Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress Hotel Review
Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress is a hotel near Walt Disney World just outside of Disney Springs. This review covers our stay at this resort, 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 Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress during a Walt Disney World or Orlando vacation.
First, a bit of background is in order for those of you unfamiliar with this hotel. As the name might suggest, the hotel is located in Grand Cypress, which is sort of like Bonnet Creek (probably not all that helpful of a comparison for those unfamiliar with Bonnet Creek) in that it’s a resort complex that encompasses multiple properties. In the case of Grand Cypress, there’s the Hyatt, the Villas at Grand Cypress (review coming soon), a tennis club, and approximately 70-gajillion holes of golf (or 45 holes…but it feels like the golf courses stretch from Orlando to Endor). It’s a quiet, lush area located about 5 minutes from Disney Springs.
The Hyatt Regency is truly a resort complex, and occupies 21 acres within Grand Cypress. A couple of years ago, the hotel completed a $54 million overhaul, with more since spent bringing total renovations to $75 million. This seems like an astronomical sum for a single hotel to me–and additional changes are planned–but I guess hotels and conventions are big business in Orlando. Regardless, all of the money dumped into this Hyatt shows.
We have stayed at a lot of Hyatt properties throughout the world, and this feels closer to a Grand Hyatt location than a Hyatt Regency one. The design of the rooms and style of the hotel is unique and interesting, the resort amenities are top notch, and it has other key elements like fine dining and a spa that are more typical of the “Grand” moniker than the “Regency” one, at least in our experience.
Let’s take a look at everything the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress offers that make it a top notch destination resort…
Like virtually every hotel in Orlando, it has seen a change in ownership during its history. This is not altogether noteworthy (as most hotels have changed hands like 4-5 times), but in this case, I’m told that the original ownership was a Japanese family that had a multi-million dollar art collection at the hotel. (I’d love to know more about this if there are any Orlando historians reading…)
I’m told that the previous owners removed most of the art when they sold the hotel to Hyatt years ago, but many items remain scattered throughout the grounds of the resort, both inside and out.
This is one aspect of the hotel that gives the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress a lot of character. The hotel most certainly is not ‘themed’ in the sense that Walt Disney World hotels are, but it does have a very unique style that really heightens its appeal.
One of the reasons we are fans of Hyatt is because this is fairly typical of their higher-end hotels. While impeccable service and a laundry-list of amenities is standard at most luxury hotels, many of the major ones feel generic and soulless.
The designs at hotels like this are clearly “fancy”, but they feel uninspired. Think of them as McHotels, akin to residential McMansions.
This is not the case with Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress. The design from the guest rooms to common areas to even the grounds of the hotel is deliberate and thoughtful.
Here’s an aerial view of the open-air atrium, where you can see the jungle below, complete with foliage, a stream, and a slew of wild animals, such as tigers, alligators, and parrots.
Okay, maybe not tigers, but there is a parrot that greets guests in the atrium.
This being Florida, there are probably alligators somewhere at Grand Cypress, too. However, none reside in the lobby…at least to my knowledge.
The open-air atrium does give the lobby a grandiose and warm feel.
Despite the size, it feels warm and inviting thanks to the lushness and natural light.
About the only thing that I’d call ordinary is the front exterior, which I assume is a holdover from the origins of the hotel.
Enough gushing about the style of the hotel. Now let’s take a look at something of substance: those resort amenities…
For starters, I have to point out that the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress charges a resort fee of $25/night.
If you’ve read any of my previous hotel reviews, you know that I absolutely despise resort fees. Suffice to say, a non-optional fee that is tacked onto a hotel’s daily rate is done for no other reason than to mask the actual nightly rate of a hotel.
This isn’t like an airline baggage fee or hotel parking fee (the latter of which the Hyatt also has), or other ways consumers are nickel & dimed nowadays when it comes to travel.
In each of those cases, there are some people not paying said fees. In the case of a resort fee, there is no option to not pay it if you choose to not use certain hotel amenities.
In any case, these fees are clearly lucrative for hotels so my complaining about them isn’t going to change them. In the case of Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress, at least the resort fees are somewhat justified by actual resort amenities.
The resort fees include rock climbing walls, shuttles to Walt Disney World, SeaWorld, and Universal Orlando Resort, 4.7 miles of jogging trails, paddle boarding, kayaks, fire pits, and a whole host of other things…
…from a small pitch & putt area for those of us who aren’t “serious enough” to hit the championship-caliber links, but still want to get our golf on…
…to a fitness center that is much more than a repurposed storage closet (as is typical of so many other hotels).
