Mission Inn Resort & Club
What We Love
- Best of both worlds: The rural Old Florida setting lures Floridians looking to escape Orlando’s theme park scene, but it's just 35 minutes away from Mickey Mouse
- Private 52-slip marina on Lake Harris is ideal for boating and fishing
- Golf lovers will enjoy the two courses on site; the star, El Campion, turns 100 in 2017
- Check-in coupons offer discounts on spa services and merchandise at the pro shop
What To Know
- It's a popular spot for corporate retreats and wedding groups
- The family-owned resort celebrated 50 years of operation in 2014
- The resort fee covers WiFi, access to the itness center and spa, resort shuttle service and free bike rentals
- Free WiFi
- Golf Course
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
Inspired by the founder’s travels through Mexico in the 1950s, the Spanish Colonial–style Mission Inn Resort and Club features white stucco walls, red tile roofs and folksy hand-painted signs directing visitors around the 1,110 acre property. This is rural Old Florida, complete with orange groves and Spanish moss–draped oak trees — a big departure from the commercial theme park side of Central Florida to the south. The lodging area, which has a pool and restaurants; the golf section, which includes the fitness center and Spa Marbella; and the nearby marina are all serviced by free resort shuttle.
Bed and Bath
Built in 1971, the bilevel resort has 187 guestrooms, and come with WiFi, flat-screen TVs, Keurig coffeemakers and screened patios or balconies (in most rooms). Club Suites have an extra sitting area with couches and an armchair. The decor hints at Spanish style, with carved wooden bedframes and wardrobes, while framed prints of local flora add a sense of place. The tan tile bathrooms are simple, with low shower-tub combinations, marble vanities and Lord & Mayfair bath amenities.
With two courses, the focus here is golf. The star, El Campion, turns 100 in 2017. The public course hosts NCAA and NCII tournaments, with an active pro shop that’s also home to the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy. A centrally located swimming pool, hot tub and playground keep the kids entertained, while the spa features a sauna and steam room and offers a full roster of treatments, from sports massages to a waxing. Four dining outlets include burgers and salads at pub-style Nicker’s, which has a screened porch overlooking the first hole of Las Colinas, and formal steaks, chops and lobster tails at El Conquistador, where business-casual attire is requested.
In the Area
This is the Old Florida you didn’t know still existed, complete with orange groves and moss-bedecked oak trees. Rent a pontoon boat from the marina and explore the chain of six lakes, pulling up to the Lake Harris Hideaway for drinks or lunch. Hickory Point Recreational Facility has lighted soccer fields and a boat launch popular for bass fishing tournaments. Unique shopping awaits 20 minutes away at Renninger’s Antiques Market and in the cute Victorian town of Mount Dora. Stop by local secret Yalaha German Bakery, five minutes up the road; patrons make the 45-minute drive from Orlando to stock up on apple streusel, marzipan stollen and freshly baked breads.
How to Get There
So much to do at this resort including excellent restaurants, biking, walking trail, spa, golf, tennis, work out facility, trap and skeet shooting and fishing. Something here for everyone to enjoy! It's located in a very small town in the rolling hills of Florida. Great place to hold an event for just to visit with family and friends.
We stayed in a very nice upgraded room at a good price as part of a conference rate. Check-in was officially 4pm, but front desk said if room was ready we could check in on arrival (it was, and this was at 12:30pm). For a small upgrade charge our pre-paid room with King bed had a small sitting area with a coffee table and sofa. Small coffee bar with mini-fridge. We were on the ground floor and had a private, screened patio. The temp was in the upper 70's to low 80's for our Feb 28 stay, so we were able to leave the sliding door open most of the time. This was good because the room was *very cold* on check-in, so it took a while to warm up. Had some song birds and other critter noises and the occasional whack of a golf ball from the nearby tee. Room was clean. Bathroom was stocked with a couple extra towels. Only there for one night, so did not get to see much of the resort. Note that even though the lobby did not have automatic doors, it had a "doorman" who held the door open. All of the staff seemed friendly and offered greetings when passing.
The wife and I spent a pleasant six days in February 2019. This after a having enjoyed a stay here for several days a couple years past. We had happened then upon the rather out of the way Inn serendipitously. We had thought of it as a visit to a place out of the gracious past, but still well maintained.
