In honor of our 6th wedding anniversary this Saturday, I’m posting a little review from our latest stay at the Marriott World Center Resort & Spa.
It wouldn’t be fair of me if I didn’t start out my Marriott World Center Resort & Spa review without a small disclosure. This hotel can do very little wrong in my eyes, and will forever hold a special place in my heart. I was one of the first guests here as a BABY in 1986, and returned with my family year after year. When they opened the onsite villas (Sabal Palms), my parents were one of the first to purchase. Plus, I mean, this is where Josh and I had the most fabulous destination wedding ever! 😉
Anyway, this was our first time back here in the five and a half-ish years since our wedding (Saturday marks our 6th wedding anniversary, but we visited this past September, as we were celebrating Josh’s birthday in Disney). We cannot believe how long it took us to get back here, but, you know, life and stuff has a way of getting involved. It was hard not to tell every employee we ran into that this is where we got married, but I digress. I did try to keep it to myself, I swear.
As soon as we walked in we felt like we were home.
We are still in touch with a wonderful lady from our wedding who upgraded us to a two bay vista suite, which was SO NICE of her! It wasn’t the huge, amazing suite we had for our wedding, but still beautiful nonetheless!
The suite had just about the same view we had for our wedding (only many floors lower), and it’s honestly my favorite view in the entire world! (The photos below were taken from our balcony when a thunderstorm was in the vicinity, hence why the pool is so empty).
I’ve been with this hotel through every renovation – And I mean all the way back from when the spa pool was a mere parking lot. Their newest renovation definitely took away the more “adult” feel and made it a lot more kid friendly. But hey, it’s Disney – a VERY kid-friendly destination, and if you have them (kids), this is where you want to be! Gone are the many bridges and waterfalls – you used to be able to walk outside and SEE/HEAR water everywhere (I LOVE that about our wedding pictures and video!). Now, grass was added to include games and activities, and three large waterslides were built. The hotel utilizes this space well and offers A TON of kid activities, but just personal preference, I enjoyed the lagoons and waterfalls much more! The pool restaurant was moved to the bottom level (vs. being perched on top of it, which now has seating instead), and while I’m sure it’s far more convenient for kitchen staff to have everything on one level, I miss the once tropical music that used to play throughout the area. Now it’s just loud bar music, since it’s right there. And that old view while eating can’t be beat. Nevertheless, the food at The Falls Pool Bar & Grill is great (perfect poolside fare), and the poolside service is attentive.
Pre-reserving a pool bed for a small fee (over the weekend especially) is a must! We really loved this service and it didn’t matter what time we got to the pool, our spot was there, waiting for us, in a prime location. Worth it. It came with cold water bottles, towels, and it is overall a wonderful amenity/service to take advantage of.
The main pool can get understandably crowded (it IS amazing), and if this is the case, just head over to the spa pool (but please, don’t bring your loud kids). I’m SO happy that the spa pool was left untouched, as it remains a beautiful oasis. If the main pool is ever too loud for you, simply head here. It’s heaven. One day (a day we didn’t pre-book a pool bed), it was so crowded by the main pool, and we were the ONLY ONES at the spa pool. We really just wanted to go on the slides and then swim, so we quickly went on the waterslides and then returned to our area at the spa pool to swim and relax. Easy, quiet, and wonderful.
Should it rain, there’s always the indoor pool area, which seems like its been untouched since I was a child, and I LOVE it for that!
Keeping with tradition, a late night swim is a must.
During our visit, the spa was being renovated, so they had an interim location in the main hotel (off the food court), rather than their typical building, which is located near the spa pool.
I cannot wait to see the renovation! I’m SURE it’s going to be amazing! I had a Swedish massage one day and a hot stone the next. It definitely wasn’t a typical spa experience, since there were no locker rooms, sauna, etc (as it was all under renovation), and the massage took place in what essentially is a hotel room. However the massage itself was WONDERFUL. It goes to show that the “extras” are really just that, and while the “extras” are amazing, the massages here speak for themselves. I didn’t miss the extras, because my massage was THAT good. In fact, after my first massage, I requested the same masseuse for the second.
