A tropical getaway is all about the beach, and the right waterfront hotel gets you unlimited access to it. Once you’ve decided on the shoreline of your dreams, how do you decide which hotel is going to do it justice?

TripAdvisor (SmarterTravel’s parent company) names the best beach hotels in its annual Travelers’ Choice Best Beach Awards. Beaches in Cuba, Spain, Florida, and the Caribbean ranked among the top spots this year—and TripAdvisor reviews in each locale can usually supply a clear winner for the best beach hotel if you want to know the top-reviewed place to stay.


The Best Hotels, According to Millions of Travelers on TripAdvisor

The Best Beach Hotels, According to TripAdvisor Reviews

The single best beach hotel on one of the world’s best beaches is worth planning a trip around. Here are the beaches that travelers chose as their favorites around the world, and the best beach hotels for enjoying them—according to TripAdvisor.

The Venetian on Grace Bay: Providenciales, Turks and Caicos



The top beach hotel in Grace Bay—which won TripAdvisor’s best beach title—is a white-sand resort with far-flung views of turquoise waters. The Venetian on Grace Bay‘s apartment-style dwellings are spacious with waterfront balconies or screened-in porches. You likely won’t spend too much time in your room though, because the pristine beachfront, outdoor pool, BBQ area, and private chef opportunities will keep you busy.

Book it:Get prices for the Venetian and other area hotels

Pousada Maravilha: Fernando de Noronha, Brazil


Baia do Sancho beach on Brazil’s little-known island chain, Fernando de Noronha, swiped the second-best spot from TripAdvisor for its remote white-sand beaches. Pousada Maravilha ranked as the best beachfront hotel there, with its infinity pool, open-air villas, and sweeping views of the tiny island’s lush forests and beach cliffs. For a remote island, this hotel impresses with gourmet food and rustic-style rooms featuring luxuries like private hot tubs.

Book it:Get prices for Pousada Maravilha and other area hotels


Editor Choice: 10 Best Beach Destinations of 2018

The Sanctuary at Grand Memories: Varadero Beach, Cuba


Varadero Beach sits on Cuba’s narrow, 12-mile Hicacos Peninsula—which uniquely juts into the Atlantic for the pristine beaches that make it an understated resort area. The Sanctuary at Grand Memories Varadero is the best beach hotel on the island, according to TripAdvisor reviews. The adult-only, all-inclusive resort is known for its private butler service, lively hotel bars, and delicious food that keep guests returning for multiple visits.

Book it:Get prices for The Sanctuary at Grand Memories and other area hotels

Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort Aruba: Eagle Beach, Aruba


Aruba’s locals will tell you that the island’s best beach hotel and best stretch of beach are one and the same. Eagle Beach is frequented by locals and visitors alike for good reason—its white sand and blue waves—and Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort is a step above the rest of the accommodations on the island. Avoid the island’s northern coast, which is rife with big-name chain hotel resorts, and opt for a more local option closer to the Dutch-style center of Oranjestad by staying on Eagle Beach. Bucuti offers romantic restaurants and rooms with waterfront views, but the idyllic Eagle Beach is the true highlight.

Book it:Get prices for Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort and other area hotels


10 Best (and Unexpected) Things to Do in Aruba

Caribbean Club Luxury Boutique Hotel: Seven Mile Beach, Cayman Islands



It’s no secret that Seven Mile Beach on Grand Cayman is one of the best in the world—but you might be hard-pressed to find a hotel there that’s not one of the towering international brands, packed with demanding loyalty members.

Luckily, TripAdvisor reviewers in Grand Cayman have good taste: The Caribbean Club Luxury Boutique Hotel‘s beachfront villas make the beach feel private and untouched. Plus, the restaurant gets rave reviews, and the suite-style rooms are big enough for families with as many as three bedrooms.

Book it:Get prices for Caribbean Club Luxury Boutique Hotel and other area hotels

Hotel de Londres y Inglaterra: San Sebastian, Spain


Looking for a European beach destination with plenty of culture to experience? Head to La Concha Beach in San Sebastian, Spain, the culinary capital of the world. Hotel de Londres y Inglaterra is the best beachfront hotel in the area thanks to waterfront views that still are in close proximity to Old Town. The posh hotel offers waterfront patio dining, and steps down to the sandy beach below.

Book it:Get prices for Hotel de Londres y Inglaterra and other area hotels

Opal Sands Resort: Clearwater, Florida



Often named the best beach in the U.S., Clearwater Beach, outside of Tampa, Florida, is rated the number seven beach in the world byTripAdvisor. The best beach hotel on Clearwater Beach, according to TripAdvisor reviews, is the sprawling Opal Sands Resort, which boasts a raved-about restaurant, a beachfront pool, and a hot tub—all adjacent to the white sand and beach cabanas.

Book it:Get prices for Opal Sands Resort and other area hotels


10 Cheap Florida Hotels in Amazing Locations

The Spa Retreat Boutique Hotel: Negril, Jamaica


The best beach in Negril is on Seven Mile Beach (yes, another one), where white sand and endless ocean will have you feeling like you’re in a desktop screensaver. The best beach hotel on Seven Mile Beach is about as oceanfront as it gets: The Spa Retreat Boutique Hotel sits right at the water’s edge, on a seawall with steps into the ocean. The boutique hotel offers treehouse-esque villas with large porches, plus a saltwater pool and cliff-side spa. Like most other hotels on this list, it’s got a top-rated restaurant as well.

Book it:Get prices for the Spa Retreat Boutique Hotel and other area hotels

Iberostar Grand Hotel Bavaro: Punta Cana, Dominican Republic


Punta Cana’s Iberostar Grand Hotel Bavaro is as beautiful as Bavaro Beach itself, with luxe amenities like your own waterfront hot tub, marble floors, private pool patios, and butler service. You’ll be torn between enjoying the hotel and spending all your time on the pristine sand below—and it’s adults-only, for ultimate relaxation.

