Forget roller coasters. Lake Nona Wave Hotel in Orlando – the ‘Theme Park Capital Of The World’ – is thrilling in its own right.
My husband, five-year-old daughter and I actually have a room with two queen beds and views across Florida which might be dramatic – but trumped by those of the vast (and really expensive) penthouse, which sits 200ft up.
We’re given a peek inside – it’s definitely where the opposite half lives. There are two king bedrooms, a non-public kitchen and splendid bathrooms. And stepping onto the balcony is an adrenaline rush in itself. Especially for somebody who doesn’t like heights.
Carol Driver and her family check in to Orlando’s Lake Nona Wave Hotel – a hotel that is ideal for ‘those with theme-park fatigue who want just a few days away from the squeals and queues’
Considered one of two king bedrooms within the hotel’s penthouse suite, which also encompasses a private kitchen and splendid bathrooms
Lake Nona Wave Hotel opened its doors in December 2021, offering 234 rooms, decor that is modern and incredibly stylish – and unrivalled tech.
There are smart toilets, voice-activated room controls and windows that predictively tint in response to outdoor conditions – eliminating the necessity for blinds (it’s the most important hotel on the earth to have these).
There are also AI-optimised beds that adjust to fulfill the sleeper’s needs, from controlling the temperature to rebalancing to eliminate pressure points and reduce the variety of wake-ups in the course of the night.
It is very clever stuff.
Lake Nona Wave Hotel opened its doors in December 2021, ‘offering 234 rooms, decor that is modern and incredibly stylish – and unrivalled tech’
On the hotel’s grounds, guests can wander the sculpture garden with eight world-renowned sculptures and a group of vibrant art
Despite its size, it’s like a boutique hotel relating to attention to detail, with two very fashionable and chic bars, and two good restaurants.
Outside on its grounds, guests can wander the sculpture garden with eight world-renowned sculptures and a group of vibrant art, or relax on the colorful pool deck.
It’s a really grown-up affair, and it’s also the right base to explore what else this well-loved U.S state has to supply – even with a bit of one in tow.
The ‘front room’ area of the hotel. ‘Despite its size, it’s like a boutique hotel relating to attention to detail,’ Carol says of the property
For those with theme-park fatigue who want just a few days away from the squeals and queues, that is the solution to do it.
The hotel can also be handily positioned on the outskirts of Orlando, so we take advantage of it and head to a number of the out-of-town attractions.
We spend a day on the Kennedy Space Center – only a 30-minute drive away – where Amelia delights in discovering all about one in every of her favourite topics.
Lake Nona Wave Hotel is handily positioned on the outskirts of Orlando, pictured, so Carol makes probably the most of it and heads to a number of the out-of-town attractions
We strap ourselves in for the shuttle launch experience, with the sights, sounds and sensations of blasting into space – and hold on tight.
Space Shuttle Atlantis is our next stop, for a close-up view of the one space shuttle that is displayed in flight.
There are also greater than 60 interactive exhibits, showcasing the history, technology and the impact of Nasa’s Space Shuttle Program.
Next is Planet Play, an enormous, three-story play centre for youngsters, with interactive gaming, constellation maps and the possibility to climb a wormhole.
Carol and her family spend a day on the Kennedy Space Center, pictured, which is only a 30-minute drive away from Lake Nona Wave Hotel
On the Kennedy Space Center, Carol stops by Space Shuttle Atlantis (pictured) for a close-up view of the one space shuttle that is displayed in flight
Exhausted, we head back to our hotel for dinner at luxurious Bacan – a chic and suave eatery that does not have fries or nuggets on the menu.
As a substitute, we tuck into grilled baby eggplant, Wagyu beef burger, and tomato pasta, with delicious chocolate fondant cake to follow – all washed down with a glass or two of wine.
By the morning, we’re ready for our next adventure.
We make the hour-long drive (which, within the U.S, is a brief hop) to Wild Florida for an airboat tour across the Everglades – taking in a number of the 1.5million acres of the pristine wetlands preserve.
Carol enjoys dinner at Lake Nona Wave Hotel’s luxurious Bacan – ‘a chic and suave eatery that does not have fries or nuggets on the menu’
At Bacan (above), Carol tucks into grilled baby eggplant, Wagyu beef burger, and tomato pasta, with ‘delicious’ chocolate fondant cake to follow
Pictured is the hotel’s ‘chic and vibrant’ Haven Kitchen, where Carol and her family enjoy breakfast
It’s an exciting ride, stopping at key points to absorb wildlife in its natural habitat and venturing into swamps and marshes.
Amelia is happy, and likewise barely nervous, to see alligators (one measuring as much as 13ft) slyly snoozing just feet away from us.
There are many other things to spy too – including eagles, egrets, green tree frogs, raccoons and bobcats.
Then it’s back to the hotel for a fast dip within the pool, followed by dinner, and an early night.
Within the morning, we head to the hotel’s chic and vibrant Haven Kitchen for breakfast.
Amelia opts for the homemade granola with a side of waffles, it’s poached eggs and toast for me, while my husband, Wealthy, tucks right into a Croque Madame.
Wild Florida runs an airboat tour (stock image) across the Everglades, taking in a number of the 1.5million acres of the pristine wetlands preserve. ‘It’s an exciting ride,’ says Carol, ‘whizzing along and stopping at key points to absorb wildlife in its natural habitat and venturing into swamps and marshes’
Above is the Museum Of Illusions, home to ‘mind-bending exhibits’. Carol (not pictured) says: ‘There’s an upside-down front room, a swirling vortex tunnel and an insider’s look into how holograms work’
Refuelled, we head to the nearby Icon Park for a more chilled-out day. Here, you possibly can head into Madame Tussauds, ride the 400ft-high remark wheel, or see a movie within the 7D Motion Theater.
We pop into the Museum Of Illusions, strolling around its mind-bending exhibits. There’s an upside-down front room, a swirling vortex tunnel and an insider’s look into how holograms work.
It’s perfect for a curious five-year-old.
For lunch, we are able to’t resist heading to Gordon Ramsay’s recently opened Fish And Chips eatery.
We sit outside, tucking into crispy cod and chicken, and a selection of ‘dirty’ chips – from jalapeno and chorizo, to truffle and parmesan cheese.
The portions (as we have now learned) are huge. But there’s simply enough room to sample the too-good milkshakes, which are available in biscoff (Gordon’s favourite, apparently) and sticky toffee. I do not even need to understand how many calories are in them.
It’s back to the hotel, and we stroll out to Lake Nona’s nearby town centre to Boxi Park, where you possibly can select from street food, restaurants and bars, in addition to beach volleyball and open-air entertainment.
It’s a light-weight dinner for us, before heading to our hotel room. With its views across Orlando, we are able to see fireworks exploding within the night sky.
We’re heading to Disney World tomorrow and Amelia is beside herself with excitement.
In spite of everything, that is the Theme Park Capital Of The World – and also you won’t need to avoid them for too long!