This article reviews the Waldorf Astoria Orlando, a luxury hotel only minutes from Walt Disney World. We’ll discuss our stay, the service we received, and other resort amenities you can expect if you plan a stay.
Understated opulence comes to mind when I think of the Waldorf Astoria Orlando. The hotel sits among several high-end resorts on Bonnet Creek Resort Lane. The Waldorf is connected to the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek. Both resorts share a convention center and amenities like dining and pools.
The Waldorf Astoria chain is well-recognized as a posh hotel chain. Before getting into this review, I wanted to offer a brief history of the hotel brand. In the 1930s, two competing cousins constructed hotels in New York. The first was the Waldorf, and the second was the Astoria. They sat immediately next to each other.
Eventually, the two cousins came to an agreement and built a corridor that combined the hotels. That corridor was named Peacock Alley. At the time, it was the largest hotel in the world. It was also the only hotel (at the time) to offer electricity on every floor and room service. A single rose was delivered with every room service order.
Many dignitaries, including Queen Elizabeth II, have been guests of the original Waldorf Astoria. If you enjoy history, you’ll find a curio in the lobby of the Waldorf Astoria Orlando, with items identifying a few famous past guests of the hotel chain.
Location-wise, the entire Bonnet Creek Resort Hotel Area is hard to beat. While technically not on property, they are surrounded by Walt Disney World on three sides. Nearby hotels include Disney’s Riviera Resort and Disney’s Caribbean Beach. Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney Springs, and Typhoon Lagoon are within less than five minutes (give or take a traffic light) of the hotel.
The Waldorf Astoria Orlando has fifteen floors offering a scenic view of the stunning pool area and golf course. Steps lead down from the second-floor lobby to the resort’s expansive backyard.
Art lovers will enjoy the galleries within the resort. Various canvases were displayed in many of the hallways.
If you fancy a piece of art, many are available for purchase.
Upon arrival, we drove up to the resort’s front entrance. Normally, I would self-park, but the difference between valet pricing and self-parking was minimal. So, I elected to let the valet park the car. You can check the current parking price here on the Waldorf Astoria Orlando’s FAQ page.
We were immediately greeted. A bellsman removed our luggage and presented us with a fresh, cold water bottle.
We were greeted with an exquisite clock tower sitting underneath a chandelier in the lobby. The cove ceiling is gorgeous.
Unfortunately, our room wasn’t ready. However, it was only lunchtime, so it wasn’t expected. We were told that the room would be ready shortly. So, I decided to explore the resort and take a few photos in the meantime.
Since we were doing a split stay between the Hilton Signia and the Waldorf, I had already photographed the amenities next door. If you want to learn more about those amenities, we have a separate review of the Signia Hilton Bonnet Creek Orlando. That resort has a lazy river that most guests will want to take advantage of during their stay.
We’ll start on the convention center side of the resort. The convention center is what joins the resorts. The National Ballroom Dancing Championships were being held during this stay. So, we were privileged to see some of the costume booths during our trip.
From the lobby, I headed toward the convention center side of the hotel. The halls of the resort were stunning with these large open areas. To think, this picture below is a foyer for one of the ballrooms.
The attention to detail throughout the resort did not go unnoticed.
From the convention center’s end, I walked outside to tour the resort’s large backyard.
The landscaping was impeccable.
I assume this area in the photo below was designed with wedding ceremonies in mind.
Here is the view back to the Waldorf Astoria.
A golf cart bridge crosses the lake. The Waldorf Astoria Golf Club has an 18-hole championship golf course designed by Rees Jones. You can learn more about the golf course on their site.
The resort has beautiful grounds. Here are a few more photos.
I decided to tour the pool area on the walk back to the resort.
One of the things I appreciated the most about the pool was the variety of loungers and seating arrangements.
For example, you could lounge by the fire pit on an outdoor sofa in the evening.
Aquamarine is the poolside bar.
Like most resorts these days, the Waldorf Astoria offers private cabanas. They sit around the cabana pool.
Several hot tubs surround the pool area.
The miniature golf course was another nice touch.
A separate stand called the Splash Hut provides towels for the pool. They have other pool and convenience items for purchase if needed.
