We were invited to a media preview of the new Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort, nestled in the beautiful Golden Oak community. The Four Seasons will open to the public on August 3rd, 2014 with 443 luxurious rooms and many recreational options, along with fine and casual dining. We only experienced a portion of the resort, which is hard to believe – I already feel like I have had a very satisfying resort visit. Yet there is so much more to come in the upcoming days and weeks, including Explorer Island with the lazy river, and Capa, the rooftop steakhouse restaurant which will open in September. There are some special rates to be had at the Four Seasons Orlando, including currently a Florida Resident rate and a buy 2, get 1 free consecutive night.
Since this article was written, we have photos and video of the gorgeous Explorer Island and adult pool, lazy river and more! We also have a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony article with photos and video that include Mickey Mouse. Check out our Four Seasons Resort Orlando YouTube Playlist which includes videos of the pool area w/lazy river and the standard and deluxe rooms. And now on to the article!
The Four Seasons Orlando is now displayed at the entrance to Golden Oak, alongside the development sign.
This is only our second time through the Golden Oak gate, and our first visiting the Four Seasons Resort Orlando.
The Four Seasons Resort feels very secluded from the bustle of Walt Disney World, much more than I expected. It is on Walt Disney World property, but feels worlds away. The resort is set back from the main roads.
Surprisingly, the Four Seasons Resort Orlando has no resort fee. Guests with cars will pay to park.
A fountain greets guests who arrive to the resort.
The lobby is large and welcoming, with muted decor and artwork.
This gorgeous, fireworks-inspired chandelier is a centerpiece near the lobby, hanging above this staircase. I can’t wait to see it at night, when the light bounces off the windows. I just read that it is over 1200 pounds, which I would have never guessed. It has a very “light” look to it. The chandelier was designed in the Czech Republic.
We met in the Ravello Bar on the lobby level. This design looked like metal at first, but it is a strong string that was hand strung.
Each restaurant we stopped at offered tranquil views and seating.
And if you don’t want a view and prefer to stay out of the sun, there are corners tucked away for that as well.
We were offered Louis Roederer Brut Premier champagne, a Four Seasons exclusive.
Thomas Steinhauer, Regional Vice President and General Manager talked about the resort.
Here is our video of his talk, with a look at highlights of the resort. He talked about the smaller amount of rooms versus other resorts (443 versus many that have 1000 or so rooms), and how they are able to offer a dazzling array of amenities. He also touched on how they would be easing into opening the resort, with everything being open by September.
Next, we were on our way to the Ravello Restaurant, which is located on the first floor. Ravello will also be the setting of the “Goofy & Pals” Disney Character Breakfast on Thursdays and Saturdays, and select Tuesdays during peak school breaks.
A full service bar is downstairs as well.
Wine bottles welcome guests to the restaurant.
Ravello has an upscale, yet casual feel to it. Attire here is suggested “smart casual”.
Gold silverware is part of the decor.
Another Four Seasons exclusive is Iconoclast wine. I enjoyed a glass of the chardonnay.
Executive Chef Fabrizio Schenardi talked to the group about the restaurant, including explaining the two food items we would be tasting. The first was a Veal Ravioli, stuffed with veal, spinach, and ricotta. Wild mushrooms and truffle essence completed the dish, which was delicious. The second taste was Tonno, Pan Seared Tuna. I don’t usually like tuna, but even I enjoyed how it was prepared. Jeff raved about it.
Chef Febrizio Schenardi was very interesting to listen to as he talked about dining at the Four Seasons. Here is our video of his presentation.
Here is a look at the Veal Ravioli and Tuna.
The ravioli was excellent.
Here is another look at the tuna.
Outside, a water globe is the center of attention.
Nearby, there is another nook for guests looking for seating out of the sun.
We stopped briefly at the Spa. The spa was not yet ready for us to tour, but we had the chance to see their elegant light fixtures and learn about some of the treatments. There will be 18 treatment rooms, along with 2 bungalows.
A fitness center is situated nearby.
One of the pools was available for us to see, the Oasis Adult Pool.
Palm trees frame the Four Seasons Resort Orlando.
Pool chairs were awaiting the first guests.
The pool overlooks a serene conservation area on one side.
In addition to this pool, there will be a family pool, water slide, lazy river and a splash pad (among other recreational activities). And between the hours of 9 am and 5 pm, kids between 4 and 12 years old will have their own Kids For All Seasons camp, complimentary for overnight guests of the Four Seasons Orlando.
