Headed to Orlando and not sure where to stay? You might want to start with one of the seven area hotels that received a “Top 100 Resorts on the U.S. Mainland” designation in the 2010 Conde Nast Traveler’s “Readers’ Choice Awards.”
The best of the best that Orlando has to offer, according to the readers of the luxury travel magazine, included:
#51 Disney’s Grand Floridian – this Disney property specializes in luxury for guests of Walt Disney World.
#53 Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Studios - one of three hotels on site at the Universal Studios complex, this one is modeled after the Italian Riviera. If you can’t follow in your favorite celebrity’s footsteps and jet off to the real thing, the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel is a lovely substitute for a romantic getaway – even if you have no interest in the nearby roller coasters.
$58 Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge – no surprise, another Disney property makes the list, with this one catering to fans of the wildlife at the Animal Kingdom park. Guests of the Animal Kingdom Lodge can watch giraffe, gazelle and other African animals frolicon the wildlife preserve that surrounds the hotel.
#71 Ritz Carlton Grande Lakes Orlando – I’ve been a longtime fan of the spa here, but the guest rooms aren’t too shabby either. This luxury resort caters to visitors who come for the golf, the sun, and the relaxation instead of the amusement parks.
#88 Disney’s Wilderness Lodge – and we’re back to the parks. Looking for family-friendly luxury? Disney’s Wilderness Lodge fits the bill with campfire songs and marshmallow roasting in the evenings.
#96 Loews Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Studios – another option for people planning a trip to Universal Studios, this is the slightly less expensive option. You’ll still find spacious rooms, luxurious decor, sprawling swimming areas, and complimentary motorboat transportation to the heart of the Universal Studios resort.
#98 Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress – while it barely squeaks into the top 100, the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress is a worthy contender among Orlando hotels, especially if you’re a golfer; the resort includes 45 holes of Jack Nicklaus Signature Design golf. If you’re coming to Orlando to enjoy the sun, consider this resort for swimming, golfing, tennis, and other Sunshine State-approved activities.
How’d they do?
Have you stayed at one of these resorts? Do you agree with the rankings, or was your favorite left off the list? (Personally, I’d rank Gaylord Palms above the Royal Pacific Resort.) Share your input in the comments!