14 Top-Rated Resorts in Orlando
Whether you are headed to Orlando for the theme parks, the golf, or to sun yourself by a pool, there are plenty of top-rated resorts that will help you get the most out of your vacation. Many of the top Orlando resorts feature facilities that rival independent water parks and will keep kids happy all day long - a welcome relief for parents after long days of endless lines, and most resorts have on-site childcare and activity centers, so parents can enjoy a spa treatment, a quiet meal, or a day exploring on their own. While Orlando is a popular family destination, couples will find that there are plenty of romantic spots with kid-free recreation and superior service for the ultimate getaway, like the luxury Villas of Grand Cypress. Find the perfect place to stay for your next vacation with our list of the best Orlando resorts.
1 Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World
Located between Epcot and the Magic Kingdom, this five-star resort provides the service you expect from the Four Seasons and amenities to rival the world's top resorts. The resort features a five-acre water park, and in addition to adult-only, kiddie, and family pools, all ages can enjoy the Lazy River, Splash Zone, and a waterslide located on Explorer Island. The resort's hub of family entertainment, Explorer Island includes beach volleyball courts; basketball; a high-tech game room; and plenty of other games, including pool, billiards, and pinball. The resort's huge spa offers a full range of services, featuring couple's suites for privacy and full makeovers for your young prince or princess complete with royal garb. Babysitting is available for parents who want to enjoy a night out, and every day from 9am to 5pm there is a complimentary kid's camp for guests aged 4-12, where they can play for just a few hours or the whole day, worry-free. Adults will enjoy the golf course and tennis courts, and there are several options on-site for both fine dining and a quick bite poolside. There are also helpful complimentary services, including a dedicated Disney planning concierge, shuttles to the Disney parks and airport, and Disney merchandise delivery.
Accommodation: Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort
2 Villas of Grand Cypress
Orlando's Villas of Grand Cypress is a 1500-acre premiere luxury resort that is best known for its 45-hole Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course and its status as a top romantic getaway. This prime wedding and honeymoon destination provides top-notch services to ensure privacy for seclusion-seekers, including in-room spa services and a private chef who will prepare your custom meal in the room. All lodgings feature spacious rooms with luxury bathrooms and a private terrace, and some include a full kitchen and laundry facilities. Families, including your well-behaved dog, are welcome here as well, and will be kept entertained with a large pool and waterslide, the use of complimentary bicycles on the resort's dedicated trails, a rock wall, and game room. The resort also offers daily transportation to Universal, Disney, and SeaWorld, specialty tours to many Orlando destinations, and other recreational activities, including racquetball, tennis, fishing, and, of course, a well-equipped fitness center.
Accommodation: Villas of Grand Cypress
3 Disney Resorts
The Disney family of resorts are one of the top picks for Orlando vacationers who want to focus on visiting these world-famous theme parks. The Disney resorts have a wide range of prices, amenities, and packages, while all offer the convenience of on-site dining, self-serve laundry facilities, multiple pools with water-park-calibre play areas, and plenty of kids' activities like playgrounds and game rooms. All include a complimentary shuttle service to the Disney parks via bus, boat, or monorail, as well as merchandise drop-off and Disney concierge services.
One of the most luxurious is Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, housed in a Victorian-style mansion that sits on the lake near the Magic Kingdom. In addition to the pools, guests can relax and swim on sandy shores before heading in to enjoy live ragtime music in the lobby. Another prime spot is Kidani Village at Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas, the upscale neighbor to Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, an animal-lover's paradise with views over the habitat of the park's African wildlife.
Great mid-range options include Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter and Port Orleans Resort - Riverside, both of which sit along the Sassagoula River. The French Quarter has a historic Antebellum theme, featuring live jazz, cobblestone streets, and a steamboat water taxi. Down a riverside path, you will find its sister resort, which celebrates Creole and Cajun food and culture. A New England nautical theme accompanies Disney's Yacht Club Resort and its less formal sibling, the Beach Club Resort. Both properties are within walking distance of Epcot and just a short boat ride across the lake to Hollywood Studios.
