10 Amazing Orlando Hotels

Themes from the Italian Rivera and African Savannas to the Legendary and the places where Kids Rule, Orlando has everything you could want in a vacation hotel and more! Here are10 of the most unique and amazing Orlando Hotels & Resorts listed in a random order.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge– This African lodge-style hotel is set among a 33-acre wildlife preserve, where more than 30 species of animals roam free. It also features authentic African-inspired architecture, thatched ceilings, large beams, a woven ceiling, hand-carved golden-tone furnishings, real African artifacts, a vast mud fireplace in the main lobby, 2 African-themed restaurants and a nightly campfire with storytelling.

Disney’s Polynesian Resort– Escape to a tropical paradise that features lush vegetation, thatched roofs, koi ponds, white-sand beaches and culture of the South Pacific. And do it all on Disney World property so you can also spend your days reveling in some of the World’s best attractions. The resort has 11 2-story and 3-story village longhouses and a Great Ceremonial House that was built to resemble a royal Tahitian assembly lodge. At night you can catch a traditional fire-knife dance, accompanied by authentic drumming, chants and a luau.

Gaylord Palms Resort Hotel– The exterior of the Hotel was built to replicate the style and grandeur of a turn-of-the-century Florida mansion, while inside you will find modern rooms and a variety of restaurants, shops, a Relache Spa and an unbelievable amount of convention space. The three Gaylord signature glass atriums here are tropical, lush and recreate three Florida themed environments; the Everglades, Key West and St. Augustine.

The Grand Bohemian Hotel– Sitting like a crown jewel in the heart of downtown Orlando, The Grand Bohemian is designed with an early 20th century European/Bohemian theme. They proudly showcase over 100 pieces of rare artwork from renowned artists such as Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Larry Young, and David Wu-Ject Key. The hotel is also home to a very rare and expensive Imperial Grand Bösendorfer piano, one of only two in the world.

Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando– The sights and feel of the Italian Riviera has been brought to Orlando with the Portofino Bay Hotel. You can take a stroll through the festive harbor piazza filled with Italian sports cars, Vespa scooters and moored boats. The hotel also features three themed swimming pools, 42,000 square feet of meeting and function space, supervised children’s activity center, a Mandara Spa and enough dining options to take a culinary tour of Italy without leaving the hotel.

Nickelodeon Family Suites (Nick Hotel)– A Nickelodeon-branded hotel featuring everything a vacationing kid could want or need before, after or to just skip the theme parks altogether! It has two interactive pool complexes with multiple slides, climbing nets, water jets, and a 400-gallon dump tank. Not enough for your kids? Then how about a netted basketball court, nine-hole mini golf course, shaded kids play area, a million-dollar state-of-the-art theater with live nightly entertainment, a kids Mall, Nicktoons Cafe, Kids’ Spa, an arcade and even a Lounge the where adults can relax with a cocktail.

Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando– You wouldn’t think that a hotel that has been voted “Best hotel in Orlando to spot a celebrity” would have also been voted one of the “Top 50 Best Family Resorts in the U.S. and Canada”, but it has. If you want to vacation in Orlando like a Rock Star, then this is the place to do it. It has an array of dinning and partying options, including the World-renowned Palm Restaurant and nearby is the World’s Largest Hard Rock Cafe and Hard Rock Live Orlando, a 3,000-person concert/party venue.

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge– This hotel was inspired by the Great American Northwest National Park lodges from the turn of the 20th century. A few of its features are; a 7-story lobby built from 85 loads of Lodgepole pine, an 82-foot tall lobby fireplace, a bubbling spring that flows into a creek and tumbles over a sparkling waterfall to empty into the featured swimming pool, a geyser that was fashioned after Yellowstone National Park’s Old Faithful and erupts on the hour with a plume of water jetting 120 feet into the air.

Waldorf Astoria Orlando– Set to open in October 2009 is the first newly built Waldorf Astoria Hotel since the legendary original in New York City opened in 1931. You can bet that this grand hotel will top the chart of Orlando’s luxury hotels for years to come. It will have a Championship Rees Jones Golf Course, a Spa by Guerlain, luxury poolside cabanas and the signature restaurants made famous by The Waldorf Astoria in New York. I’m certain stunning rooms and impeccable personalized service will be necessary as well.

Ritz-Carlton Orlando– Along with the famed Ritz Carlton service, you can find a Greg Norman-designed 18- hole championship golf course, three lighted tennis courts, a fitness center, a Lazy River, 40,000 square foot Spa, jogging trails and a life-size chess board at this regal resort set at the 500 acre Grande Lakes Orlando complex. What really sets this hotel apart is the quality and variety of its recreational activities. A few more options you will have include; a ropes course with zip line and giant swing, horse-drawn carriage rides, fly fishing school and on-site fly fishing and eco-tours on Shingle Creek, the headwaters to the Florida Everglades.

