Traveling to Orlando usually means you’re most likely visiting one of the big theme parks. Most visitors advise you to stay on-site for the best trip, but it’s not the only option. If you stay on International Drive, you’ll be more centrally located to experience all Orlando has to offer.
- The Best Hotels on International Drive (Orlando)
- Wyndham Orlando Resort International Drive
- Best Western Orlando Gateway Hotel
- Universal’s Loews Sapphire Falls Resort
- DoubleTree by Hilton at the Entrance to Universal Orlando
- Las Palmeras by Hilton Grand Vacations
- Crowne Plaza Hotel Orlando-Universal, an IHG Hotel
- Universal’s Loews Portofino Bay Hotel
- Hyatt Regency Orlando
- Rosen Plaza Hotel Orlando Convention Center
- Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld®
- Ramada Suites By Wyndham Orlando International Drive
- Castle Hotel, Autograph Collection
- Universal’s Hard Rock Hotel®
Why Stay on International Drive When Visiting Orlando as a Family?
Staying on International Drive when you visit Orlando puts you in the center of the action. There are plenty of restaurants along this road, so you can dine without needing a car. If you plan to visit other areas of town, you’ll have easy access to the I-RIDE trolley, bus stops, or a taxi.
In addition to restaurants, International Drive has shops, entertainment complexes, and family attractions. In fact, there’s no shortage of things to do on International Drive as a family. It’s a midpoint between Universal and Disney parks so that you can get to both during your vacation.
The Best Hotels on International Drive (Orlando)
No matter your vacation budget, you’ll find the best hotels on International Drive.
Wyndham Orlando Resort International Drive
Not only is the Wyndham Orlando Resort International Drive located near the theme parks, but tropical gardens also surround the property. Instead of staying at a hotel in a sea of concrete, you’ll feel like you’ve escaped to paradise.
The hotel is a Universal Orlando Hotel Partner, which means you get discounts on Universal merchandise, food, and drinks. You can take free transportation directly from the hotel to the Universal parks. If you need help with getting tickets or making the most of your time in the gardens, the staff at Wyndham can help you.
When you stay on International Drive, you’ll have countless amazing restaurants to choose from. But if you don’t want to leave your hotel, you can enjoy the on-campus restaurant, bar, and coffee shop.
The hotel offers a variety of rooms to best suit your family. You can get a traditional room with two double beds or change it up to make your kids feel special. The family bunk rooms have bunk beds in a separate alcove, so your kids have their own space. There’s even an extra TV in the space, so they can watch their favorite shows while you enjoy yours.
If you need more space, you can upgrade to a suite that has separate work and living areas. All rooms have WiFi, flat-screen TVs, coffee makers, and mini-fridges. This is a pet-friendly hotel, so if you’re bringing the whole family on vacation, furry friends less than 60 pounds can stay with you at the Wyndham.
Best Western Orlando Gateway Hotel
The Best Western Orlando Gateway Hotel is a budget-friendly option with coffee makers, microwaves, and refrigerators in every room. You can choose between two double beds or one king bed, though suites also have a sofa bed for two extra guests.
This hotel has a restaurant, cafe, and cocktail lounge on-site. If you prefer to sip your drinks poolside, you’ll want to take advantage of the cabana bar near the outdoor pool. After a long day at the parks, you can relax in one of their two hot tubs.
There is also an exercise facility with weight lifting equipment in the hotel. If your family loves playing basketball, you can use the lighted court on the hotel property. For more extended stays, you might want to use the laundromat in the lobby.
Though you have access to public transportation along International Drive, you might want to rent a car for specific excursions on your trip. You can use the car rental desk in the lobby to get the vehicle your family needs. The employees can also help you book tickets for the parks.
Universal’s Loews Sapphire Falls Resort
If you want to experience a tropical getaway within your Orlando vacation, stay at Universal’s Loews Sapphire Falls Resort. It gives you an island experience right on International Drive.
The outdoor pool has a waterslide for the kids. Waterfalls surround the white sand beach to make you feel like you’ve left real life behind. Make the most of a day by the pool when you rent a cabana. Not only will you have a private space, but you’ll have a ceiling fan, TV, and refrigerator.
The hotel’s interior continues the island theme with stone ruins in the lobby. Even the rooms are bright and colorful, so you feel like you’re in the tropics. All rooms use smart technology temperature controls and have iPod docking stations on the clock radios.
If a room isn’t big enough for your family, consider renting a suite. They range from 500 square feet to more than 1,300. You can get a separate room for the kids, where they’ll have twin beds. If you’re staying for a long time, you might want a suite with kitchen facilities, so you don’t always have to eat out.
You can eat at a restaurant without leaving the property. Continuing the island theme, you can enjoy four seafood and Caribbean restaurants on-site if you don’t want to go out for meals.
While other hotels can bus you from your room to the theme parks, Universal’s Loews Sapphire Falls Resort offers something unique—a water taxi! They run every 15 minutes and take you to your destination in less than 10 minutes.
DoubleTree by Hilton at the Entrance to Universal Orlando
If you want to avoid driving or taking a shuttle to the Universal parks, stay at DoubleTree by Hilton at the Entrance to Universal Orlando. As the name says, it’s literally at the entrance to the parks. You can walk to Universal Studios, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and Universal’s Island of Adventure.
The location is also great for Universal’s Volcano Bay and shopping at the outlets of the Mall at Millenia. Those spots are less than two miles away from DoubleTree.
Even on the days when you don’t leave the hotel, you can have a good time. There are on-site restaurants, an outdoor pool, and a fitness center. This is a pet-friendly hotel, so you can bring your furry friend with you and spend quality time with them.
Keep in mind that there’s a daily parking fee, so if you drove your car or a rental, you’ll pay for more than the room. If you flew to Orlando, consider getting public transportation or a taxi from the airport. Staying at DoubleTree, so close to Universal, means you can ditch the car.
Las Palmeras by Hilton Grand Vacations
Las Palmeras by Hilton Grand Vacations is where you need to stay if you want, well, a grand vacation! This resort is a high-rise timeshare, so you’ll have more space than a hotel room can offer.
You can choose a studio with a kitchenette so your family can get groceries and enjoy meals in the room. Or choose a two-bedroom suite that has a full kitchen and dining area. There’s even a balcony so you can step out and enjoy the fresh air.
When you stay at Las Palmeras, you’ll enjoy the pool, which has a water slide and splash pad for the kids. There’s even a recreation room where the kids will enjoy fun activities in the building.
Parents might want a night away to enjoy the fitness center or spa before having cocktails at the bar and dining in the on-site restaurant. Venturing out of Las Palmeras puts you minutes away from Disney, Universal, and the convention center.
Because this is a timeshare resort and not a standard hotel, you must sign up with Hilton to access the property. It’s different from a traditional timeshare because you’re part of the Hilton family and can stay at thousands of their Hilton Grand Vacation resorts.
Crowne Plaza Hotel Orlando-Universal, an IHG Hotel
The Crowne Plaza Hotel Orlando-Universal, an IHG Hotel, is a Walt Disney World Good Neighbor Hotel and provides a free shuttle to the Disney park. It’s across the street from Universal, so you can make the most of your stay by visiting both attractions.
Because this hotel partners with Disney, the shuttle to those parks is complimentary. You can still go directly from the hotel to Universal parks or other attractions, but there might be a small fee.
You might choose to stay at the hotel to enjoy some downtime. You can take advantage of the fitness center, including free weights, stationary bikes, treadmills, and ellipticals. The outdoor pool is open all day. You can even dine at the on-site restaurant for all three meals.
If you’re a Florida resident, the Crowne Plaza Hotel Orlando-Universal is a great place to stay because they offer in-state discounts. You can save 30% off your hotel room and get free parking. Since most hotels charge daily parking rates, you could save a lot of money with this location.
