The Ritz-Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes is one of the premier hotels not only in Orlando but also in the state of Florida. The hotel itself consist of 582 luxury guest rooms and suites on a lush 500-acre site that it shares with the JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes and the Marriott Grande Vista vacation club property.
The combination of the Ritz-Carlton and the JW Marriott hotels makes the Grande Lakes resort a truly unique property. The majority of the features and amenities are available to guests of both Ritz-Carlton and the JW Marriott and include the spa with a state-of-the-art fitness center, 18-hole golf course, sports & recreational facilities, a kids club and the conference center. The specific features and amenities are individually highlighted below.
This hotel is part of the Marriott family of hotels which includes the Marriott Bonvoy rewards program where members can earn and use points during their stay. In addition, Marriott offers a “Best Rate Guarantee” when making a reservation using any “official” Marriott reservation channel.
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About the Ritz-Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes
The Ritz-Carlton originally opened on 2003 and the rooms & suites were completely renovated in 2011. In 2012 and 2013 public space was renovated including meeting rooms, the ballroom and the addition of the Highball & Harvest restaurant. The property is very located located at the southwest corner of Central Florida Parkway and the John Young Parkway.
The hotel has received many accolades and won a number of awards over the past several years. Highlights of these awards are as follows:
- Trip Advisor: Certificate of Excellence Hall of Fame, 2015 & 2016
- US News & World Report: Best Hotels in the USA Aware, 2014 – 2017
- US News Travel: Top hotels in Orlando – Walt Disney World, #3 for 2017
- Travel + Leisure magazine: “The World’s Best 500 Hotels”, 2013
- Conde’ Nast Traveler magazine: “Best Resorts in Florida”, Readers’ Choice Aware, #13, 2014
- AAA: Four Diamond 2004 – 2014
The Ritz-Carlton is approximately 15 to 20 minutes from the Orlando International Airport and just ten minutes to the Orlando / Orange County Convention Center as well as International Drive.
The local Orlando area theme parks are a very short distance to the Ritz-Carlton. According to Google Maps, travel time is as follows (non-peak hours):
- Universal Orlando Resort: 16 minutes.
- SeaWorld Orlando: 10 minutes.
- The Magic Kingdom Park at the Walt Disney World Resort: 23 minutes.
- EPCOT at the Walt Disney World Resort: 19 minutes.
- Disney’s Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort: 24 minutes.
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort: 28 minutes.
- Disney Springs at the Walt Disney World Resort: 22 minutes.
- Downtown Orlando: 28 minutes.
Each room or suite has stunning views of the pool and lakes, grounds, and / or the golf course. Additional room features include marble bathrooms with dual vanities, spacious balconies, high-speed wireless internet access and a smart television. Standard guest rooms are 480 square feet in size with suites as large as 2,645 square feet.
The Ritz-Carlton offers 24-hour room service, on-site laundry, babysitting services, floral services, a beauty shop, gift shop, vending machines, valet parking, foreign exchange, a car rental desk, daily housekeeping and a full service Concierge desk.
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Amenities at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes
The amenities at Ritz-Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes are exceptional with a number of offerings beyond that of other resort hotels in the greater Orlando area. Along with a beautiful pool area (as well as access to the adjacent JW Marriott pool and lazy river), an 18-hole championship golf course designed by Greg Norman to a wide variety of nature tours and activities. Once you see all there is to see and do, you will never want to leave the resort.
The Ritz-Carlton’s Unique hotel amenities include:
- Resort Pool Area: The luxurious pool area is one of the highlights at the Ritz-Carlton. Not only is there a massive resort style pool, but a separate splash / play area for there. Additional, there lounge chairs as well as private cabanas available across the pool deck. Hotels guests are also free to use the 24,000 square foot lazy river pool at the adjacent JW Marriott hotel. This pool is quite large and considered one of the most amazing pools of any hotel in central Florida. Spend all day floating in the lazy river or relaxing by the pool with one of the resorts signature cocktails.
- AquaCourse 360: The AquaCourse 360 is a fun water themed obstacle course and play area. It is quite unique and one of the first of its kind in the Orlando area.
- Eco-Tour on Shingle Creek: Take a two-hour guided canoe tour with a master naturalist along the waters of Shingle Creek. You will experience native wildlife as you paddle through old Florida. Cost is $60 for adults and $40 for children 17 and younger.
- Fishing: Enjoy guided Fishing Excursions or Fly Casting Instruction in one of the resorts 11 stocked and managed lakes. Spinning tackle or fly rods are provided and no license is needed. you can fish from either shore or aboard one of the resorts boats. Costs range from $60 to $75 per person.
- Pedal Boat and Kayak Rentals: Enjoy a ride on Grande Lake which is right behind the resort. Must be 18 years of age to rent and times are limited from 8:AM to 10:AM and 4:PM to 6:PM daily.
- Mountain Biking: The Grande Lakes resort is also home to the two-mile Hidden Lake mountain bike trail. Guests can rent a new SCOTT bicycle and ride on their own or with a guide.
