If you’ve wisely built a “hang out at the hotel” day into your Orlando Disney vacation itinerary, then you’ll get a real resort experience at Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress. You can spend the day lazing by the pools or you can fill up the day with fun activities.
Despite being right around the corner from Disney World, this big resort has 1,500 acres of land to its name, including a golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus. It’s a big playground for adults and kids alike. The swimming pools are a thing of wonder on their own, with waterfalls, water slides, and some shaded parts that include a hot tub. There’s a sandy beach next to a large lagoon, where you can take out various kinds of human-powered watersports equipment. You don’t have to negotiate which activities anyone can do because the rates and resort fee cover all of them except spa treatments.
Like the airlines making much of their profits from gotcha fees, many hotels in popular U.S. destinations like Las Vegas and Clearwater Beach have tacked on a “resort fee” as an extra charge. Often those properties are resorts in name only and you’re paying extra for things that the majority of hotels include for free, like internet and access to the fitness center. Here at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress though, that resort fee actually feels justified. It includes things that really are extras normally, like paddleboard or kayak rentals, the pitch and putt course, mini golf, bike rentals, tennis court reservations, a rock climbing wall, plus a shuttle that hits all the major Orlando theme parks. (Alas, you’ll still have to pay for parking if you drove here.)
The setting is sublime, with most rooms having some view of greenery out their window, either the golf course or the Lake Windsong lagoon and trees. The two restaurants make the most of it as well. The main Lakehouse restaurant is on the ground floor, but has glass walls all around to let in plenty of natural light. Hemingways surf and turf restaurant is open for dinner only and is perched on top of the faux rock cliff around the pool, giving it an elevated viewpoint of the grounds. There’s a bar at Hemingway’s, then the main one is in the lobby.
A Marketplace takeaway store and cafe off the lobby serves Starbucks coffee, breakfast goodies, quality sandwiches, pre-made salads, and some grocery items. There’s also a snack bar by the pool serving food and drinks, including a few Florida craft beers. It has tables and chairs for casual dining or you can take what you bought to your pool lounge chairs.
There are a good number of those chairs around, in several rows around the three distinct pool areas, as well as on the lagoon beach. This pool complex is on par with something you’d find at a beach destination and the water slides are long and fast. You can swim from 7:00 a.m. to midnight here. Paths meander around the property out to the golf area and are long enough for power walks without leaving the Hyatt’s boundaries.
The Life Fitness gym here is well-equipped and open 24 hours. The Marilyn Monroe Spa has an extensive menu of massage treatments, pedicures, and facials. There are daily scheduled activities for the kids, like popsicle eating contests, scavenger hunts, and a sack race. For an extra fee, you can enroll kids aged 3 to 12 in Camp Hyatt for the day or or half day to have some adult time on your own.
Rooms at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress are spacious and stocked with what you’d expect from a Hyatt convention hotel. They are reached by elevator banks rising up the atrium, in signature Hyatt style, some of them being fun glass elevators best avoided by people who get queasy easily.
The rooms have been renovated several times over the years and they look modern and pleasant. They also have plenty of places to recharge your gadgets: besides the wall outlets, there’s a charge port on the end tables and and two lamps with outlets in them on the desk part.
Contemporary patterned carpets join padded headboards, small sleeper sofas, an ottoman, and a small portable table for working or eating. (Room service runs 24 hours.) There’s also a desk area on the TV side, though the chair is meant more for lounging than hours hunched over a laptop. This is not a place to be holed up in your room.
If you want to upgrade or you have the status with Hyatt to do so, there’s an executive club floor option. The lounge access gives you daily breakfast and “evening hors d’oeuvres during the fireworks” from nearby Disney World. There is also an executive suite that gives you twice as much space via a separate living room, or a VIP suite that’s more than 1,000 square feet and has two balconies facing different directions.
Rates at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress are quite reasonable considering how much you get for your money here. Even if you add in the resort fee, taxes, and parking, in the slower months of the year in Orlando the tab will come in between $200 and $350 per night depending on room choice. At peak summer times the rates for the best suites max out at around $500–which might not even get you a standard room at some Orlando properties. See more information at the official Hyatt page for the resort and see the packages page too, or check rates online at Expedia or Priceline.
You can’t walk to the Magic Kingdom from here like you can from Disney Contemporary Resort, but this Hyatt is right around the corner and gives you a better bang for the buck with all the extra fun that’s included.
Review and photos by editor Tim Leffel, who was hosted at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress for one night for purposes of review. As always, all opinions are his own.