A true resort and a smart choice for a well-rounded vacation, the two luxury towers form a city unto themselves, and indeed, the JW's profile rises like a citadel in a 500-acre plot east of SeaWorld. The JW's 24,000-square-foot pool area, landscaped with fake rocks, jungle greens, and a quarter-mile lazy river, is the poshest outside of the Disney water slide parks, while the Ritz's is formal and refined. The JW's rooms has tile floors and slots for plugging your MP3 player into the plasma TVs. Yes, like many fancy convention hotels, it’s a nickel-and-dime experience—everything costs you. As long as you know that in advance, the hotel’s upscale amenities (gurgling lobby fountain, echoing bathrooms with separate bathtub and shower, palatial beds, narrow balconies on many rooms) are pleasing, even if the remote location 15 minutes from the parks means you’ll have to drive somewhere every time your stomach rumbles if you want to escape resort pricing. At the Ritz-Carlton attached by a corridor, the three-level, 40,000-square foot spa is well reviewed and in the rooms, the pamper factor is yet a notch higher. Both have unobstructed views of a Greg Norman–designed golf course and a nature reserve; west-facing rooms take in sunsets and SeaWorld in the distance. Primo, Chef Melissa Kelly's restaurant at the JW, and Norman's, Chef Norman Van Aken's ode to Florida flavors at the Ritz, are two top-of-the-line restaurants that would be a credit to any resort.
JW Marriott Grande Lakes Orlando/Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes Orlando
4040 Central Florida Pkwy., Orlando
Our Rating Neighborhood International Drive Area Phone 800/576-5760 or 407/206-2400 for the Ritz; [tel] 800/576-5750 or 407/206-2300 for the JW Marriott Prices $183–$599 double. Valet parking $25; self-parking $18. Amenities 7 restaurants, 3 lounges, babysitting, kids' activities, spa, sundries shops, club-level rooms, health club, golf course, 2 outdoor heated pools, kids’ pool, 3 tennis courts, transportation to non-Disney parks for a fee, Wi-Fi ($15) Units JW: 1,000 rooms, Ritz: 584 units Web site JW Marriott Grande Lakes Orlando/Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes Orlando Other No resort feeBook a Room Now