Valentine to the Villas of Grand Cypress

You’re traveling on Florida’s Interstate 4, south from the Convention Center and International Drive down to the Lake Buena Vista exit. You’ve been knocking around “I Drive” in all its cheesy “internationalism,” or maybe you’ve been up at Universal Studios. Now you’re rental vehicle is descending into Disney World / Epcot air space, bracing for the whole weltanschauung of that. Turn right at the end of the ramp to behold a clutter of gas stations and strip stores selling knock-off souvenirs.   

At this point you think: I’m a serious person. Back in college I took Intro to Philosophy and got, like, a B-minus. I read The Economist on occasion. This kiddie-culture vortex is going to leave my brain no better off than a load of laundry at the fluff ‘n’ fold.

One island of grown-up sanity offers salvation. It’s past the mighty Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress (yes, also part of the antidote to Orlando Fever, though still just a high-rise hotel), down the road a mile on the right. The Villas of Grand Cypress—swerving, low-profile fairways, mature landscaping, mature guests and wonderful common spaces.

 What injects the romance into Grand Cypress is its grownup sophistication—set against the sing-song mini-van madness of Disney World. A telling detail: I rolled through the gates of this lush, low-slung property one Saturday to see a veiled bride being photographed against the bougainvillea blossoms, and it looked oh so right. Walk into the lobby bar, the 18-story Trellises Lounge, and your pulsebeat quickens a bit. The villa rooms will remind you of that swank apartment you couldn’t possibly afford, back before the kids were born. They say golf is better than sex, but this is one hideaway where the couple that plays together finds plenty of time for both.

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