Universal’s Loews Portofino Bay Hotel
If you love the idea of a themed resort like Universal’s Loews Sapphire Falls Resort, check out the Italian-themed version of Universal’s Loews Portofino Bay Hotel. The resort has cobblestone streets shaded by cypress trees. You’ll feel like you’ve teleported to Portofino, Italy.
When you stay at this Loews property, you’ll enjoy three outdoor pools. There’s a child-friendly pool with a Roman aqueduct slide, or you can enjoy adult beverages in one of the hot tubs. You can even rent a cabana to enjoy some luxury out at the pool.
You’ll feel like you’re vacationing in Europe when the staff brings you Prosecco with the turndown service. If you don’t feel relaxed enough, visit the Mandara Spa for luxurious pampering.
Because this hotel has partnered with Universal, you’ll get exclusive benefits like early admission and free water taxis to the park. Staying on this property also gives you Universal Express Unlimited ride access, which means you don’t have to wait in the regular lines for rides.
Another bonus is the ability to charge every purchase to your room. If you load up on merch in the parks, you don’t have to worry about carrying it around all day—have it delivered to your hotel for free!
Hyatt Regency Orlando
Staying at the Hyatt Regency Orlando puts you in the center of everything – you’re just minutes away from Universal, Walt Disney World, and SeaWorld. You can also check-in digitally and go right to your room or suite.
If you have some downtime away from the parks, you can stay on the property and take advantage of two gorgeous outdoor pools. One has a water slide and splash pad, so it’s perfect for the kids. The Grotto Pool has a bar, private cabanas, and beautiful waterfalls.
You can even dine at the hotel, with several restaurants open for every meal of the day. Choose from a 24-hour deli, the B-Line Diner, and a sit-down steakhouse. There’s also a Rocks bar, a lobby bar, and a poolside bar.
This hotel is animal-friendly. You can bring one or two dogs and have them stay in your room, as long as they meet the weight requirements. There’s a set fee for the pets’ stay, so you don’t have to pay per night.
Being located on International Drive puts you close to everything you could want, but you might not want to walk there. At the Hyatt Regency Orlando, you can rent bikes from the lobby and get around on two wheels.
Rosen Plaza Hotel Orlando Convention Center
Though the Rosen Plaza Hotel Orlando Convention Center connects to the Orlando County Convention Center, it’s just as good for families as it is for professionals. It’s less than 10 minutes away from Walt Disney World and just five minutes away from Universal and SeaWorld.
Rooms include a standard with two double beds or a variety of suites. In addition to having a separate sitting area, suites include refrigerators, microwaves, and in some cases, a full bar. Larger families can request the Plaza Suite, which has two bedrooms and an extra bathroom.
There’s a pool and whirlpool, a fitness center, and an on-site boutique for souvenirs. Not only will Guest Services help you book tickets to the parks, but you can also rent a car without leaving the hotel.
Through a partnership with Shingle Creek Golf Club, you can book tee times at the greens that are less than a mile away. The hotel even has babysitting services available if you want to have a date night while on vacation.
There are seven restaurants on-site, from buffets to casual dining to fine dining. If you want to grab something on the go, there’s a 24-hour deli and a coffee shop in the lobby.
Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld®
Besides being centrally located on International Drive, Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld® is within walking distance of SeaWorld and the Aquatica water park. Both parks give you the chance to see marine life and get close to the animals.
Even if you stay on the property, you can enjoy a miniature water park at the pool. The area includes water slides and a toddler-safe play area. Older kids will love the water jets and flume slides. Meanwhile, parents can enjoy snacks and drinks at the pool while the kids play.
You’ll find further relaxation at the hotel spa. Enjoy custom massages, facials, manicures, and pedicures. Heated stones and scalp therapy are extra services that will help reduce stress.
Rooms range from a standard with two double beds to suites with king beds. If you need extra space, book a room with a parlor because it includes a sofa bed. You can also choose if you want a view of the pool or SeaWorld.
