Orlando is usually a city that is high on people’s family bucket lists. Considering the number of theme parks located here, tourists come from all over to enjoy Disney World and Universal Studios. When families travel to Orlando to visit these theme parks, many look for options that are close to both parks or even inside the parks. When visiting Universal Orlando or Disney on a budget, it is important that the accommodations are in the right price range, in the right location, and filled with useful amenities to make parents’ lives easier. The recommendations of the best family resorts in Orlando below were shared by travel bloggers who visited the area recently. Check out why they make the list of the best family hotels in Orlando.
The Best Orlando Hotels for Families
Orlando is filled with plenty of things to do that do not involve Disney or Universal. This is especially true if you are trying to keep your costs down or are not a fan of theme parks. If you are planning an Orlando stay and will not be visiting these parks, check out some unusual, cool, and different things to do in Orlando.
While there are hundreds of hotel options in Orlando, these 14 recommendations provide you with some ideas of what a few family travel bloggers feel are among the best family resorts in Orlando that are not on the Disney property. If you are looking for options within Disney, check out my review on the Disney Value Resorts and the Disney Moderate Resorts, where I rank each of the 5 hotels and state their positives and negatives.
Universal’s Cabana Bay Resort
Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort is one of the best family resorts in Orlando. It is considered one of Universal’s ‘budget’ hotels; however, it is anything but budget. It’s perfect for families, as they have a lot of suite rooms which have two large double beds. Plus a living room area with a sofa bed and a small kitchenette with a fridge. Although limited cooking facilities it was perfect for ourselves to have breakfast in our room and we ordered a take out a couple of times during our stay. They have two really big pools, one with a great splash area and a slide and the other has a really fun lazy river. There is a free shuttle to Universal which we never had to wait long for. We paid around $220 a night for our suite out of season. To read a full review of why it’s one of the best family hotels in Orlando, check out Universal Cabana Bay Beach Resort Review Family Suites.
Contributed by: Suzy from Our Bucket List Lives
Hyatt Regency Orlando
Our family loved the location, amenities, and price of this hotel when visiting the Orlando area. While it is closest to SeaWorld, Universal is also nearby, and Disney World is ten minutes away. For us, it is one of the best family resorts in Orlando because of the proximity of all 3 parks as well as the two pools, a waterslide, splash area, and waterfall feature. There are also several restaurants on-site, and a few offer kids eat free discounts. My kids’ especially loved the built-in bathroom mirror TV.
We stayed at the Hyatt Regency Orlando for $150 a night during the summer, and in addition to visiting Epcot and Animal Kingdom, we enjoyed an afternoon at Disney Springs. While it does not offer free transportation to the parks, our family had an annual pass, so we didn’t have to pay for Disney parking. Overall, I highly recommend the Hyatt Regency Orlando as a central option to visit multiple Orlando attractions, and one of the best Orlando hotels for families. For those that would like an idea of what to bring to Orlando, check out my Disney packing list.
Marriott Lakeshore Reserve
The Marriott Lakeshore Reserve is one of the best family resorts in Orlando. The resort is a timeshare property located in Orlando within driving distance to the major amusement park attractions. This stunning property offers rooms, studios, and villas, as well as a golf course, pools, dining and even access to the two adjoining Marriott properties, the JW and the Ritz. The 1 – 3 bedroom villas offer fully equipped kitchens and laundry facilities and are a great option for family travel to the Orlando area.
Average room cost starts at about $220.00 US per night with the added bonus of free parking which is a rare treat in Orlando. By staying at the Lakeshore Reserve, you get to enjoy the pools, slides, lazy river and kid’s club at this property and also taking the lakeside walking trail to the JW Marriott and or the Ritz Carlton. Our kids love the many kids club activities and outdoor games offered at this luxurious property. You don’t have to be a Marriott timeshare owner to book a stay at this one of a kind resort.
Contributed by: Ruth from Have Kiddos Will Travel
Holiday Inn Resort Suites Waterpark
Families traveling with kids to Orlando, FL, but are not interested in staying on Disney property, or visiting their parks, need to check out the Holiday Inn Resort Suites Waterpark. Here, all the rooms are suites, which include a small eat-in kitchen (fridge, microwave, and dishwasher), and kids 11 and under EAT FREE for breakfast and dinner! Don’t let the “kids eat free” fool you either, the dining spreads are serious business with a wide range of hot and cold options, plus plenty of fruit to grab as snacks.
The hotel offers complimentary shuttles to Disney World Parks but is also conveniently located a few minutes from Sea World, Universal Studios, the Orange County convention center, and local shopping options. The average cost per night can differ depending on the time of year but starts at $85 a night. There are also several add-on options are available, such as passes for the arcade, laser tag, movies and other on-site activities.
