The kids and I took a little mini staycation last weekend at the JW Marriott Grande Lakes. Of all the hotels in Orlando, you are probably wondering why this one. Well, it actually goes back a couple of years ago. A friend of mine asked me to drop off something to someone staying in this hotel. I walked in, saw this gorgeous lobby and then I got to talking with the front desk associate about what they had there to do for kids; he gave me a list of all the fun family activities that they had. I was impressed by all that they had to offer and I told myself that I would definitely stay here with the kids one day; this just seemed like the perfect time.
About the JW Marriott Grande Lakes
The JW Marriott Grande Lakes is located on a on the 500-acre Grande Lakes property where you can also find the Ritz Carlton and Whisper Creek Farm. JW Marriott is one of the Marriott’s luxury brand hotels and that luxury is evident from when you enter the marble tiled lobby to when you reach your room. The kids and I had a two queen bed room with a gorgeous view of the pool and the entire property below. We could see as far as the Wheel at Icon Park in the distance. The room while not overly large, was comfortable enough for the three of us for the duration of our stay.
Food at JW Marriott Grande Lakes
The first night of our stay we ventured over to The Kitchen, which is JW’s farm-to-table restaurant featuring foods from Whisper Creek Farms. All of us really enjoyed the food. We started out with a Meat and Cheese Board, which I highly recommend. The kids got to try different kinds of meats and cheese and even had honeycomb for the first time. After that, my son and I both got Cioppino for our main course and my daughter had mac-n-cheese. We all enjoyed our meals, but were definitely too stuffed for dessert.
For breakfast both days, we ate downstairs at Citron. The buffet offers lots of options including pastries, avocado toast, lox and cream cheese bagels, oatmeal, sausage, bacon, eggs and fresh omelets. Coffee, tea and juice were also included with the buffet. A lot of the items on the buffet are individually plated, which I did appreciate it, so it was easy to grab what you wanted without touching other items. Citron has a gorgeous outdoor patio that is pretty shaded, which is where we ate our breakfast both days.
The Pool at JW Marriott Grande Lakes
For families, the pool will be where you spend the majority of your time. The hotel features a 24,000-square-foot winding lazy river, a heated family pool, an adult pool and a few hot tubs. The kids and I spent most of Saturday afternoon in the pool. The lazy river is the center of the family pool area with smaller pools located around it that feed into the lazy river. We went around the lazy river a few times, spent some time playing in the regular pool, and then went around the lazy river again.
If you want to grab some eats while spending time at the pool, there is an outdoor restaurant by one of the smaller pools that features pool side noshes and drinks. You are also able to get food delivered to you on your loungers.
Onsite Activities at JW Marriott Grande Lakes
As I previously mentioned, the JW Marriott does feature a lot of fun family activities. While JW Marriott doesn’t have a kids club on site, guests are able to use the Ritz Kids program; There is a fee of $100 per day for JW guests.
Over by the kids club, there is a ping pong table, foosball table, air hockey table and two bocce ball courts open to all guests. It is first come first serve. The kids and I spent some time there our last morning after breakfast having fun playing games. My daughter had learned how to play bocce ball at camp this summer and she taught my son and I how to play.
Families with kids 13 and over are also able to get 2 mountain bikes complimentary for an hour to go on a ride around this gorgeous (and huge) property. There are also complimentary kayaks available for 30-minute time periods. Both the mountain bikes and kayaks require a reservation.
Guests can also take part in additional paid activities including eco tours, fishing and falconry.
Go or No Go
The kids and I had a great weekend at the JW Marriott Grande Lakes and would definitely recommend it as a fun staycation location. When all the activities open up again, we plan to go back to experience all that they have to offer.
Disclosure: We were provided with a complimentary stay in order to facilitate this review. However, all opinions are our own.