This hotel offers low-key elegance, bright rooms, and lots of free amenities for families; some rooms have balconies that offer views of Disney Springs and Epcot fireworks. The very modern lobby is typical of the hotel's understated vibe. There are no hidden charges, as this hotel specializes in free stuff: free Wi-Fi, no resort fee, free breakfast, and kids under 12 eat free breakfast, lunch, and dinner when with parents. The rooms are no less elegant than the lobby, with crisp white linens, minimalist wood furniture and headboards, flat-screen TVs, fridges, and microwaves. Some rooms have balconies that face the parks, offering a view of Disney Springs and fireworks.
YOU SHOULD KNOW The substantial list of free stuff unfortunately doesn't include parking, which costs $12 a day.
Updated in 2017, rooms have two double beds, with one night-stand between them, a 52-inch television, a storage dresser that holds a mini-fridge, microwave and pod style coffee maker, with complimentary coffee fixings, and a work desk with work-station chair and extra outlets for charging devices. Some of the rooms facing Disney Springs have great views not only of the activities at that complex, including the iconic tethered hot-air balloon, but also of nightly fireworks. Balconies have two chairs and a small table.
These spacious bathrooms have soaking tubs (with grab bars) and substantial, glass-enclosed showers, a granite surfaced vanity with a single sink. While space is a little tight for storing your own toiletries on the vanity, an ample supply of free citrus and verbena scented toiletries, and fluffy towels, makes up for it.
Light fills the lobby registration and seating areas, filtering through linen sheers over floor-to-ceiling windows. At the far end of the lobby, a soaring, 14-story, glass-roofed atrium brightens the muted carpeting and banquette-style seating in the Palm Breezes Restaurant, across from a Disney souvenir shop.
The heated outdoor pool, with plenty of picturesque palm trees, has a gently sloping entry, making it easy on the little ones, and ample lounge chairs for those who simply want to soak up the sun. There's a lap lane at one end of the pool, and a separate hot tub for those park-weary muscles.
A free fitness center features cardio and weight training equipment.
The breakfast buffet opens at 7 a.m. for those wishing to get an early start at the parks. American casual dining is available at the Palm Breezes restaurant. Best of all, up to four children aged 11 and younger eat free any time of the day. A quick-stop eatery in the lobby offers coffee, pastries and sandwiches.
The Palm Breezes bar offers cocktails, beer and wine til midnight.
Disney Springs is an easy walk away, and bus service will take you to the rest of Disney World, so a car is not necessary, if that's what you want to do. If you prefer the freedom of a car, it will save you time (but not money, as daily parking fees at the hotel and parks can consume a chunk of cash) and make trips to Universal or SeaWorld much easier.
Disney Springs (8-minute walk) is a substantial shopping, entertainment and dining area, with around 50 eateries and watering holes from which to choose. Restaurants closest to the hotel include the three-story PaddleFish, a modern take on the American traditional paddleboat, where seafood is king and the outdoor rooftop terrace offers striking views of the lagoon and the entertainment at the Springs. Nearby you’ll find Raglan Road, an authentic Irish Pub owned by celeb chef Kevin Dundon, featuring refined Irish fare and lots of music and dancing; Morimoto’s Asia, an Asian Fusion eatery owned by, and often visited by, famed Japanese chef, Morimoto; and Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ restaurant, showcasing local, Southern food. For those who fancy a Mexican experience, James Beard Foundation Award winning Chef Rick Bayless’ has opened Frontera Cocina. Further afield is House of Blues, where barbecue and beer reign supreme.
Disney Springs (8-minute walk) offers dozens of places to lift a glass. The rooftop bar at Morimoto's Asia offers high-end sake; Raglan Road's Irish pub pours a mean Guinness; wine connoisseurs can head to Wine Bar George, where a master sommelier dispenses a wide range of domestic and imported wines; and House of Blues is the spot for beer.
WHY WE LIKE IT
If you want the Disney experience without paying full Disney hotel prices, this lodging has a lot to offer. It’s close to Disney Springs, meaning world-class dining and entertainment are only a few minutes from the comfort of your balcony. The rooms are generous, the outdoor balconies are a treat, and complimentary transportation means a car is not required.