Hubby surprised me with a fun getaway to sunny Orlando for my birthday. We love vacationing in Florida as it's a short drive straight down I-95 from Charleston. We've traveled to many parts of Florida, and Orlando is one of our faves. It's crazy how life can slow down when you don't have the noise and hustle and bustle of kids every day.
The JW Marriott Orlando, Grand Lakes was the perfect location for us as this luxurious resort makes you feel like you've plopped down into a tropical paradise. The property is very lush with palm trees and foliage throughout, and we spent most of our time during the day lounging by the pool. The cutest ducks would fly in and out to swim around the pool, and they offer colorful inner tubes to float around the lazy river.
We had a corner room, and it was very spacious. The mini fridge and coffee bar in our room made it very easy for us to enjoy mornings together and a late afternoon refresher before dinner. Here's a full tour of the property:
The food on site is very good, and we ate our lunch by the pool most days. There's just something about ordering lunch and a pina colada from the pool bar that really helps me slide right into vacation mode! The service throughout the property is top notch, and the staff is very friendly. We could have literally stayed there all weekend without leaving the property. However, we do like to venture out to see the local area and shopping.
The Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets is a must see if you love designer goods. They have wonderful stores such as Gucci, Prada, Ferragamo, etc. that have past season and over stock products at discounted prices. Since it was my birthday weekend, we both decided to treat ourselves!
Two of the nights we had dinner off the property. We love a good Brazilian steakhouse and Fogo de Chao never disappoints. Another night we shared the most tender bone in ribeye at The H Orlando. We loved the cool and hip vibe at The H and highly recommend eating there during your visit.
We also ventured up to Winter Park, which is a beautiful city located just north of Orlando. It is so charming and beautiful if you want to venture out of Orlando for the day. We had lunch there at Bosphorous Turkish Cuisine (above) and visited some local vintage shops. There are some amazing designer consignment and vintage shops all along the way between Orlando and Winter Park. One of our faves?-- Dechoes Resale in Coytown on the way to Winter Park. I found this beautiful Tory Burch caftan for $70 that originally retailed for $500. The tags were still on! Instant dinner dress....ummmm, yes please!
The JW Marriott, Orlando makes for the perfect getaway if you are looking for luxury in the sun. The property far exceeded my expectations in terms of service, cleanliness, and the grounds. All of the greenery and foliage really make you feel like you are surrounded by a tropical oasis during your stay. Orlando is such an easy drive from most southeastern states and the Orlando airport makes for easy access for travelers by plane.
A couple of tips: Bring lots of sunscreen and a hat as the Florida sun is INTENSE.