Book it:Get prices for Iberostar Grand Hotel and other area hotels


12 Cancun Hotels for Every Type of Traveler

Ixchel Beach Hotel: Isla Mujeres, Mexico



Playa Norte on the colorful Yucatan Peninsula is the quintessential Mexican beach getaway thanks to its vast expanses of white sand and shallow turquoise waters. The best beach hotel in the little-trafficked area of otherwise touristy Isla Mujeres is Ixchel Beach Hotel, which offers a relaxing yet understated stay compared to the big resort hotels on the main part of the island. The waterfront balconies, suites with kitchens, and beach-adjacent pools are perfect for a relaxing Isla Mujeres vacation spent on one of the best beaches in the world.

Book it:Get prices for Ixchel Beach Hotel and other area hotels

SmarterTravel Editor Shannon McMahon writes about all things travel, and loves a good beach hotel. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

Over my decade of traveling to Las Vegas, I’ve had the opportunity to personally sample a number of the tourist zone’s hotels–but certainly not all of them. At general hotel websites, some hotels get rave reviews from families, others from couples on romantic getaways.  Those reviews aren’t necessarily helpful to the solo  traveler.  Below are reviews of Las Vegas hotels from the perspective of a solo traveler (me, unless otherwise noted). They are by no means your only options, but they’re a start. PLEASE NOTE THAT I STAYED AT SOME OF THESE HOTELS SEVERAL YEARS OR EVEN A DECADE AGO, SO MY NOTES ARE A BIT DATED. Do your own research on what the hotels are like today before booking anything.


Ballys is an aging hotel that is a bit more quiet and sedate than others on the Strip (read: not as exciting). It draws an older crowd. Staff friendliness/customer service, and cleanliness are hit-and-miss. Entertainment and dining options are limited. Positive aspects: The Center Strip location–across the street from the Bellagio and connected to Paris, which has a more upbeat vibe and better dining and entertainment options; Ballys is also on the monorail; and it has a surprisingly nice pool area. I don’t recall anyone checking room keys at the elevator here, but I can’t say whether they do or not.

Update: I stayed at Ballys in 2005, and my review above reflects that. I recently heard from reader Lydia with an update on the hotel: “Bally’s has renovated their South Tower which is now the Jubilee Tower.  The rooms are just beautiful and the consensus is that these rooms are nicer than the classic rooms at Paris.  I stayed in the Jubilee tower for three of the 7 nights when I went on my first solo trip two years ago. I am not sure if you thought the room you stayed in was shabby or if the casino overall was shabby.” [VS: Both.]  “I will say that I agree the casino is a bit lifeless and blah. And, customer service was not overly great, maybe adequate.  When I moved to MGM for the rest of my stay, I was glad.  Only because the vibe and MGM is just more inviting. Really, I just wanted you to know that one of their towers was renovated and I didn’t want your readers to think it was some flea bag hotel.” Thanks very much for your updated assessment of Ballys, Lydia, I appreciate it. I can’t say I ever thought it was a “flea bag hotel,” but it definitely has not ever been one of my favorites. But for the right price, I’d try those Jubilee Tower rooms.

The Bellagio

The Bellagio is one of the nicest place I’ve ever stayed. It’s also one of the more expensive hotels on the Strip. Customer service here is fantastic. I have never once run into a rude, surly or mediocre employee here. There are a variety of excellent in-house dining options of a variety of price ranges (nothing incredibly cheap, but certainly affordable), including some quick grab-and-go eateries. It is well-known for its fine dining options. Cafe Bellagio, the 24 hour cafe, is very good and has counter seating, but I also ate at a table for two one day and was seated by a window (without having to ask) so I had something to look at while I ate. The buffet is fantastic, especially for breakfast, when they had some really unusual but tasty options, like vegetable dishes and cheeseballs. The hotel also has a nightclub or two. They did check room keys at the elevators. There is one in-house show (Cirque du Soleil’s “O”), a free Conservatory, and a not-so-free art gallery to entertain. The spa is to die for. I highly recommend it. Even if you do not stay here, you must try to catch one of the fountain shows, preferably at night. It’s quite an experience.

Caesars Palace

The pros for the solo traveler are many at Caesars. . .the location is second to none in the middle of the Strip–this dramatically cuts down on the need to take cabs, as you are in the heart of the Strip whichever way you decide to walk during your trip. There is always something going on at Caesars and plenty of people are milling about on the property, so one never feels alone there. This is helpful for the solo traveler who feels awkward dining or drinking alone; most all the restaurants and bars at Caesars stay busy enough that no one will notice. What are the cons of such a bustling, well-located, iconic property? None of the five towers has a security checkpoint for keys to be checked. If that is something that is important to your feeling of security, stay elsewhere.

The El Cortez

The El Cortez is not the swankiest downtown Las Vegas hotel, but thanks to ongoing renovations and great word of mouth, it is enjoying a renaissance. Located in the Fremont East district (about a block from Fremont St, depending on what part of the property you are walking from), the “El” has been open since 1941. The El Cortez Cabana Suites, in the former Ogden House hotel (where parts of Casino were shot), opened in 2009 to rave reviews, and rightly so. The 64-room building is across the street from the El Cortez’s main building and parking garage, which sounds iffy until you realize there is a friendly 24-hour security guard stationed right outside the Cabana Suites entrance. There is also usually a receptionist on duty in the Cabana Suites lobby to greet guests, though you must still check in the hotel over in the main El Cortez lobby.

While only about half the rooms are actual suites, the relatively small queen-sized rooms provide ample space for the solo traveler. There is no swimming pool on property, but the very generous (for Vegas) selection of cable channels in the Cabana Suites rooms, the fitness center off the lobby of the Cabana Suites, and the convenient gambling and dining in the main El Cortez building more than offset this. (I understand they plan to build a pool behind the Cabana Suites in the near future.) One may also choose to have room service brought over from the main El Cortez building, and each Cabana Suites room includes a limited minibar selection and a mini-fridge. The Cabana Suites truly are the best of both worlds: secluded convenience and hip hotel rooms.