- Sunrise Safari: Take a guided trip on a customized golf cart with the JW’s master naturalist to explore the 500-acre property. You may just find a host of Florida wildlife include alligators, bobcat, whitetail deer, raccoons, birds and more. Cost is $60 per person.
- Falconry Experiences: Learn the art of Falconry in an hour “Falconry School” session or “Walk with a Hawk” where yo will interact with the birds. Costs range from $250 to $300 per person with special rates for groups of six or more.
Other hotel amenities:
- Bocce Ball Courts
- Game room
- Children’s playground
- Executive business center
- Fitness center (within the Spa)
- Tennis courts
- Complimentary theme park transportation
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The Spa at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes
The Ritz-Carlton Spa is sits between the Ritz-Carlton hotel and the JW Marriott hotel and is available to guests of both hotel properties. This facility is truly amazing and at 40,000 square feet in size, is one of the largest in the central Florida area and has 40 rooms offering a variety of treatments.
- 40 Individual Treatment Rooms
- A private, 4,000 square foot outdoor heated lap pool with healing waters
- Full service salon
- Co-ed relaxation conservatory
- The Spa cafe – “Vitale”
- The Spa boutique – “Tranquility”
- Sauna, steam room and hot tub
Included in the spa facility is a 6,000 square foot Fitness / Center: This facility is open 24 hours as day and has a variety of fitness machines, free weights and a studio for a number of programs include Boot Camp, Yoga, Pilates and Cycle. Personal one-on-one training is available and a complimentary fitness equipment orientation is provided.
The Ritz-Carlton Spa has received a number of awards and accolades. Some of the recent awards include:
- TripAdvisor: Certificate of Excellence, 2017
- USA Today 10 Best: “Best Hotel Spa” Reader’s Choice Award Ranked #1 2016, 2015
- Conde’ Nast Traveler magazine: “Top 100 Resort Spas in the United States” Ranked #57, 2014
The Golf Club at the Ritz Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes
The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club is also part of the Grande Lakes Orlando Resort and like the spa, is available to guests of both the JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels. The 18-hole Greg Norman Signature Golf Course is a perfect fit for the Shingle Creek area and is a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary which enhances the local wildlife and protects the natural environment.
The course has five sets of tees and features wide fairways, well placed hazards and contoured greens. The course’s web site says it provides “a challenging but fair test of a golfer’s abilities”. There is an optional caddie concierge program to go along with golf carts as well as a clubhouse with pro shop and restaurant. Click here to view the course hole-by-hole.
The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club has received a number of awards and accolades. Some of the recent awards include:
- TripAdvisor.com: Certificate of Excellence, 2015
- GOLF Digest Magazine: “America’s Top 50 Golf Courses for Women, July 2013”
In addition to the practice range and putting area, golf instruction is offered and provided by Larry Rinker who is a for PGA Tour player. A variety of different instruction packages are offered and can be found HERE.
Dining at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes
From pool side dining to grab-and-go as well as room service and fine dining restaurants, there are 11 dining options at the Ritz Carlton and the adjacent JW Marriott which range from casual poolside fare to fine dining. Individual dining venues are as follows:
- Highball & Harvest: A farm-to-table restaurant that sources their ingredients from local farms as well as the resort’s own organic garden. Highball and Harvest is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner service. Click here to view the menu.
- Bleu: Dining al fresco with fresh seafood, salads and burgers at this poolside restaurant. Click here to view the menu.
- Vitale, Spa Cafe’: Located within the Ritz-Carlton Spa, this outdoor cafe’ offers a wide variety of “heath-focused” options including salads, sandwiches, smoothies and bento boxes. Click here to view the menu.
- Fairways Pub: Fairways Pub is located within the clubhouse at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Course and has spectacular views of the 18th green as well as the Grande Lakes resort. Click here to view the menu.
- The Lobby Lounge: Enjoy a cocktail which snacking on Oysters, lobster cakes, flatbreads or salads. The Lobby Lounge is open late on most nights and offers live entertainment on Friday and Saturday evenings. Click here to view the menu.
- First Drop®: Enjoy your roasted coffee or handcrafted milkshakes at this lobby cafe’. Food offerings include breakfast and lunch sandwiches, salads and snacks.
- Primo: Enjoy Italian cuisine in this fine-dining restaurant by award-winning chef Melissa Kelly. Primo is only open for dinner service. Click here to view the menu.
- Citron, An American Brasserie: Serving a wonderful breakfast from classic omelets to fresh-baked pastries. Citron is only open for breakfast. Click here to view the menu.
- Sushi Bar: Located at the rear of the JW Marriott’s lobby is the sushi bar featuring a varies of selections from Asian to raw bar delights. Click here to view the menu.
- Cafe’ Bodega: Grab-and-go dining from sandwiches, soups, breakfast items and snacks. Only open for breakfast and lunch.
