The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes
The Ritz Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes is the perfect place for families who want to escape from the craziness of the theme parks at the end of the day. It's also ideal for the couples who want adult time while in Orlando. It's close enough to the parks that you can be at all the attractions in about 15-20 minutes, but far enough away that you can really relax in the nature that surrounds the resort. As The Ritz Carlton likes to say "Minutes from the Magic and miles from the Madness."
Hospitality: This Ritz-Carlton Orlando truly embodies the philosophy of relaxed refinement. It's is not just a family friendly resort, it goes beyond that by making the kids the stars We were always helped quickly and efficiently with a huge smile from all ladies and gentlemen we encountered. They made us feel relaxed in a luxury property with 2 kids under the age of 1, which is not an easy feat!
make your reservation through ruby rosen travel and you will receive breakfast for 2 daily, $100 spa credit and some additional surprises along the way.
Dining: We were lucky enough to get to enjoy Club Level during our stay which has 5 different food presentations from sunrise to sunset. It is also accessible 24 hours a day to grab beverages and light snacks. When traveling with kids, the Club Level pays for itself pretty quickly. We were able to have a full breakfast and lots of filling snacks and drinks (including beer and wine!) so we'd definitely recommend the upgrade. There are several restaurants on property as well as in the JW Marriot in easy walking distance right next door. We had a relaxed and delicious poolside lunch at Bleu where you can come off the pool deck in a coverup and feel totally comfortable. Our favorite dinner of the trip was at Highball and Harvest where we loved their signature fried chicken.
Try the fish tacos at Bleu, they are phenomenal!
Rooms: For the entry level rooms it is all about the views. The Lake View and Lake Front face the back of the resort and look out onto the pool and wooded area beyond. With the Lake Front views you have a chance to see in the far distance the fireworks at the Disney parks. We stayed in a Lake Front Executive Suite which was a perfect option when traveling with young kids who go to sleep early. The living area was spacious, which allowed us to have 2 cribs and still have plenty of room to play and hang out. There was also a half bath in the living area. The main bedroom can come with either 2 queens or 1 king bed. We were able to close the living room off and sit on our balcony at night and enjoy a cocktail while seeing a faint glimmer of fireworks off in the distance. There are also several connecting room options as well as multi bedroom suites for families or special occasions.
They only have a few Executive Suites with 2 Queens beds, so if you are traveling with a large family make sure to confirm these at time of booking.
Family: The Ritz Kids program is for children 4-12 years old and is a fun place to give your little ones some independence and you some freedom. The caregivers are all highly training and very friendly. There are areas for crafts and games as well as educational programs with live animals. With the surrounding Florida ecosystem there is an emphasis on learning about local wildlife and habitats.
The Ritz Kids room has an open house in the mornings, we recommend swinging in to say hi to their HUGE bunny, Nugget.
The Four Seasons Resort Orlando
at Walt Disney World
The second stop on our adventure was the gorgeous Four Seasons Hotel Orlando at Walt Disney Resort. Yes, it's located inside the park! It's actually the only hotel not owned by Disney that is on the property. That makes it very different than your normal theme park hotel experience.
Hospitality: Top notch! We were greeted by name (as were the babies) as we got out of the car and our belongings were promptly whisked away to our room. We found everyone to be very helpful and gracious. Service at the pool, restaurants, concierge and housekeeping was great from beginning to end.
You can use the tablet in your room to send in a maintenance request. Our bathtub drain wasn't working and we filled out a maintenance form and it was fixed while we were out to lunch.
Pool: Oh the pools! We considered not even leaving the hotel the pools were so nice. There is a gorgeous, strict, adults only pool with plenty of lounge chairs and cabanas. The family pool is also really nice with a zero entry and an infinity view into the lagoon. We spent a bunch of time at the splash pad which looks like old ruins and has easy access to the water slides (yes!). There are 4 entries to the lazy river and we took full advantage. They even have tiny tubes with bottoms so the little guys could ride on their own.
Grab one of the "pods" they have scattered around the river for a private space to relax with a margarita.
Rooms: There are park view and city view rooms but both offer great sights. Park view almost guarantees fireworks from the Disney parks every night which is a fun option. Their lead in rooms are great size with a King bed and pull out queen sofa. We had a crib in ours and we were able to push it towards to door and then hang on the very spacious terrace after bedtime. Decor is modern, beautiful and almost brand new since the hotel was built in 2013. The suites are to die for with huge free standing soaking tubs and tons of space. Lots of options for connecting rooms for families and some with kitchenettes.
Regular connecting rooms don't have interconnecting doors. Instead they have a small foyer with a larger main door to the hallway. Great for families who want a little more privacy.
Family: It's Disney so of course it's a family oriented resort but it didn't feel like a kid place. It's tastefully designed to incorporate some Disney themes but they are discrete and classy. The kids club starts at 4 years old and has lots of fun activities and crafts. There is also a really cool teen (or for your inner teen) center with big screen tvs and all the video games you could ever need. We were greeted with some adorable baby amenities in our crib that really made us feel welcome.