The Traveling Steve's

Stay-Cation in Orlando Hyatt Regency Convention Center

Continuing with our mini Stay-Cation’s this year, we stayed at the Hyatt Regency at the Orlando Convention Center this week for four nights. Our purpose is two-fold: one to re-qualify for our Hyatt Globalist status (which requires 60 nights a year), and also to gradually get back in the swing of things with our travels and eating out at different restaurants, both of which have been severely reduced since my open heart surgery last Fall. Plus these mini-staycations are FUN, and close to home without flying anywhere or long road trips!

The Hyatt Regency Orlando Convention Center on International Drive.

We’ve stayed at all three of the Orlando area Hyatt Regency properties, and this one on International Drive at the Convention Center is actually the second largest Hyatt in the chain we were told. We’ve stayed here many times, and love the sprawling property and adjacent mammoth Convention Center which is great for my daily walking exercise. From the lobby of the Hyatt, walking thru the hotel’s conference center to the end of the Main Convention Center corridor and back is just over a mile, fortunately indoors in air conditioned comfort.

On this stay we had a deluxe King room (vs a suite that we usually get), but it was large at 450 square feet, and on the 27th floor (even side) facing the main pool. From our room you had a great view of the pool area way down below, International (I-Drive), the Orlando Eye, Universal Studios, and even Disney World way in the distance. We didn’t look out at nighttime to see the fireworks as we were eating around 9pm each night, but could have watched the fireworks from the room had we been there.

Just one wing of the mammoth Orlando Convention Center as viewed from our window at the Hyatt.

EPCOT’s iconic “golf ball”, Spaceship Earth attraction (top center) as seen from our Hyatt Hotel room at the Convention Center.
The Disney World’s Contemporary Resort (far left) and adjacent tower (middle), and Space mountain on far right.
The Four Season’s Hotel in the far distance as seen from our room at the Hyatt Convention Center.

The Hyatt Hotel was quite busy this week with different conventions, ranging from an IT cyber-security convention to a National Dance competition from many colleges and universities across the U.S.

For dinner we returned to a couple of our favorite restaurants across and just down the street from our hotel; Everglades Restaurant, and Jack’s Place Restaurant (twice), and Red Lobster one night as well. Everglades Restaurant is located in the Rosen Centre Hotel, while Jack’s Place is located in the nearby Rosen Plaza Hotel, and Red Lobster is a stand-alone restaurant just down the street.

Dos in front of the Rosen Centre Hotel, where we had dinner at Everglades Restaurant.
The Rosen Centre Hotel beautifully lit up at night.

We had visited Everglades and Jack’s Place about a month ago for the first time, also on a two night stay-cation to the Hyatt Regency Convention Center, but I got busy and neglected to post about it. Both restaurants are wonderful and for locals at least, an even better incredible value with the Rosen Card, which provides a 25% discount on future visits, good for food and non-alcoholic drinks (including hotel stays) . The Rosen Card is complimentary (though you may need to ask for it as we haven’t seen it advertised) and is good on all future visits, adding incredible value to what are already very reasonable prices for such quality establishments.

(Note: As always, I do not receive nor seek any compensation for any posts or attractions/hotels/restaurants I link too. I/We simply enjoy the places and establishments that we visit, and are happy to recommend them for their outstanding quality and service. This is an amateur blog and I like to document our travels and educate others on places they might enjoy visiting.)

Here are some photos of each restaurant, first with Everglades’s, which is an upscale primarily seafood restaurant, although they do have steaks and other items as well. We love the large aquarium there, and the nautical theming in the restaurant, like you are under the sea and looking up at some of the sea creatures!

Giant aquarium at the entrance to Everglade’s Restaurant.

Love the nautical themed decor in Everglades.

Crab Cake appetizer at Everglade’s Restaurant.

The attention to detail was amazing at Everglades. Even the butter was shaped like alligators!

DOS with grilled swordfish entree.
There’s always room for desert cheesecake!

Especially if you share the desert between the two of us!
Say “Ahhh”, but be careful you don’t get bit on your way out of Everglades!

Next up is Jack’s Place Restaurant, which is our new favorite restaurant in Orlando! Jack’s Place is a classy “New York” style steakhouse, located in the Rosen Plaza Hotel, which is adjacent to the Rosen Centre Hotel, and just across the street from the Hyatt Regency Convention Center.

The Rosen Plaza Hotel (Center of photo) as seen from across the street at the Hyatt Hotel.

The Rosen Plaza Hotel where Jack’s Restaurant is located as seen from ground level.

