waterparkWho would have thought that you could go to Orlando and stay in a resort that only has 2,000 square-feet-sized units, each complete with a full-sized kitchen, living room, 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a patio, flat screen TVs, a washer/dryer and WIFI, all within eight miles from the Disney parks and just 15 miles from Universal Orlando?  Not me.  Disney is notorious for being expensive, with tourists typically not getting a lot for their money when it comes to accommodations.  Hence, Reunion Resort and Club, Wyndham Grand Resort is a breath of fresh air.
Clearly, the further away you go from the parks, you upgrade your experience.  However, Reunion Resort takes it up a notch.  It’s a tasteful and absolutely beautiful resort.  In addition, it’s been recognized by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Green Lodging Program. So, not only is it a slice of heaven, but it’s completely green, which is an added bonus.DestinationReview

The resort is interesting in that it is not just a resort in the traditional sense of the word. Some people live here full-time; some have time shares. These members have the same privileges as resorts guests. It’s also a golf resort, offering 54 holes.  The majority of visitors are resort paying guests.

The bedrooms are extremely spacious and comfortable.  The kitchen is fully equipped with everything you need and the appliances are the top of the line.  There is a counter with stools to sit on for in-kitchen dining or a dining room table for a more formal meal.  It is an incentive to cook when you have such a nice space to prepare food in; in addition, it’s certainly a tremendous amount of savings when you shop for your own food (there are two groceries, both a mile away from the resort on either side) and eat in — particularly at Disney where no meal is cheap, and most are not healthy.  Eating in, you can control what goes in and out of your mouth, as well as every famiiy member.

Having three bedrooms is quite a luxury.  The master bedroom has a king- sized bed, one bedroom has a regular double-sized bed and the third bedroom has two single beds (which is the room my kids happily shared).  My kids loved going to bed watching TV on their own set in their bedroom (and it certainly has been a withdrawal process since we got home as the TV goes off well before bedtime).  The bedrooms are large enough for everyone to spread themselves and their belongings out.

The living space is perfect for a family who either wants to relax or play board games, or watch TV, or sit around reading.  The leather sofas are perfect to lounge on.  The interior is decorated with modern furniture and everything has been updated to reflect modern times.  If I could redecorate my own house tomorrow, I would do it in the same style.  I found it very warm, very inviting, very comfortable.

The amenities offered by Reunion are equally impressive: 10 swimming pools scattered throughout the property; 6 hot tubs; 3 18-hole golf courses: the Tom Watson Independence, the Arnold Palmer Legacy, and the Jack Niklaus Tradition (each player built their own course); a day spa; 3 restaurants, 2 pool bars, a game room, a fitness center, 6 tennis courts (that light up at night), an award-winning spa and a water park.

The water park is insane!  It’s phenomenal and my kids were crazy about it.   Not only does it feature the longest lazy river in Central Florida, but it has a huge water park and separate water slide that are to die for.  We spent hours upon hours in this delightful area, which is all free for residents. In the water park, there’s a big bucket that dumps water on your head.  My kids laughed every time it came down.

elevenSpeaking of “free”, another bonus about this resort, and all Wyndham resorts, is that it’s money-free.  You can show your room key for everything you purchase, so when we ordered food at the pool, we just signed the bottom line.   They also have tremendous 150-foot water slide that wraps around the Lazy River, which my son was thrilled about being tall enough for. 42″ seemed to cut it most places at this resort and he was able to participate in everything.  It’s also really nice that the water doesn’t have chlorine.

We had dinner at one of the restaurants called Eleven, which is their rooftop restaurant with a bar that glows in the dark.  Chef Richard Smith from Jamaica prepares smaller size plates, including tapas.  When the kids were done eating, they waded their feet in the warm pool and we gazed out at the terrific views beyond the balcony.

I was also thrilled to hear that they offer sushi in the main building at the bar as I am quite the sushi fanatic.  Not so much for my kids, but they have really nice, inexpensive children’s meals in every restaurant.

But speaking of kids, they also have a Kid’s Crew, which offers activities for kids all day, every day at the resort.  You can leave the kids there for a few hour or request a babysitter for an evening out.  You can pre-order groceries so you have milk or baby food waiting for you.  If you’re running short on food or don’t feel like eating out, you can order cooked meals to be brought to your room.

Reunion is great for a family of any size.  You can book it through a travel agent, wholesaler or any online travel booking engine like Expedia or Trip Advisor.

Disclosure: Our visit was made complimentary by the team at Reunion Resort and Club, Wyndham Grand Resort to facilitate this review, but all opinions expressed are my own.