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Grande Lakes Orlando Expands Multi-Phase Renovations

Thursday February 20th, 2014 - 8:55AM

ORLANDO, FL—Grande Lakes Orlando will expand its 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 and Whisper Creek Kitchen at JW Marriott Orlando in third quarter.

In addition, a significant renovation will be launched at The Ritz-Carlton Spa and updates to meetings spaces 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,” stated Jim Burns, VP/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 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 opening of Whisper Creek Farm, a 13,000-sq.-ft. on-property farm and event space, in 2012.  

Highball & Harvest will replace The Vineyard Grill, The Ritz-Carlton Orlando’s current casual dining restaurant, which will close for complete renovations in May, and re-open as Highball & Harvest in late summer. 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.  Highball & Harvest cuisine will feature ingredients from Whisper Creek Farm and local purveyors.  Expert bar chefs will serve signature seasonal hand-crafted cocktails, and will also instruct while muddling cocktails tableside.

Whisper Creek Kitchen will be a new restaurant at JW Marriott Orlando and an extension of Whisper Creek Farm. It will feature 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 sq. ft. of indoor meetings space commenced in Q3 2012 and will be complete by the close of 2014 with a contemporary new look in all spaces. In December, the resort completed renovations to the 20,000-sq.-ft. Palazzo Ballroom at JW Marriott Orlando and at the Ritz-Carlton Ballroom. 

The summer will close with a new look for the 40,000-sq.-ft. Ritz-Carlton Spa.