Sometimes, the smallest details are the nicest. Take, for instance, the fact that most of the restaurants at GVL—from the Italian Gardens, a charming little cottage where homemade Italian cuisine is served family-style, to the Sherwood Forest, an upscale timber lodge steak and chophouse (you can take a short shuttle from the lodge to reach it, but I recommend the 45-minute pontoon cruise through scenic lakes and waterways)—all of them have a playground located right outside. Not exactly McDonald’s Playland, they’ll still do the job quite nicely if your little one goes a little squirrely waiting at the table for her meal.
Another nice feature is GVL’s Garden Course. No match for The Pines, The Preserve or Deacon’s Lodge—the resort’s three championship courses—the Garden Course, a well-kept nine holer just a few steps from the main lodge, manages to provide a stiff enough challenge for Mom and Dad, while being short enough for the kids, meaning that the whole family can play actually play together (a relative rarity in this age of ultra-long par 5s). They even have purple tee blocks for junior golfers, which cut the distance to the pin by 1/3 to ½.
And, perhaps the smallest touch of all—when you return to your room at night, your ice bucket will be full. No biggie, but it’ll mean something on the night you don’t have to put your shoes back on and traipse down to the lobby just to ice down your beverage.
– Tim, CF‘s contributing editor