It’s amazing how sometimes the best of Orlando can be right under our nose without us ever noticing. This was how I felt during a recent overnight at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress, the 1,500-acre resort located a mile from Walt Disney World.
This place is AWESOME for an easy overnight or weekend when you just need a getaway but don’t want to deal with the aggravation of actually traveling somewhere.
Besides boasting a complete renovation of its guest rooms, the Hyatt features a ½ acre, free- flowing lagoon pool with 12 waterfalls where you can park yourself in a lounge chair and order food and frozen drinks from pool servers simply by pressing a little beacon button on an adjacent table.
When (and if) you get tired of lounging in the sun, you can rent kayaks and paddleboats to take out onto onsite Lake Windsong, you can borrow bikes for use on the biking trails, or you can tackle the onsite rock-climbing wall. All the amenities and activities are included with the daily $22 (+ tax) resort fee.
As the sun sets, lots of folks grab a casual dinner at Palm Café (flat breads, etc.) and stick around the pool but you can also head to Hemingway's for something a little more upscale. Open nightly from 6pm, this chic, islandy eatery with a Key West feel features a menu centered around fish and steaks.
After dinner, I recommend purchasing a S’mores from Palm Café and finding a spot at one of the fire pits for a romantic DIY dessert. Around 9pm, the fireworks begin exploding over Epcot and you’ll get an amazing view of the show if you’ve booked a south-facing room.
Rates start at $149 (based on availability).
All images by Kristen Manieri.