Waldorf Astoria Orlando {US-FL}

Old Apr 10, 2023, 3:06 pm
  #91  
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Attaching renderings of the renovated lobby, Peacock Alley, Bull & Bear dining area and bar, and spa below. Perfectly nice, wholly inoffensive, somewhat anonymous.

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Old Apr 11, 2023, 7:49 am
  #92  
 
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Interesting renovations. We are local and visit this location frequently to go to Bull & Bear. I never felt the "old" Peacock Ally or B&B were in need of renovation. Nice pictures.
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Old Apr 13, 2023, 8:00 am
  #93  
 
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I understand from an employee there that the shutdown is scheduled for August 13 - October 4th.
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Old Apr 20, 2023, 9:32 am
  #94  
 
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Recently completed a one night FNC stay. Was upgraded from a standard Deluxe 2 Queen room to a Disney View 2 Queen. Messaged via the app to see if a suite diamond upgrade was possible was shot down as the Disney view was a category upgrade. The front desk agent did offer a paid upgrade. Room was spacious although there were a few areas that were dim and poorly illuminated (ie the bathroom and the coffee area), towel rod holder on the shower was loose, and the tile in the bathroom was slippery when wet. Only other complaint was that the Valet couldn't locate my vehicles keys when we were getting ready to leave. Slight mix up applying the $50 F&B credit because someone else's charge was added to my folio and then reversed. In a way, was beneficial because the coffee and pastries from Peacock alley was $42. The additional charge and reversed in essence lowered the parking cost, but should have been applied to the $130 Aquamarine lunch. Waiting on my Amex Aspire $250 resort credit to post to offset the charges. Lastly, requested a late checkout via messenger. Was complimentary changed to noon and offered $25 additional per hour. Decided to stay a little longer at the pool (fy.. the pool area by the towel booth takes longer to be in the sun and warm up). For whatever reason, the additional $25 didn't post to my Amex (can't open the receipt on the website or app). Chalk it up as a wash to the other $8 credit.





Could use an undercabinet light above the Nepresso machine

Safety first. First time I have seen a flashlight in a room

Coffee mugs provided are too tall and not wide enough

^Bar top menu

^B&B Restaurant dinner menu
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Last edited by ChevyCruze; Apr 21, 2023 at 7:18 am Reason: typo
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Old Apr 20, 2023, 2:36 pm
  #95  
 
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FWIW - the "Fried Chicken" is outstanding. Like nothing you've ever had before.
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Old Apr 20, 2023, 2:50 pm
  #96  
 
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Here now. Had the same issues w/ upgrades. Front desk was adamant that the hotel only offers 1 category (standard view to Disney view) all others start at $50/night. I pressed further citing the availability and loyalty (25+ nights stayed) and they offered a low-level suite (4th overlooking parking lot). All in all, satisfied.

Room is tired and in need of the upcoming refresh.

Will update in a few days with photos and a full review.
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Old Apr 21, 2023, 7:19 am
  #97  
 
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Originally Posted by aww3583
Room is tired and in need of the upcoming refresh.
Couldn't agree more considering the nightly rate.
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Old Apr 24, 2023, 6:37 am
  #98  
 
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Review from a recent stay:

Expectations:

From Hilton’s website: “In landmark destinations around the world, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts reflect the culture and history of their extraordinary locations. With a fresh, modern expression of its rich, authentic legacy, Waldorf Astoria provides guests the exceptional environment and the personalized attention of True Waldorf Service that creates unforgettable experiences for our discerning travelers.”

I’m a lowly road warrior approaching LTD on years of status and base points. 80% of my activity is between Hamptons and HGIs. We earn and burn our points, splurging when we can, at higher end properties. While we understand “things happen”, we do have reasonably high expectations when staying at WA properties, especially when the cash prices approach 4-figures per night.


Booking

Booked a multi-night stay with a combination of AMEX FNC and points. The only rooms available at a “standard” award rate are 2Q or 1K “deluxe” rooms.

