“Travel brings power and love back into your life” – Rumi
As for many people, the memories of visiting Orlando, Florida as a child are some of the most important and meaningful memories I have – the wonder of getting on a plane in a snowy city and exiting the plane a few hours later in a warm, sunny paradise; coupled with the unbridled adulation and expectation of visiting the pinnacle of childhood destinations – Walt Disney World.
When I have the chance as an adult to return to Orlando, I leap at that chance. My past memories combine to mix with my adult experiences, creating a powerful new appreciation for my parents’ sacrifices in ensuring that my brother and I could experience the magic of Walt Disney World.
As an adult, my interests include visiting luxury resorts, so how better to enjoy Orlando than to visit the Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes?
The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes (The Ritz-Carlton Orlando from here out) is centrally located in Orlando, Florida, just a short drive from the International Airport, and all of the popular attractions. Click Here to view the location of the property on Google Maps.
The Ritz-Carlton Orlando makes up half of an impressively expansive luxury resort complex, shared with the JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes, which is in itself a stunning property. The two properties are connected, and this complex provides a unique opportunity for guests of one resort to visit the other, including the sampling of distinctly different restaurants and cocktail bars. Walking between the properties also provides for a very nice walking workout, as I hit almost 20,000 steps walking the entire property! Here’s a long view of the property, photo credit to the Ritz-Carlton Orlando:
The Ritz-Carlton Orlando is a grand and generous property, featuring an impressive 582 Guest Rooms, including 56 Club Level rooms, 60 Executive Suites, two Presidential Suites and one Royal Suite. Yet despite its size, the property feels comfortable and warm as you walk its luxuriously adorned hallways and spaces. I’d like to especially thank Ed at our check-in for being so thoroughly helpful, and for some great recommendations.
The resort is bordered to its Western side by the shimmering Shingle Creek, and the property’s 18-Hole, Greg Norman-designed signature golf course. The setting is quite something.
We enjoyed a lovely suite overlooking the main pool, which was bathed in natural stone, and luxury furniture and appointments. I love the amenity greeting, fresh from the property’s local organic garden!
The Ritz-Carlton Orlando offers an astounding ten dining options (yes, ten), including its signature eatery Norman’s, its farm-to-table restaurant Highball & Harvest, Bleu, Vitale, Fairways Pub, Primo, Citron, Cafe Bodega, Sushi Bar, and the JW Marriott Orlando features its new offering, Whisper Creek Farm: The Kitchen.
The cuisine at Norman’s is inspired by “Fusion” visionary Chef Norman Van Aken, and Executive Chef Andres Medoza, who have developed an inventive menu that combines Latin, Caribbean, Asian, African and American flavors.
Highball & Harvest offers a menu replete with fresh, creative, and comforting dishes, such as the Pig-n-Potatoes (a 63 Degree Egg/Yukon Hash/Pork Belly/Hollandaise) and the Chicken Picnic (28-Hour Brined Chicken/Fresno Spiced Watermelon/Corn Spoonbread/Farmer’s Cheese). Click Here to view the Menu. A special thank you to Chelsea who took stellar care of us!
Here are a couple of images of Highball & Harvest, photo courtesy of the Ritz-Carlton Orlando:
I loved the Chicken Picnic! Here are some images from our experience at Highball & Harvest:
Perhaps the most impressive feature of the Ritz-Carlton Orlando is its luxury Spa, complete with private steam-room, jacuzzi, cold splash pool, and the largest spa pool I’ve ever seen. The Spa boasts signature treatments, with ingredients inventively sourced such as herbs from the property’s organic garden, honey from the property’s bees, and fruits from local orchards. A special thank you to Gilberto at the Spa for being incredibly helpful and kind. Here are some images of the Spa:
Visiting Orlando is intensely personal for me. Many of my most memorable childhood experiences center around spending time with family, picking oranges from local orchards, and visiting what seemed to be larger-than-life amusement parks; especially Walt Disney World. Visiting Orlando today rekindles these fond memories, and reminds me to be thankful for all of the opportunities I’ve been afforded my entire life.
Enjoying a visit at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando created a special new collection of experiences, which will now be a part of the fabric of my treasured memories of Orlando. I highly recommend that you visit the Ritz-Carlton Orlando to add your own unforgettable experiences. You’ll thank me for it.
The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes – Location and Social
Click on the links below to the connect with The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes:
Ritz-Carlton Social Media Accounts:
JW Marriott Social Media Accounts:
Thanks so very much to Paige and Antoinette for making this visit possible, and to everyone at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando for making us feel so welcome, and for such a memorable visit! Thanks also to the property for its use of high resolution images to make up for my shoddy photography!
Please take note that the Ritz-Carlton Orlando welcomed me as a special media guest, but that my opinions are, as always, entirely my own.
Thank you very much for taking the time to read this article, and Happy Traveling!