Hilton Orlando provided a media package for our stay as part of the TMS Family Travel Summit. As always, our opinions on Ciao Bambino are our own.
Every blue moon I’m wowed by a hotel when I least expect it. This happened in spades when I stayed at the Hilton Orlando while attending the TMS Family Travel Summit last month. I had zero expectations that this mega-hotel with 1,114 rooms would offer anything other than a convenient place for our meeting. Hilton is a big brand and although many of their properties are upscale, I don’t usually equate the brand with high end travel.
I had a giant surprise – the good kind – at the Hilton Orlando when I found that the guest experience is equivalent to – if not exceeds – a stay at a more exclusive (and expensive) luxury hotel.
Size Doesn’t Matter, It’s in the Details
When I walked into the hotel after a 14-hour journey from San Francisco via New York (not recommended), I was cranky and famished. The front desk staff read me like a book and was warm, attentive, and very interested in ensuring my individual needs were met instead of reading from a script. My mood improved and I hadn’t even checked into my room.
I stopped at the bar for a quick dinner and expected a club sandwich but instead enjoyed sushi and fine wine.
When I checked into my room I found Peter Thomas Roth hair and skincare in my bathroom — a boutique high end product line – not the usual generic suspects.
During two days of meetings we had one incredible meal after another, including a meeting lunch featuring outrageously fresh farm-to-table produce.
Surprised? I was. Double take time.
General Manager Best Practices
All roads at the Hilton Orlando lead to the General Manager best practices of Doug Gehret. After meeting countless genuinely happy hotel employees, I discovered that Doug believes that making people feel good about where they work is the key to creating the best guest experience in the world.
Extraordinary service is all about warmth and making guests feel special. Authentic delivery of this service is only possible if those working at a hotel love and appreciate what they do. It’s no wonder that the Hilton Orlando has been awarded Hilton’s highest honor, the Connie Award, three years in a row.
Catering to All Kinds – Groups, Business, and Leisure Travelers
Amazingly, the Hilton successfully caters to groups, business, and leisure travelers. And when I say groups I mean groups; the Hilton is directly across the street from the second largest convention center in the country. Yet the property is also perfect for families with a lazy river, play-oriented swimming pool, and central access to all of Orlando’s attractions. The exceptionally high service standard means everyone’s needs are met. The win-win ultimate guest experience.
Photos by Amie O’Shaughnessy
Ciao Bambino’s recommended Florida Family Hotels