Grande Lakes Orlando:
An Oasis in Central Florida

By Marci Miller

Set amidst 500 acres of lushly
landscaped grounds, Grande Lakes Orlando is a unique destination with a level of service and facilities appealing to the sophisticated traveler. With a luxury 582-room Ritz-Carlton and deluxe 1,000-room JW Marriott, an 18-hole Greg Norman designed championship golf course, as well as a 40,000-square-foot spa and extensive meeting facilities, Grande Lakes truly redefines the Orlando experience. Guests at both hotels have access to all the facilities at the resort.

ROOMS
The beauty of our Orlando luxury hotel suites is celebrated with thoughtful design and décor, while spacious layouts, luxurious bathrooms and indulgent bedding tempt one to forgo exploration for welcome seclusion. Their 1,000 guestrooms, including 64 suites, offer excellent views of the pool, lawns, lakes and golf course. All rooms and suites feature separate marble bathtub and shower and marble vanities. Guestrooms feature dual data ports, fiber optic technology, as well as wireless high-speed internet access.

SPA
Comprised of more than 40,000 square feet, The Ritz-Carlton Spa is secluded and protected by lush gardens, a peaceful lake and Spanish-Moorish architecture. Featuring The Ritz-Carlton Spa philosophy of sanitas per agua, "health through water," guests are transported back in time through treatments honoring water therapies famous throughout the world since ancient times. Reflecting its Florida location, the Spa highlights citrus-inspired health and beauty treatments as well as spa rituals from the most exotic Ritz-Carlton locations. Amenities include: 40 treatment rooms; 4,000-square-foot private lap pool; outdoor rooftop eco-space with herb garden and scrub bar eco-garden hammock massage; sauna, steam, massage and facials; 6,000-square-foot Wellness Center with Vitale, Spa Café. Spa facility and spa pool use is for guests 18 years of age or older only.

GRANDE LAKE SPORTS
Golf
Unwind on the back nine on one of the most naturally beautiful golf courses in Orlando FL when you set out to play 18 holes at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club® Orlando, Grande Lakes. A certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary, this luxury golf course blends into Central Florida's natural landscape, protecting natural resources and habitats while enhancing the overall golf experience. Designed by two-time British Open Champion Greg Norman, the course blends a variety of hazards to provide a challenging but fair test of a golfer's abilities, resulting in an atmosphere reminiscent of a private course. The course is home to the PGA Tour's PNC Father/Son Challenge.

Tennis
The resort offers three lit tennis courts with lessons and cardio clinics available.

Pools
Spend a day under the sun in one of their outdoor heated hotel pools. All their pools offer poolside cabanas with personal concierge service. Guests have access to the 24,000-square-foot Lazy River located at the JW Marriott Orlando on property. Guests may also enjoy hydrotherapy pools and an adult only lap pool at The Ritz-Carlton Spa (day pass or treatment reservation required).

Fishing
Fishing excursions take place on the 40-acre Shingle Pond (parallel to Shingle Creek), which sits on the most remote section of Grande Lakes. Guests can fish from the shore or board Hyde Drift boats alongside a guide and fish the private waters of Shingle Pond. The resort is the first to collaborate with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to assist in conducting genetic testing on Largemouth Bass through the catch and release program.

Eco-Tours Program
Offering a two-hour guided Eco-Tour through Shingle Creek on a kayak or canoe.
Sunrise Safari Guests are taken on a guided trip to explore the 500-acre resort in a customized all-terrain golf cart, led by a Certified Florida Master Naturalist. Participants have the chance to observe and photograph Whitetail Deer, bobcats, North American river otter, foxes, raccoons, alligators and a host of birds ranging from Great Horned Owls to Roseate Spoonbills.

Mountain Bike Trail
The Hidden Lake mountain bike trail offers guests a two-mile mountain bike adventure on the resort's SCOTT bicycles. Guests can venture on the trail at their own pace or embark on a guided ride led by the hotels' resident "Trail Boss," who will also point out the best places to catch a glimpse of wildlife along the way.

Amenities
Other amenities include: executive business center; arcade room; bocce ball court, sand volleyball, bonfire, gift and sundry shops; butterfly gardens; full service concierge and shuttle service to area attractions.

DINING
Norman's Norman's is internationally celebrated as one of the finest hotel restaurants in the world. Featuring James Beard Award winning Chef Norman Van Aken's, acclaimed New World Cuisine as the culinary centerpiece. New World Cuisine is best described as a fusion of Latin, Caribbean and Asian recipes with traditional European technique. The large windows and outdoor terrace feature breathtaking views of the lake and golf course.

Whisper Creek Farm: The Kitchen
The Kitchen serves seasonal small plates using farm fresh ingredients from the resort's on property Whisper Creek Farm and craft beers from the on-site nano-brewery, Whisper Creek Farm: The Brewery.

