Gaylord hostess

Gaylordís New Resort
For Business and Pleasure

HE entire state of Florida in one resort? Thatís what the new Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center at Kissimmee promises. I had to check it out.

The impressive massive complex is divided into three mini-resorts:

Key West with calypso music along the wharf and a 60-foot sailboat where you will find an onboard seafood bar and lounge with tropical drinks.

Or you may want to drop into Sunset Samís Fish Camp. The night I visited, general manager Jeff Harrison and executive chef Scot Prince created a menu that offered potato crusted snapper, red bliss potatoes, roasted vegetables, creamed leek sauce as the main course.

Gaylord atrium

The guest rooms in this area had a tropical motif.

The Everglades offers an atmosphere of mystery with its rugged wooden walkways. At some points fog shrouds the path while the sounds of frogs fill the air. Wicker furnishings in the guest rooms, with butterfly and firefly designs, create a private jungle retreat.

Youíll find dinner waiting for you at the Old Hickory Traditional Steakhouse.

St. Augustine, with its majestic atrium, is like a journey back in time to the 18th century. Take the cobblestone walkway to see a replica of the oldest Spanish fort in the New World.

The Villa de Flora Marketplace and Restaurant features six market stands with entrees and cooking methods from the Mediterranean.

I stayed in this part, in a guest room with walnut furnishings and burnished gold.

Gaylord chef and waitress

When you check in, youíll get a colorful pocketsize map that will guide you to your room and all the sites in the three neighborhoods.

With your room you get bottles of juice and water, coffee, local and toll-free phone calls, high-speed Internet access, and free shuttle to nearby DinseyWorld.

There is a supervised kids program, various eating places, retail shops, and the Canyon Ranch Spa Club, the largest spa facility in the state with 25 treatment rooms and fitness center.

The Gaylord brand is the new name for the formerly known Opryland Hotels and Resorts. The company is reaching out not only vacationers but to business groups seeking exciting new venues for conventions, meetings and exhibitions.

Gaylord St. Augustine

Along with the Gaylord Opryland in Nashville, Tennessee, and this newly opened Gaylord Palms in Kissimmee, Florida, there will be a Gaylord Opryland debuting February 2004 near the Dallas/Ft. Worth airport, Texas.

The resorts are a property of Gaylord Entertainment, based in Nashville, Tenn. The company owns the Gaylord Hotels, the Grand Ole Opry, Acuff-Rose Music Publishing, and WSM radio.

For reservations to Gaylord Palms call 407 586-2000 or visit

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