If you want to go stay in the heart of the action on International Drive in Orlando, the Wyndham Orlando resort is a great option at a reasonable price.
The resort hotel is walking distance to the Icon Orlando 360 huge Icon Ferris wheel and the StarFlyer swing ride. This Wyndham Orlando is right off International Drive, so it’s also in a convenient spot for getting to Universal Studios theme parks (there’s a free shuttle), plus multiple shopping outlets, the convention center, and restaurants.
This low-rise, two-story hotel’s layout also allows you to park close to your room, with no gates to go through, making it convenient for getting in and out. The layout also means every room is only a minute or two’s walk from the swimming pool area.
Our stay didn’t start out on a great note when we found a check-in line of 48 people snaking out of the reception area and down a hall past the lobby bar. After we finally got our keys, things improved immensely. Staffers were friendly, helpful, and accommodating, even bringing breakfast vouchers to our room when they had run out at the front desk. Special orders at the breakfast buffet for soy milk (our party) and gluten-free options (an adjoining table) were met with a smile and a quick turnaround.
This is far from the newest hotel in town, but it is impeccably maintained inside and out. Manicured plants, duck ponds, mature trees, and renovated rooms make this feel like a real resort that costs more than it really does.
The center of activity is the pool complex in the middle of the property. Two large pools, a kids’ pool, and a hot tub are surrounded by ample cushioned lounge chairs with towel service. You can order from the adjoining restaurant and bar.
A full fitness center on site is well-equipped, with a variety of quality cardio machines, weight machines, and dumbells. The his and hers locker rooms each have a steam room, sauna, and showers. All are open 24 hours with your key card.
In the main building are a lobby bar, outdoor lounge area, and a place to buy local attraction tickets. This Wyndham also has an extensive conference center with an exhibition hall and meeting rooms. When we arrived there was an anime convention going on, which means a lot of interesting characters in the hallways.
Most rooms here are a standard 300 square feet size, the main difference being two beds or one. They’re clean and attractive spaces, with an outdoor balcony or terrace having two chairs and a table. The interior ones face the pool area, while the exterior ones face parking lots but maybe the amusement rides–fun to watch at night.
The beds and pillows are very comfortable, the linens good quality, and the amenities extensive. Carpeted rooms are reasonably quiet and come with large cable TVs, plenty of outlets, a small coffee maker, fridge, and electronic safe. The closets have quality wood hangers and plenty of room.
Baths are not large but contain an array of basic toiletries, plenty of towels, and a hair dryer. The Wi-Fi worked well in our room and at the gym.
On the edge of the property is a Wawa convenience store and gas station with average prices, making it easy to stock up or fill up without leaving the property. There’s also a Whole Foods a few minutes away and an array of dining options on two main drags. As a result, a lot of guests don’t eat on site, but the breakfast buffet here is quite good. With attractive fresh fruit, yogurt, oatmeal, hot dishes, and eggs made to order, there’s plenty to get your day started right.
When it transitions to lunch and dinner, there are an admirable four Florida beers on tap.
At first glance the rates at this Wyndham Orlando hotel seem like a fantastic deal, dipping below $100 in the slower times of year and staying below $150 in some busy seasons. That’s a bait and switch price though since this Wyndham has caught the Florida “resort fee” disease. In addition to the 12.5% taxes, you’ll also pay a $22 per night resort fee that’s not disclosed until you get deep into the booking process. So suddenly that $99 room is actually $133.50 per night. A $149 family suite rate rises to $192.
On the plus side, at least here that add-on fee includes parking, so that takes some of the sting out if you came in your own car. You can also get 5% off if you book with a Wyndham Rewards loyalty number.