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“Tired, old and stuffy”

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Arnold Palmer's Bay Hill Lodge
Ranked #193 of 339 Hotels in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence
Clearwater, Florida
Level 5 Contributor
74 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Tired, old and stuffy”
Reviewed 29 June 2014

The place is definitely for the "old" guard country club set. I was sure I was going to see to Thurston Howell, III and Eunice "Lovey" Howell walk through the door any second. Beds were lumpy but some how comfortable. The best part of a room at the lodge was the bathrooms which must have been redone recently as they were quite nice and updated, but who has old Samsung TV 26" flat screen but not a panel TV. Seems they are more worried about decorum than decor. No Keurig coffee pots in the room but a large urn in the lobby areas for free coffee in the morning, but you may get only one cup if not fast enough to get a refill. Rooms were clean that was a saving grace for the place, the front desk staff was very good and kudos to them for a nice job handling reservations, guests and politeness. The place is also very quiet as it is far from the hustle and bustle of Lake Buena Vista, International Dr. and the parks. If I was playing golf at Bay Hill it seems the only way to get on the course unless a member, but who wants to spend over $100 to $200 to paly golf when there are other choices in the area that I am sure play just as nice for much less price. Sorry to say no Arnie sighting on premises, I think he summers in California

Room Tip: If you are really going to stay here get room on second floor and from 207 and less in number on the...
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank thekegler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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228 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (49)
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1 review
Reviewed 17 June 2014

What a wonderful experience!

The entire Bay Hill experience is unforgettable! My wife and I throughly enjoyed our time. We were greeted like old time friends when we arrived, and treated as such until we've left. Rooms are quaint, quiet, and have a wonderful view if you're on the golf side. Don't expect a resort, expect and welcomed quiet release. This is a perfect place to stay, play golf, then hit up a park. Prices are very fair. Dining at the Lodge is a must! Dress codes are enforced, but I appreciate it! Makes the experience more special.

Wonderful historical touch, and lots of Palmer memorabilia around the course and clubhouse.

Cons: I wasn't a fan of was the attitudes of the gentleman in the pro shop. I understand I'm a twenty-something guest at a prestigious country club, but the arrogant, nonchalant demeanor towards my wife and I was very disappointing.

Also, the course was in pretty tough shape around the tee boxes... Very, very gnawed and dry. I expected a little more from a world famous course.

All in all, my wife and I will be back, probably more than once!

  • Stayed June 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Anutt344
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 3 Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 June 2014 via mobile

Don't trust your GPS when trying to find. It will bring you a couple miles deeper into the country club community and the entry sign is blocked by plants so very easy to drive past. If you have no idea where you're going it will be difficult to find. On walking in front desk staff was lounging back with their feet up. Three drinks cost $100. Room is quaint AC runs but stays humid has a slight smell of old 1980s nostalgia.

Stayed June 2014, travelled on business
Helpful?
3 Thank B'jamin M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tampa, Florida
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 May 2014

By far the best golf experience of the year. The food was excellent and you could not ask for a more challenging golf course. The pulled pork was melt in your mouth and the potato salad was just like mom's.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank Tpreinert
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bakersfield, California
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 May 2014

I am not all that picky. However, the room (#412) was VERY moist. It was very uncomfortable. The burlap sacks that they use as pillow covers and comforter are also uncomfortable. The style is old (not a big deal) but because they had old furniture they could not accommodate a flatscreen TV of any reasonable size. The place is VERY pretentious to the level of being slightly uncomfortable. The dress code is a bit obnoxious. I understand the desire to keep a certain atmosphere but the walk from my room to the coffee station in the hallway should not require 20 minutes of getting ready.

The golf course layout is fantastic. However, the majority of the tee boxes, rough, and runoff areas around the greens had absolutely no grass. Literally none. The greens were in great shape though and the bunkers were very playable. The proximity to the driving range is very nice and I practiced frequently. The fore caddy was awful and although I was told there was no cash used/allowed on property by the front desk I was surprised to find out I needed to give him cash? I called the front desk to ask if they had an ATM, they chuckled, said no, and hung up on me without any reasonable curtosy such as saying "I am sorry, goodbye."

Overall, I don't recommend this place due to pretentiousness, moist and uncomfortable rooms without modern conveniences expected at this price range, and the poor conditioning of the golf course which ends up costing just under $200 to play. If this were in the middle of nowhere and you just wanted to see famous people and spend a lot of money it would be fine. But, its in Orlando, Fl and there are too many better options to waste your money in this stuffy and sticky place. I hope this saves you a little money and trouble!

Room Tip: Ask for a room facing the golf course if you can.
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank chrislewispac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
royschindele, Owner at Arnold Palmer's Bay Hill Lodge, responded to this review, 20 May 2014
I'm sorry you had a less than par experience & impression....

