Hyatt’s saturation of the Orlando market is so thorough that you can find two Hyatt Regency properties within a few miles of them. I’d stayed at the Hyatt Regency Orlando previously, but a bit farther down I-4, and a bit closer to Walt Disney World, one can find the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress.
While the Hyatt Regency Orlando is located adjacent to Orlando’s convention center and carries with it the air of a business hotel, the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress clearly caters to a more equal mix of leisure and business travelers. The design of the hotel indicates from the outset that it was originally built in the 80s or 90s, but not in an old-feeling way. The lobby is extremely airy, to the point where sound easily echoes throughout the large space.
Behind the hotel, however, is where the real treasure lies. The Grand Cypress’s chain of pools, overlooking a lake, is certainly the centerpiece of the property, while Spaceship Earth at Epcot and Cinderella’s Castle at Magic Kingdom can be seen out on the horizon.
Some of the pools are heated, while others aren’t, so be careful depending on when you visit not to enter waters too chilly for comfort. Several pools wind together, through a cavernous lagoon where hot tubs await, with a suspension bridge hanging over one of the other pools.
In addition to the pools, there are also bikes and pedal-driven cars that hold multiple people available to guests (included in the resort’s $25 daily resort fee) for use on miles of paths, as well as a variety of kayaks, canoes, and even small boats available for exploring the lake.
For this stay, I used a Diamond Suite Upgrade Certificate since four of us were traveling together. This ensured we’d have not just two queen beds, but also an additional pullout sofa in the living room. The suite was legitimately two standard rooms with a connecting door that needed to be propped open to allow open access back and forth.
The two bathrooms differed somewhat in design, with one featuring a standard shower and tub combination and the other featuring a standalone shower, which I much preferred.
In addition to the normal check-in amenity of bonus points as a Diamond member, we were also offered champagne, and a welcome letter from the manager was waiting in the room.
That evening, we enjoyed canapés and the view from the Regency Club. Located several floors down from the top due to the stepwise architecture of the hotel, the club still offered tremendous sunset views, and the appetizers served were enough to tide us over until a later dinner.
In the morning, we ventured down to the restaurant buffet for breakfast. An omelette and waffle bar was on hand, in addition to a substantial spread of tasty options.
Unfortunately, I’d made a mistake in believing breakfast in the restaurant was included: the Regency Club at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress is open on weekends, unlike the one in Jacksonville I’ve frequented far more often lately, and is the designated spot for Diamond members to eat breakfast. This was discovered at check-out, and the front desk attendant was gracious enough to slice the bill in half as a concession due to the mistake.
I enjoyed my stay at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress very much, and think it’s clearly superior to the Hyatt Regency Orlando for leisure travelers. While there’s a lot of value to be had from the resort fee here, unlike at many other properties, it still diminishes the value of a stay quite a bit, especially when considering parking is an additional $17, on top of the $25 resort fee. Parking should really be included in this fee, though next year, parking fees will be waived for top-tier Hyatt Globalist members, which will be an improvement on the current Diamond array of benefits. Overall, I’d still recommend a stay here, but keep these fees in mind so they don’t impact how much you enjoy your stay.