With its epic theme parks, water parks, and Michelin-starred dining, Orlando consistently ranks among the most popular family vacation spots in the United States. And while there’s no shortage of family resorts and theme park hotels, why not choose a high-end boutique resort loaded with special amenities if your budget allows?
That’s exactly what you’ll get at the Lake Nona Wave Hotel, which boasts 234 guest rooms (including 18 suites) and is situated right in the heart of the thriving Lake Nona community of Orlando. It’s the perfect base for a Disney or Universal vacation while allowing you to spend some time away from the theme parks when you need it.
Things to Know about Lake Nona Wave Hotel
- Lake Nona is one of the newer communities in Orlando. It’s adjacent to the Orlando International Airport, but you’re bombarded by noise from planes taking off and landing.
- The Lake Nona Wave Hotel is home to a Michelin-recommended restaurant, Bacán, which celebrates the flavors of Central and South America. The restaurant is known for its lively atmosphere, tasty drinks, and enticing menu.
- Besides Bacán, you can also have a cocktail and tapas in the Living Room Bar or the Haven Lounge. At Haven Kitchen, a Mediterranean-inspired menu and great views of Lake Nona combine for a nice way to start or end your day.
- The guest rooms at the Lake Nona Wave Hotel combine homey touches like soft bedding and warm lighting with technology like touchless toilets, voice-enabled room controls, and smart windows that block UV light.
- There’s a large sculpture garden onsite with art pieces on display. One of the most iconic pieces is Charging Bull, once featured in New York City’s Financial District.
- Those who want to mix theme parks with a bit of relaxation will enjoy the hotel’s pool deck. The large pool is surrounded by cabanas, and bar service is just a few steps from the comfortable loungers.
What Families Need to Know
The Lake Nona Wave Hotel is great for couples traveling together or families with older children. It’s not the best fit for vacations with toddlers or babies. The location is ideal to access all that Orlando has to offer, but younger kids may find the hotel a bit boring since there’s no dedicated kid’s programming.
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There are plenty of activities for families with older children in late elementary or junior high, though, including tours of the sculpture garden, enjoying the pool, and exploring Lake Nona on a complimentary bike. Teens and parents will also enjoy the nearby outdoor foodie destination Boxi Park, which is made up of shipping containers turned food stalls, with restaurants that have everything from loaded nachos to lobster rolls.
Lake Nona Wave Hotel Reviews
Tripadvisor reviewers rate the hotel 4.5 out of five stars, noting the easy-to-use technology in each room, the friendly front desk stand, and the scrumptious food. Most reviewers also mention the smart toilets with an integrated bidet and a heated toilet seat.
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With a rating of 9.6 out of 10, the Lake Nona Wave Hotel is one of the highest-rated hotels in the city on Hotels.com. On Booking.com, the hotel earns a guest rating of 9.0 out of 10 for its integration of technology, ideal location, and nice pool area.
Important Details about the Lake Nona Wave Hotel
The Lake Nona Wave Hotel is just nine miles from the Orlando International Airport, making this a great hotel for those who have early departures or late arrivals. But the hotel is far beyond the standard airport hotel in terms of amenities, atmosphere, and guest service. Nearby Space Coast attractions include Kennedy Space Center, which is about 45 miles away; Port Canaveral, which is about 47 miles away; and Cocoa Beach, which is about 51 miles away.
Closer to the hotel, both Universal and Disney are within a short drive. Both theme park resorts are about 19 miles from the hotel. Even closer to the hotel are SeaWorld Orlando and Discovery Cove, both of which are about 15 miles from the Lake Nona Wave Hotel. Parking at the hotel is easy, with a parking deck located directly across the street from the main entrance to the hotel. Valet and self-parking are complimentary with your stay.
The Lake Nona Wave Hotel opened in December 2021. The vibe inside is modern and fun with unique art installations and plenty of space to hang out in the lobby, which the hotel calls the Living Room. The hotel hosts weekly cocktail classes and more than 100 complimentary fitness classes each week.
The Lake Nona Wave Hotel is mostly recognized for its outdoor sculpture garden, which is a fantastic place to stroll around before dinner at Bacán, or while waiting for your car to be brought to the front of the hotel to venture off to one of Orlando’s many other culinary delights.
Each of the 234 guest rooms (including 18 suites) are all thoughtfully designed and infused with just the right amount of intuitive technology that you’ll actually use instead of complaining about. The smallest guest rooms (one king or two queen beds) are quite spacious, starting at 42 square feet. Select rooms at this level have balconies that look out over Lake Nona. Each room has a 65-inch HD smart TV, an in-room tablet, smart windows, premium Wi-Fi, temperature controls, and a smart toilet.
The wellness-centered rooms, known as Well+Ech by Wave, also start at 422 square feet and feature circadian lighting and air filtration from Healthe. The bedding in these rooms is made from the latest sleep technology, including a restorative bed from Bryce, moisturizing sheets from Nallapelli, and sleep aids from SleepScore Labs. The same technology that is found in the standard rooms is also found here.
Lake Nona Wave Hotel’s one-bedroom suites are quite large at 875 square feet and have a separate living room and bedroom. In the living room, there’s a wet bar, lounge, and a sofa bed. Most rooms have large balconies and two bathrooms. The bathrooms feature bath amenities by Payot, a walk-in shower, a soaking tub, and the hotel’s iconic smart toilets. In the bedroom, one king bed is placed in the middle of the room, with a large set of drawers and a 65-inch smart TV.
I recently stayed in a one-bedroom suite and had plenty of room for all of my things, a great view of Lake Nona, and had some of the best sleep I’ve ever had at a hotel thanks to the comfortable beds and cozy linens.
Activities at Lake Nona Wave Hotel
There’s a lot to do in Lake Nona, including playing tennis at the USTA National Campus, hitting golf balls at Drive Shack, or hitting the links at some of the nearby golf courses. Families who like a bit of adventure will also enjoy Nona Adventure Park, which is an inflatable water park located on the actual lake.
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There are several other destinations within driving distance of the hotel, including Orlando’s famous theme parks. At Universal Orlando Resort, families can enjoy The Wizarding World of Harry Potter or hop onto Jurassic World VelociCoaster. Over at Walt Disney World, you can fight alongside the First Order or the Resistance at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood or enjoy the nostalgia of Magic Kingdom. And Discovery Cove, which is a sort of day resort where you can get up close with dolphins, sting rays, and fish while enjoying tropical lagoons and lazy rivers, is even closer than Disney and Universal.
Just off the main lobby at Lake Nona Wave Hotel is The Living Room Bar, which serves cocktails and small plates. The bar can get loud later in the evening as guests are waiting for their dinner reservations for Bacán.
Inside Bacán, you’re greeted by a large open kitchen and a mural of a Peruvian goddess. While the menu at the Michelin-recommended restaurant is always evolving with the seasons, a few highlights include lobster and burrata toastada appetizer, which comes with a spritz of passion fruit and herb crema; and the whole truffle chicken, which is served family-style.
The Haven Lounge is a nice spot to enjoy a cocktail and small plates while live entertainment plays in the background. The lounge is only open Thursday through Saturday from 7:00 p.m. until 12:00 a.m. Its sister space, Haven Kitchen, includes a full menu of Mediterranean-inspired dishes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day.