The Best New and Renovated Resorts in Orlando

by  Kimberly Button | Sep 20, 2019
Margaritaville Orlando Resort
Margaritaville Orlando Resort / Photo courtesy of the property

There's always something new and exciting in Orlando. Here, themed hotels are just as fun as the amusement parks themselves. From a giant flip-flop to a Salvatore Dalí-inspired tower, we're rounding up some of the most exciting hotel openings and additions to the area.

1. Gran Destino Tower at Disney's Coronado Springs Resorts

The recently renovated Coronado Springs Resort is now home to a new 545-room building. Gran Destino Tower, is named after Destino, an animated short Disney film. Salvador Dalí helped write the screenplay, which premiered in 2003 — about 20 years after the artist's death. (Production began in 1948, but the film wasn't completed until 2003.) You'll find other Spanish influences throughout the tower. The colorful Barcelona Lounge features a mosaic of brightly colored glass and fanciful plaster columns. The new rooftop restaurant, Tolédo – Tapas, Steak & Seafood serves up small plates and dishes inspired by the flavors of Spain. Enjoy your meal under a live olive tree beneath a glass ceiling, which features panoramic views of the theme parks. Gran Destino Tower rates from $376 per night, depending on the season; other resort rates from $198 per night, depending on the season. 

2. Surfside Inn and Suites at Universal’s Endless Summer Resort

Universal Orlando Resort has added 750 more budget-friendly hotel rooms with the Surfside Inn and Suites. This family-friendly hotel features two-bedroom suites that can sleep up to six. There’s a beachy vibe throughout the property (as implied by the name), from the room décor to the two on-site eateries (think burgers, salads, and tropical cocktails). Surfside Inn and Suites is just one part of Universal’s Endless Summer Resort, which will soon include a sister hotel, Dockside Inn and Suites (opening March, 2020). Rates from $99 per night, depending on the season. 

3. Margaritaville Resort Orlando

Margaritaville Resort Orlando opened this past January and features 184 bright and breezy rooms. The property is located in Kissimmee, near Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom. Inside, you'll find an expansive lobby filled with palm trees, a chandelier made of twinkling margarita glasses, and an oversized flip-flop (bring your camera). Guests can enjoy three large pools, a spa, a beach club area, and a kids' and teens' club. Another unique entertainment option within the resort is Sunset Walk, a collection of restaurants, retail stores, and a movie theater. Bonus: if you're looking for more adventure, visit the on-site water park, Island H2O Live! Rates from $177 per night, depending on the season. 

4. Disney’s Riviera Resort

Riviera Resort is the newest Disney Vacation Club property, slated to open in December of 2019. This resort celebrates the grandeur of old-fashioned, 20th century-era European Riviera hotels, and will debut a new room category: Tower Studios. The compact guest rooms are complete with a private balcony and can only accommodate two guests. Larger groups and families should consider a stay in one of the three-bedroom Grand Villas, which can sleep up to 12 guests. Additionally, the property will utilize the Disney Skyliner, an aerial gondola transportation system (similar to a ski lift) to transport guests to Epcot and/or Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The Skyliner will debut on September 29. Rates from $355 per night for a Tower Studio, depending on the season.  

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