A PRIVATE OASIS HIDDEN IN THE HEART OF CENTRAL FLORIDA, GRANDE LAKES ORLANDO IS THE PERFECT PLACE TO ESCAPE FOR THE WEEKEND.
Aerial shot of Grande Lakes Orlando. PHOTO COURTESY OF GRANDE LAKES ORLANDO
Towering over 500 lush acres of land, Grande Lakes Orlando offers guests a slice of paradise and all they need to disconnect from the mundane as they transport themselves to the ultimate state of relaxation.
Upon arrival to this secluded enclave, which includes a JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton, I’m met with sweeping views of the hotel’s incomparable amenities. Providing guests with the legendary hospitality the property is known for, I’m walked through all the world-class experiences and amenities the hotel offers. Stepping through the majestic marble-tiled lobby of The Ritz-Carlton, guests are immediately met with a bright and airy room welcoming them to their weekend home.
Following the resort’s multimillion-dollar renovation, guests can enjoy various amenities, including new dining and drinking concepts, such as an original culinary venue from award-winning chef John Tesar. With activities for the whole family, including a signature lazy river, three waterslides, kayaking, eco-tours on Shingle Creek, falconry, mountain biking and an 18-hole Greg Norman-designed championship golf course, Grande Lakes Orlando successfully spreads amenity areas throughout the getaway.
Birdseye view of the waterpark PHOTO COURTESY OF GRANDE LAKES ORLANDO
The property features a 582-room Ritz-Carlton and 1,010-room JW Marriott hotel, enhanced with new fixtures and textiles to enhance each guest’s experience. The newly updated bespoke sanctuaries convey a sense of serenity while seamlessly integrating outdoor and indoor experiences. Complete with soft colors, carefully selected artwork and modern architectural details, the hotel’s guest rooms are ideal for solo and family travelers alike. If opting for a family vacation, the hotel provides a customized VIP pre-arrival experience that includes in-room amenities ranging from chocolate to milk and cookies, board games and books, and in-suite toys and activities for the youngest guests.
Interior of Primo, one of the on-site eateries at the property. PHOTO COURTESY OF GRANDE LAKES ORLANDO
After settling in, treat yourself to dinner at Primo, a Michelin Guide Florida 2022-recommended Mediterranean and Italian-inspired restaurant by two-time James Beard award-winning chef Melissa Kelly. As a leader in the farmto- fork movement, the cuisine is locally sourced and boasts dishes from the land and sea. Grande Lakes Orlando restaurants source fresh ingredients from Whisper Creek Farm, an on-property 18,000-square-foot working farm, and on-site apiaries.
Taking advantage of the newlyconfigured water experience as you bask in the sun is a must. The experience is complete as you enjoy the resort’s serene pool and relax in the private daybeds. As part of the property’s recent renovation, the newly-configured Grande Lake Waterpark features a variety of private and full-service cabanas. The transformed outdoor space also features six distinct zones, including a lazy river, waterslide tower and poolside dining at Knife Burger, chef Tesar’s second venue at Grande Lakes Orlando, along with fire pits—each perfectly catering to your hotel wants and needs.
Exquisite pasta dish from Primo PHOTO COURTESY OF GRANDE LAKES ORLANDO
For those who need a respite, check in at the 40,000-square-foot spa, complete with all the treatments needed for some much-needed pampering. Bask in the serenity of the resort’s comprehensive wellness programs and treatments, such as the Grande Indulgence Massage, which utilizes relaxation techniques designed to help melt your tension away and leave you feeling your body and mind at peace. Just a quick drive from Miami, I returned home feeling refreshed and ready for my next getaway. 4040 Central Florida Pkwy, Orlando, grandelakes.com
At the spa, guests can take advantage of amenities like the woman’s sauna. PHOTO COURTESY OF GRANDE LAKES ORLANDO
Photography by: Photos Courtesy of Grande Lakes Orlando