Vista Cay Resort – International Drive – Orlando – Florida Holiday Rentals – The Top 3 Pros And Cons

The Top 3 Pros and Cons of VISTA CAY RESORT, ORLANDO, FLORIDA, USA

THE TOP 3 PROS:

  1. The Location: From any reasonable viewpoint this has to be the top location where Holiday Vacation Rental type accommodation is available within the entire Orlando Area: It is situated adjacent to Universal Boulevard, off International Drive, a short distance from the Orlando Convention Centre. Universal Theme Parks, Wet n’ Wild, Sea World and Aquatica Water Park are within around 5 minutes drive – the Disney Theme Parks are around 15/20 minutes. Hit the rush hour and times can be much more! The downside is that outside of the Vista Cay leisure amenities there is very little of interest within short or even reasonable walking distance so you need a rental vehicle. Parking space is plentiful at Vista Cay. Walgreens are at Vista Cay and Publix is at The Isles of Cay Commons.
  2. The Accommodation is Good to Excellent: The standard condominiums are of a good quality and the units are in Ventura Buildings which are at least equal to, or better than, similar types of units in the Orlando area. The top units are excellent by any standard and are in the Monterey Buildings which have a lobby and interior corridors – they are by a distance the best holiday rental condominiums anywhere in Orlando. Ventura and Monterey Condos are all 2 or 3 Bed 2 Bath with a private patio or balcony (TIP: The Monterey unit balconies are much larger and have a cooling ceiling fan so are conducive to relaxing on them for a period of time, whereas the Ventura balconies are a bit on the small side to say the least and can only accommodate a couple of people at best at any one time). All types of accommodation are fully furnished and equipped ready for ‘home away from home’ accommodation with open plan living and dining area and modern kitchens. In addition there are 3 storey 3 Bed 3 Bath Townhouses with their own entrance and single garage. The Townhouses are of a similar standard to the Monterey Condos. Things like Widescreen TV’s, DVD and wi-fi are pretty much standard in most units. TIP: Individual units can be booked to secure one with the bedding types that you need – maybe one with two King sized beds or all double beds, one with a 4 Poster Bed in the Master Bedroom or any other type of configuration. Other features might be a particular building (maybe near to friends staying at the same time), the floor level or the view (Lake View have a southerly aspect and many offer views of the Sea World firework display in the evenings) or even the style of decoration and furnishing.
  3. On-site Resort Facilities and Amenities: Everything most visitors could want – A state-of-the-art Clubhouse with Concierge Desk surrounded by tropical landscaping which includes a lounge, licensed bar, oversized swimming pool overlooking Lake Cay, kids splash pool, jacuzzi spa, gift shop and sundries, fitness facility, games area including pool tables, Business Center with Computers with high-speed internet and printers, ATM Machine. There is also a West-side swimming pool with pool house, jacuzzi and BBQ grills. A ide path runs along the front of Vista for strolling or jogging. NOTE OF WARNING: There are a lot of references to a Basketball Court and a Clubhouse Theatre – this is ‘out of date’ information, neither facility is now there.

THE TOP 3 CONS:

  1. The Location: Now this must sound strange given the No. 1 Pro but let us explain. Visitors staying at Vista Cay really must have a rental vehicle to get around the area, including both the local International Drive area and when visiting the Orlando theme parks, especially in the summer months (heat!). Walking to International Drive is an average of between 20 to 30 minutes. Yes, a fast walker might save 5 minutes but a slow walker could take quite a bit longer – and as for kids, don’t go there. Do you think they will fancy trekking back and forth! I don’t think so. So, if you are not planning to rent a vehicle then Vista Cay is not going to be a good choice. TIP: Be warned, if you don’t have a rental vehicle, waiting around for local buses is no fun; they are erratic with timing and always stopping. The I-Drive trolley does not have a stop near enough as it does not go up Universal Boulevard. Taxis might be an expensive solution but will only seat 4 persons maximum at any one time.
  2. No Restaurant: There is no restaurant at Vista Cay and only a Pizza one (getting very average reviews) nearby. So you are back to renting a vehicle again! NB: For groceries and general household items there is an excellent Publix Supermarket on-site in The Isles of Cay Commons Area.
  3. Vista Cay is NOT a Hotel or really even a Resort – as is referenced throughout the Internet. Vista Cay is a residential community which has been licensed for short-term rentals, so whilst the majority of units are owner occupied a substantial number are ‘individually’ owned by investors and these are the ones that are available for short-term rental. Just to make things completely clear the rental units are managed by a variety of management agents, most of which are not on-site. The on-site Management Company is located in the Clubhouse and run the Concierge Desk.

