Just a few short weeks ago, over the holiday season, my family and I went to Orlando for a quick two day trip. As a result of having a father that is somewhat Disney obsessed, throughout the years we have visited the happiest place on earth more times than I can actually count. When my dad excitedly called me one day this past fall to let me know that we would be spending a few days in Orlando, I was of course excited to re-live some of my fondest childhood memories but I have to admit…I wasn’t so keen on staying in Disney. Instead, I wanted a less ‘park like hotel’ and more of a calm and relaxing holiday. When the opportunity to work with the The Ritz Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes was presented, I knew that both my dad’s needs (I swear he isn’t 10 years old in all aspects of his life) and my requests were going to be met at this breathtaking resort!
Without further ado, let me give you a sneak peak into this luxury hotel that is the perfect location for a couple getaway, a family vacation or in my families case…a bunch of adult children!
In all my travels, I have never seen a more luxe entrance to a hotel. Their sprawling driveway is perfectly manicured with the actual hotel in perfect view with every twist and turn in the road. As we pulled up to the hotel, we were greeted by the most helpful staff that we eager to help us bring up a trolley of loose ends to the room (my family is not always the most efficient at packing…..think open tote bags with straighteners and heels sticking out). As we entered the grand lobby, some of the children staying at the hotel were decorating gingerbread houses with the staff. This was the exact moment where I wanted to be a kid again. These ‘gingerbread making’ children were given large bowls of endless amount of candy that would make anyone envious. As we checked in, I noticed the main lobby bar was set up for high tea…and there is nothing I like more than a tea party. The difference was this was not your ordinary English tea party but was a teddy bear tea party…it was then that I was officially ready to relive my childhood.
This hotel gave me a new appreciation (not that I needed any help) for pink and palm. As I explored the grounds on the first day, I couldn’t help but think to myself that this hotel screamed my name! As I walked (and biked) by every corner and turn, I truly felt like I was getting the true sense of the Floridan aesthetic that I love so much.
Although I had big plans to explore Orlando and try out some of their well known restaurants, we ended up eating each meal at the hotel. With eleven different options, there was more than enough options to agree on amongst our ever expanding family. Whether it was getting a drink in the hotel lobby, tacos poolside or ordering late night hamburgers to the room…everything we ate was absolutely delicious. What I would do for another late night sundae to the room (my brother’s brilliant idea before lights out each night!).
Although my plan was to rest and relax the entire trip, I became tempted to do a few activities once I saw the kayaks and a lazy river . The Ritz Carlton Orlando is located on Grande Lake and is the perfect opportunity to get a taste of Florida’s natural reserve. For those not interested in being out on the water, the pool is nearby and there are hammocks and anorak chairs on the shoreline that would fit the needs of any bystander.
As I have mentioned time and time again, I love a day at the pool. There is nothing I enjoy more than getting consumed by a great book with a cocktail in hand and tacos on their way. Usually my family is all go-go-go, but for the first time they followed my lead. The majority of our stay was enjoying the sun, the cabanas, the pool and of course all in addition to each other’s company. The Ritz Carlton’s large pool was a perfect setting to spend the days leading up to Christmas day.
The days leading up to the trip to Orlando was very hectic back in Nova Scotia and as a result I didn’t find time to get my nails done for the trip. Luckily, I was fortunate to book a last minute appointment at the Spa at The Ritz Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes. I enjoyed the spa facilities both before and after I enjoyed getting my nails freshly painted just in time to ring in the holiday.
With an ever growing family, The Ritz Carlton was so kind to accommodate us with two connecting rooms so we could be all together but still have enough personal space. The rooms are spacious, the beds were incredibly comfortable and one of my favorite features of the room was the plush white Ritz robes that you can wear as you sit on the balcony to watch the fireworks from Epcot every night. The Ritz greeted our stay with a kind gift of mixed nuts, teas and other curated Ritz Carlton gifts. Thank you to the team at The Ritz Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes.
The hardest part to any trip (and The Ritz Carlton was in many ways even harder) is saying goodbye. As we left in two SUVs, my family dispersed between two different cars, I couldn’t help but feel disappointed that such a lovely stay had come to an end. However, what I since learned in life is that in life it is not always goodbye but goodbye for now! I will be back!
To book your next stay at the The Ritz Carlton Grande Lakes in Orlando visit their website or call reservations at 1 (407) 206-2400. This hotel is the perfect luxurious escape from the hustle and bustle of Disney!
Blare June xx
In Partnership With
The Ritz Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes