gaylord-palmsGaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center in Orlando is a family destination that does not feel like a convention center. My kids, my mother and I were guests of Gaylord in Orlando so that my son could play golf with his instructor who was in the area for the winter.

The rooms are sunny and bright and far enough away from the business area that as a guest, you don’t wouldn’t even notice the convention center. The brand new $50 million pool is all about the kids with slides and an appropriate Everglades theme that runs throughout the hotel. You can watch an alligator feeding or visit the Swamp Shack.

I loved the layout of our king suite and connecting room because it included a small kitchenette in the connecting room. We were able to prepare breakfast and lunch in our room, saving money on eating out. There is space – lots of it – for everyone to enjoy.

Relache Spa at Gaylord offered a serene environment but I had the feeling I was keeping the staff from something else they needed to do. I felt rushed before and after the massage but the massage itself was good.

My only complaint was the price of the mediocre food at Wrecker’s Sports Bar. It’s a bad sign when I order a salad and they can’t find a cracker or slice of bread to go with it. We opted for the sandwich restaurant, which is less pricey and the food was decent.

Sometimes it’s not the room or the massage you remember, it’s a special person. A highlight of our stay was the Hagaan Daaz shoppe. The ice cream is as good as you would expect but the guy serving it is reason enough to go back. Every time we saw him, he was just so happy and smiling, he made us smile too.

Gaylord is close to all of the Orlando attractions and the pool is reason enough to stay with the kids.

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