SOURCE: The Ritz-Carlton, Orlando, Grande Lakes

The Ritz-Carlton, Orlando, Grande Lakes

February 20, 2014 16:20 ET

Grande Lakes Orlando Announces New Culinary, Spa and Meetings Offerings for 2014

Orlando's Luxe Leader to Debut Two New Fine Dining Restaurants, Renovations to Award-Winning Ritz-Carlton Spa, and Enhancements to Meetings Spaces

ORLANDO, FL--(Marketwired - Feb 20, 2014) - Continuing its commitment to providing world-class experiences for its guests, Grande Lakes Orlando will launch multi-phase renovations at both The Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott Orlando that will see the debut of Highball & Harvest at The Ritz-Carlton Orlando in July 2014 and Whisper Creek Kitchen at JW Marriott Orlando in Fall 2014. In addition to these new culinary offerings, a significant renovation will be launched at The Ritz-Carlton Spa and updates to Orlando meetings space at both hotels will be completed.

"In celebrating Grande Lakes Orlando's tenth anniversary as Orlando's luxury leader, the year's renovations underscore our commitment to providing authentic, innovative experiences and the highest level of service that keeps our guests coming back," says Jim Burns, Vice President and Managing Director, Grande Lakes Orlando. "Following the 2011 renovation of all of the resort's 1,582 rooms and suites, as well as the start of our meeting space upgrades in 2012 and 2013, we are excited to continue the revitalization of the resort this year."

The two new restaurants are a natural progression of the resort's sustainable cuisine philosophy, which started when the resort opened in 2003 with Primo at the JW Marriott. This philosophy continued with the 2012 opening of Whisper Creek Farm, a 13,000-square-foot on-property farm and event space, and is now solidified with Highball & Harvest and Whisper Creek Kitchen.

Highball & Harvest will replace The Vineyard Grill, The Ritz-Carlton Orlando's current casual dining restaurant, which will close for complete renovations in May 2014, and re-open as Highball & Harvest in late summer 2014. The restaurant will feature a Southern-inspired and locally sourced menu, crafted cocktails, and a design inspired by the railroad system that made Florida an agricultural epicenter. Combining rustic authenticity with modern Ritz-Carlton refinement, Highball & Harvest cuisine will feature ingredients from Whisper Creek Farm and local purveyors. The minimalist aesthetic will also be reflected in the thirst-quenching heart of the restaurant, an interactive cocktail table in an extensive bar/lounge area. Expert bar chefs will serve up signature seasonal hand-crafted cocktails, and will also instruct while muddling tableside.

Whisper Creek Kitchen will be a brand-new restaurant at JW Marriott Orlando and an extension of Whisper Creek Farm featuring ingredients from the farm and signature craft beer brewed by Cicerone®-certified Executive Chef Chris Brown of the JW Marriott Orlando.

Renovations to the resort's more than 150,000 square feet of Orlando meeting facilities commenced in the fall of 2012 and will be completed by the close of 2014 with a bright, contemporary new look and feel to all spaces. Most notably in December 2013, the resort completed renovations to the elegant Ritz-Carlton Ballroom and the 20,000-square-foot Palazzo Ballroom at JW Marriott Orlando.

The summer will close with a new look for the 40,000-square-foot Ritz-Carlton Spa that continues to win top accolades year after year.

About Grande Lakes Orlando
Grande Lakes Orlando is a unique 500-acre resort with a luxury 582-room Ritz-Carlton and deluxe 1,000-room JW Marriott Hotel. In particular, the Grande Lakes Adventure Experiences program, which includes kayak and canoe eco-tours and a fishing school, reflects the resort's natural surroundings. Grande Lakes also offers the culinary mastery of award-winning Chefs Norman Van Aken and Melissa Kelly, new total-wellness inspired treatment programs at The Ritz-Carlton Spa and Golf Digest Schools' golf instruction. The estate is located 15 minutes from the Orlando International Airport, five minutes from the Orange County Convention Center and minutes from the major theme parks.

Guests at both hotels can enjoy all the facilities and services at Grande Lakes Orlando, including the 18-hole championship golf course, designed by Greg Norman, the 40,000-square-foot Ritz-Carlton Spa offering a new rooftop eco-space, a wide selection of natural treatments, baths and hydrotherapies, and advice from the world's first Citrus Consultant. Membership offerings are also available through The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes Members Club. For more information about Grande Lakes Orlando, visit www.grandelakes.com.

Follow Grande Lakes Orlando on Twitter at @JW_Orlando and @RC_Orlando.

Visit Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE: MAR) for company information.

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