View Full Version : Just back, made a short tirp to Gaylord Palms after all....

Steve P
07-05-2003, 12:28 PM
My Inbound visitors who were supposed to arrive yesterday wont be here til tonite. Got this news thursday. With a free 24 hours I immedately called Gaylord (already cancelled previous rez) to see if they had any $129 std rooms left for 1 nght only. (last night). They said no, BUT, they could put me in a deluxe Emerald Bay room for $20 more ($149 + $10 resort fee). Well twist my arm! I was packed and in the car by 9:30am. Drove up, my house to Gaylord about 1hr, 40 mins. Got there about 11:15, viola, they a room ready! Emerald Bay king bed room not super big but VERY posh. There's a marble foyer and bath area, then the main room. I had a corner room with balcony overlooking everglades section of atrium and on the other wall, a window overlooking the pool. WOW. The rooms all have ceiling fans very deluxe furnishings and just very high qaulty over all. I'd say about 400 s.f. including the foyer area. Fridge, safe, 27" tv, oddly no minibar, all marble shower and sink counters, no tub.

Well, unpacked and headed down for lunch. Ate at sunset Sam's
(conch fritters, $10 VG, and manhattan clam chowder G $7). Suited up and spent the afternoon at the South Beach pool (more on that later). Ate dinner at the Vila del Flora mediterranian buffet
($24 Very good, save room for the teramisu). The atrium beautiful at night. Watched the MGM Fireworks from the pool area. Whe I got back to my room, the bed was turned down and pillows all arrainged (jeez, how luxurious is that :-). Got up this a.m. and drove home. A fun whirlwind 24 hours. This hotel s/b a must try for anyone who can do so. If I had to vote off the weakest link, it's the pools, plain compared to the rest of the resort. MOWC and Grand Cypress have much better.

You can spend quite a bit of time just strolling and people watching in al the nooks and crannies of the atrium. It's about 4-1/2 acres worth. Beware though, this resort not for the budget concious. The rerstaurants have most pricing rounded off the the dollar (you know what that usually means). Any Q's ??

07-05-2003, 03:05 PM
Wow Steve, sounds great!

I would love to try this resort sometime, but with my two adult children in tow, it's gonna be a little pricy eating.

Is there any type of "cafe" or deli type express counter?


Steve P
07-05-2003, 03:36 PM
yes, there is a fast food type coffee stand and eatery in the atrium and also a poolside bar with sandwiches and the like.

Debbie H.
07-05-2003, 06:48 PM
First, I am wondering why when I requested my password (I have it stored at home and don't know it) using my email address my username came up as Debbie H.? this is Debbie655

Anyway, Steve P., glad you were able to make it after all. We checked in last night around 7:30. Wasn't as lucky as you Steve, we were not able to get the atrium room. We were told the hotel has 3 conventions going on and they are all taken. We (have two rooms) are in Everglades section facing parking lot, also can see the MOWC.

We have two queen rooms and honestly I am not that impressed, I expected the rooms to be a lot nicer. They are not bad just not what I expected. The hotel is gorgeous though. Last night, the kids wanted to go out but tonight I think we are gonna stay here, eat dinner and explore. We may try the Villa de Flora for the buffet if I can convince the kids. Would love to try the HIckory Steakhouse but geez, I looked at the menu and all I can say is WOW. A strip steak was I think $36 or $38 plus side dishes were extra (mashed potatoes for $5.00?) I agree with you Steve about the pools, they are kind of small and nothing special. I will say though that we spent most of the day at the Marine pool and my daughter did enjoy it. The only thing I purchased here so far was a coke at the pool which was $2.00 for a very small cup with mostly ice.

That's about all I can think of right now as we've not even been here 24 hours. Are leaving tomorrow and checking into the Royal Pacific.

Steve P
07-05-2003, 07:04 PM
Hi Debbie!!

Sorry you're disappointed with the rooms, there must be a discernable difference between the Emerald Bay's and std's. We'll compare notes more when you're home :-). -steve

07-06-2003, 10:51 AM
Steve any more info on the buffet at Villa De Flora? Is the $24 price all inclusive apart from drinks? I have been to the hotels website, but cannot get the menu to download. What was the food selection like? This is a real possibility for my next visit.

Steve P
07-06-2003, 11:38 AM
Hi. Yes, the buffet is run of the house from appetizers to desserts. The features were carving station prime rib and coconut shrimp. There was also a delcious chicken breast with sundried tomatoes in a cream sauce that was great, and some sort of crusted fish VG. several mediterranian side dishers, plenty of anitpasto, and the desserts very nice. You can just do a dessert-only buffet for $9 if you want an evening snack. Lot's more dishes at the buffet I didnt mention (or notice).

The table service eateries all pricey, figure $30+ pp easily at just about all of 'em for dinner. The steakhouse has pricing similar
to that of Don Shula's, $30-something for steaks PLUS SIDES ARE EXTRA. Sunset Sam's a bit cheaper it has VG seafood.

07-07-2003, 01:24 PM

I'm glad I am not alone. I found this hotel to be amazing. We also had the emerald bay room and it was just lovely. We stayed there about 2 years ago and I've been yearning to go back ever since. Villa de flora was an excellant buffet and they never charged us for our kids:D which was nice. (they were 5 & 2) Also the Canyon Ranch Spa was incredible. The best massage ever. But like you said this place is not for the budget concious.

As much as I love to stay on site, there are some really outstanding offsite accomodations as well. In November we are trying the new Ritz Carlton.


07-08-2003, 03:05 AM
We had been planning a couple of nights here for our trip next January, but after reading this thread I'm not so sure.

We've visited the hotel several times and have eaten at Sunset Sam's, Villa del Flora and the Old Hickory Steakhouse - all 3 of them excellent examples of their type. If you're not a buffet lover (like me), Villa del Flora could change your mind. We eventually got around to eating at Old Hickory Steakhouse in May, having been meaning to try it for some time. It way exceeded our expectations and I would say was probably the best meal we had during that trip, with the exception of Emeril's Tchoup Chop. And we ate out a lot at some pretty nice places.

I had been under the impression that the Emerald Bay rooms were not only opulent, but also much larger than most hotel rooms in the area. Because we love the hotel so much, we had squeezed in 2 nights into our already packed schedule (in terms of moving resorts). If the rooms aren't that big, maybe we'll tack a couple of nights onto a stay somewhere else and just visit GP for a meal or two.