Seriously, this has to be one of the nicest hotel fitness centers I have ever seen. Now, I morally oppose intentional exercise on vacation, but if you aren’t a devout cupcakeist like me, you might appreciate the quality of this equipment.
This just scratches the surface on the list of activities at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress. There’s more to do here than at any other hotel where we’ve stayed near Walt Disney World.
All of this is cool, but the pool is what really impresses. This pool as two of the three things that define a first-class pool under the Tom Bricker Pool Grading System™. First, it has a suspension bridge over one side of the pool.
I highly recommend standing up on the bridge for a few hours of your stay and jumping up and down on it whenever another adult gets towards the center. Or maybe send your kids to do that, since they tend to get more of a free pass for such childish behavior. I know this because “a friend” of mine got some dirty looks bouncing around on the bridge as an adult. 😉
Second, it has a cave!
Everyone knows that a cave is about the coolest thing into which you can swim, what with the potential for stumbling upon a pirate hideaway or mermaid den. About the only things missing here are that ominous music played in the Pirates of the Caribbean caves, and a lazy river.
Seriously, the lack of a lazy river in a pool this awesome is such a missed opportunity. It’s like owning a large plot on a Swiss mountain, and covering it with Alpine ibex goats. (Now I’m just being silly…who on earth would own a plot on the alps without a hole herd of Alpine ibex?!)
Heck, I’m surprised pool cave design companies even offer an option to not have a lazy river.
Joking aside, this pool is undeniably awesome.
It’s huge, wonderfully-designed (even sans lazy river), and has plenty of little nooks and crannies within the caves and by waterfalls. Some of these contain poolside cabanas, which looked quite nice.
There’s also an area for smaller children with a splash pad and smaller waterslide.
The Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress is now home to Four Flamingos: A Richard Blais Florida Kitchen, the acclaimed chef’s first restaurant in the Sunshine State. Four Flamingos features cuisine inspired by flavors and ingredients from Florida, served in a relaxed setting featuring a nostalgic tropical look and designed to provide guests a look into the kitchen and prep process.
The menu bring Chef Blais’ take to the best fresh-caught surf and fire-grilled turf with featured items including stone crab, Mahi Mahi, and signature steak cuts.
The other main restaurant at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress is LakeHouse, which overlooks the hotel’s beautiful 21-acre private Lake Windsong. LakeHouse serves a wide variety of menu items for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Then there’s the Market, serving everything from handcrafted Starbucks coffee drinks to fresh-baked treats to grab & go meals to a curated selection of snacks. Finally, lobby and pool bars round out the dining lineup at the Hyatt.
Before moving on from the hotel’s dining scene, we’ll draw your attention to their desserts, which are exceptional.
These are seasonal so what’s available when you stay at the hotel is almost certain to differ, but the salient point is that the hotel’s pastry team is incredibly talented. Don’t skip dessert!
I can’t recall what the above was called, but it might as well have been, “A Salute to All Decadent Things, But Mostly Peanut Butter.” It was like peanut butter angels dancing on my taste buds, and I’d highly recommend it. It is super rich, so you might consider splitting this (and the Key Lime Pie, which is also exceptional).
Let’s move on–we still haven’t gotten to the guest rooms…
These rooms are really great, with a large footprint that effectively utilizes space. They have a modern design flare that’s enhanced by some colorful flourishes and decor. The furniture was really nice, and the inclusion of Starbucks coffee was a nice touch.
The rooms also include a multi-media plugin, cool-box, double sized sofa sleeper, work desk, high speed wifi, large flat screen television, and more.
Of course, this being a chain-branded hotel, they have a fancy proprietary name for the bedding, this being Hyatt Grand Beds™. I have no clue what that’s support to mean, but the bed was really comfortable, as were the pillows.
The bed did look a little on the basic side without a runner or anything, but I know this is a common style now. There’s also an iHome, for those of you still rockin’ an iPhone 4 or earlier.
While the entire room was impressive, we really liked the bathroom. In addition to the walk-in shower (always a plus!), these bathrooms have basin sinks, great mirror lighting, and–most importantly–a rainshower head in the shower. We did find ourselves invariably splashing a ton of water onto the floor of the bathroom (even with the shower door shut), but perhaps we are just inept.
All things considered, we really liked the room. It was spacious with a modern style that wasn’t over the top, nice finishings, really comfortable bed, and great bathroom.