When you’re in your room, you can stream Netflix through the hotel’s account with no hassle. Each room includes a mini-fridge so you can keep drinks and snacks on hand.
Ramada Suites By Wyndham Orlando International Drive
Ramada has a reputation for affordable hotel rooms, but these suites go above and beyond. You’ll feel like you’re staying in an upscale resort when you book this property.
The Ramada Suites By Wyndham Orlando International Drive is an affordable option that still provides some luxuries. You can spend time in the outdoor pool or stay in the shade of the Lake View sundeck.
For a fun evening on-site, visit the rooftop terrace and have a few drinks from the SkyBar. There’s even a pool and spa on the roof!
This hotel’s standard rooms are a step higher than the rest, featuring two queen beds instead of two doubles. You can also book oversized rooms for larger families.
You can visit the gift shop in the lobby, use the laundry facilities, or get help booking tickets to the Orlando attractions.
Castle Hotel, Autograph Collection
The Castle Hotel, Autograph Collection is a Marriott property that feels like a boutique hotel. The site will make you think you’ve stepped into a fairy tale, from the luxurious rooms to the upscale cocktail lounge.
Rooms have either one king bed or two queens and a pull-out sofa bed. If you need extra space, you can rent a rollaway cot from the hotel. You can also borrow a crib or playpen for your baby or toddler.
You can choose a room with a pool view or splurge on a tower room. These rooms give you extra windows and a stunning view.
Include the whole family—even your furry friends—in your trip by staying at the Castle Hotel. You can bring one or two dogs with you to stay at this hotel, paying an affordable set fee. There is laundry on-site, and you can send clothing out for dry cleaning.
Eat and drink on-site at the Garden Bistro and Bar or the Antler’s Lounge. Both restaurants serve food for every meal. They’re casual dining, so the whole family will find something delicious to enjoy.
While you have a daily fee for parking at the Castle Hotel, they have charging stations for electric cars that you can use for no additional charge. If you didn’t bring a car but need one, you can rent one from the front desk.
You can spend time soaking up the sun at the outdoor pool or using the indoor fitness center. In addition to visiting nearby parks, this hotel is also close to bowling, mini-golf, and tennis courts for more family fun.
Universal’s Hard Rock Hotel®
If you want your vacation to rock, stay at Universal’s Hard Rock Hotel® in Orlando. This hotel features rock memorabilia in the lobby and hallways.
There are many different room options, like a garden view or pool view. You can choose two queen beds, one king bed and add sleeper sofas and rollaway cots for extra space. Every room includes a coffee maker, mini-fridge, and microwave on request.
For a fun family room, consider booking the Future Rock Star Suite. This space gives you an extra bedroom with twin beds for the kids. Upgrade to a hospitality suite if you’re enjoying a long stay. This accommodation gives you a separate dining room and kitchen so you can enjoy meals in your room.
If you want to feel like a rockstar, splurge on the Graceland Suite. Though it only has one king bed, you can book the adjoining room for additional queen beds. The suite itself is so luxurious, you’ll feel pampered. There’s even a baby grand piano, whirlpool tub, and fireplace!
The Hard Rock Cafe is a short walk away, but you can also enjoy food and drinks at several on-site bars and restaurants. There’s also a Rock Shop in the lobby, a Body Rock fitness center, and access to Rock Om yoga in your room.
Because this hotel has partnered with Universal, you’ll enjoy perks like free Universal Express Unlimited, which allows you to skip the rides’ lines at the parks.
Staying at one of the best hotels on International Drive will ensure your family has a great visit to Orlando. The street is centrally located, allowing you to experience the theme parks, great restaurants, family attractions, and plenty of shopping.
More about our TFVG Author
A seasoned traveller, Dad, and avid sports tourist, James foundered The Family Vacation Guide to share his expert vacation experiences- especially when it comes to being a travelling family man.
Featured in Travel articles such as Travel + Leisure, TripSavvy and SFGate, you know you're reading some of the best vacation tips online.