When one thinks of Orlando, Florida these days, they think of the theme parks, Parliament House, and Pulse. And to be honest, that is all I have ever done and seen in Orlando, besides some shopping. So, when it came time to think of attending Orlando Pride (October 6 – 13), I changed my focus away from Mickey and Universal and put my focus on where all the events would be occurring, in greater downtown Orlando.
My decision was to pregame downtown Orlando before attending Orlando Pride, before all the festivities occurred so I could get a lay of the land. The first item was to choose where to stay. I had cut corners and cost before when visiting Orlando with the attitude of just finding a cheap place and an okay locale and not worry about quality since money was to be spent on and in the theme parks. This time was to be a little different. I wanted relaxation, luxury, but still at an economical price point and location was THE key. Like a beacon, the clear and only option was the Grand Bohemian Hotel.
The Grand Bohemian Hotel Orlando, Autograph Collection lives up to its opulent name as guests arrive at the covered courtyard/valet area and enter the inspiring lobby area. We’re not in Kansas (or Orlando) anymore was the first thought that came to mind. The décor embraces and plays with shades of purple, red, yellow, and black, creating such visual stimulation, you may forget to check in, but instead wish to wander around every corner and ingest the varying artwork that adorns every wall and alcove. It’s a comfortable elegance paired with artistic freedom that I as a guest loved.
The artwork and artistic adventure found in the Grand Bohemian lobby continues into every guest room, bar area, meeting room, rotunda, restaurant, and there’s even an art gallery on-site that features pieces from local and international artists.
While wandering the halls, you get a feel for the clientele that chooses to stay at the Grand Bohemian. Fellow guests range from business folk to visiting basketball and soccer teams (eye candy galore!), to travelers and locals heading to a concert or an Orlando Magic NBA game blocks away at the Amway Center, or those looking to enjoy the clubs and restaurants on Orlando’s Church Street and Orange Avenue. I ventured out to Hamburger Mary’s just a 4 min walk away and had a great evening, met some great people that I hung out with for the rest of the night, loosing track of time and finally collapsing in the ultra-comfortable Bohemian bed at 2 AM after drinks, dancing, late night pizza and garlic knots. A fun time was had INDEED!
The Grand Bohemian Hotel has embraced being more than just a hotel, it is part of downtown Orlando, opening its doors and multiple venues to locals, travelers, and even other hotels’ guests.
The Boheme –
Many hotels have great restaurants associated with them and they are extensions of the stay. Waking into and dining in The Boheme felt like you were not having an experience in a hotel restaurant, but you were brought to a place of equal elegance for your next Bohemian adventure. The grand performers were some of the best dining assistants I have had in years. So tempted was I to ask them to join me as they were friendly, attentive, and knowledgeable and a pleasure to be around.
Get lost in a romantic getaway without even stepping out of the hotel. The undeniable allure of red drapery, low lighting and delicious promises will draw you into The Boheme Restaurant. Once there, stray away from your usual with flavors inspired by classic American cuisine. It’s a meal that will satisfy more than your hunger and one you’ll savor even beyond the last bite. Our suggestion—on Sundays, discover the best Brunch in downtown Orlando and indulge in a little of everything during The Boheme Brunch, from 10 AM to 2 PM
The Bösendorfer Lounge –
Walking from the lobby or guest rooms, one must pass through the Bösendorfer Lounge, which is dangerous, for the dark woods, elegant columns, red, black, and gold accents, and the massive works of art, may they be the paintings exuding their beauty on the walls to the statues and busts in the alcoves throughout the room, they all culminate into an environment that makes you forget about your planned destination. The Bösendorfer Lounge is a room that will elevate your cocktail experience, further amuse your amuse bouche, and will turn any friendly get together into one to measure all other get togethers.
Much like the lounges across Europe, the Bösendorfer Lounge is truly a destination itself, with its edgy décor, sultry vibe and a rare surprise—a one-of-a-kind Imperial Grand Bösendorfer piano. One of the most popular bars in Orlando, the lounge is the ideal spot for locals and visitors alike. Stop in before catching a show or stay and enjoy some of Orlando’s only live jazz music. One sip of a signature cocktail and you’ll be tempted to abandon plans and stay for a little while.
With its great position downtown, The Grand Bohemian Hotel is not only a place to wine, dine, relax and be close to it all, it is as well a viable destination for business. With over 10,000 sq. ft. function space and venues like the Bohemian Wine Room, Bohemian Garden Poolside, six meeting galleries, Executive boardroom, Johann Strauss Ballroom, and business center which all can be paired with Art Gallery Cocktail Hours and private dining at The Boheme Restaurant, the Grand Bohemian Hotel should be at the top of anyone seeking meeting or conference space in downtown or any part of Orlando.
Poseidon Spa –
When booking your stay, check out the ever-popular Poseidon Spa. Hotel guests and locals find the time to reserve a relaxing experience here at this nicely-sized space, yet another layer of relaxation offered by the Grand Bohemian Hotel. But as mentioned, plan your relaxation as the time slots and treatments are first come first serve.
Form first pulling into the valet courtyard, I knew this was my kind of hotel. From the décor to the grand performers and the overall feel of being in the Grand Bohemian Hotel, this is to be my place to go when coming back to downtown Orlando.
For more information on Orlando Pride, visit https://comeoutwithpride.com/events/
For more information on the Grand Bohemian Hotel Orlando, please visit kesslercollection.com
As always, here are some other pictures I personally took during my stay.