I recently attended a conference at Disney World for my day job and with that came a hotel stay! This was exciting news to me because not only did I get to hang out at Disney’s Contemporary Resort during the day, but I also got to check out another Orlando hotel. Since I live an hour and a half away, I haven’t stayed at many Orlando hotels, with the exception of Disney ones on past family vacations and recently, the Swan and Dolphin. I had heard awesome things about the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress and was curious to see how a nearby off-site hotel compared to a Disney one.
I am pleased to tell you that I had a wonderful experience at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress. This hotel is only a few minutes from Disney Springs, but it not considered a Disney good neighbor hotel. I’ll tell you all my favorite things about the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress and what type of travel (Disney included!) this hotel is ideal for.
Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress Location
For starters, this hotel is located off of Vineland Road on the exit before Disney Springs. This road can have a lot of traffic, but the resort is in a private area, so it isn’t noticeable. This is a relatively convenient place to be in Orlando as you are around fifteen minutes away from most of Disney World and Seaworld, twenty minutes from Universal, I-Drive and half an hour from Downtown Orlando.
If you are attending a conference at the Contemporary like I was, you still have to drive a bit. It took me over twenty minutes to get there every day. Magic Kingdom and it’s resorts are pretty far from all non-Disney hotels. If you aren’t staying on-site though, the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress is about as close as you can get to the Disney Parks.
It’s also close by to some many other non-Disney restaurants if you are looking for a more affordable meal. Lastly, this resort is a sprawling twenty-one acres. There is a lot more to do here than most other off-site hotels.
Rooms and Style
The Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress has an extremely unique atmosphere for the area. It is heavily influenced by Japanese design, due to its previous owners. Because of this, the resort feels very serene, even with its large size. The lobby is a large open air area complete with a koi pond and lots of plants and trees. Most surprising is the resident parrot, Merlot, that hangs out in the lobby during the day! She was actually celebrating her 21st birthday while I was there!
The emphasis on plants continues throughout the resort. A garden path leads to the recreation areas outside. In addition to the large pool and beach area, there is also six restaurants, a spa, a golf course, a tennis club, and a large gym. You could stay here for a week and still not see it all!
The rooms are another plus side of this resort. They are very large compared to other local spots and have either a balcony or a terrace. I could even see fireworks from my balcony at night! You can choose between a king bed and a sleeper sofa or a room with a queen bed and a full bed. Either option can sleep up to 4, though it’s best to get the queen and the full room if you have that many.
The bathroom was a good size as well. It has a shower tub and a separate area for the toilet. Like the rest of the room, the design is modest and pristine. A lot of the Disney resorts have also switched to all white linens and minimal wall decor, so you are not losing much theme wise staying here, at least in the sense of the guest rooms.
The Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress Pool and Guest Areas
My favorite thing about this resort is how much there is to do here! You would really have a hard time finding another resort in this price range with so much going on. They have utilized the space here excellently to the point where most people won’t even realize all the things to do.
The outdoor area is a huge selling point as there is a gigantic pool with a water slide, a rope bridge(!!) and hot tubs. This is next to a sandy lake area, where you can rent a paddleboat, kayak or sailboat for free. Free rock climbing and bike rentals are available, and you can make use of the nature trails via bike or foot.
This is a big golfing resort and there are three nine hole courses, one eighteen hole course, a driving range and a mini golf area. The driving range and the mini golf are included and you can get discounted rates for the course. I addition to golf, there is also a large gym with Peloton bikes, 12 tennis course, 2 racquetball courts and a basketball court.
Everything about this resort says vacation time and this is evident from the atmosphere, with touches like campfires and hammocks. Of course, all this comes at the cost of a $40 nightly resort fee. If you pay with points, you do not have to pay the resort fee! You ca also splurge for a spa experience while you are here or drop the kids off at Camp Hyatt for some adult time.
The staff consistently provides guests with a luxury experience. I was given a glass of champagne at check-in and had excellent service throughout my stay. They even did a nightly turn down in the room and left a few chocolates! It pains me to say this, but I had a lot better of service here than I have at a Disney hotel in the past few years.
Restaurants at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress
I did not get a chance to try any of the restaurants at the resort, but there are actually six different ones. This includes the upscale Hemingway’s restaurant, the casual LakeHouse, the quick service market, and three lounges with a selection of food and drinks. Hemingway’s has exceptional seafood dishes, as well as the gorgeous garden views. Definitely book a dinner reservation here if you have time!
