The Orlando Hotel’s American Girl Doll Package
Not living in a state where there is an American Girl Doll Store, I decided to treat my daughter to a really special birthday gift this year. We headed to West Hollywood to stay at the Orlando hotel which offers the perfect Mother-Daughter getaway with their American Girl Doll Package.
You will find this Los Angeles boutique hotel perfectly situated in the trendy West 3rd shopping district –flanked on one side by the Beverly Center and on the other by The Grove. This family owned hotel is a member of the Summit Hotels, which belongs to the Preferred Hotel Group.
Part of the package involves having your child’s picture taken upon arrival with her American Girl doll. We arrived late at night and skipped it. We said we’d come back to do it another time but I’ll admit we forgot. Upon check-in, she did, however, receive a personalized note welcoming her and her dolls to the hotel.
We stayed on the 5th floor in a Standard King with a city view. There was a large King-sized bed plus a miniature American Girl doll-sized bed! The furnishings are very modern and included an armoire, open shelving that ran the half the length of the room, a small couch, and a nice sized desk. I also appreciated high-tech touches in the room including free Wi-Fi. Additionally, there was a great bedside clock with an iPad charger, a separate Bose iPod docking station and a very large flat screen TV. Also worth noting, in the lobby, guests have free use of a Mac with a printer that I used to grab my boarding passes before heading home. For real technophiles the Orlando has launched it’s free
Also worth noting, in the lobby, guests have free use of a Mac with a printer that I used to grab my boarding passes before heading home. For real technophiles, the Orlando has launched it’s free own app that will make it super easy for guests to be in the know while they are staying at the hotel. It is like having the hotel concierge with you at all times.
Although your inclination may be to ask for a room on a high floor, rooms on the 2nd floor at The Orlando have small patios. City view rooms have double French doors that lead out on to a small balcony and have a W. 3rd Street view. On the back, quieter side of the hotel there are patios that are on the same level as the pool. I think it is worth the extra money to be able to open your door and take in some of that California sunshine.
You will find a small, under utilized, salt-water pool on the 2nd floor. It is only 4 feet deep. A small bench ran the length of the pool that is approximately one foot deep. There are several lounge chairs and two very nice seating areas. On the morning we went swimming, we had the whole pool to ourselves.
The hotel has recently undergone multi-million dollar renovations. They enlarged the bathrooms, created two bedroom suites, and refurbished much of the hotel’s décor. Included in this major renovation project is an all-new gastropub; The Churchill, which happened to open on the first evening we were there. We had breakfast on their garden patio during our stay. I enjoyed a very tasty brioche french toast with maple bacon syrup. Our breakfast was included on the first morning as part of the American Girl Doll package. We treated ourselves and had that delivered via room service.
American Girl Doll
The location of this hotel is ideal for visitors who want access to one of the hottest shopping districts in LA. But most importantly for guest like us, the American Girl Doll store is a quick 10-minute walk away. From the moment we stepped into the store, my daughter’s eyes were as wide as saucers. I wasn’t sure we would even make it past the first section. She perused every nook and cranny of the store, carefully looking over everything she had circled in the catalog before we had arrived.
I had also signed her up for a specialty class that was being held in the upstairs cafe – Haunted Gingerbread Houses. Parents are not invited, it is a drop off and dinner was included. Kids started by decorating their own chef hat donning aprons before entering the room. Girls could bring their own dolls or borrow one if they forgot theirs. After 90 minutes you could come back to pick up your child and their project.
After having been to the American Girl Doll store in NYC several times, we enjoyed this one so much better. The pace, the staff, and the store as a whole was a lot less frenetic which made the entire shopping experience so that much more enjoyable.
Cupcakes and More
Located directly across the street from the hotel is Magnolia Bakery. The cupcakes are gorgeous, but not cheap. There are daily specials like s’mores, the sno-cap, the flour-less chocolate cupcake with vanilla bean and meringue butter cream frosting and the list goes on. It is best to check the web site or call ahead to see what will be on the menu that day.
Smack in the middle of West Third is the perfect pit-stop for hungry kids and their parents. Doughboys Cafe & Bakery has a gigantic menu with home cooked items like the “afterschool special” (grilled cheese & tomato soup), beefy mac & cheese, pizzas, and Grandma Rose’s Rainy Day Special (tuna melt & chicken noodle soup). Make sure to leave room for their famous single serving Red Velvet Cakes.
At the end of the day, we were most grateful to be so close to the hotel. Shopping can be such hard work! My daughter just wanted to come back to the hotel and play with her dolls.
While there are cribs available (no extra charge) this hotel might not be the best choice for families with small children. There are not many amenities that cater towards kids under 5. You only will find a children’s menu when ordering from room service and there are showers only, not a tub, in standard rooms. Plus the outlying area of the hotel doesn’t scream toddler friendly. I would suggest staying here though here if you are planning the perfect weekend getaway with your little fashionista. There isn’t a better spot that puts you smack in the middle of specialty shops, high-end fashion malls, fine dinning with the perfect place to relax at the end of the day.
Disclosure: While I was invited to The Orlando and they paid for most of my expenses, my review reflects the honest opinions of my experience without outside influence.