On Friday I flew back from New Bern, NC after a week of business in the Atlantic Beach area. I had a great week there, with nice beach walks in the evening. My first flight was from New Bern to Charlotte on a Dash-8 prop jet. The flight was slightly delayed, so it was a mad rush getting to my connecting flight to Orlando. The Charlotte Airport has gotten so busy over the years, and with the summer rush of vacationers, it really makes for a long ‘commute’ from terminal ‘E’ to ‘C’.
I got to the ‘C’ gate shortly before boarding my flight home to Orlando. The hour and fifteen minute flight was quick, and DOS picked me up at the airport. Once home, I immediately unpacked and washed my clothes, as we were spending Saturday night at the Orlando Hyatt Regency Convention Center, and I’m flying out again on Monday morning for work. We had a quiet poolside dinner at home, which I really enjoyed after eating out in restaurants all the time. (Yes those are Christmas decorations up in August – we leave them by the pool year-round!)
On Saturday, as we were heading out to the Hyatt, we noticed a white van across the street with smoke coming out of it. It was our neighbors Kenny and Mary, and Mary said this man was steam-cleaning their carpet.
She had mentioned to him about the smoke but he didn’t seem to concerned, until all of the sudden we saw him running out of the house with towels trying to smother the flames! I called 9-1-1 and the Fire Department was quickly on the scene. I was really concerned with all the chemicals he had in the van, that it might blow up! Fortunately the fireman got it under control, and we headed on down to the Hyatt. No word yet if he finished their carpet!
As we were driving to the Hyatt, our friends Ben and Tom texted a photo of their hotel room. Ben and Tom were also staying Saturday night, as we were going to the Generous Pour event together later that night. They had been upgraded from a regular room to the Penthouse Suite! We parked at the Hyatt, and took a quick photo of the hotel (as seen from the parking garage) before checking in.
As luck would have it, (of course Hyatt status helped too), we also were upgraded to the Penthouse suite right below them; us on floor 29 and they on floor 30. I have Diamond status and regular stay at Hyatt, while Ben has Platinum status with the help of the Hyatt VISA card. It was a tremendous upgrade, and the reason given was the hotel was sold out, hosting some 3 or 4 conventions, as they reserve the best rooms for the ‘status’ guests – very nice indeed! Thanks Hyatt!
Here is the entranceway with the double doors, tile floors, mirror and credenza.
Off the ‘lobby’ was a guest bathroom, nicely appointed and with pump instead of bar soap.
Our Penthouse was identical to Ben and Tom’s, as were the spectacular views from this sky-high view in the sky. The Hyatt Regency shown below is now tower one of the Hyatt Conference Center complex, and was formerly the Peabody Hotel before Hyatt acquired it a couple years ago.Our Penthouse suite was literally the size of my house! It’s used primarily for a hospitality suite as it has a large wet bar with fridge, microwave, wine cooler, TV behind the bar for a sports bar effect, and a Keurig coffee maker with a full bin of K-cups. Of course DOS made sure he had a nice selection ‘to go’. As in to take home!
Nearby, the oversized living room had two separate seating areas with comfortable sofas and chairs, big screen TV, as well as magazines and a few books.
Continuing on to the bedroom was a king-sized bed with a round ‘sofa’ in the middle of the room. It was actually quite handy to use to put on your shoes, or even pack/unpack.
To the side of the bedroom was a large walk-in closet, which was big enough to sleep in, and contained robes, umbrella, large safe, shoe horns, and a steam-cleaner of sorts for your garments. Of course DOS took the complimentary slippers with him!
The master bathroom was huge, and featured a nice jacuzzi tub, along with separate walk-in shower and large vanity with built in TV behind the mirror. There were even floor to ceiling windows out of the toilet area featuring Sea World and Convention views!
I had ordered the complimentary Diamond amenity at checkin, which was a bottle of Cabernet, crackers and a cheese selection, which we later enjoyed before going to The Capital Grille for our 7:30pm reservation.
For the late afternoon, however, we took a walk around the hotel and convention center. There were several conventions going on or getting set up. The convention center is connected to the Hyatt, Hilton, and Rosen hotels via covered walkways, making it a nice way to get exercise without the soaring summer heat.
After only a few moments wait, were seated promptly at 7:30pm. We had requested a quieter area, as it can be quite busy in the main dining room, and once again we lucked out – twice in one day! (Maybe we should have bought a lottery ticket!)
We ended up in a quiet side room, with maybe 7 tables, yet we had the entire room to ourselves the entire evening! We had an outstanding waiter, Sebastian, who leisurely paced the evening at our pace, after first asking us our preference for service style, which was appreciated.
This was the second time this season DOS and I have gone to The Capital Grille for their Generous Pour promotion. We are also going one more time next weekend with out neighbors Kenny and Mary (provided their carpet’s not on fire! LOL!) The Generous Pour is a fantastic promotion that is $28 a person, but allows unlimited vino from a selection of 7 wines (3 white and 4 red) that have been specially selected for the event. It’s a great way to drum up business during the slower summer months of fine dining, and it’s a real bonus for the customers. You definitely want a designated driver for this event, but better yet do as we do, and make a ‘stay-cation’ out of it at the Hyatt Hotel, which is just a block away in the Pointe Orlando area.
We started the evening with a sampling of three white wines: Stellina Di Notte Grigio, Provenance Sauvignon Blanc, and Chateau St. Jean, (Robert Young Vineyard) Chardonnay.
We enjoyed sampling our white wines as we reviewed the menu. We ordered our appetizers: Lobster Crab Cakes for DOS and I, Prosciutto wrapped Mozzorella with mini tomatoes for Ben and Tom, and an entree size of Ahi Tuna, which we had sliced thin for an appetizer we shared with the table.
We each split a salad, which was more than enough, as we had some big steaks still to come.
We then switched to the red wines, and what a treat that was! The red wine selections were: Lyric (by Etude) Pino Noir, Penfolds Bin 2 Shiraz, Stag’s Leap ‘The Leap’ Cabernet Sauvignon, and Tapestry (Beaulieu Vineyards) – a Cabernet blend.
Sebastian carefully set out the glasses for each wine, and put the bottles as a centerpiece, which made for a symmetrical table setting. We had a round table, which was quickly filled up when our entrees arrived, not to mention a wine-spotted table cloth!
Each of us had a dry-aged ribeye, although Tom and DOS had their’s with the Porcini rub and 15 year aged balsamic, while Ben and I had our steaks plain, although I had some horseradish on the side. Cooked a perfect medium rare – the steaks were delicious! I liked The Leap Cabernet the best, followed by a close second with the BV Cabernet blend.
We still saved room for dessert however, which we each split a warm double chocolate cake.
Filling quite full by now and after three hours of dining, we finished up around 10:30pm, and walked back to the hotel, but not before taking a last few photos. I guess we were getting a bit ‘silly’ by now from The Generous Pour!
Before we left, DOS requested Sebastian for next weekend when we return with Kenny and Mary. Hope he can handle having DOS and me two weeks in a row!
‘Twas a wonderful night of dining for all!