Thursday, 8 February 2018

Travelling to Orlando - Accommodation

Hey guys! Today's post is all about hotel recommendations for Orlando. I'll talk about the different hotels we've stayed in and what areas are best to stay in.

Areas to Stay in?
This will definitely depend on where you plan on basing your trip around. If you're mainly focusing on Disney then Lake Buena Vista or Celebration are probably the areas to look for a place to stay in. If you're looking to stay close to the Universal parks or SeaWorld then I'd recommend International Drive (it's big so where to specifically stay will depend on where suits you best).

Who to Book With?
I always start by searching on Trivago which is a price comparison website for hotels. It basically gives me the cheapest site to book from and I'll go with the sites that I've used before. Simple!

Enclave Suites - International Drive
This is a pretty basic hotel on International Drive. We stayed here the very first year we went as it was cheap and in a good location. It is in the middle of International Drive and about a 25 min walk to the Universal parks. The pool is really small and we never used it - we used the water park as our pool and base for during the day. The rooms are pretty basic but they did have a kitchenette and a fridge so we had the option of cooking if we wanted to which was handy. There are plenty of similar hotels on I-Drive that are really affordable and are great if you basically only want a place to sleep.

Rosen Shingle Creek - Universal Boulevard
This is a huge step up from the Enclave! We stayed here the second year we went to Orlando and it is so fab! It has it's own golf course, spa, outdoor hot tub and four pools (one is adults only). It has fifteen dining/lounging options so plenty of choice. It also has two tennis courts, a basketball court, a volleyball court and a nature/forest trail. It was so luxurious and we loved it. The only negative we had was the location wasn't great. It's fine if you're renting a car but if you're relying on public transport there's a bus that comes only during restricted hours and literally goes the opposite direction to Universal so the trip takes about an hour as opposed to about 15 minutes if you were to drive. We'd definitely go back here for a spa/chill out weekend or if we were able to drive!

Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort
We've stayed here the last three years and love it. It's one of the Universal on-site hotels. Each standard room has two queen sized beds, wardrobe, safe, bathroom with bath and a separate sink area which is handy to get ready at when someone else is in the shower! One thing you should definitely buy if you stay here is the refillable cup. I think it was about $21 each for a cup that you can refill for free for the length of your holiday so it's such good value and there's so many drink options.

It's not the fanciest hotel but we really enjoy it. It has two pools and one has an accompanying lazy river (bring tubes / rings etc. with you as you can use your own; they sell them there too but not sure of prices). They also supply towels to use by the pool so you don't need to bring loads or worry about them being dry for the following day.

Staying in any of the on-site hotels gives you Early Park Admission (EPA) meaning you can get entry to the parks (selected rides in there) one hour before it opens to the public so this is great to avail of so you can do the rides that have really long queues or make your way to them if they're not operating during EPA. There's also a free shuttle that brings you to the parks that runs about every 10/15 minutes.

Staying specifically in Cabana Bay means there is a separate walking entrance to Volcano Bay water park (room key required) and it's literally like 2 minutes from the hotel which is fab.
This hotel is roughly about $100 a night so it's not the cheapest or most expensive hotel. They have a Bayliner Diner which has a variety of food options e.g. burgers, pizza, salads, flatbread etc. and a huge seating area for you to enjoy your food in. They also have microwaves which is handy if you choose to bring your own food (there's a Walgreens shop about a 15 minute walk away).

That's a general guide on the hotels we've stayed in. If you have any questions that I didn't answer here then let me know :)