In a bustling destination like Orlando, it’s not always easy to find a resort that feels like an oasis, is close to the action, and is well worth the value – but that’s what makes Caribe Royale Orlando a gem that’s practically hidden in plain sight. Located near the area’s princesses, wizards, superheroes, and droids, this welcoming, independent property is fresh off a more than $130 million renovation. Read on for our review of this one-of-a-kind, all-suite resort.
The Look of Caribe Royale Orlando
If you’ve ever driven towards Walt Disney World along World Center Drive, you’ve likely seen Caribe Royale Orlando’s cluster of pink buildings and fountain in front of its porte cochere. While its exterior might look unassuming in comparison to some of the area’s over-the-top hotels (the world’s largest Marriott is right down the block), looks can be deceiving.
Caribe Royale Orlando’s recent multi-million dollar renovation of its rooms, public spaces, dining areas, and beyond drew from artist Robert Rauschenberg’s Captiva Island-inspired work. The first evidence of this is when you step inside the main reception building, where you’re greeted by an airy, new lobby with plenty of seating; we love the wall covered in palm tree print right behind the check-in desks. In the building’s lower level, you’ll find moss walls emblazoned with images of cranes – Florida icons – just before heading outside to what’s easily the focal point of the resort: the main pool, complete with a waterfall and 75-foot water slide. Surrounding these features are plenty of loungers, chairs, and private cabanas.
Around the pool area are three towers that house a total of 1,215 one-bedroom suites that have separate living and bedroom areas with either a king bed or two queen beds, plus a pull-out sofa. The spacious accommodations are between 468 and 600 square feet and have two televisions and a super-functional workspace. The suites are chic and soothing – something you definitely need if you plan on spending a full day at the nearby theme parks. (Our Royale King Suite had one of the best bathrooms we’ve ever encountered while traveling, with its ample counter space and large walk-in shower.)
For those looking for some more room, Caribe Royale Orlando has 120 villas. Each are equipped with two separate bedrooms, a pair of bathrooms, a full kitchen, dining area, and private screened-in patio. Guests of this part of the complex even have access to a private villa pool, which is much quieter than the main one.
The Vibe of Caribe Royale Orlando
Caribe Royale Orlando is a boutique property, whose staff (across all levels) is among the friendliest and most pleasant we’ve ever met. The overall vibe here is relaxing; and a stay here is like being on vacation from your actual theme park vacation, providing a great escape from all the rides and attractions. If you’re opting for a break from the parks – which you should – you won’t be bored if you stay back at the hotel with all of its things to do. On the weekends, a live DJ can be found by the pool, and seasonally you can catch nighttime poolside family-friendly movies. There’s also a pier for catch-and-release fishing; a running trail; bike rentals; tennis and basketball courts; a fitness center; and a spa. If you’re coming down for the holidays, don’t forget to check out the Caribe Royale North Pole Express, a 32-foot-long-train made of all chocolate. Speaking of sweets, there’s a whole pastry team that’s very passionate about their work – so much so that there are future plans for them to offer guests hands-on experiences focusing on chocolate and more.
There are four outlets on the dining front. There’s the AAA Four-Diamond Venetian Chop House, whose lobster bisque still makes our mouths water just thinking about it; this is also a favorite spot among locals. Tropicale is where you can grab breakfast from a buffet or as an a la carte option; and Calypso is located out by the pool, serving lunch, dinner, and libations. If you’re in a hurry, fuel up at Café 24 for grab-and-go items – the crueler is amazing and made on site.
Who Will Love Caribe Royale Orlando
From families and friend groups to solo and business travelers (there’s a huge meetings and convention facility on site; and the in-room workspace is perfect for remote working), anyone will love a stay here. With accommodations ranging from a one-bedroom suite to two-bedroom villas, it’s ideal for a multigenerational getaway.
Who Might Not Love Caribe Royale Orlando
Those who like the comforts (and perks) of a chain property like a Hilton or Marriott, might consider staying elsewhere.
Best Amenity at Caribe Royale Orlando
The on-site activities, dining, and amenities here definitely put Caribe Royale Orlando on par with many of the major, more well-known players in the area. It’s even been designated as a Walt Disney World Good Neighbor Hotel, meaning it’s met Disney’s standards for quality and service; you can also purchase Disney tickets here. The best amenity of the resort is its scheduled shuttle transportation to the four Disney parks and Disney Springs; just sign up at the lobby concierge desk at least one hour prior to departure. We found the transportation to be very convenient and right on time – a major plus if you skip the rental car or don’t want to hop in an Uber or taxi.
Our other favorite amenity here is the brand-new Rum Bar, featuring Bacardi rum. Just off the lobby is this lounge where you can enjoy crafted cocktails and tapas (hello, beef empanadas), plus live music and a DJ on the weekends. Make sure you grab a seat at the dominoes tables, too, after taking a look at the Bacardi mural.
What’s Included at Caribe Royale Orlando
Guests have access to the pool, activities, fitness center, Disney shuttle, and wifi.
Fees and Extra Costs You Should Know About at Caribe Royale Orlando
The property charges a $30 per night resort fee. Self parking is $28 per night, per vehicle.
How to Get a Deal at Caribe Royale Orlando
Book directly with the resort to take advantage of offers and discounts throughout the year, like its Summer Escape Package 2022 that includes a suite stay, daily buffet breakfast for two, discounted parking, and late 1 p.m. checkout.
In the Neighborhood of Caribe Royale Orlando
Caribe Royale Orlando is located just 1.5 miles from Walt Disney World’s main entrance, and is also an easy to drive Universal Orlando, SeaWorld, and a number of other area sights. The shuttle from Disney Springs does its last pickup at 11:20 p.m., so you can spend a night out at the complex and easily return to the resort.
Nearest Airport to Caribe Royale Orlando
Orlando International Airport (MCO) is located less than 30 minutes away by car.
Caribe Royale Orlando has a special quality that sets it apart from other nearby properties, especially with it being independently owned. After having stayed at many of the Walt Disney World resorts at all price levels, we love the value of staying here and spacious accommodations when compared to Disney's properties, whose perks have dwindled significantly in recent years.