The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes
What We Love
- Private balconies with panoramic views of the lakes, pool and gardens
- Norman’s restaurant, one of the region’s top tables, with Florida-fresh and Caribbean-inflected fare
- 40,000-square-foot spa. ’Nuff said
What To Know
- The 11-mile taxi ride from Orlando International Airport takes 20 to 30 minutes depending on traffic. Figure about $37 for a taxi or $63 for a hotel-organized transfer
- Free shuttle service to Disney’s Magic Kingdom, Universal Studios and Sea World theme parks
- Valet parking is $25 per night (plus tax); high-speed Internet access is $10 per 24 hours
- Free WiFi
- Golf Course
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
Though it’s in the theme park capital of America, the Ritz-Carlton feels a world away from the tourist fray. In the lobby, timeless stone columns, mosaic floors, Italian furniture and wrought iron chandeliers elevate the family resort experience, while a giant pool shimmers just beyond. The Ritz-Carlton and neighboring JW Marriott tower above Orlando’s Grande Lakes neighborhood. Ritz-Carlton guests have access to the Marriott’s facilities.
Bed & Bath
The 582 rooms are furnished in the refined manner that defines the Ritz-Carlton brand: soothing hues (straw and light blue), twice-daily maid service and pillow chocolates in both milk and dark. Even the most basic rooms are spacious, at 480 square feet. Many have views of the pool, golf course, lake or Shingle Creek, headwaters of the Everglades. Marble bathrooms have two sinks, a separate shower and bathtub, and cushy terrycloth robes.
Of the 10 dining options shared between the Ritz and the JW Marriott, dinner at Norman’s is a must for elegantly presented Latin and Caribbean fare. The spa is astounding, with 40,000 square feet of treatments for all tastes (moms to be, kids, etc.), an envy-inducing fitness center and its own private pool. Fitness facilities are free for overnight guests, but there’s a $30 charge for steam, sauna and other wet facilities (included with treatments). Kids have a long list of activities, with nature outings, fish feeding and a lazy river.
In the Area
The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club offers a Greg Norman–designed course and a caddie concierge program. Eco-tours, kayaking and fishing on and around nearby Shingle Creek can be organized through the hotel. Head to Orlando suburb Winter Park for chichi shops, swanky restaurants, local art and a lovely main street; downtown Orlando is developing into its own busy nightlife hub. Then there’s Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and Sea World, of course. They’re all accessible via a free hotel shuttle.
How to Get There
Stayed here 3 nights for a Disney vacation. The resort is beautiful and the grounds are expansive with many onsite-activities and amenities. The lobby was beautifully decorated for Christmas with a life-size gingerbread house, trees, and fresh flowers. What makes this resort stand out are the staff who provide excellent service. All the staff we encountered in every area of the hotel were very pleasant, upbeat, professional and service-oriented. We had communicated with the guest relations staff ahead of time regarding some special requests and everything was taken care of perfectly. Our room was spotless and housekeeping did a good job daily of making up the room and providing turndown service. We did feel the shower stall was small for this caliber of hotel. We had a minor maintenance issue which was quickly resolved after we reported it. The quick-service coffee shop in the lobby has a nice selection of baked goods, beverages, plus a few sandwiches and is reasonably priced. We ate at the onsite restaurant Highball and Harvest several times. The breakfast buffet has all kinds of fresh fruit, made-to order omelettes, along with a variety of hot/cold cereals, several hot dishes, typical sides and a large variety of baked goods. Everything was fresh and tasty. We also ate lunch here one day and enjoyed a huge and juicy burger and fresh fish sandwich. We felt the decor in this restaurant was a little dark and heavy looking for Florida though. Our only complaint regarding our stay is that the shuttle to Disney (included as part of daily resort fee) has very limited times and also does not stop at Hollywood Studios. For the Magic Kingdom there was only one time going and coming back (although there were several additional times to Epcot). We ended up driving our car to the parks 2 out of 3 days because the shuttle times did not fit with the Magic Kingdom special events like fireworks. The one day we did take the shuttle to/from Epcot, it took an hour to return to the hotel because the shuttle made several other stops. The shuttle is a nice luxury coach bus but the music playing was some boom-boom type the whole time. When we drove ourselves to the Disney parks it took about 20 minutes each way. Make sure you are at the shuttle stop a little early for the return trip because the shutle driver does not wait at all. In comparison, on a prior trip we stayed at the Four Seasons where they played Disney videos/music on the bus and that bus went every half hour to/from the Magic Kingdom and hourly to/from the other parks. Other than the shuttle, we were very satisfied with our stay at the Ritz.
This is a very nice place to take vacations ! The Club Lounge is a Must ! Be back next march ! The mix/match with the other property (Marriott) is a good thing. I want to thank all the crew at Ritz for this wonderfull moment. A little expensive to go to the pros if yo don't take the shuttle ! (Around 50,00 USD) —
I was unable to reserve a room at the Ritz Carlton due to availability issues. I chose to stay at the Waldorf Astoria instead but very badly wanted to try out the kayak rentals at Grande Lakes. I called the recreation department and spoke to Daniel who absolutely said that no off-site guests may use or rent the kayaks, as they are given as a complimentary amenity to Grande Lake guests. I asked him multiple times if he was sure. I called back after reviewing the website and saw that off site guests could rent them. It took 5 minutes after pulling teeth with him to finally have him admit he was wrong, but was never actually offered a resolution.
Does that mean Grande Lakes is trying to keep non hotel guests from paying money to use their services? Is our money not green enough?
First time staying at the Ritz. Went for a wedding in the Grand Ballroom. The place is immense. it takes a long time to walk from one end to the other. A little tiring, however, taking in the impressive interior design along the way was a pleasure. I have never had so many people attending to my every need. Even needs i didn't know I had...but i never felt like they intruded on my time or my space. It was a pleasure to interact with every staff member.
The front desk staff needs training. Very unfriendly. The place is gorgeous and very comfortable. The staff at reception spoiled everything.
The rooms are not sound proof . No self parking. Valet parking takes long time to get your car.