Orlando is the ultimate destination that truly offers something for everyone. You don’t have to go outside the city to have a thrilling time. Not only are some of the world’s largest and most famous theme parks right around the corner, but you’ll also be spoiled for choice in terms of dining, entertainment, and unreal sights you won’t be able to get anywhere else. Orlando is a place of dreams, which is why it’s such a popular destination for all types of travelers.
Whether you’re in town for a romantic getaway, a family excursion, a business trip, or are here as a solo traveler. There is something for everyone. There’s so much to do and see that it can be daunting, which is why you’ll want to use this guide to help you plan the perfect trip to Orlando. Not only will you learn how to budget and save, but you’ll also know the top hotels to book!
Top Hotels and Resorts to Make Your Trip Amazing
The right hotel will make all the difference, which is why it should be one of your main priorities. Some hotels are better suited for those going to Disney World, others for when you’re going to spend most of your time in Universal, or alternatively in the downtown area. What you can guarantee, however, is that you’ll have an excellent time at any of these top hotels and resorts:
Westgate Lakes Resort & Spa
This luxury hotel has 14 pools, a waterpark, restaurants, and so much more to keep the whole family entertained throughout your stay.
This resort is just four miles from Universal Orlando resort and five miles from Disney World Resort, putting you right in the heart of all the action. It’s ideal for those with a flex pass that gives them entry to both parks since you’re almost an equal distance away.
This resort offers rooms from studios all the way to large four-bedrooms to comfortably fit all sized groups and families. Of course, the best part about this hotel is the massive water complex and spa facilities you’ll find right onsite. You won’t need to splash out for an expensive day pass at one of Disney or Universal’s waterparks. Instead, you can find slides, water cannons, and more at the Treasure Cove Water Park right on the property.
Source: Instagram, posted on June 2, 2022, Gaylord Palms Resort’s Official profile
Gaylord Palms Resort
This resort is set on 63 acres of land and has everything from a glass atrium garden to a golf course to keep the whole family entertained.
Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center is a massive complex that’s just 3.2 miles away from Walt Disney World resort. Walk in and be amazed at the stunning 4.5-acre glass atrium and botanical garden, and then continue to be impressed by the stunning rooms that feature their own marble baths.
You’ll find three restaurants, two bars, and a café on this property. If you love sports, you’ll be delighted with the golf course and the sports bar that has its own 37-ft screen.
You’ll be able to relax in the adults-only pool or at the spa, while your kids can have their fun at the onsite waterpark.
Castle Hotel, Autograph Collection
This castle-themed hotel brings the magic of Disney right to you and can be found just 15 minutes away from Disney World.
This off-site castle-themed hotel looks like it belongs right in the heart of Disney World itself. You’ll stay in a stunning hotel with beautiful grounds and have your own castle turrets to look up to. It’s a short drive away from many top attractions in the area and particularly close to Universal Studios Florida.
The rooms are bright, clean, and comfortable. In terms of dining, you’ll have two restaurants and a trendy cocktail lounge. This hotel is a particular delight for those who want to be pampered, as it has a full-service spa, heated pool, and hot tub.
Blue Heron Beach Resort
This scenic resort offers affordable rates on large rooms that feature their own private balcony, with views that overlook Lake Bryan.
This condo-style resort is perfect for those that want space but are on a budget. All rooms are either one or two-bedroom suites with their own balconies and views of the lake or hotel’s pools. In your suite, you’ll have a whirlpool tub, a dining area, and a washer/dryer.
You’ll even get great views of Disney’s evening fireworks shows, which can be viewed from the observation decks. Kids will love the game room while parents enjoy lounging poolside and dipping into the hot tub.
For those going to Disney, this hotel offers shuttle services to EPCOT.
Need a relaxed hotel that is full of charm? This hotel has been in operation since 1927 and is less than 20 miles from the big theme parks.
This senior-friendly hotel opened as one of the most technologically advanced hotels back in the day. Since then, it has undergone a full historic restoration to give guests the luxury experience of stepping back in time. It’s a bed and breakfast unlike any other and just a short 30-minute drive from the big theme parks.
Each room comes with a full breakfast served by the innkeeper. You’ll also be able to enjoy meals at the Thai Blossom and get fine dining from The Chef’s Table. Just outside is a 22-mile biking and nature trail, making this a great choice for those who want a quiet getaway not far from the action of the parks.
The Courtyard at Lake Lucerne
This hotel has been operating since the 1800s and offers stunning decorative details for those looking for a quiet, luxurious affair.
This hotel is actually set across four different period homes and is just a 14-minute walk away from Lake Eola Park and 4 miles from the Harry P. Leu Gardens. You won’t even be that far from the big theme parks, as Universal Studios Florida is just 11 miles away.
Each room is individually decorated, with some featuring 4-poster beds, fireplaces, or even a whirlpool tub. Staying here gives you free continental breakfast and perks at their cocktail hour.
There are only 30 rooms at this boutique hotel, so book early.
Signia by Hilton Bonnet Creek
Located right next to Walt Disney World Hotel, this hotel sits on a large nature reserve and is surrounded by all the action.
Bonnet Creek is a massive 500-acre nature reserve that’s surrounded by Walt Disney World Resort. Staying here puts you right in the action and yet makes you feel like you’re at a stunning luxury hotel that offers peace and quiet.
Enjoy the many pools and outdoor activities that are sure to delight the whole family, and don’t forget to enjoy food at the onsite restaurants and book a service at the spa. There’s even a gold course nearby, so you can unwind and relax.
How to Make the Trip Work for Your Budget
Like any destination, your trip can be as pricey or as budget-friendly as you need it to be. The only difference is that many of the top things to do in the area come with a high entry price. The base day ticket for just one park is over $100, and many book the 7-day, Flexipass, or other multi-day or multi-park passes that increase in price per ticket. If your main focus in visiting the area is to go to these parks, then the price is well worth it, but you’ll typically want to save in other areas if you’re on a budget.
Booking in advance can give you access to special deals and promotions, particularly if you have the time to wait for sales and special promotions. These promotions can help you get into the parks for less, book hotels for less, and get more for less out of your entire trip, so looking out in advance is a great tip for everyone.
Other ways to save include joining membership programs. Many hotel chains have their own free loyalty membership program that will give you access to special rates, promotions, and perks. The same applies to many credit card companies. If you already have a points-based card, for example, you may be able to use your points towards your hotel stays.
How to Plan Out Your Schedule
There are so many fun things to do in Orlando, both in the theme parks and outside of them. You, quite simply, won’t get up to all of them. You won’t even be able to see and go on all the rides you’ll want. The resorts are that big, the town is that big, and there are just too many great activities to fit into a two-week trip, much less a one-week trip that most travelers take.
The area is also huge, meaning it’ll take time to get from point A to point B, particularly if you’re in an area where you can’t drive, like in the theme parks themselves.