Grown-Up Hotels in Disney World

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A team of Oyster reporters slept in the beds, ate in the restaurants, tested the service, and lounged by the pools at 11 Disney World hotels, all with an eye toward selecting the most distinguished properties. In a town that revolves around kids (and kids at heart!), it can be hard to find hotels that offer peace and quiet. If you're headed to Disney on an adults-only trip, below are our favorite hotels for a (somewhat!) grown-up experience.

  • The Grand Floridian, Disney's crown jewel, is expensive but equally elegant. The upscale restaurants, full-service spa, and formal d├ęcor at this deluxe resort appeal more to adults than children, and its prime location on the monorail and the Seven Seas Lagoon makes it one of the most conveniently located. A throwback to Florida's grand old Victorian-style seaside resorts, the Grand Floridian has standard rooms that are among the largest -- and most lovely -- of any Disney resort; renovated in 2007, rooms still feel fresh and new with wood trim and linens in soft, beachy colors. Tennis courts, a jogging trail, boat rentals, and a well-equipped fitness center add to the grown-up appeal.

  • Made to look like Atlantic City in the 1940s, the relatively subdued Boardwalk Villas rests beside a glittering stretch of great restaurants, bars, and carnival games on scenic Crescent Lake, within walking distance of Epcot and Hollywood Studios. Boardwalk Villas is home to some of Disney's best restaurants (like upscale Mediterranean restaurant Kouzzina), the area's only nightlife, and even some art galleries. The hotel offers a great gym, a pool just for adults, and some of Disney's best suites, which are more like upscale condos. The service here is among the most attentive within Disney resorts

  • This pastel-colored time-share property with apartment-style rooms offers the comforts of home in a calm, peaceful setting that's not too far from the parks, crowds, and craziness of Disney. And while other Disney resorts feel either too small and crowded or too grand and difficult to navigate, Old Key West's size feels just right -- 761 studios and large, kitchen-equipped condos, a great gym, and numerous pools all set in a beautiful, riverside setting. Plus this pretty, suburban village-like resort offers plenty of adult-friendly features for free, including an up-to-date fitness center, a sauna, and three tennis courts.

  • Designed like an old town on the Mississippi Delta, the huge, 2,048-room Riverside is one of Disney's best Moderate-category hotels. Its guest rooms aren't as new as those at Coronado, but its more central location and beautiful (even romantic) setting makes it a great, mature pick for the price. The riverfront scenery includes plantation-style mansions set amid bayous, rustic-looking wooden shacks, and meandering, magnolia-lined paths along the riverside. Port Orleans a popular choice among couples who find tranquility riding in a horse-drawn carriage or peddling two-person bicycle carts.

  • Although its Riverside neighbor bests it in some ways (it offers a full-service and more scenic grounds), the pastel-colored, Mardi Gras-themed French Quarter has the benefit of being half the size (1,008 rooms versus 2,048), which means it can provide adults with relative peace and quiet in the mornings and evenings. Both of the Port Orleans properties mellower and more relaxing than most other moderately priced Disney resorts.

  • Coronado Springs, a 1,961-room resort near Animal Kingdom, caters to both vacationing families (Mayan-temple pool and waterslide) and visiting conventioneers (quiet pools, business center, Wi-Fi). Plus, its rooms are among Disney's best, especially in the "Moderate" category, given that the 2009 renovation brought down comforters and flat-screens.

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