Sunday, August 28, 2016

Travel Adventures: Gaylord Palms Resort, Orlando

Beautiful walkway area in the courtyard
(and Pokémon Stop, LOL)
The nice thing about living in Winter Haven, is that we are a hop, skip and a jump from good ol' Orlando, Florida; one of the most sought after family destinations in the world.  It's always fun to get away for the weekend and since we live so close, it is very convenient.  My good friend Amber, also has a son the same age as mine.  (She is in book club with me) and she suggested we stay at the Gaylord Palms Resort in Kissimmee for a mommy/son weekend.  I had never stayed at this resort before, and let me tell you, it is absolutely stunning!!!  OMG!! I will definitely be coming back.

Gaylord Palms in Orlando is famous for it's holiday event, ICE!  If you have never heard of ICE!, it is an indoor wonderland where they feature beautiful ice sculptures and ice slides.  It is neat to go see it at least once, if you haven't done so.  Of course, since we were there in August, this event was not happening at this time.  The resort is very unique in that it has a beautiful glassed-in atrium that allows for many beautiful stone walkways that feature native floral and fauna of Florida.  There is even a section that houses small alligators.  We were able to watch them get fed on Saturday night.

Alligator feeding

There are three different sections in the resort, all of which make up a side of the atrium to form a central courtyard area.  The sections are the Everglades, St. Augustine and Key West.  Our room was located in Key West.  Each area has shops and restaurants.  It amazed me how big the hotel was.  It really was like it's own little city.  We walked around quite a bit, and they boys had fun playing Pokémon Go.  There are quite a few stops on the property!

Since we went in the off season, it wasn't very crowded at all.  I imagine in peak summer and holiday, it would be very crowded.  When we checked in on Saturday, they had a room ready for us at 11:00 AM and check in is usually not until 4:00 PM.  There are two pools, one that is adults only and the other for families.  The family pool had a water playground area which has four water slides.  We spent pretty much all Saturday at the family pool area.  Amber and I spent time catching up on our reading and chatting while the boys played.  Later that night we had dinner in the Moor restaurant, which was the main restaurant in the Key West area.  It's deck is shaped like a boat, which you could see from our balcony.  Did I mention that the rooms had balconies?  I'm telling you, I felt like a queen all weekend!

View from our balcony of Moor restaurant

Gaylord Palms is a gorgeous property.  Whether you are on a family vacation or a romantic getaway, this resort has it all.  I am definitely going to come back and bring the Hubster, sans kiddos!


Rowena said...

That's an awesome idea, a Mommy and Me weekend getaway and it looks like you had a great time. Love the pics!!

So...what did you read by the pool? Anything good?

Jill D. said...

Thanks Rowena! We had a great time and I can't wait to do it again. I was finishing up our book club book, Choosing Charleston. I will be reviewing it within the week!