Florida's 443-key Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort Opens
August 4, 2014 9:30am
The ribbon cutting to officially mark the opening of Four Seasons Resort Orlando took place on August 1. Joining Regional Vice President and General Manager Thomas Steinhauer were Chris Hunsberger, President Hotel Operations, Americas, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts; Tom Wolber, Senior Vice President Walt Disney World Resort Operations; and special guest Mickey Mouse.
Steinhauer, whose team will soon grow to 1,000 carefully chosen staff dedicated to creating the best possible experience for each individual guest, confesses: "Honestly we've been like children looking forward to their first trip to Walt Disney World, dreaming of the possibilities and counting the days. Now at last we're open, and we can't wait for you to join us."
"I won't say it will be a once in a lifetime holiday, because we hope to welcome you back again and again at Four Seasons Resort Orlando," he says.
Memories to Last a Lifetime
With its ideal location within the residential community of Golden Oak at Walt Disney World Resort, Four Seasons Resort Orlando is just minutes from all the attractions via complimentary Four Seasons motor coaches or private luxury sedans. The onsite Disney Planning Center located on the lobby level is the starting point as Four Seasons guests enjoy myriad benefits and connectivity thanks to the Resort's special relationship with Disney.
"We are excited to be able to offer our guests access to unforgettable experiences to suit all types of interests, throughout the Walt Disney World Resort area and beyond," notes Chef Concierge Sandra Ferrarese.
All the Details: Accommodations
Guests can choose from 443 modern, airy rooms, including 68 suites, with configuration options tailored for couples and individuals, and families and friends travelling together.
"For the first time, Four Seasons is presenting a nine - yes, nine! – bedroom option with our top floor Royal Suite," says Resort Manager Ben Shank. "And in addition, we can seamlessly expand our Presidential Suite to four bedrooms, or for those who want complete privacy and plenty of room to spread out, the entire 16th floor can be booked exclusively."
The Resort's rooms are the largest in Orlando, and each has a wide, furnished terrace to enjoy the Florida sunshine and views across 26.5 acres (11 hectares) of lushly landscaped grounds, including gardens, lake and golf course. Many rooms also offer unobstructed views of the nightly fireworks at Magic Kingdom Park, a wonderful opportunity for a family picnic or romantic dinner on the private terrace.
A Destination within a Resort: Explorer Island
Five acres (two hectares) of fun are packed onto the Resort's own Explorer Island. There's something for everyone, starting with the massive 7,590 square foot (705 square metre) family pool, beach volleyball, outdoor movie nights on the Starstruck screen and smokehouse barbecue at PB+G, the pool bar and grill. There's also a lazy river winding around a "ruined" mansion, an expansive Splash Zone with dozens of choreographed water jets, a climbing wall and waterslides, and a video gaming centre. The fully-supervised Kids for All Seasons program is a complimentary camp for younger guests ages 4 to 12 that is a standout added value in the Orlando area.
"It's the kind of place kids will never want to leave, and grown-ups will love for the chance to join in the excitement and indulge their inner child," predicts Director of Public Relations Dana Berry. "Explorer Island offers fun for all ages!"
More recreation, fitness and adults-only diversions: Four Seasons Resort Orlando also boasts three on-site Har-Tru tennis courts in partnership with Peter Burwash International, an adults-only pool surrounded by private cabanas and reserved for guests 21 and older, and a 24-hour fitness centre.
More to come: Next month, Four Seasons will unveil the completely refurbished Tom Fazio-designed golf course, Tranquilo Golf Club. A Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary, the course's par-71 18 holes unfold through rolling hills dotted with southern live oaks and Spanish moss.
"We look forward to welcoming Resort guests and day guests to our expansive clubhouse facilities, including the Cuban-American Plancha restaurant," invites Director of Golf Charlie Kent. "And if you've never had the luxury of playing a Four Seasons-managed golf course, you are in for a treat – as well as a great game of golf."
Food, Glorious Food
In addition to PB+G on Explorer Island and Plancha at the golf clubhouse, Four Seasons Resort Orlando includes three additional on-site dining and drinking venues, and a few surprises too.
