A trip to Orlando, Florida usually begins in the same manner as trips to most other excursions – at the airport. What is most astonishing is how the airport brings together people from all different places, for all different purposes, and with all different opinions about travel. However, the departure gate for planes heading to Orlando seems to be the setting for more universal (no pun intended) experiences. First, there will be many families with small children. Second, once those small children, eager to visit Disneyworld, begin their cranky and impatient screams, there is a silent acknowledgement from the other travelers – Oh please, let them not sit next to me.
Though Orlando is often seen as synonymous with Disneyworld, there is another section of Orlando called the Downtown area, which has charm and serenity as well as a spirited arts and entertainment scene for those not interested in wearing the Mickey Mouse ears home on the plane. Within this area of the city, the AC Hotel Orlando Downtown offers travelers well-deserving comfort as well as proximity to local flavors, from the peacefulness of a walk around Eola Lake to the pulsing and frenetic nightlife, especially on weekends.
Conveniently located by Route 4 and Highway 408, the AC Hotel is a 23 minute drive to Disneyworld, and a 5 minute walk to a large selection of restaurants and taverns, shopping and cultural events.
Within the hotel, there is no loss of comfort, quality dining, and great drinks. The accommodations are spacious, with an eye toward refinement and quality, offering wide views of Downtown Orlando. The high rise experience is present in all of the hotel’s 180 rooms, curated with a European-inspired design by Kolter Hospitality. The larger king room, for example, makes the most of its 477 square feet, with desks and seating space, roomy bathroom with a luxurious rain shower and ample counter space. The mattress and bedding are top of the line to ensure a deep sleep before making major points at that important meeting or just gaining the energy to stroll around Downtown Orlando.
For the business traveler, the AC Hotel Orlando Downtown offers 3 event spaces for a total of 2000 square feet. The high tech equipment and reliable WIFI prove as important as the surroundings for peace of mind and mindful success. The natural light illuminates the meeting spaces and offers a great view of Downtown Orlando. The only downside is the view might be distracting. Way off in the distance, especially at night, one can see the blue illumination from the Ferris wheel at Disneyland.
Once the meetings are over, or the spirit moves any adult of drinking age, the AC Skybar is designed for the perfect evening of socializing and unwinding. The square-shaped bar encourages eye-contact and social interactions. The see-through room divider separates the outdoor and indoor spaces, giving access to the rooftop lounge and a 360 degree view of the city. The cocktails are well-made, if not on the strong side, but no one is complaining. After all, this is a city of vacationers looking for a good time and an escape from the mundane.
Since escapism can get expensive, and especially if part of that escapism includes the magical world of Disney, one company offers great advice and useful tips for spending that vacation dollar. Pro Money Savings Their comprehensive website even has an article specifically about traveling to Disneyworld, with tips that range from what equipment to bring to the best credit cards to use. The site can even be of value after the Orlando vacation is over and there is a return to reality.
The return flights from Orlando to practically every place on Earth are much calmer than those flying in. However, it is now the adults that get the fisheye from the passengers already seated. The cranky ones are now the parents whose carry-ons and waistlines are just a bit more expanded. The kids are preoccupied with handheld devices and souvenirs. Yet, there is once again a shared experience. We might not have all stayed at the same hotel or spent our time in the same way, but we are heading home, some economized and some splurged, but as we fly back toward our familiar, whether we admit it or not, we all want the window seat.