Now that my kids are grown, I seek out family lodging options with a residential layout. That way we can make our own little breakfasts, play Bananagrams at the kitchen table and watch movies settled into the sofas. Now The Grove Resort & Spa Orlando offers that option -- plus it will soon have a water park.
The Grove Resort & Spa is a condo hotel spread over 106 acres. It consists of seven-story towers filled with 878 vacation condos (some aren't technically condos yet, but they will be), most of which are in the rental pool many times throughout the year. While the lodging is home-like, the amenities resemble those at any hotel including housekeeping and concierge services.
Here's the down side: Right now, The Grove Resort & Spa Orlando is sort of in the middle of nowhere. It's near Disney World, but a little hard to get to. It's kind of close to Kissimmee, but not quite in the heart of things. It's technically in Winter Garden, yet not near the charming historic downtown. That's temporary: The area around The Grove is growing like mad, so expect a lot less nature and a lot more company in the coming years.
Now the good: The Grove Resort & Spa Orlando l has a whole lot to offer beyond spacious accommodations with a stylish modern decor. The suites, with one to three bedrooms, have patios or terraces, full kitchens, living rooms and full-size washer-dryers. Sizes range from 995 to 1,614 square feet.
Here are some resort highlights:
- Surfari Water Park -- Set to open within a few months, this 7-acre expanse will debut with two Flow Rider surf machines, two-story water slides, a lazy river and children's play section.
- Three pools plus a spray park for kids and private cabanas that, soon, will accommodate massages and mani-pedis
- Two inviting bars, a deli and, soon, a full-service poolside restaurant that will be called Valencia. The deli also sells pastas and other ingredients for cooking en-suite, plus retail items.
- A spa -- a lovely, soothing, invitingly aromatic one called Relaxing Escape with several treatment rooms plus unwinding lounges
- A dock on Lake Austin with bass fishing, and electric and paddle boat rentals
- A kiddie room, where parents can bring kids to do crafts (for a modest fee) and play board games (free)
- Event spaces and conference rooms
- A spiffy little fitness center
Explore Lake Austin on an electric pontoon or two-seater, or in a pedal-powered swan boat. (Overnight, SquareSpace made captions huge. Please disregard this oversized under-photo bit.)
Oh, and this: At The Grove Resort & Spa Orlando , you park indoors on the same floor as your suite. Your car won't bake in the Florida sun and you won't have to carry your luggage far. Khazzam!
The prices at The Grove Orlando Condo Hotel seem low. Book during a low season and you may get rates under $200. Of course, having a kitchen allows you at in your unit and pack up sandwiches when you venture out.
It's a good deal, right? Yet another way to get the most from Orlando with frugality in mind.
The Grove Resort & Spa Orlando is at 14501 Grove Resort Avenue, Winter Garden, Florida 34787, 407-575-7500