The elegant ambiance of the Grand Floridian resort begins at the entrance
where a double-columned walkway surrounded by a host of flowers leads into a
very grand lobby. The lobby is five stories tall, and the ceiling sports a
beautiful domed stained glass. For lovers of the Victorian era, the Grand
Floridian lobby is a fragrance of lace and high-backed furniture blossoms.
And, indeed, there are bouquets of fresh flowers in every direction the eye
gazes. The color theme of the lobby is peach, beige, and purple; tile floors
with carpet inserts.
We checked in at the lobby front desk and were promptly met by a concierge
host who showed us around the resort and took us to our room on the third
floor of the main building. There were three concierge floors (3, 4, & 5)
in the main building and one lodge with concierge service as well. The lodge
included concierge staff and buffet from 7:00 AM to 3:00 PM, while the main
building provided staff and buffet offerings until 9:00 PM. The décor in the
concierge rooms was more subdued than the regular rooms in colors of beige
and salmon with sprinkles of purple. The layout for the basic concierge room
was the same as a regular room with two queen beds, a small table with two
chairs, a daybed, and a double sink vanity area separate from the bath area.
The vanity, bathroom floor, and tub were marble. And the room had a live
plant on the table a nice touch, in my humble opinion. There were robes in
the closet for us, and the toiletries were a bit more elegant than the usual
offering. We did peek at both a deluxe room and a suite. The deluxe room was
very spacious, probably another 100 square feet, and done in the same subtle
elegance with a sofa instead of a daybed. Well worth the additional $15 a
night -- again in my humble opinion. The suite was pure elegance -- the
master closet was the size of a small bedroom. The entry was marble with
double columns leading into a parlor that included a wet bar and a Christmas
tree (It was the season). The master bath included a Jacuzzi tub. And on and
The concierge staff, while reserved, were very responsive to all of our
requests. There was a bit of confusion regarding the implementation of our
special dietary requests at the outset. However, within 36 hours, the
communication loop was in place and functioned smoothly.
And we were sent a
complimentary fruit and cheese basket for the inconvenience. There are three
desks with staff on the third floor with staff available from 6:30 AM until
10:00 PM. We often found staff working later than that. By the end of our
visit, the staff had warmed considerably and we were on a friendly repartee
basis. I speculate that the reserved approach is in keeping with the elegant
ambiance. We just happen to be royalty that prefer camaraderie so we
encouraged a more relaxed attitude and were successful in evoking it. It's
nice to know it can go both ways.
The concierge lounge and buffet are the shining stars of the Grand
Floridian concierge service. The most spacious of all the lounges, area
spreads overlooking the lobby on the fourth floor of the building. The
ambiance is light and playful with pictures on the wall of Mickey and Minnie
at a Victorian beach. Flowers abound, and there are phones placed
conveniently for guest use. The buffet, on heavy silver, of course, offered
the greatest selection of any concierge service we've sampled including a traditional
tea from 3 PM to 5 PM. For example, the mid afternoon buffet had the makings
for taco salad, and the early evening selection included tomato/mozzerella
salad and roasted vegetables with several cheeses, crackers, and breads.
Easily a buffet to make meals from.
The pool at the Grand Floridian is basic with no theming. The hot tub has
excellent jets. The Spa is a bit of a walk, and while there is a large
sampling of spa activities in the way of massages, facials, etc., the
exercise room and steam room fall shorter than both Muscles and Bustles at
the Boardwalk and Shipshape at the Yacht and Beach Club.
The Grand Floridian concierge service inspired me to add new criteria for
review: Buffet quality. With this feature included, the Grand Floridian places
very highly on the review chart: 9:85. With just a pinch more friendliness in
the service, the Grand Floridian would take the lead in my personal favorites