Orlando’s hospitality scene is among the deepestin the country with accommodations ranging from economy guest rooms tomulti-room luxury suites. Now Central Florida has upped the ante with respectto villas.
Isolé Villas has opened on Orlando’s west sidenear Reunion Resort, just off the I-4 corridor. Designed as a luxury, privateresidence with the feel of a five-star hotel, Isolé Villas is a25,000-square-foot private estate aimed at couples, families, weddings, groupsand corporate retreats close (but not too close) to Orlando’s theme parks andother attractions.
Isolé Villas sleeps up to 30 guests, with twoPresidential Suites, two Ambassador Suites and an additional 11 one-bedroomsuites for a total of 15 accommodations.
It’s an ambitious project in a city known for itslofty ambitions. After all, who believed 50 years ago that a mouse could turnCentral Florida swamp and scrub land into the world’s most popular vacationdestination?
Among the area’s future plans—a 570-foot tallroller coaster called “The Skyscaper” coming in 2019 near the landmark “OrlandoEye” on International Drive. Infinity Falls water ride is scheduled to openthis summer at Sea World and will feature a 40-foot vertical lift that is beingtouted as the tallest rapids ride in the world. Aventura Hotel, meanwhile, is a16-story hotel set to open this summer at Universal Orlando. Universal’sEndless Summer Resort—a massive property with more than 2,000 guest rooms—is inthe planning stages, adding to the Loews Hotels’ portfolio of hotels andresorts at Universal and Margaritaville Resort is scheduled to open later thisyear in Kissimmee on the site of the old Splendid China theme park.
All of that taken into account, Isolé VillasFounder David Krakauer calls his property, “The next evolution in thetransformation of luxury travel.”
“We chose Orlando because it continuouslyattracts sophisticated international and domestic travel,’’ Krakauer said. “Asa result of this level of tourism, we believe there is a need for moreluxurious, exclusive villas.”
From start to finish, Krakauer said, Isolé Villaswas a three-year project.
“We came up with the concept for Isolé Villasbased on our own personal, multi-generational travel experiences,” Krakauersaid. “We saw a need in the market where everyone can stay in one housecomfortably with all the personalized services of a luxury hotel.”
That service includes a villa concierge whoorganizes any number of activities—from arranging private dinner parties totheme park visits, shopping excursions, and scheduling golf outings. (Reunionhas golf courses designed by Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Tom Watson.)
Krakauer said he chose Reunion Resort, which ismanaged by Salamander Hotels & Resorts, as an amenities partner because itis “one of Orlando’s exclusive communities—and it’s friendly to short rentals.”
Each guest’s visit to Isolé Villas, Krakauersaid, is carefully planned and personalized prior to arrival. Throughout thevisit, the property’s personal villa concierge, villa manager and housekeepersdiscreetly attend to each guest’s needs.
“Our original concept was a 15,000-square-footvilla. As we added more and more amenities we thought our guests wouldappreciate—such as a board room, service wing and spa—the concept grew to25,000 square feet.”
Some of the Villas’ more popular amenities,according to Krakauer, include a customized black Italian marble table—whichcan seat up to 40 people comfortably for a large event or break down toaccommodate smaller parties; the executive chef’s industrial kitchen forcatering large dinner parties and events; a multi-level saltwater pool with a60-foot swim lane and Jacuzzi; and a private theatre.
In addition, Isolé Villas has curated an artcollection distinctive to each room. The villa’s first and second floors eachfeature sophisticated pieces characterized by bold colors. The third floorlooks like a small gallery—highlighting pieces from legendary artists such asJoan Miro and Dale Chihuly—combined with photography and three-dimensionalworks by local artists. The spa is accentuated by artwork that plays offarchitectural details.
“We built Isolé to accommodate all categories ofguests. It’s a great mix,’’ Krakauer said.
“We do plan to grow the concept nationally as weknow many families are looking for such accommodations within one flight. Whilewe’re open to expanding outside the U.S., we’ve found many internationaldestinations have similar accommodations, so the need is not as great as it ishere,” he concluded.