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Home to Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, Sea World and fabulous live shows and entertainment, Orlando is clearly a family-friendly destination, and while the theme parks are the main draw, dining and shopping options are plentiful and nearby towns like Kissimmee or Winter Garden offer a slower pace lifestyle. The Orlando area has an abundance of similar chain hotels, but there are a number of budget-friendly options that stand out from the crowd. Here are the 10 best budget hotels in Orlando.
Best Overall: The Point Orlando
Perched between downtown Orlando, the airport, and Walt Disney World Resort, the Point Orlando is an overall great value (there's even a free shuttle that goes to Epcot, Sea World and Universal Studios, plus free parking). Guests can lounge and dine by the Poolside Cabana Bar and Grill, grab some after dinner drinks and snacks at the tapas bar and lounge or stop by Starbucks in the lobby for that morning jolt. The all-suite hotel offers more space than the average hotel room (starting at 385 square feet), with kitchenettes, a living area with memory foam pull-out beds and private baths with soaking tubs. Other amenities include a pool and hot tub, fitness center and business center.
Best Family Resort: Floridays Resort Orlando
The Floridays Resort in Orlando is a popular choice with families in part because of its massive condo-style rooms. The 1,005-square-foot Two-Bedroom Suite sleeps six people and has a private balcony, kitchen, dining area and washer/dryer. The resort’s pool complex is a main draw, with two pools, a splash and play area for kids, cold therapeutic pool and lounge chairs. Scheduled activities at the pool include “dive-in movies” under the stars, live music or pool parties during the day. The resort also offers a business center, fitness center, arcade room and a casual café and marketplace. Floridays is three miles from the Walt Disney World, with many chain restaurants nearby on International Drive. A shuttle to the theme parks is available and is included in the resort fee.
Best Amenities: Grand Villas Resort
This sprawling 408-room resort is a timeshare property with nightly condo rentals and offers plenty of outdoor fun, thanks to two outdoor swimming pools, spa pools, a children’s pool, playgrounds and mini golf. Extra touches include pool towels, BBQ pits, massage treatments and access to a sister resort across the street for tennis, a volcano pool, Tiki bar, video games and volleyball. Modern, one-bedroom condos have a private screen terrace, separate living room, satellite television, kitchen and a private bath with a Roman tub. There’s also a convenience store on the property and a shuttle to the theme parks for a small charge. TripAdvisor members noted that they were asked to attend a timeshare presentation, but after declining they were left alone.
Best Near Disney Springs: Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham Lake Buena Vista
Disney Springs (previously known as Downtown Disney) is a nightlife hot spot and entertainment center with shopping, live stage performances, Cirque du Soleil, indoor theme parks, movie theaters, bars and restaurants. So if you want to be in the center of the action, the Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham Lake Buena Vista is less than four miles from Disney Springs and has all the amenities and services that make for a great stay. The hotel features a sports court, BBQ area, game room, fitness center, heated outdoor pool and hot tub. A hot breakfast buffet is also included, but there are plenty of restaurants just a short drive from the hotel. Rooms have tasteful, contemporary décor with free WiFi, microwaves and mini refrigerators. TripAdvisor members also loved the weekday social hour, which includes free drinks and a chance to mingle with other guests.
Best Lakefront: Blue Heron Beach Resort
For a scenic, peaceful stay with all the comforts of home, the Blue Heron Beach Resort is a solid choice. The hotel has plenty of perks like a free shopping shuttle to the Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores or to Epcot, and those needing to unwind can visit the library for books, games and movie rentals. There is no restaurant on the property, but rooms have kitchens. The lowest-priced suite rooms have a whopping of 883 square feet of space with spacious living rooms, a balcony overlooking the pool and Lake Bryan, a dining area and two bathrooms. Despite having “beach resort” in the name, there’s no sand, but guests can rent jet skis and watersports from a neighboring resort or take a stroll on the dock overlooking Lake Bryan.
Best New Hotel: Residence Inn
Located south of the airport, Lake Nona is primarily a residential community and is a refreshing change of pace from busy Orlando and the tourist hot-spots. The new, Residence Inn Lake Nona has a collection of studios and suites, with sleek modern designs and a solid mix of amenities. Décor throughout the hotel is bright and fun: the colorful cushions and wicker furniture on the outdoor patio matches the rooms and suites. Studios have fully equipped kitchens, free WiFi, work desks and ultra-soft bedding. Amenities include a cozy outdoor fire pit, a BBQ grill area, pool area with lounge chairs and a fitness center. Lake Nona is home to several golf courses and a unique light tower (that puts on a show at night), however there isn’t much immediately surrounding the hotel.
Best Historic Hotel: The Courtyard at Lake Lucerne
Calling all history buffs. Consisting of four historic homes from different eras dating back to 1883, the 30-room Courtyard at Lake Lucerne is a rare find among chain hotels in downtown Orlando. Upon arrival guests may enjoy a free carafe of wine, or join the cocktail hour in the parlor to meet other guests. Rooms vary in décor, but include four-poster and sleigh beds, fireplaces, double whirlpool tubs, marble showers, hardwood floors, in-room refrigerators and pieces from the Chalet Glass art collection. Other rooms have French doors and patios, wicker furniture, claw-foot tubs and other 19th-century décor. An expanded continental breakfast is included in the rate.
Best in Kissimmee: Galleria Palms Hotel
Just south of Orlando is the city of Kissimmee, which has a wide array of outdoor family activities and hotels at affordable prices. The Galleria Palms is a nice break from the crowded theme parks, so it's perfect if you're looking for a quiet stay. Rooms are simple, but comfortable with contemporary décor, and have all the necessary conveniences like free WiFi, a mini fridge, microwave, coffee makers, premium bedding and flat-screen televisions. Wake up to a free hot breakfast buffet before hopping on the free shuttle to the major theme parks. Nearby attractions include the “Fun Spot America” go-cart park, air boat and wildlife tours, Medieval Times dinner show and several mini golf courses.
Best Outside the City Center: Holiday Inn Express Suites
Set away from the theme parks, but close to the University of Central Florida (a great option for visiting family members), the new Holiday Inn Orlando East is doing everything right. TripAdvisor members gush about the amazing and helpful hotel staff and spotless rooms. A full breakfast buffet is included in the price (complete with a pancake machine), as well as other amenities such as an outdoor swimming pool, 24-hour fitness center, guest laundry and free parking. There are 91 hotel rooms with cheerful décor in shades of turquoise and creams, mini refrigerators, microwaves, coffee makers, free WiFi flat-screen televisions and a pillow menu. The hotel is 13 miles from downtown Orlando, and a 45-minute drive to the Kennedy Space Center.
Best for Seniors: The Edgewater
Opened in 1927, the senior-friendly Edgewater is a historic inn located in Winter Garden, about 15 to 20 miles from the theme parks. The hotel is full of historic charm (there's an old-fashioned elevator, as well as a piano in the lobby and parlor lounge). The first floor of the hotel has a number of businesses, including a barber, florist, old-fashioned ice cream soda shop and two restaurants for Thai food or American fare – served in an elegant, open kitchen. Rooms are individually decorated in the styles of the 1920s and 30s, and have four-poster beds with gel foam mattress toppers, free WiFi, private baths and views of the garden or street. A full hot breakfast is served at the dining room, so guests have an opportunity to chat with other travelers. Visitors can also stroll along the shops, or experience the day spas, railroad museum, heritage museum and restaurants of downtown Winter Garden.