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Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World® Resort; Part {3} of 3

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If you have a nose for change, the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World® Resort rolled out it’s new look last Summer unveiling it’s Lakeside Spanish Revival architecture of Florida’s golden age.

Located a mere 6 minutes away from what could be deemed as ‘the happiest place in the world’, the resort is a 5-star luxury hotel which offers exclusive simplicity combining both business and leisure.

As a guest, one would expect to see celebrities, social influencer’s and every-day bon-vivants as guests of this charming and sophisticated hotel. The service, both unparallelled and expected of this longstanding luxury chain is executed with precision, from your arrival  until you’re ready to depart. Guests are addressed by name and escorted to the lobby where the check-in is quick, adding another feather in the cap of their already top-notch service.

Fireworks play a starring role at Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort. Hence, it’s only fitting that upon entry into the stunning Resort, guests are dazzled by the firework-inspired chandelier in the main foyer.  Designed in Czech Republic by Jozef Baca and Veronika Kopecna, the inspiration was a dark sky illuminated by a spectacular firework display – in much the same way, this magnificent chandelier lights up the entire grand entry of Four Seasons Resort Orlando.

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The property features terracotta tiled rooftops, square towers, arched windows and colonnades. Terraces with classical balustrades overlook the golf course and beautiful gardens. If you’re fortunate to have a few days on hand, I would suggest spending an entire morning meandering through the passages leading out into the exterior and discovering what it is about the Four Seasons Orlando that you love the most. Located in the heart of Lake Buena Vista, a guest can expect to be surrounded by private and tranquil gardens with a view of the lake from almost everywhere. A few notable and interesting features can be picked up along the way.

The Four Seasons Orlando has a dedicated program called Kids For All Seasons. It is a complimentary camp for children ages 4 to 12. Located in The Mansion, Kids For All Seasons is available daily from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. Kids can enjoy a couple of hours of fun, or the whole day – parents can drop kids off and sign them into Kids For All Seasons at their leisure.

The building is a large, spacious structure decorated with brightly coloured creatures, such as a happy frog and friendly alligator, and features its own interactive volcano. A large playground – including monkey bars, slides, climbing equipment and more are suited to a varied age group and your child will find something that it of interest to him or her.

The Four Seasons values their younger guests and ensures that they are taken just as much care of as their parents. The pool side has shaded loungers which are comfortable enough to allow your child to nap on. The poolside assistants prepare the sleep area by dressing the bed and providing comfortable cushions and towels. Magazines are limited, so I suggest bringing your own.

Sunscreen is complimentary, so you don’t need to take yours down to the poolside. Outside food is not permitted in this area, as it increases the risk of contamination. So please be mindful about bringing your own food in.

The larger pool is not heated, so it tends to get a bit cold in the cooler months. The heated pool is located further up near the childrens area. I children especially enjoyed the interactive fountain at the Splash Zone, which blasts water into the air at intervals. There are 5 separate water areas which ensure that no matter what your age, there is something for you to enjoy.

I suggest booking a full week at this resort. I thought that splitting our vacation between a Disney resort and the Four Seasons Orlando would have been the better option. After spending one day at the water facilities, we realised that we had made a huge mistake! Plan to spend one entire day at the poolside, preferably after spending 2 days at the Parks.

Don’t be mistaken, the Four Seasons is not a child-only hotel! If you’re holidaying without children, you will be happy to know that they have water facilities which cater specifically for adults! Guests can indulge in the tranquil adults-only pool, featuring a wide array of sophisticated elements designed to heighten your relaxation. Overlooking the sparkling lake, this luxurious and pristine pool is equipped with underwater audio. After a swim, relax in the jacuzzi adjacent to the pool. The pool loungers are sophisticated and have storage for all your valuables.

The Fitness Centre is a state-of-the-art cardiovascular and weight-training facility. Located on the lower level overlooking the gardens, the centre includes an array of dynamic fitness classes available daily at the fitness studio, which can also be used for stretching, and various exercises which can be performed on the open-air movement lawn. The adjacent men’s and ladies’ (separate) locker rooms are appointed with restrooms, lockers, steam rooms, showers and full vanities. If you’ve forgotten your gym gear, there’s complimentary fitness apparel and athletic shoes available for use during your stay. My husband usually ensures that the gym equipment is of to his standard before we travel, this didn’t disappoint!

Moving to the inside; the interior design is very fresh and relevant to today’s modern traveler. As with the grounds, the lobby and general communal areas all contain interesting pieces of art and floral displays. A combination of wood, meals and stone intermingle to create a sumptuous interior.

