Where endless sunshine and vacation-mania meet, Orlando – a city in central Florida – is home to more than a dozen theme parks ranging from the world-famous Disney World to the more recent addition, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. With the whole place geared up to family-based fun so you know you’re going to be in for a truly fabulous time. The sunny city is also home to arguably the highest concentration of the most playful and unique hotels in the world. Here are our Top 12 cool and unusual hotels in Orlando…
Holiday Inn Resort Orlando Suites – a relaxed and modern all-suite hotel
If you are looking for a fun-filled accommodation option that the kids will love, look no further than the Holiday Inn Resort Orlando Suites – Waterpark. This unique resort combines all of the features of a modern hotel with a huge water park and children’s playground. It takes about 30 seconds to step out of your hotel room and step onto a waterslide! There are also multiple children’s activity centres with swings and rides, a 3,000-foot arcade, movie cinema, food court and the Batman Laser Challenge.
Disney World is only one mile away and the hotel provides free shuttle buses. Suites in the resort are modern, bright, and airy. They come with modern amenities including big-screen televisions, kitchenettes, pillow-top beds, and WiFi. There are many family-friendly suites available that include kids rooms with colourful wall decorations, bean bags, and televisions. It is the perfect place to stay if you will be travelling with your children or you are still a big kid yourself!
- Prices from $75 per night.
- To book, check prices or availability for Holiday Inn Resort Orlando
Gaylord Palms Resort – a grand polished hotel with a glass atrium garden
The Gaylord Palms Resort features a huge 4.5-acre glass-enclosed atrium and a theme which represent the best of Florida – Key West, the Emerald Coast, St. Augustine and the Everglades. Celebrating Florida’s history, culture and natural beauty in both architectural style and landscape design, the sprawling 1,406 room hotel showcases the old-world charm of St Augustine, the gently rising mists of the Everglades to the funky and vibrant island revelry of Key West to the Spanish-infused. A place that has to be seen to be believed!
- Prices from $120 per night.
- To book, check prices or availability for Gaylord Palms Resort
Grand Bohemian Hotel – one of the most unique hotels in Orlando
If you thought Orlando was all about theme parks and family-friendly hotels, think again. It is also home to the Grand Bohemian Hotel— a stylish and sophisticated hotel located in the heart of the city. While the exterior of the 15-storey Grand Bohemian Hotel has a modern and clean design aesthetic, the interiors of the building are opulent and luxurious. You will enjoy many beautifully-finished rooms featuring an eclectic range of furniture and colour palettes. Many public spaces are clean, chic and modern, while others have a classic design aesthetic with plush leather chairs, chandeliers, and oak tables. You will constantly be surprised and delighted as you explore the many rooms within the Grand Bohemian.
The hotel is also home to more than £5 million ($6.5m) of art from Richard Kessler’s private collection. In addition, there are many original sculptures and carvings in the public areas of the hotel. The Grand Bohemian is well-located and is a short distance from some of Orlando’s best restaurants, bars and nightclubs. It is also very close to the Dr Phillips Center for the Performing Arts and the Amway Center if you are coming to the city to see a play or musical. The hotel has many modern amenities including a fitness centre, rooftop pool and whirlpool tub, spa, restaurant, and bar (the amazing Bösendorfer Lounge).
- Prices from $110 per night.
- To book, check prices or availability for Grand Bohemian Hotel
B Resort and Spa – chic, trendy and ultra-Instagrammable!
The B Resort and Spa is a popular 394-room resort located a short drive from Disney World. It is a newly renovated resort that features some incredible amenities including a huge zero-entry pool, AVEDA full-service spa, and a world-class restaurant. The interiors of the resort have received a spectacular renovation. The public spaces look like the office of a high-profile technology company more than a traditional Orlando resort. You will enjoy the eclectic and colourful furniture, gorgeous lighting, and polished white surfaces. The rooms are colourful and somewhat playful, with splashes of bright colours on the floor and walls. All guests can enjoy a complimentary shuttle to all Walt Disney World Theme Parks and the Downtown Disney area. There are also several large retail centres nearby, which makes the resort a great choice for shopaholics.
