Orlando: the theme park capital of America.
Every year millions of people travel through Central Florida and spend time in The City Beautiful. Orlando has hotels for every type of traveller.
There are hundreds of properties to choose from including “vacation club’ properties that offer a home away from home experience. There are hotels for every budget too.
Even the theme parks have various levels of accommodations to ensure on property guests continue a themed experience.
I have travelled to Orlando for decades before living here, and even as a local resident, I still like to get into the different hotels and resorts in Orlando, Florida for a little ‘in town get away’ through staycations.
While many of the resorts and hotels on theme park property may be a little more expensive, there is often convenient perks that help offset the cost. For example, in Orlando’s Disney hotels, guests can enjoy free transportation around the different parks including water parks and Disney Springs.
Likewise, with Universal Orlando hotels. Universal Orlando hotel guests have access to transportation from the resort to City Walk or easy walking paths into the parks.
If your travels bring you to Orlando, but your visit isn’t theme park focused, there are several other beautiful resorts in Orlando, Florida that can give you a relaxing retreat and still put you within easy access to much of Orlando’s best spots.
This list offers some of the most unique and luxurious getaways in Central Florida to enhance the experience of your Orlando vacation.
Don’t rule out staying on a theme park property even if you intend on only visiting that park once during your visit. Resorts within the theme park areas have some of the most convenient perks and give you options for last minute entertainment.
6 Cool Hotels in Orlando, Florida You Can’t Say No To
Probably the most unique and coolest luxury hotel that Orlando offers! If you’re looking to stay in hotels in Orlando near Disney, why not stay right in the heart of Disney itself?
The Animal Kingdom Lodge is one of the Disney hotels in Orlando nestled deep within the Disney property back near the Animal Kingdom Park.The lodge and rooms are decorated with artwork and artefacts inspired by the various tribes from all over the African continent.
Many of the rooms overlook a large open area where giraffes, zebras and other animals can roam freely making you feel like you have just settled into the grand lodge at the start of a wild African Safari.
Since the Animal Kingdom Lodge is a Disney hotel on Disney property, transportation to every park and Disney Springs is included during your stay, which can make getting around on property much less stressful and save you time.
Animal Kingdom Lodge also has large villas that are part of the Disney Vacation Club, but available to rent by the night for non-Vacation Club guests. These rooms have one or two separate bedrooms and are spacious and comfortable for longer stays or larger travel parties.
A great choice if you’re looking for Orlando family resorts during your stay here!
2. Polynesian Village Resort Walt Disney World
The Polynesian Resort has long been one of my favourite resorts in Orlando, Florida for vacation. When I used to live in the snowy cold north, I would crave my Florida vacations and a getaway to what felt like a tropical paradise.
Disney hotels rolls out the luxury and layers it nicely with themes that are well supported throughout every detail.
The Polynesian Resort offers not only comfortable spacious rooms, but stunning views of the fireworks over Magic Kingdom each evening.
There are several restaurants and bars to choose from including the famous Trader Sam’s Tiki Bar.
Guests of the Polynesian Village Resort also enjoy the easiest access to Magic Kingdom and EPOCT via the monorail that conveniently loops past the Polynesian consistently every few minutes every day.
This resort can contend with Animal Kingdom Lodge as the best Orlando resorts for families!
This is one of the best resorts in Orlando, Florida, in my opinion and one of my favourite hotels. This is a great family resort, or if you’re looking for romantic hotels in Orlando, or even a business excursion, this is a good choice.
Gaylord Resorts offers various themed resorts across the country, the Gaylord Palms celebrates all things Florida. It’s almost impossible to describe the unique ambiance of the Gaylord Resorts.
The main atrium in the center of the resort is under a huge glass dome. You feel like you are outside, but no matter what the weather, it is always a perfectly temperate atmosphere.
Gaylord Palms Orlando is themed around the history and natural beauty found distinctly in Florida. The focal point of the resort has a large Castillo in the centre of the atrium with the one side celebrating the swampy elegance of the Florida Everglades and the other side reminiscent of a dock with a large sail boat like you might find along the gulf coast and down to Key West.