Since we posted this article, we have an updated article and video about the pools and lazy river. Here is the video.
Sculptures decorate the landscaping that overlooks the conservation area.
Birds enjoy the water.
In the opposite direction, the Four Seasons reflects in the pool.
Each room has an 80 foot balcony. Here is a look at a standard room (500 square feet) with the park view (and pool view).
The adult pool jacuzzi.
Our next stop was PB&G (which stands for Pool Bar & Grill), a restaurant which is set out on the water.
Craft beers are advertised here, including Florida Cracker from Cigar City Brewing.
We tried samples of items at PB&G, which should be very popular for the Southern inspired barbecue they offer. We were told that one section of the menu is “Homage” and the other “Treason”. I don’t know if that is actually what it says in the menu, but “Homage” pays homage to traditional BBQ dishes. “Treason” are items that you’d never find in a BBQ restaurant, like octopus and tofu.
Deviled eggs with caviar.
The Absolute Peach & Iced Tea Cocktail (with a sprig of thyme) was deceptive in that I didn’t realize it had alcohol until I was told so. It was one of the best drinks I’ve had in a very long time, so refreshing. We were told to think of it as a porch drink. I look forward to trying it again soon. One item I didn’t try here was the Beef Brisket with Sauerkraut Coleslaw on Rye. I didn’t have room, though I wish I did. Jeff loved it. In fact, we can recommend every item we tried, which usually isn’t the case. From the samples in Ravello to the BBQ here at PB&G to the desserts at Lickety Split, everything was a winner.
The Rotisserie Chicken and Potato Salad was delicious and served in a unique way. It is a simple meal, and I was told it is their signature dish. What I noticed when visiting the restaurants at Four Seasons Resort Orlando is that each restaurant is very different. So many resorts will serve similar dishes at across their restaurants, and that doesn’t happen here.
Oysters “Roc” a Fella with Spinach Puree, Smoked Aioli, and Bacon Breadcrumbs.
Another look at my Absolute Peach Iced Tea Cocktail. Mmmmmmm.
The first area we sat – near the food counter – does not have ceiling fans. Being that it was a hot day, we moved to seating nearby that did have them. And the view was even better, though there aren’t any bad views in the outdoor restaurant.
Boxes for kid’s meals.
An Absolut display.
A walkway leads back to the main building of the Four Seasons.
Our last stop was desserts and coffee at Lickety Split, but we took some photos along the way.
Even the door handles are ornate – but not too much so. This is an upscale but comfortable resort.
Remember that unique chandelier? Here is is from the bottom of the stairs.
Heading up the stairs to Lickety Split.
Jeff poses for a photo.
Lickety Split is close to the lobby, a great location for those wanting a coffee, tea, dessert or gelato.
The sign does not mention gelato, but we were told that they would start out with 15 flavors!
Bite-size pastries were on tables for us to try.
After that, a line of desserts awaited. The Carrot Cake was moist and tasty.
The Panna Cotta included gold leaf. We were told that it would be served in Ravello.
Key Lime Pie.
The Chocolate Cake had a very deep chocolate flavor.
My favorite dessert of what I tried? The Chocolate Cake. But I really love chocolate. I didn’t even make it down the line to the Tiramisu, which I am sure was excellent too.
I mentioned that I didn’t drink coffee, and I was offered tea. Rishi is the brand here, it is one I don’t think I’ve tasted before.
Water is poured into a Simple Brew teapot.
Guests who want to take their tea to go will receive this sleeve that steeps the loose leaf coffee in the cup.
This was a good pot of tea.
Indoor and outdoor seating is available here.
This is an 8 hour coffee brewing machine that creates a strong, smooth iced coffee (or cold with no ice if that is what guests prefer).
One other restaurant is due to open in September, Plancha at the Golf Clubhouse. Signature dishes will include a Cubana sandwich, empanadas and chorizo burger.
The Four Seasons Resort Orlando is a stunning resort, and we cannot wait to see the rest of it.
I forgot to look for the hidden Mickey, but I did get a photo of it from the side. Next time I will photograph it from the front.
Reflections of the lobby.
On the way out, we said goodbye to the Ariel sculpture in Golden Oak.
Here is our video from last year of Ariel!