The picture below shows the zero-depth entry of one of the pools.
The other side of the lawn had various outdoor games for guests. Sometimes, these simple things end up being more memorable than you would expect.
Gorgeous palm trees surround the cabana pool.
The private cabana rentals accommodate up to eight guests and include complimentary sodas, water, and a fruit platter. A few items include poolside service, a television, two chaise lounges, a sofa, and a chair. The setup sounds similar to a poolside cabana rental at Disney World.
At this point, I had pretty much toured everything outside. So, it was time to head inside. I entered the resort from the bottom floor and ran into Oscar’s. Oscar’s, an American Brasserie, is one of several dining options for the Waldorf Astoria Orlando.
Oscar’s is open daily from 7:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. They have an a la carte menu and breakfast buffet option. A continental breakfast option is also available.
The Waldorf Astoria Kids Club wasn’t open during our stay. However, they have since reopened, offering morning and afternoon daily programs. An Astoria After Dark program is available on Friday and Saturday evenings. You can find out more about the children’s program on Waldorf’s site.
The Waldorf Astoria Spa is open daily. Here is a link to their spa treatments. We also spent some time in the fitness center during this stay. It was impressive, with multiple rooms offering almost anything you can think of regarding fitness equipment.
Recyclable headphones were a nice touch.
Waldorf Astoria’s gym was tremendous.
I couldn’t get a picture that genuinely showcased the size of the gym. Most of the windows looked out to the pool area.
They had two Peleton bikes.
A weight room had plenty of strength-training equipment.
We’ll head back up to the lobby level. Bull and Bear is the fine dining and steakhouse location for Waldorf Astoria Orlando. The restaurant is listed as one of the top 100 restaurants in the United States by OpenTable. They are open daily from 6:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. We were looking forward to dining here during our stay. However, things didn’t work out due to timing and the restaurant’s limited opening hours at the time of this stay. Bull and Bear is known for its signature fried chicken dish that consistently gets rave reviews.
Related: Bull and Bear Menu
Peacock Alley (remember?), the hotel’s formal lounge, sits between Bull and Bear and the lobby. It’s a gorgeous, accommodating lounge.
Peacock Alley is open for breakfast from 6:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. They serve items like hot breakfast sandwiches, pastries, croissants, fruit, and a variety of coffee.
The lounge reopens in the evening from 5:00 p.m. until late. Peacock Alley is a great place to enjoy cocktails, appetizers, or dinner in a casual setting. The lounge offers a full menu with anything from salads to full-size entrees like filet sliders. You can preview the menu here to get a better idea.
A bar with a couple of televisions is available near the front of the lounge.
Several boutiques were available off the lobby. This one below offered men’s clothing items.
Another boutique next door offered luxury handbags. If you plan to shop while in Orlando, the Mall at Millenia offers several exclusive stores like Prada, Versace, Louis Vuitton, and Saint Laurent.
At this point, I decided it was time to find something for lunch. Since the weather was pleasant, I figured dining poolside would be my best option.
So, I headed out of the lobby and down the stairs to the pool area.
Aquamarine was serving lunch and seemed like the best option, given the perfect weather.
Here is a photo of the poolside bar.
I opted to sit under one of the umbrellas at a table facing the pool.
After browsing the menu, I couldn’t decide on a beverage. I wanted something non-alcoholic that was refreshing but not too sweet. The server suggested a blueberry lemonade topped with a touch of soda water.
I ordered the Caesar salad and added grilled salmon for an additional upcharge for lunch.
This was a fine meal, but you’ll want to know that everything here is more expensive than you would pay elsewhere, including Disney. So, some items were a bit of a sticker shock.
Surprisingly, room rates at the Grand Floridian were considerably higher than the Waldorf Astoria Orlando. While both resorts are lovely, the Waldorf is far more luxurious than the Grand Floridian. But the Grand Floridian is within walking distance of the most magical place on earth.
After I finished lunch, I had yet to receive confirmation that my room was ready. So, I stopped by the front desk to check availability. Thankfully, my room was ready. The front desk called bell services to retrieve my luggage and meet me in the room. Bell services expedited my luggage and got to the room at the same time.