There are several restaurants and bars on property as well as water park and multiple pools including an ‘adults only’ pool.
The Relache Spa is incredible and is available for non-resort guests as well. At the holidays Gaylord Palms creates a winter wonderland including incredible ice sculptures and a snowy toboggan run.
If your travels to Orlando include visiting multiple theme parks, or not spending much time in parks at all, consider Gaylord Palms.
4. Portofino Bay Hotel Universal Orlando
If you’ve ever wanted to visit Italy and the charming towns through Cinque Terre, you will probably love the Portofino Bay Hotel.
This Orlando luxury resort is beautiful, comfortable and convenient if your travels include Universal Orlando.
Guests of the three luxury resorts at Universal Orlando including the Portofino Bay Hotel, Hard Rock Hotel and Royal Pacific Resort can enjoy the perks of the Universal Express Unlimited Pass which gets you onto rides and attractions faster. Not surprisingly, they are considered some of the best hotels near Universal Studios Orlando.
The Portofino Bay Hotel is a relaxing boat ride to City Walk for a night full of great music and cocktails.
Portofino Bay Hotel also offers guests a spa option at their beautiful Mandara Spa. I’ve enjoyed a relaxing overnight stay with a night of fun at City Walk and a relaxing massage and spa package to rejuvenate.
On the property, there are several pools and restaurants based on your preferences.
5. Grand Bohemian Hotel Downtown Orlando
Far from the traffic and congestion of the tourist area sits this charming hotel in downtown Orlando, Florida.
Bustling with entertainment options and easy adjacency to the surrounding neighbourhoods, the Bohemian Hotel positions you perfectly for easy access to almost everywhere in Orlando.
The Bohemian is part of the Kessler Group of hotels, each is artistic and swanky and one of my favourite boutique style chains to stay with when travelling.
The Bosendorfer Lounge is luxurious with rich red hues and large framed artwork and a beautiful Bosendorfer piano that graces your evening with live music while you enjoy delicious cocktails.
A top choice if you’re looking for hotels in downtown Orlando Florida!
Orlando is fortunate to have several luxury hotels and resorts, but many of them are situated on a theme park property which is why The Ritz Carlton is one of my top picks when it comes to looking for a luxury hotel in Orlando.
The Grand Lakes Property is situated just far enough away from the congestion of the rest of the tourist areas, and yet has easy access to anywhere from coast to coast across Central Florida.
The Ritz Carlton Grand Lakes has one of the most beautiful spas I have been to, and the adjacent hotel, The J.W. Marriott, has a fun lazy river that Ritz Carlton guests can use which makes a day at the pool extra relaxing.
The Grand Lakes Property also has its own farm which supplies much of the produce used at the restaurants between the Ritz Carlton and J.W. Marriott. Ask for a tour around the farm when you’re staying here!
The city is constantly growing and evolving with different ways to delight her guests. It’s hard to decide which is the best place to stay in Orlando.
Shake it up by choosing to stay in one of these unique, cool hotels in Orlando with the selections above.
Whether it is a family hotel or a boutique hotel, picking the hotel of your travel type can truly enhance your overall experience and make your time in Central Florida all the more memorable and relaxing.
With how much detail is poured into many of the hotels and resorts, take a day to slow down and stay on property and just enjoy the perks offered at any of these unique and luxurious spots!
I hope you enjoy your time in Orlando. Cheers!
Kristin started Sippin Gypsy as a catalog of her travels as she seeks out that blend of culture, history, cocktails and cuisine She is passionate about uncovering unique places within each city that celebrate the local talents of its people. Sippin Gypsy is growing into a collective group of travellers who all have a passion for Exploring the World Sip by Sip. You can find more Sippin Gypsy adventures and cocktail recipes inspired by travels at www.sippingypsy.com and on Facebook at @SippinGypsy as well as on Instagram @thesippingypsy
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