Container-shaped molecules provide structured environments that impart geometric bounds on the motions and conformations of smaller molecular occupants. Moreover, they provide "solvation" that is constrained in time and space. When inwardly directed functional groups are present, they can interact chemically with the occupants. Additionally, the potential for reactivity and catalysis is greatly enhanced. Deep cavitands, derived from resorcinarenes, nearly surround smaller molecules and have been one of the most successful platforms for elaboration with functional groups. Derivatives bearing organic and metal-binding functional groups have been shown to affect recognition properties and selectively accelerate diverse reactions. In this review, we examine recent examples of these systems with an emphasis on how and why ordered nanoenvironments impart changes in the properties and reactivity of their occupants.