I have always said that some of my best Girlfriend Getaways are with complete strangers. I love making new friends (as much as I love hanging out with old friends) and a unique partnership with the Orlando/Orange County Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) (www.VisitOrlando.com) allowed me to spend an amazing weekend in Orlando with five fabulous women I now call friends.
It all started with the CVB’s Girlfriend Getaway promotion where ladies could enter to win a trip to Orlando with two girlfriends and I would serve as hostess. After reviewing more than 200 applicants, Pilar from Miami was chosen to receive this incredible trip. Joining her would be two of her girlfriends, Ebet and Idoris who are also both from Miami.
Our “home away from home” for our three nights in Orlando was the exquisite Waldorf Astoria Orlando (www.WaldorfAstoriaOrlando.com), which is the first Waldorf built outside of the original location. Located on 482 acres, the 489-room resort emulates the elegance and grandeur of the legendary NYC landmark and houses several restaurants, a championship golf course and magnificent spa.
Upon arrival and check in, we all met (for the first time) downstairs in the lobby bar, known as Peacock Alley, which serves as the hotel’s “living room.” After a few drinks there and a lovely welcome from the Waldorf staff, we headed over to La Luce Restaurant (www.LaLuceOrlando.com), which is located in the adjacent hotel, Hilton Bonnet Creek. This modern Italian country kitchen, which was created by famed Napa Valley chef and restauranteur Donna Scala, features amazing dishes such as family-style pastas, thin crust pizzas, Mediterranean-inspired drinks and a Trattoria-style wine program. While La Luce is highly-regarded for its Italian food, it is also famous for its butterscotch pudding that has its own Facebook Fan Page. With La Luce’s “eat dessert first” philosophy for life, we were all treated to a sample of the pudding in our rooms upon arrival. What a delicious afternoon surprise and a great start to our Girlfriend Getaway!
PHOTO: Waldorf Astoria Orlando lobby.