Flamingo GO room, circa 2009

The Flamingo

Not one of my favorite properties. I stayed here in 2009. The Flamingo has three things going for it: Location, one of the best pools in Vegas, and price. Prices are often really terrific here, which is why I booked it. The reason prices are so good is that it is a very old property. After reading reviews by other travelers, I got nervous about the reported cleanliness of the regular rooms and upgraded to a GO room. The GO room was very comfortable, with an enormous bathroom, and a lot of high-tech features, including a TV in the bathroom mirror. It’s very, very pink. Keep in mind that on the weekends, you’ll find a lot of young people who stay here to party because of the cheap prices and the pool area (including an adult pool). The Flamingo only has one good on-site dining option and that’s Margaritaville, which is a blast. I found the casino to be very dirty (dirty floors, sticky bars). The elevators were often slow and crowded. No one checked room keys here.

Golden Nugget

Up until now, the Golden Nugget has been heads and shoulders above all the other Downtown hotels. There have been some renovations of other downtown hotels that may give it a run for its money, but it’s still a very, very nice hotel. I stayed in one of the older rooms and I even thought that was nice, but there are much nicer rooms to be had here (especially in the Rush Tower). The Nugget is in the middle of the Fremont Street Experience, under the canopy, which places it in easy walking distance of most other Downtown hotels and in a safe location for solo travelers. There are multiple dining options on site (I highly recommend the Chart House restaurant), a lounge with live music, a show (Gordie Brown), a nightclub, and the coolest pool Downtown (with a slide that goes through a shark tank!). The best part of staying Downtown is the lower prices and better gambling odds than on the Strip. The Golden Nugget gives you a Strip-like hotel experience at Downtown prices. If you’re thinking of staying off the Strip, give this hotel consideration. For my full review of the Golden Nugget, click here. (Please note that I stayed in the cheapest, and oldest, type of room on property, so my experience was likely different from that of someone staying in one of the newer towers.)


Harrahs is a budget hotel located Center Strip and on the monorail. Its other selling point is the abundance of on-site entertainment available for guests. They sometimes check room keys at the elevators after 9pm, but not always. The customer service here is generally good, though service at the cafe can be a bit slow at times. If you’re looking for counter seating dining, try Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar and Grill or the Steakhouse. Harrahs has a fun atmosphere, and people here are friendly; you should have no trouble finding someone to strike up a conversation with. The clientele skews a bit older (except for young people on a budget). My only complaints with Harrahs is that it can get very smoky in the casino at times, and the pool area is nothing to write home about. It needs to be renovated badly, but for the price, it’s hard to complain. I last stayed here in 2015.

Valet entrance, Mandarin Oriental

Mandarin Oriental

The Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas is located in the middle of the Strip, between the Monte Carlo and the Aria hotels. Staying at the Mandarin Oriental is always a nice opportunity. First, it is pretty well located to easily walk to other places around. There is no casino inside the hotel thus making it really quiet and peaceful if this is what you are looking for. If you really need a casino, the Aria casino is only 5 minutes walking distance.

The Mandarin Oriental is kind of exclusive place. It isn’t a hotel where you will see tourists taking pictures all around the lobby. You need to stay there or go to the bar to be able to get inside the hotel. So it is never really crowded. Then, in terms of room safety, it is pretty optimal as you need to get to the 23rd floor lobby through a first elevator and then get to a second elevator which has a card access control. So you should never cross lost tourists in the room corridors.

The Mandarin Oriental touch can be seen everywhere in the common areas and guest room decoration. The guest rooms feature all the modern services you could expect from an hotel of this grade such as floor-to-ceiling windows, comfortable bed, large bathroom with bathtub, remotely controlled curtains and air conditioning. Also, there is a lot of staff around taking care to make sure your stay is perfect.

Several activities can be enjoyed while traveling solo at the Mandarin Oriental: outdoor swimming pool on the 8th floor, fitness center, spa (dedicated area for women), etc. The Spa at Mandarin Oriental is one of the most beautiful spas in Las Vegas with a lot of nice features such as sensorial shower, hammam, sauna and laconium. Several pools are also available on the eight floor, next to the fitness center and the Spa.

The Mandarin Oriental bar is a place where you’ll be able to socialize if you want to.  The Twist restaurant by Pierre Gagnaire offers a refined French cuisine. The tea lounge next to the lobby offers an outstanding Strip view, as does the bar, which is next to it.

Overall, the hotel is really refined. The decoration is nice. It is really the best of what you could expect to find in Vegas.

Olivier has more Vegas hotel reviews at his website. He stays at much classier places than I do. 🙂

MGM Grand

The MGM Grand is one of the larges hotels on the Strip. All the staff I encountered were very pleasant and efficient, if not great. They were not checking room keys when I stayed there, but the lock on the door worked just fine. It felt perfectly safe to me. In-house dining options are so plentiful, you could eat at a different restaurant for each meal and not run out of restaurants for a good while. My personal favorites are Fiamma and Wolfgang Puck (both have bar seating). There is one regular show (Cirque du Soleil’s KA, which is excellent) and concert headliners often perform here as well. The capstone of this facility is its pool area–with five, count ’em, FIVE pools to choose from, including a lazy river. It also has Wet Republic, an “ultra pool” for those who can’t get enough of the party scene in Vegas. It is on the monorail, so you can travel to the North End of the Strip more easily. It has a decent nightlife if you’re into the nightclub/ultralounge scene, and tends to draw a younger clientele. The only drawback of this hotel is its size: It is ginormous, so it takes a long time to walk anywhere on site. On the other hand, depending on your tastes, you could spend your entire vacation on site without leaving and still find plenty to do. I’d recommend this hotel especially for solos in their twenties and thirties. The rooms have been remodeled in recent years, and I understand they are very nice now. However, consensus online is almost unanimous that you should avoid the West Wing rooms at all costs.

