Near Orlando Theme Parks Gaylord Palms Resort Has Something For Anyone Anytime Of The Year
Updated: Sep 1
The Gaylord Hotels are known for their creature comforts, great service, and luxurious rooms. Their four-star resort, the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center, is located a mere four minutes from Disney World and about 20 minutes from both Universal Studios and downtown Orlando.
I am happy to report that, for the most part, Gaylord Palms is keeping up the high standards the Gaylord brand aspires to represent.
On the cleanliness front, I've noticed all hotels during and immediately after COVID were a little more unkempt than before the pandemic. Since 2020, Donna and I have stayed in many four and five-star hotels. The common areas, not the rooms, is where the upkeep wasn't as great as pre-COVID, especially from the standpoint of vacuuming.
I reasoned it was a lack of staff as the lockdowns forced people to rethink how they work. Make no mistake, these hotels were still more beautiful than most, but not as clean looking as they were before COVID.
Thankfully, that has all changed. This year has seen better all-around cleanliness. The Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center staff has done a great job on this front.
Clean or not, the Gaylord Palms hallway carpeting can use an upgrade. The design is a little dated.
Asking once if you want your room cleaned is fine, of course. Asking three times is overkill. I selected no to having the room cleaned when I checked in via email, again at the front desk and then, a card was left by the cleaning person that stated they were sorry they missed us. Contact the hotel if you want your room cleaned. Yeah, three times, that's a bit much.
No matter where you eat at Gaylord Palms, and we have tried every restaurant, the food and service are always top-notch.
For lunch, Donna and I hit Wreckers Sports Bar. Everywhere you look there are big screens to view the hottest sporting events while enjoying the food.
On three occasions one of us has dined on the Wreckers' Super Food Salad (GF) with either grilled chicken or Key West Shrimp. I've paired mine with a Sartori Family Pinot Grigio. It is a delight. Wreckers has a lively, fun atmosphere.
Breakfast is always Villa de Flora for us. Villa is a Mediterranean-styled restaurant that specializes in buffets of high quality and wide variety, complimented by impeccable service with a smile.
Just a sample to whet your appetite: terrific omelettes were matched by the equally great biscuits and gravy and oatmeal. They offer a wide selection of charcuterie, salmon, grits, and breads.
What might be most impressive about Villa is the attentive nature of their wait staff. One morning, our waiter went out of his way to make sure Donna had the tea she had asked for. He left Villa de Flora, went to the Starbucks, about a five-minute walk, got the tea and brought it back to our table. Outstanding.
Emerald Bay Café & Market is very good. It combines healthy foods, quick bites, adult beverages, coffee, tea and other drinks in a Pret A Manger style. There is table sitting.
Lately, we've headed straight to Moor Restaurant for dinner. There is a boat docked near Moor inside the atrium. There are fish in the lagoon. As is the case at all the other restaurants at Gaylord, the food and service are outstanding.
An atrium room view is the move to make for your stay at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center. The king-sized bed is comfortable. The marble bathrooms are impressive. Water park access comes with the room. It checks in at 410 square feet but feels bigger. Having the terrace is a nice perk. If you get the right room, you can watch the light show from the terrace!
With beautiful rooms, great food, excellent drinks, and an expansive atrium, one would think Gaylord Palms has done enough.
But there is more.
Gaylord Hotels typically have holiday-themed alcoholic beverages. For instance, we went to the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee, during Halloween. There, I found a specialty bar serving Halloween-themed drinks. I had a drink that had a marshmallow in it that looked like an eyeball. It was weird but tasty.
Back in Orlando, at Gaylord Palms during the holidays, there are stands serving drinks with Christmas themes. I tried the Green Nog as it had so much that I like in one drink: Baileys Irish Cream, BACARDÍ Rum, Crème de Cacao, and Monin Mint Syrup. It wasn't what I was hoping it would be; I wouldn't order it again.
On another visit, I indulged in the Gingerbread Mule, a combination of SVEDKA Vodka, Monin Gingerbread Syrup, Lime Juice, and Fever-Tree Ginger Beer. It did not disappoint.
A gentleman in our party tried the Kringle Old Fashioned and responded, "I loved it." The Kringle Old Fashioned consists of Wild Turkey Bourbon, Fireball Cinnamon Whisky, and Simple Syrup.
Every holiday season, Cirque du Soleil holds residency with a mesmerizing show. Long-time visitors like to reminisce about the days when the show was free. It is worth every penny of the admission price.
The acrobatic moves made by the performers are unbelievable and, at times, scary, as you are not quite sure what will happen next! The upper body and core strength that the performers have is impressive. The show is fantastic.
As is ICE!
ICE! features more than two million pounds of sculptured ice depicting Christmas themes. Last year was How the Grinch Stole Christmas. This year, it is A Charlie Brown Christmas.
The 20,000 square feet of sculptures are toured at your own pace. Most folk walk through in about 30 minutes. There are also ice arches, slides, tunnels and a nativity scene. All fascinating. Beware, it is nine degrees Fahrenheit (-12.78 Celsius) in the room. But you are given a parka.
Gaylord Hotels is part of the Marriot Bonvoy collection of fine hotels and resorts. There are six Gaylord's within the United States. Whether for a day trip or an overnight stay, I recommend checking in, not just for the holidays, rather for any time of the year. You will not be disappointed.
The sights at Gaylord Palms
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See ya soon!
Photo credit Gaylord Palms , My Central Florida Family and me