Reunion Resort & Club Review
Here is our review of Reunion Resort & Club and a little bit about why we loved this fantastic Florida resort. Reunion Resort & Club, located a few minutes from the excitement of Orlando's multiple theme parks, blends recreation and luxury together to create an unequalled and memorable stay for a vacation, golf outing, or special occasion. Some of what makes this 2,300-acre resort community unique, special, and worth going out of your way for a few nights stay includes: excellent choices for dining including a 11th floor rooftop restaurant with a pool and stunning views, three Signature golf courses, opulent one and two bedroom suites, multiple pools plus a fun filled Water Park, a boutique spa, lots of fun stuff to do at the Resort and nearby, and first class service.
From the time you spot the majestic crown jewel of the resort, the 11 story Reunion Grande seemingly towering high into the clouds, and you're warmly greeted by the bell boys, and then step into the lobby with lofty ceilings, Egyptian travertine flooring, a three-tiered stone fountain, and overstuffed leather chaises you know you are in for a very special treat - and it only gets better. Wow, what a special resort and it doesn't surprise me one bit that since opening in 2007, Reunion Resort & Club has won a number of prestigious awards and accolades, some of which include:
- AAA Official Four Diamond Award
- Trip Advisor Award of Excellence
- Golf Magazine’s Premier Resorts & Best Florida Lodging
- GolfWeek Magazine's Top 100 Resort Courses and the Watson Course was named #19 in the Best Courses You Can Play
- The Palmer Course was listed #27 in Golf Magazine's Best Public Golf Courses in Florida
- Golfweek’s list of the Best Courses You Can Play had the Nicklaus course listed as #17
- Top 50 ranking on Tennis Resorts Online's Top 100 Resorts and Camps
Reunion Resort & Club Golf Courses
Reunion Resort & Club is home to three outstanding golf courses designed by the three legends and masters of the game - Tom Watson, Jack Nicklaus, and Arnold Palmer. Each of the courses is different from the others and has it's own unique personality and characteristics. But common to all three are lush conditions, colorful and perfectly manicured landscaping, outstanding greens, unique and challenging layouts, a well stocked pro shop, lessons and clinics from Annika Sorenstam Golf Academy, and a good restaurant overlooking the practice range. The pro shop for the Watson and Palmer Courses is a loft wedge shot from the front door of the Reunion Grande. The Nicklaus pro shop is less than 5 minutes from the front door.
The Watson Course was one of our favorites of the 22 courses we played during a two month golfing vacation in Florida and Gulf Shores. The fairways are wide, rolling, and fast and littered with strategically placed bunkers. The near perfect greens are large but well guarded and challenging thanks to lots of slope and undulation. As such, the Watson Course is all about strategy and course management and it puts a premium on the short game and accuracy over distance. Read our review of the Watson Course to learn why it was one of our favorites.
Right up there with the best of all the courses we played in Florida is the Palmer Course. Arnold has created a beautiful masterpiece that leverages the natural preserve areas and unusually hilly and roller coaster terrain. The fairways are wide and generous but covered with lots of treacherous white sand bunkers. The Palmer Course is regarded as the easiest of the three courses at Reunion Resort but the elevation changes of up to 50 feet, expansive waste areas, and well guarded greens offer some unique risk reward shots and require some good shot-making skills. Here is a link to our review of the Palmer Course at Reunion Resort.
Unfortunately, we didn't have an opportunity to play the Nicklaus Course but we understand that it is a fun and demanding Parkland-style layout with elevated tee boxes and greens. Course management and club selection are required from tee box to the pin if you want to score well on the Nicklaus Course. Beware, Nicklaus designed this 18 to tempt you into to hitting some risk reward shots that if you make them can result in several birdies.
These three courses are part of the Legends of Golf Trail which also includes four additional courses at Innisbrook Resort just north of Tampa and the two outstanding courses at Hammock Beach Resort in Palm Coast which is just above Daytona. What a fantastic collection of courses at three of the best resorts in Florida - here is a link to our review of the Legends of Golf Trail.
Reunion Resort & Club Accommodations
Another thing that we liked is that the accommodations at Reunion are impressive and as upscale as the golf courses. True to it's name, Reunion Resort is all about uniting people in unforgettable ways and that's part of what makes their accommodations so unique for a resort. Rather than assigning individual rooms on different floors for your golfing buddies, friends, family, or relatives, at Reunion your group can stay together in one to three bedroom fully furnished villas or individual homes with up to eight bedrooms.
Almost as good as the lodging options is that each guest visiting Reunion Resort is assigned a personal concierge who greets them upon arrival and tends to their every wish throughout their stay. From stocking the in-suite refrigerator, scheduling tee times and making dinner reservations to securing tickets to much sought-after productions, the personal concierge makes it a goal to ensure each guest has a vacation experience unlike any other.
During our visit to Reunion Resort, we stayed in one of the two bedroom Estate Villas on the 7th floor of the 11 story Reunion Grande. And it was outstanding - very spacious, fully furnished, well appointed, clean, and had a spectacular view of Orlando, the practice range, and a few golf holes! The sunrises and sunsets were stunning and we could even see the fireworks display at Disney. And the bed was soft and comfy and very hard to get out of each morning. Our room had:
- top of the line amenities like flat screen televisions with DVD/CD players and gourmet kitchens with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances
- spacious living areas perfect for lounging or entertaining
- elegant dining areas
- a private walk-out balcony that overlooks the resort’s picturesque landscape.
The advantage of staying in any of the Estate Villas is you have easy access to the rooftop pool, three restaurants, the pro shop, and the Annika Academy. Plus there is complimentary valet parking and nightly turn-down service! It just doesn't get much better!
