Orlando Upscale Hotel..Help!

Old May 8th, 2007, 03:28 PM
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Orlando Upscale Hotel..Help!

Hello. Once again I find myself looking to you all for help. My best friend was just diagnosed with late stage cancer. She is turning 50 in a couple of weeks. She lives in Orlando. I want to treat her to a wonderful hotel experience. Picked up by limo, wonderful dinner, spa, hotel, etc. I live in Atlanta and don't know Orlando. Can anyone recommend a great experience for she and I?
Thanking you all!
Tannya
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Old May 8th, 2007, 03:52 PM
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The first that comes to mind is the Portofino, which is a recreation of a Mediterrean waterfront village (Portofino, Italy)

http://www.loewshotels.com/en/Hotels.../Overview.aspx

It is a Loews hotel and is just lovely. My favorite restaurant there is Mama's Italian (mainly because of the mussels ) and there is a spa.

The "runner-up" would be another Loew's hotel - the Royal Pacific.
http://www.loewshotels.com/en/Hotels.../Overview.aspx

The restaurant I would recommend there is Emeril's Tchop Chop.

The resorts are close to one another, so if she stays at the Royal Pacific, she could shuttle to Portofino for the spa. The Loews resorts offer water taxis to Universal, so if she wants to "celebrate life" she could laugh and play at Universal - and be treated to the head of the lines.

I stay at the Portofino when in Orlando on business and haven't been to a park in years. Both are lovely options.
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Old May 8th, 2007, 03:55 PM
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Thanks for the input. I will check out these 2 places.

Tannya
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Old May 8th, 2007, 04:01 PM
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Hello tannya,
I'm sorry that I can't help you. However, I want to say how sorry I am to hear this about your best friend. I am hearing more and more cancer these days, and frankly, it is very frightening.

Bless you for being such a good friend. And all the best to your friend.
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Old May 8th, 2007, 04:02 PM
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I just remembered that my friends husband works for Universal. Should I avoid it because of that? I'm uncertain. Maybe the Ritz in Orlando? I want this to be so special.
Thanks for the help.
Tannya
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Old May 8th, 2007, 04:04 PM
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Kopp: Thanks for your message. I too am hearing of more and more cancer in young people. My husband and I have lost 3 close friends to cancer in the past 5 years. What is causing it??!!! It is so frightening.
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Old May 8th, 2007, 04:06 PM
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I just did a search for luxury hotels in Orlando, and this is what came up on google:

http://tinyurl.com/2tbg9p

I see The Peabody and Grand Floridian top the list. Haven't been to Peabody, but Disney's Grand Floridian seems like a wonderful place (I've only been into their lobby, not the rooms, but I know Princess Diana stayed there with her boys once.)

Good luck!
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Old May 8th, 2007, 04:17 PM
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You can't go wrong with a Ritz or a Four Seasons. Some like the Gaylord and the Peabody. The Peabody ducks are fun to watch if you haven't seen them there or in Memphis. I'll stay at the Peabody when I'm there for conferences (because it's across the street from the convention center) but it isn't my favorite. The Ritz and Gaylord are a bit further out.

If you choose the Ritz (or others for that matter) look at the Club level rates. For a bit more, you get 5 servings a day - breakfast and snacks throughout the day - which really helps with costs because restaurants are very pricey - especially if you are out or don't want to leave the resort.

The Portofino (or Royal Pacific) would be my choices because they are very nice and you would feel transported. I like that there are other options nearby.

Others will weigh in with favorites. What a nice thing to do!
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Old May 8th, 2007, 04:18 PM
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Oh, the Grand Floridian IS lovely. I've not stayed there, but have only heard raves.
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Old May 8th, 2007, 04:43 PM
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I looked at the Gaylord website. This 60' sailboat restaurant called Sunset Sams......is it really a boat, on the water or just an illusion?
Tannya
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Old May 8th, 2007, 05:06 PM
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I would NOT recommend teh GAylord. The hotel is fine for tourists..or convention stays but the restaurant is NOt on tehwater and frankly this is not what I would recommend for luxery...given teh situation you describe.
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Old May 8th, 2007, 05:07 PM
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Have a look at the Hyatt Grand Cyprus resort. Really beautiful pool complex and grounds as well as a couple of really good retaurants. Don;t know how active she can be but they have also have a great lake with small boats and a nice piano bar in the hotel jungle/atrium.
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Old May 8th, 2007, 05:15 PM
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I agree with nytraveler regarding the Hyatt - it's where many locals like to go for a getaway. Another good choice: http://www.grandelakes.com/

Best wishes to your and your friend.
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Old May 8th, 2007, 05:32 PM
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Definitely consider Grand Floridian. It/'s a beautiful hotel, has a spa and one of the best restaurants in Florida--Victoria and Alberts. Basically, you could avoid the Limo and do everything on site.
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Old May 8th, 2007, 05:49 PM
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The Gaylord is very noisy. Since the whole inside is a giant courtyard, the sound bounces of the hotel room windows. They have a great breakfast buffet there, though!

I would recommend the Grand Cypress Hyatt or the Ritz/JW Marriott complex. The latter has a really lovely spa (with private pool) and 3 heated swimming pools (one is a "lazy river" ) ; the Hyatt pool is not heated, but gorgeous. The Hyatt has horse-back riding, if that makes a difference. I love Hemmingway's restaurant at the Hyatt.

I've not stayed at the Grand Floridian. It is lovely, and right on the monorail. Their spa was nice, too, but somehow, the atmosphere of the hotel just seems a bit more chaotic than the off-Disney properties. But they do have a lovely tea time! If you stay here, I recommend you take the monorail over to the Contemp Hotel for dinner at the Calif Grill. See if you can coordinate timing with the fireworks.

Best wishes. So sorry for the reason for your trip.
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Old May 8th, 2007, 05:55 PM
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PS. I don't think the Grand Cypress Hyatt has a spa on-site.
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Old May 8th, 2007, 08:08 PM
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I recommend everybody stay away from the Peabody. Have a look at the ducks and the decor, which are both nice, but our overnight stay there was horrible -- noisy plumbing and constant noise from the hallways and other rooms were the main problems. I've spent more comfortable stays in the Motel 6.
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Old May 9th, 2007, 06:43 AM
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Tannya, First off this is a great thing you are doing, you are a true friend. I too would recomment the Ritz/JWMarriott complex. They are supposed to have one of the best spa's in the area. Also Norman's restaurant is located at the Ritz for fine dining. There is a really nice pool area
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Old May 9th, 2007, 07:11 AM
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If your friends husband works at Universal she may appreciate being away from that crazy busy area. The Grand Bohemian in downtown Orlando gets rave reviews - http://www.grandbohemianhotel.com/ .
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Old May 9th, 2007, 08:09 AM
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Another vote for the Ritz/JW Marriott complex (but stay at the Ritz). The spa there is amazing, and the grounds/pools very nice.
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