This past week, Cheryl and I had the opportunity to tour the new Four Seasons Orlando that just opened up a couple of weeks ago. We met with the resort’s social media manager, Sally, and she showed us around this beautiful new resort. While we were there, we had a chance to tour some rooms, see the restaurants, pools, recreation areas, spa and more. I thought I’d take a bit of time to share an overview with pictures of the new Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World.
Upon first stepping in to the Four Seasons lobby, you can tell this is not like any other resort you’ve seen at Walt Disney World. It features gorgeous marble and tile floors and a custom chandelier made in the Czech Republic specifically for the resort to mimic the look of fireworks. One of the first things I noticed was the attentiveness of the staff. From valets to doormen, front desk to concierge, everyone was willing and ready to help and welcome you to the resort. The service level throughout our three hour visit (including lunch) was fantastic.
We started our Four Seasons tour at Lickety-Split, the grab and go counter service establishment located just adjacent to the lobby that’s open from 6am til 5pm. Here their specialties include pastries made fresh daily, coffee from a special drip machine that brews for 8 hours, pre-made salads and sandwiches, and gelato. They have seating areas in the coffee shop and you can also get your food to go of course to sit in one of the resort’s many beautiful outdoor seating areas.
Next to Lickety-Split is the Ravello Bar which is open from 5pm to midnight. This extension of the Ravello restaurant downstairs offers a full service bar and full dining menu as well for dinner. The indoor seating is very comfortable and welcoming, but still upscale without feeling pretentious, which is how I’d describe the whole Four Seasons Resort. Outdoor seating is extended from the inside and to me felt like an Italian villa overlooking the lake and pool areas below.
On the first level of the Four Seasons is where you will find Ravello, a breakfast buffet or a la carte restaurant in the morning from 6:30 to 11, and an Italian restaurant at night from 5:30 – 10pm. We were touring during breakfast and the buffet looked great. They are also home to a character breakfast with “Goofy & Pals” on Thursdays and Saturdays. Additionally some Tuesdays may offer the character meal during more popular times of the year. I can’t wait to try this for the character meal as well as for dinner.
In addition to Ravello and Lickety-Split, the Four Seasons currently offers 24 hour room service and lunch and afternoon dining at PB+G, their pool bar and grill. Cheryl and I had a great lunch at PB+G after our tour. The food and service were very good and we both decided we would both order what we had gotten again. Cheryl started with the Crimson Red Corn Popcorn with Guajillo Chili, Smoke and Lime. She liked it a lot, but it does have a bit of a kick. I opted for the Hushpuppies with Huitlacoche Caramel and Habanero Salt. These were fantastic and I’d definitely get them again! For our entrees we got the Smoked Tofu with Carrot and Kale and the Flew the Coop – Smoked Chicken, Celery, Pecan, Grape and Housemade Alabama White BBQ Sauce. I’d never had chicken salad with a barbecued chicken before so it was an interesting twist. I liked it, and would order it again, but I think next time I’ll try one of the BBQ specialties. Cheryl really liked her tofu and said she’d definitely get it again.
The resort also has two other restaurants that will be opening next month. Plancha will be opening in September in the Golf Clubhouse and focuses on Cuban cuisine with sandwiches, burgers, mojitos, daiquiris and more. This restaurant will be open from 10am – 6pm daily. The restaurant I am most looking forward to trying is Capa, the rooftop Spanish steakhouse on the 17th floor of the Four Seasons. I can only imagine how gorgeous the view for fireworks will be from here and I can’t wait to try the tapas and hopefully paella here. They will be open from 6 – 10pm nightly. Good news for locals or guests not staying at the Four Seasons is that you can get your parking validated if you are eating in one of the resort’s restaurants so valet is only $5 since there is no self parking as opposed to the nightly rate of $26.
Pools and Recreation
There are several individual pool areas at the Four Seasons Orlando. The first one you encounter when you exit the building is the Adult Pool in the Oasis, which is for guests 21 and up only. This quiet infinity pool overlooks the lake and features tons of great seating areas, lounge chairs and cabanas for rent. The staff here was quite attentive and had towels, ice water and sunscreen available for guests to use with their last name and room number at no additional cost. In addition to the infinity pool, there is a nice Jacuzzi overlooking the lake. All of the pool areas are open from sunrise to sunset.
The Family Pool is zero entry with tons of great seating for families all around the pool area in part of the resort called Explorer Island. There are cabanas for the family with different themes that come with different amenities and decor based on the theme. A small kiddie slide is in the middle of the Four Seasons family pool meant for toddlers.
As you head up the steps from the Family Pool, you come to the middle of Explorer Island. This is where you find the ruined mansion that houses outdoor recreation like bean bag toss, pool tables, climbing wall and the Kids for All Seasons children’s activity center. Kids for All Seasons is a complimentary kid’s play area with supervision for children ages 4 – 12. Also nearby are the two water slides, Splash Zone water play area, the lazy river (watch out for the water cannons), beach volleyball court, basketball courts, and the Hideout which will open in September as a video game and hangout area.
The Tranquilo Golf Club at the Four Seasons is not open yet, but will be starting in September. This Tom Fazio designed 18 hole golf course is about a two minute drive by golf cart from the resort. The club will feature a driving range, pro shop, pros on site, club rentals, lessons available and a putting green.
