You cannot return a bad vacation, and at Wyndham Orlando International Resort, you won’t have to.
From the moment we arrived, we were impressed. First off, we immediately found parking; and if you have ever visited Orlando, you know that parking is a feat in and of itself at many of the resorts and hotels. Our check-in process was a breeze and the staff were incredibly polite, friendly and helpful (even bringing our belongings from our parked car, A+ service). The newly-renovated lobby welcomes you with clean modern lines and beautiful neutral tones. Although we were eager to see our hotel room, we lounged at the lobby for a bit. Bella and I played a game of Connect Four (I proudly say she wooped me each time), while Tony enjoyed the great craft and IPA beer selection.
We then made our way to our room through what seemed a mini tropical paradise. The walk was serene to say the least… swaying palm trees, blooming flowers and the sound of gushing water from the fountains. And last, our hotel room… was just AWESOME.
There may be some hotels and resorts that entice you with photo fakeouts, but not the Wyndham; I think their room and their grounds are even better in person! Our home-away-from-home was the Family Fun Suite, which includes a private alcove for the kiddies with a bunk bed, and their own TV. Bella used her “secret” space to practice all of her magic spells – you know… Harry Potter and the sort. As for the adults, we had an extremely comfortable king-size bed, and very roomy, enough room to dance around… which we did. Imagine what the Junior and Executive Suites look like.
The original plan of this vacation, was to DO as much of Walt Disney World and Universal Studios as possible, but that quickly changed. Going to the theme parks usually involves a bit of rushing and planning and well, it can be a bit daunting. Note, we are annual passholders for both theme parks, visit quite frequently and know how to navigate the parks and plan our days. But in an uncharacteristic move, we decided to enjoy the resort and relax.
After some relaxing relaxation (ha), we opted to explore another part of Orlando (a first for us)… as if there is another part of Orlando besides Disney and Universal!!! There is, and it is literally within walking distance from the Wyndham, about a leisurely 8-minute walk – International Drive and the ICON 360 Complex. Again, our vacation was aimed at theme park adventure and of course, exploring some of the resort, so I had not done much research on the surrounding area and all this came as a great surprise.
We began each day with the breakfast buffet at the properties’ onsite, Gatorville. This included fruits, smoothies, baked goods, bacon, eggs and even made-to-order omelettes. After breakfast, we lounged by the lagoon playing with the adorable ducks, running from and with the playful squirrels and relaxing. Tony got some workout time in the resorts well-equipped gym and finished it off with a sauna session. Just look at the pictures and you will feel relaxed too.
Exploring fun included a couple of trips to the ICON Orlando 360 Complex, which includes the biggest and tallest observation wheel on the East Coast. The pictures we captured do not do it justice; it is massive and awe-inspiring. Of course, as a sunset lover, I wanted to catch the right time. word of caution, go early as this is a popular attraction. We made it and the sun setting over Orlando’s skyline was literally breathtaking and a kaleidescope of colors; and if you go later, you can see the fireworks over Disney and Universal Studios – how magical is that? And you know what else… you can see the Wyndham Resort too. Can you spot the Wyndham iDrive in the photo?
ICON Orlando also has a plethora of dining options; we caught a flamenco show and savory paella at Tapa Toro and finished it of with a dose of coffee and sweets at. I was not too full however, to beat all other 6 players (Bella included), in the 7D Dark Ride Adventure (zombies). You can also get some marine life fun by visiting the aquarium, or hang with your fave celebrities at Madam Tussauds. We chose to visit SKELETONS (insert sinister voice), Museum of Osteology, aka bones. We are big museum fanatics, and always include at least one in our travels, and this is such a different kind, we needed to explore. We saw real flesh-eating beetles (no, we did not touch-hahaha), did some exercise with a real elephant femur (almost 40 lbs), and even completed a scavenger hunt… NOTE: most of their displays are of REAL bones… about 500 REAL bones…. scared? Don’t be, it is so cool and a def must. Top it off my eating some yummy dried crickets.. I DID!!!
Aside from the comfort, location, amenities and great food.. it was the vibe that really did us in. The resort is laid back. There are fountains and mini-waterfalls, flowers and trees that give you the sense you are in a tropical oasis – I GENUINELY relaxed. Furthermore, I did not even have to drive to, or park-and-pay at Universal Orlando, because the resort has a free shuttle.
We visit Orlando’s theme parks about 9-10 times a year staying at different hotels each time (with some repeats), and so, we are familiar with many Orlando hotels…. With that said, Wyndham International Drive now highly ranks on our list. In conclusion, the Wyndham Orlando International Drive ROCKS and we are planning on staying again the first week in March.
I hope this honest review helps you when in search for your vacation accommodations. For videos and some more in-action Wyndham fun, check out our Orlando Story Highlight on our Instagram account: @ explorewiththegirlsus