Eleven of our publishers traveled to beautiful Orlando in early September to spend three days enjoying the one-of-a-kind sights and theme parks in Orlando. But they mostly raved about their incredible stay at Meliá Orlando Celebration, where they celebrated the hotel's 11th anniversary.
"I have a short and specific list of criteria I use when searching for the ideal hotel in Orlando, and Meliá Orlando Celebration checks every box," raved Melissa Basgall, the publisher of Macaroni KID Kansas City - Leavenworth, Kansas.
Macaroni KID publishers were hosted for the purposes of writing reviews. All opinions are their own. Click on the town names below to read more about their experiences at Meliá Orlando Celebration.
Here are 10 reasons our publishers will stay at Meliá Orlando Celebration again:
1. The perfect location
Located in the quaint and charming Disney-planned town of Celebration, Meliá Orlando Celebration is just 5 miles from all of the Disney action and less than 20 minutes from Universal Orlando, Sea World, and Icon Park. And, with free and easy parking and free shuttles to the parks, it makes the ideal home base for any Disney vacation.
—Ashley Cass Morse, publisher of Macaroni KID Palm Beach Gardens - Jupiter, Fla.
2. The pool
While we enjoy the parks, we also like a good day off from them. There’s nothing better than waking up knowing you have nothing to do that day besides sit poolside and watch the kids play.
Meliá Orlando Celebration has an amazing pool that’s great for all ages and every season. It’s a 360-degree Vanishing Edge pool, and one side is zero-entry which is great for toddlers. The pool is climatized, so moms like me, who are resistant to cold pools, will be sure to enjoy it, too.
There’s also a giant television poolside for watching football games while enjoying a margarita or floating in the pool.... Meliá Orlando Celebration brings the fun with pool floaties, giant beach balls, water aerobics, and more poolside fun each weekend.
—Melissa Basgall, publisher of Macaroni KID Kansas City - Leavenworth, Kansas
3. Rooms with space to breathe and cook
My ideal Orlando hotel room has its own mini checklist. For me, the must-haves are a balcony or patio, a bedroom that’s separate from the living space, and a full kitchen.
The mornings and evenings are beautiful in Florida, and I love sitting outside and sipping a cup of coffee before everyone wakes up, or enjoying a glass of wine after my kiddo has gone to bed. A bedroom that's separate from the main living space is key to my sanity.
If your family is anything like mine, they’re loud, messy, and come with a ton of baggage — literally. Having the bedroom separate is nice when the adults want to stay up later, or the kids are acting crazy and you need a little P&Q.
—Melissa Basgall, publisher of Macaroni KID Kansas City - Leavenworth, Kansas
4. Specialty suites that will make your jaw drop
Luxury room layouts accommodate guests from any lifestyle: Couples, business travelers, large families, and more.
In addition to their standard, spacious rooms and suites, they have a number of specialty rooms available: The Family Grand Suite has living room, two bedrooms, and sleeps up to 8 guests, the Fitness Suite includes a dedicated Peloton or Mirror Fitness area, and the Wellness Suite by Stay Well is designed to rejuvenate your mind, body, and spirit.
—Amy PerezVelasco, publisher of Macaroni KID Elberton, Ga.
Worth the splurge
If wellness and exercise are important to you, this is the place to be!... I had the opportunity to try out the Mirror Room, and it's worth every cent. The Mirror has over 100,000+ classes on demand to meet your exercise goals. I got to try out restorative yoga there. I assumed it was just another piece of equipment; it was more than that! It helps me maintain the correct posture, and I love that it helps guide me to get the pose correctly. The other special room they have is their Wellness room which has a Vitamin C shower to help keep your hair silky and your mood on point.
—Tamika Mapp, publisher of Macaroni KID Harlem, N.Y.
5. All the conveniences of home
Let's face it, on vacation I'm not aiming to do laundry or prep meals, but when it comes to traveling with children, sometimes you need the option to do one of them, or even both.
The suites at Meliá Orlando Celebration offer the perfect-sized kitchen area that can serve as a place to make a quick breakfast or store snacks and drinks for your adventures.