The Mirage

The Mirage was my first love in Las Vegas. I fell hard for the tropical rainforest theme that used to be featured more prominently here. The two times I stayed here, they checked room keys at the elevators all day long. My room door had a safety latch and a deadbolt. The staff was friendly, the clientele was comfortable for me, and I never felt out of place. Right now, there are two on-property shows to choose from (Terry Fator and the Beatles’ Love, a Cirque du Soleil show), as well as a number of restaurants of varying price ranges. I can recommend BLT Burger and California Pizza Kitchen, both of which have counter seating, and Cravings, the buffet; all of these are mid-price range options. Other nighttime entertainment options include the nightclub 1 OAK and the Rhumbar, which has patio seating overlooking the Strip. The location is fabulous, as it is right next door to Caesar’s Palace, and Harrahs is right across the street. As you can see from the above photo, they have a spectacular pool area. There is a tram that runs from the Mirage to Treasure Island next door, giving you even more dining and entertainment options. I would have no hesitation staying here alone again. I last stayed here more than 10 years ago, and the rooms have been renovated since then, so I imagine it’s even nicer now.

Monte Carlo

The Monte Carlo is one of the best deals on the Las Vegas Strip. You can usually score a great price here (I paid $48/night), and yet the resort offers a lot for that price–including several good restaurants (some affordable and some higher-end), one of the best shows on the Strip (The Blue Man Group), a fantastic pool area, and the free tram to Aria, Vdara, Crystals, and the Bellagio. It’s not as luxurious as the Bellagio or as hip as the nearby Cosmopolitan, and the rooms are definitely showing their age (read: shabby), but they’re clean, which is the most important thing to me. I also really enjoyed how compact the casino is. While it had everything I wanted and needed in a Vegas resort, it was also easily walkable, not a vast sprawling monster that takes up three city blocks. The addition of the new BLVD Plaza and new restaurants at the front of the casino have only added to its appeal. My only complaint about it (other than the shabbiness of the rooms) is the smokiness of the casino. It can get pretty bad sometimes. If you’re visiting Las Vegas on a budget, this resort should be on your shortlist. You can read my full Monte Carlo review here.

The Orleans

The Orleans Hotel and Casino is located on West Tropicana a little over a mile west of Las Vegas Boulevard (the “Strip”). It is a part of Boyd Gaming Properties, which own Orleans, Gold Coast, Sam’s Town, Fremont, California and Main Street Station in Las Vegas. Although the Orleans is off-strip, there is a free shuttle that runs until 2:00 a.m. from the Orleans to Bill’s Gambling Hall on the strip, then to the Gold Coast and back to the Orleans. This is an excellent option for people staying here who want to visit the strip during the day or early evening.

I have stayed in the Orleans three times in the last five years, all of those as a solo traveler. My last trip there was in early December, 2010 at a time when the National Finals Rodeo was in town and over the weekend when the Rock and Roll marathon was to be run. My room this time, as the others, was neat, clean and nice, but not as ostentatious as some on the strip.

The rooms at Orleans are a bit larger than many strip properties. Amenities in the room included a hair dryer, coffee maker, iron and board and an in-room safe. The door has a locking bar. The bathroom is pretty standard with a tub/shower combination. The water closet and tub/shower are separate from the sink/vanity area. There is no real closet, but, rather, an area by the sink/vanity to hang clothes and to place a travel bag on the rack. In-room internet access is for a fee. My room was neat and clean and I had no complaints. Maid service was good each day.

The hotel area is down a hallway past the liquor store, gift shop, etc. to the elevators. In my trips there, there has always been a security person at the elevator location to check room keys of people going upstairs. The property has numerous dining options, including a 24-hour coffee shop with good food at reasonable prices, a very decent and reasonably priced buffet, the notable Prime Rib Loft, Big Al’s Oyster bar, TGI Fridays and others.

Overall, the Orleans is a very good option for people who don’t want or need to stay in the touristy area. The rooms are very reasonable in comparison to strip properties, there are good food options, live entertainment (weekends) in Brendan’s Pub, a bowling alley and a movie theater. There is free wifi access at Java Vegas Coffee on the casino floor level. The general attitude is very laid-back and friendly. I have always felt very relaxed and quite safe while there.


I’ve stayed at the Palazzo twice now, and I’m going to go on record as saying that it is the nicest hotel I’ve ever stayed at–not just in Las Vegas, but anywhere. All rooms are suites. My suite was bigger than the apartment I lived in for 9 years before I bought by condo. It had all sorts of cool things like automatic drapes and shades at the window, flat panel TVs everywhere (including the bathroom) and its own fax machine. I felt very comfortable as a solo at this hotel. The staff was terrific. The pool scene had the relaxed vibe I was looking for, and there are dozens of dining and entertainment choices in both Palazzo and its sister hotel, the Venetian. Do eat at the bar at the Grand Lux Cafe; they’ll treat you right there. Security checks room keys at the elevators all day, every day. You can read my full review of my stay at the Palazzo here.

Planet Hollywood room (yes, they’re very dark)

Planet Hollywood

Planet Hollywood has a hip, Hollywood vibe going for it, along with a slew of great restaurants either in the resort or the attached Miracle Mile shops; great lighting and background music in the casino; and one of the best locations on the Strip–right across from the Cosmopolitan and Bellagio. The bed was comfy, the room stylish, and the bathroom was very large, with two sinks–and I was in the most basic room type. One thing I didn’t care for was how dark the rooms and the lobby were, but I am nightblind, so I may notice that more than most people. Also the room safe was too high in the closet for me to reach, and I’m not that short. Still, I loved my stay here and would gladly stay again. I just really like the vibe of this place. Read my full review of my stay at Planet Hollywood here.

