Orlando is one of the most popular vacation destinations in the world. With top-rated tourist attractions, incredible shopping, and more restaurants than you can count, it’s easy to see why. Choosing where to stay during your vacation can be a daunting task—there are nearly 500 hotels in Orlando. After many years of visiting and trying different accommodations, we recommend the best choice of hotels for where to stay in Orlando 2023.
Walt Disney World Hotels
Disney offers a host of hotels for all budgets. You can find rooms for $99-$199 per night (I often use Kayak for comparing prices) or stretch your budget to $699-999 per night.
Keep in mind rooms at Disney are priced on demand. When the season is high, the room rates are sky-high as well. The earlier you can book, the better, or if you can book last minute, you may find some deals that way, too.
Four Seasons Orlando
I didn’t know that the Four Seasons Orlando was affiliated with Walt Disney World, but they do. They also have balconies that allow you to see fireworks from three different parks—been there, done that.
As with any Four Seasons property, expect ultimate luxury and the most beautiful grounds at this resort. Rooms are exceptional, with elevated technology, lovely fabrics, heavenly beds, and plenty of space. But for me, the property is the selling point for this hotel.
The Four Seasons Orlando is Orlando’s only AAA Five-Diamond Resort. A five-acre water park includes Explorer Island, with splash zones, fountains, water slides, and a zero-entry pool for kids. The lazy river is a big hit, too.
Oasis is the Four Season’s chic adult-only pool, featuring loungers, umbrellas, and pool waitstaff serving food and drinks.
On-site dining at Capa is tremendous fine dining, and breakfast with Goofy and friends in Ravello solidifies this as the place I want to stay when I visit Disney or Orlando.
The first luxury vacation I took in Florida was bringing our kids to Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort 20+ years ago for Spring Break. It was the most we had ever spent on lodging, so it better be good. It was, and then some.
The Grand Floridian is one of the high-end spectrum of Disney resorts. This Victorian property takes you back to a time when things were simple, yet attention to detail is most apparent.
Grand Floridian’s rooms are nice, with subtle Mickey touches throughout the fabrics and wallpaper. There are on-site restaurants, shopping, and a massive lobby that draws you in with its southern charm and warmth. At Christmastime, you can see the country’s biggest homemade gingerbread house and beautiful Victorian holiday decor on display.
We found the spa to be awesome, well worth a visit for a body treatment or facial, and the pool is 10/10. Our kids loved the ice cream stand and the fact that they could swim 24 hours a day.
Animal Kingdom Lodge
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is a rustic property with exotic decor and an impressive lobby that will make you want to spend time in it. There are oodles of eateries, a game room, pools, and things to entertain your family, but let’s face it, people stay here for the animals.
Animal Kingdom Lodge has stylish rooms, even bunk beds, but they didn’t justify the price tag for me.
The animals, on the other hand, made our stay exceptional. From our Savanna room balcony, we could see giraffes, kudu, and zebra wandering around the grounds day and night. This is as close to Africa as I’ve been, so while it’s not a safari, it was a blast for my family and me.
Club level will bring you the perks of a small fridge, coffee and tea station, balcony (or patio), access to the Kilimanjaro Club, and Personalized Guest Services.
Kids will love the Hakuna Matata Playground, Movies Under the Stars (by the Uzima pool), and campfire activities, including roasting marshmallows.
Coronado Springs Resort
Coronado Springs Resort is moderate resort hotel property, which at Disney means middle-of-the-road price ranges. It is a lovely, family-friendly property to consider. Disney knows what they are doing with lobbies, and this one, with the huge fans, is inviting and charming.
There are several types of lodging at Coronado Springs Resort. My room was halfway around the property, which meant walking to the main building. In the Florida summertime, that is exhausting. Guests can drive to the rooms for a more convenient parking spot, but we found no parking near the front.
My room was somewhat basic but had a good bed, shower, and everything we needed.
This resort has one of my favorite Orlando pools—Dig Site—home to the Lost City of Cibola, lively and fun with lifeguards playing and interacting with guests.
