Just south of Orlando, the city of Kissimmee offers dozens and dozens of hotels within easy driving distance of Disney World and Universal Studios. Here are our favorites.

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Embassy Suites By Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista Resort

Orlando, Central Florida, Florida, United States

The 334-room Embassy Suites by Hilton Orlando/Lake Buena Vista Resort makes an excellent base for exploring area theme parks, and offers free shuttle service to Disney World, which is a 10-minute drive away. The family-friendly resort with plenty of activities for guests of all ages, including indoor and outdoor pools, a water park, spa, and fitness center plus organized kids' activities and a cooked-to-order breakfast. Guest rooms are two-room suites with kitchenettes, but their neutral tones, dark furniture, and white walls are typical chain hotel, and have little distinctive character. 


Polynesian Isles Resort

Kissimmee, Central Florida, Florida, United States

In addition to its convenient location near Disney World, Universal Studios, and SeaWorld, the upper-middle-range Polynesian Isles Resort also gets bonus points for its 130 units with island vibes. The condo-style accommodations have more personality than the average Orlando-area hotel (including the corporate-looking rooms at Embassy Suites), plus they have full kitchens and washer/dryer combos, as opposed to Embassy Suites' in-room kitchenettes and common laundry area. The grounds are beautifully landscaped, with facilities like basketball, tennis, and mini-golf. However, Polynesian lacks Embassy Suites' programmed kids' activities, game arcade, and free Wi-Fi (free Wi-Fi is only available in Polynesian's public areas), and there are no on-site dining options or daily housekeeping.


Galleria Palms Hotel

Kissimmee, Central Florida, Florida, United States

Galleria Palms Hotel is conveniently situated within a five-minute drive of the entrance to Disney World, home to Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom Parks, Epcot, and more. The hotel offers a free shuttle to the Universal, Sea World, and Disney theme parks several times throughout the day and night. Galleria's 118 rooms are clean and modern, with mini-fridges, microwaves, coffeemakers, and free Wi-Fi (unlike Polynesian Isles). The hotel is low on style and amenities, but it does offer, in addition to free shuttle service, an outdoor pool with lounge chairs, small fitness center, and free continental breakfast including hot and cold items.


Royale Parc Suites

Kissimmee, Central Florida, Florida, United States

Just a mile from Disney World, Quality Suites Royale Parc Suites is a 224-room hotel with a New Orleans theme. Family-friendly features include a spacious pool deck with a hot tub and a children’s pool, a playground, picnic area, and arcade the rooms. Rooms aren't as nice as the ones at Embassy Suites, Polynesian Isles, or Galleria. However, they can sleep up to 10 people, and all units feature flat-screen TVs with premium channels and kitchenettes with mini-fridges, coffeemakers, tableware, dishwashers, double-burner stovetops, and microwaves. Like Galleria, Quality Suites offers free Wi-Fi in the rooms. In general, though, the rooms need renovating, and many cosmetic repairs are needed on the hotel's interior, exterior, and parking lots.


Parkway International Resort

Kissimmee, Central Florida, Florida, United States

This 144-unit condo resort is in an area populated with hotels that cater to theme park visitors, and is within a 15-minute drive of Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, and SeaWorld Orlando. The on-site restaurant and eateries within walking distance are convenient, but families looking to take advantage of the full kitchens will need their own transportation to the supermarket, as there isn’t one within walking distance. The nature walk and swimming pool -- with kids' wading area -- are nice touches, along with the tiki-style poolside restaurant. While rooms are clean and comfortable, the slightly jungle-tinged decor could use an update. That said, room rates are a good value for the area, especially considering each unit sleeps up to six people (Quality's two-bedroom suites offer enough space to sleep up to 10 people comfortably).


The Berkley, Orlando

Kissimmee, Central Florida, Florida, United States

Lighthouse Key Resort and Spa is conveniently located for vacationing families in an area dotted with tourist-type gift shops, hotels, and restaurants. Disney World is just over five minutes away by car, and the hotel offers a free shuttle to the Universal, Sea World, and Disney theme parks. The mid-range property has 80 well-maintained (if dated) condo-style suites with two, three, or four bedrooms, as well as full kitchens, living and dining areas, and covered patios. The hotel has a large heated outdoor pool, as well as a separate lap pool and whirlpool. The fitness center, small arcade, billiards, small movie theater, and spa ensure that the whole family will keep busy. The hotel doesn’t provide a free breakfast (Embassy Suites, Galleria, and Quality Suites all do), and there’s no full restaurant on-site.


