You’ve blown the budget on park hopper passes and now you’re in need of a place to stay. No sweat -- Orlando is the prime destination for budget hotels that deliver high-end amenities without the sticker shock. Leading as the top tourist destination in the country, this city has never had more rooms available. Here’s a handy guide to the most value-friendly properties that will help you stretch your dollar far enough to stay happy in the City Beautiful.
Having undergone a $13 million renovation in late 2014, Embassy Suites Lake Buena Vista Resort shines with a refreshed atrium and newly outfitted suites. An incredible value for families and business travelers, the resort is located just off the main Disney property with an average ride time of 15 minutes to and from Walt Disney World’s four main parks. The 334 fully redesigned suites are sleek and elegantly styled, complete with a kitchenette, wet bar, and two TVs per unit. Make sure to arrive early for the complimentary breakfast that includes a made-to-order omelet station and plenty of hot food items. The resort is ideal for the family that tires from the parks mid-afternoon, offering a new kids' splash pool and playground, a putt-putt green, beach volleyball, basketball court, and a fishing dock with a fully stock fishing pond. Shuttle Service: Free to the Walt Disney World Parks provided by Embassy Suites Lake Buena Vista Resort. Rates from $116 per night.
One of Orlando’s newest hotels, Loews Sapphire Falls Resort opened on Universal’s property this past summer. Expect incredible value as the resort offers an immersive retreat for families with its 16,000-square-foot pool, and the convenience of proximity to Universal’s two parks. The rooms glow with palm tree throw pillows that accent the beige and blue colors of the room. Perhaps the best perk of a stay here is the Early Park Admission, granting access to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ an hour prior to rope drop. That precious hour allows for more than a few chances to take a spin on the incredibly immersive Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey before the lines can stretch to two hours. Shuttle Service: There are complimentary shuttle buses, water taxis, and walking paths to both Universal Orlando theme parks and Universal CityWalk. Rates from $189 per night.
Set just outside Disney Springs, Sheraton Lake Buena Vista Resort is packed with amenities that cater to the whole family. Attracting the most attention, a massive pirate ship sits as the centerpiece of the pool. The full-service spa adds a nice touch for the crazed parents who need a few moments of down time from the chaos of the parks, while the arcade can keep the younger set engaged for hours. The rooms are simple and modest, with double Jacuzzi tubs in the master bedrooms. Shuttle Service: Free to the Walt Disney World Parks provided by Sheraton Lake Buena Vista Resort. Rates from $90 per night.
Floridays Resort Orlando is a sprawling 20-acre compound with 432 rooms and one the biggest pools we’ve ever seen. More than just a pool, Floridays draws the Orlando family crowd with its convenient location on International Drive, less than 15 minutes away from the main Walt Disney World parks. A resort that goes the extra mile to entertain families, expect a rotating list of daily activities including poolside movies, arts and crafts for the younger set, and relaxing live music that adds to atmosphere. Shuttle Service: Floridays Resort Orlando offers daily scheduled shuttle service to Disney, Universal, Sea World, and Aquatica. Rates from $139 per night.
Classic Florida style comes at a great value with The Florida Hotel & Conference Center, a hotel that caters more to the business traveler than the family of thrill seekers. The property makes the list with its upscale accommodations and a no-frills atmosphere, ideal for those looking to save their time and money for the parks but don’t want to compromise a comfortable night’s stay. The resort sits closest to Universal Studios and SeaWorld, though the Walt Disney World parks are only a 20-minute ride away. Shuttle Service: There are no regular shuttles though the hotel can recommend companies for advance bookings. Rates from $109 per night.