For the second week of our holiday in Orlando we stayed at the 5 star Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress where my brother-in law was getting married. We had stayed at the hotel three years ago and the girls were really looking forward to seeing Merlot the hotels famous macaw again in the lobby of the hotel.
Since our last visit the hotel has completed its extensive $54 million refurbishment so my husband and I were looking forward to seeing the changes to what we thought was an already impressive hotel.
This is our review of the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress for families.
Driving into the gated 1500 acre resort from the busy main road was like entering an oasis of calm, you would never have known that Disney was just a 5 minute drive away and that you were in the middle of a city.
Located just one mile from Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney), four miles from SeaWorld, and less than ten miles from Universal Orlando, it was a great location to visit the theme parks of Orlando.
We left our car with valet parking at the main entrance to the hotel, our luggage was whisked away and we had a warm welcome to the hotel. For parking there are two options for guests you can self parking at $20 per night or valet at $29 per night.
The towering 18 floor glass fronted atrium lobby of the hotel is very modern and luxurious flooded with natural light. Within the lobby were lots of lush plants, trees and even a man- made stream adding to its elegance.
A large interactive touch screen contained hotel information, live weather updates, dining and entertainment information was really useful. It was a nice interactive facility if you wanted to look for local information with just a few swipes and clicks.
When the girls spotted Merlot the hotels official lobby ambassador they were so excited to see him again and I think he was too, as he started shouting ‘Hello Merlot’ to them.
Our check-in was fast and efficient but we felt that the staff could have been more welcoming to the resort – it felt very business-like. However a nice luxury touch offered at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress is that they offer champagne by the glass on check-in to guests.
We were then told that our room for the next week was a two bedroom VIP suite was ready. This was great service as we had arrived at the hotel a few hours before we could officially check into our room.
We were so excited to see our room and after the girls said a quick goodbye to Merlot, Tim our bellman accompanied us to our room.
The ride in the glass-encased elevator was fun, and reminded us of the lifts at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel in Dubai as it whisked us up to the 15th floor providing great views over the city.
The Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress is a large hotel with 815 rooms and 46 suites. We stayed in a two bedroom VIP suite which was truly stunning. It was spacious, luxurious and perfect for our large family trip.
As we opened the door to our suite we were taken by surprise just how large and impressive it was. Tim was great giving us a tour of our room and its amenities.
The VIP suite was modern and stylish with contemporary dark wood furnishings and beach like colour palette in-keeping with the resorts theme. The floor to ceiling windows offered incredible views over the resort and across to Disney – we could see Disney Springs as if it was part of the hotel grounds.
Our suite was essentially two hotel rooms interconnected by a living room area and kitchen.
The suites at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress offer the space and amenities that you would find in an apartment but with the service and facilities offered by a 5 star hotel.
We had a welcome gift of cupcakes and chocolate dipped strawberries for our daughter’s birthday and my in-laws 40th wedding anniversary which was a lovely surprise and a really nice gesture.
Having a fully functional kitchen in our room especially with children was perfect. Within the kitchen area we had a small granite island with bar stools, wine chiller and refrigerator. There was plenty of cupboard space plus lots of Starbucks coffee and my personal favourite Tazo tea.
Within the spacious living room area was a giant bookcase, two curved leather sofas and a two glass topped tables for drinks or dining. Chloe in particular made herself at home at the large desk as she enjoyed her Galt activities that we brought over from the UK.
There was also a double sofa bed, a 42″ high-definition television with lots of cable channels along with a Bose sound system and a good selection of magazines to read.
Although some sofa beds can be uncomfortable, the girls bed was lovely and they soon made themselves at home by decorating the beds with their favourite soft toys.
We don’t tend to travel light when we go on holiday and our suite had the perfect amount of storage space for our clothes. Off the main living area toward one of our bathrooms was a dressing area with a large wardrobe. This was one of three wardrobes in our suite; the other two wardrobes were in the double and king room sections of our suite.
We had three great bathrooms in our suite, featuring marble counter-top sinks, large back-lit mirrors and a plentiful supply of eco-friendly dermatologist approved KenetMD toiletries. Our favourite bathroom of the three had a large walk in shower, complete with one of the best waterfall showers we have used. The other two bathrooms had a powerful shower over a bath.
Another bonus of our suite was that its four separate balconies and large windows offered breath taking views of the Disney fireworks displays at night. From our room we could see the displays from the Hollywood Studios, Epcot and Magic Kingdom Parks all without leaving our room. As well as having some of the best seats in the house for the firework displays our view over the pool areas, lake Windsong and its gorgeous grounds was beautiful.
Connected to the living area was first bedroom, a Lake View King room and at 360-square feet was spacious, modern and tastefully decorated, with a cool contemporary décor. Just off the kitchen area was an interconnecting door to my parents in-law’s room another 360-square feet Lake View double room.
The Hyatt Grand Beds had the highest quality linens and were extremely comfortable and we all certainly had a good night’s sleep. Beside the bed was an iPhone charging station (but these strangely were still for an iPhone 4 or earlier)
Having a separate sleeping area to the children does make a big difference when in a hotel. When you are all in the same room you typically have to go to sleep early, basically when they go to sleep, so having this extra space was fantastic.
In both rooms there were large wall mounted HDTV and great sized desks with a great view over toward Disney, complimentary high speed WiFi, mini fridge with complimentary water and tea / coffee making facilities.
