GrandeLakesAre you headed to Orlando and craving a little R & R in between theme parks? Consider a stay at the JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes for a bit of pampering with a tropical feel. During a 5-day business stay at the resort, I was pleasantly surprised and often impressed by the facility. Here are my top 8 “likes”, including a few quirky ones, for the JW Marriott Orlando Grand Lakes.

1. Beautiful lobby

Marble. Flickering candles. Beautiful carafes of orange water. Who wouldn’t want to move in?


2. A Phenomenal Pool

The Lazy River Pool with it’s hidden coves and waterfalls had toddlers, teens and parents buying inner tubes ($7) and floating the day away. With Quench Poolside Bar & Grill tucked nearby, families can dine in swim suits and enjoy some yummy treats. My favorite–the flank steak salad.

3. Citron, An American Brasserie

More casual than it’s Italian restaurant Primo, Citron was a fun and easy option on nights we chose not to venture off-property. With plenty of menu options, Citron’s nightly buffet offers unique gourmet options and tempting desserts.

4. The Lobby Lounge

I hate paying for internet access and will do all in my power to avoid shelling out cash for something Starbucks and The Hampton Inn gives me for free. While the JWMOGL charges for in-room access, The Lobby Lounge and general lobby offers free wifi. Tables, couches and chairs are abundant in the mornings and early afternoons, so staying connected was never a problem. And the comfortable surroundings can make you feel like you’ve had an office upgrade.

5. Room Cleaning

Ever fling open your hotel door at 3 pm, ready to relax, only to find that housekeeping was two doors down and 20 minutes away from cleaning your room? There’s something perfect about returning from a meeting to find your room perfectly tidy (Maybe because it rarely is IRL!). JWMOGL staff seemed to have ESP and perfect timing in that department.

6. The Elevators

It may sound silly, but some hotel designers get it right and others don’t. If you’ve ever been at a large conference and waited forever for an elevator, you know what I mean. Even with a filled-to-capacity weekend, there was never an elevator wait or issue.

7. The Towels

I believe in going green and I know we shouldn’t waste water, but sometimes it’s necessary to use more than one towel a day. My pet peeve is having to call room service for more towels. Thank you JW for sparing me that task and for knowing that sometimes more really is better.

8. Driving

Orlando attractions are an easy drive from the property and you do not need expensive electronic toll options for your rental car (All tolls can be paid in cash at this writing.). Even driving without a co-pilot, I was able to master the area pretty quickly.

Disclosure: I received no compensation for this adventure.

Dr. Nancy Berk is a clinical psychologist, award-winning humor writer and author of College-Bound and Gagged: How To Get Your Kid Into A Great School Without Losing Your Savings, Your Relationship, or Your Mind.