, “it’s finally happening, my dreams are all coming true.” “You’ve cured a terrible disease, ended the war in the Middle East? What, what’s happened?” That sort of took the wind out of her sails, but not for long. “THEY BUILT A FOUR SEASONS IN DISNEY! It’s not near Disney, it’s IN Disney!!!.”
Well, I had to admit that did sound like a dream come true. Let’s face it, there are people who love Disney but who are looking for a different level of service combined with the Magic of Disney. My family has stayed at the Ritz in Orlando a few times and it is lovely, but it’s a hike from the resort. So when my husband had a meeting in Orlando I signed right up for a chance to take the kids to Disney and Universal and check out the new resort.
The resort has great service, you receive a letter from your concierge asking in advance if they can help with any dining reservations. Word of warning– no one, not the Four Seasons concierge, nor the Disney VIP team can acquire the coveted Dining with Cinderella reservations–that still needs to be done the ld fashioned way, calling in advance and crossing your fingers.
The lobby is gorgeous–it’s light and filled with grey and silver. The concierge desk, reception and Disney desk are all located right in the lobby– a huge plus if you ask me. I hate wandering hotels looking for the right concierge.
Once you are checked in you will pass an adorable gelato and coffee bar called “Lickety Split,” on the main floor. This is great when you need a mid-day shot of latte or the kids want a light snack. It’s open at 6 am so you can hot the coffee bar before the rest of the family wakes up if you are insane and waking up at 5 every morning on vacation.
Next you will pass two boutiques– one for adults and one for kids. These aren’t typical resort boutiques. The adult boutique stocks designer clothes, shoes, jewelry and design books for women and men. Think Zanotti, Tom Ford, Frand and Eileen, J Brand, and Calypso. So if you forgot your super upscale resort duds you are in luck.
The kids boutique is to die for. It stocks designer duds for minis. Milly for girls, swimsuits galore for boys and girls, Toms sunglasses and flip flops. It also sells Disney Princess dresses for the little princesses in your life. It has a large selection of toothpaste (Marvis of course).
The rooms in the hotel are out of this world. We chose a Park View Suite so we would be able to watch the fireworks from our hotel at night. Funny because we have all passed out promptly five minutes before the fireworks each night we are so wiped from our days at the park. The suite we are in is quite roomy with a fold out sofa in the living room and a king bed in the bedroom. It has two full bathrooms which is a HUGE plus when you are trying to clean up after a day at the parks or the pools.
The little tutu and wand are a nice touch and the living room decor is subtle. None of the chintz that throws me for a spin. But the bathroom is the piece de resistance. Ann Sacks tiles sit atop a tub fit for a royal princess with a television built into the mirror for bathing and viewing.
Now, I realize if you are staying at this hotel you probably have plans to hot the theme parks. And if you do they will get you there in style.
But, the thing is, you may need to extend your trip because the Four Seasons has its own water park and it is AWESOME. The lazy river is beautiful and winds on forever. The water slides are fun, mommy raced the kids, that’s how pristine these are. There is a rock wall next to the pool, a splash grotto, a beach water volleyball next to the lazy river, a deck where there is always balloon making or face painting, a bocce court… I mean you name it they have it. And the pool set up is fantastic: there are lounges, but there are also tepees and huge covered daybeds around the grotto pool.
There is also an adult pool that looks idyllic (I’m here with three kids so we will just have to assume it’s as lovely as it looks).
If you want to stay in shape while you are here the Four Seasons Orlando has a kick ass gym. There are several treadmills, ellipticals and a large assortment of weights (assisted and free weights). There are also spin classes and yoga on the lawn.
And if you want to relax after our work-out there is an amazing spa. The spa has eighteen, yes eighteen, treatment rooms and each one is named after a regional bird. I tried the sticks and stones massage and it definitely did the trick. The spa menu is extensive and one could surely spend days here. There is also an amazing salon where you can have your hair and nails done for an evening out.
Room service food is quite good. We are still getting used to the interactive iPad, which is how you order room service, but it seems to be a good idea. You can place breakfast orders in silence without waking the sleeping kids.
In short I would highly recommend a visit to this hotel. There is definitely so much to do in the hotel itself that you really may want to consider adding a day to your trip just to spend time here. It’s a water park and luxury spa all rolled up in one. The beds are fantastic and service is good. You can dine with the Disney Characters in the hotel’s restaurant Ravello. What more could one ask for?
-four restaurants and a coffee bar
-on site Disney Concierge (buy park tics here)
-shuttle to and from theme parks
-opened in August 2014–NEW NEW NEW