We recently spent a few days at the Caribe Royale, an all-suite hotel and convention center during the tail end of Spring Break for many elementary public schools. We don’t usually travel at this time of year to places that are family oriented because we are not big fans of crowds.
This hotel is popular with families but it also hosts conventions (hence the name) so its main focus is not children at all times of the year.
The hotel is conveniently located in the Lake Buena Vista area so it is close to Disney theme parks and downtown Disney. A free shuttle runs from the hotel to the parks daily but a taxi to Epcot was under $20. The rooms are well-appointed with two flat screen TVs and all the rooms are suites so you have a separate sitting area, which is great when you have an early riser who wants to watch cartoons. Our room was on the 10th floor and was nice and quiet. There is a fee for internet service (which I never understand).
TIP: I recommend Tower II because it has the coffee bar in the lobby where you can grab drinks and light breakfast foods.
Since we were heading to the Disney Yacht Club Resort later in the week we wanted to enjoy all that the hotel had to offer (really just relaxing by the pool). There is an excellent gym, which we completely avoided. The grounds of this property are well kept and the pool is large and has a lovely waterfall, a small waterslide and a hot tub. During busy times like Spring Break it can get a bit crowded and hard to find deck chairs so you need to get down to the pool early.
TIP: You might find empty deck chairs in front of the resident parrot’s cage. There is a reason for this! Every once in a while the bird squawks very loudly scaring the pants off of anyone sitting in front. He is a pretty bird though.
We did not rent a car for our trip so our options were limited. The hotel has a few restaurants on site that range from cafeteria style to fine dining. We went one night to its steak house, which had good food and there was no wait. For more casual dining but good food we went to a Mexican restaurant in the plaza across the street where there was also a basic sushi restaurant next door.
TIP: it is a busy street to cross so if you have lots of children you should drive (seems silly but is safer).
The Bottom Line:
We had a good time during our short stay. This is a moderately priced four star hotel although I suspect that lots of families get a good deal when they stay through various promotions. The hotel is comfortable and conveniently located. The other guests were a laid back group and friendly. Our daughter made lots of friends at the pool and had a great time. When your children have fun, you can relax.