When I lived in Orlando I would drive past this hotel almost everyday, drooling over how absolutely stunning and sprawling it was. From season to season (because Florida only has two) I would see the hotel under different decorations that would have me falling even deeper in love. With twinkling lights during the holiday season and just plain pretty otherwise, this hotel is an absolute diamond with or without decoration. I never got around to booking a night before I moved, so you might say that I have a (quite massive) bit of an unrequited crush on the Gaylord Palms. It wasn’t until recently that I saw more than snippets of the interior and let me tell you: I was not disappointed.
The moment that you step past the lobby, even if it’s just through photos, there’s just life everywhere. Greenery, water features (including a pirate ship!!), ruins, and a glass ceiling that echoes MCO, how can you not get excited and just a little overwhelmed? It seems like the atrium is the epicenter of activity and heart of the hotel, something that’s not too common when the world is filled with places to rest your head, rather than hotels to have experiences at.
From within the atrium you can make it to five different restaurants, two different fitness options, a spa, and a myriad of other really flippin’ cool things that you can take advantage of during your stay. Each restaurant has a different theme, even including a sports bar, and I reallyreallyreally want to eat at every single one of them. Where else could you go from an Italian eatery to an old backwater steakhouse and then mosey over to the froyo stand for a snack? Their pools are so gorgeous you don’t need to swim to enjoy them. Especially that South Beach Pool – goodness, what a looker! Not the least of these cool factors though is that many of the rooms overlook the planet of an atrium.
The guest rooms, while modest, are modern and updated. No more weird bedspread and huge TVs for this Kissimmee hotel – which if you’ve been to other Kissimmee hotels then you know that can often be the case still. There are 6 different levels of guest rooms (with three different view classes) and I’d feel special even staying in the cheapest option as long as it came with a balcony overlooking that gorgeous atrium. I found out on TripAdvisor (because I do research on hotels I don’t have booked; stop looking at me funny) that the mattresses are Simmons Beautyrest which of course means that I will have a much better sleep there than I would at home! One can only hope that their pillows are half as comforting (or more, because I love pillows oh-so-much).
The coolest, neatest, supercalifragilisticexpialidocious-est thing about the Gaylord Palms is ICE. I really like the holiday season. With twinkling lights, people being a little nicer (in my mind), and so many renditions of the Nutcracker going on, it’s a time that I always relish. Many hotels simply put up a nicely decorated tree and call it a day, right? Not the Gaylord Palms. Oh no. ICE is a spectacular event. With stage shows, snow tubing (!!!), hand carved ice pieces (bonded together with ice as the glue) done by artisans all the way from China, how can you not be jumping out of your seat with excitement as I am?
You will be hard pressed to find a hotel that I have crushed on longer than the Gaylord Palms. After looking through their 360 tours, all I can think of is booking a room, hopping on a plane, and then spending most of my time taking photos around that overwhelming atrium. Just don’t tell the dude 😉
Have you ever stayed at the Gaylord Palms?
Wishing you comfy pillows overlooking an epicenter of activity,
For a full list of my Hotel Crushes in Orlando, click here!