Meliá Orlando also has on-site laundry areas — we all know that traveling and adventuring with kids has the potential to get messy. When those Mickey Bars drip or that BBQ gets the best of you, it's nice to have a suitable option for cleaning up the laundry after all that family fun. Having the option to do a load or two of laundry might mean less to pack too, which can make traveling with little ones even easier.
—Jen Anderson, publisher of West Chester, Pa. Macaroni KID
6. Nonstop fun
Let's talk entertainment! Meliá Orlando Celebration features a large 360-degree Vanishing Edge heated pool with a zero-entry point for the little ones. As a mom, I love that I could soak in the hot tub on the pool island and still be able to see my kids no matter where they are in the pool. And we all loved that it was open from 6AM to 11PM — it's the perfect way to unwind and relax after a full day at the parks.
There are lots of activities poolside, including lawn games like a giant Connect Four board, cornhole, miniature golf, and ping pong tables, plus basketball hoops in the pool and inflatables during the weekend. For the sports enthusiasts, there is also a beach volleyball court and mini soccer field.
Don't be shy! Join in a dance party, attend a water aerobics class or test your luck by spinning the giant prize wheel — you could win a free ticket to Universal Studios!
Weekends are a special time at the resort with fun themed pool parties, concerts, movie nights, car shows, and more. It was 80's weekend during my stay and the festivities lasted all day and into the night, with break dancers, stilt walkers, a live band, a surprise visit from Captain America, and a neon glow party at night.
—Denise Granata, publisher of Macaroni KID Bradenton, Fla.
7. Yummy meals
Food — do I need to say more? PHENOMENAL is the best adjective I can use, honestly. The Meliá Orlando Celebration just opened a brand new trendy, high-end restaurant, The Wilson. They take a “where the coast meets the curb” menu approach. Featuring fresh seasoned ingredients from local farms and purveyors that highlight modern interpretations of new American classics.
The breakfast and brunch menus were not only beyond delicious, but beautiful too. The hearty selections offer that metabolism boost one needs before heading out for the day at a local park. During my stay, I was able to try a wide variety of foods, and none of them disappointed me.
—Jennifer Ercoli, publisher of Macaroni KID Lafayette, La.
Fun kids' menu!
Not only do they have a super fun kids' menu that includes items called "I'm Not Hungry" (Chicken Finger dinner) and "I Don't Want That" (Grilled Cheese Dinner) they also have an entire Wilson's Dog Menu with steak, chicken, or a burger for your fur-bestie.
—Lisa Williams, publisher of Macaroni KID Pittsburgh - City
8. Dog friendly
This is Charlie. He told us he enjoyed his stay at Meliá Orlando Celebration.
Kids and grownups aren't the only ones who can have fun here! Meliá Orlando Celebration is a dog-friendly hotel with a dog park to accommodate pet owners while on vacation. There is even a doggy menu to order from and spoil your favorite pup!
—Jenna Slade, Macaroni KID Saugerties - Catskill - Hudson - Rhinebeck, N.Y.
9. Friendly staff
The first thing I noticed about the Meliá Orlando Celebration was the friendly staff. Everyone was smiling and greeted me any time I was near, from the check in counter to a staff member passing in the hall. The positive atmosphere was contagious! I felt so uplifted from the moment I stepped in the door.
Even getting a flat tire on my car didn't bring down my spirits, because Carrie from Meliá Orlando helped me with that too!
—Betsy Wooters, publisher of Macaroni KID Citrus, Fla.
10. Cleanliness is a priority
I am a self-admitted germaphobe, and I loved the priority Meliá Orlando Celebration has put on cleanliness and sanitation. All public areas and the rooms were impeccably clean. Unlike a lot of hotels these days, staff cleaned the room both in the mornings and at night during turn down service.
And the best part in my book: Meliá uses a large robotic UV machine to sanitize rooms after each guest leaves. The machine disinfects all surfaces throughout the rooms. Meliá is proud to be the only hotel in the Orlando area to use one of these machines, and it certainly made me feel even more comfortable.
—Laura McElwain Colquhoun, publisher of Macaroni KID Pasadena-Severna Park-Glen Burnie, Md.