The four-pearl Las Palmeras, a Hilton Grand Vacations Club caters equally to leisure and business travelers, and is located across from the Orange County Convention Center, just 10 minutes' drive from SeaWorld. All of its 315 spacious, modern rooms have private furnished balconies, kitchenettes, and furnishings that were updated in 2016. There's no spa, but the outdoor pool and hot tub are set in a pretty brick sundeck. Dining options are limited as there's just one restaurant serving Italian cuisine, but there are both a lobby and poolside bar. The resort and parking fees, plus the hotel's lack of a spa are notable downsides. Travelers looking for more amenities need not look farther than the nearby Hilton Orlando, though rates are a bit higher.
Formerly the The Westin Orlando Universal Boulevard, the hotel changed hands in 2016 to become the Las Palmeras, a Hilton Grand Vacations Club with a repainted exterior and updated rooms (plus a renovated pool area set to follow in 2017). Public spaces and rooms mostly lean heavily on a neutral-tone palette, with elegant decor accents. The airy lobby has thick wooden columns, a couple of contemporary seating arrangements, and lots of open space around the front desk. Fiorella's restaurant has a similar color scheme, but adds a few bright colors of art on the walls, and it has outdoor seating arranged around fire pits. Once a more prominent business hotel, the guests are now a mix of tourists and convention center visitors, thanks to the on-site pool and free shuttles to theme parks. The overall atmosphere is relaxed and quiet.
Across from the Orange County Convention Center's North/South Concourse
The hotel is situated across from the North/South Concourse of the massive Orange County Convention Center on Universal Boulevard. Universal Boulevard runs parallel with International Drive, a 14.5-mile road parallel to Interstate 4 that's packed with hotels, strip malls, outlet shops, and restaurants. There are no notable tourist attractions within walking distance, but both SeaWorld and Universal Studios are about a 10-minute drive. Downtown Disney is about 20 minutes away by car or the hotel's free shuttle. Downtown Orlando is also about a 20-minute drive, with a notable dining and nightlife scene along Orange Avenue. Expect a 20-minute drive to Orlando International Airport. Self and valet parking are available for a pricey fee.
Large modern rooms with balconies and kitchenettes
The hotel's 315 studios, and one- and two-bedroom suites are some of the largest rooms in the immediate area, and were updated with contemporary furnishings in 2016. The upscale neutral-tone design features wood floors, dark wooden furniture, and beige or white seating. Pops of color come from pretty blue-and-green artwork. All rooms come equipped with private furnished balconies and sitting areas with tables. Studios have kitchenettes stocked with dishes, mini-fridges, microwaves, and coffeemakers. Suites add separate living areas with sofa beds and kitchenettes stocked with dishwashers, full-size refrigerators, and two-burner stovetops. They also have two flat-screen TVs (55-inch in the living rooms and 50-inch in the bedroom), versus just one in Studios. Two-bedroom suites have two bathrooms, and some add full kitchens. Bathrooms have walk-in showers, Peter Thomas Roth toiletries, and hairdryers.
Outdoor pool and hot tub, Italian restaurant, two bars, and free shuttle
Though not extensive on child-friendly facilities and lacking a spa, Las Palmeras has a lovely brick sundeck featuring a freeform pool and adjacent hot tub. They're surrounded by manicured lawns with plenty of comfortable loungers and umbrellas, plus there are a ping-pong table, cornhole game, and some covered seating along with a poolside bar. Inside, the lobby bar functions as a coffee spot serving Starbucks in the morning and afternoon, before transitioning into a cocktail bar in the evenings. Fiorella's is the sole restaurant, with a focus on Tuscan cuisine and a matching wine list. It also has seating on a nice outdoor terrace with gas fire pits. The bright fitness center has big windows looking out onto the pool, as well as modern cardio machines, free weights, and a weight trainer. A meeting room can accommodate 105 guests and a business corner has a pair of computers and a printer. The hotel operates daily shuttles to the big theme parks (such as Disney World, SeaWorld, and Universal Studios), but not to the airport. The resort fee covers Wi-Fi throughout and use of amenities.
Customers Who Viewed Las Palmeras, a Hilton Grand Vacations Club Also Viewed