Located mid-way between the guest elevators and the lobby, their in-house Lounge called Lickety Split’ offers ‘guests-on-the-go’ Gourmet coffees and quick bites. The pièce de résistance; their authentic and premium Gelato crafted in a bar-form is noted for it’s visual appeal. If you need to satisfy a decadent and creamy craving, pop on over to Lickety Split before headed out to the grounds or the park for a quick fix. If you have certain dietary restrictions, be cautious when ordering as some of the Gelato’s contain Liqueur.

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I love how the Gelato is mounted and poked with interested drizzles, chocolate and toppings!

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We arrived fairly late on the evening of our check-in. I most especially appreciated the personal welcome note which accompanied a plate of desserts. A large screen LCD TV with a welcome message to my husband and myself added to the list of must-have amenities.

The bathrooms (there were 2 of them in our suite) featured the ultimate in design. The luxurious marble bathroom offered a separate glassed-in shower, an oversized vanity and a separate toilet area along with his and hers basins.

Luxury and technology extends to this lavish bathroom. An in-mirror television (a novelty with the children!)  is the prefect way to retreat to a bubble bath in the deep-soaking tub with classical music on after a long day at the park!

As a guest at the Four Seasons Orlando, you need to pack NOTHING! Guests receive a top-up daily of C.O. Bigelow custom amenities which add a special touch of New York sophistication to this luxury resort. The towels are super soft and most of the robes are brand new (the hotel is only a few months old!).

The Four Seasons Orlando pays special attention to kids and ensures that they create a luxury travel experience for them too. Allow them to snuggle up to their bathrobes which may be ordered for them to use during their stay. These are designed specifically for kids to ensure that they offer a snug fit.

In addition, a quick browse-through your in-room tablet, one can order complimentary toiletries for the kids designed by Italian baby care range, Trudi.

Once you retire to bed in the evening, have a quick look through the tablet next to your bedside. It gives you an indication of the weather, so you can plan your day (we followed the weather and managed to get the sunniest day out to the water park). To add to the technology, the convenient keypads also control lighting and room temperature.

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The living area offers in-room features such as a workspace, a flat-screen television and a coffee maker. The pods are changed daily, but I recommend requesting additional milk or bringing your own which can easily be stored in the fridge supplied. A plus: wifi is complimentary!

The bedroom and closet area evokes the comfort of a private residence. The rooms are serviced twice daily ensuring that your room is always fresh and tidy when you arrive back each afternoon or evening. I particularly appreciated the sheets; hypoallergenic bedding which was always crisp and perfectly set. There is a complimenting mix of colours, fabrics and textures making the design pleasing to the eye. There is a separate closet which is equipped with an ironing board and iron.

“The main reason I get up in the morning is not prayer or meditation, but for breakfast.”

Dalai Lama (Spiritual Leader)

Whether you’re dining as a couple or as a family, Breakfast at Ravello offers a varied selection of hot & cold foods to appeal to all palates; a meal to keep you going for the day ahead. I especially loved the selection of pastries and breads, which ensured that you were able to taste something new each and every day.

After tasting the Stuffed Banana bread with Cream Cheese, I had to come home and recreate it. Follow me on Instagram to view more of my Lifestyle and food updates.

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Stuffed Banana bread with Cream Cheese
1 large egg
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup liquid-state coconut oil (canola or vegetable may be substituted)
1/4 cup cup sour cream (lite is okay; or Greek yogurt may be substituted)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 large bananas)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2  teaspoon baking powder
1/2  teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt, optional and to taste

Cream Cheese Filling
1 large egg
4 ounces softened brick-style cream cheese (lite is okay)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray one 9×5-inch loaf pan with floured cooking spray, or grease and flour the pan; set aside. Bread – In a large bowl, add the egg, sugars, coconut oil, sour cream, vanilla, and whisk to combine.
Add the bananas and stir to incorporate.
Add 1 cup flour, baking powder, baking soda, optional salt, and fold with spatula or stir gently with a spoon until just combined; don’t overmix; set aside.
Turn about two-thirds of the batter out into the prepared pan, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula and pushing it into corners and sides as necessary; set aside.
Cream Cheese Filling – In a large bowl, add all ingredients and whisk to combine. Alternatively, mix with a hand mixer.
Evenly pour filling mixture over the bread, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula and pushing it into corners and sides as necessary.
Top with remaining batter, smoothing the top very lightly with a spatula as to not disturb cream cheese layer and pushing batter into corners and sides as necessary.
Bake for about 48 to 50 minutes or until the top is domed, golden, and the center is set, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter. Note this is tricky because the cream cheese never gets totally solid so the toothpick test isn’t the most accurate. Tip – Tent the pan with a sheet of foil draped over it at the 30 minute-mark if you feel the tops and sides will become too browned before center cooks through. Baking times will vary based on moisture content of bananas, cream cheese, climate, and oven variances. Bake until done; watch your bread, not the clock.
Allow bread to cool in pan for about 15 minutes before turning out on a wire rack to cool completely before slicing and serving. Optionally, serve bread with Honey Butter, Cinnamon-Sugar Butter, Blueberry Butter, Strawberry Butter, or Vanilla Browned Butter Glaze. Bread will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Recipe: http://www.averiecooks.com/2014/07/cream-cheese-filled-banana-bread.html

The Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World® Resort offers the Good Morning Breakfast with Goofy & His Pals character breakfast twice weekly at Ravello restaurant. The buffet-style breakfast is offered on Thursdays and Saturdays (and also on Tuesdays during peak school break periods) and features a wonderful assortment of traditional breakfast offerings along with an omelette station, charcuterie, an assortment of fresh breads and homemade jams, and a children’s buffet. A photographer will be on site to capture your wonderful memories with Goofy & His Pals, the always-entertaining stars of the breakfast. The Character Breakfast includes complimentary digital downloads of the professional photographs taken with Goofy & His Pals.

Reservations are required for the character breakfast and can be made by contacting the Resort’s on-site dining reservations team at +1 (407) 313-6161. Reservations are available from 7:30 am to 11:00 am.

USD 42 per adult
USD 22 per child ages 3 to 12

Pricing includes a digital photo with Goofy & His Pals and buffet breakfast, including a choice of juice, soft drink, coffee or tea. Tax and gratuity are additional. The Kids 5 and Younger Dine Free Program does not apply to the character breakfast.

I suggest making the reservation before you leave SA as they are always fully booked.

If you’re wary of how your breakfast is prepared, your host will ensure that each member of the staff if aware that you are not allowed to consume meats, or have any cross contamination during the preparation of your meals. She logs the request on your profile and advises the kitchen staff. The chef will personally meet you and discuss what food is permissible to eat. Our chef took out a new pan for us which he stored separately after every breakfast. We were able to enjoy most of the vegetarian suitable options which were prepared for us away from the meat items.

I particularly enjoyed the salsa verde with my eggs each morning.

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I love the little details scattered around the dining area. I especially love the cutlery!

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Hotels incessantly worry about staying updated with their product and service offerings. With the addition of departure lounges, guests are never pressured to leave a hotel. The perfect hotel offers it’s guests a space with which to slowly let go of their stay without feeling the rush of being asked to leave. The departures lounge at the Four Seasons Orlando is equipped with TVs, sitting areas, WiFi, and sufficient room to rest before a flight.

More specific details about our stay:

1) Service is excellent. If you’ve waited more than 3 minutes for a response to a request, you’re at the wrong hotel.

2) Pack nothing; the hotel has every amenity that you might require during your stay. If you’ve forgotten to bring along a pair of sandals or evening wear, the boutique on the lowel level near the lobby stocks brands like Missoni (I love their candles!), Tory Burch and Tom Ford, along with one-of-a-kind jewellery with a Disney touch by Kimberly McDonald. In partnership with these designers, Wardrobe offers personal shopping experiences, VIP trunk shows, designer appearances and shopping parties.

3) You can plan your Disney visit at their conveniently located Planning Center near the lobby desk on the lower level. The concierge will advise you on the complimentary shuttle service to and from the Parks with regard to the times and length of trip. I thought that staying on the actual Disney resorts would be the easiest way to get to the Parks. The complimentary bus service offered by The Four Seasons is quicker and neater than that offered by the Disney resorts.

4) Although my time didn’t allow for a visit to the Spa, it is located near the gym, and inspired by the natural palette. Services include a special Kids experiences, so make inquiries when you arrive if you’re keen to have a ‘Mommy and me’ day at the Spa.

5) Be sure to request the Park View room which allows you to view the Fireworks display every evening from the Magic Castle. Guests can enjoy this on the comfort of their balcony which has seating for 2.

There’s nothing understated about this hotel. If you’re traveling to Orlando over the holidays, this should be your hotel of choice.

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3 Responses
  • Tasneem
    April 9, 2015

    the height of luxe!

  • Joobeda
    October 18, 2015

    Holiday in luxury