How to Splurge in Orlando: 7 Luxury ExperiencesBy Zach Stovall
(Photo: Mark Evans/Getty Images)
Congratulations! You got a raise, a settlement, a payday loan or an email from a Nigerian prince. Now it’s time to celebrate. Here’s how to relieve yourself of some excess coin in Orlando.
- Get Around in Style. Rental wheels are a must in sprawling Orlando. Ditch the dull, white Ford Focus and opt for a machine that matches your style. Book a Land Rover, an Aston Martin or even a growling, traffic-cone orange Lambo from Prestige Luxury Rentals and show The City Beautiful exactly how rambunctious you’re feeling.
- Shop for High-End Souvenirs. Valet in front of the slickly designed Mall at Millenia, home of the city’s most luxurious retail offerings. Go door-to-door at Tiffany & Co. and Cartier for wrist and finger glitter, then shop Burberry, Louis Vuitton and Salvatore Ferragamo for threads befitting of your new victory. You probably owe yourself a truffle flight from Godiva right about now, too. Anything else you dream up, a mall concierge is available to assist.
- Customize Your Spa Treatment. When you’re ready for stress relief, visit the mixologist at the Scrub Bar at The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grand Lakes’ spa. She won’t produce an ironically named craft cocktail from freshly squeezed ingredients, but the idea’s the same. Choose herbs like lemongrass and peppermint, plucked from the spa’s rooftop garden, and they’ll be blended with essential oils for a scrub of your own design. Once suitably lethargic, you can lounge by the 40,000-square-foot spa’s pool for as long as you like.
- Live the Good Life in Winter Park. In the Orlando suburb of Winter Park just north of downtown, exotic cars and well-dressed people don’t go unnoticed. Brick-paved and oak-shaded streets of New England and Park Avenues are ripe for a slow drive to see or be seen, especially those dining on the sidewalk at the neighborhood’s trendy restaurants. Since no splurge is complete without a glass of bubbly, make a stop at The Wine Room, where 156 wines pour from Enomatic machines and sidewalk seating is in a prime location for people-watching.
- Enjoy Some Evening Entertainment. A night on the town is always in order, and Orlando’s offerings are a sliding scale from rowdy to refined. The Orlando Magic and the new major league Orlando City Soccer Club both play in gleaming arenas downtown. No matter your sport of preference, both are a fun and (depending what section you purchase tickets) rowdy way to blow off steam. If arts and culture are more your style, downtown’s Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts offers ballet, Broadway shows and performances by the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra in one of the city’s most impressive new venues.
- Sip the Good Stuff. For a nightcap, get that ironically named craft cocktail from downtown Prohibition style bar, The Courtesy, where exposed brick walls, punched tin ceilings and Edison lights create a cozy environment for fragrant and flavorful cocktails artfully designed by very exacting bartenders.
- Sleep in Style. After a long day of splurging you need a comfortable place to lay your head. The JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes enjoys a more serene setting away from the frenetic bustle of the theme parks and the glow of downtown Orlando. Book an Executive Lakefront Suite to enjoy views of the city’s wetland corridors and Greg Norman-designed golf course while you plot how you’ll spend more tomorrow.