The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes
This past Friday Mallory spent her afternoon modeling swimsuits for the Brazillian company Liquido Active at the Orlando surf expo. Since Orlando is only about an hour and a half away from home we decided to spend Friday and Saturday there giving us a nice staycation. It was nice to get away from Tampa, especially because it was Gasparilla weekend.
I chose the Ritz-Carlton because I’d heard the Orlando property was beautiful and I wanted to try out my new Gold status thanks to the Marriott/ Starwood merger. I booked the one night stay through American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts to get the extra perks of a free breakfast and a room upgrade. The Ritz-Carlton Orlando is a perfect place to stay if you are going to a conference at the convention center (5-10 min) or even Disney (10-15 min).
The lobby of the Ritz-Carlton Orlando is wide open and spacious with tons of natural light due to the huge windows in the back of the building. The associate who assisted me checking in didn’t mention my status or mention a room upgrade during the process. It was Pro-Bowl weekend in Orlando, so most resorts were pretty full.
The Ritz-Carlton Orlando Lake Front Room
Our room was nice, similar to the rooms we had when we stayed at the Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island for our anniversary. Big bathroom, with a lot of marble. The shower was smaller than other properties we stayed at before, and felt a little cramped. By far the best part about our room was the million dollar view! We had a view of the pool, lake and golf course and it was absolutely beautiful at sunset.
We were not disappointed by the food during our short stay. When we arrived we had a small snack in the lobby lounge. Mallory had a shrimp cocktail (with giant shrimp) and a salad, while I got the Charcuterie plate, which was phenomenal. The resort had three restaurants in addition to the lobby lounge – Norman’s, Highball & Harvest, and Bleu.
Highball & Harvest is where the morning breakfast buffet is held and turns into a bar with live music at night. The breakfast selection was fantastic and the coffee was, oh so good.
The housekeeping staff
Pretty much my only complaint about our quick trip up to the Ritz-Carlton Orlando would be with their housekeeping staff. When we got to our room we found someone else’s socks hanging in our bathroom. Later Mallory found a 3/4 empty bottle of water in our mini-fridge.
On Saturday, we had late check-out and even after letting the housekeeping staff know we weren’t leaving until 3PM they still banged on my door disrupting me 4 more times.
Overall we loved the Ritz-Carlton Orlando. The property was beautiful, the food was delicious, and its location is great. There was something about this property that made it feel more inviting and less stuffy. It may have been the natural light and lighter colors than the Ritz on Amelia Island.
If I was staying longer than one night and the housekeeping staff continued the way they were going I’d be upset, but they didn’t ruin my stay (although the dirty socks were disgusting). I would recommend the Ritz-Carlton Orlando to anyone who needs to visit the “Most Magical Place on Earth”
BONUS: Ritz-Carlton Orlando and Kids
Like many of the Ritz-Carlton properties, the Ritz-Carlton Orlando has a fantastic kids center with daily activities for you parents to get some alone time. This property also has a lot of live animals for the kids to see and play with including a huge rabbit, a bearded dragon, and some chickens! If you need somewhere to drop the kids after a long day at Disney World then you should look into the Ritz-Carlton Orlando.