Hotels & Resorts in the Greater Orlando & Kissimmee Area

by Jill Leviticus

Whether you planning to visit Orlando or Kissimmee for the theme parks or just want to enjoy the sunny weather, you’ll find plenty of hotels and resorts in the area. Theme park hotels offer convenient accommodations for people who want to stay close to the action, while independent and chain hotels feature comfortable accommodations at a lower cost. Many area hotels cater to theme-park-goers, providing shuttle services to parks and offering themed areas that rival those you’ll find in the theme parks.

Universal Orlando Resort Hotels

The Universal Orlando Resort offers three on-site hotels, each within walking distance of the resort’s two theme parks and shopping and dining. Rock music is the theme at the Hard Rock Hotel. You’ll find rock’n’roll touches everywhere, even at the 12,000 foot pool, where you can hear your favorite tunes while swimming underwater. Loews Pacific Resort, Universal’s Hawaiian-themed resort, offers tropical ambience and landscaping combined with comfortably furnished rooms and suites and a lagoon-style pool. Little dinosaur lovers will enjoy the Jurassic Park Kids Suites, which feature dinosaur-inspired furnishing and decorations and provide a separate sleeping area for children. Set on a lake, Loews Portofino Bay Hotels looks like an Italian seaside resort, complete with gondolas, fishing boats, Italian-inspired architecture and three themed pools. Bay-view rooms offer views of the harbor, while garden-view rooms offer views of the landscaping and pools.

Walt Disney World Resort Hotels

Walt Disney World Resort offers a range of hotels to fit your budget. Disney value resorts, including the All-Star Movies and Pop Century Resorts, offer basic hotel rooms, large food courts and themed pool areas. Large Disney characters stand over courtyards and common areas. Moderate hotels, including the Port Orleans Riverside and Caribbean Beach Resorts provide all of the amenities of value resorts, but also feature hot tubs, pool slides and full-service restaurants. Disney’s Deluxe Resorts, including the Grand Floridian and Beach Club Resorts, feature queen-sized beds in rooms, interior hallways and dramatic lobbies. Although these hotels don’t offer food courts, they do feature counter service restaurants and full-service restaurants.

Chain Hotels

You’ll find the usual selection of chain hotels in Orlando and Kissimmee, in addition to a few major chains whose hotels offer more imaginative accommodations. The Holiday Inn Resort Castle Hotel looks like a pink castle, complete with turrets. The medieval theme continues from the lobby to the guest rooms, which offer pillow-top mattresses. The jungle is the theme of the Sheraton Safari Hotel and Suites, which features a python slide at its pool and jungle-inspired décor in common areas, rooms and suites. The hotel also offers conference facilities and a full-service restaurant. You’ll find a complete waterpark in the courtyard at the Clarion Resort Waterpark. In addition to several three-story water slides, a lazy river, kiddie slides and an interactive play area, the hotel also offers non-smoking rooms and public spaces, and convention and fitness centers.

Resorts

The Nickelodeon Suites Resort is the only resort in the Orlando/Kissimmee area that provides a mass sliming as a perk for guests. Once every day, gallons of green slime pour down on the heads of waiting children in the pool. The resort also offers visits with Nickelodeon show characters, a large pool area with multiple slides and suites that offer separate bedrooms for parents and children. The Gaylord Palms Hotel and Convention Center recreates some of Florida’s most well-known areas, including the Everglades and Key West, in its large lobby. The hotel also offers shopping, casual and fine dining restaurants and a spa and fitness center. The Mariott World Center Resort, located 1.5 miles from Walt Disney World, offers an on-site golf course, lagoon-style pool area, spa and fitness center. Rooms and suites feature down comforters and pillows.

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