How to Make Every Moment in Orlando Memorable

Elite Concierge Nekane Alvarez, les Clefs d'Or, USA Waldorf Astoria Orlando, shares tips for first-time visitors.

Nekane Alvarez, concierge, les Clefs d'Or, USA, Waldorf Astoria Orlando, gives her personal recommendations for enjoying Orlando's many attractions, and how to get the most out of your summer visit to The City Beautiful.

Q: What’s your favorite thing to do in Orlando during the summer months?

A: Orlando offers natural springs, lakes and wonderful beaches within easy reach.  Cocoa Beach just underwent a nourishing project that will restore sand to 3.5 miles of beach in time for the summer. I love Clearwater as well.

Q: What’s your favorite way to cool off this time of year?

A: Discovery Cove is a great place to forget the traffic, the heat, and the crowds.

Q: A guest has one night in Orlando. Where do you recommend that he or she go for a memorable evening?

A: It has to be Bull & Bear at the Waldorf Astoria. Guests embark on a culinary journey that is a very special dining experience. After dinner, keep it simple. Take a stroll and you may see multiple fireworks displays from Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Q: What’s your favorite Orlando hidden gem?

A: They are gems, but not hidden anymore, as they are recommendations to my guests when looking for something different: the Morse Museum in Winter Park and Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales.

Q: Where is the best place to get an Orlando selfie?

A: We have many to choose from: Cinderella Castle and Spaceship Earth, as well as ICON Park on International Drive, come to mind.

Q: What’s the most unusual request you’ve received from a guest?

A:  This wonderful guest wanted to impress his lady and had little time to do so. Both loved anything aviation related. We booked a helicopter to take them to Yalaha Bakery in Lake County, where they had a wonderful breakfast, and were back to the hotel for a conference call by noon. 

Q: Expert tip?

A: If you’re traveling with multiple generations, ICON Park on International Drive will please everyone in the group. 

Q: Any other tips?

A: Avoid I-4 and International Drive when possible, use alternatives, drink lots of water, and park your car in the shade!

Stephanie Patterson
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