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Villas at Grand Cypress Reclaims 4-Star Rating - The Orlando Sentinel


By Sara K. Clarke

Staff Writer

It's Oscars time for the hospitality industry, and another Orlando resort has made a sweet comeback this awards season.

The 146-room Villas of Grnd Cypress golf resort was named a four-star hotel by Forbes Travel Guide, whose inspectors dole out the prestigious four- and five-star ratings to hotels around the world.

Forbes higlighted the resort's "secluded feel" and praised its spacious villas, lavish pool and golf offerings.

The resort has villas with up to four bedrooms, situated withing walking distance of 44 holes of Jack Nicklaus Signature=designed golf courses. The property recently completed a $15 million renovation that included upgraded furniture, fixtures and enhanced rechnology in all of its rooms.

A spokeswoman for the resort, which is just outside Wald Disney World off State Road 535, said it dropped off the Forbes four-star list in 2005. It underwent an ownership change and renovation, and landed on the list again this year. The hotel's restaurant, Nine18, received four stars as well.

The Ritz-Carlton Orlando at Grande Lakes also made the four-star list this year. The 582-room resort, which opened in 2003, has been rated four stars since 2004, said Michelle Valle, a spokeswoman for the hotel.

Also on the four-star list this year is Victoria & Albert's, a restaurant at Walt Disney World's Grand Floridian Resort.

No properties in Central Florida received the coveted five-star designation.

The Villas is the second Orlando hotel to reclaim a ranking recently. The Wilderness Lodge at Walt Disney World reclaimed its four-diamond status, an award granted by auto club AAA.

In Central Florida, AAA this year granted 34 hotels and nine restaurants its four-diamond designation. AAA's five -diamond list, however, included no Central Florida hotels.

Victoria & Albert's has received five diamonds from AAA since 2000.


Rebecca Kollaras
Benchmark Hospitality International


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