Orlando isn’t just for kids, but when you factor in Disney World, Universal Resort, International Drive, and the many hotels that are designed with kids in mind, it does make sense that this is a great place to visit with the whole family. Some hotels cater to kids better than others, and if you want to pick the right place to stay, keep reading for some useful tips.
- Westgate Lakes
An on-site water park is a great touch.
When it comes to vacationing with the kids, what is it you’re looking for? Spacious suites so you can all have your own room? An onsite waterpark complete with a lazy river and 41,000-gallon wave pool? Being located just a few minutes from the Disney park and plenty of other attractions? What about all of the above, plus a golf course, fitness center, and an onsite restaurant? If that’s on your list, Westgate Lakes has to be the right resort for you. Book a room or suite at Westgate Lakes, and you can be sure of getting your vacation off on the right foot, with everything the entire family will need. You’ll even be able to persuade the little ones to stay out of the parks (albeit briefly) when they see what this accommodation has to offer them.
- Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress
You might not even want to leave the resort once you arrive.
The Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress is a standout hotel in Orlando, and it’s ideal for kids. As soon as you walk through the door, you’ll feel excited, especially if you can spot Merlot the macaw – he likes to greet everyone if he can. The pool complex is one of the things that makes this hotel so great; it’s huge and comes complete with waterslides and waterfalls. Other facilities include a hot tub, tennis course, a spa, paddleboats, a golf course, and much more, and all the activities are included in the resort fee, so you can make the most of them. The hotel offers easy access to all the parks, and if you want great shopping and dining, Disney Springs is only five minutes away.
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
Meet 200 different animals during your stay here.
There are a number of excellent Disney hotels and lodges, and they all cater perfectly to kids, as you might expect. However, there is something rather special about Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. Walk through the door, and you’ll be transported away from Orlando and into the African plains, thanks to the stunning décor and the views of real wild animals in a natural habitat. There is a lot to do here, and you’re within walking distance of Animal Kingdom, but why not take some time to explore the resort before heading out? After all, you wouldn’t want to miss out on the impressive 234,980-gallon zero-entry swimming pool – it has a 67-foot-long waterslide that has to be seen (and perhaps experienced) to be believed! Other activities that are just right for kids include the chance to roast marshmallows around an open fire, an arcade, a playground, movie nights around the pool, and even baking and craft activities for those rainy or quieter days.
- Hard Rock Hotel Orlando
Ideally located for the Universal Resort park.
There are many different hotels in the Universal Resort area, and the Hard Rock Hotel Orlando is the one that is best for kids and closest to the park itself. That means you get free Universal Express Unlimited for your whole stay, but there are shuttles to the Disney parks as well, so you’ve got everything covered. The rooms are stunning – you’ve got everything you need right there, and the entire family will be very happy here. When you check-in, you even get a free Fender guitar rental so you can rock out whenever you want to. The pool complex at the Hard Rock Hotel Orlando is magnificent; it’s huge, and there is a 260-foot waterslide to enjoy. Don’t forget, this is the Hard Rock, so there are even underwater speakers, so you’ll never have to miss out on the music. The hotel has its own zero-entry beach and private cabanas for hire. For those days when the parents need a bit of a break – perhaps to use the spa – there is a kids’ club for those aged from 4 to 14.
- Sonesta ES Suites Orlando
Free shuttles and free breakfast plus the perfect location.
Not every family wants to be part of the Disney resort or too close to the parks when they go to Orlando, but they don’t want to be too far away from all the fun either. Is there is a perfect middle ground? Perhaps it’s the Sonesta ES Suites Orlando. This resort is on International Drive, just over the road from ICON Park, a small funfair that is great for all the family. Plus, there are plenty of other activities, restaurants, and bars all along International Drive – for nighttime and those days when you’re not in the parks, this is ideal. The suites at the Sonesta can accommodate up to 8, and you can opt for a range of different sizes, so no matter what you need, this hotel has you covered. If you want more money to spend on souvenirs and trips, you will love the Sonesta – there is a free breakfast on offer every morning, plus complimentary shuttles to the parks (both Disney and Universal). Or why not hop aboard the I-Ride Trolley and explore the local area? Within the hotel, you’ll be treated to a fitness center, whirlpool, heated outdoor pool, and even a 24-hour convenience store. You can also have groceries delivered to your room, which can be perfect when you have kids.
- JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes
The lazy river is a standout feature.
There is something about a lazy river that kids – and adults – just can’t resist, and the JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes has a lazy river to be impressed by. It’s winding and long, and there is no better place to relax than on an inner tube letting the current take you where it will. Of course, there’s a lot more to do than enjoy the lazy river, although that’s a great start. As well as this, you can enjoy all the resort’s amenities, as well as those of the hotel next door, the Ritz-Carlton. Being sister hotels, guests can make use of both resorts as much as they want to. Those facilities include kayaking, fly-fishing, golf, and volleyball, to name just a few. The JW Marriott is just a short drive from the theme parks, so the kids won’t get too bored during the commute, but it’s nicely tucked away so that parents can have some relaxing quiet time too. With seven different dining options, including family-friendly restaurants and a Starbucks, it will be easy to feel at home at this resort.
- Embassy Suites Orlando Lake Buena Vista
There is something for adults and children here.
If you’re looking for the right hotel to spend some quality time in Orlando with your family, the Embassy Suites Lake Buena Vista is a great option. Not only do you get a free breakfast every day, but it’s made to order – just how you like it. On top of this, there are other fantastic perks that make the Embassy Suites an ideal choice. These extras include ‘dive-in movies’ in the pool, indoor and outdoor pools, fire pits, a putting green, a fishing dock, and tennis courts. Whether you’re an active family or you like to chill out a bit more, this resort has you covered. Its location is excellent as well, with it being on the I-4, right between Walt Disney World and Universal. Something that kids enjoy is the onsite ice cream parlor, and parents tend to gravitate towards the poolside cabanas and the onsite spa.
- Orlando World Center Marriott
Play on one of the tallest waterslides in the area.
There is so much that makes Orlando World Center Marriott the perfect place for kids to stay when you’re in Orlando. It’s close to the parks, and that’s always a bonus – no one wants to sit in traffic or drive for a long time to have some fun. However, on top of this, the resort is absolutely full of things to do even when you’re not out having fun elsewhere. To start with, there are four heated pools (three outdoors and one indoors) and a fabulous whirlpool. These pools have something for everyone, including a splash zone and three huge waterslides (when we say huge, we mean it; they are more than 200 feet tall!). When you’re not in the mood for swimming, don’t worry; you can enjoy the lounge, arcade, activity center (which includes Legoland events and face-painting), and a kids’ club, as well as luxurious rooms.