I’m 6 months short of Lifetime Diamond status, having eclipsed the base point requirements and will have 10 full years as a Diamond later this year. We have a half-dozen stays and almost 30 nights combined at the two Bonnett Creek properties.


Pre-Arrival

Ten days prior to arrival, we received an email from a “VIP Services Coordinator”. The email asked for our expected arrival time and offered to assist with “enhanced room types” and transportation reservations.

We replied inquiring about an upgrade and the transportation they have available.

We informed that upgrades are done only at the time of check-in at the front desk on a “space available” basis and at the discretion of the check-in agent. We were given the option to purchase discounted guaranteed upgrades via email.
  • Upgrade to a 1K balcony suite was offered at $60/night. At time of booking, the difference in price would have been $101/night.
  • Upgrade to a “luxury suite” was offered at $140/night. At the time of booking, the difference in price would have been $341 per night.
  • Upgrade to a “Waldorf Suite” was offered at $236/night. At the time of booking, the difference in price was approximately $600/night.
We took our chances and declined any pre-purchased upgrades.

The services coordinator also quoted “enhanced transportation” to/from Disney at $325 per round trip and would be a limo or small bus coordinated through a 3rd party. Regular transportation is via motor coach and is included in the resort fee.


Pre Check-In

We began checking the Hilton website for room inventory in 24-hour increments at 72-hours before check-in. Room inventory stayed relatively high, including balcony suites, luxury suites, corner suites, and the “Governor’s Suite”.

At no point prior to check-in did we receive the “you’ve been upgraded” email that has become more prevalent in the past few months.

When online check-in opened (day before arrival), the app displayed 31 available rooms matching our room type across floors 3 through 14. The website still showed all room types available from 2Q standard rooms to deluxe rooms to deluxe suites to corner and Governor’s suites. No upgrade was offered/available when online check-in opened.


Check-In

We were greeted at valet. We were given the option to handle our own bags, as they were quite busy. Golf clubs were handled by the staff and stored at the club house.

At the front desk, we were initially checked into our booked room (1K standard view). I inquired about an upgrade (knowing there was ample supply) and the agent initially said she’d “have to look to see what’s available” for an “enhanced view” room. I asked if anything larger was available, specifically mentioning a junior suite or corner suite. She said that the hotel only offers single-tier upgrades when available. For any other change, the difference in price would have to be paid.

I pushed back gently, mentioning we are repeat customers (almost 30 nights at this and the adjoining property) and nearly 10-year Diamond members. After 5-7 minutes of clicking around her computer, she was able to move us to a deluxe suite, the lowest of 6+ tiers of suites. The room is on a very low floor and overlooks the valet parking portico, but it was an upgrade with plenty of space to spread out.

Parking

Valet parking is $50/day.

Self-parking is in the Signia parking deck and is listed at $50/day. The check-in agent specifically instructed us to hit the call button at the exit and the gates would automatically open.

The gates still don’t read WA keys, so every time you exit, you must use the call button. Sometimes the gate opens instantly, other times the person answering the call requests your room number. This has been an issue for months and can create lengthy lines at the exit.

The deck has a single entry/exit walkway, and the walk to the WA lobby is about 300-yards away.

Room:

The room was an upgrade, so I keep considering that as I compose this review.

The rooms are… tired. Heavy oak hutches along the main wall near the entry with cupboards and cabinetry. All are empty. Maybe long-term guests use these for storage, however we did not.

The wine fridge is a nice amenity. The Nespresso machine went unused, but we did note a gunky build-up in the bottom of the water tank. Likely due to the hardness of the central Florida water.

The marble floors feel very high end, but the carpet is showing its age with frays and bare spots.

There are only 2 USB ports in the entire room… on the alarm clock. One other charging outlet was found on a bedside light.

The Hilton app showed “in room controls” but they were limited to TV controls. They worked fine, if a bit laggy. No replacement for a true remote, though.

Plenty of closet space, but all closets were two-tiered, so hanging a suit or long dress proved difficult.

