Dinner hour is fast approaching at Four Seasons Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort, an occasion deserving of conversation given the steakhouse restaurant with consecutive Michelin stars that occupies the 17th floor of the resort. However, the chatter in and around the 7,590-square-foot Family Pool—part of the five-acre ode to sports, games and aquatic adventures called Explorer Island—is less about what’s to come than what’s already transpired on this sun-soaked afternoon at the AAA Five Diamond property.
As the 2007 Disney movie Ratatouille plays in the background, much to the delight of the growing number of children gathering near an oversized poolside screen, parents can be heard reviewing the events of the day. Two dads are crowing about their exploits on the links at Four Seasons Golf and Sports Club; a mom raves to her friends about the 80-minute Healing Honey massage and exfoliation she enjoyed at the spa; another mom tells her husband she fell asleep reading her book at the adults-only Oasis pool overlooking the lake (one of five pools overall) while he was shooting hoops with their two boys.
The scene borders on suspicious, as if the Four Seasons promised free cocktails to 21-and-overs at the Family Pool who talk up its never-ending menu of amenities. And, yet, these are all spontaneous testimonials—insights that, in the bigger picture, only begin to touch on all that’s available at this epic 26-acre spread.
Accommodations: Since its opening in August 2014, Four Seasons Orlando has vowed never to rest on the brand’s laurels. Elevating the guest experience can be as simple as a seasonal promotion—or as all-encompassing as the recent renovation of its 14 Park View Deluxe Suites on the sixth through 12th floors.
Considerable thought went into the residential-style layouts, down to the neutral color scheme and light oak flooring meant to soothe after a day of on-site or theme park activity. Elements throughout the 1,000-square-foot rooms speak to a luxury level of sophistication and comfort that dazzles while remaining understated. The living area features a custom console that hides a coffee bar and refrigerator as well as a built-in banquette and table for in-room dining (there’s also a sectional sofa with a pull-out bed); the main five-piece bathroom (one of two in the layout) includes a deep-soaking tub; dual walk-in closets have marble valet tops and mirrors; and backlit walnut accent panels frame a king bed with underlighting. Then there’s the mammoth terrace (with table seating for four and additional chairs/footrests) from which guests can catch the nightly fireworks at both Epcot and Magic Kingdom.
For the ultimate Four Seasons experience with friends and family, ask about booking the 16th floor. The entire 16th floor. That gives your party top-floor access to the nine-bedroom Royal Suite, four-bedroom Presidential Suite, twice-daily housekeeping service, 24-hour in-room dining and more.
Fitness, Wellness and Sports: The resort’s fitness allure isn’t limited to state-of-the-art cardio and strength-training equipment—or even the personal trainers available for one-on-one instruction. There’s also daily classes in a variety of categories—think Thai touch yoga, music and movement sessions, low-impact aqua classes, core circuit training, and even classic rock spin classes.
On the spa side, offerings aren’t limited to honey-infused treatments. Facials include collagen-increasing intra-epidermal micro stimulation as well as a skin-quenching treatment that includes hyperbaric oxygen and hyaluronic layering. Among the touch therapies: vibrational sound therapy and cupping detoxification. Guests can also indulge in cryotherapy, couple’s massages, exfoliations, hair and nail care—and magical makeovers for your little princes and princesses.
The Tom Fazio-design Tranquilo Course is a par-71 tract with elevation changes unique to golf in this part of Florida. The 6,901-yard layout, amid protected wetlands, Southern live oak trees and ample wildlife, is a Certified Audubon Sanctuary. Racket enthusiasts can play on one of three Har-Tru tennis courts—or book a lesson with the resort’s on-site pro.
Dining: The steakhouse fare alone at award-winning Capa is worth the drive to Orlando from South Florida. Malyna Si, the only female chef in Central Florida overseeing a Michelin-star restaurant, leads a team that puts on a show every night of the week. The artfully rendered space boasts its own fireworks views from a top-floor balcony—along with a peek into the open kitchen and its wood-burning grill.
New dishes at Capa are inspired, in part, by Si’s recent foodie travels in Switzerland, Italy and Spain. Pulpo a la Gallega brings a caper, honey and black pepper glaze to octopus; Pipirrana, a traditional salad from the southern region of Spain, incorporates tomatoes, bell peppers, mango, papaya and pine nuts; Pescado delivers a lighter cobia to the seafood slate, complemented by summer squash and garlic tomato ragu; and Paella Valenciana introduces marinated rabbit to classic rice dish. On the steak side, Capa soars with prime cuts (like the bone-in New York strip and 32-ounce porterhouse from Creekstone Farms in Arkansas or the A-5 wagyu beef from Miyazaki, Japan). For dessert, don’t hesitate: Go straight to the churros and dipping sauces.
The restaurant offerings at Four Seasons don’t end at Capa. There’s modern Italian cuisine at Ravello and Latin American fare at Plancha. Also, don’t miss rooftop cocktails at Capa Bar—or, for the kids, breakfast with Goofy and friends at Ravello.
- Visit the Disney Planning Center in the lobby for all of your theme park questions and services. There’s both complementary transportation in a luxury motorcoach to the parks and private car service that can be arranged. The center also can arrange a VIP guided theme park tour with customized itineraries and speedy access to attractions, as well as private character experiences with Mickey, Minnie and the gang.
- Explorer Island provides its own brand of entertainment. It’s a mix of fun and games at The Mansion (table tennis, pool tables, bocce ball) and The Hideout (video gaming); sports (volleyball, basketball); and aquatic activities (including a lazy river, a splash zone and a sky-high water slide.
- Saturday nights at Explorer Island means a Kids for All Seasons takeover from 5 to 8 p.m. that includes dinner and special swim shirt for the kids.
- Sustainability and the environment are top of mind at Four Seasons Orlando. The 26 acres are brimming with different plant species (114) and trees (1,140 total); there 10 recycling stations throughout the resort; eight Tesla charging stations and two General Electric stations for electric-powered cars.
Address: 10100 Dream Tree Blvd., Lake Buena Vista
Contact: fourseasons.com/Orlando; 407.313.7777