Primo Award winning Chef Melissa Kelly creates her contemporary Italian cuisine embracing an entirely farm-fresh philosophy. Through harvesting her own organic garden and ongoing work with the Florida Organic Growers Association, Chef Kelly ensures that only the most natural ingredients are served. All pasta and gnocchi are made in-house and other ingredients are bought local and organic whenever possible.

Highball & Harvest ("H&H") combines rustic authenticity with Ritz-Carlton refinement to feature interactive dining, a novel railroad inspired design, handcrafted cocktail classes and a creative menu. Engage with other guests at their interactive cocktail table and large communal bar area where bar chefs create handcrafted cocktails and curate personalized cocktail classes. Cocktails are served on the rocks with hand-carved ice, sculpted bar side with a high-end Japanese ice saw and infused with Whisper Creek Farm herbs and fruits. Enjoy a raw oyster bar where chefs shuck oysters by hand to serve with the signature H&H Hot Sauce. The restaurant offers Central Florida's largest selection of wines from the casks which ensure perfect temperature control and freshness.
Bleu Poolside Bar & Grill offers every imaginable tropical concoction at their large seated bar including cask wine and draft and bottled beer. The restaurant offers a great selection of salads including Hearts of Palm and classic Caesar. Their Bleu Bites include Fish Tacos and Lobster Quesadillas. Bleu poolside specialties include a Green Chili Pork Sandwich and Blackened Chicken Salad Wrap.

Other eateries on premises:
Citron, An American Brasserie features cuisine that is truly "American." Open for breakfast 7:00am - 11:30am. The Citron, Patisserie offers fresh baked bread, pastries and homemade ice cream. Lobby Lounge their newly renovated lobby bar, offers an extensive wine list from around the world. Open daily from 4:00pm – 12:00am while food service is available until 11:30pm. Sushi Bar offers a chef crafted menu consisting of new American Sushi and a selection of Asian tapas. Open daily 5:00pm – 10:00pm. Café Bodega An eco-friendly grab & go café featuring crafted breakfast sandwiches, quiches, build your own oatmeal and low-fat Greek yogurt parfaits with fresh fruit, lunch wraps, salads and soup with alternative healthy snacks and low-fat frozen yogurt. Open daily 7:30am – 3:00pm. Quench Poolside Bar & Grill serves creative tropical drinks, fresh salads and grill items. Open 11am - dusk. Starbucks Café delivers all your favorite specialty handcrafted coffee beverages, alternative cold beverages, snacks and pastries in a cozy coffee house setting. Open 6:00am – 8:00pm. Vitale: Revitalize your body at the Spa Café after a workout, treatment or dance lesson. Featuring healthy cuisine, including great salads, power drinks, smoothies, and a wide selection of waters. Spa, workout or casual attire. 11:00am-4:00pm (Sun-Thu), 11:00am-5:00pm (Fri & Sat) Fairways Pub: The inspired clubhouse fare and a great selection of draught beer and scotches at Fairways Pub provide the perfect finishing touch to a day on the links. Featuring views of the 18th hole and the resort. To-Go menu for golfers. 11:00am-4:00pm (Mon-Thu), 11:00am-5:00pm (Fri-Sun) First Drop: Savor an authentic artisanal beverage experience at First Drop, the new signature Ritz-Carlton lobby café. Taste locally roasted coffee, fresh juices, handcrafted milkshakes and smoothies, as well as select small bites including breakfast and lunch sandwiches, salads, pastries, candy, and snacks. 6:00am - 7:00pm

KIDS ACTIVITIES
Orlando Grande Lakes is among the most kid friendly of any Ritz-Carlton property around the world. The resort lets kids tap into an innate curiosity by introducing them to the natural wonders and rich cultural traditions of the area. Ritz Kids experiences provide children with activities to reward their interest in the beauty and workings of the world we live in. Their Ritz Kids drop off program offers a variety of supervised physical and creative activities designed especially for children aged 4 to 12. Ritz Kids has something for every child on vacation including: Outdoor Activities, Obstacle Courses and Relay Races, Karaoke and Dance Parties, Arts and Crafts and so much more. Ritz Kids Open House encourages all ages to join in games, movies and a take-home craft of the day. Daily activities include: Amazing Nature - Explore the beauty of Grande Lakes; Rivers - Learn how rivers benefit nature and humans in many ways; Kids Night Out - Join Ritz Kids for dinner, arts & crafts, games and movies while the parents enjoy a night out in Orlando.

Grande Lakes is located 15 minutes from the Orlando International Airport, five minutes from the Orlando/Orange County Convention Center, and minutes from all the major theme parks. 4012 Central Florida Parkway Orlando, FL 32837; Phone: 407-206-2400; Reservations 1-800-576-5760; www.grandelakes.com

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