Villas at Grand Cypress Review

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Villas at Grand Cypress is a vacation resort near Walt Disney World outside of Disney Springs. This review covers our stay in a 1-bedroom villa, with room photos, a look at the grounds and features of the resort, pros & cons of the hotel, and various thoughts about staying at the Villas of Grand Cypress during a Walt Disney World or Orlando vacation.

The big reason we wanted to stay here is that it’s the #1 out of 336 hotels in Orlando, with a 5/5 star average. That’s really impressive for TripAdvisor, especially since reviewers there are often so irrational that they’ll give an admittedly wonderful resort a 1/5 score if they can’t figure out how to operate the television remote. Even though I often disagree with the crowdsourced assessments of hotels, when a hotel has a really strong score or a really weak score, it piques my curiosity.

Such was the case with the Villas at Grand Cypress. Could it conceivably be that good? Well, calling it a hotel in the first place is a bit of a misnomer. This is a AAA Four-Diamond luxury golf resort: sort of like Disney Vacation Club on steroids, set on a golf course. Or, rather, golf courses. The Villas of Grand Cypress offers 45 holes of Jack Nicklaus’ signature design golf, with the villas nestled into the golf courses.

It felt almost criminal to stay there and not play golf, but the only golf I’ve ever been any good at is the disc golf variety. However, the only times I’ve played actual golf were back in high school, and “golf” was mostly just a codeword for racing golf carts. I’m pretty sure golf cart racing would be “frowned upon” at the Villas of Grand Cypress.

The area on which the Villas at Grand Cypress, the golf courses, and the adjacent Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress are located is a quiet resort area that feels like a respite from the chaos of a Walt Disney World vacation. While it is still very much Floridian, this 21-acre area definitely has a slower pace and different atmosphere than most of the resorts in Orlando and Walt Disney World.

Wondering whether it lives up to the incredibly high expectations? Let’s take a look…

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The Villas at Grand Cypress is a sprawling resort (you’re definitely going to want a car here), with the villas located in little bungalows. Above is the approach.

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Immediately inside our unit, to the left of the front door is the full-size kitchen. We don’t cook on vacation, but I could definitely see the advantage of having something fully-furnished. The kitchen also looked great: stainless steel appliances, dark wood cabinets, and modern hardware (like drawer pulls). The counters were not granite, but they were also really nice.

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If you were to walk straight from the front door, you’d head directly into the living room. This area more or less encapsulates the rest of the villa. A chic “topographical” design on the carpet, sleek furniture, areas of brickwork to give texture and a modern flair, plus golf-inspired art.

One quick look around the villa, and it’s pretty clear that the level of quality here far surpasses anything found in the Disney Vacation Club villas, even at the Polynesian and Grand Floridian. One response to that is that these are not themed, but you could say these have a better golf “theme” than Saratoga Springs does horse racing.

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My point is that, if you’re willing to sacrifice theme, you will get something here of far superior quality. You’re not necessarily going to save money at the Villas of Grand Cypress, as they have positioned these units as luxury accommodations, and understandably so.

The Villas of Grand Cypress recently completed a $100,000+ per unit refurbishment, and it shows. Everything looks clean and crisp, and the style has a modern bite to it. We both really enjoyed the look of the rooms, as they have personality, but not so much that they are gaudy. For us, it’s a great balance.

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The villas’ bathroom scratches me right where I itch. In-mirror lighting, vessel sinks, and a thoughtful design. That’s just the start…

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Then you have a walk-in shower with an excellent array of jet options, luxurious bathrobe, and toilet-phone, for those important business meetings.

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The toiletries were all fancy-looking Gilchrist & Soames products that seemed very nice. I’ve never heard of this brand, but I did notice that they imply their products are from London despite being made in the USA. Uh…okay?

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“Genie, I wish for a magical television to watch while I shave.”

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“Kid, that sort of sorcery is beyond my powers. You’ll have to direct your wishes to the Samsung Genies for that!”

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The bedroom is in keeping with the style of the rest of the villa, so no surprises there. More importantly, the bed was extremely comfortable.

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I’ve done nothing but gush over these rooms, but I’m going to keep that up. I also liked the lowered living area in the bedroom of our villa.

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As far as amenities go, there are a lot of options, but make no mistake about it: this resort caters to golfers.

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If you are a golfer, you’re going to be in heaven–I assume–I’m not entirely sure what makes a good course versus a bad one, but these look pretty nice.

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If you’re not a golfer, there’s still dining, the clubhouse bar, pool, and other recreation areas. The problem, I would say, is that these areas are not on par with the rest of the resort, which I would describe as world-class. It’s more like, “here’s some stuff to do for the families of golfers while they have fun golfing.”

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There’s nothing wrong with them, per se, and you could always use the (vastly superior) shared amenities of the Hyatt Grand Cypress, the sister resort of the Villas of Grand Cypress as there is a free shuttle service between the two, but that hardly seems convenient.

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More than anything else, these amenities underscore the importance of the 45 holes of golf and the Villas of Grand Cypress’ status as a golf resort. The rooms are wonderful and trounce all Disney Vacation Club rooms in every regard aside from theming, but I’m still not sure the rooms alone are enough of a reason to stay here.

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If you have a couple of family members who enjoy golf, the Villas of Grand Cypress is a good option. This is especially true if those golfers are curmudgeonly geezers who aren’t keen on Walt Disney World, and staying here is a “compromise” to appease them. By contrast, if no one in your family is a serious golfer, it seems like staying at the Villas of Grand Cypress might be a waste.

With rooms starting at around $250/night and quickly going up depending upon how many people the room can sleep ($350-$1,800/night for the 1-bedroom and above villas, depending upon room and season), you’re looking at rooms that can rival Disney’s own villas in terms of price. (Full disclosure: our room was comped.) They are wonderful rooms in a relaxed location, but you really need to be able to take at least partial advantage of the golf amenities if you’re going to stay here.

Planning a Walt Disney World trip? If you’re interested in learning more about hotels, our Walt Disney World Hotels Reviews page is a good place to start. For where to eat, try out our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews page. If you want to save money on tickets or determine which type you should get, read our Tips for Saving Money on Walt Disney World Tickets post. Our What to Pack for Disney Trips post takes a unique look at unconventional things you should take on your trip. Once you arrive at the parks, our Walt Disney World “Ride Guides” are great for determining what to do and when to do it.

For overviews of all of these topics and so much more, the best place to start is our comprehensive Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide to make the most of your experience!

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YOUR THOUGHTS…

Have you stayed at the Villas of Grand Cypress near Walt Disney World? What did you think? Considering staying here or another nearby hotel? If you have any questions or thoughts to share, please post them in the comments. We love hearing from readers!


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