A few weeks ago, my family had a chance to spend a weekend at Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress resort in Orlando. My husband’s cousin has taken her kids there a few times, and they all enjoyed it. So, when I happened to have two Hyatt renewal certificates with no specific plans to use them, I figured we might as well burn them at this resort. Hence, we made plans to meet her family, so the kids could play together.
I also decided to bring a relative along and book two separate rooms. That way, my husband and I could have a break while my elderly MIL was taking care of the kids. But she said she was happy to do it, so I guess that makes it OK. During check-in I specifically asked for rooms that are NOT connected.
At the time of booking, this resort was a Category 3 and cost 12k points per night. So, I used a total of 24k Hyatt points+ 2 Hyatt certificates from our credit cards. Unless you are Globalist, parking costs extra ($26 per day).
I wouldn’t call the resort a spectacular bargain via points, but it’s a very nice place I’ve wanted to visit for a long time. Plus, we live only 1.5 hours from this resort. So overall, it was a relatively cheap vacation.
There are many reviews of this resort written by fellow points bloggers (Google is your friend). I wanted to do something a bit different in this post by highlighting the pros and cons.
Keep in mind, it’s currently a Category 4 and costs between 12k-18k Hyatt points per night, depending on the season. If you come during spring break or major holidays, you will obviously pay the most. Cash rates start at $250 per night (including taxes and resort fees), so using points will almost always be a better deal.
1) It’s a resort in a true sense of the word
Let’s face it, the term “resort” is overused these days. It seems that if a hotel plants a few trees at the entrance and adds a pool, all of a sudden it claims to be some sort of Shangri La. Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress ain’t like that. This is a real oasis in the middle of hectic Orlando.
A lot of work and effort must go into maintaining this place. There are many pathways leading to Koi ponds, surrounded by trees and flowers.
It really is a lovely, serene environment. Well, when you don’t have your kids running around and screaming, that is. But this is Orlando, so if you don’t like children, you probably shouldn’t come here in the first place.
The resort fee (waived if you use points or certificates) covers the use of kayaks and paddle boards, plus a few other water contraptions.
There is also a golf course if you are into this sort of thing.
2) Amazing pool area
If you have young kids, this is probably the number one reason you should consider this resort. The star attraction is the huge pool with caves and waterfalls in the middle that my son absolutely loved.
I would say this is the best pool we’ve ever come across in our travels so far. We stayed here in July, and there were plenty of loungers available. The resort was sold out at the time, so I imagine that you won’t have an issue finding a place to sit. There is also a smaller pool that has a slide.
My cousin-in-law rented a cabana (we contributed), which came with complimentary Sangria wine. Delicious!
3) Relatively affordable cost compared to other Hyatt resorts
There aren’t that many Category 4 Hyatt resorts in the United States these days, especially in popular vacation spots. The fact that you can get a room for $95 all-in (the cost of renewal credit card certificate) is pretty cool. It’s hard to argue with that kind of value.
The cost via points isn’t that bad either, especially if you are traveling during busy season.
1) If you prefer smaller/boutique resorts, this isn’t the place for you
I realize this comes down to personal preferences, but there are some drawbacks to staying in such a large place.
Getting on an elevator almost always required waiting in line. Buying something at the resort’s convenience store also took awhile because there were people lined up constantly. It wasn’t a huge deal, and it didn’t really detract from the experience that much. Still, it’s something you should be aware of.
It also took awhile to get a table at their Lakeside restaurant, even though we had reservations. Btw, the food was very good, if a bit on expensive side. We did use Uber Eats (my referral link, get $20 off your first order) for several meals. This saved us a good bit of money.
My husband is not a fan of huge resorts, so this wasn’t his favorite place to stay. However, he said he would gladly come back because the kids liked it so much.
2) There is no lazy river and the large pool is (usually) unheated
Again, this is not so much a complaint, but rather a personal preference. I really enjoy resorts that have a lazy river, and so do my kids. Of course, we were fully aware that this place doesn’t have this particular amenity, and booked it anyway.
But my point is, Orlando is filled with resorts that happen to have a lazy river. Some are relatively affordable. See Nancy’s review of Hilton Buena Vista Place and my review of Holiday Inn Club Vacations Orlando-Orange Lake Resort.
Also, while the big pool is super-duper awesome, it’s unheated most of the year. This wasn’t an issue in July, but would definitely be a problem in the winter. I’ve seen quite a few complaints about it on TripAdvisor, so make sure you check on resort’s latest policy.
I believe they do turn the heater on sometimes, but it’s not consistent. If you aren’t able to use the main pool, your kids will likely be disappointed. Mine would be.
One more note on the pool area: There is no zero entry, which is a con if you are traveling with very small kids.
3) The rooms are relatively small and rather basic
Again, not a big deal, but something to keep in mind. If you are looking for something a bit less generic, the rooms will likely disappoint. Plus, sharing one room with kids isn’t ideal, to say the least. Keep in mind that there is no microwave.
I will say, the beds (queen and full) were quite comfortable and had soft sheets. And the rooms were clean, functional and had plenty of storage space.
But this place will not win any room decor awards, right? Of course, if you are Globalist and happen to have a suite upgrade, your experience will likely be different.
Since the resort was full, we didn’t get an upgrade to a better view. But it didn’t really matter since we spent most of our time at the pool.
I recommend you bring a noise machine since there are kids running in the hallways late at night. But this is an issue at any resort in Orlando.
Overall, I would say the cons are relatively minor. In fact, I was aware of what we were getting into, and would go back to this resort in a heartbeat. The key to enjoying any vacation is doing your research ahead of time and having reasonable expectations. My kids loved hanging out with their cousins, and my husband and I enjoyed some alone time in a separate room. That’s a rarity, and something I really appreciate.
We didn’t go to Disney parks, and stayed on property. Really, if you are mostly looking for a place to sleep, you may want to save your Hyatt points and look elsewhere. There are plenty of affordable condos close to Disney parks that will give you more space for less money. But if you have some Hyatt certificates you need to burn soon, Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress is a great option.
How does my family travel so much? We use miles and points from credit card bonuses. See my Travel Hacking 101 post as well as current credit card offers here.