A stay at the new B Resort near Downtown Disney feels more like a South Beach vacation than a visit to amusement park central.
The experience starts in the white, marble-floored lobby, with its relaxing waterfall and signature white-tea-and-thyme scent, and continues in high-style rooms, glammed up in navy, white and silver, and outfitted with spa showers.
The South Florida ambiance comes naturally to the 394-room hotel, which opened in June; its sister hotel is b2 miami downtown near Bayfront Park, and until its name was changed earlier this summer to Sonesta, there was a B Resort in Fort Lauderdale.
Orlando’s B Resort is plenty sleek but doesn’t take itself too seriously.
In rooms facing the zero-entry saltwater pool, siblings can fight over who gets the top bunk. Guests entering all rooms are greeted by Benson B Frog — a plush version of a Florida Gopher Frog — available for adoption at checkout.
And a tray of $5 Theo chocolate bars, cotton candy and Cracker Jack awaits midnight snackers left unsatisfied by the Jelly Belly jelly beans on their pillows.
This, too, will make guests sleep easier: Both valet and self-parking are available on site, and free shuttles ferry guests to Disney parks.
Originally opened in 1972 as the Royal Inn, over the past year, B Resort was redone top to bottom. “This wasn’t a renovation,” says general manager Keith Wolling. “It was a redevelopment.”
B Resort adds “affordable luxury” — and an in-house Aveda spa! — to the Disney mix, he says. Rates start at $116.
And while Downtown Disney’s myriad dining options are within walking distance, B Resort is home to American Q, serving barbecue from the Carolinas and Kansas City, Tennessee and Texas, as well as Central and South American versions of the same.
The restaurant’s showpiece: a cherry-red, 1950s flatbed truck that holds sides, salads and skillets of cornbread.
“Barbecue is one of those items that everyone has a love affair with,” says Jerry Parquette, director of food and beverage. “You don’t have to be a foodie to know if you’re having good barbecue.”
And you don’t have to go to South Beach to enjoy a luxurious getaway.
▪ B Resort & Spa: 1905 Hotel Plaza Blvd., Lake Buena Vista;888-66B-HOTELS, BResortLBV.com. Rates from $116.