Set right at the heart of International Drive, this lodging underwent a total remake in 2017, and offers a wide range of amenities, not the least of which is that you can walk to the I-Drive 360 entertainment and dining complex. Add in the convenience of a theme park shuttle for Universal and SeaWorld, and the I-Ride Trolley stop right outside, you may not need a car at all. The tropical landscaping and lagoons that wind through the property offer an astonishing sense of serenity, considering the resort is located at one of the busiest intersections in the tourist area. Spacious rooms have all the convenience of home, and some even offer separate, bunk-bed areas for kids. For those who live the 24-7 high-tech lifestyle, the Eye Bar, a technology lounge, is open round the clock. As a partner to next door's I-Drive 360, the hotel offers discounts to the entertainment offerings there, including the Coca-Cola Orlando eye, Madame Tussauds Orlando or Sea Life Orlando Aquarium.
YOU SHOULD KNOW There are no elevators, but the resort buildings only have two stories; The resort has a $22 daily resort fee; and, because of road construction in front of the hotel, the entrance can be difficult to find.
Beds (either one king or two doubles) have pillow-top mattresses and white, duvet-style linens. Rooms provide 40-inch flat screen TVs, work stations with ergonomic chairs, plenty of plugs for charging devices, coffee makers and a mini fridge. Striking black and white carpet covers the floors in some rooms; however, rooms with tile floors are also available. Family rooms have a separate area with bunk-beds.
YOU SHOULD KNOW The family room bunk beds are separated from the main room only by a half-wall, not a door.
The bathroom has a tub/shower combo, and dark vanity with one sink, and enough counter-top space for all your toiletries and the ones provided by the resort.
Marble floors and high ceilings give the lobby a spacious feel, while still being a cozy, inviting social space. The registration and concierge desks are separate, and the lobby bar is a convivial spot for gathering with friends, reading, checking mail and having a drink.
Two pools, one filled with activity, the other a quiet space to relax or catch some sun, sit amid the tropical landscape, with a handy pool bar and grill nearby, ample lounge chairs, and even some private cabanas for rent.
The fitness center has cardio and weight training equipment, separate locker rooms, and a sauna and steam room. Towels are provided.
Gatorville Poolside Bar & Grill offers casual American fare, all day, and a full breakfast menu or buffet. The Eye Bar in the lobby offers Mediterranean small plates and The Barista serves coffee, beverages, muffins and croissants in the mornings.
The Eye Bar in the lobby has a full cocktail menu, in addition to beer and wine. For a more casual, beachy vibe, Gatorville Poolside has a full bar, open til midnight.
The resort offers shuttles to Universal and SeaWorld, the I-Ride Trolley stops practically at the front door, and you can walk to I-Drive 360 in mere minutes, so a car is not absolutely needed. However, if you are interested in exploring farther afield, a car or ride sharing service would be necessary.
Dozens of restaurants are within an easy walk of the resort. Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurant (2-minute walk) offers a huge wine list to pair with everything from sandwiches to steaks. At I-Drive 360 (5-minute walk) Tapa Toro offers Spanish food and music and Naru Restaurant & Sushi Bar is a sophisticated sushi and sake spot; however, if you are looking for a traditional burger and fries, Shake Shack is your spot.
Cooper's Hawk Winery (2-minute walk) is the outlet for their own California wine. The winery and restaurant offers a happy hour on weekdays from 3pm to 6pm. Tin Roof Orlando (2-minute walk) offers live music and a full bar in a lively, casual atmosphere.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Location, amenities and price combined make this a great lodging choice. The fact that you don't need a car at all to get to the entertainment and dining choices, or to the theme parks, makes it even better. For a lodging sitting at the intersection of two of Orlando's busiest tourist streets, this place offers an uncanny sense of peace and quiet.