We stayed at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando in November 2009 for 14 nights. The first unexpected surprise was the Valet ONLY parking at $20 a day despite the web site failing to mention this fact. Actually the web site was pretty vague about the hotel in general. Not only do you pay $20 to have your car parked whether you like it or not but the service is poor and slow, Valet staff leave mud in the car as they have to run a gauntlet through unfinished areas of the grounds and then work you for tips (this service is provided by AAA and seems to be beyond the hotels control). The hotel is beautiful but they have failed to get finishing touches right and staff in some areas seem to lack customer service training.
Breakfast was taken in Oscars only once. Whilst the quality of food was good the service again was imposing. We were approached by 5 different members of the serving team asking if our food was ok and if we were enjoying our breakfast (we would have enjoyed our breakfast if we had been left in peace for 5 minutes). This was not the effortless service we have previously experienced from the original Waldorf Astoria in New York.
Above all else the worst thing about the hotel is the house keeping. They seem to follow no standard when servicing the rooms and its hit and miss as to what is done and more important what isnt. They don't seem to follow the information provided by the hotel advising guests on what to expect from there stay. Information in the room advised that a full change of linen would be carried out every 3 days. This wasn't the case and we had to ask for this to be done. Bath towels ect would be changed if placed in the bath tub like most hotels but this wasn't always the case and we had to poor mouth wash onto bath linen to get the maid to realize we wanted them replacing and not just hung up. Long black hairs were found in the bath after the apparent cleaning and the vanity unit round the sink was not cleaned throughout the stay as when we re packed our toiletries there was dust and dirt marks where they had been. We also had to ask for the room to be vacuumed. These are just the basics of good house keeping and something that really should be addressed.
We were also surprised that despite there being 3 of us staying in the room only 2 robes and 2 pairs of slippers were provided for use during our stay. We would have expected this kind of information to be passed to house keeping by the front desk and wouldn't have expected to have to ask a week into our stay.
Its disappointing when you choose to splurge on a little luxury for a vacation and find that you could have got better service from a lower grade hotel. I work in the travel industry and spend two thirds of my working year in hotels around the world and really expected better from a hotel with such a heritage. The final straw was being woken by the in room alarm clock at 7 am on a Sunday morning despite non of us even touching the clock radio during our stay. We viewed this as a petty response from house keeping to our complaints. Despite raising these issues early during our stay with the duty manager it is our view that the Waldorf Astoria staff failed to turn the situation around and were slow to respond. Very disappointing and if i were the Manager of the Waldorf Astoria New York I would be concerned for future damage to the brands reputation.
Cons: Cleanliness, Service,