Traveling to Orlando, Florida, on family vacations inevitably means one thing – theme parks, theme parks and, yes, more theme parks – so it’s often nice to have other options, and Omni Resort at ChampionsGate offers that in abundance.
This 720-rooms and suites and 50-villa complex located 25 minutes from Orlando International Airport provides so many activities that both children and parents alike shouldn’t suffer from theme-park withdrawal symptoms. In fact, they’ll probably welcome the break from ride lines and not feel at all bored. Even alone, there are plenty of options for adults.
Designers of the Omni Orlando Resort realized fully the competition they’d face from the plethora of theme parks in the area and have done a commendable job sensing what activities their guests might desire.
A walk outside, down some steps from the rear of the Omni’s expansive, rectangular-shaped lobby, for a quick-look around is enough to realize how much planning has gone into the hotel’s design, with diverse activities uppermost in mind and 15 acres devoted to pools and recreation. An extra-size swimming pool and whirlpool, surrounded by palm trees, ornate fountains, umbrellas and lounge chairs stands near the steps, with an added innovation being Omni’s ‘dive-in’ movie nights enabling children and adults alike to watch a film while enjoying the delights of the water. Eight cabanas located around the pools offering added privacy as well as ceiling fans, plush robes and towels, (Wi-Fi access and a fruit plate and smoothies) can be rented from the front desk.
Right of the pool, a mere fifty yards away, is a multi-purpose gym, easily accessed with a room key. To the left - past a fire pit with seating nearby and lit in the evening to offer guests a cozy outdoor ambiance - is the unique ‘lazy river.’ The ‘river’ - a popular attraction for kids - is an 850-foot looping water slide filled with shooting water cannons, arched waterspouts and a waterfall where children play and float to their hearts’ content. If splashing around isn’t their thing, then there’s always the sports area right next to it, comprising tennis courts – Omni is a certified member of the U.S. Tennis Association - a sand volleyball set-up and a basketball court.
There is also a Resort Arcade open 24 hours, featuring Air Hockey, Driving Games and Mrs. Pac-Man. If that’s still not enough, Omni also hosts a ‘Camp Omni,’ with varied organized group activities for four to 12-year-olds, including movies and board games. They even host special dinners, allowing tired parents to have a quiet, romantic evening elsewhere.
For adults requiring a reprieve from boisterous offspring – and matching the hotel’s name - there is, of course, the ChampionsGate golf courses. These include two 18-hole courses designed by Greg Norman, a links-style international course or the American-style national course and a lighted 9-hole, par-3 course. The Leadbetter Golf Academy World Headquarters is also located here. Not to mention, the choice of a post-game relaxation visit to the Mokara Spa to ease tired muscles.
Omni Orlando Resort isn’t so arrogant as to ignore the mesmerizing attractions of the various theme parks in the area and offers guests free bus shuttles to the Magic Kingdom and Epcot (free transport from there brings you to Hollywood Studios, the Animal Kingdom and Downtown Disney). So much has been written about these theme parks, its hard to think of something new.
That’s the outside. What of the inside? Rooms in Omni Orlando are spacious, with plenty of room between bed and walls. Gold framed paintings, mustard walls, blue-biege carpeting and duck egg, gold leaf wallpaper in the bathroom with beige floor tiling uniting the overall color scheme.
Food options are also plentiful, with seven separate eateries to choose from, including the Zen Restaurant, with pan-Asian dishes and a Sushi and sake bar; David’s Club, ranging from Gulf shrimp to prime steaks; Trevi’s Restaurant, where breakfast is served and assorted Italians-style meals later in the day; Croc’s Pool Bar & Grill, presenting a poolside array of sandwiches and salads; the Broadway Deli, with pizza and ice-cream; and Morsels for Starbucks coffee and baked goods.