I may be in the minority, but I was sad to see the Convivo by Ferragamo toiletries be replaced by Aesop. The shower had 3 pump bottles… shampoo, conditioner, and body soap. There were bottles of hand soap and body lotion at the sink. I think they’re fine, but the scent is potent and citrusy.

Water pressure was quite high. HVAC blew cold for the most part, but would have trouble in mid-summer climates.

There was a full sofa-bed, a reading chair, and two chairs on the balcony. Near the sink/fridge was a 4-seat glass-top dining table.


Housekeeping:

No mention was made at check-in of any abbreviated housekeeping schedules. We received daily housekeeping, usually no later than mid-morning.

We occasionally received turn-down service, but it was missed on more than one night. Turn-down consisted of re-making the bed, refreshing the towels, and chocolates for the bedside.

Bottled spring water was plentiful.

Pool:

The WA has two large rectangular pools. One has a zero-entry end for kids. The first day of our stay was mid-week and the pool was extremely quiet. Poolside service was prompt and courteous.

Over the weekend, seating at the pool was sparse. If you didn’t have your towel on your seat by 9AM, it was a battle to get a chair. At our second weekend visit, we never received any pool service despite servers walking by. There are no flags on the chairs like at the adjacent Signia.

My expectation is serenity and luxury at a WA pool. This pool had a family of ducks take up residence, which is cute. But, they defecate in the pool which is unsightly and unsanitary. The Signia has a poolside DJ which is appropriate for the atmosphere, but the WA poolside music is too much (Livin’ la Vida Loca, etc.) and too loud.

Dining:

There are plenty of dining options at the property. The WA website lists restaurants at the Signia, in addition to locations in the WA itself.

Sir Harry’s is listed on the website as “open seasonally”, but we found it to be closed and empty.

Breakfast is in Oscar’s on the ground floor. The buffet is large, but not as big as the Signia’s. The price is $40 per person. Ordering a la carte does not include coffee like at the Signia. Juice and coffee start at $6.00.

We used the grab-and-go at the Signia for most meals. This is a new feature and is a welcome benefit. It’s open 24/7 and has a wide variety of items… pre-packaged, non-perishable, made-to-order, grab-n-go, etc.



Service:

We had some great interactions and some not-so-great interactions.

The hotel uses the old magnetic key cards and twice during our stay, our keys stopped working. The front desk initially responded each time with “you didn’t keep the key in your wallet or near your phone, did you?” Well, where else am I supposed to keep it? After explaining that the key reader was blinking red, they sent maintenance up to change the battery. We’d requested the Digital Key but it took quite a while to arrive. We asked the FDA to push it out to us, and she said “we have no control over that. It comes from Corporate.”

Due to Hilton’s IT limitations, our stay was broken up into two separate reservations because of a mix of payment methods. At check-in, the agent confirmed the reservations were “linked” and there’d be no interruptions in service or billing.

Our keys stopped working after night #2, likely due to the reservation issue. Additionally, both of our 2-night reservations were charged for 3 nights of parking. Each time, the front desk had to put another hold on our card and issue a refund which can take up to 5 business days.

Simple hiccups happen. However, these are simple and should never happen at a Waldorf. The night auditor should have caught the 3x billing for parking on a 2-night stay.

$50/day F&B credit was applied correctly each day.



Golf

The golf course has been shrunk to accommodate the expanded conference/banquet center. This is not mentioned on their website. Players are forced to use temporary greens and the inward 9 is a par 30. Hopefully the upcoming renovation will remedy these shortcomings.

Service at the course was exemplary.



Overall

The hotel is publicizing an upcoming overhaul. I imagine this is mainly due to the opening of the new Conrad nearby, which based on photos, will blow the WA out of the water. The WA needs to be renovated to remain as THE pinnacle of Hilton excellence in the area.

The hard product is fine. The beds are as comfortable as ever. The place still shows well. However, it’s tired and the service hiccups are issues that just shouldn’t happen at an $800+/night hotel.
I’d consider the WA a “fancy wing of the Signia” based on my most recent stay. Our future stays are booked elsewhere until well after the renovations are complete.






