Caribe Royale Orlando Rating: 4.0 Pearls
International Drive, Orlando, Florida

Oyster Review Summary

Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators

Pros

Cons

  • Daily fee for Internet access
  • Decor in lobby and public areas slightly dated and generic
  • None of the standard rooms has a balcony
  • Fee for valet parking

Bottom Line

This affordable, 1,218-room convention hotel a five-minute drive from the Walt Disney World theme parks is a great value for families on a budget. The overall decor is a little dowdy, but guests who don't need high-design get large suites, good dining variety, and features like an enormous pool and a two-story fitness center.

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Oyster Hotel Review

 Scene

This giant business-focused hotel has its own convention center, but also big rooms and loads of amenities that cater to families.

Sprawling 150,000 sq. ft. convention center
Sprawling 150,000 sq. ft. convention center

Like many of the large Orlando resorts, the Caribe Royale thrives by drawing conventioneers in large numbers and supplementing business-centric offerings with family-friendly features. Although the Caribe Royale isn't as secluded or exclusive as the Ritz-Carlton or JW Marriott Grande Lakes and lacks the dizzying array of amenities of the Marriott Orlando World Center, it's more affordable than the Ritz and the JW, and much smaller and easier to navigate than the enormous Marriott. All told, it's a solid value pick, particularly for families.

Like those other three mega-resorts, the Caribe Royale has its own convention center on the property (in this case a sprawling 150,000-square-foot convention center), so many guests are there for business. Still, leisure travelers have plenty to do at the resort. A massive pool with a waterfall and waterslide, a two-story fitness center with great equipment, a spa, four on-site restaurants, and tennis and basketball courts round out the offerings. The hotel's rooms are all large suites with separate living areas and pullout couches, providing plenty of space for families. Free shuttle service to Disney World two miles down the road and various shopping centers doesn't hurt either.

For family travelers who want to avoid the crowded bustle of similarly priced Disney theme hotels like Port Orleans French Quarter or Wilderness Lodge, the Caribe Royale delivers better on-site amenities and a slightly calmer atmosphere, plus comparable access to the theme parks. There are some caveats, though. The service is average, and slightly bureaucratic. Lines can form at the front desk during check-in and checkout, and there aren't many bellmen or valets on hand at the entrance. With the exception of the award-winning but expensive Venetian Room, the on-site restaurants serve relatively bland food. The Tropicale's breakfast buffet has limited variety, and the 24-hour Cafe Largo serves basic, cafeteria-style meals and snacks.

 Service

Middle-of-the-road with little personal attention -- which is what you'd expect from a large mid-range hotel

The concierge desk, run by Expedia
The concierge desk, run by Expedia

Service at the Caribe Royale is about what you'd expect from a huge hotel with few luxury pretensions. There are valets and bellmen at the entrance, but they don't snap to attention every time a new car pulls up to the door. The concierge desk, run by Expedia, cheerfully points guests to restaurants in the area, but primarily focuses on getting theme-park tickets and helping with transportation to area attractions.

  • No hotel-run concierge; instead there's a resort ticket desk run by Expedia Local Expert Concierges, a separate company.
  • Bell desk open 24 hours
  • Free shuttle that runs direct to all major Disney World parks -- Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Epcot, Animal Kingdom and Downtown Disney (with night service available to here)
  • Free shuttle to Orlando Preimium Outlets -- Vineland Avenue and the Lake Buena Vista Factory Outlets
  • Room service available 24 hours
  • Full-service business center offers shipping, faxing, document preparation

 Location

A Five- to 10-minute drive to Disney World on World Center Drive, a divided highway dotted with large hotels and occasional chain restaurants

There isn't much right nearby the Caribe Royale. Next door lies its sister hotel, Buena Vista Suites. Across the busy divided highway of World Center Drive, there's a small strip-mall complex with a Mexican restaurant and a sushi bar, but there isn't anything else of interest within walking distance. Be prepared to drive if you're heading off-site.

  • Five-minute drive to Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom parking lot, followed by a 15-minute ride on a tram and monorail to the park itself; similar commute to Animal Kingdom, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios
  • Free direct shuttle transportation to all major Disney World parks -- Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Epcot, Animal Kingdom and Downtown Disney, which runs based on park hours; service to Downtown Disney is also available at night.
  • Free direct shuttle service to the Orlando Premium Outlets — Vineland Ave and the Lake Buena Vista Factory Outlets
  • 10- to 15-minute drive to International Drive, a 14.5-mile road parallel to Interstate 4 that's lined with hotels, strip malls, outlet shops, and restaurants. In the middle of this stretch is the Orange County Convention Center, the second largest convention center in the U.S.
  • 10- to 15-minute drive to SeaWorld Orlando
  • 15- to 20-minute drive to Universal Studios theme parks
  • 20-minute drive to Orlando International Airport
  • 20- to 25-minute drive to downtown Orlando

 Rooms

Every room is a suite with separate living space, and all are outfitted with up-to-date amenities.

