Orlando's Grand Cypress Resort reveals new direction

A new hotel, Jack Nicklaus course and vacation rentals will replace the old Villas of Grand Cypress and shuttered 27-hole course by 2023.
A burn runs behind the 17th green on the New Course at Grand Cypress Resort.

Two years after the popular Villas of Grand Cypress and its nearby 27-hole Jack Nicklaus course closed outside Orlando, the future of the Grand Cypress Resort has finally become clearer.

Dart Interests, a large-scale developer, announced Jan. 12 that the prime 1,100-acre property adjacent to Walt Disney World will become the Evermore Orlando Resort. The 10,000-bedroom resort will feature a first phase of nearly 1,500 bedrooms spread among an array of accommodations, from single homes to villas and flats and 433 hotel rooms (including 61 suites) at the Conrad Orlando at Evermore, plus a new 18-hole Nicklaus course, all scheduled to debut in 2023. Conrad Hotels & Resorts is the highest luxury brand of Hilton Hotels.

A massive 20-acre tropical beach complex will be a centerpiece of the resort surrounding Evermore Bay, a crystalline water amenity by Crystal Lagoons that will be similar but slightly smaller (8 acres compared to 10) than the one at Diamante Cabo San Lucas in Mexico. This proprietary design uses up to 100 times less chemicals and only 2% of the energy used by conventional swimming pool filtration systems.

The surrounding beach areas will feature zero-entry swim areas, bars, cabanas, private fire pits and an aquatic adventure area with a water slide, rope swing and water sports. Other amenities will include a lively food hall & gourmet market, a casual resort restaurant featuring views overlooking the course and bay and a two-story Boathouse for weddings and private events.

The build-out plans eventually could add up to 69 houses ranging in size from 5 to 11 bedrooms; 76 four-bedroom flats; and 41 two- and four-bedroom villas.

Currently, the New Course at Grand Cypress and the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress remain open. The Hyatt, ranked No. 1 on Conde Nast Traveler’s 2019 Reader’s Choice Awards for Orlando Resort, offers a private lake, tennis courts and a unique lagoon-style pool with a swim-through cave.

Recent course reviews of the New Course are suffering somewhat with all the construction going on, but the on-course experience remains fun and engaging, considering it's the only "links-like" course near Orlando proper. User 'ctcov' still gave the experience five stars, writing: "The course is clearly undergoing significant renovations as all practice facilities are closed and you pass a ton of construction on the drive in and the ride to the first hole. But aside from that, it is truly a gem. I look forward to seeing what it looks like when it’s all finished."

The long term future of the New Course remains in limbo. A spokesman for the resort indicated that: "Once the resort course opens in 2023, play on the existing New Course will depend on business conditions at that time."

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Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed and photographed more than 1,000 courses and written about golf destinations in 20 countries for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Instagram at @jasondeegangolfpass and Twitter at @WorldGolfer.
Commented on

Hate to see anything happen to the New Course it is truly e a gem!

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Orlando's Grand Cypress Resort reveals new direction