Take a look at the best kid-friendly hotels in International Drive.
Despite a pesky resort fee, this upper-middle-range property offers a solid value, thanks in part to a long list of freebies –- including shuttle service, parking, Wi-Fi, and poolside activities. The overall vibe is tranquil, and the hotel caters to both families and business travelers with its upscale condo units (complete with fully stocked kitchens) and modern meeting spaces.
Midway between Universal Studios and Disney World, The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes is one of few five-pearl properties in Orlando. Its 582 rooms and suites are stylishly decorated and outfitted with luxe amenities, and the hotel is packed with great features. Families can take advantage of the gorgeous pool, outdoor kids' splash zone, and the Ritz Kids club, while couples and business travelers can check out the spa, modern fitness center, and 18-hole golf course. Four excellent dining options appeal to all kinds of travelers, and the adjoining JW Marriott’s amenities are free to use. The Ritz isn’t affiliated with any nearby theme parks, which may not be ideal for families. The Four Seasons Resort Orlando is located within Walt Disney World, and offers Disney related perks, but rates are pricier.
Located next to the Orange County Convention Center, the Peabody's impressive array of services, beautiful interiors, and top-notch restaurants make it one of Orlando's classiest hotels. The hotel added a 32-story tower, a revamped pool complex, and a huge spa and fitness center as part of a massive expansion completed in 2010.
Homewood Suites Orlando-International Drive/Convention Center is a three-pearl chain apartment hotel located -- as the name suggests -- just off bustling International Drive, a five-minute drive from the Orange County Convention Center. The 252 units in this all-suites property range from studio to two-bedroom configurations, and all come with fully equipped kitchens, complete with large refrigerators and small dishwashers. Facilities include a large outdoor pool with a hot tub, a 24-hour fitness center, free hotel-wide Wi-Fi, an outdoor barbecue area, and a couple of meeting rooms. While this hotel generally gets great feedback from guests, there have been complaints of maintenance issues in rooms. It's a good choice for travelers wanting self-catering facilities and easy access to the Convention Center, but those in town for the Universal Parks may want to choose the Doubletree Hotel At The Entrance To Universal Orlando.
The Hilton Orlando is an enormous, 18-story business hotel located right by the Orange County Convention Center and across from SeaWorld. There are 1,417 rooms and suites in total here, all of which feature simple, contemporary furniture, safes, and mini-fridges. While rooms are pleasant, the real draw to this hotel are its myriad features, including multiple meeting rooms, two swimming pools (one for adults, one with a waterslide), a lazy river, a huge 24-hour fitness center, and a spa with a eucalyptus steam room. Dining options are equally abundant and include a steakhouse with private dining options, a sports grill, and a pool bar with meals and frozen cocktails. Travelers looking for something equally upscale and with a grotto-style pool, may want to also consider the Hyatt Regency Orlando nearby.
An upscale resort that seamlessly blends business savvy with family-friendliness, the JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes is a solid option for all kinds of Orlando travelers. Located midway between Disney World and Universal Studios, the JW Marriott appeals to families, and its massive lazy river pool is great for kids. With over 100,000 square feet of meeting space, the hotel also attracts business travelers, and is a popular spot for conventions. The nearly 1,000 guest rooms are tastefully decorated and include mini-fridges and flat-screen TVs. Varied dining options, Starbucks, a lovely spa, and an 18-hole golf course are other standout features, and guests are welcome to use all amenities at the adjoining Ritz Carlton. Expect to pay a resort fee and extra for parking. The Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek is located within Walt Disney World, and offers Disney related perks, but rooms aren’t as upscale.
This family-oriented mega-resort, part of the Starwood timeshare network, features more than 1,000 one- and two-bedroom villas with kitchens, dining areas, master baths, and two or three flat-screen TVs. The property offers a full family-friendly program with plenty of outdoor activities, like tennis, swimming, and jogging. Several on-site dining options (restaurants, picnic spaces, and self-catering in the villas) also make the property a convenient and relaxing lodging pick for those traveling for Orlando's theme parks. But be prepared for persistent sales people who will try to get you to purchase timeshare packages. For even closer proximity, consider Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress, where many rooms have views of the fireworks at Epcot and Magic Kingdom (but you'll still have to deal with hard-selling tactics from timeshare reps).
