In honor of our 6th wedding anniversary this Saturday, I’m talking about our recent stay at the Marriott World Center Resort & Spa.
It wouldn’t be fair 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 it will forever hold a special place in my heart. I was one of the first guests here as a BABY in 1986. I returned with my family yearly, and when they opened their onsite Marriott Vacation Club villas (Sabal Palms), my parents were one of the first to purchase. Plus, it’s where Mr. ADOL and I had the most fabulous destination wedding ever!
Anyway, we cannot believe how long it took us to get back here since our 2010 wedding, but, you know, life has a way of getting involved. It was hard not to tell every employee we ran into that this is where we got married! I did try to keep it to myself, I swear.
As soon as we walked in, though, we felt like we were home.
We are still in touch with some wonderful staff members from our wedding, who upgraded us to a two bay vista suite. It was SO NICE! It wasn’t the massive presidential suite we had during our wedding, but that’s okay!
The suite had just about the same view we had for our wedding (only a few floors lower). It’s my favorite view in the entire world!
I’ve been with this hotel through every renovation, and I mean all the way back to when the spa pool was a mere parking lot. Their newest renovation definitely took away the more “adult” feel, and gave the resort a more kid friendly vibe. But hey, it’s Disney, which is a VERY kid-friendly destination. So if you have them (kids), this is where you want to be!
But if you don’t, gone are the many beautiful bridges and waterfalls. I used to be able to walk outside and SEE/HEAR water everywhere, and I missed that. Now grass covers the once stunning coy ponds and lagoons, and on it they host games and activities. While the hotel utilizes this space well, and offers A TON of fun things for kids, I enjoyed the lagoons and waterfalls far more!
The pool restaurant was moved to the bottom level (vs. being perched on top of the pool, and while I’m sure it’s more convenient for kitchen staff to have everything on one level, I miss the once tropical feel and amazing view. Gone is the tropical music that used to play throughout the area. It’s been replaced with loud bar music from the new restaurant location. It feels less vacation-like. Nevertheless, the food at The Falls Pool Bar & Grill is great. It’s perfect poolside fare, and the service is attentive.
Pre-reserving a pool bed for a small fee (on the weekends especially) is a must! We really loved this new amenity. It didn’t matter what time we got to the pool, our spot was waiting for us, and in a prime location. It came stocked with cold water bottles, towels, and it was overall so worth it!
The main pool can get understandably crowded (it IS amazing). If that happens, just head 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. It’s heaven. The day we didn’t pre-book a pool bed it was so crowded by the main pool. But we were the ONLY ONES at the spa pool. We 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. Peaceful, quiet, and wonderful.
Should it rain, there’s always the indoor pool. It’s been untouched for as long as I can remember, and I LOVE it for that!
Keeping with tradition, a late night swim is a must.
During our stay, the spa was being renovated. They had an interim location in the main hotel (off the food court). The typical spa building 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 massage the next. It definitely wasn’t a typical spa experience, since there were no locker rooms, sauna, etc (it was all under renovation at the typical spa’s location). The massages took place in what essentially is a hotel room. However, the massage itself was WONDERFUL. In fact, after my first massage, I requested the same masseuse for the next day.
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 post wedding 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). Also, 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! So I was really bummed. 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. 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 sorts of things. If they say they are going to do something, they do it. It wasn’t a big deal, because we didn’t think it was necessary to begin with, 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. She said that it wasn’t good enough for Marriott. And she was adamant. This had to have been the best customer service experience I have ever received. She insisted we let her do something for us during our time here.
I felt bad, because that night we were dining with my brother and his girlfriend. They were leaving in the morning, while we were staying another day. We also had friends from Orlando joining us for dinner that night too – 6 people 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 for us.
I mean, WOW.
So that night, they closed off an entire section of Siro Urban Italian Kitchen just for us. 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, to our surprise, at the end of our meal the waitress told us it was all taken care of.
We were FLOORED.
Then 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 magic of our lives.
So then the next evening, we arrived back at Siro, and this time we were escorted through the kitchen with no idea what to expect.
We made a few turns, and were brought into a beautiful room. Inside was GORGEOUS, and they had place settings and custom menu’s waiting for us on a stunning table. We were introduced to our waitress, followed by OUR PERSONAL CHEFS. And that’s how we suddenly found ourselves at the chef’s table.
We thought yesterday was this amazing experience, but this was the icing on the cake. I wanted to cry it was so wonderful. And on our menu? Filet with béarnaise sauce. My favorite! We talked with our chef about our likes/dislikes. We watched him COOK our meal, and everything was so beyond amazing and attentive.
At the end of our 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 also brought some back to our room and had it the following morning after breakfast!
When everything was done, we once again were given no bill. I can’t even! I mean, it was DELICIOUS. Thankfully, at least our waitress and chef accepted a tip this time.
We were so speechless and truly grateful by how everyone went out of their way for us. THANK YOU, Marriott World Center! From the bottom of our hearts, thank you!
And of course what better way to end the day than Disney fireworks from our balcony?
Anyway, another one of my favorite things we did was head to some of spots from our wedding (that are still here)! Most of our wedding photos were 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 spots!
Another tradition/favorite thing of ours is ordering breakfast the night before, and having it delivered in the AM. We then enjoy it on our balcony with a fabulous view.
Our stay was as always so spectacular! We asked for nothing. We got EVERYTHING. The Marriott World Center is always going above and beyond. We always talk about this place and tell everyone how wonderful it is. We could not have received better service at any five star hotel. We feel like family here, and THAT is what has us 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 this resort as much as we do!