Orlando is known for its world class theme parks and over-the-top attractions. But there are plenty of resorts that offer activities for the whole family.
Conde Nast Readers' rank their favorite places to stay in the Sunshine State's most exciting cities.
1. Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes
Set on the 500-acre Grande Lakes resort, the Ritz-Carlton Orlando offers a “quiet and refined atmosphere” while still being located just minutes from Orlando-area theme parks. Guests can take a guided kayak eco tour in headwaters of the Florida Everglades or escape to one of the private treatment rooms of the resort’s 40,000-square-foot spa. “After day trips to the parks, the stress and anxiety were gone once we got back to the Ritz-Carlton Orlando,” says a reader.
2. B Resort & Spa, Lake Buena Vista
The crisp white lobby of the B Resort & Spa feels miles away from the theme park bustle, but is just steps from the Disney Springs entertainment and shopping district. “Beautifully renovated with a chic spa-like feel” rooms at the resort offer “beautiful views of the area,” as well as views of the nightly fireworks from Disney’s Magic Kingdom and Epcot parks.
3. Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Lake Buena Vista
With six on-site restaurants, including the AAA Five Diamond-rated Victoria & Albert’s, and its prime location on the shores of Seven Seas Lagoon, the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa “lives up to its reputation” as Disney’s premiere property, says one reader. The resort’s Victorian theme begins in the impressive five-story lobby and carries through in the surrounding architecture, furnishings, and even the costuming of resort staff. Be pampered in the onsite spa, venture onto the Seven Seas Lagoon for a guided fishing excursion (catch and release only), or hop aboard the monorail to the Magic Kingdom.
4. Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Lake Buena Vista
Step into the “jaw-dropping lobby” of Disney’s Wilderness Lodge to see why one guest called this property “Disney’s hideaway.” Designed in the style of Yellowstone Park’s Old Faithful Inn, the resort features an 82-foot-tall stone fireplace and poolside geyser that erupts hourly on the shore of Bay Lake. “There are so many places to just explore, sit, and relax you almost forget that you just spent the day in a theme park,” says one reader.
5. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Lake Buena Vista
Located adjacent to Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park, the Animal Kingdom Lodge offers views of a 46-acre savanna complete with free-roaming animals—yes, a giraffe or impala may stop by to visit your balcony as you drink your morning coffee. Called “one of the most unique hotels in the United States” by one reader, the resort features hand-carved furnishings, African art, and two full-service restaurants boasting African cuisine.
6. Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, Lake Buena Vista
A short walk from both Epcot’s World Showcase and Disney’s BoardWalk dining and nightlife promenade, Disney’s Yacht Club Resort mimics a quaint seaside New England village of the late 1800s. Nautical theming carries throughout the “beautiful architecture and charming rooms,” all of which feature French doors that open onto a private balcony or patio.
7. JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes
Part of the Grande Lakes resort and located adjacent to the Ritz-Carlton Orlando, the JW Marriott Orlando shares all amenities with its neighboring resort, including an 18-hole Greg Norman-designed championship golf course and pool area featuring an “amazing lazy river.” New in 2015, Whisper Creek Farm: The Kitchen and The Brewery use ingredients grown onsite at Whisper Creek Farm to produce seasonal brews and create small-plate dishes served across the property.
Check out more of the best resorts in Orlando.
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