Within minutes of the pro shop and Reunion Grande are several other upscale options for accommodations for your group:
- Deluxe Villas - one to three bedroom Villas with a well equipped kitchen, TV and DVD/CD in the living room and master bedroom, dining area, living room with queen sleeper sofa in most units, private balcony with chairs
- Superior Villas - these Villas provide upscale resort living with many details and amenities found only in the most exclusive developments like spacious living rooms, full kitchen with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances, roomy private balcony overlooking the golf course or lush conservation areas, and flat-screen TVs and DVD/CD players
- Deluxe, Superior, and Estate Homes - three to eight bedroom upscale well appointed homes with a wide variety of amenities ranging from golf course or lake views, spacious living areas, full kitchens with corian or granite countertops, private patios with fenced or screened in swimming pools, wet bars, wine chillers, pool or game tables, and more
Recreation & Amenities At Reunion Resort & Club
As great as our Villa was we didn't spend much time in it because there are so some many other things to enjoy at Reunion, some of which include:
- a multi-level 5 acre Water Park where you and the kids could spend all day enjoying the winding lazy river, 2 story twisting water slide, children's interactive play area, and sunny or shade lounge areas with food and bar service
- 10 additional pools spread through out the resort including the 11th story rooftop pool with live music, bar and dining service or the Seven Eagles Pool & Pavilion which has a large pool, outdoor billiards and ping pong, a game room, bar with food service, and two jacuzzis
- bring your tennis racquet and enjoy an award-winning tennis complex with six lighted Hydro-grid courts, teaching pros to take your game to the next level, and a full service tennis shop
- miles of walking, biking (bikes are available for rent) and riding trails plus several parks and playgrounds
- state-of-the-art fitness center and energizing classes where I should have spent some time after devouring all of that good food
- a 3,500 square-ft boutique spa which offers the pinnacle in serenity and ultimate luxury with massage therapy, skin and body treatments and nail services, all with the intimacy and warmth of home
- a special club for guests from four to ten that will give you some get-a-way time while the kids enjoy Kids Crew where they can participate in events and activities ranging from scavenger hunts and nature hikes to fun in the pool
- just a pitch shot from the front door is the golf clubhouse and pro shop with everything you need to look good and play well
You can spend several days golfing and enjoying the resort amenities but if you get bored and want to venture out, Reunion is close to what has to be the "vacation capital of Florida." Orlando has something for everyone ranging from theme parks like Disney World, Universal City, Lego land, or Sea World to unique adventures (swimming with the manatees, flying a World War II trainer, racing an Indy car, sky diving in a wind tunnel, to air boat rides to see alligators), to hundreds of excellent golf courses, to shopping, fun nightlife, or live entertainment and plays. See our Fun Orlando Vacation Article to read about what we enjoyed on a previous trip to Orlando.
Dining at Reunion Resort
After all of that activity, you're going to be starving and you've got lots of choices at Reunion Resort to help you re-energize and get ready for the next day. If you are golfing or just want a relaxing and tasty breakfast or lunch overlooking the driving range and putting green then the Clubhouse Restaurant is perfect. After your golf game or for a snack or evening cocktail, the Grande Lobby has a wide selection of wines and a variety of seafood influenced appetizers, including freshly prepared sushi. For poolside munchies or sandwiches, burgers, salads, and more then Longboards at the Water Park is a great choice or the Cove at Seven Eagles Pool has a Caribbean-inspired menu and refreshing smoothies and delicious pina coladas. You can't beat a dip in the refreshing pool followed by a pina colada in the jacuzzi to help sooth away the golf blues.
For some fine dining or breakfast or lunch, then the contemporary chophouse Forte in the Reunion Grande lobby is perfect and offers the finest USDA prime beef, including filet mignon, New York strip and porterhouse cuts, as well as the hearty pasta dishes and fresh seafood plus they have an impressive wine cellar featuring more than 250 vintages from around the globe.
Our favorite was Eleven which is Orlando's first rooftop tapas bar. Eleven is an eclectic indoor/outdoor cafe on the top floor of Reunion Grande that puts a new spin on traditional tapas and small bites with a blend of new world and pan-Asian cuisine. This open air restaurant also has a rooftop pool with private cabanas and a stunning panoramic view. And the food and service is as good as the view. We really enjoyed:
- two excellent appetizers - Mongolian Grilled Lamb Pops (succulent lamb with a spicy hosin sauce and mint salsa verde sauce) and Ahi Tuna Carpaccio Flatbread, both of which were excellent
- Roasted Grouper in a lobster sauce plus asparagus and lobster whipped yukona and a tasty perfectly cooked Togarashi Crusted Bone-in Rib Eye Steak that was huge and melted in my mouth
- one of the best Creme Brulees I have ever had plus a delicious house made Ice Cream Sandwich which had vanilla ice cream, milk chocolate, Kahlua parfait, chocolate cookie wafers, chocolate and caramel sauces, and nut crunch - to die for
What a fun place to enjoy a cocktail, swim, sunset, fireworks at Disney, stunning views, and excellent food coupled with good service. After enjoying all that good food, I swore that I'd find my way to the fitness center before golf.
It's hard to beat Reunion Resort & Club thanks to three excellent golf courses, delicious food, a variety of upscale lodging options, and great amenities. Go out of your way to stay and golf here.
Reunion Resort & Club is owned and managed by Salamander Hotels & Resorts which has a portfolio of excellent resorts including Hammock Beach and Innisbrook in Florida; Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg, Virginia; the Five Star and Five Diamond Woodlands Inn in the charming village of Summerville, South Carolina; and the Grand Resort at Cap Cana in the Caribbean. As part of our golfing vacation in Florida we also stayed at Hammock Beach Resort and Innisbrook - wow, very impressive and home to 6 excellent golf courses. Here is a link to our review of Hammock Beach Resort and review of Innisbrook Resort.