Although it is a resort community, Grande Vista offers many of the same amenities as a resort hotel. In addition to daily maid service, there is daily coffee service, free Internet access, cable television with a wide array of channel choices, and a concierge desk to assist you with finding your way around the resort and Orlando. They’ll even give you a wake up call. Here are some other amenities worth noting:
There are four pools strategically located throughout the property; two are rather elaborate and two others are designated as “satellite” pools. Regardless of where you are staying a pool should be a short stroll away.
The main Village Center Pool, just adjacent to the Village Center is quite elaborate, with plenty of lounging space overlooking the lake. There are several jacuzzi pools. A separate lap pool will appeal to serious swimmers.
A smaller, but no less elaborate pool, called the Vista del Sol, can be found across the lake by the Copa Loca pool bar and grill. It has waterfalls, fountains, a kiddie pool, and a watery play area that makes it especially attractive to kids. There are no lifeguards on duty at any of the pools and resort rules require that all children 12 and under be accompanied by an adult.
One of the big draws for guests here is the on-property Faldo Golf Institute and its nine-hole course that wraps around the resort buildings. You can simply play a single round of golf or choose from a menu of golf instruction that ranges from clinics ($30) to complete two- and three-day golf schools (up to $1,500). Another option is a weekly membership that offers unlimited play (depending on tee time availability) for seven days. More information will be found at: www.gofaldo.com
Just across International Drive from Marriott’s Grande Vista is another golfing option, the 18-hole championship Grande Pines Golf Club, which offers “TifEagle greens, rolling fairways, towering pines, sparkling lakes,” and GPS-equipped carts to help you navigate it all. More information is available at: www.grandepines.com
Parents will be happy to know that a varied menu of activities for kids of all ages is available daily. Activities range from fingerpainting to model car building to a Kid’s Night Out. Some activities are for specific age groups, while others are open to the entire family, and most require parental supervision. A few are complimentary, but most require a modest fee.
A small, but perfectly adequate fitness center is located in the Village Center building. It features the usual array of resistance machines, treadmills, stationary bicycles, and stairclimbers. You must be at least 16 years old to use the fitness center. A steam room is located in the adjacent locker room and a sauna is just a short walk away near the Village Center Pool.
A basic menu of massage treatments and aromatherapy is available in the Village Center Activities Center. If you feel the need for more upscale pampering, the concierge desk will make an appointment for you at the decidedly upscale spa of the Ritz-Carlton Spa Orlando, Grande Lakes, a short drive away.
Tennis, Basketball, Volleyball
In addition to golf, the resort features four clay tennis courts. Use is complimentary and you can rent rackets and buy balls for a modest fee. Tennis lessons are available for somewhat more. Near the courts is a half basketball court in case you’re in the mood for a pickup game. Beach volleyball is also available.
For laid-back, casual fun right at the resort, stop by the Harbor Master, just outside the Village Center building by the lake. There you can rent surrey bikes seating two to four riders ($12.50 to $18 an hour) that you can pedal around the property or paddle boats to take out onto the lake ($10 to $20 a half hour). If you or the kids would like to try your hand at fishing in the resort lake, you can rent rods ($6 for two hours). And in case you forgot your own worms, they’ll sell you some! The Harbor Master opens at 8:30 each morning.
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