Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress Resort Continues to Set the Standard

By Derek Duncan, Contributor

ORLANDO, FL -- When it opened in 1984, the grandiose 750-room Grand Cypress Resort was easily the most luxurious and fully equipped single-site hotel in Orlando. As soon as it went up the impressive monolithic tower, situated on 100 acres near the north entrance to Disney World, looked regally down on all other hotels in the city.

In 2002 not much has changed: Grand Cypress arguably remains the most impressive resort and hotel in Central Florida. While it’s since been joined by newer and even larger hotels, at last measure Grand Cypress still set the standard in corporate and leisure service, no small feat in a market that resembles Las Vegas more each year.

Like all great resorts Grand Cypress attempts to make life as relaxed as possible. From shuttles that continuously run guests to all of its on- and off-site attractions – including Disney World, Sea World, and Universal Studios – to a full range of restaurants and lounges, the resort stops at nothing to provide service at every turn.

The amenity list is staggering. The half-acre oasis pool with waterfalls, water slides, a full service beverage bar, and a health club tucked beneath the caverns of a rock and garden formation, is world famous. There is a beach on Lake Windsong that offers sailing, canoeing and tiki huts with hammocks, a 9-hole pitch and putt course, and even an equestrian center.

Inside, the grandeur and scale of the Hyatt Regency is staggering. The 18-story floor-to-roof atrium gives the hotel a huge, airy life. The Oriental art that populates the interior and exterior gardens, abundant flora, and even talking birds, all make a vivid initial impression.

If it weren’t for the sunshine, the golf, or the world’s largest amusement park next door there wouldn’t be any need to leave the hotel’s comforts.

The food is outstanding, starting with La Coquina, the resort’s fine dining restaurant. It’s complimented by the more casual Cascade where most will take their breakfast and lunch, a swank steak and seafood outlet overlooking the sprawling pool known as Hemingway’s, and the old school, club-like White Horse Saloon just off the lobby. Both the White Horse Saloon and Hemingway’s double as a lively late night drinking and cigar smoking bars.

Of course it might be the golf that’s most impressive. The two Jack Nicklaus-designed courses, the traditional North/South/East nines and the one-of-a-kind New Course, are must-plays for anyone wanting Orlando golf at its best. Together they’ve represented the tops that the city has to offer in conditioning and presentation for almost two decades.

The courses are located on 1,500 acres one mile north of the hotel and are accessed by a continuously running courtesy shuttle. Grand Cypress also offers one of the more highly regarded practice centers in the Academy of Golf just off the East course, where more than one tour professional has been known to hone his or her game. Together with the 45 holes of golf and full-service locker room, there’s little more a guest could want in a golf vacation.

All in all Grand Cypress Resort is as fine as it gets in Florida, for both resort golf and amenities. Its list of hotel awards is so long it’s almost embarrassing, but includes a 4-Star Mobil Travel Guide rating and recognition as one of the “Top 75 Golf Resorts In America” by Golf Digest.

Location

From I-4 in south Orlando exit at Lake Buena Vista (exit 68) and drive west. The resort will be visible on the left after .5 miles. Turn left on SR535 – the resort entrance is on the left.

Rates

There are a variety of overnight and extended stay golf, tennis, recreational, and leisure packages for the Hyatt Regency, starting at $219. Golfers may want to camp at the Villas of Grand Cypress, a beautiful complex of one- to four-bedroom abodes surrounding the North/South/East courses. The villas come in various floor plans and are ideal for extended stays. Rates range from $215 a night for a one bedroom to up to $1,880 for a top of the line four bedroom. Rates are applicable through the end of 2002 and are based on season. Call 1-800-835-7377 for more information.

Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress Resort
One Grand Cypress Blvd.
Orlando, FL 32836
407-239-1234
800-835-7377
www.grandcypress.com

Derek DuncanDerek Duncan, Contributor

Derek Duncan's writing has appeared in TravelGolf.com, FloridaGolf.com, OrlandoGolf.com, GulfCoastGolf.com, LINKS Magazine and more. He lives in Atlanta with his wife Cynthia and is a graduate of the University of Colorado with interests in wine, literary fiction, and golf course architecture.


Reader Comments / Reviews Leave a comment