Last Friday, I enjoyed a refreshing Florida fall evening outside at the first annual Food & Wine Classic, hosted at the Swan and Dolphin hotels inside the Disney World resort in Lake Buena Vista. An outdoor area overlooking the water connects these two sister hotels and was the perfect spot for the event.
I escaped to Orlando for a day at Epcot and to enjoy the Marriott World Center Resort and its amenities. The landscaped swimming pool area alone, with its curvy slide and "mountain" waterfalls, is definitely worth a stay. The resort was hopping with folks in for business meetings (has an attached convention center), but plenty of people were there just for fun. Like me.
Even though I’m a 20-year resident of Orlando, I had yet to make it down to the Peabody hotel to behold the famous marching of the Peabody ducks. This past Monday evening, I got to see the winged waddlers walk the red carpet, led by their gold-and-crimson-clad duck master, to the timbres of John Philip Sousa's “King Cotton March.”
When friends started calling me “The First Lady” I knew I was in for a real treat (and ribbing) when I had a chance to stay in the Presidential Suite of the Waldorf Astoria in Orlando. I was right. Walking across the lobby’s exquisite marble floors, I recognized the Tower Clock immediately. It is a reproduction of the iconic ticker at the classic Waldorf in Manhattan. How wonderful!
I arrived for a weekend escape at the very lux One Ocean Resort in the Town Center of Atlantic Beach (north of Jacksonville Beach) to gorgeous blue skies and 70-something degrees. Perfect! When I told the valet I was checking in and gave him my name, I was whisked away by what is referred to as the “Seamless Check-in.”
My usual travel routine goes something like this: check into hotel and head out into field to survey the scene. But on my last trip to Miami Beach I was so mesmerized by the view from my 14th-floor room at the One Bal Harbour Resort & Spa (oneluxuryhotels.com) that I lingered and lingered and lingered in front of the floor-to-ceiling windows in the super luxurious bathroom. One morning I soaked in the deep tub, which seemed to be on the edge of the building, memorizing the vista of Haulover Cut and its adjacent freshly raked sandy shore.
It's more than a salon, it's a destination. The newest hot spot in Boca isn't a chic restaurant or club; it's the Sky Salon and Spa (skysalonandspa.com) at the newly minted Milan Tower on Military Trail. Located on the penthouse level, sky blue walls with exquisite mother of pearl tile detailing welcome you in, bestowing a feeling of being in the clouds. The panoramic view of the Boca skyline is fab too.
Most families who visit Walt Disney World (disneyworld.com) have the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort on their must-see list. Despite covering the Disney parks for more than 10 years, I have never seen this Wild West dinner show, which is celebrating its 35th anniversary (getting a table is a three-month wait). So I was thrilled to be invited and seated at an almost front-row table.