Orlando Luxury Hotels, Entertainment, Dining & Experiences
Vibrant and ever-evolving, Orlando has become a magnet for sun-seekers, high-end shoppers, taste-makers, tennis aficionados, golf enthusiasts and patrons of the arts. Here, you will encounter incredible hospitality with a refined level of service throughout the No. 1 family destination in the country. Yet, you will be delighted to discover there’s more to this congenial metropolis than meets the eye. Let us help you curate your own extraordinary luxury experience.
Spanish Revival architecture combines opulence with serenity at Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World® Resort, the first and only AAA Five Diamond-rated resort in Central Florida. Delivering a subtle sophistication, an adults-only pool invites you to a soothing lakeside setting to unwind or enjoy a customized craft cocktail. Your most difficult decision might be opting to schedule a round of golf at the award-winning, Tom Fazio-designed Tranquilo Golf Club, or venturing to The Spa for a luxurious treatment. Indulgences extend to the younger set, with a five-acre water park including a winding lazy river, interactive splash zones and two, 242-foot waterslides. Meanwhile, your children may never want to leave Kids For All Seasons, a complimentary and exclusive day-camp experience for overnight guests.
Each Orlando luxury hotel and resort possesses its own storied charm. You will find the Waldorf Astoria Orlando embracing sophistication with a citrus palette-inspired design highlighting amenities that make it a unique stay. Uplifting balcony views enhance the elegance of The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes, where you will feel as if you’re set apart in a relaxed, beautiful and lush chain of lakes. You can expect exceptional levels of service and quality along with some signature surprises to enhance your experience. And if you’re seeking a secluded tropical retreat near Disney’s Magic Kingdom, it’s now possible. The Bora Bora Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows, accessible by boat, are modeled after the exclusive over-the-water bungalows found at its namesake. Mediterranean style and luxury don’t require a trans-Atlantic flight though, as travelers will find the elegant Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando Resort® situated on a picturesque waterway offering lovely, Old World elegance for adults, with exclusive early access to Universal Studios Orlando and Universal’s Islands of Adventure for the kids.
As one of the top five most popular shopping destinations in the U.S., Orlando is a shopper's nirvana. Every aesthetic detail at The Mall at Millenia has been meticulously thought out, from the contemporary architectural design to its affluent assortment of offerings. A well-appointed selection of designer goods and fashion continues to elevate this highly coveted shopping destination. Design houses such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Bulgari, Gucci, Prada and Cartier all share a presence in this sky-lit, stylish shopping mecca. Lofty ceilings streaming in natural light and modern, expansive spaces make for a relaxing shopping experience among more than 150 stores and restaurants, with delights such as Tory Burch, Brooks Brothers and Apple. Special touches like valet and concierge services only enhance the already spectacular shopping encounter.
If sidewalk shopping is what you’re seeking, venture northeast about 20 minutes from Orlando and visit charming Winter Park. With more than 140 chic boutiques, specialty stores, sidewalk cafés and museums, this quaint community is a popular haunt for locals. Whether searching for an antiquarian book or the perfect resort wear at one of the local shops, you can't escape Winter Park’s charms. Step into tiny side alleys off of Park Avenue for hidden gems like Mediterranean tiled fountains and little jewel box-esque shops. Venture off of Park Avenue and across Central Park to Hannibal Square, another equally lovely, yet less traversed, shopping spot. Here it’s worth popping into Tugboat & the Bird for upscale baby and child attire and toys.
Imagine departing from Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa on a magnificent, 52-foot yacht with 18 friends to watch a fireworks extravaganza as if you were hosting your own private party under the stars. Fortunately, it’s one of the splendid VIP offerings available at the resort. You can charter the Disney Grand 1 Yacht, which can be fully stocked through private dining services. Similarly, those accustomed to a certain level of service should know there’s no better way to navigate through theme parks than upgrading to a VIP experience. You will gain exclusive ride access, behind-the-scenes experiences, exclusive amenities and insider information with a privately guided tour. Spend time up close and personal with a King or Rockhopper penguin at SeaWorld Orlando, or join a private expedition on the Wild Africa Trek at Disney’s Animal Kingdom where you will encounter majestic African wildlife for a true safari experience. Or find a private island oasis at Discovery Cove, where your family can swim with bottlenose dolphins, snorkel through coral reefs or lounge about in your own private cabana with all-inclusive amenities.
