People ask me what has been the best hotel to feature since I launched Luxe Recess in 2014. I am not saying that the Four Seasons Orlando is my favorite, because that’s like saying I have a favorite child. Although the fact that we did just return from our sixth visit may mean our family has found its magical place.
There’s no Orlando Disney resort like it.
Here are 11 reasons we just can’t stay away.
The lobby chandeliers
The lobby flowers and chandeliers are what greet you when you enter. The chandeliers are meant to evoke fireworks we associate with the nighttime magic at Walt Disney World. The chandeliers hang over a grand staircase giving the feeling of a finale burst of color and light frozen in time. As a photographer I never tire of shooting them because of how different they look throughout the day.
The staircase is adorned on either side by the signature Four Seasons floral displays, using a series of large hurricane vases. It’s simply a treat for the eyes and has become the signature moment I know I am back in my happy place.
The Four Seasons Orlando Service sets the standard
It’s really no surprise that the Four Seasons offers the highest level of service at the Walt Disney World Resort as the only five-star Mobil property in Central Florida. Attendants offer gummy gators to children poolside. When I called the concierge to ask a question, cleared my throat, and apologized for my hoarse voice, room service surprised me with the pot of chamomile tea and honey five minutes later.
Round out your Orlando vacation with Disney VIP Tours.
Here’s our ultimate guide with everything you need to know about the different types.
When we arrived before our room was available one time, a pool attendant gave my daughter and me a 45-minute tour of the property’s facilities, even involving some very competitive bean bag tossing. I saw some growing pains on my first visit shortly after their opening, but they fire very well on all cylinders now.
The Four Seasons Disney desk in the lobby also staffs some of the most helpful and knowledgable Disney cast members around, too.
The Park View Balconies
Some views are insignificant, and some are worth every penny. I recommend you splurge for a park view room or suite while staying at Disney World. Park view balconies face due west with spectacular vistas of the pool area, and the horizon line adorned by Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios. The sunsets are spectacular.
By nighttime, the most magical views of all three fireworks shows are seen from your balcony. It’s the most thrilling view at the Disney World resorts of not one Disney park, but all of them.
The Four Seasons Orlando Spa
I am not sure which impressed me more: the Four Seasons Spa’s design or the facial I received. Shimmering mosaic tiles of purple flowers adorn the vanities with purple flower candles between each sink. It’s delightfully feminine and sleek. The wet areas include an electronic shower where one can create different types of water experiences with varying pressures, temperatures, and lights.
The Four Seasons Spa offer excellent facials, and it’s where one when can get the signature Fire and Ice Facial as well as the rejuvenating Oxygen Facial that’s recommended before a big night out. Nestled in the treatment beds in a decadent cocoon under crystal chandeliers you can find Orlando’s most undisturbed oasis far from the crowds at Disney World.
The large coed spa lounge is cozy and would feel just as apropos in a Four Season ski resort out west with its blazing fireplaces and fluffy blankets. The ivories and chocolate browns in the décor work even better complemented by the real chocolates and brownies for the taking.
Heaven for Coffee and Gelato
At the risk of sounding like Rufus Wainright musing about cigarettes and chocolate milk in his song of favorite addictions, the Four Seasons offers two exceptional versions of coffee and ice cream in their lobby café, Lickety Split. The gelato flavors are either gorgeously traditional like hazelnut or chocolate or more innovative and Americanized like carrot cake and birthday cake. Stick with a double scoop of chocolate and hazelnut which is worth their calories.
Because Florida and hot beverages aren’t as appealing, the Four Seasons imported a special cold-pressed brewing machine that makes the smoothest, most complex iced coffee I’ve ever tasted. If you’re a Four Seasons regular, you’ll note that Lickety Split offers the Italian doughnut treats called bomboloni. I first saw these at the Four Seasons St. Louis and noticed that Italian-born members of the Orlando culinary team came from the St. Louis property and brought their beloved treats with them.
Kids for all seasons
As my family has traveled around reviewing resorts for Luxe Recess we notice every element that goes into a kids’ club. The Four Seasons has mastered the equation. Unlike other kids’ clubs the Four Seasons is free and doesn’t always separate siblings by age, which means younger siblings feel comfortable almost instantly.
The kids’ club runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day, and parents can drop their children off for whatever time. The centerpiece of the kids’ club is the volcano structure. The children can build forts and press a secret button that makes the volcano erupt in a show of red lights to simulate lava oozing down it slopes.
The kids’ clubs policies are probably one of the key reasons we find this place works so well for our family. My children enjoy it so much it, and the program is so flexible that it means that we can have a guilt free few hours here and there by the adult-only pool, at the spa, or napping in the hotel room.
The Hideout for tweens is filled with video games, foosball, and pool tables, but fortunately, on a beautiful day, no screen inside can rival the outside fun. There are many places around the grounds for families to engage in games together.
