If a trip to Walt Disney World is on your family’s agenda, one of the first decisions you’ll need to make is where to stay. Though many families enjoy staying at one of Walt Disney World’s resorts, some folks opt for a luxury resort off the Disney campus. Some appreciate a break from the “magic” in the evening. Others plan to include visits to Universal Studios, Sea World, Bush Gardens, or some of Orlando’s other family oriented attractions. When it comes to the incredible service and sophistication the Ritz-Carlton Orlando, the Waldorf Astoria Orlando, and the Peabody Orlando have to offer, there are some travelers for whom nothing else will suffice. Here’s a brief run-down of Orlando’s finest luxury accommodations off of the Walt Disney World campus.
Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes
At the Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes, you’ll discover an oasis of sophisticated tranquility after a fun but exhausting day at the amusement parks. Since it’s twelve miles away from Walt Disney World, it’s close enough for convenience, but far enough to truly feel like a retreat. Tailored to families, this elegant Italian palazzo inspired resort offers an abundance of family related services and activities. All the rooms offer a balcony with a lovely view, large white marble bathrooms with double sinks, separate showers and tubs, and Bvlgari bath products. Upon request, the staff will even prepare your room with helpful things such as toys, games, kid-sized robes, cribs, high chairs, step stools and children’s bath products. You’ll enjoy their signature robes, nightly turndown service, and the Ritz-Carlton Spa which even little ones ages 2 and up can enjoy.
The resort offers a lovely heated outdoor pool with luxury cabanas, equipped with lounge chairs, ceiling fans, flat screen TV’s and more. For your little ones, there’s a pirate ship playground with splash-pad and spraying fish area. While the kids are at the Ritz Kids program offering a multitude of activities including tennis, scavenger hunts, dance parties, and crafts, you can enjoy the 18-hole Greg Norman-designed golf course or experience the many eco-activities such as bird watching, kayaking, nature hikes, fly-fishing. There’s also an evening program “Kids Night Out” from 6pm-10pm. The resort also shares amenities with the JW Marriott next door, including their kid-friendly lazy-river pool.
The Waldorf Astoria Orlando
The Waldorf Astoria Orlando sits next to Walt Disney World, offering easy access to the parks, and limited views of the Magic Kingdom and the nightly fireworks from some of the rooms, while at the same time providing a sanctuary of peace and quiet at the end of a busy day. The resort has many similar design elements of the beloved Waldorf Astoria New York, such as the infamous clock in the lobby, but has been infused with a Floridian twist.
You’ll find a soothing tranquil décor in rooms, which possess such amenities as Egyptian cotton linens, high definition TV, and Italian marble bath counters with dual sinks. Enjoy family time in the zero entry pool with luxury pool cabanas, which offer complimentary drinks, fruit platters, Wi-Fi, and HD flat screen TV’s, or even try the lazy river pool at the Hilton next door.
While the kids are off enjoying the WA kids club, “Kid’s Concierge” which features arts and crafts, scavenger hunts, relay games, and gaming equipment, you can try the Rees Jones Championship Golf Course or immerse yourself in the exclusive Guerlain spa. You’ll have the pleasure of choosing from an array of treatments such as the aromatherapy wrap, and Five-Senses Hydrotherapy. There’s also a jogging path, water aerobics, and surrey bike rentals available.
The Peabody Orlando
This classic luxury hotel is situated next to the Orange County Convention Center, and therefore caters mostly to convention guests. But the Peabody Orlando can still be a nice choice for family luxury, especially for those with slightly older children. Like the original Peabody in Memphis, the famed Peabody ducks waddle through the lobby to the fountain twice a day, accompanied by John Philip Sousa’s “King Cotton March”. The lobby’s classic elegance and style is a welcoming site for weary amusement park loving families.
Rooms offer such amenities as flat screen HDTV’s, bathroom marble counter tops, mini LCD TV’s in the bathroom mirror, and waffle weave bathrobes. Nightly turndown service is available upon request. Though not a sprawling resort, the hotel still offers many amenities found at them, including tennis courts, two pools with cabanas, and a fitness enter. Enjoy an array of options at the Spa such as the Signature Mango Ginger Infusion or the Revitalizing Mud Wrap. Although there is no kids club or special children’s activities planned here, the Peabody’s major renovation in 2010 included the addition of a children’s zero-entry grotto pool, with a slide, kid-friendly waterfall, and playground.