We all need to be spoiled: One week at a luxury hotel

My life is a strange conglomeration of paradoxes. I often make this statement to my friends: one week I can barely afford to pay my rent, and the next week I’m being whisked off on luxurious trips to fun destinations.

I like the variety of experiences I have along the way, including accommodations. I’m pretty happy in a hostel, but every now and then I want a mint on my pillow, goddammit.

In Orlando, I was fortunate enough to stay in an incredibly upscale suite at the Westin Imagine, an Aeroplan partner hotel. I arrived disheveled and tired after losing my luggage, and was so happy to just retreat to my room.

I seriously miss this place

Serenity now

Perhaps that’s what I loved the most about this whole Orlando experience: it was a true escape. Other than a couple of planned activities, I had a full week to myself. And with the hotel being so amazing (and unbelievably quiet), I was quite content to spend a day or two unwinding by the pool or catching up on writing from my balcony overlooking the resort.

The pool, by the way, rocks. I was feeling mildly self-conscious about swimming alone, but a text from my friend Glassman saying, “Seriously, how often do you get the opportunity to swim in an outdoor pool?” snapped me out of my attitude. If I could be a mermaid and live in the water, I would.

For the first time in weeks, I also took the opportunity to wake when I FELT like it. Imagine that! And then I’d simply stretch out in my king-sized bed and turn on the TV for some morning news.

Ooh la la

Wine and dine

The Westin Imagine also made me confront that awkward feeling you get when eating alone. I brought a book with me to look less like a loser at the swanky Fiorella’s Cucina Toscana, but I’m not so sure it helped. I couldn’t figure out what to do with the crumbly cheese on my dish, and accidentally spilled half of it in my lap.

The restaurant, however, was pretty damned good. I ordered the lobster ravioli the first night and then a whole slew of other dishes for the following nights. And beer. Cannot forget the beer.

I had to like, actually put some effort into appearance before eating. Ballin’.

All class, all the time. New blog slogan.

Good service goes noticed

My favourite part of the hotel? The service was exceptional. Employees were incredibly kind to me when I lost all my stuff, and even replaced half my toiletries. Then when I wanted some information for the area, they went out of their way to help me out. Even the pool staff were crazy nice.

The maids even learned my morning coffee habits, and brought me extra packets. Bless them!


WiFi is a MUST, and so are other tech-friendly options

My least favourite part? Being a hotel largely focused on the business traveller (the insanely big convention centre is directly across the road), I had to pay $15/day for Internet. Yes, I ended up spending over $200 for Internet, and sometimes for only a couple of hours a day. Free WiFi is SO important! Dishing out that cash broke my heart.


You’d be wise to get a rental car, especially if you’re here for the theme parks. Orlando has a lot of freaking sprawl.

**Thus concludes my Orlando adventure! Up next, getting drunk on a church alter in Quebec City.

  • April 03 2012

    Thanks for all the Orlando info, out door pool are the best :) You look gorgeous all dressed up for dinner!
    ps. paying for wi-fi always feel like such a scam! It’s free AT MCDONALDS people. And I only have to spend <$5 for patronage. boo ya.

    • April 09 2012

      Seriously, McDonald’s is where it’s at! I can’t believe Tim Horton’s hasn’t jumped on the WiFi bandwagon yet.

      And thank you :)

  • April 03 2012

    I always find it odd that cheap hotels will offer free wifi (unless they’re really no-frills places) but the more upscale you go, the more likely you are to have to pay for wifi. In comparison with other services offered at no charge, it seems like it would be a small thing to add. Heck, put a data cap on it, I just want to send a few emails and check in with my social media.

    • April 09 2012

      Yeah, I’m pretty sure it’s mostly to do with business hotels. I guess they figure their guests can expense it? Agh! Especially bad when there are no cafes nearby.

  • April 04 2012

    Sounds like you had a great time in Orlando! Free WIFI is becoming a bit of a dealbreaker for us when looking for hotels. It’s important to me but my 15 year old gets downright nasty if she can’t check in on Facebook to see what her friend’s are doing. Hopefully more hotels are going to realize that it’s one of the most important amenities to their guests and start offering it for free.

    • April 09 2012

      Ditto, SO important. If hostels can afford it, hotels can too!

  • April 05 2012

    ‘Serenity now… insanity later!’

    • April 09 2012

      YESSS! Someone got the reference! Haha

  • April 06 2012

    I hate paying for WiFI and that’s why I usually pick a B&B or a small boutique hotel – a good breakfast & free WiFi. I totally resent what the big hotels are doing – and can’t imagine forking over $200 bucks. The rest of your stay looked lovely though.

    • April 09 2012

      Yeah, WiFi is becoming more and more a deal-breaker for me. I typically don’t spend THAT much time inside a hotel anyway, but sometimes there are exceptions.

  • April 07 2012
    Bob Hallett

    Orlando is a bit of a guilty secret of mine. I go there a lot. It is what it is – somewhere warm and pleasant that is also very easy. No language, currency, or other aggravations, really, plus the whole theme park thing. It seems like cheating from your adventurous ‘Matador’ perspective , but it sometimes easy is what you need.

    Travelling (and eating) by yourself is a difficult skill to master, but one which can offer very rich rewards. I have had to a lot of both in my life, but they both force you to talk to people you don’t already know. And that’s almost never a bad thing.

    • April 09 2012

      Definitely, Bob, and there’s a BIG discrepancy between “travel” and “vacation.” How often do I get to go somewhere and just UNPLUG? Not very often. I needed those pool days.

      The eating alone thing became easier. Funny how it’s so “weird” to do in North America, yet is pretty commonplace everywhere else…or at least it seems that way.

  • April 08 2012

    Your whole Florida adventure, including the lost underwear, makes me want to pack my bags and go, again.

  • April 08 2012

    Ohh la la indeedd – those are some hot legs you got there. Perked me up more than my first hot cup of coffee this morning ;)
    You look so gorgeous all dressed up. Pool looks great.

  • April 18 2012

    This post should be called “Legs” Also, I love that dress!

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.