Many hotels set aside one or more floors as the “concierge level,” with restricted access and a string of perks. Shingle Creek takes a more democratic approach. Here, anyone can have access to the Concierge Lounge on the 14th floor — for a mere $50 a day extra, tacked on to the room rate.
The silver key card that $50 gets you grants access to a long narrow lounge decorated in dark wood and muted earth tones. Comfortably upholstered chairs and sofas divide the space into more intimate conversation areas. Here you can get breakfast from 6:30 to 10:00 a.m., hors d’oeuvres from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m., desserts from 9:00 to 10:30 p.m., and coffee all day long. In the evening there is also an “honor bar,” which means you keep track of your consumption and the charge ($4.75 for beer and wine) is added to your room bill. Paying for concierge lounge access brings other privileges such as free Internet access, free admission to the Fitness Center, and free valet parking.
An 18-hole, 7,228-yard golf course designed by David Harman wraps around the hotel. Five sets of tees are said to allow players to set their own level of difficulty and yet the course was named one of the most difficult in Orlando by a local publication. It was also awarded four stars from Golf Digest’s “Best Places To Play” feature.
The golf carts have GPS capability and a delivery cart catches up with players every four holes or so to offer liquid refreshment. While here, you can also arrange for lessons with the Brad Brewer Golf Academy; Brewer is considered one of the nation’s best instructors. Greens fees range from $60 to $130, depending on the time of year and day of the week. Arrange a tee time by calling (866) 996-9933 or (407) 996-9933.
At the rear of the hotel, Shingle Creek has three large sun-soaked pools and a smaller kiddie pool all within hailing distance of one another and all overlooking the golf course. The lap pool is designed for the serious exerciser, while the free-form, zero-entry family pool lets families play together. A short distance away is the adult pool, with the Cat-Tails Pool Bar & Grille close at hand. Between the adult and family pools is a small circular kiddie pool. All of these pool areas offer plenty of space in which to lounge about and the lounge chairs in which to do it.
The Spa at Shingle Creek, to use its full name, offers a dizzying array of pampering treatments that include various forms of massage, aromatherapy, facials, nail and foot treatments, the list goes on. “Body Treatments” include such intriguing choices as the Calusa Cocoon and the Muskogean Body Shine. A six-hour regimen that includes a spa lunch is $650. All spa guests receive all-day access to the steam room, sauna, and whirlpool.
The fitness center, which is conveniently located close to the lap pool, has a spartan feel to it, but it gets the job done with a good selection of treadmills and weight machines. The fee of $10 per day or $20 for your entire stay includes access to steam room, sauna, and whirlpool bath. The men’s and women’s locker room contain separate facilities.
The resort has two tennis courts, one of which doubles as a basketball half court. To one side is a sand volleyball court and nearby is a fishing dock, where a strict catch and release protocol is in place. Nature trails and jogging trails round out the menu of activities. All this is complimentary; more information can be obtained through the fitness center.
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