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2023 Guide: Cool Hotels in Orlando, Florida, to Shake Up Your Orlando Experience

By 18 August 2018 January 17th, 2023 4 Comments

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.


As always, I find the best way to source for the cheapest flights is by checking on Google Flights & Skyscanner.

As for accommodation, I found Booking & HotelsCombined to provide the most comprehensive, unbiased comparison of different hotel sites. 

I travel long-term and never leave home without Safetywing, an affordable nomad travel insurance that covers COVID-19 too!.

15 Cool Hotels in Orlando, Florida You Can’t Say No To

Hotels_Orlando, where to stay in orlando

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1. Animal Kingdom Lodge

Animal Kindgom Lodge Exterior WDW Orlando, cool hotels in orlando florida

Probably the most unique and coolest luxury hotel that Orlando offers!

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.

TIP: Get the CityPASS to save on Orlando theme park tickets!

Animal Kingdom Lodge view WDW Orlando, cool hotels in orlando florida

View of the animals from the lodge

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

Polynesian Village Resort 2 WDW Orlando, cool hotels in orlando florida

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!

3. Gaylord Palms


Themed around the history and natural beauty of Florida

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.


Glass-domed atrium

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 center 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 charming 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!

6. The Ritz Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes

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!

7. Lake Buena Vista Resort Village

Lake Buena Vista Resort Village Orlando, cool Orlando hotelsWe can’t complete the list of cool hotels in Orlando without mentioning Lake Buena Vista Resort Village, simply because of the presence of a gigantic pirate ship. The pirate ship is situated in the middle of the resort and contains a slide that drops guests into a large pool.

After all that fun stuff, there are a lot of things that you would not like to miss. Those amazing things include enjoying the poolside bar, Frankie Farrell’s Irish Pub, and the Reflections Spa/Salon.

The best part that we cannot forget to mention is that Disney World is 2 miles away from this beautiful Lake Buena Vista Resort Village. Rooms feature a contemporary design that’s quite comfortable and homely.

The green grass covers a lot of areas of the resort, which makes for wonderful views. Simply put, every single detail here makes this place stunning.

8. Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek

Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek, cool Orlando hotelsThis resort is far away from other resorts in comparison because of its vast land size and beauty. It’s 482-acre large and sits on a quiet nature preserve; it’s no wonder why Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek is one of the most beautiful viewed accommodation options in Orlando. The huge resort has more than 1,000 beautiful rooms and suites available here with every amenity you can think of.

Around the nature reserve, you can enjoy morning walks to the sound of chirping birds, swim in one of the amazing pools, or close your eyes and relax at the spa.

Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek is also walking distance from Disney Springs. This resort has an amazing 3-acre lazy river pool with a water slide, which is well renowned as one of the best resort pools in Florida. Sliding down from this huge pool while enjoying the Florida sunlight is a wonderful combination.

Along with that, this resort also connects to other restaurants, making it one of the best places to stay in Orlando.

9. Aloft Orlando Downtown

Aloft Orlando Downtown, cool Orlando hotelsAloft Downtown is one of the modern and obviously cool hotels in Orlando. What makes it all the more unique is its modern design and interesting lighting. They have decorated spaces with a mix of quirky and colourful decoration and polishing in its interior. You can see a gorgeous combination of couches decoration, wooden designs, carpet colours, and the latest technology appliances. There’s nowhere more pronounced than its WXYZ Bar and the Re: Mix Lounge.

Most rooms are very big and have excellent views of the city.

Aloft Orlando Downtown is a great destination for travellers, especially with its location being in central Orlando. They provide 24/7 customer service to make your stay more beautiful and enjoyable.

No doubt that Aloft Downtown is one the best places to stay in Orlando among all the hotel selections available.

10. Marriott’s Harbour Lake

Marriott’s Harbour Lake Orlando, cool Orlando hotelsIf you want to experience the Caribbean adventure without traveling to the Caribbean, Marriott’s Harbor Lake is the perfect place for your next visit to Orlando.

The resort theme resembles the Caribbean town making it one of the unique hotels in Orlando. The buildings are designed in a colourful Key West cottage-style look, making it quite a magical place to stay in Orlando – guaranteed to entertain children and adults alike!