- Prices from $95 per night.
- To book, check prices or availability for B Resort and Spa
Castle Hotel – a unique boutique hotel with castle-style décor
This boutique hotel is one of the most interesting and unusual hotels in Orlando. Located close to the city centre, Castle Hotel is known for its castle-like exterior, Bavarian-inspired interiors, and many modern amenities. Each room is filled with a mixture of contemporary furniture, and ornate Bavarian-inspired decorations. Most pieces of furniture feature a decorative or artistic design, which is quite distinctive compared to other hotels. This hotel is more reminiscent of a luxurious European hotel than a hotel you would find in Orlando. Each room features modern amenities including marble bathrooms, high-speed wireless Internet, large flatscreen televisions, and room service. Castle Hotel also has an excellent restaurant, a bar and a small pool.
- Prices from $100 per night.
- To book, check prices or availability for Castle Hotel Orlando
Lake Buena Vista Resort Village – a unique and fun upscale all-suite resort
The Lake Buena Vista Resort Village makes our list of cool and unusual hotels in Orlando simply because of its gigantic pirate ship! The pirate ship sits in the middle of the resort and contains a slide which drops guests into a large pool. After you have pretended to be a pirate jumping overboard a few times, you can also enjoy the poolside bar, Frankie Farrell’s Irish Pub, or the Reflections Spa/Salon. Did we mention that Disney World is only 2 miles away? Rooms feature a contemporary design which is quite comfortable and homely. The resort is surrounded by many open green spaces, which provide wonderful views.
- Prices from $130 per night.
- To book, check prices or availability for Lake Buena Vista Resort Village
Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek – a modern resort hotel set within the Bonnet Creek Nature Preserve
Nestled in the 482-acre Bonnet Creek nature preserve, Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek is one of the most scenic accommodation options in Orlando. It is a huge resort with more than 1,000 beautiful rooms and suites available. Despite the large size of this resort, it is a very relaxing and serene location. You can enjoy a walk through the nature reserve, a swim in one of the many large pools or enjoy a day at the spa.
Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek is a short walk from Disney Springs — an outdoor shopping, dining, and entertainment complex in Walt Disney World Resort. it is also a short drive from Disney World and other major theme parks. The resort has an incredible 3-acre lazy river pool with a water slide, which is ranked as one of the best resort pools in Florida. Floating down this huge pool while enjoying the Florida sun is a wonderful treat. There are also twelve restaurants and a championship golf course to enjoy on the grounds of the resort.
- Prices from $140 per night.
- To book, check prices or availability for Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek
Aloft DownTown – a popular mid-range contemporary hotel
Aloft DownTown is a modern hotel located in central Orlando. It is one of the more unusual hotels in the city because of its ultra-modern design and interesting lighting. One of the highlights of the Aloft Downtown is the WXYZ Bar and the Re:Mix Lounge. They are wonderfully decorated spaces with a mix of quirky and colourful furnishings. Rooms are modern, bright, colourful, and chic. Expect to see a mixture of decorative couches, timber panelling, colourful carpet, and modern appliances. Most rooms are quite large and have excellent views of the city.
- Prices from $100 per night.
- To book, check prices or availability for AloftDownTown
Marriott’s Harbour Lake – a Caribbean island-themed resort located on the shore of Lake Willis
Have you ever wanted to experience a Caribbean holiday without travelling to the Caribbean? If so, Marriott’s Harbour Lake is the perfect choice for your next holiday to Orlando! It is a large tropical resort designed to resemble a Caribbean town, with buildings designed in a colourful Key West cottage style. It is quite a magical place guaranteed to enthral children and adults alike.