Treasure Island

I’ve had some good stays at Treasure Island. (The most recent was several years ago.) I would choose the Mirage over TI any day of the week, but when I’m on a budget, it’s a good option. It has a terrific location on the Strip, next door to both the Mirage and the Fashion Show Mall; across the street within easy walking distance are the Venetian, Palazzo, and Wynn/Encore Resorts. Like Ballys, it’s not the most exciting casino resort out there (especially when it comes to dining), but it’s not like you can’t eat and play somewhere else. There are multiple in-house restaurants of varying price ranges, and a Cirque du Soleil show, Mystere). The property is clean and the rooms are nice enough. I liked that each elevator only serviced certain floors, so getting an elevator was usually pretty quick. Some people think the pool area is small, but I thought it was more than adequate and nicely landscaped. I’m not crazy about some of the changes owner Phil Ruffin has made to restaurants here in the past few years, but that’s just personal taste.

The Tropicana

I stayed at the Trop in the fall of 2011 and have mixed feelings about it. I thought the rooms and the grounds were terrific. If your primary purpose for your Vegas vacation is lazing around the pool, this is a good choice. The casino was a little lacking, the restaurants sucked, and the location is pretty darned far south on the Strip, making it a bit of a hike to get anywhere else if you don’t have a car. But God bless them, the owners of the Tropicana are constantly making changes to improve the property, and I’ve got to give them props for that. If something’s not working, they get rid of it and try something new. They’ve gone through a number of clubs, shows and restaurants since I stayed there. Now they’ve announced plans to add on to the hotel, bringing it closer to the Strip and featuring retail and dining options. I look forward to seeing how that works out. No one checks room keys at the elevators here, but I felt perfectly safe as a solo female traveler.

For a more complete picture of what Las Vegas hotels have to offer, be sure to check out their individual websites and read other traveler’s reviews (and view traveler photos) at sites like Raveable and TripAdvisor.

Seeking Contributions from Vegas Solo Travelers:  If you have stayed as a solo traveler at a Vegas hotel that is not already listed here, I’d love to hear from you about your experience!  Please use the contact form to send me a brief write-up of what you thought of your hotel.  Did it have a solo-friendly atmosphere?  Did you feel safe?  Were there plenty of things to do and dining options?  Who would you recommend it to?

Where should you stay on your next Walt Disney World vacation? This can be a tough decision to make with so many on-property and off-property hotels. Luckily for you, we’ve stayed at all the Walt Disney World Property Hotel and several off-property hotels and are willing to share our sorta-unbiased opinion of them all in our Disney World Hotel Reviews. What you take from these reviews is up to you but each one includes photos of the resort and rooms, the positives and negatives of each and the best place to book for the best price. While we love the fastest and easiest way to any theme park from a resort hotel, we also enjoy a good room for some sleep and relaxing. These two things and price are weighed heavily in our reviews of each hotel. This page is updated frequently as we add new hotels and experiences (last updated March 7th, 2019).

Remember that all our Disney World Hotel Reviews come from personal stays over the last several years. Our most recent stay was at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge in Feb of 2019. If rooms or hotels have undergone a refurbishment or change, we try and stay there once these have been completed to give you a better review and understanding of these changes.

One last thing we want to point out is that Walt Disney World Property Hotels offer lots of benefits compared to most off-property hotels. This includes:

And that’s just to name a few. What we’re getting at is that we’re huge fans of staying on property and would highly recommend it to anyone. Below you’ll find some quick reviews of each hotel where we briefly talk about the pluses and minuses of each hotel. For a more in-depth review simply click on the link to read more.

Lastly, we’re not an average rating system like you would find on Priceline or Tripadvisor. We’re a family that travels with (and without) young kids. We’re going to give you our most honest opinion about each hotel. You may disagree with us which is fine. You may have more experience than us at a certain resort which is also fine. We’re also DVC owners at several resorts, some we love and some we don’t. We’ll be honest about those too. On the flip side, we totally understand that there are people out there who care more about room comfort and resort amenities because they spend more time at the hotel. There are also people who only need a bed and a bathroom and spend the rest of their time in the parks. We say “you do you!”

And one more thing: You’ll notice that we can hard on the Walt Disney World busing system. While we understand it’s currently the easiest solution to getting all their guests around, we hate the line waiting and inconsistency of the buses. We highly recommend taking an Uber or LYFT around to the parks from your hotel which is what we do. Read all about it and get free ride promo codes for your next vacation!


All-Star Movies Resort Review (Value Resort) – We’re not big fans of the All-Star Value Resort Hotels just to start you off. The rooms are small, the resorts are big (if you don’t have a preferred room you may be walking quite a distance to your room, you can only get 2 doubles or 1 kind, no queen beds and the busing system is not great. This resort tends to get skipped a lot because it’s the last stop of the 3 All-Star Resorts and if the bus is full, see ya later. The theme is fun for kids and the pools are okay. It is the oldest of the 3 All-Star Resorts and in our opinion, you can tell. Its strength is pricing. Depending on the season you can get rooms for less than $100 per night.

All-Star Music Resort Review (Value Resort) – You’ll find that our reviews of the All-Star Resorts are pretty much the same. They share many of the same weaknesses as they do strengths (which is really only one in our opinion). These are the resorts for guests who just want to hit the parks hard all day every day and then sleep somewhere semi-comfortable at night, all while spending not a lot money. Of all the All-Star Resorts, this one is our favorite for the theme and the fact that you can get family suites here. The busing system is not as bad at All-Star Movies, it’s the 2nd stop for buses so you will usually get on a bus though there may already be several people on it.

All-Star Sports Resort Review (Value Resort) – Last but not least in the All-Star group is Sports. Anyone out there who loves sports more than music and movies, this is the place for you! The biggest thing this resort has going fr it over the other two is that it’s the first stop for all buses. You’ll get freshly arrived buses with your picking of seats. You most likely will not have to stand during your ride to the theme park or water park. The rooms here are the same as they are at Movies including the fact that you can only get 2 double beds or 1 king bed. We always suggest getting a preferred room at these resorts so you’re closer to the lobbies and bus stations.

Pop Century Resort Review (Value Resort) – This is probably our favorite Value Resort at Walt Disney World. We love the theming of the hotel, it’s not quite as old as the All-Star Resorts and it has access to the over-popular Art of Animation Resort next door. The busing system is not bad for Pop Century, having its own dedicated buses without sharing with another resort. The food court here is good and like we said before, many of the rooms here are close enough to the Art of Animation Food Court which is our favorite place to eat out of all the Value Resorts. It’s biggest downside is that it’s pretty big and spread out. Get a preferred room here.

