- Celebration, Florida is an Orlando suburb and charming town originally owned and designed by The Walt Disney Company as a place for avid theme park fans to live in a resort-style community.
- The resort casual lifestyle is still upheld even though it’s no longer owned by Disney, and best observed at my favorite hotel in the area, the Bohemian Hotel Celebration, Autograph Collection, which I find to be cheaper and more relaxing than staying on-site at Disney.
- Hotel prices start at $158 per night for Marriott Bonvoy members for a standard King or Queen room in low season. Suites with sofa beds are about $35 more per night. I stayed in a standard room with lake view, and highly recommend requesting this vantage point.
- Read all of Insider Picks hotel reviews here.
When I travel to Orlando, Florida I’m typically headed to a theme park like Walt Disney World for a few days of riding my favorite attractions. But when the sun sets and the day is over I really prefer a hotel that feels warm and relaxing, to help offset the crowds of Magic Kingdom, and rest up for another day of park hopping.
That’s why I recently chose to stay at Bohemian Hotel Celebration part of the boutique Autograph Collection of Marriott Bonvoy Hotels.
If you’re not familiar with Celebration, you’re in for a treat. It’s whimsical and welcoming, with picture-perfect houses, and a charming and walkable downtown filled with restaurants and boutiques nestled around a tranquil lake.
It was actually designed and created by The Walt Disney Company as a place for avid theme park fans to live in a resort-style utopian community. The laid-back lifestyle is still upheld, though it is no longer owned by Disney.
The town itself is one of the big reasons I choose to stay here over official Disney hotels, as well as price. With four-star rooms starting at $158 per night, it’s much more affordable than most Disney resort hotels, which can easily start well over $400 per night for quite basic accommodations. It’s also convenient to all major theme parks, and an ideal pick for families, couples, or a fun solo trip, which is what I did.
Guest rooms start at $158 in low summer season for standard One King or Two Queen rooms, but more commonly hover around $180 to $200, and can reach as high as $500 depending on what time of the year you’re traveling and the type of room you select. For the best prices, visit in summer when hot temperatures deter most visitors.
I spent the night in a Two Queen Lake View room on a recent trip and plan to return for the spacious accommodations, stunning views, and unmatched guest service. Here’s why you may want to rethink staying on property at Disney for your next visit.
Need more Orlando hotel suggestions? Read our list of the best hotels in Walt Disney World.
Keep reading to see why I was so impressed by Bohemian Hotel Celebration, Autograph Collection.
After getting off the elevator I walked down a somewhat dim hallway, which felt surprising given the amount of natural light in the lobby.
The room had a living and sleeping area, with a large TV and table and chairs, where I enjoyed breakfast as warm breezes came through the open balcony door.
The balcony vantage point was the highlight of the room, and cost about $15 more per night. The small fee felt like an accessible splurge, and I loved waking up to watch Celebration come to life with walkers, runners, and wildlife around the lake. Though, if it’s unimportant to you, other standard room types are exactly the same in setup and overlook a popular square in Celebration, leaving you with a few dollars to spend at the parks instead.
There are quite a few on-site amenities at Bohemian Hotel Celebration, including a large pool surrounded by a beautiful deck overlooking the lake. I stopped by in the afternoon and found few crowds, which was good since there weren’t as many chairs or loungers as I’ve typically seen in large resorts.
The hotel is pet-friendly, with dogs welcome for an additional $150 a night if your dog is under 40 pounds, or you can have two dogs for $200 if they are both under 40 pounds.
On-site parking is provided for $16 daily, and valet parking costs $24. Even though the parking says on-site, it’s technically down the street, about a three or four-minute walk to the hotel lobby.
The hotel’s on-site restaurant, Lakeside Bar and Grill, is open all day. I enjoyed breakfast as well as the Moroccan fries, which I ordered at the bar. They were one of the best things I ate on my trip, and that includes meals at the parks.
I also enjoyed the benefit of having a local expert on staff to help suggest where to eat in the area and I followed many of their excellent suggestions. I’d urge you to do the same if you need help with anything from reservations to tickets and activities.
Of course, the biggest attraction nearby, and why many people stay here, is the close proximity to Walt Disney World Resort, which features four theme parks; a shopping, dining, and entertainment district; two water parks and much more.
Other theme parks within a short drive include Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld, and Discovery Cove.
Save time to explore Celebration, particularly the Celebration Farmers Market, which takes place every Sunday. You’ll find all sorts of vendors selling fruits and vegetables, loose leaf teas, jewelry, infused honey and more.
I also enjoyed meals at two staff suggestions, Celebration Town Tavern, which serves traditional American fare and seafood, as well as Holler and Dash, a local breakfast joint with biscuit sandwiches with heaps of southern hospitality.
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Golfers will enjoy the Celebration Golf Club, an 18-hole championship course that goes through natural wetlands.
There’s also the walking Celebrate Food Tour, which takes guests to local restaurants and food trucks and teaches about the history of Celebration with nine different tastings.
Rave reviews cite how attentive the staff was and how lovely the town of Celebration is for all types of travelers. Other favorable reviews praise the hotel’s convenience to theme parks and Orlando attractions.
Some negative comments refer to long waits for food and drink service, or the lack of refrigerators in guest rooms, though you can rent one for $20. I did not experience the issues with dining that others mentioned, however, I too wished I had a refrigerator but didn’t want to spend the additional money for it.
Who stays here: Families looking for a cheaper alternative to an official on-site Disney resort, couples on a romantic getaway, or solo travelers seeking a safe and fun place to explore.
We like: The hotel is close to theme parks without the continued sensory overload that can sometimes happen at official Disney hotels. Plus, the town of Celebration is quaint and well worth a visit on its own.
We love (don’t miss this feature): The lake view rooms. Visiting Disney can be chaotic and waking up in this room type felt like a true reprieve.
We think you should know: The hotel does not offer theme park perks, but that shouldn’t deter you from staying here. I loved that there was no sign of Mickey Mouse, which made for a total escape from the parks. Also, bypass the pesky refrigerator fee and bring a cooler to fill with ice instead.
We’d do this differently next time: I wish I had planned more time to spend on-site at the pool and on the common area porch. It would have made my trip more relaxing, and it’s a shame to come to Florida and not soak up all that sunshine.
Bohemian Hotel Celebration is a beautiful resort with ample amenities and true Southern hospitality in a quaint, picturesque town originally built as a utopia for Disney fans.
Prices are higher than you’ll find at chain motels, but cheaper than official Disney resorts, while still enjoying close proximity to the theme parks.
It’s an ideal choice for all types of travelers looking for a well-appointed retreat with plenty to do and explore in walking distance, with nary a Mickey Mouse in sight — unless you want to seek him out, of course.
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