Tennis enthusiasts will want to note that Orlando is the Home of American Tennis with the United States Tennis Association (USTA) National Campus, which debuted in 2017 and is open to the public. Here, you can watch, learn and play at one of the largest tennis facilities in the world. Featuring more than 100 tennis courts, including hard and red-clay surfaces, the venue also offers private tennis lessons and clinics for players of all skill levels and ages.
Orlando is also golfer’s paradise, with more than 170 golf courses and 20 golf academies. But it’s the ability to play, and often with, the pros at some of the most prestigious golf courses that makes the destination memorable. Schedule a tee time at one of the following award-winning golf courses: Tranquilo Golf Club at Four Seasons Resort Orlando; Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club & Lodge; Waldorf Astoria Golf Club; The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Orlando, Grand Lakes; Shingle Creek Golf Club and more.
Fine Dining & Entertainment
Celebrity chef outposts continue to dot the Central Florida landscape from world-famous stars like Rick Bayless, Todd English, Emeril Lagasse, Wolfgang Puck, Norman Van Aken and Iron Chef Masahura Morimoto. Accordingly, Orlando has evolved into a top restaurant haven. There’s a definitive sense of pride and an undercurrent of innovation: as of 2017, no less than 18 Central Florida chefs have been James Beard nominees, semi-finalists and winners. An influx of farm-to-table restaurants as well as a steady rise in Zagat-rated establishments has cultivated the gourmand scene to a heightened level. If you’re seeking five-star dining, reserve a table at posh Victoria and Albert’s in Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. Expect a traditional gueridon service as you experience a seven-course, prix-fixe menu at the only AAA Five Diamond restaurant in Central Florida.
For world-class entertainment for the whole family, there’s no place quite like Orlando, with more than 100 unique experiences to discover. Catch a Broadway production at the 2,700-seat Walt Disney Theater in downtown Orlando’s Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, or witness the captivating quirkiness of the Blue Man Group spectacle at Universal CityWalk. Enjoy premium seating to see your favorite band, or cheer on NBA, MLS and NFL Pro Bowl champions at world-class sporting venues. Ask your concierge to locate the best seats for the ultimate viewing experience.
Arts & Culture
In 2014, the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts was inaugurated right in the heart of Orlando’s downtown. Since then, the expressively illuminated structure has become an iconic downtown presence as a bright beacon that signals the city’s enduring commitment to the arts. Travel + Leisure magazine named it “World’s Coolest New Tourist Attraction 2015” while Southern Living magazine featured it in their “50 Best Places in the South Now.” It’s the best place to catch international, national or local artist performances. Nearby in Loch Haven Park, you will discover the allure of the Orlando Museum of Art, which feautres an $8.3 million J. Hyde Crawford collection of commercial drawings of luxury fashion, bequeathed in 2014. One of the single most important gifts in the museum’s history, the collection is featured in its own gallery, entitled Crawford. Meaningful connections to art can be made in a light, airy, spacious setting where you can explore both traveling exhibits and permanent collections.
Big-city cultural events and museums are commonplace within Winter Park’s historic, small-city elegance. First stop is the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art, aka the Morse Museum, for viewing the largest collection of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany. A large number of leaded-glass windows and a mosaic altar created from the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition held in Chicago are uniquely displayed. Tucked away at Rollins College and overlooking scenic Lake Virginia, Cornell Fine Arts Museum boasts a revered collection of over 5,000 pieces of art, including works from Bierstadt, Matisse and Picasso. Cultural celebrations abound, with the prestigious Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival featuring 225 artists from around the world. And since 1935, Winter Park's annual Bach Festival has been drawing crowds with the choral and orchestral works of Bach and other composers. Finally, book-lovers and literary types can meet and attend lectures from beloved authors at Rollins College's Winter With the Writers series.