For our trip to Hawaii to celebrate our 20th anniversary, our first task was getting there. From the east coast of the US, that’s no small feat. Even with a five-hour time change on your side, flights going west to meet Hawaii connections always leave very early in the morning. For us, that meant a 7 AM flight from Orlando to Los Angeles on Delta.
While we could have stayed home the night before, it would have meant waking up at 3:30 AM to drive to the airport, park at our favorite off-property lot, catch the shuttle and check in for our flight. Not exactly the way we wanted to start off our big anniversary trip to Hawaii.
I offered Sharon the option of staying at the airport the night before (since our dog would already be with her friends at the kennel). This would give us an additional 60-90 minutes of sleep and there’s a big difference between waking up at 3:30 AM and waking up at 5 AM. I’ve never stayed at the Orlando Airport Hyatt Regency before but Sharon was given a room there by Continental Airlines many years ago, during an exceedingly long flight delay.
Not to say we’ve never visited the “hotel” before because we did eat at one of the hotel’s restaurants during Orlando Magical Dining Month.
The Hyatt Regency at Orlando Airport is a World of Hyatt category 3 property and would be a great place to use my free night certificate from our World of Hyatt credit card. However, I was near my account anniversary date and wasn’t sure if I’d receive my free night before the since it can take up to 10 weeks for Chase to put your free night in your account. Instead of hoping my free night certificate would show up in time, I transferred 12,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards to my World of Hyatt account to book the room.
In what would be the case of the worst timing ever, my free night hit my account 1 day before our stay, which was just outside the cancellation policy of the hotel. Oh well, we’ll figure out somewhere else to use our category 1-4 free night
Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport
9300 Jeff Fuqua Blvd
Orlando, FL 32837
The Hyatt is located 1 floor above the main terminal level and can be reached by elevators or escalators located between the two TSA checkpoints. You’re dropped off at the main desk of the hotel. We were checking in rather late in the evening, after I got off from work, and the desk was empty. They did have a dedicated World of Hyatt member lane but there was no need to use it.
The desk agent promptly checked us in. The hotel sent me an email before our stay and I informed them we’d be arriving late and leaving early the next morning. Somewhat surprisingly, the agent congratulated us on our anniversary. I hadn’t mentioned it in my emails to the hotel [Note from Sharon: I used Open Table to make our dinner reservations at one of the hotel restaurants for that night, and I’m pretty sure I mentioned it there. Maybe they figured it out that way?].
She said we had a room on the 9th floor, which we could reach with the elevators in the lobby. We headed up to our room.
The first thing we discovered was that the Hyatt was full of long hallways. Very, very long hallways.
While I’ve been to MCO countless times, I’d never been up to the floors of the Hyatt. My first impression was the hotel was much larger than I imagined. I’d always thought it was only the rooms that overlooked the atrium.
While these are a large number of the rooms, there are also rooms on both wings that look outward. Along these wings were additional atriums that looked down to the fourth floor. That’s where our room was located.
As we walked along, I looked at Sharon and asked her, “We’ve lived here almost 20 years. Did you know all of this was even here?!?!” Our outward-facing room with a deck was definitely an upgrade over the base level room I booked, which I didn’t ask for or expect since we were paying with points.
Let me say that next to the TWA Hotel, this was one of the nicest airport hotel rooms we’ve ever stayed in. It definitely beat this Courtyard at JFK, which was absolutely terrible.
The first thing we noticed was that the hotel left us a “wedding cake” made of towels, which was a great way to start off the trip.
Our King Bedroom was large and smartly furnished. There was a large couch [Note from Sharon: That was a loveseat, dear] next to the bed.
On the opposite wall was a huge TV.
On the far end of the room was a decent-sized desk, fridge and a randomly placed safe.
One additional bonus of having an outside room was having a deck. It gave us a great view of the airport tower and parking garage.
There were some chairs and a table, if you wanted to hang outside and watch the planes land on the runways on either side of the airport.
The room was up to date with the newest tech, as there were motion sensor nightlights under the bed, as well as a clock in the bathroom mirror [Sharon: HOW DO THEY DO THAT?!?!?!] and another sensor nightlight under it.
Ever so slowly, Sharon and I have started warming up to Hyatt. I don’t think we’ll ever stay there enough to become World of Hyatt Globalists but it’s possible to like the chain even if you’re not a top-tier member.
There are very few instances where we’d have to spend the night at Orlando Airport since we live less than 30 minutes away. However, if I ever book an early morning flight I’d definitely look to stay at the Hyatt Regency MCO again.
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