Saratoga Resort Villas

Kissimmee, Central Florida, Florida, United States

The 125-room Best Western Premier Saratoga Resort Villas offers a slightly different spin on the typical Best Western hotel chain. The property is marketed as a resort, and charges a resort fee. Its villas include multiple bedrooms and full kitchens, but no private washer/dryers, like at Lighthouse. Best Western does have a game room and pool, like Lighthouse, but no spa or movie theater. Room prices are relatively low when compared with the nearby Embassy Suites, but Embassy Suites is a few minutes closer to the parks and offers more perks, such as free breakfast, happy hour, and no resort fee.


Tropical Palms Resort and Campground

Kissimmee, Central Florida, Florida, United States

Tropical Palms Resort and Campground is a calm, tiki-style property off highway 192, within a 10-minute drive to Disney World. The mid-range property has 150 units as well as RV hookups. The air-conditioned cottages come with full kitchens, wood floors, and patio seating. But they are older, and some bedrooms are small. There are two pools, a poolside restaurant, and fitness center, plus well-landscaped green space throughout the property -- including mini-golf. Free Wi-Fi is available only at designated hot spots (it is free throughout the Best Western), and there is shuttle service (for a fee) to the theme parks. 


Star Island Resort and Club

Kissimmee, Central Florida, Florida, United States

The three-pearl Star Island Resort & Club has an enviable position near Disney World in a quiet, secluded area surrounded by lakes and tropical landscaping, just off of Interstate 4. Its many resort amenities include a full-service spa, tennis complex, and expansive pool area. The 466 condo-style suites have kitchens, but pedestrian furniture shows signs of age and housekeeping is weekly. One major downside is the lack of a restaurant and breakfast, though there is a full grocery store and snack bar on-site. Star Island offers attractive rates but there are no restaurants or attractions within walking distance (Tropical Palms guests can walk to Old Town restaurants), and no on-site restaurant.


Orbit One Vacation Villas

Kissimmee, Central Florida, Florida, United States

The mid-range Orbit One Vacation Villas is off highway 192, with Disney World, Epcot, SeaWorld, and Universal Studios all within a 15-minute drive. The condo community consists of 116 two-bedroom/two-bath units with fully equipped kitchens and washer/dryers. There are sports courts and lovely outdoor pools, one with a water umbrella and kid-friendly slides, but the condos have a dated tropical decor, along with stained carpets and worn sofas. More downsides are a mandatory daily resort fee (parking and Wi-Fi are free at Star Island) and no on-site restaurant.


Liki Tiki Village

Kissimmee, Central Florida, Florida, United States

Dotted with lakes and wildlife, the area around Liki Tiki Village offers families the opportunity to fish or boat when they are not at Disney World (a 10-minute drive away). The large gated resort has 638 one-, two-, and three-bedroom condos, perfect for families willing to ignore the outdated tropical furnishings -- and a timeshare sales pitch. Like the rooms, the resort's facilities -- two heated pools, two hot tubs, a children's water play area -- could stand a renovation. Liki Tiki lacks the playground found at Orbit One, but it has similar tennis and basketball facilities, plus mini-golf and sand volleyball.


Clarion Suites Maingate

Kissimmee, Central Florida, Florida, United States

Clarion Suites Maingate is a 150-room mid-range property that's ideal for families looking to enjoy a theme park vacation without busting their budgets. The free shuttle to theme parks and proximity to restaurants makes it a convenience choice -- albeit not a luxurious one. Room rates, which include free breakfast and the use of sofa beds, are a good value for the area. Travelers seeking a grown-up getaway may want to consider staying someplace more upscale, such as the Embassy Suites Orlando - Lake Buena Vista South, which offers more pizzazz (at a higher price point, of course).


Comfort Inn Maingate

Kissimmee, Central Florida, Florida, United States

The Comfort Inn Maingate is a 197-room two-and-a-half pearl hotel that could be a good value for travelers who appreciate convenience, and don’t mind the occasional disappointment, such as peeling paint, or questionable smells. The free shuttle to theme parks and shopping, as well as the bunk beds, appeal to families, and the rooms are spacious. Rates are very reasonable for the area, especially when you factor in free Wi-Fi, parking, and breakfast. However, those who would rather steer clear of potential problems may prefer to stay at the nearby Clarion Suites Maingate, which offers most of the same amenities.