Orlando hotel advice for one of our own

Jill has been an important part of our community for a long time and now she could use our help.

She has tickets to the Police/Elvis Costello concert in Orlando in May and they need a hotel. It’s the weekend before their 20th anniversary, so a splurge would be appropriate. One possibility is a savannah-view room at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Can anyone else recommend a nice hotel?

They are also considering a suit-and-tie, no-kids-allowed dinner at Victor and Albert’s. Can anyone comment on this or another nice restaurant in Orlando?

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  1. Matt says:

    Disney hotels are overpriced for what you get. As a former resident of Orlando, I would recommend:

    Hotels:

    Downtown would be the best location for the concert – no dealing with traffic from the theme parks. Of the downtown hotels, I would recommend the Grand Bohemian (a former Westin property) or the EO Inn (a small boutique hotel on Lake Eola – the lake is the centerpiece of downtown).

    If you insist on the theme parks, out of the disney hotels, I would stay at the Beach Club. I like that hotel because it is walking distance to Epcot (great for catching the fireworks and having some drinks in the World Showcase). Off property, I would recommend the Hyatt Grand Cypress or the Celebration Hotel in Celebration. The JW Marriott and Ritz are great (and cheaper than staying at Disney) but are in a bad location.

    Restaurants:

    Non-Theme Parks:

    Del Friscos (an institution, best steak I have ever had)

    Luma on the Park (Winter Park)

    Le Coq Au Vin, French

    Theme Parks:

    Seasons 52 (on Sand Lake Road)

    Oceanaire Seafood Room (International Drive)

    Victoria & Alberts (Disney)

  2. sherry says:

    WE had dinner at V and A’s and it was a wonderful . We took our grand children and they were 6 and 5 at the time so guess they have changed the rules. We were given stuff for them to eat that was not on the menu and made just for them. The harpist played special music just for them and at 16 and 17 they still remenber that night and talk about it .

    I agree the Disney hotels are way over price but we have stayed at several and always enjoyed them but we were there for the DISNEY EXPERIANCE.

    I guess it depends on what you are wanting.

  3. Jill says:

    Thanks very much for the suggestions. We don’t usually stay at Disney properties, although we do like them for, as Sherry says, the Disney experience when the kids are with us. We have stayed at the Beach Club for the exact reason Matt mentioned during the Food and Wine Festival and loved the location.

    We are considering the J.W. Marriott and the Hyatt, but had not considered the boutique hotels downtown. I’ve always wanted to try V&A, but if I can’t get a reservation there, now I know where else to go. Thanks again!

  4. Janice says:

    International Drive has many exceptional hotels which can run $$$ to $$$$. Closer to Disney I have visited the Hyatt, which is also beautiful.

    Restaurants are aplenty as well,although one of the best dinners we have had was at Hemmingway’s which is located at the Hyatt.

  5. Matt says:

    The only really nice hotel on International Drive is the Peabody and the new Rosen hotel (I forget what its called). Problem is that both hotels are heavily convention oriented. The rest of the I-Drive hotels are pretty run of the mill (Embassy Suites, Doubletree, etc.) – nothing special.

    On further reflection, for a quick weekend (2 nights), I would stay downtown. On the night that you have free, go to Winter Park for a nice dinner. It’s a nice place to eat, stroll and shop. On the night of the concert, catch an early bite at one of the downtown or college park restaurants and then hit your show. During the day, check out Lake Eola, Winter Park, Leu Gardens, the Science Museum, or the like.

  6. Maura says:

    Save your money for fine dining and concert t-shirts by staying at a Time Share resort. with a little research, you can get an awesome room/suite, with full kitchen, washer/dryer and fabulously luxuroius baths for almost nothing, just an hour of your time and your ability to say NO firmly!! Have stayed at the Sunterra Cypress Point, the Westgate, and the Sheraton Vistana. All lovely, medium to pushy salespeople, but if you can deal with that it’s worth it! Plus you usually get Theme Park passes as well as discounted or free rooms. About dining, I love the upscale restaurants at Epcot, can’t think of the names but the Moroccan one in particular, they closed my favorite Concourse Steak House, and while it’s a buffet not fine dining we love Boma at Animal Kingdom.The big plus of staying on Disney property is the Dining Package, worth every penny! Good Luck, have fun, and Happy Anniversary!! Maura in Connecticut

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