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Donald's not the Only Duck in Town

The Peabody Orlando hotel, Florida

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Peabody Orlando hotel ducks Disney World

The Peabody Orlando is one of the area's more urbane hotels.

The Peabody Orlando
SPECIAL NOTE: The hotel was rebranded in 2013 and is no longer known as the Peabody Orlando.

Every day at 10:50 a.m., the red carpet is unfurled in The Peabody Orlando's grand lobby. Classical music fills the air and guests jockey for prime viewing areas, cameras at the ready, in anticipation of the VIPs. Then, in they waddle. Real live ducks (as opposed to the animatronic animals found elsewhere in this, the theme park capital of the world). It's a charming scene, and the official mascots help give The Peabody Orlando, one of the area's most elegant hotels, a bit of whimsy.

Things to know

  • Location: 9801 International Drive, Orlando
  • Phone: 1-800-PEABODY, (407) 352-4000
  • Summary: Upscale luxury hotel. Located directly across the street from the Orange County Convention Center, the hotel is ideal for guests coming to the area on business.
While the ducks inject The Peabody's image with a dash of fun, the hotel is more understated sophistication than over-the-top themeing. Unlike the high-decibel wow factor at Universal's Hard Rock Hotel or the immersive safari motif of Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, The Peabody is an urban and urbane oasis. As such, it's probably not the best choice for families with young, rambunctious kids. For business travelers and those looking for a respite from Orlando's fantasy frenzy however, it's ideal.

Centrally located on Orlando's popular International Drive, The Peabody is a short drive from SeaWorld, Wet 'n Wild, and Universal Orlando as well as a host of restaurants, gift shops, and other diversions. It's also across from and adjacent to the convention center's two exhibition halls. Walt Disney World is about 15 minutes away.

The atrium lobby, with its palm trees, wicker furniture, and ambient light says southern hospitality more than stuffy formality. The guest rooms are comfortable and large. The hotel's health club is very well appointed. The pool, located on a deck at the third floor level, is big enough for lap swimmers. Overlooking the convention center, the pool area has the feel of a private rooftop club. A huge whirlpool adds to the ambiance--and the relaxation.

Restaurants include the posh Dux (no duck dishes on the menu; that just wouldn't be right), Capriccio for Italian fare, and the retro B-Line Diner for more informal dining. The Peabody serves High Tea every afternoon. In the evening, musicians supplant the ducks in the lobby and perform jazz standards.

While it might sound like an oxymoron, "Orlando's cultural scene" does exist. Ballet, opera, theater, museums: there's more to Central Florida than roller coasters and three-fingered costumed characters. To help it standout in the market's jumble of hotels, The Peabody aligned itself with the city's cultural attractions by forming OPAAC, the Orlando Peabody Alliance for the Arts and Culture. The organization and the hotel play key roles in helping to promote "The Other Orlando." The arts alliance also helps to reinforce The Peabody's well-burnished image.

There are Peabody hotels in Memphis (its flagship) and Little Rock; both feature ducks in residence as well.

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