Grand Cypress Resort just got grander with a $14 million renovation of its villas

By Mike Bailey, Senior Staff Writer

ORLANDO, Fla. -- For years, the standard of a luxury golf vacation in central Florida has been Grand Cypress Resort. With 45 holes of heralded golf designed by Jack Nicklaus, one of the best golf schools in the country, luxury accommodations and great dining, the resort has beckoned golf enthusiasts from all over the world.

Villas of Grand Cypress
The Villas of Grand Cypress were recently renovated to the tune of $14 million.
Villas of Grand CypressVillas of Grand Cypress - bedroomGrand Cypress Resort - dining roomGrand Cypress Resort - living area

But like any top resort, if you're not evolving, you're falling behind. And with the advent of several newer luxury resorts in the area, it was Grand Cypress' time to up the ante. And that's exactly what's happened. At a cost of $14 million, the Villas of Grand Cypress -- where guests can stay if they opt not to lodge at the Hyatt on property -- have been renovated. All 146 villas received around $100,000 worth of improvements from a list that's quite extensive.

Villas of Grand Cypress improvements

Overseen by Florida-based interior designer Lori Rapport, the renovation, which began in 2012, showcases spacious new guestrooms that offer modern interiors featuring streamlined decor, natural materials and neutral palettes that create a sense of serenity and calm that mirrors the natural beauty of the resort.

The renovations include new interiors, upgraded furniture, fixtures, finishes and enhanced in-room technology for all guest accommodations.

More specifically, they include fine Italian furniture and custom-designed carpets that showcase the magnified lines of topographic maps that evoke the natural landscape. There's also new artwork that includes signature landscape paintings of the resort from artist Bob Stedman.

Select villas also offer new dining room tables and gas-lit fireplaces. And there are new moldings, doors and window casings framed by natural American walnut. Beds got new upholstered headboards with ambient bedside lighting as well as plush pillows and 300-thread-count linens. Outdoors, guests can now enjoy expansive private patios or decks overlooking the fairways or waterways of the North Course.

Bathrooms were also updated with new wood, stone, porcelain, chrome and walk-in showers encased in freestanding glass and fashioned with new European style fixtures. In what's becoming an increasingly popular feature among luxury hotels, the mirrors are integrated with a 19-inch television.

The new villa kitchens were also updated with new appliances, countertops, cabinets and fixtures.

Golf packages at Grand Cypress

The new accommodations simply reflect the tone of the entire golf resort, where the courses have also been renovated in recent years. The courses include the 27 holes of the South, East and North Courses and the New Course.

The former is traditional Florida golf at its best and received Nicklaus' personal attention over the years. The New Course is Nicklaus' answer to the Old Course, a tribute of sorts that features no rough, double greens, holes that share fairways and plenty of pot bunkers and other links features.

The resort also features the Grand Cypress Academy of Golf, which is one of the top golf schools in America. Headed up by Fred Griffin, one of America's top golf instructors, the 21-acre facility offers the latest state-of-the-art training technologies, including SwingModel, K-Vest, a TaylorMade Performance Lab and Sam Puttlab.

Golf packages run the gamut. You can book a club suite or villa, book it for two with golf at all the courses. There are also lesson packages, packages for couples that include spa treatments and packages for juniors.

Non-golf activities at the resort also include an equestrian center, walking trails, swimming, hiking, biking, fishing, jogging, in-room spa services, a nearby marina and a racquet club. The villas also provide transportation to nearby attractions. There are also seven restaurants, five lounges and two poolside snack bars.

Mike BaileyMike Bailey, Senior Staff Writer

Mike Bailey is a senior staff writer based in Houston. Focusing primarily on golf in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America with an occasional trip to Europe and beyond, he contributes course reviews, travel stories and features as well as the occasional equipment review. An award-winning writer and past president of Texas Golf Writers Association, he has more than 25 years in the golf industry. Before accepting his current position in 2008, he was on staff at PGA Magazine, The Golfweek Group and AvidGolfer Magazine. Follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeBaileyGA and Instagram at @MikeStefanBailey.

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