Ravello is both a modern Italian restaurant and a vibrant bar on the hotel's main floor and garden level, making it a great place for Resort guests, locals and visitors to the Orlando area to gather for fine cuisine, wine and good times. It's here where Executive Chef Fabrizio Schenardi's love of food shines – the Italian-born and trained chef has taken full advantage of Ravello's pizza oven and Florida's bounty of produce and fresh seafood to craft seasonally changing menus and bespoke events in two private dining rooms. There's also a show kitchen for private cooking demonstrations and special events.
Director of Food and Beverage Stephen Wancha is also excited about Lickety-Split, the Resort's gourmet coffee shop. "Given how much we anticipate guests wanting to get up and head into the Parks, we wanted to have a grab-and-go venue, but instead of the usual paper cup-coffee and ordinary pastries, we're pulling out all the stops to present gourmet goodies to enjoy on the spot or on the run."
Chef Fabrizio's influence is evident here too as Lickety-Split offers his personal recipes for addictive sweet and savoury bombolinis, and daily flavours of housemade gelato. "And if you have a craving but don't want to leave the pool, our gelato cart will be making its rounds!"
More to come: Crowning the culinary choices at Four Seasons Resort Orlando will be Capa, a contemporary Spanish steakhouse set to open in September. The 17th floor restaurant and outdoor dining terrace will afford premier views of the nightly Magic Kingdom Park fireworks as a backdrop for exquisite meals in a romantic setting.
"We're also bringing the dining experience outside the Resort as we participate in the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival this fall, and our own Four Seasons Taste Truck rolls through in late October," notes Wancha, referring to the branded food truck's planned east coast tour.
Time to Indulge
Fresh from his stint at the acclaimed Spa at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, Derek Hofmann is adding glamour and star power to the sumptuous Spa at Four Seasons Resort Orlando.
"Everything has been designed for ultimate relaxation, whether attending to muscles weary from walking the Parks or playing golf and tennis, getting ready to be photographed on your wedding day, or simply indulging in a few precious hours of bliss, we'll take care of you," says the Spa Director, who has also put Hollywood's best kept secret, the exclusive Fire & Ice facial, and other anti-ageing treatments on the Spa menu.
Not to be missed: 18 luxuriant treatment rooms, including the ultra private couples' bungalows; the Experience Showers - a journey through water, scent and light effects like no other; the Aroma Design Bar for custom fragrances for treatments or to take home; and a hair, nail and beauty salon led by Master Stylist Alejandra Bell.
"And no one is left out as younger guests take part in Magical Moment makeovers and Shining Knight packages designed just for them," says Hofmann.
A Dream Wedding, and the Best Honeymoon Ever
Four Seasons Resort Orlando has everything a couple could want in a getaway that balances an active vacation with romantic adult time – especially for those getting married or beginning their life together on honeymoon.
"There are so many special settings for the ceremony, pictures and reception here," says Director of Catering Laurie Hitzig. "My personal favourites are the two Lakeside pavilions: they're perfect for parties of up to 20, with arched windows opening onto a waterside terrace with an intimate outdoor fireplace."
The Best Meetings and Group Events Have It All
Meeting planners know that the key to success is a seamless agenda that maximizes productivity, and allows for the all-important networking and downtime. With 37,750 square feet (3,500 square metres) of event space – much of it naturally lit – and the expert planning and attention to detail of Four Seasons event specialists, putting it all together is a snap.
"Our event facilities are truly extraordinary," says Director of Marketing Alan Reichbart, referring to the 14,000 square foot (1,300 square metres) Grand Ballroom with natural light and two outdoor terraces. There is also the elegant Palm Ballroom, and an array of smaller spaces and outdoor lawns that can accommodate up to 1,000 guests. "We can host everything from an intimate board of directors meeting to a memorable conference, as well as dynamic events for sales meetings and incentive-oriented groups."
Four Seasons in the Sunshine State
Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort joins sister hotels Four Seasons Hotel Miami and Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach as the third property in the brand's Florida collection. A fourth project, Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club, is now in development in the Atlantic Ocean community of Surfside.
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Contact: Laura Zanzal
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