SEE FLORIDA for CLOSE TO HOME FUN

SEE FLORIDA for CLOSE TO HOME FUN

Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate

By MARIA IANNUCCI

With a Four Diamond resort just minutes from Central Florida attractions, the Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate is a well-kept secret no more. For a sophisticated, individualized experience for travelers and locals alike, the Omni offers a real getaway while furnishing activities and amenities to keep guests as busy or relaxed as they wish.

The Omni, with 720 unpretentious rooms and suites from which to choose, is close for Polk County residents as it is located in the Four Corners area. The drive up to the reception area takes you through the 1,200 acre resort through the majestic gates and palm tree-lined boulevard. Surrounded by natural wetlands, you can see cattle grazing around the edges of the property, a sign that the term “resort” doesn’t necessarily mean commercial development.

OMNI 9

Beyond the floor-to-ceiling glass walls lies the 15-acre recreational area showcasing an adult pool with private cabanas and meditation garden, an 850-ft. lazy river, activity pool with slides and fountains, lighted nine hole/par 3 golf experience and 36 holes of walk-out golf beyond. Enjoying the “great outdoors” in comfort and style, guests take advantage of the cabana amenities surfing the Internet with complimentary WiFi access, watching television or catching up on a favorite magazine or novel.

The lazy river lets kids of all ages float on bright tubes at speeds ranging from two to eight mph, through its tunnels, gentle rapids and hidden canyons. Winding through the lushly landscaped resort playground, the lazy river channels adventurers through H20 surprises ranging from shooting water cannons to an exhilarating waterfall.

Since “families that play together stay together,” parents let loose and kids get silly with resort activities at the family pool, from lizard hunts and bubble bashes to sandcastle building and poolside trivia. Guests with energy to spare take part in activities, such as morning walks, family scavenger hunts, water balloon tosses and diving games.

For a fun golf experience the whole family will enjoy, the ninehole/ par three Champions 9 course is ideal for beginners or those working on their short game. Champions 9 features professional Callaway Golf clubs and balls, and is lit for entertaining night time play.

Serious golfers can enjoy the challenges of the Omni’s two 18- hole championship courses, offering 36 holes of Greg Normandesigned golf. The International is a 7,363-yard, authentic links-style course hauntingly reminiscent of the British Isles, with bagpipers playing on the 10th hole. Boasting the highest course rating in the state of Florida, at 76.3, and ranked as Golf Magazine’s “Top 10 New Upscale Courses,” the International has 18 of the most dramatic and challenging holes in the state. The National, a 7,128- yard, traditional American-style course layout, is cut from 200 acres of woodlands, wetlands and orange groves. The resort is also the world headquarters for the Leadbetter Golf Academy.

Pool with water tower and Kid's fountain

The resort is a certified member of the United States Tennis Association with two lighted, hard courts, including complimentary rackets and tennis balls. Also offered is complimentary access in the state-of-the-art full service health club featuring Cybex weight training and cardio equipment, including treadmills, recumbent and upright bikes and elliptical and cross trainers.

Entering the full-service Mokara-branded spa, guests are instantly transformed into a state of relaxation. As soothing music floats on the air, visitors in plush robes are whisked to the waiting lounge to sip herbal teas and nosh on fresh fruit. From Seaweed Body Masks and Mokara Signature Massages to Ocean Stone Massages and Aspara Essential Oil Wraps, the Mokara spa has an array of pampering treatments in which to indulge.

A diverse collection of cuisine is available on property with something for everyone. From Pan-Asian fare at Zen to the upscale sports bar at David’s Club, and casual Italian at Trevi’s to the Broadway Deli; there’s everything from snacks to multi-course meals available to add to your experience.

For a quick weekend getaway or a week of rest and relaxation, Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate is right around the corner, but will take you worlds away. For more information or to book reservations call 1-800-THE-OMNI or visit www.omnihotels.com/championsgateorlando.

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