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
I absolutely loved our stay at this hotel in Orlando. We had the luxury of staying in the Royal Suite, which is an exquisite suite in the South Tower. Check-in was easy, the lobby/bar area is gleaming, the service was great, the fitness center has what you need, the Club Lounge room, staff and offerings are top notch, and the entire hotel from top to bottom is sparkling clean. Further, we had not planned on golfing, but looking at the beautiful course was too tempting. Club concierge was able to reserve for us a later afternoon tee time same day, and we had a great time. The course and surrounding area is really beautiful. It's a very enjoyable round. The only "be cognizant of" comments for the hotel in general would be to note that the Club Lounge is in the North Tower so it is not terribly convenient if you are staying in the South Tower. Also, the fitness center and spa are located in the JW Marriott, but you do get a little exercise on the way ! Lastly, we had dinner one night at the restaurant inside of the Ritz, and I would give the restaurant more of a 3 star award. It seems as if chef is trying too hard to be innovative and misses the mark just a tad. However, I understand that the JW Marriott has several highly rated restaurants to dine at so there are options.
I rarely give a 5 star rating but nothing else would do for this property. The Ritz Grande Lakes Orlando is a superb property. The property is immaculate. Everything is just beautiful. The pool area is prefect and relaxing with great bar service. The Best part about the whole property is the people. Customer service is top notch. I was greeted by every single employee that I encountered and always with a smile. Staff Go above and beyond to make your stay special. The rooms seemed a little basic to me but each one has a balcony which is nice. Bathrooms are spacious and very very nice. The only small complaint I have, is that there are no electrical outlets by the bed and nightstand.
I would love to have an opportunity to return to this property. Great job Ritz-Carlton!
We stayed one week in February. We enjoyed it so much, we will be back next year for two weeks. The club level lounge is one of the nicest that we have been to. I cannot say enough about the staff. They are all outstanding. We ate at the restaurants on the property. Normans was very good. I would highly recommend this restaurant. If I had one issue, it’s the fact that the cars are parked outside. Do to construction that is going on cars get very dirty. But that is a minor issue.
The grounds of this hotel are gorgeous and it smells so lovely. Definitely 5 star in looks and service. It feels very very large and has great conference facilities. The pool is large and gorgeous and there is a separate spa pool next door. The food was delicious. I loved the tuna dish at the bar. I had a high up floor that looked out at the pool and every night had the most gorgeous sunset!
Just returning from a girls weekend with my besties....spent weekend in cabana 64 with Jared, Jude and Magarite - best service ever. So fun, attentive and amazing!!!! Highly recommend. Service was top notch and food was amazing.