This deluxe, award-winning, high-rise conference hotel in the middle of International Drive offers anything a leisure customer could want, with richly appointed rooms, two pools with cabanas, a full-service spa, and a fitness center the size of your local Y, several onsite restaurants, and a 360-seat, glass-walled lounge overlooking the pool. The hotel is attached to the Orange County Convention Center by two covered walkways, and its conference centers and ballrooms are vast. Rooms near the top of this towering resort offer spectacular views, and bathrooms have TVs built into the mirrors.
YOU SHOULD KNOW A $25 daily resort fee and a $22 daily parking fee ups the room rate considerably.
The rooms are spacious, as they should be. The signature Hyatt Grand Bed (either two queens or a king) features deluxe duvet-style bedding. An ergonomic chair and generous work area with sufficient plugs for charging devices serve both the conference visitor and leisure traveler well. Views over I-Drive and nearby theme park fireworks are available on the higher floors of this 31-story tower. Wi-Fi and bottled water come with the resort fee, a mini-fridge keeps your drinks cold, a flat-screen TV keeps you entertained and informed, and a Starbucks coffeemaker ensures an early morning jolt of java.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Because this is a huge conference hotel, and is almost always heavily booked, housekeeping can fall behind in their abilities to visit each room on time, but will respond to calls if you need additional towels, etc.
The functional bathroom features a granite topped vanity with a single sink, a bathtub/shower combination, and, for a deluxe touch, a TV in the large, brightly lighted mirror, so you won't miss a second of the news, or the game or the movie. The bathroom also contains ample KenetMD Skincare amenities and a plush robe and towels.
This hotel is so huge it has more than one lobby, connected by expansive hallways and escalators. The check-in desks are split between the lobbies, in order to handle the large groups who often arrive all at once. There's also a lobby bar and sufficient seating for hanging out with your buds.
The resort has two pools. The main one, the Grotto Pool, has a slide, waterfalls and a splash pad along with a separate pool for toddlers. The Terrace Pool, on a higher level than the Grotto, is a much quieter lap-pool for those wanting to relax, sunbathe or swim quietly. Both provide towels, and there are ample lounge chairs, some umbrellas, and deluxe cabanas.
The Spa, as befits a resort of this size, is generous in size, and offers a full menu of massage services, a full-service salon, separate men's and women's locker rooms, relaxation rooms, steam and jacuzzi rooms, in addition to a co-ed relaxation lounge for wedding parties and groups. A private pool and cabanas are available outdoors, and wellness seminars are offered.
This 8,000-square-foot-facility features high-tech equipment for both cardio and strength training, and separate rooms for exercising, stretching and spinning. If you prefer to exercise outdoors, the tennis court is just outside, along with a junior Olympic size lap pool. The fitness center has locker rooms, a steam room, and showers and is adjacent to The Spa.
YOU SHOULD KNOW You may never need to enter the world-class fitness center, as this resort is so huge you'll make your 10,000 steps a day plus more, just walking to and from your room and restaurants and meeting spaces and the pool.
Several dining choices make it easy to stay on property for several days without needing to look further for food. The B-Line Diner is open 24 hours a day and features separate breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night menus. Urban Tide also offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and specializes in seafood at the latter. Italian fare at Fiorenzo Italian Steakhouse, including steaks, chops, and seafood, is served on white tablecloths, giving the eatery a pleasantly old-fashioned formality. For poolside dining, small plates, sandwiches, and salads are available from Coconuts Poolside Bar & Grill.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Prices at all the resort restaurants reflect the corporate expense accounts of many of the guests. Check the menus and if things look too pricey for your liking, head out onto I-Drive where excellent dining can be had for far less within a few minutes walk or drive.
Urban Tide has a nightly happy hour at the bar, featuring wine specials and appetizers. Fiorenzo's also offers pre-dinner food and drink deals. But the main watering hole is Rocks, a huge space adjacent to the lobby and overlooking the pool, where craft cocktails, local beers, a thoughtful wine list, and a generous happy hour attract a huge crowd.
The I-Ride Trolley stops at the resort's front door and carries you from one end of International Drive's entertainment and dining extravaganza to the other. The resort fee provides two tickets a day. Pointe Orlando's high-end dining and movie complex is only a 5-minute walk. No other shuttles are provided by the resort, but ride-share services and taxis are in plentiful supply on I-Drive, so if you want to explore further, or head to one of the area's theme parks, you'll have to make arrangements on your own. There is a car rental agency in the resort.
Pointe Orlando (6-minute walk) is home to dozens of restaurants, including The OceanAir Seafood Room, where seafood is king; Capital Grille, a classic chop and steakhouse; and the atmospheric Cuba Libre Restaurant and Rum Bar. Farther along I-Drive, The Boston Lobster Feast (5-minute drive) is exactly what its name implies, an all you can eat seafood feast, including lobster. Look for the giant, red lobster consuming a small car. Shake Shack (6-minute drive) is a popular American burger spot. I-Drive offers dozens of chain eateries serving everything from burgers to pizza to tacos to American home-style comfort food.
Pointe Orlando (6-minute walk) offers several bars and lounges, from Blue Martini Lounge to minus5° Ice Experience, if you are looking for an almost terminally cool time. iDrive 360, (5-minute drive) home of The Coca-Cola Orlando Eye and Madame Tussaud’s, is also home to Tin Roof, a rustic, shack-style bar with beer and music. For an evening of Latin dancing and live revue shows, check out Mango’s (7-minute drive). Or just hop aboard the I-Ride Trolley and ride the length of the drive to see the dozens of choices you have available.
WHY WE LIKE IT
The location is great, in the heart of the entertainment and dining extravaganza of I-Drive, and equidistant from Universal and Disney. The on-site dining, drinking, and amenities are excellent. The pool, spa, and fitness center are world class. If you have the budget, what's not to like?