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I recently had the great opportunity to attend a very large blogging conference, BlogHer 17, in Orlando, Florida. There were so many reasons I was thrilled to attend, but if you know me, you know one of my top reasons to attend was because it would be taking place at Walt Disney World! Even though it wasn’t going to be happening in the parks, it was bound to be full of magic!
You may know that Walt Disney World has more than 25 of its own unique resort hotels, but did you know there are additional places of accommodation, not owned by Disney, located on Walt Disney World property? One such place, Bonnet Creek, is home to several different resorts and hotels as well as golf courses, giant pools and aquatic areas, a conference center and a driving range.
Wyndham Bonnet Creek, Wyndham Grand Bonnet Creek Resort, Hilton Bonnet Creek and the Waldorf Astoria Orlando make up the sprawling and beautiful grounds situated right in the middle of Walt Disney World Resort, making it easy to get to all the theme parks, other resorts and Disney Springs as well as being conveniently located to major roads taking you to other destinations in Orlando and back again.
Waldorf Astoria Orlando
The conference was being held in the Hilton Conference Center, located between the Hilton and the Waldorf Astoria hotels. Because of the location for the conference, and knowing that I would need to go back to my room upon occasion to rest, change or carry back items received, I chose staying at ‘The Waldorf’ due to its close proximity. The lay-out of the Hilton, conference center and the Waldorf are perfectly arranged so that you can walk from one hotel to the other, with the conference center located between the two, without ever going outside. In the summer of Orlando, that is a big plus!
Due to my husband’s extended travel for business, he has maintained a Hilton Diamond Club membership for a while now. Membership really does have its privileges, and with a bank of points available, I booked a standard room on points he had accrued.
Using points is a great way to cut down on travel costs, especially at Walt Disney World where things add up quickly.
Arriving at the Waldorf Orlando on the morning the conference began, I arrived before normal check-in time but that wasn’t a problem. I was greeted by valet, who unloaded my car and directed me to the front desk where hospitality awaited me in spades. Because of our Diamond status, we were greeted with drink and appetizer vouchers, and then, even better, a room upgrade! After checking in, where I was graciously assured early check-in was NOT a problem, I spent a few moments walking around the lobby level and checking it out. Before I knew it, my room was ready and I was being shown to my room by concierge!
Standard room to King (or in this case, Queen!) Suite
Upon opening the door, I was floored. You can tell that in my video at the very end of this article. It was a beautiful suite, with kitchenette, living area, balcony, bedroom with king-sized bed and gorgeous bathroom. The room was on the 10th floor, overlooking the golf course and driving range, with a view of Orlando in the distance. Depending on where in the building your room is located, you can be looking at golf courses, pools, fountains and lovely grounds. In the distance, you can see Orlando or other parts of Disney property. Disney property views mean fireworks from your balcony! Next time I stay in a Bonnet Creek resort, I am going for that view. The peaceful views of the golf course fairways, lakes and even the driving range made for a pleasant, and peaceful, stay.
The location made for a perfect spot for this trip. I had ease in getting to the parks. and with my Disney Annual Pass, parking was a breeze, and free! Because my husband was working in Florida the week of this conference, he joined me for this working vacation, and on my first night after coming back to my room, I was happy to see he had arrived. He had his feet propped up, the television on and his laptop in his lap. We ordered room service and enjoyed our room’s living area before crashing in the world’s softest bed in the next room.
As the days of the conference progressed, I was even more pleased I had chosen the Waldorf as my hotel home for the trip. Not only was it convenient, but with champagne toasts in the lobby in the evening, ice cream sundaes for ‘happy hour’ and attentive service all round, it couldn’t have been any better.
During my time conferencing, my husband spent time in the vast pool area. He even walked the beautiful grounds (I never had time for that) and spent time mingling with other husbands also here with their blogger wives. At night, when I was done conferencing for the day, we enjoyed dinner at Sanaa in Kidani Village at Walt Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge and another night we went to EPCOT. It was his first trip to a theme park since the late 70s! Stay tuned for a whole report on that.
All in all, Waldorf Astoria Orlando exceeded my expectations of what to expect for this trip. With tasteful luxury, beautiful accommodations, fantastic service and a location perfectly situated, I cannot wait to stay here again. The Waldorf is perfect for a Disney trip, business conference stay, or an extended Orlando vacation.
Next time you are looking for simple luxury while in Orlando, give the Waldorf a try. You may come away a whole new you. Tell them I sent you!
Thanks for reading!