Where Art Meets Tech
From an art-filled lobby to a 50,000-square-foot sculpture garden, a stay at the Lake Nona Wave Hotel feels like you’ve booked a room atop Orlando’s hottest gallery. The property’s Welltech suites are a showcase in the art of technology, inclusive of Bryte beds that customize, elevate, and score your slumber, as well as drapery and lighting that enhance your circadian rhythms. Here, we spotlight three places to check out at the hotel and in the surrounding community.
At this Michelin Guide–recommended restaurant inside the Wave, watch transfixed as chef Guillaume Robin prepares dish after delicious dish in his open-theater kitchen. Order a selection of plates to share, including globally inspired standouts like smoked scallops a la plancha, charred pulpo, and ceviche-style hamachi.
Jump on the Beep (Lake Nona’s autonomous electric shuttles, available just outside the hotel’s front door) to enjoy hot musical acts and cold beverages at this lively outdoor venue composed of 12 repurposed shipping containers. Discover a range of culinary concepts and catch live bands and DJs Thursdays through Sundays.
Staying at the Wave earns you access to this adjacent facility that will wow even the most jaded gym rat with its cutting-edge equipment, classes, courts, tracks, pools, saunas, climbing gym, and more. Visit the Edge Sports Performance and Recovery facilities to rehab your hardworking muscles and joints, or unwind at the world’s only Chopra Mind-Body Zone and Spa, where you can stimulate your senses through add-on meditation sessions, sound bath rituals, and Ayurvedic massages and facials. —Kristen Desmond LeFevre
Visiting Orlando with kids used to mean schlepping all around town to check every box: easy access to theme parks, a luxe hotel, fine dining, elevated poolside experiences, sporting activities, and all the aquatic adventures. With the recent completion of its new waterpark, Grande Lakes Orlando puts all that (and then some) in one resort destination.
The 500-acre Grande Lakes encompasses The Ritz-Carlton Orlando and JW Marriott Orlando, as well as golf, tennis, a 40,000-square-foot spa, multiple pools with decked-out cabanas, and a dozen dining venues, including the Michelin-starred Knife & Spoon. But the biggest attraction is the new Grande Lakes Waterpark with six zones of fun. Here you’ll find not only a water slide, but an entire slide tower with three slides ranging from mellow to rocket-fast. Splash Cove offers activities in and out of the water, including the PlayVenture playground with climbing structures and lawn games. AquaVenture ratchets up the thrills with an obstacle course featuring balance beams, bridges, climbing, and slides. After a day of play, kids love to float down the Lazy River, while parents hang out on swim-up daybeds at the Oasis, an adults-only island within the waterpark.
It seems Grande Lakes has accomplished the impossible: making everyone in the family happy. —Daphne Nikolopoulos