The first post on Orlando Retro Blog was about the Angebilt Hotel. We are checking back into the Angebilt with a circa 1940’s travel brochure and a restaurant menu from 1957. (You can download a PDF of the brochure by clicking on brochure image to the left.)
This brochure is from a time when the highlights for Orlando travelers were:
- Fishing and Swimming
- Tangerine Bowl
- The Washington Nationals Winter Home
- Eastern Airlines
- Rollins College
- Ben White Raceway
The air condition dining room provided table de hote service. (A Google search tells me we call that prix fixe today.) From this 1957 menu, the restaurant offered a wide variety of seafood appetizers (Blue Point Oysters on the half shell $1, Crab Meat Cocktails Supreme $1.25), salads (a 20 cents up charge for Roquefort cheese dressing), and sides like Lyonaisse Potatoes (25 cents) and French Fried Onion Rings (30 cents). Highlighted was the Deluxe Plantation Planked Burger: Our Specialty from the Plantation Lounge (Choice Western Beef, ground daily in our own Kitchen, Broiled on an Oak Plank with Ripe Tomato, Julienne Green Beans and Bordure of Whipped Potatoes) ($1.65). An oak planked burger sounds rather culinary forward for 1957 Orlando.
Atop the Angebilt was a Sky Room or the “Top of the Town” for conventions and banquets. Also a solarium where bathing beauties in the modest swimwear of the era could enjoy the “benefits of Mother Nature’s greatest helper ‘the sun'” as well as therapies and massages. On the mezzanine was a lounge decorated in what looks like tropical prints on wicker furniture.
The text of the brochure speaks highly of our City Beautiful, “Nowhere else in this whole wide world has nature smiled so lavishly.” The staff is described as, “young in years” but “old in service.” Guests are invited to stay a night, a week, or as a permanent resident.
Below I created a “then and now” of the hotel lobby with the picture from the brochure and a current shot. The lobby has been restored and is in great shape today, and looks very much like it did in brochure. No longer a hotel lobby but a business entrance now. The front desk staff and the elevator operators are long gone, but it is reassuring that some of the charm remains in this once grand hotel.