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Florida Guide > Dining

If you are looking for somewhere that little bit extra special then Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Centre is an experience not to be missed. The showcase piece is the striking glass dome atrium that houses everything under its roof. From the oversize furniture and plant arrangements to the fortress centre piece with real live alligators we were enthralled by the grandeur and architecture of the resort.

I have not seen any other place like this and with its innovative restaurants and fascinating shops it was a truly unique experience. Whenever we visit Florida we always go there and friends are equally impressed. You are able to walk all around the resort, through the grounds and various pool areas and into the convention center.

There is a wide variety of dining to suit every taste and this is laid out into 3 separate areas. You can amble along a series of rugged wooden walkways through the Everglades to the Old Hickory Steakhouse with its authentic metal roofed shanties or walk down the wharf in Key West, looking at its shops that sell extremely colourful arts and crafts. Here you can enjoy fresh Florida seafood at Sunset Sam's Fish Camp. You will also encounter a sailboat floating on blue waters in its waved coral reef ocean where you can partake in your favourite cocktail or just enjoy a light lunch. Our favourite is the buffet at the Villa de Flora, designed to resemble the grand dining room of an old-world mansion. Here you can sit ‘outside’ on the terrace listening to the cascading waterfalls. The buffet is truly sumptuous, beautifully presented with a vast choice including an incredible dessert bar.

You can then wonder to the dueling piano bar or meander around the shops. You can climb amongst the castle with its rivers and waterfalls or sit in an oversized armchair listening to the grand piano that plays by itself. Nothing has been missed out with minute details making this a striking place to visit.

We normally go around late afternoon, then as the sunsets and the lights appear the dome is again transformed. All the hotel balconies look into the vast atrium and you must take a glass lift ride to the top to get a truly magnificent view.

The resort is located just 1.5 miles from the main gate of the Walt Disney World Resort at the intersection of Osceola Parkway and South International Drive in Kissimmee-St. Cloud. Don’t miss seeing Gaylord Palms it’s unlike anything you have seen before.

It is more expensive than your typical Floridian restaurant with the buffet at $25 per head, but for a truly memorable evening it is well worth it.

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Page added on: 16 October 2004
Viewed 4586 times since 1 September 2008.

The following photos have been submitted by our villa owners for this article.

View from the Atrium into Villa de Flora

Inside the Atrium

Inside the Atrium

Inside the Atrium
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