Art of Animation Resort Review (Value Resort) – By far this is the most popular value resort mostly because of its theming and the fact that it’s the newest of all the value resorts. We do recognize that families like this resort because it’s based around family suites but we’re not fans of them. Taking a room and saying it’s a family suite because you can register more guests in the room than a normal room doesn’t erase the fact that these rooms are only slightly bigger than regular rooms and that sleeping on a sofa bed and chair isn’t that comfortable. We’d rather have 2 queen beds and a daybed than a room like this. Whew! Glad we got that off our chests. Outside of the rooms, the pool is really cool and the busing system isn’t bad either. The food court here is the bomb, serving up some delicious foods for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Disney World Hotel Reviews are lots of fun!


Caribbean Beach Resort Review (Moderate Resort) – It’s been a while since we’ve stayed here and we’ve been meaning to go back (at the same time we don’t). This moderate resort is massive and like Pop Century, it’s very spread out. This makes the busing system not great. This is the oldest of the moderate resorts so it tends to have bigger rooms. The price difference between this resort and a Value Resort isn’t much, thus people tend to “upgrade” to this resort. It’s certainly not our favorite Moderate Resort, the food court is okay and the theming is fun? We’re not quite sure about it but the kids don’t mind because of the pirate-themed rooms. This resort has recently gone under a major refurb so you may be lucky enough to sleep in a newly renovated room (we haven’t yet). We probably won’t until the new Disney Skyliner is finished which will service this hotel. This will improve the busing system here we think and make this hotel a bit more valuable.

Coronado Springs Resort Review (Moderate Resort) – This resort has always been towards the bottom of our list for hotels to stay in. The rooms and houses were old. After arriving the first time we stayed here I kept thinking we must be the only ones out here and there’s no way they fill this place up. It kind of felt like we were staying out in the boonies. While that feeling is somewhat still there (book a preferred room), the rooms have now been renovated and are a big improvement over the old. This resort is just about to open a brand new tower hotel with new dining and entrance which we’re really excited about. Guests can stay in this new tower starting in late spring 2019. We’ll be honest, this new addition and the renovations that they’ve done is going to put this Moderate Resort at the top of our list. The pool area is really fun with a massive pyramid and the busing isn’t bad. Beware though that this hotel is a convention hotel and tends to house lots of business guests.

Port Orleans French Quarter Resort Review (Moderate Resort) – This was the first Moderate Resort that we stayed at and we loved it! We really felt immersed in the French Quarter theme here from the time we arrived till we left. From the houses that have your room to the streets that you walk down, everything felt authentic. The resort is small compared to every other Moderate Resort which makes for a great stay. The busing system is easy considering there is only one stop for the entire resort. Our other favorite thing about this resort is the boating system from the resort to Disney Springs. This is a must do. Enjoy a relaxing ride down the river to Disney Springs where you can enjoy a great meal, shopping and entertainment. Boats come every 15 minutes or so and continue until after Disney Springs closes. Disney World Hotel Reviews can be very helpful!

Port Orleans Riverside Resort Review (Moderate Resort) – This is the sister resort of French Quarter and is right next door. We’ve only stayed here once and it was to try out the newly remodeled Royal Guest Rooms which are a lot of fun. Much better theming than the standard rooms and better views and locations as well. The layout has a pretty decent spread which makes for longer walks if you don’t have a preferred room. This also affects the busing system which has multiple stops. The atmosphere is fantastic here and is currently our recommended Moderate Resort for anyone who’s never stay in this category before. It tends to be a bit less expensive than French Quarter. This resort also includes the boating system to Disney Springs which we love.

Cabins at Fort Wilderness Resort Review (Moderate Resort) – Love the great outdoors? Fishing, boating and living among the trees your thing? Then this is the place for you! The cabins are pretty nice and can hold a larger family (not too large). They actually do a good job at making you feel like you’ve rented a cabin (which you have). It’s homey and outdoorsy. It’s one of the most unique feelings at Walt Disney World considering you’re staying at the largest resort in the world. Plus Magic Kingdom is right across the lake! Stays here are great but be aware that the busing system isn’t.


BoardWalk Inn Resort Review (Deluxe Resort) – This is far and away our favorite Walt Disney World Hotel for several reasons. It’s why we bought into Disney Vacation Club to begin with. This hotel has so much to offer guests! Our biggest reason for loving this hotel is location. We are true fans of walking to theme parks; anything to avoid the buses. From BoardWalk you can enjoy a leisure stroll to Epcot and be there in 5 minutes. If you want to walk to Hollywood Studios you can in about 10 minutes. If you’re not big on walking, you can take ferry boats! If you are going to take the buses anywhere BoardWalk does have a single stop for the entire resort which is great because it’s not that spread out. So busing really isn’t that bad (they do sometimes stop at Swan and Dolphin Hotels but it depends on the park and how packed the bus is). You have complete access to the Boardwalk Entertainment District right outside your room which we love! Tons of shopping, eating and nightly entertainment (be sure to check out Coney Island Chris). It’s a great place to stay for families and couples!

Beach Club Resort Review (Deluxe Resort) – This would be our second favorite hotel for many of the same reasons as the BoardWalk Resort. You can walk to two theme parks or take ferry boats to both (although going from the resort hotel to Epcot would be a waste of time). You also have access to the Boardwalk Entertainment District which offers tons to do. Beach Club is also home to our favorite Walt Disney World ice cream shop, Beaches n’ Cream! We dare you to try the kitchen sink here (bring at least 3 other people with you). If you don’t have reservations which we highly recommend they do have an express counter. The lobby and dining here is fantastic. You’ll notice that one you get up into Deluxe Resorts they don’t really have food courts, it’s mostly restaurants. Busing is shared with its sister resort Yacht Club next door but we think it’s as good as it gets when it comes to busing. Oh ya, the pool here is also our most favorite pool at Walt Disney World!

