Charles and I spent the Fourth of July in an unlikely location (for us) – Central Florida. I have to admit, I was a little “eh” about going to Orlando for the Fourth of July – I’m a New England gal through and through and spending the holiday on a New England coastline is like my Christmas… it’s BY FAR my favorite holiday of the year. But we have friends who just moved there and after all, spending time with friends and loved ones trumps any geographic location.
Charles booked us into the Hyatt Regency Orlando on International Drive, hard by the Orange County Convention Center, minutes from every chain restaurant you could ever imagine and just a five and fifteen minute drive from Universal Studios and Walt Disney World, respectively.
At first glance it seemed incredibly large – not surprising for a hotel near a convention center – but also welcoming. As a fan of boutique hotels, quite the contrary from this monster of a hotel, I was impressed by the friendly, swift service and touches like complimentary fruit and cucumber-infused water available throughout the lobby. A stunning chandelier and multiple conversation-worthy sitting areas graced the lobby as well.
After a lovely check-in process, we made our way up to our room on the 21st floor. (The view as we stepped off the elevator reminded us that we were very high up!) Our Standard King Room, their entry-level room category (two queens is also an option in this category,) offered plenty of space for us – 415 square feet which also included a workspace, vanity area and large bathroom. And yes, that is a television built into the bathroom mirror… *Two room photos courtesy of Hyatt Regency Orlando.*
While we generally prefer to venture into town for meals, travelers who appreciate having dining options at their fingertips will enjoy Hyatt Regency Orlando, as it boasts seven dining options. (Shown are Rocks Lounge and Lobby Bar.)
In keeping with the intimate feel of the hotel (with intimate being a relative term, of course,) the lofty ceilings and grand convention spaces were softened with fabulous florals and striking art – at times I felt as if I were in a gallery. It seemed as if everywhere I turned boasted a work of art.
While I enjoyed wandering the halls of the hotel, taking in the decor, design and atmosphere in general, I can imagine that some would find the size of the hotel is a bit daunting. Conveniently, digital touchscreen maps are spread throughout the hotel – literally directing you to your chosen destination with a green line. I used one when I knew I was close to my breakfast destination, the B Line Diner, and the digital map confirmed that I just had to go down one level and over a bit.
Since it was a holiday weekend, I indulged in a quickie massage – a 25 minute “Tension Tamer” – that was just what I was looking for. Post-massage I decided to hit the pool for some Vitamin D but had I desired more relaxation, I would have stayed in the spa, luxuriating in the jacuzzi, steam room and relaxation room. *Two spa photos courtesy of Hyatt Regency Orlando.*
Admittedly, one of my biggest concerns about spending the holiday in Orlando was that there would be kiddos EVERYWHERE. Much to my surprise, I discovered a pool that was kiddo-free and enjoyed soaking up the sun in peace and quiet for a few hours.
My pool – an Olympic sized pool with plenty of lounge chairs and cabanas, was located on the hotel’s Terrace level. This pool does not serve food or beverages, which is probably one of the reasons why it was so quiet. It worked for me, though!
The Grotto Pool boasts cascading waterfalls, a cool water slide, many play stations, cabana rentals and Coconuts Poolside Bar & Grill. (What kiddo WOULDN’T want to be all over that?!) *Two photos of the Grotto Pool courtesy of Hyatt Regency Orlando.*
A quick trip, our escape to Orlando did turn out to be a fun one. It was great seeing friends we hadn’t seen in a while and Hyatt Regency Orlando was the perfect home-base. Staff were friendly, rooms were clean, modern and spacious and the common areas of the hotel were beautiful. I highly recommend giving it a try – with kids in tow or just with friends or a spouse!
9801 International Drive
Orlando, Florida, USA, 32819
Tel: +1 407 284 1234