On April 24, 2024, the MICHELIN Guide revealed the brand new list of One, Two, and Three Key hotels in the United States. In this first-ever announcement of MICHELIN Keys in the United States, hotels in Atlanta, California, Chicago, Colorado, Florida, New York, and Washington DC were eligible for the distinction.

The MICHELIN Guide now includes over 5,000 hotels across the world, and not a single one is simply a room for the night. These are places that significantly add to your experience as a traveler, each vetted and judged excellent in five categories: architecture and interior design, quality and consistency of service, overall personality and character, value for the price, and a significant contribution to the guest experience in a particular setting.

That's right, the Michelin Guide which honored multiple Orlando restaurants now shines a light on luxurious hotels.

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ette hotel – Image from ette hotel

In total, the 2024 MICHELIN Guide hotel selection in the United States includes 11 Three Key hotels, 33 Two Key hotels, and 80 One Key hotels. 

We are lucky to have three of those properties right here in Orlando: Ette Hotel, Lake Nona Wave Hotel, and The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes.

Before we get into what makes these hotels so amazing and worthy of this distinction, we are going to answer a couple of questions you might have about MICHELIN Keys.

What are hotels doing in the MICHELIN Guide?

Way back in the 1920s, the MICHELIN Guide made its first hotel recommendations — and hotels have been included in guides in Europe and Asia ever since. But just four years ago, they began a comprehensive refresh of the hotel selection, with a mission to provide a complete travel experience to anyone who uses their Guide. Look through it and you will find a definitive (and ever-evolving) list of the most memorable restaurants and hotels throughout the world. All in one place. All are accompanied by tips and analysis from their selection team.

Which hotels are eligible for a MICHELIN Key?

Every single MICHELIN Guide hotel is eligible. Over the last four years, their selection team of passionate, independent experts vetted, scrutinized, and ultimately determined more than 5,000 remarkable hotels for inclusion in their collection. Each has been selected for its remarkable quality. Out of these thousands of hotels, those offering the most outstanding stays will be awarded the special MICHELIN Key distinction.

3 Luxurious Hotels in Orlando to Earn a MICHELIN Key

It is no secret that Orlando is home to a LOT of hotels and resorts, but you may not realize just how many outstanding and unique properties there are. Three of those properties earned a MICHELIN key this year and are perfect for a staycation or date night.

Ette Hotel

3001 Sherberth Rd, Kissimmee, FL 34747
Room Rates: Start at $430 per night

ette hotel – Image from ette hotel

Notes from MICHELIN: Luxury boutique hotels are still not exactly the norm in Orlando, but this one is up there with the best of them. Ette is just a few minutes’ drive from the theme parks, but within its walls is a hotel as urban and urbane as its counterparts in Miami or New York.

The lobby is resplendent in richly figured Italian marble and the rooms are modern and minimalist, but not without warmth, and the comforts are first-rate. The Michelin-starred chef Akira Black is responsible for Lipa, the rooftop restaurant, as well as Salt & The Cellar, the flagship restaurant and cocktail bar.

Pro-Tip: Don't let the name fool you – check out the Laundry Museum! They are the first hotel ever to feature an open-concept laundry facility, so that their guests can witness, first-hand, how perfectly their towels and linens are cleaned. In fact, their laundry facility is like a museum. Take a seat along the super long bench and enjoy one of their scrumptious signature Bomb-ettes with a steaming espresso, latte, or cappuccino while you witness their in-house laundry specialists at work through the massive viewing glass. 

Lake Nona Wave Hotel

6100 Wave Hotel Dr, Orlando, FL 32827
Room Rates: Rates range from $215 – $350 for single guest rooms. One-bedroom suites range from $380 – $480 per night.

Lake Nona Wave Hotel Exterior from the sculpture garden -
Lake Nona Wave Hotel Exterior from the sculpture garden – Dani Meyering

Notes from MICHELIN: Orlando’s Lake Nona Wave Hotel is known for its technology, and we’re not just talking about its gently curving silhouettes; it’s among the first to feature smart windows, which dim automatically in response to bright sunlight, as well as Toto toilets and, in selected rooms, high-tech beds and sleep-quality apps. Just as important, from our perspective, is the fact that its interiors are, if anything, even more distinctive in their design than the hotel’s memorable exterior.

The rooms, in particular, are among the most stylish in town, though that doesn’t mean minimalist or severe — modernist, yes, but of the sunny, colorful, somewhat utopian mid-century variety. They’re outfitted with luxe touches like Frette linens and Payot bath products to complement the high-tech gadgetry. And while they start out at a comfortable enough size, the suites quickly grow to 875 square feet or more.

Also substantial are the wellness offerings, from the Chopra Mind-Body Spa to the expansive Lake Nona Performance Club, under whose roof you’ll find a fitness center and swim club as well as a cycling studio, a climbing gym, and even an indoor track. Meanwhile the restaurants include the verdant Haven Kitchen and the upscale pan-American Bacán, featuring influences from the entirety of the Spanish-speaking Western Hemisphere.

Lake Nona Sculpture Garden – Image from Lake Nona Wave Hotel

Pro-Tip: Do not miss the sculpture garden! Set on 50,000 square feet of picturesque outdoor space, the Lake Nona Sculpture Garden features lush tropical flowers, roughly 300 palm trees, and a world-class collection of sculptures. We absolutely love strolling through the garden – it's free to visit!

Related Post: A Culinary Map of Lake Nona Restaurants

The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes

4012 Central Florida Pkwy, Orlando, FL 32837
Room Rates: Start at $675 per night

The Spa at The Ritz-Carlton Orlando. Image credit: The Ritz-Calrton Orlando, Grande Lakes

Notes from MICHELIN: The Ritz-Carlton is the obvious choice for anyone wishing for an escape from the theme parks — it towers over a park of its own, the Grand Lakes resort, a vast estate strewn with orange groves, complete with a Greg Norman-designed golf course. And there’s nary a costumed mascot in sight.

As for the hotel itself, it sticks to the tried-and-true Ritz-Carlton formula: big opulent rooms, Mediterranean palazzo style, old-fashioned professional service, and amenities to embarrass lesser hotels. All rooms have balconies overlooking the resort’s parklands, but the top-floor Club Level has the best views (plus even more attentive service). The spa complex is vast, the golf facilities first-rate, the pool in the adjoining JW Marriott is enormous, and Norman’s restaurant (named for James Beard winner Norman Van Aken, not for Greg the golf pro) is worth every one of its AAA diamonds. It’s just about enough to make you forget about the theme parks entirely.

Pro-Tip: MICHELIN Recommended restaurant PRIMO is located in The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes. Featuring menus crafted by award-winning chef Melissa Kelly and fresh ingredients produced on-site at the Primo Organic Garden, authentic home-style Italian and Mediterranean cuisine is served alongside a curated list of wines.

Related Post: Date Night at Orlando’s MICHELIN Star Restaurants