FYI - The Rooms were renovated completely 5 years ago... down to the rafters... Spent 7 million dollars redoing the 70 room lodge buildings... All the furniture was new, bedding new, top to bottom new. We implemented the latest technology such as key-less entry system... Just waive your room key in front of the door to open it...

The place was in fact originally built in 1960 but is not "old" by any means.

The golf course was updated by Mr. Palmer himself to the tune of 2.5 million 3 years ago.
All of our infrastructure / brick and mortar is constantly being updated and maintained.

Last summer we completely renovated the men's locker room as well as the Bay Window Restaurant... It's ongoing...

Rates indeed vary by season... just before and after our PGA event in March - the Arnold Palmer Invitational the rates are premium for golf at $200... However between now and End of September (for about 1/2 the year, a couple can come enjoy Bay HIll for $175 each that includes Deluxe Lodge Room, Full Breakfast Buffet, Round of golf... an unbeatable value for a world renowned facility. It's called the "bucket list package"...

I hope you will please give us another try and allow us to leave you with a positive experience.

Sincerely
Roy Schindele
Director
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 April 2014

Bay Hill is a gem but it certainly has its downsides. The rooms are a bit old and smelly. It is nothing fancy but we expected that. It could do with a real overhaul, but it might not be worth it for them as they still get their visitors. It has really nice memorbilia of Mr Palmer everywhere and - that's why people go. The food was really good. People were nice and front desk was really great too.

The course is spectacular- loved it!!!! The thing they need to improve on is the way they deal with the "forecaddies." Every group of 4 has a forecaddie assigned to them mandatory. What they don't tell you is that you are responsible for tipping the forecaddie 25-30 dollars per person. It's not that I mind, it's just that I expect to be told!!!!!nSO if you don't bring your cash you feel like an idiot.

Can't they tell you ?

The forecaddie we were assigned to did help read the greens but I didn't appreciate the advice he offered. He is a 30 plus handicap and he was giving endless advice on our swings. Seems a bit bizarre. But we had a great time.

It's worth it to go - we'll be back as we had a blast.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank ITO_travellerz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Alpharetta, Georgia
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 April 2014

One of our all-time favorite places to go for 4 to 5 days, get in a little R&R along with some great golf. The staff is incredible...they always go above and beyond the call of duty for us. Our favorite rooms are overlooking the golf course, since there is a nice covered patio to hang out and watch the sunset. While the rooms are not fancy, the updated baths are great, with plenty of towels and room for 2 people to maneuver around in. The dining is great, the Bay Window has a great variety for lunch, snacks or dinner. Breakfast in the dining room is well done. A nice pool area is an added bonus when the weather is nice, but really needs an outdoor hot tub. Then there is the golf! A magnificent course with plenty of challenges and our favorite caddy, Barry, makes it extra special. This also makes a great home base to explore Orlando as it's really convenient to all the attractions.

Room Tip: Overlooking the course are our favorite rooms.
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Katherine M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Arnold Palmer's Bay Hill Lodge

Property: Arnold Palmer's Bay Hill Lodge
Address: 9000 Bay Hill Blvd, Orlando, FL 32819-4880
Region: United States > Florida > Central Florida > Orlando
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#30 Spa Hotel in Orlando
#51 Luxury Hotel in Orlando
#157 Family Hotel in Orlando
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Arnold Palmer's Bay Hill Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 70
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Lodge offers complimentary parking & no resort fee, complimentary internet connection/daily use fee (wired or wireless), complimentary local phone charges, complimentary newspaper, complimentary coffee/tea every morning, complimentary Access to the fitness Center. The Bay Hill experience will give you a sense of belonging to a Private Club which features: 280 acre property, 70 Deluxe Rooms, 9000sq ft of meeting space, spa, salon, fitness center, 3 restaurants, 3 bars, pool, tennis courts, golf academy, and enjoy 27 holes of golf only available where Arnold Palmer lives and plays. The Lodge is situated in a quiet, residential neighborhood, rich with history, yet close to all the excitement Orlando has to offer. Bay Hill is just 18 miles / 20 minutes from the Airport, 5 miles from Walt Disney World, 4 miles from Sea World and 3 miles from Universal Studios and the Convention Center. Mr. Palmer's Resort offers 70 Lodge rooms in comfortable surroundings that is more reminiscent of a bed and breakfast getaway than a large tourist resort. Guests, are granted full club privileges during their stay and are invited to enjoy all of the club’s luxury amenities throughout our 280 acre property. BEST KEPT SECRET IN ORLANDO! We are looking forward to hearing from you.Amenities On-Site:• 27 Holes of Championship Golf• 6 Lighted Tennis Courts• Exceptional Dining in Three Locations• Three Restaurants & Lounges• Full-Service Spa and Salon• Fitness Center• Junior Olympic-size Pool• Arnold Palmer Golf Academy• Marina ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Arnold Palmer`s Bay Hill Hotel Orlando
Arnold Palmer's Bay Hill Lodge Orlando, Florida

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