Living room in The Standard Room
Living room in The Standard Room

Renovated in April 2009, the rooms are a major reason the Caribe Royale is such a good value. Standard rooms are all large suites with separate living areas; the standard suite is 450 square feet and deluxe suites are 600. The decor is a little drab, and the bedding is mediocre, but up-to-date amenities like two big high-def flat-screen TVs and clock radios with inputs for MP3 players help make up for those shortcomings.

  • Beds lack name-brand, high-thread-count sheets, but are still adequately comfortable with duvets, polyester-fiber pillows, and reasonably comfortable mattresses.
  • None of the standard rooms has a balcony.
  • 42-inch flat-screen TV in living area, 37-inch flat-screen in bedroom -- both with on-demand movies and premium channels like HBO, Disney Info Channel, and NFL Network
  • Clock radios with MP3-player plug-ins
  • Daily fee for in-room Internet access; the hotel says it has both wired and wireless, but I couldn't get the wireless system to work.
  • Bathrooms with tub showers, generic bath products, and cotton-poly towels
  • Deluxe suites have bigger desks and deep whirlpool bathtubs.
  • Two-bedroom villas have full kitchens, large bathrooms, screened-in porches; all villas share exclusive access to a separate pool from the main hotel pool.

 Features

Above-average pool, great fitness center, two game rooms, basketball and tennis courts: a great variety and quality for the price range

Fitness center features lots of up-to-date equipment
Fitness center features lots of up-to-date equipment

Although the Caribe Royale's facilities don't match up with those at the pricier Ritz (which has its own 18-hole golf course) or the much-larger Marriott Orlando World Center (which has four pools -- one indoors), there's still a lot here to keep guests of all ages occupied.

 Family

With a load of features, large rooms, and kid-friendly food, the Caribe Royale is great for families.

Kids will love the 75-foot waterslide
Kids will love the 75-foot waterslide

The Caribe Royale is a great value for families. It lacks the services and facilities of a luxury resort -- no kids' club, for example -- but its affordable standard rooms are one-bedroom suites with pullout couches, and there's plenty of kid-friendly dining.

 Food

A wide range of options, from a no-frills deli to award-winning fine dining

Breakfast at Tropicale
Breakfast at Tropicale
  • Venetian Room: Triple-A four-diamond restaurant serves continential cuisine; open for dinner.
  • Tropicale: Serves American food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner; Inexpensive but mediocre breakfast buffet features a waffle station
  • Cafe Largo: Deli with no seating serves sandwiches and snacks; open 24 hours
  • Calypso Bar & Grill: Poolside bar with frozen drinks and basic pub fare; open for lunch and dinner
  • Java’s Coffee Café: serves fresh brewed and specialty coffee drinks, ice cream, freshly baked cookies and muffins.
  • Parrot Isle Lounge: Fairly standard hotel lobby bar; no food, but guests can have room service delivered to the bar

 Cleanliness

Pretty darn clean

Although the rooms and public areas seem a little drab because of the nondescript decor, I couldn't spot any specific cleanliness issues in the hotel -- renovations have kept everything hygienic.

 Bottom Line

This affordable, 1,218-room convention hotel a five-minute drive from the Walt Disney World theme parks is a great value for families on a budget. The overall decor is a little dowdy, but guests who don't need high-design get large suites, good dining variety, and features like an enormous pool and a two-story fitness center.

Things You Should Know About Caribe Royale Orlando

Address

  • 8101 World Center Drive, Orlando, FL 32821

Hotel Is Also Known As...

  • Caribe Royale
  • Caribe Royale Orlando All Suites Hotel & Convention Center
  • Caribe Royale Orlando Hotel

Room Types

  • Deluxe King Suite
  • Standard Double Queen Suite
  • Standard King Suite
  • Two Bedroom Villa

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Nearby Hotels to Consider

Nickelodeon Suites Resort
Marriott Orlando World Center Resort
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Hotel Features

Number of Rooms: 1338
Pool: Yes
Fitness Center: Yes
Spa: Yes
Internet Access: Yes
Cribs: Yes
Jacuzzi (in room): Some
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Hotel Information

Location: International Drive, Orlando
Address: 8101 World Center Drive, Orlando, FL 32821
(See Map)
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