Luxury, Convenience, Super-Fun Amenities: A Few Staples of Orlando's Best Hotels

Orlando was just recently named the No. 1 "Hot Spot" for travel. Why? Massive expansions at the city's world-famous theme parks are ongoing and it's shopping, dining and of course – hotel presence – is industriously following suit. Travelers are getting more sophisticated, as well, looking to squeeze as much joy out of where they stay as what they do while they're in town. As such, our 10Best round-up of Orlando properties features brand names closely associated with luxury, such as Four Seasons, Ritz-Carlton and Waldorf Astoria, three famous names whose reputations precede them. And while business travelers may seek out Orange County Convention Center-convenient properties such as the Hyatt Regency Orlando or Rosen Shingle Creek, they'll find these properties hardly lack for family- or fun-centric amenities. Orlando's hospitality professionals want guests to sit and stay awhile, and with features that include celebrity chef-helmed restaurants, incredible world-class golf and sprawling oases that encompass opulent adults-only pools with safe and sparkling on-site water parks for kids of all ages to enjoy, parents will find it takes little effort to convince the kids to skip the parks for a day of refreshing down time at their resort of choice. Similarly, with cultural expansion at an all-time high downtown, those looking to catch a show at the new Dr. Phillip Center for the Performing Arts or a game or concert at the Amway Center will find a luxe haven at the beautiful Grand Bohemian. 



Spacious guestrooms, balcony views, water slides and the brand-new Marilyn Monroe spa are just a handful of reasons to consider this as a home base for your Orlando visit. Whether you're dining amid the opulence of Hemingway's or kicking back with something cold from the On The Rocks pool bar, you're like to feel relaxed and well taken-care-of. And speaking of pools, this property's 850,000-gallon lagoon-style oasis boasts 12 waterfalls, a rope bridge and a swim-through rock grotto with a hidden jacuzzi. Ideal for kids as well as adults with a playful spirit! Tennis, golf, biking/jogging trails and of course, theme-park convenience, help round out your stay.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: Active travelers will enjoy its numerous amenities (even a rock-climbing wall) while those looking to relax will have myriad opportunity.

Read more about Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress →

There are hotels and resorts that capture the essence of the resort and theme park area, there are those that immerse guests in the cosmopolitan vibe of Orlando's downtown and then there's the Alfond Inn. Adjacent to beautiful historic Rollins College and within minutes' walk of almost everything cool and cultural to do in gorgeous upscale Winter Park, this is a phenomenal option for folks who may want to visit a park or two but prefer an entirely different atmosphere for their central Florida getaway. Phenomenal dining, museums and shopping are steps from the property, though Hamilton's Kitchen –" the Alfond's ritzy on-site dining venue –" is worthy of note on its own.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: This new and opulent venue is an ideal home base for visitors seeking to explore Winter Park in comfort and with ease.

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Grand Bohemian Orlando, Autograph Collection
Photo courtesy of The Kessler Collection

A landmark in downtown Orlando, the Grand Bohemian claims the role as one of the city's most eclectic and memorable hotels, immersing its guests in an array of exceptional artwork, elegant decor and modern flair amid cosmopolitan, AAA Four-Diamond extravagance. With easy access to the interstate, it delivers a trendy alternative to the usual resort-style hotels for which Orlando is known. The Grand Bo's location is beyond convenient: adjacent to the city's brand-new Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts and walking distance from multiple restaurants, bars, nightclubs and the Amway Center. Of course, its in-house piano bar and top-rated restaurant may even prevent you from wanting to leave. A swanky pool high atop the hotel provides a gorgeous view of the city.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: Convenience, elegance, luxury and cosmopolitan flair are earmarks of a stay at downtown's Grand Bo.

Read more about Grand Bohemian Orlando, Autograph Collection →


Don't confuse the Hyatt Regency Orlando with other convention-center hotels. It's not only comfortable for families but also ritzy and luxurious. The property itself, inside and out, is gorgeous, and welcoming to business people and families alike. High-tech amenities like mirror-embedded TVs in the bathroom make for fun wow-factor features. The pool cabanas and free wifi aren't too shabby, either! High-end workout facilities and instruction make stays for active travelers fun and comfortable; lots of pool-area space means families and those traveling without have room to enjoy the Orlando sun and weather. Proximity to not only the convention center, but International Drive and Pointe Orlando, make it convenient for business and play time.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: Minutes from the theme parks, OCCC-convenient, this Hyatt hits high notes for businesss and pleasure travelers.