Jack’s Place Restaurant is also reminiscent of Hollywood’s Brown Derby Restaurant of yesteryear’s golden age of Hollywood, with it’s booths and tables overlooking the many famous celebrity caricatures on the wall, sketched by Jack Rosen himself. The restaurant has a quiet and classy subdued elegance, with light jazz type music playing gently in the background, and slightly dimmed lighting to enhance the overall dining ambiance. Jack’s Place offers Fine Dining and superb service, excellent quality food, a nice wine list, and is quite reasonably priced for such a high end restaurant, even before applying the Rosen Card discount.

The many caricatures at Jack’s Place were drawn by Mr. Rosen senior (Jack) back in the 1930’s when he worked as a Safety Engineer at the Waldorf Astoria in New York. As an artist Jack Rosen sketched caricatures of the many celebrities and VIPs that visited the Waldorf, many of which are signed by the celebrity themselves. Today Jack Rosen’s son Harris, who is President of Rosen Hotel and Resorts, pays homage to his Father at Jack’s Place Restaurant, where many of the celebrity characters are framed and on display throughout the restaurant.

I had a delicious and juicy Rib-Eye that stayed hot during the whole meal; absolutely wonderful!

DOS with his delicious Rack-of-Lamb entree.

Here is a link from Rosen Hotels that provides not only information on their hotels, but a heartwarming story of the Rosen Family’s history and hard work ethic which made their hotel empire what it is today. The Rosen’s are known for their generous philanthropic charity works in the Orlando area and beyond, as well as creating long term relationships with their employees, many who have worked for them for years. The hospitality shows in their employees, who genuinely enjoy working there and providing friendly and excellent service to their guests.

Some of the celebrities in our literary section at Jack’s Place on our first visit included: Agatha Christie,
Robert Frost, Ernest Hemingway, Rudyard Kipling and others.

DOS sitting next to Agatha Cristie’s caricature, and hamming it up!

Jack’s Place is a virtual museum with all of these caricatures and has everything from famous writers, movie stars, sports stars, Astronauts, US Presidents, and even the Pope! At Jack’s Place Restaurant, the caricatures are grouped in different dining sections with the respective genre, i.e. sports, authors, Presidents etc and you are encouraged to browse the restaurant to see the many caricatures on display.

John F. Kennedy!
Betty Davis and John Wayne!
Even a couple of Pope’s on display!
On our most recent visit to Jack’s Place we were in a nice corner booth, which overlooked the sports star caricatures
on one wall, and the astronauts on the adjacent wall.
Willie Mays, Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, Babe Ruth, Jack Dempsey, Hank Aaron, and Yogi Berra!
Apollo 10 Astronauts from 1969
More Astronauts: Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, John Young, and Buzz Aldrin

We enjoyed a wonderful dinner at Jack’s, actually twice on this week’s stay-cation, once on Wednesday, and once again on Friday night.

We were especially excited to return on Friday night, as Jack’s Place offers complimentary caricatures sketched of you and your companion while you dine. Jack’s uses local Disney artists to do the sketches, and they only do this on Friday and Saturday nights. They first take a photo of you individually, and then work on the sketch “backstage” so as to not disturb your meal, later presenting your caricature to you somewhere around the dessert course so they don’t bother you during your meal. Our meal and service was once again outstanding and served wonderfully and leisurely at the pace we requested, as we like to enjoy appetizers separately, followed by our entrees, and ultimately desert.

And now back to our caricatures: When I saw our caricature, my first thought was “DOS looks great! Like an early 20’s year old college kid”, while I looked like a combination of Mr. Potato Head and Mr. Magoo! Yikes! I don’t really look like that do I? DOS said it’s just a cartoon-like character and they exaggerate your characteristics. Maybe so, but I felt like I had aged 20 years!

Besides DOS said, “I look so happy!” Maybe, I said, but I think we will have a re-do on our next visit! LOL!. But seriously, it was really a lot of fun having our caricature done, and coupled with the food and outstanding service, Jack’s Place always makes for a wonderful dining experience!

During our stay at the Hyatt, we also had a couple lunches at the Rosen Plaza’s pool bar and restaurant, which also offers wonderful service in a tropical outdoor setting overlooking their large and well landscaped pool area.

On this four night stay-cation, while we didn’t venture out to the nearby Theme Parks this visit (Disney World, Universal, and Sea World), the Hyatt Regency Orlando Convention Center and Rosen Center and Plaza Hotels are conveniently located to all three attractions. Universal Studios and Sea World are very close, (a short Uber ride away) while Disney World is a bit further down Interstate 4, but an easy drive if you have a car.

In summary, we enjoyed our four night relaxing stay-cation get-away, and are already looking for our next stay-cation in another week; next time back to Daytona Beach Shores. Until then, Happy Easter!

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