by Erica Lamberg
Set on 164 sprawling acres complete with a large, quiet lake for boating and fishing, the Marriott Grande Vista is an Orlando resort tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the theme parks, shopping and restaurants, yet within reasonable reach. Designed so all guests are a short walk from the main lobby and the resort’s myriad of fun activities, the resort features pedestrian bridges over the water areas so walking is convenient throughout the resort. This is Marriott Vacation Club’s largest resort, boasting a whopping 900 villas.
With multiple pools, dining options, family activities and a full service spa, guests will experience the ultimate vacation. Plus, the architecture and landscape design is reminiscent of historical St. Augustine, Fla., adding a charming ambience to the resort.
Our Editor Loves
- Onsite dining options
- Large villas for big groups
- Plenty of family activities
- Water Parks
- Children Programs
- Connecting Rooms
- Family Room 5+
- Game Room
- Kids' Pool
- Kids' Theme Meals
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
Among 900 villas, accommodations at Marriott Grande Vista include one-bedroom, one-bath, two-bedroom, two-bath; and three-bedroom, three-bath villas; the three-bedroom units can accommodate up to 10 people. The configurations vary depending on the size of the villa, however, master suites offer a king bed, and second and third bedrooms feature queen or double beds. There is also a sleeper sofa in the living room.
The two- and three-bedroom villas offer lock-off options for multigenerational families wanting to be together, yet have their privacy. Spacious living areas range from 884 to 1,710 square feet, and fully equipped kitchens offer granite countertops and modern appliances. Generous living and dining areas, multiple televisions, a DVD player, a deep soaking tub, private balcony or porch, washer and dryer and free Wi-Fi access are all features of each villa, providing a true home-away-from-home feel.
Wife and I are Resort Owners with Marriott, we have been to Hawaii here and have plans already to goto Aruba in March 2020. We love everything about Marriott they take great care of you while at the resort, lots of things to do activity wise for adults and kids. The golf course here is actually a training course its only 9 holes but well worth the money. TIP if you want to play here go on TeeOff .com and make your reservation you will save money.
We stayed at this resort when we went to Universal Studios for the week. The property is located nicely. It is large and has an awesome pond for you to do kayaking, paddle boating, etc. It has 2 main pools. However, they don’t have many restaurants to chose from. They have a fancy sit down place that is not conveniently located and another place by the pool. If you want a casual sit down place, then you have to go off property. Another criticism is that the beach does not have umbrellas for shade. That is why no one sits there. Overall, very good experience!
With a large array of family activities, plan to spend a day or two away from the theme parks. The Grande Vista features several outdoor pools, a lap pool, interactive water features and children's pools. There are two outdoor children's pools that are adjacent to the feature pools within each area. An added benefit is a perimeter fence that keeps kids in the children's pool area. The resort also has a smaller rectangular adult-only soaking pool and adult lap pool. The interactive water features include zero entry "splash zones," where young kids can enjoy a safe environment and fun and colorful sprayers and sprinklers. The water is not more than ankle deep in these specific splash zones for youngsters. Parental supervision is required at all pool areas. Daily hair wraps, braids and airbrush/glitter tattoos are available at the pool for a fee, too.
The resort's beach area, "Sandy Point," is a fun place for kids to unwind. It's a small beach area along the main lake with volleyball nets, two large fire pits, chairs and chaise lounges (but no umbrellas). The chairs are complimentary, and volleyballs are also complimentary and can be checked out at the recreation center.
For water fun beyond the pool and beach, there are paddleboats and limited kayaks available for rent. All kids and teens must be with an adult/guardian (18 years or older). A boathouse is open daily (in season) from 8 a.m. Fishing equipment rentals are available, and the boathouse is also where you'll find pool tables, Ping-Pong tables and Foosball tables.
