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Gaylord Palms Orlando

Posted Apr 29 2013 10:17am
The Gaylord Palms hotel in Orlando is a majestic and beautifully designed resort.  It's located right next to Disney World and features a huge convention center, restaurants, live gators, 3 pool, and a mini water park. Kyle and I spent the weekend there to celebrate my mini dietetic spring break.
Usually we spend our staycations at my favorite resort Rosen's Shingle Creek (which is also where Kyle's sister is getting married in December). Sadly the resort was completely booked so we decided to try somewhere new.  We had been to Gaylord Palms for Ice during Christmas and knew it was a large and unique resort.

We booked the "Romance for Two" (I now find it odd that they had to specify it was for two?) package that included the room, parking, resort fee, sparking wine, and breakfast buffet.  Buying the package actually saved us about $20 and we got the sparking wine as a bonus!  I upgraded to the "atrium" view which looks in on the interior of the resort.  My vision was a view like this.
We got this. Corner view for the win.
However our room was huge and in the comfort arena the bed scored a B+.
Our first order of business was the pool.  The resort has 3 pools and we chose the "adults only" pool.  The pool is designed like resorts in South Beach and a lot of the lounge chairs were on astroturf.  Interesting to say the least.
Kyle and I were both hungry so we ordered a pool side lunch.  I chose a mahi sandwich (didn't eat the bread) and Kyle picked a turkey sandwich.  We also had a pitcher of Sangria.
We spent about 5 hours enjoying the pool.  Kyle watched the NFL draft on his iPad and I read "Finish Line Feeing" that was given to me by Liz Ferro. Side note: check out her Girls With Sole organization.
I also had to investigate the water park.  Kids would love it here! There were 4 slides and this structure full of falling water and water guns you could aim at complete strangers.  Good times.  Before I went down the biggest slide the life guard told me that "if I held my ankles I would go faster". Well, I've never tried that theory so I did.  HOLY MOLY you go fast.  Like really, really fast! Kyle tried the same strategy but it didn't work as well since he had on board shorts.  I clearly won the slide speed contest.

We had a great time at the pool.  It was in the low 80's and a perfect afternoon.
After a quick nap and a shower it was time for dinner at Old Hickory Steakhouse.
Kyle and I came here for his birthday in 2008 and we had great memories.  The restaurant is made to look like you are literally sitting in the Everglades and its visually stunning.
We started our dinner with the cheese course.  It's always fun to try new cheeses and since we did this last time we were here the tradition needed to be continued.
We picked a smokey blue, firm goat cheese, and a mild cheddar.  The best combination was the blue cheese with the fresh honey.
Our main course was the obvious steak for Kyle.  I had a harder time choosing.  Their fish options were salmon and Chilean sea bass.  I had such an amazing sea bass last weekend that I wasn't sure I wanted to try and top it, however I went for the sea bass... This is where I can't believe my blogger skills left me.  I didn't take a pic of my dinner.  It took about 35 minutes to come out so I was pretty hungry.  I took and bite and was immediately disappointed.  It did not taste like the delicious sea bass I had.  Actually it didn't taste or look like sea bass at all.  It had skin, the meat was dark, and didn't flake.  Eventually I asked the waiter if it was sea bass and after some discussion he returned to tell me it was striped bass...which is very different!  I was pretty disappointed, because I don't like striped bass at all.  He offered to get me something else, but by this time Kyle was done with his food.  Plus all of our sides came out cold too, so we were pretty bummed about dinner. We didn't complain, but I guess they saw we were bummed so the manager ended up comping our entire dinner which I thought was a good gesture.  I'm still not sure we would return there because it's very pricey, but I have high respect for the service.

After dinner was walked the hotel and enjoyed the neat surroundings.
There's a live gator display and I was astonished at how many gators were awake at night.  I was also astonished that they were following Kyle and I as we walked around the enclosure. Gators are scary!
See the eyes glowing?
Okay this post is massive and long, but I'm almost done.......the next morning we had the breakfast buffet at Villa Del Flor.  Overall it was a good buffet.
The amount of bacon on this plate is impressive.
Pricey, but the beautiful location makes up for it.
There was also a Shrek sighting.  This hotel is great for kids.
Overall it's a very nice hotel with lots to see and do without ever leaving the location.  It can be pricey and you'll be charged for parking, a resort fee, and huge Florida taxes which is annoying. I think it's a great getaway for families.
Why is my knee bent like that?
What do you look for in a hotel?

Love and room service,
Carissa & Kyle
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