After another recent visit, my children chose staying at the resort and letting to days of park tickets go to waste.
Dining options at the Four Seasons are a welcome treat for any foodie families visiting the Disney World area. There are five different restaurants options on site and every one is structured to accommodate families.
The Good Morning Breakfast
with Goofy and his Pals
For breakfast the resort offers a beautiful buffet at Ravello that also involves the best character meal in Disney World, recommended even for those guess not staying on site. The Good Morning Breakfast with Goofy and his Pals runs every Thursday and Saturday morning with select Tuesdays in higher seasons. For the quality of food and the amount of time with characters, it is undoubtedly the best value of the other options at Disney World resorts.
PB&G and Plancha
Lunches are available at PB&G by the pool as well as a Plancha at the golf clubhouse. We enjoy both of them and think Plancha is a best-kept secret tucked away as the 19th hole of the Tranquillo Golf course.
Unlike so many restaurants at Disney World, guess can drive directly up to the clubhouse and walk right in without a reservation most times except for Sunday brunch when they may be full. It’s definitely one of the best lunch options in Disney World for foodies without reservations.
Dinner at Capa is at the penthouse-level restaurant offering tapas and Spanish influenced steakhouse staples. The dramatic black and red design feels adult and manages to be both sophisticated for adult groups or families. Dinner guests step out onto the balconies during the fireworks shows.
It’s not much of a stretch to applaud the Four Seasons for its interior design, but the cheery yellow and gray halls are my favorite of any hotel’s I have seen. Each trip back to our room made me fall for this place just a little harder.
The rooms and suites offer an innovative floor plan that feature with an open closet that doubles as a hallway to the bathroom. This proves very functional and easy to keep family belongings organized and out of the main room. Even if you only book a guest room, the king bed and sleeper sofa can fit most families comfortably.
Even the standard rooms offer a king bed and queen sleeper sofa (as do their suites) and serve families well. The balconies and bathrooms feel like real, additional living space to spread out.
Loving Disney World, but with style
The Four Seasons has some of the best and luxe Disney merchandise and even offers a personal shopping service for the perfect park or vacation outfit. Stylists will have your closet filled with options for a small fee that becomes a shopping credit if you purchase something.
Everyone raves about the rose gold Mickey ears, but the Four Seasons is where you snag Missoni Mickey ears or espadrilles, or even silk blouses.
The Four Seasons salon offers their own princess or knight makeover experiences, too, that can be more custom.
Best Orlando resort pool…ever
Very smart people designed this resort. The main building feels intimate and not the least bit sprawling. Yet the pool grounds, expanding more than five acres, enables every guest to stake their own slice of paradise and feel like the only guests there.
Granted, in the summer when they feel more crowded, plan on enjoying the pools midweek and the parks on weekends to get the most out of it. Our stays have been during the middle of winter like January or the end of April when Florida’s summer weather starts early.
The pools can definitely get crowded on Saturdays, so it is best to schedule a park day then (since there is really not break for park crowds). Getting these pools more to yourself is so, so worth it.
So the pool complex is truly the best we’ve seen in our travels. There are four different areas: an adult only pool, a large zero-entry family pool with a toddler sized waterslide, a splash zone with two full sized waterslides and an LED lit splash zone, and the final is called the Cove— intended for teens. It is the final stop of the lazy river adorned with a volleyball net and basketball hoop and incredible poolside loungers.
It took me three visits to make it to the adult-only pool with my husband, and it was worth every moment to enjoy a quiet lunch poolside. Knowing my kids would be annoyed to see us pick them up at Kids for All Seasons, we lingered a little longer and started to daydream of our return. I told you; we can’t stay away.
Extra Magic Hours
The Four Seasons recently announced that its guests are eligible to receive the Disney parks extra magic hours. The Disney help desk in the lobby is staffed by the best cast members I have ever interacted with. Now the new Minnie Van service through the Lyft app is available from the resort. Guests are advised to reserve them up to 20 minutes beforehand since their supply is limited.
Although we were guests of the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World for many of these experiences, the opinions expressed are entirely my own.
Getting free perks at the Four Seasons
You can check your dates for rates, but I suggest booking through an agent who can sprinkle some serious pixie dust.
If you are looking for a true five-star or VIP experience at Disney World, I recommend using My VIP Tour to book and arrange your hotel and travel as well as provide private guides in the park.
My VIP Tour is affiliated with a Virtuoso agency and can get all of their clients early check-in, late check-out, $100 spa credit, breakfast for two, and a room upgrade if available.
I spoke with several companies before selecting them, and we had a great experience using their VIP Tours in Magic Kingdom Park. They work with the most discerning clientele and can take care of your entire vacation.
And you can check out another Four Seasons Orlando review from Solo Mom Takes Flight.