Aesop toiletries. Housekeeping missed a wipedown.



Poolside drinks menu.




Nespresso water tank needed cleaning.




Poolside food menu.




Cabinetry and fridge area.



Frayed carpet.




Suite floorplan




Breakfast menu.




Room tier classifications.




Signia Grab-n-Go




Suite sitting area.





Poolside Flora and Fauna
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Old Apr 24, 2023, 12:00 pm
  #99  
 
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Parking

Valet parking is $50/day.

Self-parking is in the Signia parking deck and is listed at $50/day. The check-in agent specifically instructed us to hit the call button at the exit and the gates would automatically open.

The gates still don’t read WA keys, so every time you exit, you must use the call button. Sometimes the gate opens instantly, other times the person answering the call requests your room number. This has been an issue for months and can create lengthy lines at the exit.

The deck has a single entry/exit walkway, and the walk to the WA lobby is about 300-yards away.


Since it is award travel, why need to pay parking?
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Old Apr 24, 2023, 12:13 pm
  #100  
 
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Originally Posted by willliamjia
Parking

Valet parking is $50/day.

Self-parking is in the Signia parking deck and is listed at $50/day. The check-in agent specifically instructed us to hit the call button at the exit and the gates would automatically open.

The gates still don’t read WA keys, so every time you exit, you must use the call button. Sometimes the gate opens instantly, other times the person answering the call requests your room number. This has been an issue for months and can create lengthy lines at the exit.


The deck has a single entry/exit walkway, and the walk to the WA lobby is about 300-yards away.


Since it is award travel, why need to pay parking?
Award reservations negate the resort fee.

Parking is not included in the resort fee and is a separate charge.

Per the hotel's website:

A daily resort charge of $45 (plus tax) will be charged to your room rate per room, per night and includes: Premium Wi-Fi access throughout the resort and public areas for up to 2 devices (excluding meeting space), two (2) bottles of water daily, shuttle service to Walt Disney World theme parks and Disney Springs, 20% off Spa treatments at Waldorf Astoria Spa, access to Waldorf Astoria Golf Club practice facilities, complimentary golf club rentals after 2pm at the Waldorf Astoria Golf Club, 20% off apparel and merchandise at the Waldorf Astoria Pro Shop, access to the Waldorf fitness center.
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Old Apr 24, 2023, 12:27 pm
  #101  
 
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Originally Posted by aww3583
Award reservations negate the resort fee.

Parking is not included in the resort fee and is a separate charge.

Per the hotel's website:

Thanks! Any idea about parking fee of award stay for adjacent signia Hilton? Same?

Last edited by willliamjia; Apr 24, 2023 at 12:34 pm
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Old Apr 24, 2023, 12:50 pm
  #102  
 
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Originally Posted by willliamjia
Thanks! Any idea about parking fee of award stay for adjacent signia Hilton? Same?
Yes, parking is charged on award stays at the Signia. Same price as the WA.

https://hiltonbonnetcreek.com/faqs
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Old Apr 24, 2023, 12:52 pm
  #103  
 
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Originally Posted by willliamjia
Thanks! Any idea about parking fee of award stay for adjacent signia Hilton? Same?
According to their website, self is $35, valet is $48.
https://www.hilton.com/en/hotels/orl...-creek/resort/
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Old Apr 24, 2023, 12:58 pm
  #104  
 
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Originally Posted by aww3583
Yes, parking is charged on award stays at the Signia. Same price as the WA.

https://hiltonbonnetcreek.com/faqs

Thanks
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Old May 13, 2023, 6:14 am
  #105  
 
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We were at the Waldorf last night (5/12) for dinner at Bull & Bear. On arrival, the normal lobby entrance is closed off. Instead you are routed along a temporary circuitous route to a temporary check-in location. We had a drink in Peacock Alley where some of the tables have been re-arranged/moved. Didn't notice any impact on Bull & Bear.
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