Yacht Club Resort Review (Deluxe Resort) – This is the sister resort of Beach Club and shares many of the same amenities including restaurants and the pool. As we mentioned above, the pool is our most favorite of all Resort Hotel pools. It’s a sand pool with water slides, waterfalls, tubes, a small river and more. The pool is massive and is one of the most secured pools at Walt Disney World because so many people try to get into it. You have to be staying at either the Yacht Club or Beach Club to use it. Cast Members will scan your MagicBands to verify. We like the rooms at Yacht Club a bit more than at Beach Club (Beach Club is older) and they feel very spacious and homey. From the Yacht Club you can walk to Epcot and Hollywood Studios or take the ferry boats. Busing is shared with Beach Club but works great. It’s the first stop along the route which is always nice. Disney World Hotel Reviews are the best!

Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort Review (Deluxe Resort) – While not our favorite resort hotel (mostly due to its location) we love the atmosphere here! What could be better than walking out onto your patio and seeing exotic animals like giraffe and rhinos?! The cool thing about this resort is that no matter what type of room you have, you can be around some awesome animals within a few minutes of leaving your room. The resort is actually split into two houses, the lodge itself is called Jambo House. Most of the restaurants are located here as well as the biggest shop. The strange thing about this place is that it’s the second stop for buses even though it houses most of the guests. Overall the busing isn’t too bad here though getting to other parks than Animal Kingdom take a decent amount of time. Busing is really your only option here for everything. They have some great amenities here for families including an activity center that our girls love. If you’re looking for a great swimming experience, head over to Kidani Village!

Saratoga Springs Resort Review (Deluxe Resort) – We’re still surprised that this resort is a Deluxe Resort and not a Moderate Resort. We think it’s because its a DVC resort that it remains this way. We’re not big fans of Saratoga Springs for several reasons. The busing system isn’t great and there are lots of stops, especially if you’re staying at a Treehouse Villa. The resort is massive and spread out like nobody’s business. It can take you a good 10 minutes just to walk to the lobby for some houses. While the grounds are nice and there are several pools, the resort is older and in need of a remodel. The only place you can really walk to is Disney Springs which is nice. For everything else you’ll need to bus. As far as food goes, none of the restaurants here stand out. In fact, most of the time we head over to Disney Springs because there are a lot more options there.

Treehouse Villas Resort Review (Deluxe Resort) – We separate this from Saratoga Springs Resort because we feel like it’s in a totally different class. The Treehouse Villas are really really cool and a great place to stay for larger families. Like the Cabin at Fort Wilderness, you’re completely surrounded by trees with a river running by. You leave the mass tourism world behind when you come home to one of these villas. The shape and design of them are really cool too. They include full kitchens and plenty of space for sleeping and lounging. We would encourage you to bring a car if you’re staying here. The busing system is awful! You have to take a bus from the Treehouse to the main Saratoga Springs stop, get off, then wait for your actual theme park bus to come. It can add an additional 15-20 minutes to your trip. Otherwise, enjoy the peace and quiet!

Disney’s Contemporary Resort Review (Deluxe Resort) – Any Magic Kingdom fans out there? This is THE place to stay if you love spending most of your days at Magic Kingdom Theme Park. Many guests only dream of staying here while a few have. We love this ressort for many reasons but mostly for its Monorail access. It’s one of the coolest looking hotels at Walt Disney World and part of that is because of how the Monorail comes in and out of the hotel. It’s a quick ride to Magic Kingdom of the other resort hotels nearby plus you can get to Epcot from here via Monorail as well. If you don’t mind a quick walk you can also get to Magic Kingdom this way with a very short security line. Dining options are great here and the busing isn’t bad when you need it. The pool is okay, not our favorite. The hotel is pricey too which one should consider. Disney World Hotel Reviews help plan better vacations!

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort Review (Deluxe Resort) – It’s one of the older resorts at Walt Disney World and to us it still kind of shows. It’s caught back in the older Hawaiian culture with nothing new to share. We do love the Monorail that stops here and all the great restaurants it offers (try the Polynesian French Toast for breakfast). It offers great views of the lake and Magic Kingdom which is nothing to complain about. There are plenty of activities to do here as a family and its home to Trader Sam’s which we love for a night-time drink. Guests can also get dole-whips here which is very awesome and very unique. The busing here is okay, it’s not great as it is shared. Prices for rooms are also high here.

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Review (Deluxe Resort) – Probably one of the cooler and more unique Deluxe Resorts available. If your an outdoors group who loves being surrounded by trees with tat lodge feel, this is your resort. This is probably one of our favorite places to stay during the Holiday season. They dress this place up so cool and it really feels like a family Christmas. Our girls love the tree that they put every year. The grounds are amazing and a great place to take a run or walk through. You have close access to Magic Kingdom and a boat option. It’s not super spread out which we like. The restaurants are fantastic and offer up lots of great foods to try. A lot of people pass this place up but we think it’s a steal, especially at its price point which is usually lower than the other Deluxe Resorts near Magic Kingdom.

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa (Deluxe Resort) – If you’re looking for the ultimate Disney experience while you’re at Walt Disney World (and the priciest) this is your hotel. Get immersed into the magic from the time you arrive till the time you leave at this Victorian-style hotel. That being said, this place it expensive, like really expensive. We don’t think you’ve ever get your monies worth personally though it does offer some great amenities. It’s on the Monorail line for quick access to Magic Kingdom. It has lots of great places to eat including our favorite Floridian Cafe for breakfast. Busing is shared with the Polynesian next door which makes it a little less great but not too bad. The rooms used to be older but were recently updated and are much more enjoyable.


If you’re not familiar with Villas at Walt Disney World or other Disney resorts, here’s a quick overview. Villas are part of Disney Vacation Club and for the most part are used by DVC members. However, a select portion of rooms can be rented by anyone whether you’re a DVC member or not. Villas offer a more homey experience for guests as everything 1 bedroom and up included a full kitchen, dining area and living space. Studios are smaller than standard rooms and include a wet bar. Villas are especially nice if you like to cook your own meals or for longer stays.

