If luxury can be summed up in 3 words those words would be Four Seasons Orlando. This has got to be one of the most gorgeous hotels we have ever stayed at, everything was so picturesque and grand. We went over Labour Day weekend which was not so busy, I was totally prepping myself for it to be chaos.
To back up a bit my husband wanted to stay on Disney property with all the bells and whistles as he wanted our daughters to have the “full Disney experience”. I wanted to stay off property in a hotel which was still close enough to all the Disney action but where we could unwind after a full day at the park. Of course I also wanted to be pampered and stay at a nice place. This was our 9th Wedding Anniversary trip so we wanted the best of both worlds; give our two girls a beautiful Disney experience and also splurge a little on ourselves. This is how we decided we were going to spend three nights at the Four Seasons and four nights at Polynesian. I scoured tons and tons of Disney blogs before deciding on these choices – I must say all the research paid off.
Grounds and Location
The 4S Hotel is nicely nestled in a residential neighbourhood just southeast of Magic Kingdom within the Golden Oak luxury community. It occupies one of the most secluded areas of Walt Disney World Resort, surrounded by natural Everglades sanctuary that’s home to some interesting wildlife. The grounds are well manicured and endless, I felt that they could stretch for days. The property has four pools + a slide, four restaurants, 3 lounges/bars, stunning spa and a serene golf course. I could live here, I suggested that to the hubby but looks like it maybe a bit out of our price range 😉 The hotel design is Spanish Revival architecture also known as Florida Revival which features terracotta tiled rooftops, square towers, arched windows and grand terraces that overlook the golf course. The never ending gardens are planted with towering oak and palm trees that nicely edge the walkways around the resort. The location was amazing, central to everything such as Disney parks, Disney Springs and Shopping which were all a short cab or shuttle ride away. The hotel offers a free shuttle to the Disney parks which is a nice little perk, though we didn’t visit the parks while staying here as we were saving that for when we stayed on Disney property.
Rooms and Service
We stayed in a Golden Oak View Room which over looked the golf course and was more than ample space for a family of four. The room had a grand bathroom with a nice size bathtub and a separate glass shower which came in handy when the kids needed to be sectioned off. The rest of the room was nice with two very comfortable queen beds and a full size crib that was wheeled in for us. I expected a pack and play that most hotels offer but this was a nice wood crib. Granted with the crib it got a bit tight and we had to be creative while maneuvering around it made my daughter feel like she was at home – she doesn’t do pack and plays very well. I called the hotel earlier to see if they would be able to provide a kettle in the room, they honored that request and also included a few other items that made life easier: a kids step stool, extra toiletries, a cupcake, and baby food pouches upon arrival. Oh! I almost forgot the most important part, as we entered the room we were greeted with a nice little surprise for the girls. They each got a princess wand, crown, and blue tutu which my daughters still wear around the house. See below for the full effect!
The service was impeccable, every individual we came in contact with was pleasant and went out of their way to answer any questions we had. We felt like we were their top priority and we got a hello from every staff member that passed us. The staff would take extra time to stop and chit chat with the girls and ask them about their day. To me this is great training. One night I had a really sore throat and was up for hours before finally calling concierge to see if they had throat lozenges. They didn’t but they had a store on property that had them which was closed as it was in the middle of the night, so what do they do? They opened the store up just for me and sent me two packs of lozenges, high five on the customer service.
The 4S water game is on strong. There is something for everyone, starting with a adult pool, kids pool, slides, splash pad, and oh yeah a phenomenal lazy river. The lazy river was our favourite, it basically stretched on forever and had an amazing waterfall that the kids could not get enough of. The rapids got really tough at times and whipped the kids off their tubes, we made them wear life jackets just in case. They actually enjoyed getting thrown off the tubes, they would screech in delight and then show us their swimming skills. We also spent spent some time in the family pool that has a infinity edge, I could swear as I was hanging out at the pool I saw a small nose bob out of the water in the ravine below us and then disappear under! It could not get to us but it was a cool sighting as baby alligators can get in the ravines sometimes and of course not reach the guests. Anyhow, something literally for everyone- is there anything really that is missing from this Oasis? They also have ample loungers, cabanas, beds, and endless tubes for the lazy river. We spent as much time as we could enjoying all of the above, the kids even napped on the loungers as they were not willing to go to up to the room, fearing they may miss some of the action. What I enjoyed the most and of course appreciated was the fact that everything was clean and well maintained. My daughter spilled her juice by accident on a lounger and before I could notify the staff someone was already attending to us.
There were quite a few dining options onsite, including a Character Breakfast at Ravello. We were going to be doing a few of these in the next few days on Disney property so decided to skip it here. We did walk by one day and saw a lot of happy kids playing with Goofy.
Lickity Split – We would grab quick snacks, pasteries, gelato, and our breakfasts from here. The quality was great and always had free refills of coffee which was needed after a late night. They also have some prepacked goodies that you can take with you if you are in a pinch and want to head to the parks early on. We preferred to take our time we breakfast and would eat outside on the restaurant patio in the mornings.
PB & G – Lunch with a view! The fare was pretty basic, standard American menu of burgers, sandwiches, salads, chicken fingers etc. Nothing to write home about but it was lunch so we wanted something easy and quick, it did the job. Special shout out for the truffle fries – they were super delicious! We took advantage of the fact that we could sit outside under the shade and enjoy the scenery, the place is just that beautiful. Check out the view below from PB & G of the lazy river.
Ravello – We dined at the Italian Ravello one night and thoroughly enjoyed our meals. We ordered off the pre fixe menu and everything was delicious. It was Magical Dining month and many restaurants offered a special menu with a 3 course meal. The atmosphere in the restaurant was really nice and inviting, and the server was quite attentive especially when the kids needed anything. We needed to substitute a few things and it was not a problem at all even though it was a fine dining restaurant. They get a special high five for that. Also note, kids under 5 eat for free on the resort so that was a nice bonus. We were travelling with my friend and her family, we managed to take a picture of us while the kids were distracted for five seconds!
Frequent Flyer Foodie Tips
- Their is a kids club on site and a great place to drop off the kids when it gets really hot during the day
- Kids eat for free at all Restaurants, take advantage!
- If you need to rent a car, concierge will arrange pick up and drop of the rental car
- The resort offers many free kid friendly things for the room, ie. kids toiletries, step stool, kettle, baby bath tub. The list is endless, if you need anything at all you can rest assured that they will have it.
- There is no resort fee! Most hotels and resorts in the area charge a resort fee of between $25-35 a day, I call this the no need fee!
Frequent Flyer Foodie Ratings:
PB & G***
We were able to snag a really good deal as it was considered a slow period since the kiddies in the US were already back to school. If you would like to stay here and not spend an arm and a leg take a look at the rate calendar. Our family had an amazing time here and would go back in a heartbeat; the luxury and service were on point. We really needed this before we checked out and checked into the insanity of Disney – that is an entirely different post which will be coming soon. Look out for my next post on The Polynesian and Magic Kingdom and the debate on what’s better, staying on property vs off property.
Hope you enjoyed reading, if you have any questions at all feel free to leave a message and we would be happy to respond!
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