We originally planned our meals in advance, eating one night at Mikados (where our wedding pre-welcome party dinner took place) and another at Hawk’s Landing (where our next day breakfast took place). While in Disney, we received an unfortunate call from the Marriott, days before our reservation, letting us know that Hawk’s Landing will be closed for the weekend. It was super disappointing, especially since they have an AMAZING filet with béarnaise sauce (my personal favorite), and, at the end of our dinner, they were supposed to bring out a mini-replica of our wedding cake (I was SO excited about this!). I was bummed, but it was what it was. We figured we’d keep Mikados as is (since we were going to be with a group) and figure something else out for our second night. The gentleman over the phone apologized and said he was going to have something waiting in our room for us, to show how sorry he was (not like it was DIRECTLY HIS fault). We said it wasn’t necessary, but okay.
Days later, once we arrived at the Marriott, there was nothing in our room, which was a little surprising. Marriott usually follows through on these sort of things, especially if they say they are going to do something. Seriously, it wasn’t a big deal, so whatever, we didn’t care. That afternoon, we received a call from food & beverage, and the lady over the phone was so upset over the fact that we were no longer having the dinner we wanted, and that wasn’t good enough for Marriott. She was adamant. This had to have been the best customer service experience I have ever received, period. She insisted we let her do something for us during our time here.
I felt bad, as that night we were dining with my brother and his girlfriend (they were leaving in the morning, while we were staying another day), and we had friends from Orlando joining us for dinner that night too – 6 people in total. She said that was fine – let them give us a nice dinner with everyone, and then the following night a really romantic dinner for the two of us. She knew we got married here – that this place is so special to us, and she wanted to KEEP it special to us. I mean, WOW.
So that night, they closed off an entire section of Siro Urban Italian Kitchen just for us. The six of us felt like VIPs with this uber private experience. They kept the drinks and food flowing, and we thought we were paying a pre-fixe price (which was UNBELIEVABLY inexpensive to begin with). Then, at the end of our meal, the waitress told us it was all taken care of. We were FLOORED. Furthermore, our waitress wouldn’t even accept a tip. She INSISTED that it too was already taken care of. Disney Magic doesn’t just happen IN Disney World people, because here we were, mere MILES from the Disney gate, receiving the most amazing service of our lives.
The next evening, Josh and I arrived back at Siro, and this time we were escorted through the kitchen. We had no idea what to expect. After walking through an otherwise typical restaurant kitchen, we made a few turns and were brought into a room. Inside was GORGEOUS, and they had place settings and custom menu’s waiting for us at the chef’s table. We were introduced to our waitress, followed by OUR PERSONAL CHEFS.
We thought yesterday was a VIP experience, but this was the icing on the cake. I wanted to cry at how wonderful it all was. And on our menu? Filet with béarnaise sauce. We talked with our chef about our likes/dislikes, we watched him COOK our meal, and everything was beyond amazing and attentive.
Then, at the end of dinner, out came a replica of our wedding cake. And not the mini version I thought it would be. It. Was. Massive. And beautiful! And Perfect! And SO GOOD!
We had a TON left over and shared it with our waitress and the kitchen staff (we even brought some back to our room and had it the following morning after breakfast)! When the meal concluded, we once again were given no bill. I can’t even! Floored! The dinner was worth hundreds in service and food. It was DELICIOUS. Thankfully, at least our waitress and chef accepted a tip this time. We were so speechless and truly grateful by how the Marriott went out of their way for us. And of course what better way to end the day than enjoy Disney fireworks from your balcony?
Another one of my favorite things we did was visit some of spots from our wedding (that were still here)! We took a lot of pictures on bridges and by lagoons and waterfalls that no longer exist, due to the latest renovation, but we still managed to find a few familiar locations!
Another tradition/favorite thing of ours is ordering breakfast the night before. We have it delivered early AM and then eat it on our balcony with the fabulous view.
Our stay was so spectacular! We asked for nothing. We got EVERYTHING. THAT is above and beyond, and to this day, we still talk about it and tell everyone about how wonderful this resort is. We could not have received better service at any five star hotel. We feel like family here, and THAT will have us continually returning again and again for years and generations to come.
Do yourself a favor and stay here on your next trip to Orlando! Book directly through Marriott to get the best rates. They guarantee it. I hope you love it as much as we do!