- Whisper Creek Farm, The Kitchen: Inspired farm-to-table dining with specialties with derived from local Florida farms. Whisper Creek Farm is only open for dinner service. Click here to view the menu.
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The Rooms at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes
There are a number of differing rooms types at the Ritz-Carlton which range from 480 square foot luxury guests rooms with one king or two queen beds as well three types of individual suites. Every room includes a balcony as well as a view of the lake, grounds, golf course or the pool area.
Details on the luxury suites are as follows:
- Executive Suite: 960 square foot suite that will accommodate up to four guests. Either a king bed or two queen-sized beds are available and there is one and one-half bathrooms. The executive suite features a private living area with writing desk and two personal balconies.
- Presidential Suite: 2,400 square foot suite that features a king-sized bed, private bathroom with additional half-bathroom, living room with full entertainment center, three-televisions, dining room with seating for up to 8 people, service kitchens (available) and five personal balconies. The Presidential Suite includes full access to the Club Lounge and twice-daily turndown service.
- Royal Suite: 2,645 square foot suite that features a king-sized bed, private bathroom with additional half-bathroom, living room with full entertainment center, three televisions, a separate media room, dining room with seating for up to 8 people, a service kitchen and up to eight personal balconies. Up to four-bedrooms are available in a combined 4,293 square foot suite. The Royal Suite includes full access to the Club Lounge and twice-daily turndown service.
Every room at this hotel is quite spacious and well appointed with features including:
- Comfortable featherbeds with down comforters and cotton-rich linens
- Marble bathrooms with oversized tubs and a separate shower
- Double views
- 65 inch HD LCD TV with premium movie channels
- iPod docking station
- High speed wireless internet
- Balconies with lake, golf and/or pool views.
- Coffee maker/tea service as well as bottled water
- In room safe
Club level access to the Ritz-Carlton Club® is available and fully staffed to meet all your needs. The Club Lounge is open 24-hours a day offering a wide array of snacks and non-alcoholic beverages as well as the following features:
- Concierge service from 7:AM to 10:PM
- Five culinary offering per day
- Complimentary Ritz Kids for up to three children (ages 4 to 12) per room
- Media room with movies and family games
- Complimentary garment pressing of up to two garments per day, per room
- Computer and printer stations
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
- Balconies of view of the lakes, pool and golf course as well as special events like holiday fireworks.
Conferences & Events at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes
No matter if you are hosting an intimate gathering for 15 people, a 200 person wedding or a 3,000 person business conference, the facilities and staff at the Grande Lakes resort can meet all of your event needs.
- 47 individual event rooms accommodating from 10 to over 3,000
- 41 maximum breakout rooms
- 144,785 square feet of event space which is one of the largest in central Florida
- 3,200+ capacity in the Coquina or Mediterranean ballrooms
- Numerous terrace, lawn space and outdoor venues are available
- Outdoor wedding lawn overlooking Grande Lake and the golf course.
Live at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes
The Ritz-Carlton Residences at Orlando Grande Lakes is located on the grounds of the Grande Lakes resort just outside the Ritz-Carlton hotel and consists of 37 individual villas featuring three- or four-bedrooms with private pools and outdoor living space.
The community will feature a private 6,000 square foot clubhouse with dedicated concierge, access to the social amenities of The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club as well as the resort spa and dining establishments. Prices start from $2 million for these amazing homes.
Click here to learn more about The Ritz-Carlton Residences.
What We Liked at the Ritz Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes:
There are so many things to like at this outstanding hotel. Following are some of the highlights that we really like:
- Amazing Ritz-Carlton service
- Outstanding amenities
- So many things to do at this resort
- There is something for everyone (all ages and interests from sports to eco-toursim to relaxation).
What We Didn’t Like at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes:
As you can imagine, there wasn’t much NOT to like at the Ritz-Carlton so like our review of the adjacent JW Marriott, we had to be a little picky but here is what we did not like at this hotel:
- $48 per day resort fee (resort fees are now very common in Orlando)
- The pool area and restaurants were quite busy during peak hours
- There were a fair amount of convention travelers during our stay so it made the hotel seem more crowded and busier than usual.
- Slightly farther from the theme parks than other Orlando area hotels
What We Think the Ritz-Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes is Perfect For:
This hotel has so much to offer in just about every area and we consider it perfect for the travelers who are coming to the Orlando area for:
- Conventions and events
- Spa and Golf Outings
- Luxury Florida Stay-cations
Endless Summer Recommendation: If you are spending the full day at a theme park, there are closer and less expensive options than the Ritz-Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes. The Ritz is an amazing hotel with so much offered that you will not have to leave the property to have a wonderful visit. Stay at the hotel all day and enjoy all it has available to its guests.
Like most hotels in this area, rates at the Ritz Carlton Grande Lakes are very seasonal and we have found that rates and availability do vary quite considerably throughout the year. For a one king or two queen room we have seen rates around $350 per night but also as high more than $1,000 per night.