There are both standard rooms and spacious one- or two-bedroom villas available. The villas have kitchens, screened balconies, views, and a large living space. The design is modern with splashes Caribbean colours throughout.

Design aside, this resort has a lot of fun entertainment. The huge area of 22,000 square foot mini-golf course and Waterworks, a huge water playground, are just 2 of the things you can do. There is a huge pirate ship and water cannons located in the middle of Waterworks for children to play in.

Adults can enjoy stunning restaurants and bars located around the resort.

11. Universal’s Endless Summer Resort

Universal’s Endless Summer Resort orlando, cool Orlando hotelsUniversal Orlando Resort is well known for its beach and surf theme. Guests can take a ride in a big giant surfboard-shaped pool and enjoy a cocktail by the pool bar.

This resort has 2-bedroom suites where 6 people can stay, making it a great hotel in Orlando for family travellers. The other reason that makes it ideal for families is that the resort offers early access to some rides in the theme park. That’s the beginning of the adventure! You can have a lot of fun in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Universal’s Volcano Bay Water Theme Park. There’s also complimentary free transport to these parks by showing your room key, along with other perks around the resort as well.

Their food court, if you must know, is open between 7am to 11pm, offering delicious food.

12. Rosen Shingle Creek

Rosen Shingle Creek Orlando, cool Orlando hotelsRosen Shingle Creek is a Spanish-style resort and one of the most impressive resorts in Orlando. It’s a luxury resort with 1,500 rooms and suites with a gorgeous golf course view. The rooms are luxurious and quite astonishing with a focus on comfort.

There is well-furnished furniture along with amazing design. Its attention to detail in the interior designing is what makes living in this lodge feel like a luxury. That, and we can’t discount the full-service spa and dining options that are available at this resort.

Amenities of this resort include a large pool area, excellent restaurants and a spacious bar/ lounge area. This is the perfect place for golf lovers and travellers who want to enjoy luxury with world-class amenities in Orlando.

Cool Boutique Hotels in Orlando, Florida

13. The Alfond Inn

The Alfond Inn Orlando,  Boutique Hotels in OrlandoRated “Best Hotel in Florida” by worldwide travellers in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017, The Alfond Inn is one of the most popular boutique hotels in Orlando. Anyone can tell why this hotel is quite famous. This resort has a capacity of 112 rooms. It showcases the Alford Collection of Contemporary Art for Rollins College and is part of the Cornell Fine Arts Museum. The stunning art complements the luxurious interiors and surrounding tranquil gardens of The Alford Inn.

What makes The Alford Inn such an unusual and cool hotel is its VIP dog package. In this package offered by them, you can have your dog stay in your room with you. There are also arrangements for delicious meals to be provided for your pet.

Other amenities of Alfond Inn include the award-winning Hamilton’s Kitchen restaurant, a big pool, and a gym. The hotel is only 15 minutes from downtown Orlando and 30 minutes’ drive from Walt Disney World.

14. B Resort and Spa

B-Resort-Spa-Orlando-double-room,  Boutique Hotels in Orlando

Looking for a contemporary hotel in Orlando? Put B Resort and Spa on your radar.

B Resort and Spa is another boutique Orlando hotel to look at. One, it’s situated near Disney World, which is a plus point for guests looking to stay close to theme parks. Two, this resort has recently improved its designs and interior as well, so you can expect modern furnishings.

Amenities include free Wi-Fi and a big, beautiful pool. The common area is a very decent workplace for anyone working on the go. There is an on-site restaurant with a lot of delicious food and a retail shopping market for guests looking to do some quick shopping or spend idle time on.

There is free transport from the resort to Walt Disney World Theme Parks and the Downtown Disney region.

15. Castle Hotel

Castle Hotel, Autograph Collection, Orlando,  Boutique Hotels in OrlandoThis boutique hotel is one of the most famous and bizarre boutique hotels in Orlando.

From its name, it’s not hard to guess its theme is everything “castle.” Stepping into this chic boutique hotel in Orlando, you’ll think you’re in a lavish European hotel and forget you’re actually in Orlando! Everything, from the interior design to the furniture used, are all Bavarian-inspired.