We love this hotel because of its location, affordability, spacious rooms and the amazing waterpark with multiple waterslides, splash pad, hot tubs, cabanas, and pool-side entertainment. To learn why we love it so much and think it is one of the best Orlando hotels for families, read more on our blog, Kid Vacation Critics.
Contributed by: Laura from Kid Vacation Critics
Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress
Our family absolutely loves staying at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress, and it gets our vote for one of the best hotels for families in Orlando. The massive pool complex with its slides, waterfalls, and grottoes is as good as any, and if lounging by the pool isn’t for you, there’s plenty for you to do like biking around the grounds, taking a boat out onto the lake, or a round of mini golf. Service here is also excellent.
The Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress is only minutes from Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort, and other family attractions in Orlando, making it an easy win for families who would rather stay off-property. A warm welcome from their hotel mascot Merlot the scarlet macaw is a great way to start your Orlando vacation. Rooms can be had from $150 on up, but we love being able to use Hyatt points to stay which offers a great value.
Contributed by: Carrick from Along for the Trip
Lake Buena Vista Resort
The Lake Buena Vista Resort Village and Spa is one of the best hotels for families in Orlando. We have stayed several times, and it is only minutes outside the entrance to WDW. We love its very convenient location to not just to WDW, but Orlando’s other attractions and free onsite parking is included. If you prefer not to pay the absorbent daily Disney parking fees, you can take the shuttle bus from the hotel to the parks.
Mostly we love most is that you are actually staying in full-sized apartments but in a hotel setting. It makes it great value staying as a family group with 2, 3 and 4 bedroom options and ability to self-cater. There’s a small mini-mart on site, Pizza Hut, and an Irish Bar, or you’re only minutes away from a huge Walmart. As it’s self-catering, any housekeeping during your stay is additional but reasonably priced. Extras such as high chairs and cots can be delivered on request.
We also like that it’s next to an Outlet Mall for shopping (part of the reason we vacation in the US) and the kids adore the Pirate Ship slide in the large swimming pool. It has a lively resort atmosphere with poolside bar, two main pools and two Jacuzzis. Fitness, spa and massage facilities are also on site for after those hard theme park days and wifi included. The only downfall we found on our last visit was some of the rooms are getting a bit dated, but we understand they are slowly refurbing all floors and this not detract from the overall experience.
Average cost depends on room size and timing but you can get deals around $200US through to $300US for 2 bed suites. Some rooms also come with fireworks views from the balcony.
Contributed by: Keri from Our Globetrotters
Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista Palace
The Lake Buena Vista Palace is a great family hotel in Orlando. Last summer, my kids and I stayed at the Hilton Buena Vista Palace for a few nights while visiting Disney World. This hotel is ideal for families because it provides extra amenities while still having on-site Disney parks benefits.
Guests of this hotel have access to Extra Magic Hours at the Disney Parks as well as the option to book FastPass+ at 60 days out (instead of 30 days out like most non-Disney hotels). These benefits really came in handy for us when we visited Disney’s Animal Kingdom. We rode on six rides during the early Extra Magic Hour before the park opened to the public. Plus, we snagged a coveted FastPass+ for the Avatar Flight of Passage ride.
Aside from the on-site benefits, my favorite things about this hotel are its proximity to Disney Springs (just across the street!) and the lazy river. We spent an entire day at the pool complex! Rates start at $175 a night. I used Hilton points (50,000 per night) to stay for free. To read more about the hotel and Nancy’s stay, check out her hotel review on Hilton Lake Buena Vista Palace.
Contributed by: Nancy from Miles For Family
Sheraton Vistana Resort
The Sheraton Vistana Resort gets my vote for one of the best Orlando hotels for families. Staying near Disney World can be super expensive; however, a great choice for a family that is located within a short drive of all Orlando attractions including world-class shopping and amazing dining options is the Sheraton Vistana Resort. This hotel is ideal for families as it offers mini-golf, tennis courts and other fun activities.
My favorite activity at this resort as a kid was swimming in each of the seven amazing pools within one day. All villas offer a full kitchen to allow you to make home cooked meals for the family and enjoy family time in the spacious open family and dining room. The hotel includes free WIFI, free parking, and no hotel resort fees. Rates are $170 USD for a one bedroom, and $220 USD for a two bedroom.
Contributed by: Erin from Little Miss Kate
Orlando World Center Marriott
The Orlando World Center Marriott is like a theme park on its own. With its huge pools, hidden grotto, waterfalls, splash pad, and water slides who would ever want to leave? We loved sitting poolside and having drinks and snacks delivered right to us while our kids swam and played. The water temperature was perfect even in December! They also have a nightly light laser show and seasonal fireworks.
The Orlando World Center Marriott provides a free shuttle to the Disney Parks which are less than two miles away. They have a variety of room types, but a standard room with two queen beds is around $200 per night. True story: My kids have asked to go back to this resort without even going to Disney World! That makes it the best family hotel in Orlando for us. Seriously, they love it that much! But…if you are planning a trip to Disney, read my 21 practical tips for first timers.
