When I’m getting a tooth drilled or find myself stuck in a mental hamster wheel of worry, I go to the happy place in my mind… the Spa at Ritz-Carlton Orlando. And when I have time, I head there in person because this oasis of pampering is one of my favorite places in all of Florida (maybe even on the planet).
A day spent at the spa inside the Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes is nothing short of sublime. This 40,000 square foot sanctuary sits like a mirage on the 500 acre Grand Lakes property that is also home to the JW Marriott and a Greg Norman Signature 18-hole golf course. The spa houses 40 treatment rooms, a co-ed conservatory, two VIP suites, a 6,000 square foot wellness center and a full service beauty salon.
You’ll begin your experience inside the private locker room which features a large private Jacuzzi, sauna, eucalyptus-infused steam room and a tsunami shower with seven shower heads. It also houses standard showers, lockers, and a lounging area complete with plush chairs, snacks, water, herbal tea, and fresh fruit.
Men’s and women’s lockers rooms are separated but you can still hang with your honey upstairs in the circular relaxation area featuring cozy reclining loungers and even more snacks. Rain or shine, the spa has lots of lounge space inside and out.
Outside the spa you’ll find the 4,000 square-foot heated outdoor lap pool and hot tub. Sink into a cozy lounger and drift away in this adults-only area where your only worry will be when to order the champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries . Drinks and snacks can be served poolside or inside the Vitale Spa Café, which also serves salads, sandwiches, smoothies, fresh juices and desserts.
The wellness center offers a large selection of modern exercise equipment, weights, and cardio machines. Yoga, Pilates or cardio dance classes are scheduled regularly.
When a day of pure luxury is what you’re looking for and the price is of little consequence, consider booking a VIP Suite package. This includes your own suite with a personal VIP coordinator, personally designed spa treatments, chauffeured services from home/hotel within 25 miles, four hours of treatments and your own personal Spa butler. You’ll be served lunch on your private veranda overlooking the pool area, have fruit, beverages and meals throughout the day, as well as champagne and your own personalized robe.
The best thing about this spa is that the ‘getting-away-from-it-all’ feel is included with every visit. Days passes to the entire facility are free with booked treatments or $45 for non-hotel guests. When you consider the average cost of a theme park tickets is around $80, this is a fabulous deal…. and a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of your holiday.