IN SUMMARY:

Vista Cay is a great place to stay in a great location, 90% ideal for visiting and getting around the Orlando area. There is a choice of type of units: standard or luxury – the luxury units offering more space than any comparable accommodation anywhere in Orlando. The staff in Vista Cay are friendly and most of the Management Companies that look after the units keep them in good order for the turnover of guests, which is quite high. The resort facilities are excellent, the swimming pool is a large one (and yes, it can get busy at times! when everyone fancies a dip at the same time) and yes, there are quite a few kids that usually stay as part of the family units so it can get noisy. Top Tip: The pool at the West side is usually much quieter and less used so if you want to laze around reading a book then head over there. Some complain it’s too quiet – there is no pleasing some folk! The walking distance between the west-side, known as The Isles of Cay Commons (which is where Publix and the Pizza place is) is a maximum of 15 minutes walk and you can simply stroll along the lakefront to get to and fro. PS: If you are staying in this area – which incidentally many returning guests prefer – you than have your own quieter pool area and Publix on your doorstep. You can enjoy the main facilities when you want to use them.

Vacation Home Orlando

Are you planning a unique get-away? Are you still thinking of a place to visit? Are you thinking of a fun-filled, remarkably wonderful vacation but you have a low budget? Then go to Orlando! It is a land of fun and entertainment. It is a place where nothing can go wrong. This is a place for you, your friends and your family.

Orlando is the home of different ranges of attractions. It has theme parks like Walt Disney, Sea World, and Universal Studios. It also has museums and parks like Morse Museum of American Art, Orlando Museum of Art, Cornell Fine Arts Museum, Zoo Orlando, Leu Gardens, Blue Springs State Park, Wekiwa Springs State Park, Cypress Gardens Adventure Park, Discovery Cove, Kennedy Space Center and Silver Springs. Orlando is also known for its water theme parks, the Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon and Wet ‘N Wild.

Aside from these, places such as Buena Vista Water Sports, Orlando Balloon Rides and Sky Venture are available. Fantasy of Flight, Daytona USA, Fun Spot, Gatorland, Green Meadows Petting Farm, The Holy Land Experience, Titanic- The Exhibition, Orlando Science Center, WonderWorks, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not and Skull Kingdom are most-loved family sites.

Being one of the famous places of attraction, Orlando has all the types of lodging houses. They have high-rising hotels, ski resorts, camping sites, mountain lodges and vacation homes.

Vacation home have sprouted like mushrooms in Orlando. Almost every corner, there is a vacation home for rent or for sale.

Vacation homes are very different from other lodging places. It has more to offer than any of other lodging homes. First thing, staying in a vacation home is far more comfortable. You have the convenience of your home during a vacation. You can also enjoy more privacy in the comforts of your vacation homes. You will not be monitored whenever you go in or out of your place. Lastly, it is cheaper compared when staying in other lodging homes like hotels.

Whenever in Orlando, where can you find vacation homes for rent? Where are the reliable and efficient sources for it?

Vacation home rentals are widely advertised. You can find several listings in magazines and newspapers. There are also lists available online and through agents.

Another is through referrals of friends, relatives or neighbors. Some may have experienced renting a vacation home already and they might recommend the place where they stayed or the agents whom they talked to.

One source also is the visitors’ bureau or information centers. You can check on their websites or personally visit them in their office.

Vacation homes can either be bought from real state brokers or it can be rented. Here are some things that you should consider in finding a good vacation home?

Make sure that it is not far from the attraction sites. It should be at least 10-15 minutes away from the recreation areas. This is to avoid meeting traffic along the way. It might take you 30 minutes to 1 hour going to and from a theme park if you stay far from the attraction sites.

If you prefer to rent a vacation home, check if short-term rental is applicable. Ask for the minimum number of days allowed. Occupancy usually starts from 5 to 7 days. Inquire also the necessary information that goes with renting the place. Make notes on which specific furniture is rented out separately. In some cases, high-chairs or strollers for kids are rented out per day or the use of heated swimming pool requires extra charge.

Ask for the list of amenities that goes with the house. Swimming pool is a plus but heated swimming pools or an additional jacuzzi is better. Request for a tour before reserving the place, they might give you another house than the one you talked about.

Larger backyards are also more preferable since it allows more activity and wider play area for kids. Bigger spaces mean more people can enjoy the house.

Consider the house structure. If traveling with an elderly or disabled, better go for houses with no 2nd floors. It limits movements for them and for you as well.

When you have finalized the agreement, make sure to write everything. It is safer if transactions are made into writing. Be specific with dates, time and payments made. Include clause that you think is important to be noted.

Vacation home in Orlando is very convenient. It is one of the best options in having a rewarding and fruitful vacation.