The pools at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress are very impressive, in particular the 800,000 gallon lagoon pool and it’s 12 waterfalls. The free form pool even has its own cave complex that the girls loved swimming through, it was like being in a Pirates of the Caribbean set, so very Disney!
One of the favourite areas of the pool was the family pool complete with 124ft water slide. The girls had to wear life jackets but we all had great fun shooting down the slides into the water.
This pool was the only one that was heated which made a difference to your comfort as the giant lagoon pool was unheated so you really did feel the difference in temperature even in summer. The only addition I wish the hotel would make in the future to their already impressive pools is to transform part of their free form pool into zero-entry so it would be suitable for younger children.
A giant suspension bridge spanned one of the pool areas and the girls thought it was hilarious watching my face as it swayed back and forth when walking over it. It was worth it though as the views across the resort and the pools from the bridge are spectacular.
We never had a problem getting a seat at the pool as there were always lots of padded loungers available.
Around every corner was another water area to enjoy and the water jet splash zone complete with water that shoots from the floor was perfect to run through to cool down in the Florida heat.
Our pool time was so relaxing and the girls enjoyed our time there so much they didn’t want to get out of the pool, it was only the poor weather that affected the amount of time we could spend at these great pools.
Like many of the luxury hotels in Orlando there is a daily resort fee to pay of $30 but in return the amount of recreational facilities on offer really is extensive and is what sets this hotel apart from the majority of other hotels in Orlando.
There was so many activities to take part in you really didn’t need to leave the resort including rock climbing walls, s’mores fire pits, Jack Nicklaus-designed golf courses, bike trails and world class tennis facilities.
Hidden within the cave complex was an impressive looking gym, laundry room and the Camp Hyatt kids club.
The 1,000ft of white sands next to Lake Windsong was a lovely area to relax with lounge chairs and hammocks and the girls had great fun playing on the beautiful sandy beach.
On the lake there were a number of water-sports to take part in such as canoeing or paddle-boating. My husband and daughter had great fun on the pedalo boats but they weren’t brave enough to choose bottomless water bikes, I think the alligator warning signs around the lake helped them choose their pedalo!
There were so many activities to do it was a shame that you had to leave to go to the theme parks, you could come to Orlando and just spend your holiday at the hotel and not get bored.
The morning of the wedding we had appointments at the new Marilyn Monroe Spa at the hotel, and the girls in particular we so excited of having their nails painted and their hair styled ready for the big day.
Lots of beautiful winding pathways weave around the resort surrounded by immaculate tropical landscaping and eye-catching pieces of art.
It’s these surroundings that made for such a stunning backdrop for the wedding at Cypress Point overlooking the scenic lake.
There are lots of beautiful communal spaces to relax in around the hotel and one of our favourites was at the Trellises Lounge in the atrium.
The new Market store in the lobby was like a mini grocery store offering a great range of sandwiches, fruit pots, cakes and Starbucks drinks. We visited most days to pick up a quick tea or to get a pack of the famous Swedish fish sweets that we had heard so much about before our holiday.
Since our last visit three years ago the Cascade American Bistro restaurant has been given a modern, contemporary makeover is now called the LakeHouse. The formal feel of the restaurant and the giant fountain has been replaced with a more relaxed setting with bright colours, wood finishes and stylish lighting.
What remains the same though is the same great views over the grounds and the lake through the huge windows.
We had breakfast each morning during our stay with an extensive selection of hot breakfast items, small pastries, fruit and cereals.
However we did feel that the levels of service were not to the same high standards compared to three years ago. Breakfast items were not being replenished quickly and we constantly had to ask for our used dishes to be moved from our table which was disappointing.
Dinner at the LakeHouse was really family friendly with dishes such as pasta pots and children’s steak whilst I had hand battered fish and my husband chose the New York steak. The meals were great the only downside was that the service on both visits to the LakeHouse needed a lot of improvement.
The Regency Club executive lounge located on the 12th floor was available to Regency Club / Diamond Members offering complimentary drinks and snacks in a comfortable environment with great views over toward Disney.
As my husband and I relaxed in the lounge we could see the girls having fun with their grandparents in our suite on the other wing of the hotel. There was also a large outdoor terrace but unfortunately the Florida afternoon thunderstorms meant we couldn’t sit outside.
Located in the heart of Lake Buena Vista, The Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress is in a great location for visiting the theme parks of Orlando in particular Walt Disney World.
Many people choose an on-site Disney hotel for location but the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress is so close to Disney it was like being on-site with the convenience of being able to retreat back to a luxury hotel.
Disney Springs was just a 5 minute drive away and our drive to Universal Studios was just 15 minutes away. There was a charge of $20 to self-park but if you don’t have a car, the hotel provides complimentary transfers to Walt Disney World and Universal Studios as part of your resort fee.
The Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress is an impressive luxury resort hotel that is really family friendly and in a great location for visiting Walt Disney World. The only flaw was that the levels of service across the hotel during our stay were not great and very inconsistent which was disappointing and not something we would expect from such a luxury hotel brand.
However any issues that we encountered were quickly resolved by the hotel management which we hope were isolated incidents as it was very busy during our stay with conferences and a large wedding party.
Even with these issues the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress is still one of our favourite luxury hotels in Orlando. If you the take away the perks of staying at a Disney luxury resort hotel then the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress is a far superior hotel and is recommended.