site report – the hyatt regency orlando (formerly the peabody orlando)

 

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Editors note: This hotel became a Hyatt Regency in November 2013. This post was current when it was published and reflects the service and amenities as a Peabody Hotel, not a Hyatt Regency.

When you think of Orlando, you probably think of theme parks. Unless, of course, you are an events nerd like myself, than you might think of meetings and conventions. Orlando is one of the top convention cities in the US, with a huge convention centers, tons of hotel, plenty of flights in and out of the airport, and attractions nearby.

I recently got to stay at the Peabody Orlando for a conference hosted by Cvent. It was my first time staying at the iconic property and my first impressions were: this place is HUGE but it has a ton of character.

Location, location, location…

The Peabody is located next to (and I mean – right next to) the Orange County Convention Center. It’s about a 15-20 minute drive from the Orlando airport. It’s pretty close to Universal Studios and Sea World, Disney World is a bit farther away (about 20-25 minutes). The hotel sits in a row of hotels and there isn’t a ton to do within walking distance, if that’s important to you.

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Meeting space…

I’m a meetings and event nerd so I’m likely to snoop around the meeting space at whatever hotel I’m visiting – regardless of whether I’m there to plan or attend an event (my husband loves this feature of our family vacations!). The thing you need to know about the Peabody is that it’s BIG. HUGE. It almost seems silly that the hotel is adjacent to the convention center because you could easily host a small convention in the hotel’s own meeting space. The property boasts 300,000 square feet of meetings space (that’s a lot – to put in perspective, that’s almost six times bigger than the White House!).

The conference I was attending used mostly the Windermere ballrooms, which are at the very end of the conference space. It was a bit of a hike. My room was in the Mallard Tower and I clocked it at about 12 minutes to walk from my room to the Windermere Ballroom for sessions. Now I didn’t mind this personally (getting to walk so much makes me feel less guilty about skipping the fitness center for my entire stay), but if you are planning an event with lots of older guests or guests with mobility concerns, keep that in mind.

There are so many meeting rooms and venues in The Peabody that I feel like I barely scratched the surface. They offer plenty of flexible space. The rooms I was in were in good condition. Mostly standard ballrooms with airwalls galore, but Windermere had a unique tiled ceiling which added some flavor to the room.

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Service…

The service throughout the conference and my stay was top notch. Now, full disclosure: I was attending a conference for meeting planners and it’s not uncommon for hotels to pull out all the stops to impress meeting planners so we take our events to their facilities, and certainly The Peabody was aiming to impress. But even when I didn’t have the ginormous conference name badge on, the staff was kind, accommodating and incredibly friendly. The hotel is large and the staff is probably used to people getting lost. Every time I paused in the lobby or a hallway, I was greeted and asked if I needed help. I’m stubborn and refused that help, but it was offered all the same.

The F&B…

Food & Beverage for you non-event nerds (read: normal people). The food I experienced at the conference was good hotel food. Not blow your socks off but not bad for mass-produced food for a 500+ person conference. Some of the hors d’oeuvres at the opening reception were very good – mini beef wellingtons were excellent, and this is something that caterers sometimes mess up. The fritatta at a plated breakfast was a miss for me, it was unique but it didn’t have a ton of flavor. The coffee was pretty good. I’m not a coffee snob (my husband is though) but I do like my coffee to be pretty good and I drink it black. Good coffee is a must for conferences – you don’t want your attendees showing up late for sessions because they were in line at the Starbucks down the street because the hotel coffee is terrible!

The Ducks…

You can’t mention The Peabody and not mention the ducks. The ducks are the mascot for the hotel, ever since the 1930s when the GM of the original Peabody in Memphis brought live ducks to the fountain – full story here. Today you can see live ducks at the fountain during the day and they are paraded through the lobby each morning and evening (I’m pretty bummed I missed seeing this myself). But they use ducks everywhere – from duck artwork in the sleeping rooms to soap in the shape of a duck in the bathrooms, even butter in the shape of a duck on the dinner table (which led me to feel guilty about beheading the butter duck in order to butter my dinner roll which was very yummy). It’s tastefully done – ducks are everywhere in the decor, but it’s never garish or overdone. I think it gives The Peabody its charm and makes the hotel feel more special.

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Overall… 

Overall, I would come back to the Peabody if I had an event in Orlando. It’s a great location and a great property.  Small meetings might feel a little lost since there is so much meeting space, and the long walk to the ballrooms might be an issue depending on your guests’ demographic, but for medium and large sized groups it would be a great option over a big box hotel.

For more information on hosting meetings and events at The Peabody, click here.

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One thought on “site report – the hyatt regency orlando (formerly the peabody orlando)

  1. Pingback: site report – the peabody orlando sleeping rooms & amenities | Amanda Jayne Events Blog

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