Orlando offers several Marriott resorts all of which enjoy high occupancy from owners and guests from the international travel community due to the large number of theme parks, attractions and family vacation amenities available in Central Florida throughout the year. Spacious, contemporary and full of amenities, the Palms are my personal favorites:
Cypress Harbor Grande Vista
Like Marbella, the Palms resorts have the restaurants, spa and golf nearby. Imperial and Royal have whirlpool tubs in the master bedroom. Architecturally, Grande Vista's design shares Marbella's physical look.
We stayed at the Marriott Grande Vista in Orlando in November '08 and it is a fantastic resort. They are currently undergoing renovations and we were fortunte to be in a recently renovated building. Suites are spacious and beautifully decorated. Main pool (near guest services) did not have as many ammenities (pool side bar/food etc) that we've had at similar resorts however, they were under construction to add these features at that time. Grounds are well maintained and security is good -- particularly during evening hours.
We've also stayed at the Orlando World Centre which has 3 timeshare properties on site. We had a suite at the centre -- not a time share space so I'm not certain if the timeshare properties utilize the World Centre recreational areas...but the pool area at the World Centre is really great. Large pools, waterslides and an abundence of lounge chairs.
I have been an owner at Royal Palms for several years, and highly suggest this property and Imperial Palms (3 bedroom). Sabal Palms is also located on the World Center property, but there are no balconies with the units. Access to the Marriott World Center facilities and proximity to Disney World make this my preferred resort in Orlando. When my daughters were younger, they enjoyed the pool and waterslide at the World Center (as well as riding the glass elevators 'though the roof") as much as riding rides at Magic Kingdom. The resort also has several restaurants, a great workout facility, and golf and tennis. There is a charge for parking at the hotel, but parking is free at the timeshares.
When travelling on business or pleasure, the dining venues, food choices and quality, and the service are the key hallmarks that make a resort experience very special for us. It doesn't matter if you are in Hawaii, Palm Desert or Orlando.
The Orlando World Center features the top three restaurants in Orlando including the Mikado Japanese Steakhouse, Ristorante Tuscany and Hawk's Landing Steakhouse. We make sure to dine here every year for the past 16 years. Not only is the food and service legendary, the wine list is first class. Moreover, its quite remarkable how consistent these restaurants are every time we visit. Plus, it's wonderful when the staff and the chef come to your table to welcome you back and present you with a special appetizer compliments of the house.
With regrets, the JW Grand Lakes resort has ground to cover when it comes to dining and service. We found Citron overpriced, the service condescending and the food inedible because it was overdone. Primo's attempts at southern Italian cooking is amateurish and can't hold a candle to Ristorante Tuscany. Even Bice at Universal's Portofino Resort does a better job several notches above Primo. Cafe Bodega? (no comment, LOL) Being spa lovers, Vitale at the Ritz gets a thumbs up.
For a memorable resort experience in Orlando, my vote goes to the Orlando World Center.