JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes
What it is
A towering resort on 500 leafy acres with literally everything, including a de facto water park and 18-hole golf course by Greg Norman.
What it isn't
Tasteless. Among seven restaurants on-site, you’ll find a Starbucks and a locavore restaurant, Whisper Creek Farm, where Florida-grown produce stars on the menu.
What we think
Some people shy away from resorts of this magnitude, but we’d wager that those people haven’t stayed here. The property feels like your own private castle, complete with doting staffers and pampering galore (note the Ritz-Carlton spa that’s more than a spa—wellness classes include Barre, Tai Chi Qi Gong, and a hysterical Broadway Cardio that will have you belting out show tunes as you firm your own show-stopping behind). Guest rooms are adorned in soothing colors—tranquil turquoise, sedate sands, marble-lined bathrooms—which will have you on Island Time the moment you check in. (Bonus: they’re enormous, starting at 425 square feet).
You're here because
You want to hand your golf obsession to the next generation, and here you’ll have access to the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, where kids play free—and there’s a driving range and putting green at-the-ready for practice sessions.
You’d heard chef Melissa Kelly was award winning even before you set foot in Primo, her organic-leaning Italian eatery with its own verdant gardens beyond the windows. But when you take a bite of your bruschetta—with duck confit, stracciatella, wild mushrooms and cured duck yolk—you realize how apt the name, primo, is. You’ve never had a better bruschetta—and you’ve been to Italy thrice.
Restaurants & Bars
Norman's - Latin, Caribbean, Asian fusion
Bleu - Bar food poolside
Fairways Pub - Pub food
Primo - Contemporary Italian
Citron - American Brasserie
Sushi Bar - Japanese
Café Bodega - Grab and go
Highball & Harvest - Southern-inspired cuisine
Vitale, Spa Café – Healthy cuisine
First Drop – Lobby café
Whisper Creek Farm: The Kitchen – Farm-inspired comfort food
Quench Poolside Bar & Grill - Tropical drinks, burgers and salads
Starbucks® - Coffee, beverages and snacks
The Lobby Lounge & Sushi Bar - Creative cocktails and Asian tapas
The beating heart of Orlando, six miles from Universal Orlando, four from Discovery Cove, and 14 from Walt Disney World Resort. Want to see something truly intergalactic? Beeline 50 miles east to check out the Kennedy Space Center.