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Beautiful Spanish colonial architecture and a lovely lazy river are two features that will lower your blood pressure upon check-in at the J.W. Marriott Grande Lakes where myriad dining options and access to the Ritz Carlton's spa and golf club make for a particularly sumptuous stay. Disney is nearby, but if you're more in the mood to relax poolside, you'd never know - palms sway, water sparkles, romance beckons. Head to the driving range, take a fitness class, explore the parks and the city but come "home" to luxury - and perhaps drinks and dinner at Primo - before retiring to your comfortable, cozy room.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: This property offers much of the convenience of an on-site Disney stay. Sharing space with the Ritz doesn't hurt, either.

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Spacious rooms, some with spectacular views of its adjoining golf course and the surrounding area, are just two things guests of the Rosen Shingle Creek often rave about. It's convenient Universal Boulevard location belies its secluded ambiance. It's a large property, playing host to many conventions, meetings and events, but families still love its many amenities, not to mention ease of transfer to parks like Universal Orlando Resort. A beautiful golf course, its pool and restaurants are just some of the beautiful amenities the resort has to offer.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: With a location and amenities that appeal to both business travelers and recreating families (not to mention avid golfers), RSC is a natural fit.

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Disney's Animal Kingdom ®

Families rejoice in the Orlando heat! You can take in the sun or join your kids in the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek's magnificent zero-entry lagoon-style pool. In fact, we'll bet you'll opt for the latter. Fear not, though. The property's cheery Recreational Staff offers other poolside activities to keep them happy and busy when you're ready to head back to your chair. This stylish property shares many amenities with the adjacent Waldorf Astoria Orlando. Let that connection be a window into your stay. Complimentary transport to the nearby Walt Disney World parks is virtually as easy as stepping out beneath the porte-cochere.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: A magnificent pool and related activities ensures kids won't put up a fight on your "down" days from the theme park fray.

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With more than 480 acres in Bonnet Creek, the Waldorf Astoria is the epitome of class and elegance, and with a ridiculously convenient Disney-centric location to boot. A championship Rees Jones-designed golf course, top-rated spa, excellent restaurants and stunning pool help set the tone for a stay that can be summed up with a drop of its well cultivated name. Families are never ignored at Orlando-based properties. Those staying here with kids will find plenty to enjoy. But adults traveling without will also find sophisticated serenity. And a complimentary private shuttle service to the Walt Disney World parks means they can be kids again, too, if they like.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: Guests expect a certain level of service with the Waldorf Astoria name. The Orlando property is no exception.

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Prepare for full immersion in tranquility at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes, where proximity to the city's world-class excitement is paired with the signature opulence this brand's many proponents have come to expect. Enjoy the resorts new signature steak and seafood restaurant, Knife & Spoon, led by chef John Tesar. Also enjoy some mouthwatering southern-inspired cuisine at the resort's Highball & Harvest. When you're through nourishing your belly, nourish the rest of your body at the property's posh, relaxing spa. Ritz-Carlton recently underwent redesign updates to guest rooms, suites, poolside cabanas and the club lounge. Mickey and pals are nearby, but worlds away, making the Ritz-Carlton the very best of both worlds.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: Even the opulent approach through the adjacent golf course tells arriving guests to expect the Ritz-Carlton level of service on arrival.

Read more about The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes →

The Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort may be a mouthful to say, but it's a pleasure to stay. Smack in the middle of Walt Disney World Resort's beautiful Golden Oak community, the FS Orlando's gorgeous zero-entry pool, incredible five-acre water park and lazy river and complimentary Kids' Camp (not to mention character breakfasts with Goofy and pals!) make this a sumptuous stay with all the right Disney touches. Its adults-only oasis (21 and over, please) means those looking for a little posh peace and quiet with their Florida sun need not look elsewhere. A host of on-site eateries, from casual to elegant, tempt the palate while a 13,000-square-foot spa spoils the weary soul. Couples' suites and waterside spa bungalows up the ante for both luxury and relaxation.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: Three words: level of service. Four Seasons delivers consistently and luxuriously. And the views from its signature 17th-floor steakhouse, Capa, are unparalleled.

Read more about Four Seasons Resort Orlando At Walt Disney World Resort →


Meet Michelle Spitzer

Michelle Spitzer grew up in South Florida taking many family vacations to the Orlando area. For the past 14 years, she's called central Florida home.

A journalist for more than two...  More About Michelle