Hope you are enjoying the (extremely) hot summer we are having here in these parts (southwestern Ontario.) I took a social media break for the past few weeks as it’s always a good idea to unplug from time to time. I have been busy with the new house choosing finishes and everything that needs to be done when one moves. I also have been trying to donate/discard as much as possible as we downsize to a smaller house. And of course grieving which is a process, a very slow, sad, heart twisting/gut wrenching process that hits you just when you think you’re doing OK…
I have been thinking about going on a mini getaway before school starts for Maya but I don’t think it’s in the cards what with trades being in the new house for the next few weeks. I’m remembering fondly the magical time Maya and I spent at the Ritz Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes and I’m longing for a chance to unwind and be pampered again. You know how people say “We’re just staying at XYZ hotel because we won’t really be in the hotel that much. It will really just be a place to sleep.” And they stay in a 3 star hotel to save money – hey, I have done that too. I am all for watching the budget but I really believe that one should splurge once in a while on a really fabulous 5 Star luxury hotel. I’m sure you would spend more R&R time (which is what vacations are about really, aren’t they?) at the hotel rather than having a jam packed schedule visiting various attractions and coming home exhausted.
Here’s what got me thinking:
- You can’t beat the setting at a luxury resort. For example, the grounds and the pools at the Ritz Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes are beautiful and well maintained and you will not want to leave. Trust me, we were hoping that our return flight would be cancelled so we could stay another day.
The resort is set within lushly landscaped gardens and bordered by Shingle Creek. Yes, you may want to visit Disney a few minutes away but there are so many other options like playing a round or two of golf or venturing out on a paddle boat or kayak.
And if you follow the Ritz on Instagram you can marvel at the beautiful photos taken by travelers around the globe like @pmystorymaap who shared this photo of the Ritz in Seoul. Take me there now please:
2) The service is top notch, Hotels like the Ritz Carlton tend to have more than ample staff who are willing to help with everything from making a reservation for you at the hottest restaurant in the vicinity to providing directions to waiting on you by the pool (my favourite part.) Yes, I will have another Pina Colada – thanks!
3) There are a wide choice of onsite restaurants. We had a total of 11 restaurants to choose from during our stay including some that were at the adjoining JW Marriott. Our favourite restaurant was Highball and Harvest with menus chock full of ingredients from local farms, as well as fresh produce from their on-site 7,000- square-foot garden at Whisper Creek Farm. Love that! We especially loved the buffet breakfast and had that both mornings.
I have honestly never seen a buffet with such a variety of food including Maya’s favourite part – the doughnuts!
And I had the most delicious salad at the outdoor casual dining restaurant by the pool at the JW Marriott. Wish I knew what all was in it because I could literally eat that every day and be happy.
4) The hotel suites have luxe features. Being an Interior Decorator, I really love when hotel rooms are a bit above the ordinary – like marble and rainhead showers in the bathrooms or Frette sheets. (The word “ritz” is actually in the Oxford Dictionary meaning ostentatious luxury, glamour or extravagance.)
Love that there were two sinks!
5) Recreation activities for kids and teens. The Ritz has their well known Ritz Kids program for those 4-12 but there is plenty for teenagers to do as well. Maya and I found this ping pong table and had a ball playing. We were laughing so hard at how terrible we were and then we got the hang of it and we were actually pretty good. Would you believe it’s something we have never done together? That’s the beauty of vacations, you do things out of the norm as they are presented.
(Take a photo of me Mom where I am casually looking at the ground. )
All photos taken by me unless where noted.
6). A luxury hotel stay needn’t be expensive. I found the price of staying at the Ritz comparable to other less luxe hotels. I think it was around $250 CDN. See all of the deals at luxury hotels in Orlando here and flights here. Thank you Expedia.ca for sending Maya and I on a much needed getaway. And thank you Ritz Carlton for a fabulous stay – we will be back!
No matter where you stay, make sure you take time out of a busy sightseeing itinerary to just “be” – to just float on a mattress in a tranquil pool surrounded by palm trees with nothing to worry about but where you shall go for dinner. #priceless
Have you stayed at the Ritz or another luxury hotel lately? Do share your favourite destinations.
Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and check out my hashtag #decorhappytravels to see where I have been in the last few years.