We enjoyed our visit this time again. Enough has been said of the beautiful grounds. The architecture and layout, while not huge, was quite beautiful. The accounts of the two golf courses is generally quite positive, as evident in other reviews.
So we have some very good things about the Inn. Then there are aspects that have garnered mixed reviews that are a bit confusing, but perhaps come down to expectations or perspective.
For example, the pool and surrounding area might be viewed as cozy and charming or small and unexciting in comparison to some new resorts.
Then the food offerings and various restaurants was discussed. My opinion was that the food was universally good. The questions generally raised seemed to be related to cost. The other common theme, was that the Inn might perhaps have been taking advantage of its relative isolation. Although there is the very good Boondocks Restaurant just a few miles away, and nicely situated on the lake that borders Howey in the Hills. Whose several mile Lakefront Road is worth a drive or walk.
So the food offerings, ambiance of restaurants, which btw offered outdoor seating under the starlight, (insects permitting) are generally felt to be good, but with probably legitimate questions re price.
Another issue raised by some reviewers, was service in general. Our experience was very much positive, whether it be front desk, housekeeping, groundskeepers, wait- and bar staff. Now perhaps it has to do with how I try to approach folks. I come from the South. That is all I shall say about that. Folks respond best to positivity and praise. And we found much to praise. Our room and bathroom were kept very clean. The grounds and plantings seemed to me to show the extra bit of work that shows care.
Now we shall mention the workout room. Yes you will need to get to the golf clubhouse. But it is respectably large. More so than the average hotel for sure.
Now we return to the room. We had a room with two very comfortable queen beds. Pillows great. Actual room size was about that of a modern day hotel. Bathroom not large, albeit nicely redone. Only one sink. Really not better than an average hotel. No refrigerator or microwave. One might view that cynically. One must head in the direction of the overpriced restaurants if hunger arises.
WHAT IS THE GENERAL SUMMARY THAT SEEMS MOST ACCURATE?
This is an older facility. It has beautiful grounds and golf courses. The layout of the public areas and pool area are charming. The restaurants have great atmosphere, good and service but are a bit expensive. The rooms we have seen are updated despite their relatively small size. A question that has been raised, is whether the Inn really a full fledged resort that for example deserves the cost of a resort fee; something I have always look at as obvious profit taking and a bit misleading.
This place is not perfect, but unique and charming enough that the wife and I ignored the negatives. The room was large enough. The pool was fine. The food was worth it, especially as we also traveled to Mount Dora and other nearby places some of the time, thanks to offerings on Trip Advisor.
We also did not and would not have paid the full price of maybe $240. We paid under $200 a day with tax and all. At that price the place looks a whole lot better than a typical chain hotel, even if the latter might offer somewhat larger rooms and bathrooms and a lame free breakfast.
THE MISSION INN MAYBE IS NOT TO BE MISSED AT THE RIGHT PRICE.
No in some ways it can’t compete with a Ritz or fancy resort. That costs $300 and up. But at under $200 it is someplace special. Should it get rid of the annoying resort fee? Charge a bit less for food? Have free refrigerators in rooms? They will decide.
I believe overall the Inn is likely is doing the best it can financially.
This was our first stay at this resort and first impressions count. We made our reservation in June of 2018 to attend a wedding. While check in time was 4PM our room was not ready. The wedding was at 5PM and we had to change so the hotel upgraded us at no cost. Still, we find it difficult to comprehend that the hotel does not have enough staff to get all the rooms serviced in 4 hours (check out time is noon) when they know well in advance that they will be completely full and that there are multiple weddiings on site that day.
However, the incident that concerned us most occurred the morning we checked out. We went to breakfast at the restaurant and were out of our room for about 1.5 hours. When we returned, we were finishing up our packing and it became clearly evident that someone had been in our room. Portions of the 'welcome basket' that we received as a wedding guest were missing. Fortunately, all my wife's jewelry was with her in her purse, and most of our possessions were packed. We reported the incident to the front desk when we checked out and the attitude of the clerk was less than concerned. His only comment was that he would report it to the head of housekeeping. We have never had an incident like this in all our travels over 43 years of marriage and business. Very disturbing and the primary reason for our rating.
Spacious room with beautiful view of golf course.excellent food and very accommodating staff. A little bit out of the way, but worth the peace and quiet
Two very challenging golf courses well worth playing.