This past Friday, SeaWorld Orlando introduced their newest attraction (and largest attraction expansion to date) Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin. If you are interested in visiting this brand-new attraction and want to stay right near the action, the Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld is in the perfect location – right across from the park. I had the opportunity to stay at the hotel during a press event at SeaWorld and found it to be a wonderful, family-friendly resort.
The Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld is directly across the street from SeaWorld. It takes about 5-10 minutes to walk, or you can also take a complimentary shuttle. The resort offers oversized guest rooms or family suites – great for a family vacation. Although I arrived well before the check-in time, my king-bed room was ready. I headed up to the 8th floor with my luggage, only to find that the keys weren’t activated. But the service is excellent at this hotel, and a member of the cleaning staff who happened to be walking by offered to help. I was in my room a minute later.
The rooms at the Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld are definitely larger than a standard hotel room. I had an over-sized balcony, a king bed, a pull-out couch, a huge closet, and a bathroom with two sinks. Since this hotel also serves as a convention/business hotel, my room also had a large workspace. The hotel offers turn down service by request, and complimentary Wall Street Journals are available in the lobby. The one negative to the hotel is that they still charge for internet access – which wasn’t apparent to me until I received the bill under my door on my last night.
Other than the location, there are plenty of other wonderful family-friendly amenities. There’s a great pool area, which includes a standard pool and an outdoor water park with small water slides. It’s set up to be suitable for kids from toddlers to teens. There’s also an arcade for those rainy days, and a frozen yogurt stand in the lobby.
The hotel also offers a Starbucks location in the lobby, several on-site restaurants including a sushi bar, and a full-service spa. The spa was offering some great deals during the month of May, so I booked a 25-minute massage during a break in my schedule. It was definitely worth doing – the spa is quiet, clean, and relaxing.
Guests who plan to visit other Orlando attractions should either consider renting a car or booking a car or taxi. While the Renaissance is close to SeaWorld, Discovery Cove, and Aquatica, you really need to drive to other attractions and restaurants. Parking is available on site for an additional fee.
Disclosure: My stay at the Renaissance was complimentary as part of a press trip to SeaWorld.
Article and photos by Jodi Grundig of FamilyTravelMagazine.com.