Sharing a Greg Norman designed 18-hole golf course, 3 lighted tennis courts, 2 swimming pools and 11 restaurants, these two neighboring Marriott-owned luxury accommodations are the latest arrivals in Orlando's upscale hotel market. Guests staying at either will enjoy lavish quarters, a variety of recreational pursuits and tremendous service at similar nightly rates. Although Ritz's rooms typically run $20/night more than JW's, its higher thread count bedding and smaller size (584 rooms vs. 1,000) are worth the slight premium.
Guests at both hotels have complimentary access to the pleasing on-site spa and health club housed in a separate building. The large and airy fitness space contains a multitude of cutting-edge sweat equipment. All treadmills have attached plasma screens (headphones provided), and the other cardio units are new, new, new, with Precor ellipitcals offered in force. A combination aerobic and strength routine is no problem here as a ton of weights in varying forms are supplied.
Lap swimmers should pack their Speedos. Ritz/JW boast two pools, and a lapper is adjacent to the spa between both hotels. Although the 4 lanes are divided by bottom stripes, floating lane lines do not stretch across the pool's 25-meter length. And no toys or pace clock are provided. Still, this aesthetically pleasing outdoor lap pool is a worthy option in this Grand Lakes land. Speaking of which, your freestyling should be serene because the kids will undoubtedly flock to the "fun" pool, also between both hotels.
Note: For a fantastic swim in a more traditional pool, drive 10 minutes to the YMCA Aquatic Center ($10). The Y's fitness center is comparable to what you have on-site.