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Mona Lisa Delivers Artistry, StyleApril 13, 2009 By: Susan Young
A surprising “find” in central Florida is the new $70 million Mona Lisa Suite Hotel. Travel Agent toured the property as part of a media tour of Kissimmee and Osceola County during the annual Travel South conference last week.
Once considered strictly the low-cost, no-frills side of Orlando, Osceola County now delivers a more diverse mix of accommodations. The Mona Lisa is one of the newest additions in the premium-to-luxury range.
The Mona Lisa also boasts “location” – as it’s conveniently located at the entrance to picturesque Celebration. It’s also off Route 192, with close access to Interstate 4. And, it’s only 2.5 miles from Walt Disney World Resort.
We’d describe the new property as an upscale boutique property with a strong artistic flair. Public areas feature a mixture of rich textures, polished wood and glass. Oversized artistic interpretations of well-known masters’ works grace the hotel’s walls with Mona Lisa herself peering out at guests from the lobby wall.
The lobby area leads to a winding metal staircase. Downstairs is a trendy bar and grill that overlooks the pool area. Upstairs is a large circular wine display and the elegant, 150-seat Galerie Restaurant.
Guests also might dine at outdoor tables sporting red umbrellas. They overlook the 360-degree, vanishing-edge pool, which sports an enticing tropical center “island.” Swaying palm trees and lush island greenery make one wonder if Tahiti is just around the corner?
Mona Lisa’s 240 suites range from 704 to 1,267 square feet and include 93 one-bedroom units, and 147 with two bedrooms. Suites are essentially condominiums.
Drops in resort pricing as a result of the country’s economic downturn have resulted in pricing that’s highly advantageous for clients. We priced sample dates in April on the Mona Lisa’s Web site and discovered one-bedroom unit rates starting as low as $139 nightly and two-bedroom suite rates starting at $169 nightly. It’s a good deal, in particular, if two couples wish to share a two-bedroom unit. Packages that include theme park tickets are available.
We toured one of the resort’s two-bedroom suites. Décor in the accommodations is minimalist yet elegant. Room colors range from bright whites to textured earth tones and dark cocoa-colored seating. Red vases provide a colorful accent to exterior patio and pool furniture.
All suites have a fully equipped kitchen with stainless steel appliances including a full-sized refrigerator. A small dining area occupies one area of the open living room.
Guests may relax on a couch and several chairs, watch a flick on their flat screen plasma TV, or just enjoy the views out their suite’s sliding glass doors – leading to a patio or balcony. If you want clients to have a sense of a pampering enclave, consider booking interior-facing units which overlook the pool and island.
Bedrooms boast another flat-screen TV as well as a king-sized bed outfitted with Egyptian cotton linens, down pillows and down comforters. Bathrooms feature designer toiletries. A one-bedroom unit sleeps four with a pull-out, Queen sofa bed; the two-bedroom unit sleeps six.
Suite amenities include dual-line cordless phones; wireless Internet; iPod bedside clock radios; a laptop-sized safe; and a combination washer/dryer (handily, it’s all done in one machine).
If your clients stay at this property, they’ll enjoy complimentary transportation to downtown Celebration and local theme parks; bell and guest staff services; golf privileges at the Celebration Golf Club; spa privileges at the Celebration Day Spa; and, if desired, an in-room grocery delivery service.
It’s nice to see Kissimmee gaining new deluxe properties. Mona Lisa is a pampering enclave that’s close to Orlando’s theme park action and Kissimmee’s Route 192 activity corridor, yet it boasts a boutique feel that will allow clients to leave the freneticism of the area behind and just relax in style.