There are hundreds of hotels, and as many as 678 listings for hotels in Orlando according to some sources. One of the first questions to ask yourself and the family is whether you want to splurge or save, and whether or not you want the theme parks of Orlando to be part of your accommodation experience.
After all, Disney World has a host of hotels, including its own categories of budget, medium and splurge. Downtown Disney has many hotels to choose from, including non-Disney options which are closer to a budget price hotel. Even so, many hotels around Disney World are still far away from the park premises. Downtown Disney is the closest section and a convenient choice. The Marketplace area has its own franchised and independent hotels and these tend to be less expensive. Disney even has its hands in other “themed” hotels like Disney’s Port Orleans Resort, which is arranged like a mansion along the old Mississippi River, with an Alligator Bayou and a Magnolia Blend. Perhaps the most child-friendly rooms would be Disney Royal Guest Rooms featuring themes of Disney cartoons like Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Princess and the Frog. Disney hotels also include non-themed but still luxurious accommodations such as Disney’s Old Key West Resort and Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa.
Luxury hotels in Orlando do offer plenty of charm, whether you prefer a theme or simply five-star accommodations. The Hard Rock Hotel has the rock and roll theme with modern amenities like swimming pools (naturally with enhanced underwater music), a fitness centre, and restaurant, and perhaps best of all plenty of hotel-hosted concerts and live performances.
The Nickelodean Hotel fits in nicely with the theme atmosphere, highlight famous cartoon characters that revolutionised children’s TV like Spongebob Squarepants, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Dora and Diego and even nods to the old 1980s show You Can’t Do That on Television with the “slime experience.”
Full-service accommodations like the Rosen Shingle Creek provide everything you want from a vacation in one handy spot, such as golfing, spa treatment, dining and everything from VIP to deluxe suite to presidential suites.
The Grand Bohemian Hotel inspires creativity with bold coloured furnishings, java wood furniture, velvet drapes, and Jacuzzi tubs.
Castle Hotel in Orlando was envisioned as a modern castle, and features stately spires, glass gates, artwork, large chandeliers, and shining textiles that make your hotel stay appear to be more like a manor. Rooms are modern but do feature some regal subtleties like gold furnishing and crafted headboards.
There are a large number of mid range or brand name luxury hotels. They don’t have the Disney theme or quirky interiors, but they do offer convenient location (near the theme parks) as well as three, four or five star services. Chains include almost every big name in the hotel industry, from Doubletree, to Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress (with golf and tennis), and Ramada Coop Florida. The Ritz Carlton and JW Marriott Grande Lakes hotel not only highlights golf and a spa but also a lazy river pool. Other mid-range hotels to search for include Wyndham Orlando, Best Western Plus (near Universal Studios) and Comfort Suites Universal Studios, which is so close to the resort it offers ground transportation.
Many travellers wisely decide to save their splurge money for the attractions and dining and opt instead for a smaller hotel or motel. The Hyatt Place, for example, is just 20 minutes from Disney World, Sea World and other attractions, and more importantly, has a “best rate guarantee” or 20% off a competitor’s price.
The Baymont Inn and Suites has actually ranked highest in customer satisfaction among all budget hotels and actually has several locations, from Orlando to Kissimmee to Celebration, Florida.
Among the closest to Disney World that is still not a Disney luxury hotel, is Clarion Inn Lake Buena Vista, a Good Neighbour Hotel and friendly to tourists keen on visiting Disney World.
According to Traveller’s Point, some of the top-rated hotels from customers who actually visited these budget accommodations were the Ramada Convention Centre Hotel, the eco-friendly Rodeway Inn, the Days Inn Florida Mall, and the Rosen Inn at Pointe Orlando with a low price but modern amenities like a swimming pool and a family buffet restaurant.