I did order a couple of beverages from the pool bar, On The Rocks and was impressed. It is your typical expensive hotel bar selection, but I found the quality to be higher than average. This hotel does not offer a free breakfast, but they do serve it daily at the LakeHouse. You can get the buffet for $29 per person, or choose from an a la carte menu.
Cost Compared to Disney World Hotels
You could have a full vacation at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress and never step foot on Disney property! However, most people visit Orlando to go to the theme parks, and this hotel is still an excellent option. As of 2019, the rates are typically between $130-$220 per night. It can get up to $350 per night during peak season. These prices are before the mandatory $40 resort fee and $22 valet fee. If you have Chase Bank credit card points or Hyatt points, it is only 12,000 points per night and the resort fee is waived.
There is no doubt that this hotel is comparable to the Deluxe Disney World Resorts. Those rarely drop below $400 per night. However, even if you compare it to a moderate resort like Coronado Springs, it can be a deal. The moderate hotels usually cost between $200-$300 per night. There is no resort fee at Disney hotels, but there is a parking fee of $20-$25 per night. You can take Disney’s Magical Express from the airport to save on parking fees with Disney, though.
If you are paying the resort fee and the valet fee at the Hyatt, you may be at the same price of a moderate level Disney World hotel. This depends on the time of year and if you choose to forgo a car for Disney World. For example, the night of November 16 costs $190 at the Hyatt Grand Cypress, and $244 at Coronado Springs. After the $62 in fees, the Hyatt is a few dollars more than the Disney hotel.
The main pro of staying at a Disney World hotel is that you get extra magic hours. This means you get into one park an hour early and can stay at one park two hours late every day, with the park varying. You also get free magic bands and bus transportation. The Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress has theme park transportation, but it’s not nearly as convenient as Disney’s and you will still need to figure out how to get from the airport. The main con is that this hotel is a lot more luxurious than the moderate Disney hotels. If you are used to that hotel experience, the Hyatt is worth it at a fraction of the price of the Disney Deluxe hotels.
When to Stay Here
Clearly, it really depends on what type of vacation you want to have in whether or not this is the hotel for you. If this is your once in a lifetime Disney vacation, then stick with a moderate Disney hotel. The prices are comparable enough to make the perks worth it!
However, if you plan to spend some time outside of Disney World, even just at Universal Studios, this hotel puts you in a much better location for a cheaper price. If you want to spend a lot of time relaxing at the hotel, then I can’t recommend this resort enough! There is so much to do for both kids and adults! I saw so many kids having the time of their life in the pool area. I was even sad to leave the resort for the conference every day!
If you have Hyatt points, than this is definitely the ideal place to stay, as it is such a deal! I would say it’s the best Hyatt option in the Orlando area as well. Basically, this resort is perfect for anything other than an all-out Disney World trip. You are still really close to the theme parks and have a lot more amenities while saving money!
Know Before You Go: Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress
I had a great time staying at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress and I think most people would as well. The pool area is the biggest highlight and it was dreamy to hang out there after work! Hopefully your travels to Orlando will be for something more fun than a work conference. Even if it is though, you will definitely have a good time staying here! I have included some things to keep in mind below.
- The Hyatt Regency Grad Cypress is a Category 3 hotel and costs 12,000 points per night. Even if you don’t have any points, you can join the World of Hyatt program for free and buy some (sometimes a better value) or transfer Chase credit card points.
- There is currently a $40 daily resort fee and a $22 valet fee. They plan to have self parking, but it is under construction as of July 2019.
- Free amenities include watersport rentals, hourly transportation to local theme parks, and many activities.
- Rooms have either a King bed and a sleeper sofa or a queen bed and a full bed. A suite with one king bed and two double beds is available at a high rate.
- The resort is a five minute drive to Disney Springs and ten to twenty minutes away from the Disney World parks. It is around twenty minutes to Universal.
- This is not a Disney Good Neighbor hotel, so you do not have extra magic hours, Fastpass+ or magic band benefits.
This is becoming a very popular resort, so let me know if you stay here! If you want more Orlando advice, be sure to check out my other blog posts here, including local restaurant reviews and Disney World tips. For more Florida vacation ideas, I have Ultimate Guides to Miami, St. Petersburg, New Smyrna Beach, and Melbourne and Cocoa Beach currently published and I plan to write an Orlando one soon!