Disney also has some good budget resorts that have fewer frills but are still excellent, like the tropical Caribbean Beach Resort on Barefoot Bay. Other good choices include Pop Century Resort, dedicated to the fads of the 1950s through 1990s; All-Star Music Resort, where you will find giant instruments to play on; All-Star Movies Resort, with small-screen themed décor; and All-Star Sports that celebrate the spirit of favorites, like baseball and basketball.
4 Marriott's Cypress Harbour Villas
An excellent choice for families, Marriott's Cypress Harbour Villas feature two-bedroom/two-bathroom villas that provide privacy for everyone. Each villa also comes equipped with a washer/dryer as well as a full kitchen, and the resort offers a grocery shopping service for extra convenience. Other dining options include the hotel's two American-fare restaurants, and there is a grill and picnic area for leisurely outdoor meals. There is plenty to do here, from relaxing in one of the three pools or getting pampered at the spa to playing a game of tennis or volleyball. Guests can also take a paddleboat out on the water surrounding the resort; play nine holes of mini-golf; and chill in the game room playing table tennis, pool, and video games.
Accommodation: Marriott's Cypress Harbour Villas
5 Grande Lakes Orlando
The Grande Lakes Orlando resort includes both The Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott hotels on its immense property that sits on Shingle Creek, the headwaters of the Everglades. Guests can take a guided kayak eco-tour on the creek, or an airboat trip on St. Johns River for a fishing and wildlife spotting adventure. Other tours include a "Sunrise Safari" led by naturalists, mountain bike trails, and seaplane expeditions for an aerial tour that takes off from one of the property's 12 lakes. Guests can also get an up-close look at Whisper Creek Farm, part of the Grande Lakes commitment to sustainability, where a large portion of the food served at resort restaurants is grown. Kids also have an opportunity to learn about the history and biodiversity of Florida with the Ritz Kids Badge, a unique scavenger hunt that offers prizes as they go. For those looking for a leisurely vacation, the Ritz-Carlton has an immense spa and there are three pools, including the family-favorite Lazy River. Golfers will appreciate the 18-hole Greg Norman-designed championship golf course.
Accommodation: Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress
6 Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress
The Hyatt Regency at Grand Cypress sits conveniently between the Disney parks and SeaWorld, next to the Grand Cypress Academy of Golf and its 45-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature Design golf course. There are biking and jogging trails throughout the property's 1,500 acres and a private lake with sandy beaches and water sports, including paddleboats, kayaks, sailboats, and hydrobikes. In addition to the lake, there is a half-acre pool with waterslide, splash zone, whirlpools, and a dozen tropical waterfalls. Other resort activities include pitch-and-putt, a rock climbing wall, volleyball, and 12 tennis courts.
7 Rosen Shingle Creek
Rosen Shingle Creek's complex is expansive, including more than 1,500 rooms, eight restaurants, a chic spa, and miles of nature trails on the lovely grounds. It is also home to an 18-hole, par 72 championship golf course, where you can get instruction at the Brad Brewer Golf Academy, and there are tennis courts and a regulation-size volleyball court. The resort's four pools ensure that there is a spot for everyone, including a lap pool, an adults-only lounging pool, a zero-entry family pool, and a kiddie wading pool. Kids will love the video game room, and there is a large 24-hour shop on site for conveniences.
Accommodation: Rosen Shingle Creek
8 Loews Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando
One of three Loews resorts at Universal, the Royal Pacific has a tropical South Seas theme complete with a courtyard reflecting pool with sculptures of elephants and traditional statues. In addition to its lagoon-style pools and beach volleyball, the resort has a sandy beach and water taxis that bring guests to the theme park in style. Guests at the Royal Pacific, as well as nearby Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, get the added perk of complimentary Universal Express Unlimited passes, early park admission, and other extras. Next door at Loews Sapphire Falls Resort are poolside activities, like ping pong and water balloon tosses, and special events like Caribbean celebrations. Guests at all locations can have fun in the arcade rooms, relax in the sauna, and enjoy complimentary transportation to nearby golf courses.