The 652-room Avanti International Resort is a mid-range property centrally located on International Drive within walking distance of many restaurants. It provides a free shuttle to the theme parks, and an iRide Trolley stop is close by. Rooms and suites are mostly modern, and come with flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges, microwaves, and coffeemakers, although some of the bathrooms need an overhaul. There's a casual cafe and mini-market, as well as a poolside bar. Recreation options include a large outdoor pool, volleyball, shuffleboard, a fitness center, and a game room. Resort fees are a nuisance, particularly because it's more like a large motel and some rooms can be noisy. Alternatively, the Rosen Inn at Point Orlando has two heated outdoor pools and doesn't charge a resort fee. It also allows pets.
This quiet property features privately owned condos and townhouses, and mostly attracts families with its safe, neighborhood vibe. The club house acts like the local country club; not only does it feature a fitness center and game room, but it also has a business center. The real highlight is the lovely pool area, which offers a view of the adjacent Lake Cay. While decor can vary slightly from unit to unit, all condos have separate living rooms and dining rooms, fully-stocked modern kitchens, and washer/dryers. Though many of Orlando’s main attractions are just a short drive away, there are no restaurants on-site.
The four-pearl Las Palmeras, a Hilton Grand Vacations Club caters equally to leisure and business travelers, and is located across from the Orange County Convention Center, just 10 minutes' drive from SeaWorld. All of its 315 spacious, modern rooms have private furnished balconies, kitchenettes, and furnishings that were updated in 2016. There's no spa, but the outdoor pool and hot tub are set in a pretty brick sundeck. Dining options are limited as there's just one restaurant serving Italian cuisine, but there are both a lobby and poolside bar. The resort and parking fees, plus the hotel's lack of a spa are notable downsides. Travelers looking for more amenities need not look farther than the nearby Hilton Orlando, though rates are a bit higher.
True to the Holiday Inn brand, the Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Orlando is clean and predictable but lacks distinctiveness, especially when compared with the nearby Hilton Grand Vacations or Grande Villas Resort. The pool is small, and there's no poolside bar, but the expansive meeting and banquet space is a plus for business travelers (the hotel is within three miles of the Orange County Convention Center). Suites are large enough to accommodate families and groups, and the property is close to the area's fun parks and attractions: Universal Studios is across the street, and Disney World, SeaWorld, and Wet n’ Wild are within a 15-minute drive. The hotel has free shuttle service to Universal and Disney's Magic Kingdom, the main park at Walt Disney World.
This budget-friendly property attracts both business and leisure travelers with its low rates and long list of freebies. Rooms are simple, with IKEA-like furniture, but all come with nice additions such as microwaves, mini-fridges, and free Wi-Fi. Those who require a fitness center should look elsewhere, but there are three on-site pools and overall this hotel offers a solid value -- if nothing particularly special.
It's primarily a business hotel -- it's across the street from the Orange County Convention Center and has loads of its own meeting space -- but the 1,334-room Rosen Centre also includes a large pool, a humdrum spa, and tennis courts. It's adequate, but its features, like its rooms, don't rise above Orlando's stiff leisure resort competition.
This budget-friendly, family-centric property offers plenty of freebies, making it a solid value; children eat free, there’s a free shuttle to nearby attractions (though Disney parks are not included), and parking and Wi-Fi also come included in the rates. Rooms are spacious and feature modern amenities. However, the decor is not particularly stylish and there are some quirks -- rooms have exterior entrances and odd setups with the microwaves in the bathrooms.
StaySky Suites I-Drive Orlando is a budget property with 143 rooms and suites, and a great location within a short drive of theme parks, shops, and restaurants. There's a lovely, palm tree-shaded pool, and the hotel offers free breakfast, theme park shuttles, and drinks at twice-weekly happy hour. Meeting space, a game room, and suites with full kitchens make this property a good choice for families and business travelers. Plus, it’s quieter and smarter than many of the motels on International Drive. The decor throughout is plain and, in some places, dated, but those seeking a simple place to rest while visiting Orlando attractions will find good value here.