This boutique resort wowed one of our guests. Have you been blown away, too?


As someone who lives in Orlando, Florida, I have definite ideas about hospitality. Orlando is the #4 tourist destination in the world, #1 in the USA, and #1 in Florida, so we know a thing or two about hospitality. All other travel experiences are filtered through this lens.

Hospitality is attentive, it is welcoming, it is gracious, and it is flexible. These are the qualities possessed by the staff of Villa Aquina, the accommodations at Gordon Rathbun’s Ski Paradise. I’m here on my third visit, enjoying the stunning panoramic ocean and bay views from the pool deck. But without the unmatched service provided by Gordon and Gabriela’s staff, the views would just be views.

Last night, a group of us arrived at the bar without warning. Paco appeared soon after, and squeezed limes and oranges before making us fresh, delicious margaritas. Paco has been on staff for a year and a half, and has mastered the cordial arts. While most guests follow the resorts water skiing schedule, some don’t–and Paco is always ready to accommodate both kinds of guests.

Today, I skipped going to the lake, staying behind to work on some projects. When I walked up to the pool deck, the kitchen staff made me breakfast, even though they had already served the other guests hours earlier. That kind of flexibility is hard to find at a boutique hotel. The folks are like magicians–they can make anything happen for you.

During last year’s visit, I eyed a billboard advertising a Ricky Martin concert…taking place the very next day. Gordon and Gabriela’s staff helped me score tickets.

If you have been to Ski Paradise and have warm memories of the excellent service, we would love to hear about them in the comments! Please share your thoughts below.