We stayed at the JW Marriott Grande Lakes the week of June 19/2011. We also stayed one night at the adjacent Ritz Carlton (long story) so I will include comments here on that property. Both Hotels are Marriott brands. We have stayed at Grande Lakes a few times before, and really like this resort. It is well run, in excellent condition, and has a very nice pool complex. Instead of repeating what many previous reviewers have already said well, I will address some specifics with regard to costs.
Many hotel websites seem to go out of their way to make things as murky as possible when it comes to saying what is included and what isn't, so I like to remedy that in my reviews. I don't mean to sound like a penny pincher; if I was I wouldn't stay at a place like this. I just always like to know what I'm paying for and assume you might want to know, too.
The JW and Ritz do not have a daily resort fee. That's a good thing, but while their room rates have remained pretty stable through the recession, other costs have become fairly stiff to make up for it. Specifically: A day pass to the spa (use of lockers, whirlpool, cold plunge pool, adult lap pool, steam & sauna, an excellent facility, one of the best I have used) is now $25. Use of the well equipped gym is complimentary, however. If you purchase a spa treatment, use of the locker/spa facilities that day is complimentary, too. Purchase of inner tubes for the river pool is $7 each, you keep them. You can also bring your own. You can use both the river pool and the adjacent Ritz Carlton's main pool without charge. (The Adult lap pool at the Spa is open 6:30am to 8:30am for lap swimmers without charge. The rest of the time you pay that $25 fee mentioned above.) Self parking is $18 per day, valet is $26 per day. This bothers me a little, as this is a sprawling suburban site with plenty of parking, yet they charge like it's in the city. Self parking is intentionally constricted by fencing off certain areas, and sometimes they run out, forcing use of the valet. Especially at the Ritz, where there appears to be no more than 70 or 80 self park spaces. This artificially constrained supply is a bit manipulative in my opinion.
The JW has an excellent breakfast buffet, $24 per adult. Many package room rates offer this as included and it's usually a good deal, often such packages include a small resort credit as well. Other room rates offer free parking. These are good ways to beat down the costs a little. Drink prices are quite high here, a mixed drink by the pool will run $14 to $17 a piece. Food costs are also steep, a burger and fries at the pool pushes close to $20. Citron, the main JW dining room, is similarly steep with a rather limited menu, though food quality is very good in all cases.
Having stayed in both of these hotels, I must say that the Ritz Carlton's furnished balconies in all rooms are a real plus, we really missed not having one at the JW. (Some JW rooms have a small unfurnished step out balcony, the rest have no balcony). For some reason they gave us a suite at the Ritz even though we booked a regular room, which was spectacular, at least 700 square feet, two balconies, posh. Thank you, Ritz Carlton! Since prices are often pretty close for these two hotels, I would consider the Ritz next time (even for a regular Ritz room, it still has a balcony). Service at both properties is exemplary; a couple of the waitresses at the JW actually remembered us from our last visit 3 years ago, which is pretty remarkable. I still give Grande Lakes a solid thumbs-up.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Enjoy a truly memorable luxury hotel experience at the JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes. We welcome you to our resort in a superb location just moments from Orlando's best-loved attractions. Each of our nearly 1,000 hotel rooms and suites feature elegant decor and luxury amenities, including marble bathrooms and 24-hour room service. Onsite dining options, including fine Italian cuisine at Primo and fresh sushi at the Sushi Bar, are sure to please every palate. Pamper yourself at the onsite Ritz-Carlton spa, or tee off from our Greg Norman-designed golf course. Children will enjoy our Lazy River outdoor pool, as well as a host of special programs created just for them. Though you might be excused for not wanting to leave the resort, you should certainly take advantage of our prime location near Orlando's legendary theme parks. We offer shuttle service to SeaWorld, Walt Disney World, and Universal Orlando Resort - making it easy for your family to enjoy the best of the area. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Jw Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes Hotel Orlando
- Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes
- Orlando Marriott