There are currently 31 official Disney resorts of some kind in the Orlando area (and our contributor Diana ran down many of them here), but The Mouse certainly doesn’t have a lock on lodging options near their theme parks. If you don’t find the dwindling perks of those to be worth the premium, there are plenty of find choices a few minutes away, such as B Resort & Spa that’s just down the road from Disney Springs.
Disney Springs is not a theme park, but rather a shopping, dining, and entertainment complex, but if you stay at B Resort it’s just a tad bit further to Epcot, the Magic Kingdom, and others. It’s easy to get to any of them from the hotel: a free air-conditioned shuttle transports guests on a regular schedule to all the Disney Parks. You can get a QR code upon checking in to board, then the schedule runs from pre-opening to 90 minutes after the parks close. So you could arrive here without a car and not have to worry. Otherwise, there’s secure valet parking.
The hotel strikes a nice balance for making everyone happy: stylish interiors, a spa, and a pool bar for the adults, a game room and a family-friendly restaurant for the kids. This is the kind of hotel where Mom and a 5-year-old can both get what they want.
This towering 394-room white hotel can be seen from I-4 and there are probably 50 others that have gone up since it was built: to give you a hint of its age, a bellman told me that Michael Jackson stayed here in his heyday, renting the whole top floor. B Resort has been through more than a few updates and renovations over the years, however, including some very recent ones that have left it looking as contemporary as any other property in the area.
The first impression is a welcoming one, with someone taking care of your bags and parking the car when you pull up if you drove, then you enter a cool white lobby with splashes of color. It feels more South Beach, Miami than Orlando, which is a good thing for those with an eye for design.
Interesting modern furniture and whimsical paintings offset the glass and white walls of the interior and an R2D2 replica at the end of one sitting area reminds you that you’re in the realm of the world’s largest entertainment company.
Off to the right as you face reception is B Resort Orlando’s main restaurant, a spacious and whimsical dining space and bar where an antique truck is the centerpiece below high ceilings and exposed ventilation tubes. (Buffets were suspended while I was there, but the truck bed is normally a serving area.) American Kitchen Bar & Grill changes personalities a bit throughout the day, more casual for breakfast and lunch and offering more upscale choices in the evening for those who want them.
The extensive bar has a good selection of craft beer and cocktails. Picky kids and vegetarians should be able to find something they’ll like, while everyone else can choose from burgers, empanadas, salads, and larger plates from friendly servers.
The other dining outlet here is a coffee shop that also functions as a take-out option, popular at breakfast, for grabbing something to take to the pool. It also has ice cream and plenty of late-night party supplies.
Close by Disney Springs has enough dining options to occupy a week of dinners also and the hotel includes a booklet from there with a few coupons. There are multiple other hotels on this access road too with additional dining choices.
The hotel’s spa closed down during the Covid-19 outbreaks and hadn’t opened back up during my visit in early 2022, but since it’s important enough to be in the hotel’s name, they are planning to get it open again as soon as safety levels and guest demand warrant it.
The free-form swimming pool complex here could get overwhelmed by a resort of this size if even half the guests descended on it, but it’s adequate since many guests are park-hopping during the day anyway. Plenty of lounge chairs, an inviting pool bar, and games like cornhole and foosball will occupy the day if you’re taking some time off to enjoy the facilities here. For less tactile options, there’s a room for the kids full of video games. Most cocktails and wine options by the pool (including the Gator Bite Rum Punch) are $12 to $15, not too bad by vacation resort standards.
The nearby gym is well-equipped, with a variety of cardio machines, weight machines, and dumbells. There’s a walking/jogging path along the road that leads to Disney Springs for another exercise option.
Rooms at B Resort Orlando are situated either in the tower or around the pool, with a variety of configurations for different needs. Less than 100 have king beds since most visitors are families, but these offer a bit more furniture and space. Expect carpeted floors, padded headboards, and comfortable beds, plus renovations have brought in contemporary furniture and plenty of outlets for recharging your gadgets. Most have some sort of a fold-out bed, plus there are capsule coffee makers, mini-fridges, and expected toiletries in the baths.
Suites add a full living room apart from the bedroom and more upscale furniture to the mix. It’s difficult to see the options on the official website without going through the booking process, however, so the best bet is to pull up Expedia for your preferred dates to compare choices.
There are 18 units with bunk beds for the kids. “I wish I had more of those,” said the sales manager who was showing me around. “They’re almost always sold out.” Plan ahead if you’re bringing more than one child along. Most rooms have two queen beds, however, and most have some kind of fold-out sofa or chair too. The suites have a full sofa bed in the living room, so if you’re renting one of those, you can close the door and the parents and kids have their own space (and TV) at night.
Speaking of families, depending on which way your room is facing, you may be able to catch the Disney World fireworks show at night. These rooms are usually designated when you book, so choose that option if it’s important.
Rates at B Resort & Spa Orlando look enticing when you first pull them up, with most rooms listed between $180 and $300 outside of peak periods. It’s a bit of a bait-and-switch though as there’s a $38 resort fee (including taxes) added on for a stay in a high-rise hotel with one pool. There’s nothing extra included in the charge that you wouldn’t get at your average Hampton Inn or Hyatt Place except the shuttle, but you have to add the mandatory fee in to see the real room rate.
Review and photos by editor Tim Leffel, who was hosted one night at B Resort & Spa for purposes of review. As always, all opinions are his own.