BoardWalk Villas Review (Villa Resort) – We would say the same thing about this resort as we would in our BoardWalk Inn review above. It offers all the same amenities, dining and entertainment…just on the other side of the resort. Rooms were recently redone but still lack something. We can’t put our finger on it but this is still our highest-rated resort at Walt Disney World. It’s a fantastic stay!

Beach Club Villas Review (Villa Resort) – We stayed here after their refurbishment and enjoy the rooms much better than the old ones. We stayed in a 1 bedroom villa which we enjoyed; the 4 of us had plenty of space. Of course all the amenities are the same as if you stayed at the Beach Club except you have access to laundry for free. Enjoy a very short walk to Epcot and a quick boat ride to Hollywood Studios.

Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort Review (Villa Resort) – We think DVC got smart with this resort. We find it a better stay than at the Contemporary Resort mostly because the rooms are better. It connects to the main building of the Contemporary Resort via a skybridge and still gives guests access to the Monorail. The Top of the World Lounge is also a really cool place to hangout and watch the fireworks from Magic Kingdom. Guests staying here will notice that it’s very close to Magic Kingdom. It’s a very short walk there.

Animal Kingdom Lodge – Kidani Village (Villa Resort) – Like the Animal Kingdom Lodge – Jambo House, this place is part of the Animal Kingdom area. Its sister house is home to more standard rooms than villas whereas Kidani Village is all villa rooms. We love the pool here more than at Jambo House and it’s much more quiet here too. You still get to see lots of animals as you roam around the grounds. It has the same ups and downs as Jambo House does when it comes to busing.

Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa (Villas Resort) – You may see a pattern here when comparing Villas to Deluxe Resorts; they are essentially the same except for the rooms. We actually like the rooms here a bit more than we do the standard rooms. They are spacious and new. All the other amenities are rated the same as the Grand Floridian Resort.

Polynesian Villas & Bungalows Review (Villas Resort) – These additions to the Polynesian Village were much needed and have made stays here much better in our opinion. We love the rooms, they feel new because they are. They are spacious and have some great amenities with them. The Bungalows are positioned over the water and hold bigger parties. We don’t think the price difference is worth it however. They can be spendy! Great views though of Magic Kingdom and the lake in general.

Old Key West Resort (Villa Resort) – This is the other all-villa DVC Resort at Walt Disney World. If we’re being honest, it’s also our least favorite. However, long-time DVC members who own here love it so we won’t bash it to hard. It’s spaced out and old. The food offerings are okay and the busing system is about the same. We think you can do much better elsewhere personally. We only stayed here once and that was enough for our lifetime (unless they do a renovation or add-on).

Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa (Villa Resort) – This resort is a Deluxe Resort and a Villa Resort so we would rank everything the same. Technically this resort is all Villa but it also falls into the Deluxe category for Disney. Rooms are older and the whole resort is spread out.

Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Wilderness Lodge Review (Villa Resort) – It’s one of the most expensive Villa Resorts to stay at at Walt Disney World, but the luxury of these villas and cabins far surpasses any villas throughout the resort. We were lucky enough to rent both a 1 bedroom villa and a cabin, both of which were amazing. Their amenities are modern and up to date. You still feel outdoorsy even with modern design which is hard to do. The rooms are nice and big and offer great views of Wilderness Lodge Resort. There are two pools close by and all the same dining options as the Wilderness Lodge has to offer. If you’re looking to go all out for your family vacation, we think this is the place to do it, especially during the Holidays.

Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Review (Villa Resort) – These are the older villas at Wilderness Lodge but still offer some great stays. They are less expensive than Copper Creek Villas and aren’t in the same area but they still share the same amenities including pools, dining and transportation. You can always take a boat to Magic Kingdom theme park from here or buses to the other parks. This has become a popular stay among DVC members over the years but some have left to go to Copper Creek. We highly recommend visiting during the Holidays. You’ll also find that the pricing is very reasonable for what you get.


Some of these hotels are actually on property and some are just off property. Recently Disney has included some to take part in the special offerings that property hotels have to offer including Extra Magic Hours and 60 days advance FastPass+ booking. These hotels can be cheaper than Disney-owned hotels and some can be far more expensive. Over-all, we actually love many of these hotels and frequent them often.

Swan and Dolphin Hotels Review (Deluxe Resort) – We actually really like these two property hotels that are managed by the SPG/Marriott group. They are located in the same area as BoardWalk, Beach Club and Yacht Club but are usually much less expensive. While the resorts themselves are centered around conventions, they are still a great option for those who like to be close to the parks including Epcot and Hollywood Studios. The rooms are a bit dated and we don’t like the resort fees they charge each night but for the price we still think they are worth it. Both hotels offer lots of places to eat too and the pools are pretty decent. The busing system is okay and is shared between the two hotels and sometimes BoardWalk Inn. Because they are managed by the SPG/Marriott group, if you have membership points with them you can use them to book rooms here which is always a plus.

Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort Review (Deluxe Resort) – Like any Four Seasons Hotel this place is pricey. It’s price range is typically higher than any Disney-owned hotel. If money is not an issue and you have a sophisticated taste for luxury, this is your resort. One of the things we love about the Four Seasons is the massive water park they have for families. It’s actually really cool and our girls love playing there. They also have a free kids camp that your little ones can enjoy It’s definitely one of those resorts that you can spend the whole day at and take a break from the parks. Don’t have kids? Enjoy a relaxing dip at the adults only pool and jacuzzi. There’s actually underwater audio in the pool which is really cool. The busing system is great, no complaints. We’re just scraping the surface of this hotel but we highly recommend it!

If you’re interested in more Disney planning be sure to see our other guides including What To Pack For Disney and how to purchase Discount Disney World theme park tickets. You can also read up on our land guides including Pandora – World of Avatar and Toy Story Land.