On the opposite side of the Four Seasons from the pool are the three Har-Tru tennis courts. Lessons are available, tournaments can be arranged and a ball machine is available as well. Housed on the first level of the resort, guests will find the state of the art spa with 18 treatment rooms. Just next door to the spa is the aerobics studio with spin cycles and yoga mats available to guests. Across the lawn from the aerobics studio is the 24 hour fitness center. There is also a steam room, sauna and whirlpool for guest use.
Four Seasons Room and Suites
The first thing you will notice about the rooms and suites at the Four Seasons is their size. The standard room size is 500 square feet, which is the largest of any resort in Orlando. Suites start at 825 square feet then go all the way up to 3300. The Royal Suite can actually connect to other rooms on the 16th floor to make it a 9 bedroom, 3 living room suite with a view of the Magic Kingdom. You can even buy out the entire 16th floor if you so desire. The Four Seasons features 375 standard rooms in addition to the 68 suites.
Standard rooms come in several view types including Four Seasons, Golden Oak, Lake and Park View. The rooms have either a king bed and a queen pull out sofa or two double beds and can accommodate either 3 adults or 2 adults and 2 children. We were fortunate enough to tour a park view room and deluxe suite and they were beautiful. I loved the decor, amenities and the views of the parks were stunning. From the rooms we toured on the 11th floor, we could see Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom and the Magic Kingdom. I understand from some rooms you can see Epcot as well and some guests have been able to see fireworks from Epcot, DHS and MK all in one evening.
The amenities in the rooms are again refined, but still very comfortable. Mini refrigerators are at adult eye level, which is convenient not having to bend down to access it. Guests can request fridges be stocked for an additional fee prior to their arrival. Each room also comes with a personal Nespresso machine with individual cup brewing with an assortment of coffees and teas. Free wifi is available throughout the resort, but if you wish to stream, you can pay an additional fee for a higher speed internet connection. There are multiple HMDI hookups and stereo jacks in the back of each tv for guest convenience if they wish to hook up their electronic devices to the tv. Each room also features a mini ipad to order room service from as well as some other features. For those Disney fans staying at the Four Seasons, we saw for ourselves that they do have Stacey and the Disney Must Dos on the tv along with a pretty good variety of stations. I also liked the button on the wall next to the bed indicating do not disturb or requesting housekeeping service in case you don’t want to get out of bed to put up the do not disturb sign.
The rooms are quite spacious with nice sized balconies off of each room at the Four Seasons. The closet area is open between the bedroom and bathroom off the entry hall. The bathroom has a nice setup with a separate toilet room, shower, tub and a vanity area with a tv in the mirror like the Villas at Grand Floridian. There are no onsite self service laundry facilities for guests, but there is dry cleaning available for an additional cost. DVD players and cribs are available upon request at no additional cost. Rooms come with the typical room amenities like hairdryers, bathrobes, etc., but also have umbrellas for guests to use. If the adults need a night out alone, babysitting services for children from six weeks to 12 years old can be arranged for in the room.
I was very happy with everything that I saw of the Four Seasons. I know that the resort is not fully open yet with some of the restaurants, shops and amenities not quite finished. I hope to come back and stay at the resort next month or in October with the Florida Resident special that is being offered. The service and attention from the staff was one of the things that most stood out to me on this visit. My background is in hotel management, so I know good service when I see it. I’ve been in the hospitality business for 20 years now and this was one of the best demonstrations of great service I’ve seen. One of the coolest things I saw that I wish more resorts would embrace is the Late Departure Lounge for guests to relax if they have a later flight. There is a nice lounge with sofas and seating areas with tables and chairs, tvs, books to read, and a mini kitchen to store food.
The resort does have a Disney planning center desk right in the lobby that can do most things that the ticket windows at the parks can. Their services include selling tickets, annual passes, magicbands, assisting with fast pass plus scheduling, recreation and dining reservations, and basic park information. Complimentary buses run to the Magic Kingdom via the TTC every half hour on the hour and half hour. The bus to the Animal Kingdom runs every hour on the hour, and buses go to Epcot and Hollywood Studios each every hour on the half hour. If guests need transportation to the water parks, Downtown Disney, or most other Disney locations, for a flat fee of $18-20 the Four Seasons can arrange a private car. Valet parking is $26 per night and self parking is not available. The Four Seasons does not participate in Disney’s Extra Magic Hours or charging to the resort from the theme parks. Mears ground transportation is available at an additional cost to and from the airport and cabs are readily available as well. There are no resort fees at the Four Seasons.
Currently, the resort is about 95% open and I hope to see it soon at 100%. The gift shop, Fable, and boutique, Wardrobe, should be opening in September along with most of the other amenities that aren’t open yet. If a guest needs anything though, the Four Seasons will do what they can to acquire it for the guest. The Four Seasons also allows guests to have their packages sent back from the Walt Disney World theme parks to be picked up next day for convenience. I seriously cannot wait to get back to this resort to stay at the Four Seasons Orlando as a guest. I look forward to seeing the resort fully opened on my next visit and want to see what a relaxing weekend I can have with all the amazing activities and services this phenomenal resort has to offer.
Have you stayed at the Four Seasons yet? I will definitely be back there in the next couple of months to stay and I’m sure after that for meals as well. Let me know if you’ve been or if you have any other questions about this great resort.
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