Are you dreaming of getting away? Sipping cocktails by the pool, indulging in award-winning chef dinners and wine pairings, local craft beer tastings, farm-to-table experiences, spa treatments, and lazy rivers with a tropical cocktail in-hand? These Orlando resorts deliver that, and so much more for the most epic foodie getaways in Central Florida.
Check them out when you’re ready to plan your next vacation!
Plan For Vacation!
Did you know the last Tuesday in January is “National Plan For Vacation Day”? An initiative by the U.S. Travel Association which encourages all Americans to plan their time off. And boy do we need time off!
With nonessential travel currently limited to help slow the spread of COVID-19, we may not be traveling but we can dream. And, we can also plan safe staycations taking all necessary precautions to remain socially distanced.
Americans are still not taking all their vacation days, according to USTA. 6 in 10 Americans say they desperately need a vacation. I’m one of those 6. Are you?
Luckily, studies show that just planning to take a vacation can help lower stress and make you happier.
“Americans who plan out their time off take more time off—but more than one-quarter (28%) of American households don’t do this simple step. As a result, they lose or have to forfeit these days.”
It’s time to start dreaming of future trips. Whether you need a change of scenery or want to check off your “someday list” or bucket list experience, make 2021 the year to #PlanForVacation and #MakeSomedayHappen one delicious bite, sip, and trip at a time when it’s safe for you to do so.
Here are my favorite Orlando resorts for epic foodie getaways!
Four Seasons Orlando Resort at Walt Disney World Resort:
Executive Chef Fabrizio Schenardi oversees a variety of foodie offerings at this posh 5 Diamond resort near Walt Disney World. You’ll get a taste of his Torino roots at modern Italian restaurant Ravello. Enjoy the best view, Gin & Tonic, and Spanish influenced menu in Orlando at Capa Steakhouse, located on the 17th floor. It’s a sexy spot for a romantic dinner.
Don’t miss housemade gelato, Caffe Umbria specialty coffees, and award-winning desserts from James Beard-nominated pastry chef Rabii Saber at Lickety Splits.
Brunch and a fantastic Cuban sandwich paired with a mojito at Latin themed Plancha is best enjoyed by the lake of the Tranquilo Golf Course. Sip a refreshing froze, lobster roll, or poke bowl and indulge in an epic s’mores dessert board at the PB&G poolside restaurant. For more information visit Four Seasons Orlando and follow @fsorlando
Hilton Bonnet Creek and Waldorf Astoria Orlando Resort:
This dual resort complex has a plethora of dining options that will make any foodie as giddy as a kid at Disney World. You’ll be wowed by a sumptuous wine pairing dinner at legendary Bull & Bear Steakhouse at Waldorf Astoria, one of the only restaurants in Orlando with classic table-side service.
Here’s an insider tip: have your captain select wine pairings for each course (they are all highly-trained sommeliers) and don’t miss the fried chicken, buttermilk brined for 72 hours, it’s the best you’ll ever have. And, the cocktails at the Bull & Bear bar are just as inspired creations as the dishes on your table.
La Luce Italian Restaurant at Hilton Bonnet Creek – named the top restaurant in Orlando by Trip Advisor users – is the perfect spot for pizzas, housemade pasta, and an epic butterscotch pudding made with aged McCallan Scotch that’s to die for. This Caccio e Peppe pasta in a Parmesan crisp bowl was a fun dish to dig into!
A cabana and Prosecco Pop cocktails by the pool are a must at Waldorf Orlando or tropical cocktails in the lazy river at Hilton Bonnet Creek. And La Colombe coffee and fresh baked cookies are a great way to start the day before you head to Walt Disney World. As a guest you get all the WDW partner hotel perks. Epic Food and Wine Weekends in the Fall is one experience to put on your calendar. For more information, visit WaldorfAstoriaOrlando.com or HiltonBonnetCreek.com and follow @waldorforlando and @bonnetcreek
Ritz Carlton Orlando & JW Marriott Grande Lakes Resort:
This dual resort complex centrally located to the attraction areas, near the Orange County Convention Center, boasts a variety of award-winning chef dining options. At the top of the list is dining at Top Chef winning chef John Tesar’s Knife & Spoon! Named one of the top new restaurants to open in the country in 2020 by USA Today. Everything from 240 day dry aged ribeye (a once in a lifetime experience!) to inventive seafood specialties such as smoked sturgeon and live diver scallop in a delightful wild mushroom dashi broth. Insider tip: don’t miss the financier french fries or coffee at the end of your meal. The first is a dish to celebrate. The second comes with a gorgeous gourmandize treats tray.
Primo Italian by James Beard winner Melissa Kelly, Southern specialties at Highball & Harvest, and locally sourced fare at The Kitchen are all foodie-worthy experiences. The hotel sources from their own Whisper Creek Farms and apiary on site.
