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The Grove Resort & Spa - Winter Garden, Florida
By Scott Kauffman
The Grove Resort & Spa just achieved another development milestone when it opened the $16-million Surfari Water Park on March 1. The new amenity spans seven of the resort's 106 acres and can accommodate up to 1,000 people.
As part of the initial rollout, the water park included two water slides, a winding lazy river, and a dual-rider surf simulator. Later in the month, Surfari introduced a toddler play area and the park’s on-site restaurant, Longboard Bar & Grill, opened a month later. The addition of this new on-site amenity will mark the introduction of The Grove’s signature recreation experience, helping to cement the resort as one of Metro Orlando’s top family-centric destination hotels located just three miles from the Western Way entrance of Walt Disney World in Winter Garden.
Surfari Water Park becomes the Grove’s final piece to the already extensive lineup of activities, amenities, and all-suite residential-style accommodations that first rolled out in March 2017 during the resort’s initial opening phase. It's quite a turnaround for a property that fell victim of the financial crisis and sat unfinished and vacant until Westport Capital Partners and BTI Partners of South Florida acquired the property for pennies on the dollar.
Set on its own parcel of the 106-acre resort and separate from The Grove’s three existing swimming pools where a more subdued experience can be enjoyed, Surfari Water Park is designed as an all-day destination exclusively for hotel guests. With multiple options for sliding, surfing, swimming, and dining, Surfari gives Grove visitors another reason to hang back from area theme parks for a day of fun in the sun: both children and adults can shoot through Surfari’s two twisting tube slides, challenge friends to catch a wave on the dual-rider surf simulator, float through nearly 700 feet of winding lazy river, or, for the smallest guests, splish and splash in the specially designated toddler zone.
The Grove’s continued expansion also includes the addition of more than 280 suites to the resort’s existing inventory of two and three-bedroom accommodations. With comparable layouts and upgraded finishes, this new group of suites, like the others, offers all the best aspects of home: ample space and privacy for families or groups; private bedrooms and bathrooms; living and dining areas; full kitchens; screened balconies; and full-size washers and dryers. All accommodations at The Grove provide access to the resort’s full breadth of activities and amenities, including The Springs swimming pools with a zero-entry area; the full-service Escape Spa and fitness center; kayaking, fishing, and paddle boats at Lake Austin Pier; children’s activities center and dedicated recreation team; five dining and drink venues; and Surfari Water Park.
The 878-unit Grove Resort & Spa Orlando is owned by a joint venture between certain affiliates of Westport Capital Partners and BTI Partners, with BTI Partners as the development partner. Houston, Texas-based Benchmark, a global hospitality company, will manage the property as part of its signature Benchmark Resorts & Hotels portfolio.
The condo-hotel currently is working on its third phase of construction, according to BTI Partners, and expected to have 585 two- and three-bedroom condo units available for sale and occupancy by the end of April.
The Grove Resort & Spa Orlando opened its first phase in March 2017 as an expansive 106-acre hotel destination located just minutes from the west entrance of Walt Disney World. Set on Lake Austin and amid a portion of Central Florida’s conservation grounds, the resort is a sanctuary from the boisterous tourist corridor just minutes from the busiest theme park in the work.
Nearly 300 of The Grove’s 878 residential-style suites are currently open – each with a full kitchen, full-size washer and dryer, multiple bathrooms, and screened patio – offering guests all the comforts of home, while the resort’s hearty collection of amenities deliver the luxuries of a full-service resort.