The fun continues with a Jungle Gym Kids Maze open 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Kids must have socks on, be under 52" tall and accompanied by an adult. There's also a recreation center (same hours) where sports equipment is on loan, and organized classes include fitness activities and arts and crafts. Also, complimentary board games, books and basketballs can be borrowed to enjoy in the villas. For a quiet night in the villa, there is a kiosk located just outside the recreation center where guests can rent DVDs. Tennis can be enjoyed onsite on four clay courts that are open daily. Tennis racquet rentals are available and tennis balls can be purchased. A tennis pro is available for private lessons and "play with the pro" sessions.
A Kids Day Camp provides supervised programs (ages 4 to 12) two days per week. This gives the kids an opportunity to make new friends while on vacation, as well as give the parents a chance to unwind. Children must be toilet trained. Kids Night Out programs (ages 4 to 12) are also held three nights a week, giving kids a chance to get a break from parents, who may enjoy a quiet, romantic dinner.
The resort's Faldo Golf Institute by Marriott offers a nine-hole golf course, full-range practice facility and individual instruction for all skill levels. Children can be as young as 5 to play here. There are club rentals that will fit a child at 35 inches tall through adult sizes. There is also access to Marriott's Grande Pines Golf Club (18 holes), onsite boat and bike rentals, a spa and Marriott's Activity Zone Experience (MAZE) for all ages.
Copa Loca Bar and Grill and The Mist Bar
The Copa Loca Bar and Grill (11 a.m. to 10 p.m.) and The Mist Bar & Poolside Restaurant (8 a.m. to 10 p.m.) offer typical lunch fare/informal dinner and appetizers (sandwiches, salads, burgers, wraps) and a variety of drinks (specialty adult cocktails, beer and wine), in addition to kids meals (hot dogs, pizza, chicken fingers, burgers). These can be enjoyed in seating around the locations, poolside or back in the villa. The Mist Bar & Poolside Restaurant also offers breakfast options.
The Grill serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and features a full bar, open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. All food and beverage locations offer charge-back to your villa folio. There are also great choices for children.
The MarketPlace and Sweetery
If you're on the go, check out The MarketPlace convenience store and deli, which offers a wide variety of sundries, sandwiches and drinks (including beer and wine). The Sweetery offers candy, ice cream and confections to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
Upon arrival, guests are welcomed with a meet-and-greet event, where they enjoy complimentary snacks and learn about the resort, local attractions and more. A benefit to guests is that they can purchase theme park tickets at the resort to avoid waiting in long lines at the park. During Halloween, the Fourth of July and Christmas, special programs and events are planned.
Complimentary Wi-Fi is available throughout.
While the resort does not offer babysitting services, the concierge can provide a listing of local services.
The Art of Smart Timing
Spring break is a busy time at the resort, and the resort sees an influx of guests from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Thanksgiving and Christmas weeks are also busy. Off-peak times allow a more relaxing vibe as the pool is less crowded and rates may dip. Orlando is hot and humid throughout the long Florida summer months, May through September. The weather is great (warm, but not too hot to handle) November through February, albeit some colder temperatures in January and February.
There's no shuttle to the resort from the airport. Car rentals are most common for guests, and the resort is about 15 to 20 minutes away from airport. A Hertz location is available on property. Taxi service is available from the airport to the resort as well. There is no shuttle service provided to any theme parks. There is a shuttle service called I-Drive, which goes up and down International Drive (shopping, dining and smaller attractions). I-Drive's shuttle stop is located just off the main resort entrance, and the resort offers on-site transportation to this shuttle stop. The I-Drive shuttle charges $1.50 for each stop along Orlando's famed International Drive.
There is no shuttle service provided to any theme parks. There is a shuttle service called I-Drive, which goes up and down International Drive (shopping, dining and smaller attractions). I-Drive's shuttle stop is located just off the main resort entrance, and the resort offers onsite transportation to this shuttle stop. There is a charge for the I-Drive shuttle for each stop along Orlando's famed International Drive.
For Mom and Dad
Looking to truly relax? Visit The Spa at Grande Vista. Kids are welcome but guests under the age of 18 must have a parent or legal guardian sign a waiver. There are no specific services/treatments geared for children, however, guests under 18 must wear a swimsuit for any massage, facial or body treatment. A parent or legal guardian must be present during spa services and use of steam room facilities.