Review: Hyatt Regency Orlando

Hyatt, Orlando
Review: Hyatt Regency Orlando
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Image courtesy: Hyatt Hotels
 

On a recent trip to Orlando, I was able to stay for a night at the Hyatt Regency Orlando. A Category 4 property, an award stay would typically cost either 15,000 points or 7,500 points + $100 with the cash + points option. However, with rates hovering just a bit above $100, I simply paid for my stay outright this time.

Though I had only booked a standard king room, as a Diamond member of Hyatt’s Gold Passport program, I was given a complimentary upgrade to a king room on the club floor, with a fantastic view of the surrounding city and pool area below.

The club was actually on the floor below me, and was sparsely populated during the day, though refrigerators were stocked with sodas and waters for those who wanted to stop by in between the morning’s breakfast service and evening canapés.

The room itself was nothing terribly out of the ordinary, but certainly nicer than the standard digs at the Hyatt Place I’d stayed at the night before. Along the entryway was a bar area, with a small coffee maker, and a mini-fridge and storage space below:

The bed itself was very comfortable, and made for a great night’s sleep after a day spent at Walt Disney World.

Along with the TV and desk areas you might expect, a small sitting space in front of the windows was also available.

The bathroom featured a large, illuminated mirror with an embedded TV on one side, and a combination shower/tub behind it.

I arrived at the hotel in the early afternoon, and was happy to be able to check in right away and head down to the pool area to cool off after a hot morning at the Parks. I planned to head back to Epcot that evening, but taking a few hours to rest by – and in – the water was a good strategy for a mid-July day. A beach bar-style setup was available poolside, and service of a good quality burger and beverage was quick and friendly.

After a few hours of rest, it was time to head back to Epcot, for a bit more exploration before fireworks that evening.

The next morning, breakfast was served in the club lounge. I slept so late that I almost missed last call for breakfast, but still managed to grab a few plates of goodies as I waited in line with a parade of others who’d used their Saturday morning to catch up on some rest.

The biggest dings against the Hyatt Regency are the extra fees, which can really add up. In addition to Orlando’s relatively steep taxes, a $22 resort fee is added each day to all reservations, including award stays. For this fee, guests receive access to the 24-hour fitness center, fitness classes, various activities at the pool, bike rentals for exploring the I-Drive area, 10% off at the spa and salon, two bottles of water each day, and two tickets on the I-Ride Trolley. These benefits aren’t very helpful for a near-local like me, coming only from Jacksonville, and looking to stay at the Hyatt while visiting the Parks, rather than taking greater advantage of the immediate area.

In addition, parking runs $20 per night, even for the self-parking option, in a vast garage located next door to the hotel. However, this parking charge didn’t appear on my final bill. I’m uncertain if this was an error or if free parking was an unstated Diamond privilege, so we’ll see what happens on my next stay.

Thankfully, the Hyatt Regency’s rates are really affordable for the quality of the hotel and its location. Rates on weekends are often between $110-$150 per night, which is a good value even once additional costs for parking and the resort fee are baked back in. I’d definitely stay at the Hyatt Regency Orlando again in the future, so long as the advertised rate is low enough to not make the extra fees bite too badly.

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Casey Ayers is a consultant and entrepreneur with a passion for travel. After amassing enough miles and points to travel anywhere in the world for almost free in less than six months, he developed PointsAway as a way to help others make travel dreams big and small come true.
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