Every room is very well decorated and has modern furniture as well. Services like the internet, TV and air conditioning are all taken care of.

Best Family Resorts in Orlando, Florida

16. Summer Bay Orlando by Exploria Resorts

Summer Bay Orlando, best orlando resorts for families

The perfect family vacation starts with the best Orlando resort for families!

Summer Bay Orlando by Exploria Resorts offers spacious condo-style accommodations, free WiFi, and complimentary transfer service to Epcot®, Magic Kingdom® Park, and Universal Studios®.

These accommodations are furnished with many of the comforts of home so you can relax and enjoy your stay. The property also features 4 on-site swimming pools and a poolside Tiki bar. You’ll also find an on-site restaurant, fitness centre, and grocery market so you can stock up on snacks and essentials for your stay. 

17. Quality Inn At International Drive Orlando

Quality Inn At International Drive Orlando, best orlando resorts for families

Looking for quality accommodation that’s close to all the action? Look no further than the Quality Inn At International Drive Orlando.

Their non-smoking family-friendly resort offers a range of great amenities, like an outdoor pool and sun deck, free breakfast daily and free WiFi. Plus, they’re just 6 km from Universal Studios and 12.8 km from Walt Disney World.

So whether you’re in town for business or pleasure, Quality Inn’s resort is the perfect Orlando resort to stay with your family. 

Cool Kid-Friendly Hotels in Orlando, Florida

18. La Quinta by Wyndham Orlando

La Quinta by Wyndham Orlando Universal area, best orlando hotels for kids

La Quinta is just what you need to make the most of your time in sunny Florida. Conveniently located 1.3 km from Universal Orlando Resort, the hotel offers an outdoor swimming pool and free WiFi to help you stay connected.

Families love their complimentary continental breakfast and shuttle service to and from Universal Orlando Resort – it’s the perfect way to start your day of fun in one of the best Orlando hotels for kids!

Each of their comfortable guest rooms comes equipped with a cable TV and a coffee maker, while a hairdryer and ironing facilities are also included for your convenience. Plus, their pet-friendly hotel offers free on-site parking and laundry facilities for added ease.

19. The Florida Hotel & Conference Center

The Florida Hotel & Conference Center in the Florida Mall, best orlando hotels for kids

Step into the exciting world of Orlando, Florida at the Florida Hotel & Conference Center. This connected hotel puts you right in the heart of all the action – with 270 stores at the Florida Mall, 17 km to Walt Disney World and Disney Springs, and 3 on-site dining options.

Every spacious room comes standard with a refrigerator, 42-inch flat-screen TV, and coffee machine, as well as a private bathroom with free toiletries, make-up mirror and hairdryer.

Plus, when you stay with them, you get exclusive access to theme park ticket services so you can make the most of your holiday.

And don’t forget their outdoor pool with a hot tub – perfect for winding down after a day of adventure. 

Fun Themed Hotels in Orlando, Florida

disney all star music resort, themed hotels in florida orlando

Looking for a way to stay in the movies? Look no further than Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort!

This fun and exciting resort is a great place for the whole family. With themes from your favourite Disney movies, you’ll feel like you’re right in the middle of the action. 

pop century resort, themed hotels in florida orlando

If you’re looking for a super fun and family-friendly resort, look no further than Disney’s Pop Century Resort.

The themed rooms, large arcade and multiple pool options will keep you entertained for hours on end, while the convenient bus service to the parks makes it easy to get where you need to go. Plus, their high level of service and cleanliness is guaranteed to please everyone in your family.

The location is unbeatable – right next door to the incredible Art of Animation Resort. 

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’s a family hotel or a boutique hotel in Orlando, 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 these 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!

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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.

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Isabel Leong

Isabel Leong

Full-time travel blogger at Bel Around The World and SEO coach roaming the world at a whim, Isabel helps aspiring content creators and brands get the most out of their online presence by attracting organic leads/traffic and achieving financial freedom with her Skyrocket With SEO course. She's closely involved in and has been featured as a speaker in other travel & digital nomad networks & podcasts such as Traverse, Travel Massive, The Nomadic Network and Location Indie.