Upscale Orlando Hotel near Theme Parks
A reflecting pool, a bubbling fountain, and groves of palm trees mark the grand entrance to The Florida Hotel and Conference Center, a recently renovated property located just a few minutes from Orlando’s major theme parks and airport. Inside the lobby, a hallway connects the hotel to the massive Florida Mall, which means a host of restaurants and shops—such as the Apple Store and White House | Black Market—are just steps from your guest room.
Each evening, the onsite Cricket’s bar hosts a happy hour with two-for-one cocktails and appetizers. For more substantial eats, venture to Marcelo’s Bistro for barbecue brisket, half-pound burgers, and other traditional American fare for lunch or dinner. The hotel’s heated outdoor pool is a nice spot to enjoy the Florida sunshine, and the onsite spa offers an array of services ranging from deep-tissue massages to reflexology and ear candling.
Orlando, Florida: World-Famous Theme Parks and Cultural Surprises
Located in the center of Florida, Orlando may be forever associated with the Walt Disney World® Theme Parks, which now are part of the world’s most-visited entertainment resort. It spans roughly 30,000 acres, encompassing four theme parks, two water parks, five golf courses, and the Downtown Disney® Marketplace. There’s no shortage of things to do here: begin your day by boarding a rocket-shaped three-seater that climbs to 180 feet before entering a deep black tunnel and racing past stars, satellites, and constellations. Walk across the park to sample Moroccan cuisine for lunch, or ride a dune buggy through a haunted 18th-century mansion. Before heading back to the hotel, take in the nightly fireworks, laser, and water show. One of the most popular family destinations in the world, sunny Orlando is also home to Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld Orlando, and Gatorland.
Those hoping to shake up the typical theme-park-dominated itinerary can head into downtown Orlando's vibrant arts district. The neighborhood boasts venues such as CityArts Factory, a multifaceted patchwork of gallery spaces, and SAK Comedy Lab, which hosts family-friendly improv shows five nights a week.
About a 10-minute drive north, you’ll find eight cultural institutions at Loch Haven Park, including the Orlando Museum of Art, which houses pieces by Georgia O’Keeffe, Robert Rauschenberg, Ansel Adams, and Andy Warhol. The park is also home to the Orlando Shakespeare Theater, the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Orlando Science Center. Visit the science center to take a rover across a simulation of Mars’s red surface, or race on a 70-foot pinewood derby track.
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