If you are looking for a beautiful oasis outside of the hustle and bustle of the parks, look no further than The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes! This resort offers fantastic amenities, as well as excursions and experiences you can’t find anywhere else.
Located 15 minutes outside of Walt Disney World, this luxury resort is nestled within 500 acres of landscaped grounds. (The JW Marriott hotel is next door.) From the balconies above, you can see Sea World, Universal Studios, and even Walt Disney World in the distance. A shuttle service is also available to these area attractions.
The Ritz-Carlton boasts over 550 guest rooms, starting at 480 square feet. Various suites are available, including executive suites (with a separate living room), as well as the Presidential and Royal Suites, with over 2400 square feet of space. You can also enjoy a room with Club Level access, which includes a dedicated concierge team, complimentary Ritz Kids programming, and five culinary offerings throughout the day. (Don’t miss out on the famous cookie humidor!)
The recreational options at The Ritz-Carlton are among the most unique. Grande Lakes Sports offers fishing excursions (in collaboration with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission), Eco-Tours by kayak or canoe on the Headwaters to the Florida Everglades, Sunrise Safaris aboard an all-terrain golf cart and led by a Certified Florida Master Naturalist, and mountain bike trails. If you need a shakeout run, there is a running path that goes along both hotels, with views of the lakeshore reserve. (Note: the path is made of bricks, and while it is very even, do keep an eye on your footing.)
Three pools are available for use, including the resort pool, private lap pool, and the lazy river pool, located at the adjacent JW Marriott. The Ritz-Carlton resort pool includes activities throughout the day, as well as private cabana rentals for those wanting additional luxury while basking in the sun.
If you are looking for some relaxation, the 40,000 square foot spa is just what you need. Schedule a treatment such as a body wrap, facial, massage, pedicure, and more. You can even partake in their signature service, the “zero gravity” hammock massage! Near the spa is the fitness center, including state-of-the-art equipment. During select hours, you can also use the private lap pool.
Ritz Kids offers experiences for the littlest explorers, focusing on the four pillars of the program – water, land, environmental responsibility and culture. Various activities occur from 10:30 am – 10:00 pm, and each room receives two complimentary hours per two children. Kid’s Night Out is also available from 5-9:00 pm, which includes dinner. Activities include tending to a garden as they learn how plants grow, finding how to recycle through a scavenger hunt, and learning how bugs benefit nature. Ritz Kids even has over 10 pets!
When it comes to dining, there are ELEVEN restaurant options for you to choose from! Each restaurant includes items with ingredients from local farms, as well as food grown near the property. Highball & Harvest offers a fabulous breakfast buffet (which is complimentary for those who have booked with a Virtuoso travel agency), including made-to-order omelets, pastries, yogurt parfaits, and even freshly pressed juices! The Sushi Bar, located at the adjacent JW Marriott, is another fan favorite.
There is a charge for parking, as well as a daily resort fee. The resort fee includes access to the driving range, daily recreational activities, pool floats at the lazy river pool, shuttle transportation to area attractions, two hours at the Ritz Kids, and daily mountain bike rental for one hour per day.
Since this resort is located a little further away from Walt Disney World property, it is recommended you stay here for a few extra nights after your runDisney races. It is a great way to celebrate your accomplishment, and bask in some much needed relaxation!
If you book through Glass Slipper Concierge, an affiliate of Sanborn’s Travel, Virtuoso amenities can also be applied to your reservation!