Buena Vista Suites (8203 World Center Dr., 407/239-8588, two-room suites from $129) and Caribe Royale (8101 World Center, 407/238-8000, www.cariberoyale.com, from $209 d) are adjacent to one another about a mile from Walt Disney World, and both are highly recommended. The 279 two-room suites at Buena Vista recently underwent a massive stem-to-stern renovation, and the result is a stylish and comfortable hotel with amenities like flat-screen HDTVs and granite countertops. More importantly, the affordable guest rooms are sparklingly fresh.
Caribe Royale has more of a resort–convention center vibe, with a massive pool area and an endless array of meeting rooms tucked down its labyrinthine hallways. One-bedroom suites have microwave-fridge combos, while the two-bedroom villas are equipped with full kitchens.
If your theme-park visit is solely in the service of some television-addled children, Nickelodeon Family Suites (14500 Continental Gateway, 866/297-7402, one-bedroom suites from $209) may be just the character-driven destination you need. An extensively redecorated version of a Holiday Inn “KidSuites” facility, the hotel is done up with characters from Nickelodeon cartoons. One-, two-, and three-bedroom suites are decked out with bunk beds, kitchens, and lots of primary colors, and the young ones can endlessly occupy themselves in the enormous pool areas, game room, mini-golf area, and even a kids’ spa. And yes, for the adults, there is a bar.
For something a little more elegant, the enormous Gaylord Palms Resort and Spa (6000 W. Osceola Pkwy., 407/586-2000, from $209 d) is an upscale facility geared more toward conventioneers and business travelers. One of the two pool areas is adults-only, and the recreation area is focused on croquet and a putting green rather than on merry-go-rounds and sandboxes. Families are clearly still welcome here—the other pool area is a raucous one, as screaming kids hurtle down the water slide—but there’s a decidedly more adult feel than at any of the nearby resorts.
A bit farther away from Walt Disney World’s main entrance is the Perri House Bed & Breakfast (10417 Vista Oaks Court, 800/780-4830, from $89 d), an eight-room inn that prides itself on its quiet residential atmosphere. All guest rooms have private baths and their own entrances.
© Jason Ferguson from Moon Florida, 1st Edition