The Four Seasons is a brand synonymous with luxury, and just an hour away from Tampa Bay the Four Seasons Resort Orlando is an oasis from the real world. Nestled on 26 lushly landscaped acres, the AAA Five Diamond resort offers innumerable ways to escape.
There are activities to fit everyone’s desires. You can spend a day at the restorative spa; enjoy an afternoon on the Tom Fazio-designed golf course, located within a Certified Audubon Sanctuary; exercise in the expansive state-of-the-art fitness center; or dive into the many aquatic offerings — five pools, a lazy river with rapids and waterfalls, Explorer Island with two water slides and a splash pad, water basketball and volleyball. There’s also a Teen Hangout to keep kids entertained on rainy afternoons.
Reopened at the beginning of July, the Four Seasons Orlando has diligently protected the health of guests and employees through its Lead With Care safety program.
Their service is impeccable, as I discovered the moment I arrived. Upon pulling up in my car, we were greeted by two employees wearing masks and gloves who swiftly unloaded our luggage and whisked it away. As we walked toward the registration desk, our body temperatures were unobtrusively scanned for safety.
Registration was a breeze, and employees greeted us warmly as we explored the Renaissance-inspired hotel interiors on our way to our room on the 16th floor.
The attention to detail in our luxurious room was immediately evident, with added amenities you don’t normally find, like a computer tablet by the bed with a touch screen outlining features of the resort and a wine machine by the desk (right) that provided two types of wines by the glass that could be poured with a touch of the screen and charged to your room.
Our balcony was secluded, overlooking miles of trees, lakes and the tops of the Walt Disney World parks nearby, with their nightly fireworks visible from our balcony.
As we took in the view, there was a knock on our door and chocolates were delivered with a card to welcome us to the hotel — another small but wonderful touch. As I read the card and my son Zack and I sampled the unique chocolates, our luggage was delivered.
We were ready to change into swim clothes and explore the resort’s multiple outdoor amenities, including five pools. After choosing an infinity pool that seemed to extend into the lake, we were greeted by a pool attendant with towels and bottles of water who set up our lounge chairs with lush coverings. Zack went running off to Explorer Island. While he explored, I took in my beautiful surroundings while listening to the sounds of the water crashing from the spectacular fountain.
A server appeared with a menu of Poolside Bites featuring hummus, soft baked pretzels and spicy tuna poke among the starters. Other offerings included a seared ahi tuna dish, a grilled salmon sandwich, a veggie burger, grilled fish tacos and a chirashi bowl. I was in heaven. I ended up ordering the spicy tuna poke, which turned out to be the perfect light snack for sitting by the pool.
Cocktails and beers were also available, but the list of wines by the glass and bottle got the attention of this Wine Girl. Sparkling wine choices included Veuve Clicquot and Moet & Chandon by the bottle, and the whites included Iconoclast Chardonnay from the Russian River valley, which I ordered, and among the reds a J Vineyards Pinot from Sonoma and Iconoclast Cabernet from Stags Leap grabbed my attention.
Around the pool there were cabanas, softer couch loungers and a variety of lounge chairs with umbrellas. Couples ordered bottles of wine or Champagne while their kids played. As I took in the view, I saw employees making their way around the pool cleaning and wiping down after guests departed.
Wandering through the nature-infused water oasis, I noticed lots of secluded areas that couples or families could use as their base while each person moved effortlessly between their activities.
Our outdoor afternoon was interrupted by a thunderstorm. A note at the bottom of the poolside menu suggested an indoor alternative — “Summer Storm Rolling in, head up to your room to relax and enjoy an afternoon tea, scones and finger sandwiches from In Room Dining” — but Zack opted for the Scavenger Hunt. He was given a map full of clues to the resort and special glasses to read the word he had to give a person at each location to get a stamp on his map. When he completed his hunt, he was awarded an ice cream at the Lickity Split ice cream and coffee shop located near the lobby.
Dinner at Capa Steakhouse, known for seafood and Spanish-infused tapas, was the ultimate way to end our day. Located on the rooftop of the Four Seasons, with two outdoor terraces and floor-to-ceiling windows, it had incredible views. It’s also been named one of the Best 100 Wine Restaurants in the US by Wine Enthusiast.
Upon arriving I ordered a delicious glass of Rutherford Hill Merlot. We started our dinner with a tangy and delicious ceviche of red snapper, leche de tigre and avocado, served on a shell-shaped dish. Zack chose the Pan con tomate, similar to bruschetta, with grilled bread and tomato pulp. He loved it.
For our entrées we chose the NY Strip and the filet, both served with bearnaise sauce, and we split the Yukon Gold mashed potatoes with melted brown butter and rustic mushrooms with sabayon. The steak was char-grilled to perfection and Zack deemed the potatoes “exquisite.”
For dessert the chef sent us over a beautiful display of baked churros to dip in café con leche and chocolate sauce that was yummy.
Before leaving the next day, Zack hit the Teen Hangout to check out the technology and games that kids crave, and then played on the outdoor basketball court, while I escaped to the the open-aired PB&G restaurant and bar. Overlooking one of the pools and the lake, it provided such serenity and peace.
I sat at one of the high-top tables, savored a glass of Iconoclast Chardonnay and felt like I could have sat there all afternoon — until my teenager came to me in search of food.
The Four Seasons Resort Orlando provides the ultimate in luxury, service and safety for a relaxing and restorative escape for your family. And right now, until September 30, the resort is offering a special Florida resident rate starting at $359 plus tax per night for a guest room, which includes valet parking for one car.