I also love the food and drink choices at Coronado Springs Resort. El Mercado de Coronado has breakfast and taco bowl creations. Dahlia Lounge, a Spanish-inspired bar, is fantastic for cocktails.
WDW Swan Hotel
I ended up at the Swan, a Select Deluxe Hotel in the Disney portfolio when I saw a deep discount online. I had no expectations about this property, but I had a sensational stay and sang its praises often.
The sophisticated Swan Hotel is the sister property to the WDW Dolphin Hotel. Both are within walking distance of Epcot, or there is boat transportation.
Our hotel room was satisfactory, with light and airy colors and decor. Wheelchair-accessible rooms are also available and have tubs.
The Swan offers jogging trails around Crescent Lake, a three-acre grotto pool (plus four others), a kid’s playground, an arcade, and Camp Dolphin children’s program for ages 4 to 12. There is also a bunch of restaurants, though I’ve yet to try them. Todd English’s bluezoo and Shula’s Steak House tempt my taste buds.
Fun Fact: Did you know that Disney Hotels offer in-room celebrations? They will decorate your room or magically transform it for a nominal fee to suit your special occasion.
Wyndham Orlando Resort International Drive
The Wyndham Orlando Resort International Drive provides all the comforts of home with experiences like you have never had before. It’s a popular Florida resort offering both relaxation and recreation.
A big draw is that the Wyndham is in the heart of I-Drive, just steps from world-famous attractions, exciting dining, and fabulous shopping.
Amenities here include:
- Two heated pools
- A 24-hour fitness center
- A sauna and steam room
- Free Wi-Fi
- Three on-site restaurants
Hyatt Regency Orlando
Whether you are traveling with your family or solo, the four-star Hyatt Regency Orlando is a good choice. It’s stunning and in a convenient location for visiting all of Orlando’s major attractions–especially the Orange County Convention Center next door.
The pet-friendly Hyatt Regency Orlando offers seven on-property restaurants (including a 24-hour diner), valet parking, free Wi-Fi, a 6,500-square-foot fitness center, and a spa.
The outdoor tropical oasis comprises three pools, cascading waterfalls, hot tubs, a family gaming area, and a waterslide.
Hyatt’s rooms are charming and the bathrooms really hit all the marks:
- Light-up mirror
- A TV in the mirror
- Marble fixtures
- KenetMD toiletries
- A deep tub for soaking
Fun Fact: The Hyatt Regency Orlando is the second tallest building in Orlando.
Westgate Vacation Villas
Westgate Vacation Villas is the premier Westgate property, with a superb water park, multiple onsite restaurants, and a long list of amenities you can’t beat.
The accommodation at Westgate Vacation Villas ranges from studios to four-bedroom villas, which can sleep 16 guests. Our one-bedroom villa was on the 4th floor of a building near the back of the resort.
Home comforts can be found in the pet-friendly Westgate Vacation Villas Resort rooms, including kitchen dishes, appliances, and accessories. Even paper towels and dish soap are included.
Our Westgate Vacation Villas bedroom had a pretty red headboard and chair to accent the otherwise neutral room. Blackout shades allowed us to sleep in. The room also held a two-person Jacuzzi tub with contoured eats, one of the best I’ve ever used–and I consider myself an expert.
Though Westgate Vacation Villas Resort has a boatload of amenities, the swan boats won me over from the get-go. Jurassic Golf is fun for the entire family and has life-size whimsical dinosaurs throughout the course. Fourteen swimming pools didn’t disappoint me, either.
The perfectly-manicured property offers tennis and basketball courts, a free Disney movie theater, shuffleboard, volleyball courts, playgrounds, horseshoes, and a fitness center. Westgate Vacation Villas even has boat rentals.
A trolley can take you around the enormous property.
CoCo Key Water Resort
CoCo Key Water Resort might be the most fun and least expensive place to stay on our list for Orlando lodging. This cruise ship on land has everything that you could possibly need for an epic vacation.
