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
A golfer’s dream come true. The lodge is filled with Arnie memorabilia and his presence is still felt and kept alive in the lodge. The rooms are ample and comfortable. Breakfast and lunch in the Grill Room was also great.
After thinking I was not going to get away this winter, I was having breakfast with a colleague a few Fridays ago and he told me he'd just booked a last minute weekend at Bay Hill. I called right after breakfast and was able to get a room at the lodge, and a tee-time with my colleague, and a flight down to Orlando using air miles. Being just 3 weeks ahead of the API, it was quite the miracle. It was my first time there, and it was such an amazing experience. The lodge, staff, facilities, bar, and dining were first class. The course was in amazing shape. We were further blessed to discover that, because the other pair in our foursome we no-shows, we were offered to go off first as a twosome. It felt like we had the course to ourselves. We both played some pretty good golf too. In all, an amazing weekend.
Everything was great. The golf, food, service and location. We are looking forward to returning the fall. The front desk staff was very good in providing information. We like that you can park your own car near the front door.
The room on the ground floor was very nice and well appointed. Patio door opened onto a patio with a view of the 9th green. Delightful for a late afternoon cocktail while watching other golfers. The food was outstanding. So much so that in five days we did not dine anywhere else.
Bay Hill embodies what Arnold Palmer stood for his entire life....greatness! Everyone there just makes you feel at home and part of the family. The rooms are updated, spacious and comfortable. The food in both restaurants is fabulous, too.