Accommodation: Loews Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando
9 The Grove Resort & Spa Orlando
The Grove Resort and Spa specializes in two and three-bedroom suites that include all the comforts of home, including separate baths for privacy, a full kitchen, dining and living area, and even washer and dryer. When you don't feel like cooking, options include the Valencia restaurant, casual dining at the Springs Grill by the pool, and quick bites at the on-site market. While parents are relaxing at the full-service spa, kids can enjoy their time in the activity center or play in the new Surfari water park which includes a lazy river and a wave pool. The boardwalk leads to the shores of Lake Austin where you can rent a paddleboat, cruise in an electric Go-Float, and rent fishing tackle for an afternoon on the water.
Accommodation: The Grove Resort & Spa Orlando
10 Waldorf Astoria Orlando
The five-star Waldorf Astoria Orlando sits in the 482-acre nature preserve at Bonnet Creek, just minutes from the Disney theme parks. Recreational facilities include an 18-hole Rees Jones-designed par-72 golf course, miles of walking and bike paths with rentals available, and the Waldorf Astoria Kids' Club where kids ages 5-12 can play safely while mom and dad are enjoying a day to themselves. Pools include not only ample kids' splash zones and a zero-entry area, but also a large peaceful swimming pool equipped with private cabanas that can be reserved for adult guests. Resort dining includes the Bull & Bear and Peacock Alley for upscale meals and casual dining at Aquamarine by the pool and the Clubhouse Grille after a round of golf.
Accommodation: Waldorf Astoria Orlando
11 Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek
Located next to the Waldorf, this Hilton resort offers four-star lodgings surrounded by a beautiful tropical landscape with walking and bike paths. There are a dozen restaurants on the property, including fine dining at the neighboring Waldorf, whose facilities are open to Hilton guests. Golfers will enjoy the facility's championship course as well as a driving range and putting green, while those looking for a more relaxing time will enjoy the full-service spa and salon on-site. The resort also includes family favorites like a pool with a waterslide, a three-acre lazy river, and a video game arcade.
Accommodation: Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek
12 Floridays Resort
Floridays Resort is a condominium-style luxury property that offers two- and three-bedroom suites that ensure the whole family has privacy. Each suite includes a fully equipped kitchen, washer/dryer, living and dining area, and a patio or balcony that looks out over the palm-lined grounds. Both kids and parents will love the huge pool that includes a safe area for younger ones with bright fountains and sprinklers, and there is also a large sandbox and play area nearby. A café sits conveniently next to the pool, and those who don't want to cook en-suite can enjoy the on-site restaurant. Families will also love the game room, which feels more like an arcade with its huge variety of games, from kiddie ride-ons to driving games, pinball, classic video games, and air hockey.
Accommodation: Floridays Resort
13 Reunion Resort, A Salamander Golf & Spa Resort
Reunion Resort offers a variety of villas and vacation home rentals on its 2,200-acre property that range from one to 13 bedrooms with options including a home theater and private game room. Golf fans will be in awe of the signature golf courses designed by Tom Watson, Arnold Palmer, and Jack Nicklaus, and tennis players will love the six lighted Hydro-grid tennis courts. Family-centered amenities include an 11-pool water park complex that has a lazy river, waterslide, and a zero-entry pool for little ones, and there are bicycle and walking trails. Guests can dine at the resort's Italian restaurant or 11th-floor steakhouse that has views of Epcot's nightly fireworks, enjoy room service, or cook their own meals in their full kitchen.
Accommodation: Reunion Resort, A Salamander Golf & Spa Resort
14 Marriott's Harbour Lake
Shipwreck Landing pool is the center of activity for younger kids at the Marriott Harbour Lake, where they can play in and around a pirate ship and splash all they want. Among the network of pools that weave throughout the property, there is a huge waterslide for kids 42 inches and taller, an area for little tikes only, and even a spot where kids can rent mermaid tails and shark fins to wear in the water - with plenty of shaded and sunny seats for parents to sit back and relax. There is also plenty to keep land-lovers occupied, including active fun like volleyball and basketball, a playground, and mini-golf, as well as plenty of games like foosball, table tennis, and video games. The resort also offers family karaoke, campfire and s'mores, and arts and crafts for kids. All rooms include a kitchenette and balcony, and villas include a full kitchen and washer/dryer.
Accommodation: Marriott's Harbour LakeMarriott's Harbour Lake