Look inside the new Orlando hotel with smart toilets and windows

Look inside the new Orlando hotel with smart toilets and windows

Look inside the new Orlando hotel with smart toilets and windows

With a focus on art, technology and wellness, Lake Nona Wave Hotel opened its doors in December 2021 – its 17 floors tower over a growing planned community in Orlando, just a 10-minute drive from Orlando International Airport. A welcome alternative to theme park hotels in the area, this high-rise hotel is both sophisticated and whimsical – it doesn’t take itself too seriously as it rolls out the red carpet for guests who appreciate fine dining, modern rooms with innovative amenities and the opportunity to relax during your vacation to keep fit.

I spent a few nights at the Lake Nona Wave Hotel on a hosted media visit – one night with a girlfriend who lives in Orlando and the next on my own – and found the property both refreshing and surprising, with features and offerings I’ve yet to discover. never seen before in a reasonably priced city hotel. Here are a few reasons why I enjoyed my quick visit so much — and why I’d recommend Lake Nona Wave if you’re looking for a stylish getaway from the hustle and bustle of the Orlando theme park.

Smart toilets can be found in every guest room.
Smart toilets can be found in every guest room.
(Photo Credit: Kara Williams)

About those smart toilets and smart windows in guest rooms

When my friend and I were taken to our room, one of the first things our luggage guard did was tell us to go to the toilet. Sure enough, as soon as one of us got close to the Toto Neorest Smart Toilet, the lid magically opened on its own.

This sleek and tech-savvy line of toilets, which retails for $6,400, comes with all kinds of bells and whistles in addition to the automatically opening and closing toilet lid. Via a control panel on the wall we could choose from eco or full flushes, opt for a pulsating front or back (à la bidet), and whether we wanted to blow dry our buttocks (à la hairdryer). Using the toilet at the Wave Hotel was certainly entertaining.

The rooms are also equipped with floor-to-ceiling View Smart Windows, which automatically paint (or bleach) as needed throughout the day — when the weather gets sunnier or brighter, cloudier or darker — to block 99 percent of UV rays. This technology is not only energy efficient, but is also said to help guests sleep better. We honestly didn’t even notice that the windows are tinted throughout the day, but if it’s a tech feature that’s good for the environment and can help me adapt to time zone changes, I’m all for it!

iPad at The Wave Hotel
Guests can work at room temperature and order room service from an included iPad.
(Photo Credit: Kara Williams)

Other Tech-Savvy Amenities at Lake Nona Wave Hotel

It’s easy to order room service, make housekeeping requests (for example, get extra towels or a bucket of ice delivered), browse restaurant menus, and learn about what’s going on in the Lake Nona area on the iPad that is attached to the dresser in each guest bedroom. With this iPad we could also control the temperature and lighting in the room and close or open curtains.

Downloading the mobile app is also the key to full access to the advanced technology used in the hotel. When my phone was linked to my room, I was able to open my room door by swiping my phone in front of the keyboard. The mobile app has some of the same services as the in-room iPad, so even when you’re out and about in Orlando, you can easily chat with a hotel representative via text message if needed — or even order room service delivered by the time you arrive. are back in your room.

Of course, if you’re a technophobe and have no interest whatsoever in ever downloading a mobile app or touching an iPad on vacation, that’s okay! There are room controls on the wall to ensure your comfort while sleeping, and you can also easily pick up the phone to make room service requests.

The Wave Hotel's colorful and whimsical Living Room lobby.
The Wave Hotel’s colorful and whimsical Living Room lobby.
(Photo Credit: Kara Williams)

Artistic accents throughout the property

Entering the modern lobby of this high-rise building, my friend and I were immediately struck by the kaleidoscope of color, the eclectic array of seemingly random items displayed on the shelves and walls, and the playful furnishings. It was nice to spend time in the Living Room lobby studying a new artifact every time we rest there.

We also enjoyed a stroll through the outdoor sculpture garden which is dotted with impressive large works of art, some from the private Lewis collection. (Billionaire Joe Lewis is the founder of the Tavistock Group, developers of the Wave Hotel.) Amid towering palm trees, you’ll see one of the charging bull sculptures by Arturo Di Modica (his most famous version is in the Financial District in lower Manhattan).

I was struck by the large geometric chrome figures in various thought-provoking poses, as well as a trio representing the Monastery Conspiracy that reminded me of the maidservants in The Handmaid’s Tale

Treadmills at the Lake Nona Performance Club
Treadmills for days at the Lake Nona Performance Club.
(Photo Credit: Kara Williams)

Wellness amenities include access to a world-class fitness center

While Lake Nona Wave Hotel has its own impressive fitness center with Technogym strength training and cardio equipment – not to mention an outdoor pool with lounge chairs and cabanas – I chose to get my workout and relaxation time at the Lake Nona Performance Club, which is located outside the hotel grounds, but is completely free for guests of Lake Nona Wave Hotel.

This state of the art fitness, sports and integrative health center is about a 10 minute walk or a 3 minute bike ride. And guests at the Wave Hotel can borrow a cruiser bike from a fleet of about a dozen to get there. I did just that, starting my training for the day with the “scenic route” to the Performance Club, taking a leisurely hour to cycle through the local suburbs and along some paved recreational trails.

Once I got to the Performance Club, I was blown away by the offerings: a rock climbing wall, basketball court, indoor running track, plus a wide variety of cardio and strength training equipment from Technogym. I took my workout to the lap pool – which is adjacent to a family pool, a shallow water spray area for the youngest guests and a hot tub.

Afterwards I relaxed in the steam room of the spacious dressing room and thoroughly enjoyed a relaxing warm shower. What a treat to pamper myself after a few busy days of travel and activities. If only a massage appointment was available at the Performance Club’s Deepak Chopra Mind-Body Zone & Spa – next time!

Tasty desserts at restaurant Bacán in the Wave Hotel.
Tasty desserts at restaurant Bacán in the Wave Hotel.
(Photo Credit: Kara Williams)

Excellent dining options at Lake Nona Wave Hotel

I was incredibly impressed with our Saturday night meal at the onsite Bacán, whose menu focuses on ‘flavors of the Americas’, with a lot of influence from Latin American countries. Beneath a colorful and evocative mural, just a few steps from an open kitchen, we really appreciated sitting in the midst of a lively weekend crowd – seemingly not just hotel guests, but plenty of locals for a night out on the town, like good.

Our favorites included grilled street corn ribs with adobo mayonnaise and cojito cheese; lobster and burrata tostadas with passion fruit, pickled tomato, and roasted pepitas; and grilled short ribs in tequila sauce. Our desserts: chocolate fondant cake with mole sauce and strawberry ice cream, but also pavlova with coconut ice cream, caramelized pineapple, lime cream and coconut streusel. Really delicious.

For my solo meal, I sat on a hightop by the bar in the more casual and quiet (at least for a Sunday night) Haven Kitchen. Here, having previously had a filling brunch at Lake Nona’s Chroma restaurant just a few blocks away, I opted for a small plate of burrata (yes, more burrata!) with crispy ciabatta, heirloom tomato, blood orange salsa, arugula pesto, and bacon ham. It was the perfect little dish to enjoy with a glass of red wine to round out a wonderful stay at this new cosmopolitan Orlando hotel.