Contributed by: Julie from More than Main Street
Holiday Inn Resort Orlando Lake Buena Vista
The Holiday Inn Lake Buena Vista is one of the best hotels for families in Orlando. Our recent stay at Holiday Inn Resort Orlando Lake Buena Vista far exceeded our expectations! A short 10-minute drive from Disney via the resort’s free shuttle, Holiday Inn is surrounded by restaurants and convenience stores that are all within walking distance. Upon being greeted by the hotel’s Hawaiian-shirt wearing staff members, settle-in to your amazingly spacious guest room or kids’ themed suite complete with bunk beds.
At a jaw-dropping $96 average/night this property is definitely not lacking in family-friendly amenities. Features include an on-site Applebees restaurant and poolside Tiki Bar, a humongous pool area with a large heated pool, two whirlpools, and children’s splash park, and an indoor movie theater and arcade. Unlike most Disney properties, Holiday Inn Lake Buena Vista offers affordable options for larger families like ours without sacrificing on quality, comfort, or memorable entertainment. The Holiday Inn Lake Buena Vista is a fantastic option for an off-site hotel near Disney.
Contributed by: Jennifer from Travel with a Plan
Royal Parc Suites
We chose to stay at the Royale Parc Suites in Kissimmee as it perfectly matched our requirements for a budget, family-friendly trip to Orlando. The suites are spacious for families consisting of a separate bedroom/s with two beds, a living and dining area with pull out sofa bed, plus a kitchenette which we used daily to self cater. Our booking included a hot, tasty breakfast and a one hour of free beer in the evening. On-site there is a small gym, laundry and a large, clean swimming pool which the kids loved.
The hotel also has free shuttle buses to both Disney and Universal parks. This saved us a small fortune on car hire and parking fees. Furthermore, the hotel is ideally located within easy walking distance of restaurants and supermarkets. We got all of these facilities for approximately $80 per night for our family of five!
Contributed by: Sinead from Map Made Memories
Loews Royal Pacific Resort
Some of the best family resorts in Orlando are the Loews Hotels on Universal Orlando property! There’s a broad range to choose from to cater to your vacation needs, from value resorts a short drive from the parks to premier resorts right on property and either a short walk or water taxi ride away!
Our favorite though has to Loews Royal Pacific Resort, which is on the cheaper end of the premier properties. As soon as you enter the hotel, you feel like you’ve been whisked away to a tropical paradise. The zero entry pool really makes it feel like you’re entering a seaside retreat, and the ship play area for kids is wonderful for them to enjoy as you relax at the shore. We particularly like that the 3 deluxe resorts are accessible to the others, and as a guest, you can use the other’s amenities!
Not to mention, the best perk of all – if you’re staying as a guest visiting the Universal Orlando parks, you have Universal Express Pass access on your key card for each day of your stay (with matching park ticket)! Worth every bit of the upgrade when getting to skip the lines limitlessly (especially during busy seasons)!
Contributed by: Pri from Adventure Somewhere – Follow her on Instagram
The Hilton Orlando is close to Orlando’s theme parks, attractions, and shopping, but is comfortable enough to lie low and not do any of it. The pool area is large with a waterslide and a lazy river, with well-stocked cabanas available to rent that are well-worth a splurge. Try to reserve one of their breakfast-included packages; The Bistro’s breakfast buffet is one of the best I’ve ever seen and we fueled up for our busy days with healthy and delicious options that held us until well past lunch. Our room was clean and cool and spacious and a wonderful retreat after a day playing in the Florida sun. And since the Hilton Orlando is only about a 10-minute drive from the airport, your vacation can start straight away.
Contributed by: Corinne from Have Baby Will Travel
Doubletree by Hilton Orlando at SeaWorld
Located along I-Drive in the heart of Orlando is a fantastic family hotel that won’t break the bank. The Doubletree by Hilton Orlando at SeaWorld has free park transportation to SeaWorld, Discovery Cove, Aquatica, and Universal Orlando Resort. It is so close to SeaWorld you may even walk. When you aren’t exploring the parks enjoy the on-site amenities including two swimming pools, mini-golf, ping pong, a life-size chess board, and outdoor pool table. During peak season (Memorial Day-Early Sept) a room is $175 per night depending on what accommodations you choose. Check out more details by reading our Doubletree Orlando at SeaWorld review.
Contributed by: Jenn from Journeys with Jenn
Orlando makes a great vacation spot for the entire family. It is definitely one of the best cities to visit while on a Florida roadtrip. Whether you are visiting Disney World, SeaWorld, or Universal, this city is packed with family entertainment. While some would consider staying inside the parks for FastPass options, there are some benefits to staying of-site at nearby hotels. If you are planning a trip to Orlando, consider pinning this post – The Best Family Resorts in Orlando for later.
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