Looking for villas in Orlando, International Drive hotels, the very best hotels in Orlando or perhaps all of the above?! Well, my top post of all time is about unexpected things to do in Orlando and the secret side of it so that doesn’t surprise me! I’ve shared my recommendations for both villas and hotels in Orlando below. If you need help in deciding which set-up is going to suit your trip the best, scroll down for my advice.
Villas in Orlando
Encore Resort at Reunion
Encore Resort at Reunion has stylish villas in Orlando ranging from 4 -13 bedrooms. With an onsite children’s splash zone, aqua park with slides, video games, arts and crafts and lots more it’s a family-friendly option without sacrificing style. If you want to splurge you can book a private chef, but equally you can dine out at one of the onsite restaurants (or of course, further afield) or simply cook at ‘home’.
To give you an idea of the location, Disney’s Hollywood Studios is just over 4 miles away, Epcot is 6.2 miles away and Disney’s Magic Kingdom is 8.2 miles away, so we’re talking a 20-minute drive at most. The resort offers free shuttles to Disney and Universal, so you don’t even have to really hire a car if you don’t want to. Winter Park (mentioned in my post on unexpected things to do in Orlando) is a 45-minute drive away, so that’s probably the biggest drive to consider.
The TripAdvisor reviews are great – averaging 4.5 out of 5 – and the villas look really classy. All in all, a winner!
Find out more and book Encore Resort at Reunion
Olivia’s Dream Villa
Private pool? Tick. Games room? Tick. Stylish, classy décor? Tick. Olivia was on to something when she nabbed this Orlando villa. It’s rated 9.5 on Booking.com and supposedly one of their top villas in Orlando. Walt Disney World Resort is just 7 minutes’ drive from the villa, so it’s in a great location if you’re visiting Orlando for all the family fun.
The villa is owned by a British family who have had it for the past five years. They’re passionate about the area and that glorious Florida sunshine. The villa has free wifi, a hot tub, laundry facilities, free parking. It’s an all rounder!
Find out more and book Olivia’s Dream Villa here
Beach Hut Villa
This villa in Orlando has six bedrooms and five bathrooms, so it’s perfect if you’re travelling with friends or grandparents – everyone gets their own bit of space. The location of this Orlando villa is great too – 1.1 miles from Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park, just 2.2 miles from Disney’s Hollywood Studios and 3.7 miles from Epcot.
There’s a great big kitchen and dining table, a simple, homely living room and spacious classy bedrooms. The reviews are good too
Find out more and book Beach Hut Villa here
This villa in Orlando is in the luxurious Paradise Palms resort. The villa itself is spacious and classy. Like the other villas I’ve mentioned so far it has a pool, free wifi, but this one also has an onsite tennis court. There’s a spa and wellness centre, including a hot tub, water park and community theatre too.
The villa has five separate bedrooms, so plenty of space for family fun. The villa is super close to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Boardwalk and Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
Find out more and book Paradise Palms here
If you want to be nearer to Winter Park, rather than the Disney fun this simple villa may be the one you’re looking for. It’s only a 15-minute drive to Winter Park, but equally if you want some theme park fun it’s 10/11 miles away from Universal, including my favourite, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
The villa has three bedrooms and the hosts can provide baby gates, which is quite a nice touch.
Find out more and book Dover Villa here
Best Hotels in Orlando
Portofino Bay Hotel
A stay at this hotel includes early park admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. For some that’s enough of a reason to book this hotel in Orlando, but if not, the beautifully serene rooms may swing it. The hotel has a Mandara Spa, who happen to do amazing facials. I had one the last time I was in Orlando and it was amazing.
The hotel has three themed pools, offers a free shuttle to the Universal Parks and is only 9 or so miles from the Orlando Premium Outlets, which are definitely worth a visit if you want to nab some serious bargains.
Find out more and book Portofino Hotel here
Swan and Dolphin
This hotel is effectively two hotels. I stayed in ‘The Swan Hotel’ (click for review) in Orlando during my last visit and was quite surprised at how chic and stylish my room was considering the close proximity to the Disney fun.
It has five heated pools, 17 restaurants and lounges, offers Disney Extra Magic Hours, theme park transfer service and complimentary shuttles to the Orlando Vineyard Premium Outlets.
Find out more and book Swan and Dolphin here.
Hard Rock Hotel Orlando
If you want your rooms a little OTT maybe try one of the rock star themed rooms at Universal’s Hard Rock Hotel in Orlando. They also offer tamer rooms if you’d rather keep your bedroom as a sanctuary.
This resort has a mega 12,000 square foot pool with underwater music – I kid you not! It also offers guests unlimited ride access, which lets ticket-holding guests skip regular lines at Universal theme parks.
Find out more and book Hard Rock Hotel Orlando here
This hotel offers you the chance to visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Universal’s Volcano Bay one hour before the official opening time. If you haven’t seen it, the latter is an incredible water park.
The rooms are chic and calming, which is what I think you need after a busy full on day. There are numerous onsite restaurants, free shuttle buses to parks, elegant fire pits – everything you could think of and probably more to be honest! On Booking.com this place is rated an impressive 9.5 out of 10.
Find out more and book Sapphire Falls here
Hotel vs Villa
There are a a few things to consider when you’re deciding whether to go for a hotel in Orlando or a villa;
Who you’re travelling with…if you’re travelling with your parents or extended family I’d recommend a villa. The majority of villas in Orlando have at least three bedrooms and are fairly spacious. This set-up is great with a big group because you all get to hang out together and extra hands with kids is always appreciated, but you also all get your own space. Look out for villas with multiple bathrooms too.
If you’re travelling as a couple or perhaps with friends who you don’t know really well, I’d suggest a hotel. You can each book your own room in the same hotel or even different ones. It can be intense travelling together, so it’s nice to be able to have a bit of a break from each other’s company. If you’re travelling as a couple you don’t really need to bother with loads of extra space in a villa. I usually find that most of the hotel bedrooms in America are pretty big anyway.
Your budget…hotels are really good value for couples, but they’re also pretty competitive if you plan to spend a bit of time at any of the theme parks. You often get early access to parks or late hours, skip the line passes etc, so it’s worth weighing that up. The hotels are often closer to the parks too, so the convenience can be worth the cost.
The age of your little ones (if any)…if you have young children have a think about what you want your evenings to look like. Once they’re asleep it’s quite nice to be able to sit round your villa pool having a drink. If you’re in a hotel room it means at least one parent is stuck inside the bedroom.
Equally if you go for a villa, try to go for one that has a pool gate or fence, baby stair gates and other baby-friendly equipment – anything that will make your life a little bit easier and more relaxing. After all, isn’t that what holidays are about?!
Orlando Hotel and Villa Deals
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I hope that helps, but by all means get in touch if you have a question or suggestion. Happy holidays!
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