Yes, I played and fed some gators. They even talked to me and we had quite a conversation. Have you guessed where I am yet? Nope, I am not at Gatorland. What is that? Nope, I am not in the Everglades. Well….maybe I am in a way.
Ok, I will tell you. We are back at Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center! It has been a minute since we have been here and you know that this is one of my favorite resorts in Orlando. A huge shout out and thank you to Gaylord Palms Resort and Spa for hosting me during the media preview of the resort reopening and showcasing how they are taking great steps implementing safety guidelines and going the extra mile to ensure that your stay is the best. My accommodations for this amazing two night stay was overlooking the atrium area. Gaylord Palms has three different sections of this massive (and I mean massive) resort, Everglades, Key West, and St Augustine. Each of them offer the atmosphere as if you are in those places and you could stay here several times and never get the same view twice.
As usual, my room was amazing! Overlooking the expansive atrium is so beautiful and as if having such a large room is not enough, you step out unto your balcony to see the gorgeous trees and water, it is just so peaceful. Everything was super clean. Although the remote was not wrapped in its own little ‘burrito’, which seems to be the first thing I notice now at resorts, they do supply you with hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes right in the room, so that you can stay safe and wipe down things as you use them, which I though was very nice. Everything was super clean and I have no reservations at all staying here again and again, as it has never been a disappointment any of the times that I have had the privilege of staying here. There was plenty of signage throughout the resort as well, letting you know to social distance or have your mask on when walking around the lobby and common areas.
They were so gracious to afford us the ability to try out the restaurants such as the Moor, which is a sailing vessel right in the middle of the resort! How awesome is that. Not all of the dining venues are open at the moment, but there is still plenty to tempt your taste buds, such as Wreckers Sports Bar, Socio, which is a cuban inspired bar and lounge, Sandbar, their pool bar that serves not only cool libations but some lite food fair as well among others. The Emerald Bay Marketplace, which serves grab and go meals and such was closed during my stay, again to keep things as clean and safe as possible for the resort guests.
Over in the St. Augustine section, I did have the opportunity as mentioned previously, to hang out with some scaly friends, watching and being able to feed them. Again, they had everything marked for social distancing and took measures to make sure that even our toothy pals will stay healthy during this time. You even get some great information during the feedings so I guess you could count this towards virtual school!
They also have the Everglades Atrium where you can do garden tours, hang out at Sawgrass Place and learn about non-venomous Florida snakes, or “grunt” with the baby alligators (get it, grunts…ok). In the Key West section they have an incredible 161-gallon Key West lagoon full of Florida native species like mangrove snapper and tarpon as well as stingrays that you can learn about and feed during their fish feedings. Needless to say there is a lot to do here but that is not all!
Gaylord Palms also offers the Relache Spa, a fitness center (which I just did not have time to take advantage of this stay either), the South Beach Adult Pool (which is adults only), Adventure Kids which is a sort of “kids camp” offering fun scavenger hunts and experiences (which are limited so be sure and inquire when you arrive). They also offer complimentary shuttle service to Walt Disney World and Universal Studios and for a fee shuttle service to SeaWorld. They also boast one of the largest convention center spaces in Orlando with over 72 event rooms. Whether hosting a trade show for thousands in their Florida Exhibit Hall or a series of intimate meetings, they have a team of meeting experts and service partners who will understand your needs, speak your language, and – most importantly – can help you execute your event flawlessly. Every meeting package is customized to perfectly fit the needs of your meeting, including government and military meetings of all sizes.
Although all of these spaces and sights are beautiful the cherry on the top here is the Cypress Springs Water Park. This, my friends, is a destination in itself! Included with your resort stay, you have access to awesome slides, zero-entry swimming pool and a super fun double flowrider, that is exclusive to Gaylord Palms. There is a ton of stuff for the kids including the Treehouse Playground where kids can slide down four different slides or get drenched by their 317 gallon bucket! Let’s face it, I was a little jealous it was just for kids.
Want to get away from adulting and just relax? They have that as well at the South Beach Pool, lined with beautiful palms trees and purely serene. You can even reserve a cabana and lay back in luxury for the day in the loungers and bring your favorite snacks and beverages to store in the refrigerator. Premium seating is also available so you don’t have to run down and throw those towels on a chair to make sure it will be there. Gaylord Palms has though of everything to make you and your family’s stay a fun, relaxing and memorable time.
I cannot say enough about this beautiful resort and I am always thrilled to be able to come back here, whether it be for SummerFest or as you know, the amazing ICE! event they have every year. Gaylord Palms is truly a resort destination and even if you are not planning on going to the theme parks, there is plenty to do here in itself. From checking out the different “wings”, getting some great food at the restaurants and bars, lounging by the pool or chillaxing in the Spa with a good book or having fun with the family at Cypress Springs Water Park, there is plenty to do and see here at Gaylord Palms Resort and Spa.
Big thank you to Gaylord Palms Resort and Spa for having me out for these amazing couple of nights and being able to share with you all of the fun, views and safety protocols that are offered here. If you would like to book a stay at Gaylord Palms go to https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/mcogp-gaylord-palms-resort-and-convention-center/
Spokesmayne; Gaylord Palms Resort and Spa