The 54,000 square-foot water park, with 14 water slides, a tipping bucket, and kiddie pools, is CoCo Key’s biggest draw. There is also an interactive play area. Half of the equipment is covered by a roof, so you can have fun even when it rains. An additional outdoor hot tub and full-size heated pool are on the other side of the hotel.
CoCo Key (on International Drive) has a 6,500-square-foot arcade, four on-site restaurants, daily special activities for children, free Wi-Fi, and a well-appointed convenience store.
As a Universal partner hotel, transportation to Universal and SeaWorld is provided.
Rosen Centre Hotel
Rosen Centre Hotel is often on discount sites for a great price. I’ve stayed there a few times for $99 a night.
This independently owned property might not have the recognizable name that many of Orlando’s hotels do. Still, it delivers a pleasant stay in every way.
The Rosen Centre Hotel property is pristine and has lots to offer. I enjoyed the enticing restaurants (I’ve tried a couple), live outdoor music, bustling lobby, and gorgeous pool area.
The rooms were basic but comfortable, and the parking was a breeze. Rosen Centre is on I-Drive, where there is never a dull moment. It is a perfect location for conferences (walk across the street) or seeing Orlando’s top sites.
Or, you can relax and enjoy your stay.
Universal Studios Orlando Hotels
Loews Royal Pacific Resort
Enjoy tropical wonder, exotic food, and carefree fun at Universal’s Loews Royal Pacific Resort, a luxury property. You are immersed in all of the Universal action yet secluded enough to enjoy a relaxing vacation.
Amenities at the Loews Royal Pacific Resort include shopping, a game room, a gymnasium, an interactive play area for children, a lagoon-style pool with zero entry, a white sand beach area, and two spas. The Mandara Spa is where you relax and let your cares melt away.
Loews is a pet-friendly property.
Participate in the “Oli aloha” welcoming chant on select evenings and watch fire dancers by the pool during the Torch Lighting Ceremony.
The Loews Royal Pacific Resort is so close to Universal Orlando that you can see and hear the Incredible Hulk Coaster at Islands of Adventure go around the track from the pool area.
My most recent Orlando stay at Universal’s Aventura Hotel was fantastic. This gorgeous turquoise tower features delightful hotel rooms, a Starbucks coffee shop in the lobby, on-site restaurants, and a bar area with lots of business.
My favorite part about Aventura Hotel was the sprawling swimming pool area. There was a picturesque bar area beside the pool. Its friendly and talented bartenders kept guests smiling day and night. Blooming flowers and tropical trees dotted the pool deck and added a nice touch.
A dedicated walking path from Aventura takes you straight to Universal’s Volcano Bay, while the stylish hotel offers views of all three Universal parks. Plus, you’ll get the exclusive theme park benefits of being a Universal Orlando hotel guest, such as early admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (admission required).
My room was huge, and I paid less than $150 per night. The best features were floor-to-ceiling windows and tablet-based controls for temperature, lights, TV, and hotel menus.
Cabana Bay Beach Resort has a nostalgic ’50s and ’60s Florida beach vibe, offering retro fun for everyone. I personally love the Brady Bunch-looking rooms, complete with Zest soap and an old-school clock.
You will not run out of things to do while staying at Cabana Bay. Start your day in the physical fitness studio or rec center. Enjoy the Florida sunshine in one of Cabana Bay’s two pools, hot tub, water slide, lazy river, and kids splash pads, or from your own private cabana.
Shop for souvenirs and park apparel in the gift shop, then spend your evenings making s’mores, playing games in the arcade, watching a Dive-In movie, or at the Galaxy Bowl.
While you do not have to visit the Universal theme parks when staying here, there are many Universal perks with this hotel. The biggest is the shuttle that runs from the hotel to the Universal CityWalk and Universal Studios until the wee hours.
Cabana Bay puts you in the heart of the Universal action.
Some of our stays were paid for by the hotels in this post on familiarization trips. All opinions and reviews are unbiased and completely my own.