During the day, relax at the 40,000SF spa and spa pool. A nosh from their spa cafe is sure to help balance out the indulgences. However, this crab salad was equally healthy and decadent.
Evenings are best enjoyed with cocktails and bites in their gorgeous Lobby Bar overlooking the grounds. Check out their new Curated Weekend Experiences kicking off this February. For more information visit GrandeLakes.com and follow @ritzcarltonorlando and @jwmorlando
Rosen Shingle Creek Resort:
The independently locally-owned flagship Rosen Shingle Resort offers plenty of reasons for foodies to visit. A decadent dinner at A Land Remembered Steakhouse overlooking the golf resort is a must. Insider tip: Harris Ranch Black Angus Five Diamond Prime Beef and jumbo lump crab cake are my must eats. Trust me.
Tastes from around the world abound with Tuscan homestyle dishes at Cala Bella Italian Bistro, fresh sushi at Banrai Sushi Bar, and Mexican fare at Mi Casa Tequila Taqueria. You don’t want to miss the crab topped guacamole made tableside paired with a giant margarita. Local craft beers, burgers, flatbreads, and other fun bites at Tobia’s also make for a fun afternoon or casual dinner.
Outdoor activities, shimmering pools, spa and golf course, make for an active getaway with plenty of fresh air and relaxation. You can even enjoy nature trails and fishing along the famed Shingle Creek, headwaters to the Everglades. Check out their Valentine’s package, perfect for a couples getaway. For more information, visit RosenShingleCreek.com and follow @rosenshinglecreek
Universal Orlando Resort:
With eight hotels, you’ll find a great place to stay in every price range when planning a trip to Universal’s theme parks. From Loews Portofino Bay Hotel’s Italian villa to Hard Rock Hotel’s funky rock star mansion, retro-style Cabana Bay Beach Resort, Caribbean themed Loews Sapphire Falls Resort, Polynesian themed Loews Royal Pacific Hotel, and tech modern Aventura Hotel, these are wonderful resorts for foodies of all ages.
Indulge in Italian specialties at Portofino Bay Hotel’s various restaurants overlooking the piazza, a decadent brunch at Hard Rock Hotel’s The Kitchen, and rum paired dinners at Sapphire Falls Strong Water Tavern.
An epic view and cocktails at the highest bar in Orlando are found at Aventura Hotel. Of course, cocktails by the pool at any of the resorts is a treat.
In addition to resort dining, you’re only a short boat ride or walk to the City Walk dining and entertainment complex. Go for funky sushi rolls and burgers at The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar, outrageous desserts at Toothsome Chocolate Emporium, burgers and brews perfect for game watching at NBC Sports Grille and Brew. Plus famous Voodoo Doughnuts will satisfy your sweet tooth. For more information visit their website and follow @universalorlandohotels
Inside Universal Studios, the best place to take a break from all the theme park fun is at The Today Cafe. The menu is the best foodie surprise. From beautifully crafted coffee and pastries to salads, sandwiches, and wine and cheese. You may want to make a few stops during the day.
Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek:
I’ve enjoyed several epic foodie getaways at this resort near Walt Disney World. Executive Chef Jonathan McCaan has cooked for presidents and even “The” Queen, so you can be assured you’ll be exquisitely taken care of. His menus feature locally sourced ingredients and the kind of food you never get tired of. Fantastic seafood and quite a few surprises are found at deep blu seafood grille.
Settle in by the pool with the ultimate frozen mimosa and fun casual bites like loaded nachos, buffalo chicken wraps, and funnel fries. (Yes! funnel cake but in fries form. Genius!)
Before dinner sip craft cocktails and indulge in sushi specialties at Bar 1521. Blackberry Envy with Angel’s Envy and Floral Libation with Hendricks Gin were easy drinking.
Travel Confidently and Safely
These Orlando resorts have all implemented extensive health and safety procedures to ensure our peace of mind and relaxation. Be sure to check out each of their websites for details.
Of course, a healthy travel experience is a shared responsibility. We need to do our part by wearing face masks, maintaining social distance and washing our hands frequently.
Plenty of Space To Social Distance during these Foodie Getaways.
The good thing is, there’s plenty of space to spread out and socially distance in these gorgeous Orlando resorts! And they offer THE BEST foodie experiences in town so you know you’ll be happy even while staying apart from others.
I hope you’re inspired to go #MakeSomedayHappen one delicious bite, sip, and trip at a time. Dreaming of travel and planning your next vacation at these Orlando resorts is sure to boost your spirits!
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Leave a comment and let me know your favorite Orlando resorts for foodie getaways. Be sure to follow @GoEpicurista for more foodie travel inspiration.