In terms of price, rack rates start at about $250/night (including that pesky resort fee). At that rate, the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress probably is not going to lure away a lot of Walt Disney World die hards who stay on-site for those perks, but it is most definitely a compelling option for luxury travelers, conventioneers, and even families looking for a resort that isn’t “Disneyified.”
Save for the theming and on-site perks (which have all but disappeared in the last few years), the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress is most definitely a Deluxe caliber hotel by Walt Disney World standards, and I’d put it ahead of all Disney Deluxe hotels when viewed objectively. Rather than renting a car, we used Uber to get between the hotel and parks (there’s also a free shuttle), and the cost from the Hyatt to the Contemporary (closest drop-off to Magic Kingdom) was just under $10, and efficient in terms of time.
Overall, the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress totally won us over. It is most definitely a destination resort, and you could spend several days here without ever leaving the hotel. It’s the perfect hotel for families wanting nice accommodations for an Orlando vacation, but not needing the perks of staying on-site at Walt Disney World, and not wanting to a pay a premium for the Disney name. The nightly rate is high and the resort fee annoying, but for those wanting a luxury resort hotel in Orlando, the price is justified.
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!
Have you stayed at the Hyatt Regency 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!
Is the pool heated at Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress? I read reviews where people complained the water was really cold.
I have stayed at this hotel and thought it was alright. The shuttles to Disney run twice in the morning and twice in the afternoon so I car, in my mind, is needed if you don’t want to go at 8:30 or 10:30 in the AM or their two returns. For self-parking it is around the building and down a bit. Far enough that they have a shuttle bus to pick you up to take you back to the hotel or you could walk. Walking is not bad but walking at night, somewhat alone is a little frightening for me. I agree, the pool had a lot of potential and they should have included a lazy river and the option to heat it. Very cool in October until the area heats up again. Rooms, I thought, were small – two queen beds, a small chaise lounge against the sliding door. I’m looking for somewhere else to go next time.
We have 5 kids and are looking to stay off site. What is your best recommendation?
Hi, could you please tell me if this hotel is near Disney Springs….I’m going back and forth on this one or the Hilton, which I hear is in walking distance to Disney Springs. Thank you!
We walked it every day for 14 days. It’s about 20/25 min walk but it’s a pleasant walk. The hilton (if it’s hilton buena vista resort) it definitely closer however in my opinion isn’t nearly as nice a hotel as the grand cypress. The grand cypress do offer a shuttle to and from disney springs, but if I remember rightly it doesn’t start until 4pm (I may be wrong with that time)
So, we are looking to stay here for Disney Vacation, we have a 4 year old and a 1 year old. From what I hear the shuttle can take 30-45 min to Walt Disney, does this sound right or since we are driving would you suggest driving to the park?
We have not taken the hotel shuttle, but we’ve taken Uber from this Hyatt to various parts of Disney World. It certainly does not take 30-45 minutes – I would say 15 minutes at the most. Enjoy your trip!
Many thanks to you, Tom, for recommending this hotel to us. We’ve stayed there once, loved it, and have just booked another stay here this year.
Planning our second trip to Disney World for NYE (Dec 28-Jan 2). Not sure whether to stay here or check out a Disney resort. 99% sure we would be renting a car. Booking through Jetblue Getaways and this hotel comes in a few hundred cheaper overall. Any advice would be great!
Nice review (as always), Tom. I haven’t been to the Grand Cypress in years, but until the last decade of high-end hotels coming to O-Town (Ritz, Waldorf, JW and, most recently, Four Seasons) the Grand Cypress and Marriott World Center were considered the most luxurious places to stay in the city. And my recent experiences staying at the Hyatt at the Convention Center (formerly the Peabody) only reinforce strongly my feelings that the BRAND means something. It isn’t Disney where you pay 5-star prices and get — at best — 3-star service and amenities, but are enveloped in something called ‘The MAGIC’.
I will take exception with your comment regarding the price of the hotel not likely turning any Pixie Duster’s mind around over staying at a ridiculously overpriced and overrated (by fans only, not real world travelers) Disney Resort. $250 a night now largely puts you at one of Disney’s moderate ‘motels’ like Port Orleans. I would guess the average standard deluxe room rate at WDW to be well over $500 a night at rack. I’ve seen rooms at the Poly and Grand Flo in the neighborhood of $1,000 a night at the holidays, which is utter insanity by any rational measurement. So, if the choice is $250 at the Grand Cypress or $500 at say the Yacht Club or Contemporary, what really is the better value?
