Central Florida’s exceptional native landscapes, lakes and access to Florida’s Everglades make it a nature lover’s paradise. But without a doubt, many families come here to experience the amazing theme park attractions. From the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando, to Universal’s Volcano Bay and Universal’s Islands of Adventure – plus the Kennedy Space Center Visitor’s Complex on the coast – the number of parks in Orlando is mind-boggling. Here’s where to stay nearby, all bookable with Culture Trip.
Right on the grounds of Universal Studios, this Pacific-themed resort is truly a slice of paradise – yet also close to the action of the popular theme park. The Royal Pacific Resort has an enormous lagoon fringed by sand and an array of palm trees is dotted around. Enjoy a mai tai in a private cabana by the lagoon-style pool, or relax in the Orchid Lounge with its own reflection pool. The tropical ambience carries through into the hotel and accommodation with orchids and teak furniture – but for the kids, there’s also a Jurassic World room.
This futuristic hotel is within minutes of theme parks, including Universal’s Volcano Bay and Universal’s Islands of Adventure, and offers a free shuttle service to take you there. It’s also minutes from all the eateries, shopping and attractions of International Drive. The outdoor pool, fitness center and arcade/game room will keep you and the family active, while the clean, modern and stylish accommodation provides a relaxing retreat after a long day at the parks.
This fun rock’n’roll, ’50s- and ’60s-inspired hotel offers everything a family could want, including being a short walk from Universal Studios Florida and Universal CityWalk. The decor is a throwback to the hit series Happy Days. The ten-pin bowling alley is always a hit, but there are also two oversized swimming pools with a lazy river and waterslide to enjoy as well. But it’s probably the spacious, vibrantly colored rooms and suites that are the highlight – especially as suites include a handy kitchenette.
Hard Rock Hotels, much like the Hard Rock Cafes, feature memorabilia from the world of music – and it’s not limited to world-famous guitars. This well-known brand is also synonymous with good food and excellent accommodation. The convenience of being on the Universal Studios property can’t be overstated, particularly when you’re minutes away from all the attractions at Universal CityWalk, including Hard Rock Live. This property has a resort-style swimming pool with underwater speakers, as well as a Body Rock Fitness Center and Rock Om In-Room Yoga.
This luxury resort, on the gorgeous Grande Lake, is perfect for outdoor and sporty types. Access to a fabulous pool at the JW Marriott – just next door – is included, along with the championship-level, Greg Norman-designed golf course. Let Florida Master Naturalists take you on a private guided ecotour of Shingle Creek, the headwaters to the Florida Everglades. Alternatively, set off on the Hidden Lakes mountain bike trail on Scott bikes. For families, and the young-at-heart, a scheduled shuttle travels to Universal Studios, Orlando, Universal Islands of Adventure and other area theme parks.
Courtesy of Fairfield Inn and Suites Orlando Lake Buena Vista / Expedia
There are a great many amenities that go along with a stay at this conveniently located property. Of course, its access to all Central Florida’s theme parks – such as Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Universal CityWalk – is, without a doubt, its top USP. A tasty complimentary breakfast is offered daily, and there is an attractive outdoor pool for guests to use. Great eateries are within walking distance, and Orlando’s Premium Outlets is nearby for brilliant shopping opportunities.
Wyndham Grand Orlando
Resort, Spa Hotel
Courtesy of Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek / Expedia
This exceptional luxury property is set on 62 acres, with astonishing views over the lake from virtually every room. It also has a choice of five of the best resort pools in Central Florida. Family fun doesn’t need to be just about theme parks – as here you’ll find a mini-golf course, two lazy rivers and two kid’s splash pools, plus pampering at Blue Harmony Spa. Enjoy a great selection of food and drink while lounging at the Back Bay Bar and Grill with views over the water.
This resort property’s lush and subtropical landscape is innately relaxing and calming – particularly when coupled with gorgeous Florida sunshine. Keen golfer? Built around the contours of the Bonnet Creek nature preserve, the Waldorf Astoria Golf Club is an award-winning course, nominated by Golf Magazine as one of the top courses you can play. Guests of the Waldorf Astoria can use the lazy river pool next door at the Signia by Hilton Orlando Hotel. It offers a zero-entry, lagoon-style pool that kids absolutely love.