Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club & Lodge
What We Love
- Eighteen holes of championship golf that challenge the likes of Tiger Woods and Ernie Els
- The possibility of rubbing elbows with such club members as Bubba Watson
- Excellent spa services: Therapists are trained to treat professional athletes
- Longtime staff members who treat guests like family
What To Know
- The property is designed for guests who want to eat, sleep and breathe golf
- The decor has a decidedly masculine feel, down to the bar in the men’s locker room
- The lodge is surrounded by a residential neighborhood occupied by club members
- Free WiFi
- Golf Course
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
This may be Florida, but the scene is more pines than palms. The property’s 70 guestrooms were renovated in 2006, and they line the “King’s Castle,” a two-story lodge camouflaged in stone and wood shingles. Inside, it’s all wood, leather and a rugged but tasteful palette of browns and greens. Historic photos of professional golfers grace the walls, and TVs in the lounge and restaurant are perma-tuned to sports. Hot coffee is available in a public area for guests with early tee times.
Bed and Bath
The rooms follow the man cave motif, with plush olive-hued duvets and more golf artwork. Hotel-branded bath products complement Kohler fixtures, double sinks, bath-shower combos and robes. Ask for an even-numbered room to look out over the manicured greens through a generous picture window. (There’s also a small lanai — just watch out for the occasional golf ball.)
While the lodge is home to 27 holes of golf, the 18-hole championship course gets all the attention, having hosted the Arnold Palmer Invitational since 1966. Lovers of the sport will also appreciate the on-site golf academy, the pro shop and the sparkling fleet of golf carts, which are completely changed out every year. Rounding out the amenities are a heated pool, a pool café, six tennis courts, a fitness center, a marina, a lounge and the Bay Window sports bar, which features a firepit.
In the Area
Located just a few minutes from Orlando’s restaurant row, the lodge is perfectly positioned for eating and drinking; upscale chains such as Rocco’s Tacos and Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion draw diners in droves. Request a terrace table at Seasons 52 to catch the theme park fireworks across the lake, and then give a toast with a Moscow Mule at Pharmacy, a modern speakeasy. The Mall at Millennia is where pro golfers and basketball players send their personal shoppers; bargain hunters favor the Premium Outlets. And, of course, you can’t come to Orlando without visiting the parks, from Universal to Disney.
How to Get There
First thing to say is that the golf course is very good, as are the golf course staff. Phil who calls the tee times and the guy on the pro shop desk are really friendly and accommodating.
The staff - particularly Cheryl in the bar who made the place for us, was lovely. Nothing was too much trouble. Likewise Sandy in the breakfast restaurant was also very accommodating.
However....the lodge, despite having great memorabilia is a little tired. There were things we expected to be there that just weren’t. There is no safe deposit box in the rooms. It might have low crime but leaving jewellery, passports and cash in the drawers was a little uncomfortable.
The pillows were just awful. Hard and lumpy.
There was no mineral water in the rooms, you had to ask for it.
There is no room service and the restaurant, although having people in it in shorts and golf-wear, insisted that I go back to the room and change my tee shirt for a collared shirt.
Perhaps important to state that it is not like a golf resort. It is like visiting a private golf club and so there is not the level of amenities you would get at say, PGA National where you get access to several bars and choices of food and the rooms are like staying at a high quality hotel.
The food was excellent quality but if you are staying for a few days it can be limited, there are lots of restaurants around to eat at though.
The only negative thing we have to say about this property,is our check-in.We had to show the desk our reservation confirmation as it was not in their computer.It took much too long for us to get into our room.The rest of the stay was excellent.Service and food in their dining options was top notch.The golf was great,large swimming pool.The rooms large and clean.The only negative in the room is there is refrigerator.My wife has several eating problems that having some of her food in room would have been a big help.Go to this property if you love golf.
My husband and I always love to stay at Arnold Palmer's Bay Hill Lodge in Orlando. The accommodations are clean and the staff is friendly and helpful. The peace and serenity of the Lodge itself makes it a perfect romantic stay for a long weekend. We will most definitely be back! (again!)