Fine Stays for Footie Fans: Orlando Hotel Options near the Citrus Bowl



Right on the heels of its $207 million renovation the Citrus Bowl, while still hosting the signature annual events longtime fans of each have come to expect, it's also the home of the top-ranked Orlando City Soccer Club and the host of high-energy college football match-ups, neutral-site NFL games, epic events like the Monster Jam and world-renowned performers, like the Rolling Stones. Consequently, the surrounding properties are enjoying an uptick in business. Which should you consider booking? For luxe weekend stays, consider the Grand Bohemian with its world-class dining, posh piano bar and mouthwatering Sunday brunch. For sleek, hip and more affordable overnights, the Aloft Orlando Downtown may be more up your alley. Budget-minded options abound, as well. Case in point, the Best Western Orlando West, which sits closest of all to the Citrus Bowl while offering wallet-friendly stays in clean surrounds. Other options bring with them convenience for exploring not only downtown Orlando, but its other charming neighborhoods – such as College Park, Ivanhoe Village – as well. Those looking for a city-centric stay may delight in the EO Inn, where Lake Eola Park sits right across the street and an on-site spa will pedicure those explorer's feet and prime them for your Citrus Bowl event, whatever it may be. 



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Well-located for Florida Hospital-related visits (it's the closest hotel available) – and near to the spoils of College Park, Ivanhoe Village and downtown Orlando, which is just one mile away – the Comfort Suites Downtown offers spacious accommodations, free deluxe continental breakfast, free high-speed wireless internet access and a free, 24-hour business center. This property is an excellent choice for visitors interested in downtown exploration but also interested in visiting some of the city's arty local neighborhoods, each rife with charming small businesses and restaurants. Of course if you're planning on an event at the Citrus Bowl, it's still less than four miles away.


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Bed-and-breakfasts are sadly scarce in metro-Orlando; this lovely inn is comprised for four separate historic homes in the shadow of the city's bustling downtown. Popular for weddings and other posh events, its older neighborhood is one oft-missed by visitors and makes for a lovely stay that's altogether different from that of the high-rise hotels and theme-park resorts. The property is well-located for visitors interested in checking out Orlando's best-known attractions (Disney, SeaWorld, Universal) but prime for downtown visits, as well. Both suites and rooms are available and a lovely breakfast is served each morning off the courtyard. Lake Lucerne itself makes a lush backdrop for your stay.


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The DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando Downtown offers prime accommodations near Lake Ivanhoe in downtown Orlando. Hotel guests will find themselves nine miles from Universal Studios and 16 miles from Walt Disney World. Attractions within two mile's reach of the hotel include the Bob Car Performing Arts Center, Orlando Museum of Art, Orlando Science Center, Orlando Shakespeare Theater, and the Amway Arena. Hotel amenities at the DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando Downtown hotel include a rooftop Olympic-style heated swimming pool and sun deck; a 24-hour shuttle whisks hotel guests to downtown Orlando attractions within the business and culture districts. Indoors, we provide our signature fitness center, gift shop and complimentary 24-hour business center. The hotel offers a lobby coffee bar serving Starbucks coffee, and a contemporary restaurant. Picturesque Lake Ivanhoe serves as the backdrop to 341 beautifully appointed oversized guest rooms, including 22 suites with complimentary high-speed Internet access, flat panel HDTVs, premium cable with on-demand movies, and Sweet Dreams by Doubletree bedding. Many suites feature views of the pool area and beautiful downtown Orlando and Lake Ivanhoe. The DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando Downtown is a perfect pick for an Orlando business meeting or social event, boasting 35,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space. Proud to feature the largest hotel ballroom in downtown Orlando, the DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando Downtown can comfortably accommodate groups from 15 to 1000 guests. This description is based on information provided by the hotel.


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Marriott quality and convenience are the norm at this well-located downtown property where complimentary Starbucks coffee in the lobby gives business and pleasure travelers a fueled-up send-off as they head out to explore. The lobby and all guest rooms enjoy wireless access, making it easier than ever to plan your activities while in town. The Bob Carr Performing Arts Center, Orange County Regional History Center and Amway Center are minutes away, as are the spoils of Orlando's downtown – rife with bars, bistros and myriad entertainment options. Business travelers will find the property's surrounds and staffers helpful to their stays, as well.


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Looking for an altogether different Orlando experience than the one offered in the traditional resort area? Check out the EO Inn & Spa, a boutique experience on the shores of lovely Lake Eola and an ideal home base for exploration of beautiful Thornton Park and the excitement of downtown. Known as the "Crown Jewel of Thornton Park," the EO Inn & Spa is ideal for couples looking for romance – even locals on a one-night "staycation". Much of the city's energetic nightlife is well within walking distance and the on-site spa serves up relaxation in the form of couple's massages, mani-pedis and all manner of upscale services. Take in the balcony views, relax on the hotel's deck and enjoy a soak in its outdoor Jacuzzi before getting ready for a night at the Amway Center, Bob Carr Performing Arts Center or one of the area's trendy restaurants.


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Minutes to downtown, six miles from Universal Studios Orlando, 13 miles from the airport and 15 from the Walt Disney World Resort complex – easy-access is the go-to phrase at this downtown property. The Crowne Plaza Orlando Downtown is convenient for business stays, Amway Center events, weekend getaways and more – well located for downtown dining and entertainment – and offers complimentary shuttle service to locations within a three-mile radius. Other on-site features include an outdoor pool and indoor fitness and business centers. An on-site cocktail lounge and restaurant means you don't have to stray, but with Orlando's world-class dining options just steps away, it's likely you'll want to venture out and explore.


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Within walking distance of downtown Orlando's restaurants and nightlife, the Embassy Suites Orlando Downtown serves as an excellent platform for business travelers or those hitting up the Amway Center or some other venue for a one-night event; it's a popular venue for locals enjoying weekend stays. Suites allow guests more space than is typical at most hotels, breakfast is complimentary and cooked-to-order, and proximity to Lake Eola Park means you've got a lovely place to enjoy a morning stroll or jog. Light appetizers and drinks are served during the Embassy Suites' Complimentary Evening Reception – a budget-friendly precursor to a night on the town.


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With its extremely Citrus Bowl convenient location and reasonable rates, the Best Western Orlando West is ideal for budget-conscious visitors. That said, recent renovations keep guests quite comfortable in both their rooms and poolside. An on-site deli means not having to leave for a bite, though restaurants abound nearby – many within walking distance. This property also offers free high-speed Internet access, free parking and welcomes travelers with pets. The Citrus Bowl isn't the only venue close by. This Best Western is less than two miles from downtown and the Amway Center and the Florida Fairgrounds, making it an excellent option for events in these locations, as well.


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This new-in-2013 property is steps from the Amway Center and the city's vibrant dining and nightlife options, making it a hip home base for downtown Orlando exploration. Its modern, clean design is attractive and open, its rooms sleek and comfortable with a contemporary feel. Spacious rooms are well appointed – and chic, in keeping with Aloft's Starwood and W branding and its vibrant on-site lounge means you may not even want to stray from the confines. This Aloft is a nice choice for business travelers, local "staycationers," and Orlando visitors looking for an alternative to the theme-park resorts outside the downtown core.


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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.


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Meet A.D. Thompson

Amy Drew has spent nearly three decades as a professional writer and roughly half her life as a Floridian. The words, she has found, come easier with bare feet and rum.

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