There are both rooms and spacious one or two-bedroom villas available. The villas have fully equipped kitchens, screened balconies, and large living areas. The design aesthetic is modern contemporary with a splash of Caribbean colour throughout. There are plenty of fun activities to enjoy at the resort, including 22,000-square-foot miniature golf course and WaterWorks (a huge water playground). There is a large pirate ship with water cannons located in the middle of WaterWorks for children to play on. Adults can enjoy the many excellent restaurants and bars located around the resort.
- Prices from $120 per night.
- To book, check prices or availability for Marriott’s Harbour Lake
Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites
Smack in the middle of Universal Orlando Resort, this hotel has a surf and beach theme, so guests can take a dip in a giant surfboard-shape pool and unwind with a cocktail by the pool bar. The Surfside Inn has 2-bedroom suites that can sleep up to 6 people, making it ideal for family breaks. Also ideal for families is the fact that the resort offers early access to some rides in the theme park, such as The Wizarding World of Harry PotterTM and Universal’s Volcano BayTM, plus complimentary transport to these parks. You can also show your room key to get other perks around the resort. There’s always somewhere open for food too, as their food court is open between 7am- 11pm, offering So-Cal inspired food.
- Prices from $120 per night.
- To book, check prices or availability for Universal’s Endless Summer Resort
Delta Hotels Orlando Lake Buena Vista – a large but relaxed hotel very near Disney World
This luxurious four-star hotel is situated in one of the most sought-after parts of Orlando. It is walking distance to Disney Springs, which is packed with dozens of restaurants, bars and shops, and a short distance from Disney World.
The Delta Hotels Orlando makes our list because of the pirates landing splash zone — a thrilling pirate ship with water cannons that is located in one of the pools. The hotel also features a kid’s games room, fitness centre, outstanding restaurant, and bar. The rooms are another stand out feature of Delta Hotels Orlando. They are sophisticated, luxurious and extremely comfortable. Most rooms also feature wonderful views across Orlando or of the surrounding green spaces.
- Prices from $90 per night.
- To book, check prices or availability for Delta Hotels Orlando
Rosen Shingle Lodge – an elegant Spanish-style resort hotel
Rosen Shingle Lodge is one of the most impressive resorts in Orlando. It is a AAA Four Diamond hotel with 1,500 rooms and suites overlooking a spectacular 18-hole par 72 championship golf course. The rooms are luxurious and quite spacious with a focus on comfort. They are beautifully furnished with lovely timber furniture, decorative prints, plush chairs and couches, and attractive light fixtures. The more expensive suites are opulent and reach a level of luxury that most 4-star hotels cannot match. There are many amenities to enjoy including a large pool area, excellent restaurants, large bar/lounge areas, concierge service, spa, and hot tubs. It is the perfect accommodation for golf lovers and travellers who enjoy luxurious hotels with world class amenities.
- Prices from $110 per night.
- To book, check prices or availability for Rosen Shingle Lodge
Alfond Inn – a sophisticated and award-winning boutique hotel
The Alfond Inn is a popular boutique hotel that has been rated “Best hotel in Florida” by readers of Condé Nast Traveler in 2014, 2015, 2016 & 2017. It is easy to see why this hotel has received such acclaim. It is a stunning 112-room hotel that showcases The Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art for Rollins College (part of the Cornell Fine Arts Museum). The stunning art is matched by the luxurious interiors and surrounding tranquil gardens.
The Alford Inn is considered slightly unusual because it offers a VIP dog package, which allows your furry friend to stay in your room with you. There are also plenty of water bowls set up around the hotel and the kitchen can provide some delicious meals for your pet. Other highlights include the award-winning Hamilton’s Kitchen restaurant, a huge pool and a fitness centre. The hotel is only 15 minutes from downtown Orlando and 30 minutes from Walt Disney World.
- Prices from $150 per night.
- To book, check prices or availability for Alford Inn
If you have a dog, make sure to check Top 15 dog-friendly hotels in Orlando, Florida.