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Arlo Hemphill
Created byArlo Hemphill
Wilderness conservationist. Travel enthusiast.

The Orlando Hotel A-List

My pick of Orlando & Disney World's top hotels!
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Grand Bohemian Hotel Orlando, Autograph Collection

If I were a chic vampire, I wouldn't dream about staying anywhere besides the Grand Bohemian on my feeding ventures to Orlando. In all seriousness, this is one of the only hotels I've seen that has attempted an aristocratic Gothic elegance and pulled it off in spades. Anne Rice would be proud. Amazing...

Ritz-Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes

This Ritz-Carlton has nailed the balance between luxury and personal comfort. From the moment I walked through the front door, I felt pampered. But I never once felt stuffy or pretentious. Although this is Orlando with so much to see and do outside, everything I wanted was right here at the hotel....

Loews Royal Pacific Resort

From the moment I walked onto their grounds, I felt swept away into a South Pacific paradise. Of the three resorts at Universal Orlando, this is by far my favorite. And yes, it's because I think I'm in Indo-China when I'm here and not in some artificial Floridian wonderland! The lobby, restaurants and...

JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes

Grande Lakes - although not far -isn't right next to Disney or downtown Orlando, and that's actually in its favor. This hotel has built a fantastic getaway in its own right. I could spend all day floating along the swimming pool's lazy river or prowling by kayak through the adjacent Shingle Creek...

Disney's Boardwalk Inn

This is one of my favorite Disney resorts, although I slightly prefer the villa side to the Inn. If I could sum this place up in one word, it would be RELAXED. They've done an excellent job of making the Inn feel like a stately old New England guest house, and the boardwalk is a flashback into the east coast...

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

Imagine waking up, looking out from the African tribal decor of your mosquito net-draped bedroom suite and seeing the head of a giraffe walk by, grazing on subtropical brush. Now recall the fact that you are in Orlando. Weird, right? I mean, I knew places like this were possible in the Heart of the Dark...

Floridays Resort Orlando

Floridays is a good alternative to Disney vacation villas for families visiting the area's resorts. When I first heard about this place and how popular it was, I was expecting a Jimmy Buffett-style round the clock beach party in a resort with all the trimmings. That is not what this is....

Disney's Coronado Springs Resort

Imagine going to what you thought would be a fantastic resort, only to have the manager greet you and say you'd likely be happier elsewhere. That's what happened to me here. Essentially, I was told that the Disney Beach Resort would be a better option for me because the Coronado Springs was too spread...

Disney's Old Key West Resort

A great value on a vacation home-type stay while visiting Disney. Their Grand Villas are essentially 3 bedroom homes with a backyard porch, jacuzzi bath and the works. You can save a ton of money by stocking the fridge and cooking dinners in the full kitchen rather than eating out every night. And...