Orlando’s hospitality scene is among the deepest in the country with accommodations ranging from economy guest rooms to multi-room luxury suites. Now Central Florida has upped the ante with respect to villas.
Isolé Villas has opened on Orlando’s west side near Reunion Resort, just off the I-4 corridor. Designed as a luxury, private residence with the feel of a five-star hotel, Isolé Villas is a25,000-square-foot private estate aimed at couples, families, weddings, groups and corporate retreats close (but not too close) to Orlando’s theme parks and other attractions.
Isolé Villas sleeps up to 30 guests, with two Presidential Suites, two Ambassador Suites and an additional 11 one-bedroom suites for a total of 15 accommodations.
It’s an ambitious project in a city known for its lofty ambitions. After all, who believed 50 years ago that a mouse could turn Central Florida swamp and scrub land into the world’s most popular vacation destination?
Among the area’s future plans—a 570-foot tall roller coaster called “The Skyscraper” coming in 2019 near the landmark “Orlando Eye” on International Drive. Infinity Falls water ride is scheduled to open this summer at Sea World and will feature a 40-foot vertical lift that is being touted as the tallest rapids ride in the world. Aventura Hotel, meanwhile, is a 16-story hotel set to open this summer at Universal Orlando. Universal’s Endless Summer Resort—a massive property with more than 2,000 guest rooms—is in the planning stages, adding to the Loews Hotels’ portfolio of hotels and resorts at Universal and Margaritaville Resort is scheduled to open later this year in Kissimmee on the site of the old Splendid China theme park.
All of that taken into account, Isolé Villas Founder David Krakauer calls his property, “The next evolution in the transformation of luxury travel.”
“We chose Orlando because it continuously attracts sophisticated international and domestic travel,’’ Krakauer said. "As a result of this level of tourism, we believe there is a need for more luxurious, exclusive villas."
From start to finish, Krakauer said, Isolé Villas was a three-year project.
“We came up with the concept for Isolé Villas based on our own personal, multi-generational travel experiences,” Krakauer said. “We saw a need in the market where everyone can stay in one house comfortably with all the personalized services of a luxury hotel.”
That service includes a villa concierge who organizes any number of activities—from arranging private dinner parties to theme park visits, shopping excursions, and scheduling golf outings. (Reunion has golf courses designed by Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Tom Watson.)
Krakauer said he chose Reunion Resort, which is managed by Salamander Hotels & Resorts, as an amenities partner because it is “one of Orlando’s exclusive communities—and it’s friendly to short rentals.”
Each guest’s visit to Isolé Villas, Krakauer said, is carefully planned and personalized prior to arrival. Throughout the visit, the property’s personal villa concierge, villa manager and housekeepers discreetly 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 would appreciate—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—which can seat up to 40 people comfortably for a large event or break down to accommodate smaller parties; the executive chef’s industrial kitchen for catering 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 art collection distinctive to each room. The villa’s first and second floors each feature sophisticated pieces characterized by bold colors. The third floor looks like a small gallery—highlighting pieces from legendary artists such as Joan Miro and Dale Chihuly—combined with photography and three-dimensional works by local artists. The spa is accentuated by artwork that plays off architectural details.
“We built Isolé to accommodate all categories of guests. It’s a great mix,’’ Krakauer said.
“We do plan to grow the concept nationally as we know many families are looking for such accommodations within one flight. While we’re open to expanding outside the U.S., we’ve found many international destinations have similar accommodations, so the need is not as great as it is here,” he concluded.