I couldn’t help but notice the gorgeous hallways of the Waldorf Astoria. They reminded me of the hallways at the Grand Floridian Villas before they were refinished in grey tones.
Our guest room was a deluxe suite with two queen-sized beds. Below is a photo of the standard room at the Waldorf Astoria. It’s approximately 448 square feet, making it larger than most. For reference, a standard hotel room runs around 330 square feet. Room options with a king bed and a balcony are also available.
The beds have premium linens and down comforters. It was one of those plush beds you kind of fall into at the end of a long day. I slept like a baby.
Most guest baths these days come with a stand-alone shower or a tub with a shower combination. However, at the Waldorf, you get both.
The separate soaking tub is an almost unheard-of amenity in a hotel.
Our bath had a separate walk-in shower and a large vanity area with a sink.
My only disappointment was the Waldorf did not provide us with a robe or slippers. That is relatively standard when you stay in a fine hotel, and I think it’s to be expected at the Waldorf Astoria. I can only a that this extra touch was left off during the housekeeping process.
Our room also had an espresso machine and complimentary water. Looking back, I appreciated all the complimentary water. Even at the pool, we were immediately brought fresh glasses of ice water as soon as we found a seat.
Bell services offered to bring fresh ice when they dropped off the luggage.
Here is the view of our room. This could be considered a Disney view, you can see Spaceship Earth at Epcot in the distance. However, a good deal of construction was going on in the area at the time of this stay. So our windows were rather dusty.
We could see Epcot’s fireworks from our room at night.
Waldorf Astoria Orlando Room Tour
Key Points for Planning a Stay at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando
Here are a few key points you’ll want to consider when planning a stay at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando.
- The Waldorf Astoria is practically on Disney property. The resort shares a complimentary shuttle service with the neighboring Hilton. (Preview the Shuttle Schedule) Note that you will be confined to the shuttle schedule. So you might use it at your convenience and then take a car service like Uber or Lyft when applicable.
We had a car, so we drove when coming and going to the parks. But as annual passholders, we didn’t have to pay for parking at the theme parks. If you drive, you’ll have to pay for parking at the hotel and then again at the theme parks.
- The Waldorf Astoria Orlando is a hotel that receives early theme park benefits. This is where guests of select hotels receive 30-minute early access to the park they choose each day of the week. This is a huge benefit that you’ll want to take advantage of some mornings during your stay.
- Our room was spacious and comfortable. You could tell it was a higher-end hotel. Most of the rooms at Disney do not exude this same kind of lush feel.
- The Waldorf Astoria is the kind of hotel where you can expect a higher level of service. We were acknowledged and received service unparallel to almost all other hotel stays.
- The Waldorf Astoria has a resort fee. Resort fees are now shown in the total price when you book the room. You’ll also want to remember the parking fee if applicable.
The Waldorf Resort Fee includes:
- Premium wireless internet access
- Two bottles of water per day (in the room)
- Shuttle Service to Disney Parks and Disney Springs
- 20% off spa treatments at the Waldorf Spa
- Access to Waldorf Astoria Golf Club practice facilities
- Complimentary golf club rentals after 2:00 p.m. at the Waldorf Astoria Golf Club
- 20% off apparel and merchandise at the Pro Shop
- Access to the fitness center
Overall, we enjoyed our stay at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando and look forward to returning in the future. If you’re planning a trip to Disney World and prefer to enjoy the finer things in life when it comes to hotels, the Waldorf is an excellent choice.
Hopefully, this Waldorf Astoria Orlando review provided you with the information needed to plan a stay here. For some of our other favorite options for best off-site Disney World Hotels, you might like:
- JW Marriott Bonnet Creek Review
- Wyndham Grand Orlando Review
- Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress Review
- Hilton Buena Vista Palace Review
- Orange Lake Resort Review
In the Comments
Have you stayed at a Waldorf Astoria before? What do you think about this review of the Waldorf Astoria Orlando? Would you enjoy a plush hotel or prefer to be within walking distance of the theme parks? Leave us a comment and share your thoughts, questions, or experiences. We love to hear from you!