If you are looking for a Disney holiday and are wanting to stay off resort then you need to really head to the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress. It is just outside the grounds of Disney with amazing views over the park which is great for those evening firework displays. Below you will find out why you need to pick this hotel for your next family break in Orlando.
Yes it is a nice hotel, a very nice hotel, but DO NOT let this put you off staying here with children. They are completely family friendly in the whole aspect of your stay. They have so many activities on site for the kids, and are all about safety when it comes to swimming. They have a fantastic children's menu for dinner, and a great breakfast with Mickey Mouse pancakes for kids obsessed with Disney. They have great connecting rooms for privacy. We will go into detail on all of these reasons later, but I guarantee the kids will not want to leave. With options like Camp Hyatt and babysitting services you are guaranteed to get some quiet time while the kids are entertained.
So lets get down to it, if your kids are pool crazy and beg and beg every second of the day to get in their swimming outfits to head to the pool, then this is the perfect place. The pool is huge, I mean Titanic huge! They have hidden caves and waterfalls, cool bridges that go over the pools. They even have a 124ft slide that is manned by lifeguards at the top and bottom. Plenty of sun loungers in the shade and in the sun. They even have a sneaky few hidden in the caves which we like to sit. If you child is under 120cm they will need to wear a lifejacket to go on the slide. Even if you have great swimmers it is their policy for safety as the slide lands in the deep end. Both of our girls had to wear them and they are both great swimmers but its just a precaution and really caused us no hassle.
The pool with the slide is warm, which is nice if you aren’t looking to cool off, but the big pool that goes through the caves and round the hotel it’s a bit cooler, which is so nice in the Florida heat. With a giant water fall over the large part of the pool it looks beautiful, they have 12 waterfalls in total, 2 whirlpools, and the pool is open 24 hours a day!
If you want to make your stay extra special for the kids then they can attend Mermaid Academy. Kids can learn to swim like a mermaid $25 for the hour and if you want a shark fin to join in the fun its $15 an hour.
They also have a small splash part for kids that don’t want to swim and it lights up in the evening, so much fun to cool off without getting in the pool.
They also have sand art for a small fee, so you make a sand creation and take it home with you.
If you are an adventure family and love the outdoors then they have so many activities for you all to enjoy. You can go Kayaking together, we did this and we had so much fun, you can get a canoe for 4 or a 2 person Kayak. If you are more adventurous you can go paddle boarding. They also have sail boat and hydro bikes and pedal boats. We sadly didn't get to try these as it was too windy the day we went, but it looked like so much fun.
If you are not a fan of the water, then they have rock climbing walls, from beginners to hard. They have a small wall for new starters or the little ones, and then a large wall with different levels of difficulty.
If you fancy a cycle they have bikes too, the whole family can ride the trails. They have basketball, volleyball and tennis courts for you all to enjoy. There is also a table tennis table hidden away in the caves if you stumble upon it.
Don’t forget if you are a golf lover they have a 9 hole pitch and putt for you all to enjoy, or if you need a a break they have the golfing range with 18 holes where you can drive your day away.
They also have a great fitness centre if you are up for an early morning workout, comes complete with all the latest technology and cardio machines. If you are more of a runner then go and jog along one of the trails around the lake.
If you like nice food thats great for the whole family, then make sure you visit the Lakehouse. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. We went for a superb evening meal here. I have to say the kids were very well taken care of. They were given a balloon each in their favourite colour when we arrived. They have a fantastic kids menu with great options. They opted for pasta bowls each. As you can see the girls were well fed and in a funky big bowl to make it extra fun. The portions were huge and was enough left to take for lunch the next day.
As for the grown ups, it was so nice to be able to eat really good food knowing the kids were taken care of, it was really great quality and very filling. If you are a desert lover then you will love the Red Velvet Cake, so many layers and too much to consume all in one evening. So delicious and grateful the girls also ordered it to take back to the room. It was a perfect evening meal where we were able to relax while the kids could colour and play with their balloons. I also won’t forget the great view over the lake as the sun went down.
If you are planning on eating breakfast then don’t forget to stop by the Lakehouse too as they have a great selection of food that everyone can enjoy. Plenty of healthy options, and even Mickey Mouse pancakes for the kids.
They have the Market that serves Starbucks coffee if you need your fix, they also have snacks and fresh fruit and cereals to purchase. Slightly on the expensive side but great for convenience if your kids are missing an afternoon snack.
If you're by the pool then they have a On The Rocks Poolside Lounge on hand to get your afternoon refreshments while you are relaxing by the pool. They can bring your drink direct to your lounger, or you can relax at the bar. They also have fresh water on tap for free if you need to hydrate after a swim.
If you fancy a nice steak or some seafood in the evening then you can drop in at Hemingways for a quiet meal. Or if you just want to have a drink away from the kids you can enjoy Trellises Lounge for a cocktail or two or head to Hurricanes Lounge with views over the lake.
If you are visiting with the kids and want that privacy in the evening then make sure you get connecting rooms. With large comfortable beds and enough space for everyone. Large bathrooms and amazing showers. A desk if you need to get some work done and comfortable sofas you really can’t go wrong. With a room available for all budgets you can go from standard all the way up to a suite, but standard does not mean basic. The bed is amazingly comfortable and pillows are great for a relaxing sleep. Our connecting room came with a king room in one side with a large shower for two. The other room had 2 queen beds and a large bathroom with a shower over the bath, perfect if the little ones love a splash before bedtime. A really relaxing space for the family.
You can’t go wrong with the location of the hotel. Just a mile away from Disney Springs and with a free shuttle, it’s easy to venture out for more options for things to do in the evening or afternoon. With access to more places to eat and activities you can’t argue about how great the location is.
If you request a room with a view over Disney you can watch all of the evening fireworks direct from your balcony. Being able to see all the parks you can see an array of different shows without the hassle of paying for tickets to the park. Enjoy some Disney magic on your doorstep. If you don't manage to get a room with a view, then just hop on outside your room for giant glass windows to see easily enough.
If the kids love birds and fish, then you can head down to the beach area on the lake and feed the fish. This is so much fun seeing the fish jump out of the water to get the food. There is a warning sign here for Gators but they are monitored closely and there is no swimming allowed in the lake for this reason as a precautionary. We saw lots of birds along the lake, a really large blue heron stopped by, so if you are having a relaxing afternoon on the beach expect to see some birds stop by.
When you enter the lobby the kids will be so distracted by the brightly coloured Macaw sitting on his perch named Merlot. Being here for 20 years he’s happy to say hello to fellow passers by. If you ask nicely one of the staff members will hop him down for a photo.
If you want a nice weekend break with your kids that will be fun filled, and boredom free make sure you check out the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress, we will definitely be back for more.