Oh, and I’ve seen this hotel on Priceline often in the range of $120-175 a night. That’s a flat out steal.
The resort fees are crazy, I grant you that. But it’s a fact of life in the business and one you can’t hold against a property. 3-star Holiday Inns in Kissimmee are adding $12 a night. The Grand Cypress is a top notch resort by Central Florida standards.
Looking forward to your thoughts on other properties you stayed at on this visit.
I’ve stayed at this hotel three times for conventions (most recently two weeks ago) and never noticed all these features. What a waste of time in the conference rooms! :-). I did see the pool complex (out my window) finally this trip and several colleagues with kids along raved about it.
I usually couple an on property stay with my family pre-convention so seeing Spaceship Earth or Tower of Terror out the Hyatt window is just a sad reminder that my WDW vacation is over. My Boardwalk Villa was twice the price as Hyatt but can’t beat the convenience for Food & Wine!
Great review as always. There is a typo in your description of the beds.
“I have no clue what that’s support to mean, but the bed was really comfortable, as were the pillows.”
Ha, I’m sure there are more typos than that! Typos in my blog posts are how you know they are authentic Tom Bricker Productionsâ„¢, and not some fancy knock-off! 😉
Thanks for the comprehensive photos of the grounds and amenities, they are better than what’s on Hyatt’s own site.
I wouldn’t have imagined this hotel would offer so much! It really is more than a Deluxe Walt Disney World hotel, and makes that $250 price look a lot more reasonable. This is now high on my families list for next time!
You’re welcome! The $250/night price definitely sounds high at first blush for an off-site hotel, but when you compare it to one of the Walt Disney World Deluxes, it’s much cheaper and has better resort offerings and rooms. Now, Disney beats it on location and theme, so it’s really a question of what matter most to you. For a lot of families who visit multiple locations in Orlando (WDW, Universal, SeaWorld, etc.), the Hyatt might be a better option. For Disney-only families, the WDW resorts are probably a better pick.
Just a compliment that has nothing to do with this hotel. I came across your blog first during my recent research round for our next trip to WDW, and now you’ve spoiled me. Your photos are so awesome, that when I now look at posts on other sites, they are sad by comparison. I even read this review, although there is no chance we will ever stay at this hotel, just so I can admire your photos.
A sincere Well Done and Thank You!
(btw, We’ll probably be following your Outside the Parks 1-day Plan almost to the letter!)
Well, hope you enjoyed the photos nonetheless (it really is a beautiful hotel!), and thanks for the kind words about the site! 🙂
My family and I occasionally stayed at the Grand Cypress. This was back in the early 90’s. Your review is spot on based on my memory. The place was beyond amazing especially since Disney deluxe hotels we’re just getting started. But my best memory was watching a nerf football accidentally go over the rail from the top floor and land directly on the piano players umbrella. My brother and I did not get in trouble with the hotel staff, but my parents were not as amused. Thanks for bringing back these memories.
Haha, great story! Was it the Hyatt at that point? I’m curious when the Asian owners and their art collection left, and Hyatt entered.
It was the Hyatt when we stayed there. Dad stayed in Hyatt’s for all business travel. If I had to guess, I’d say we stayed there multiple times from 1990-1993, maybe as early as 1989. Now it’s all DVC, and as you pointed out, the Grand Cypress is a whole different ballgame! Great article.
The resort has always been flagged a Hyatt, just had different ownership…Hyatt now both owns and manages it.
Ah, that makes sense. Thanks for the info!
Have u done a top 10 non-Disney owned hotel list for disneyworld yet? If not that would be a good post.
I plan to do one in the near future, but we have yet to stay at the Four Seasons, and I strongly suspect that it’s a hotel that should be on that list. This Hyatt Regency definitely would make the cut, too.
How would you compare it to the Swan/Dolphin (I know that it’s listed as one of your favorite non-WDW hotels near WDW)? It seems like Swan gets most of the on-site benefits (other than Magical Express) for less $/night than the Deluxe resorts and maybe less than the Hyatt Regency.
If you put them both in the same location, the Hyatt would smoke the Swan & Dolphin. It simply has way more amenities and is much more modern.
With that said, the location of the Swan & Dolphin is much better, and it’s slightly cheaper. If you’re going to spend most of your time in the parks, I’d opt for the Swan & Dolphin. If you’re going to spend a lot of time at the hotel, I’d probably go for the Hyatt. Hope that helps!
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