Florida Guide > Accommodation
My first Villa experience
Why book a villa when there is so many hotels and choice in the Orlando and Kissimmee area? Well in years gone by when I used to visit Florida (Disney area) I did not know about the fact that people rented out their own properties to people wanting to stay in the area. It was only around 2001 that I actually stumbled across a website that advertised vacation villas in Orlando. This was a chance find as at the time I was actually looking for details on hotels and had not even thought about staying in a villa.
When staying in a hotel in Orlando, we stayed on International drive. Not knowing the area very well we thought this was the best place to stay. Infact the area was very good as it had Univarsal and Wet ‘n’ Wild right on its doorstep. Back then the total cost for the 2 of us would have been around $50 per room per night. So not bad value really.
Since finding the site that advertised vacation villas, we have never looked back. Our first stay in a private property was on the Rolling Hills estate in what can only be classed a mansion (By UK standards!). The property had 2 floors and about 5 bedrooms, spread over a huge area. Back then the price for the house for the week was £500. For that week we had 8 people staying, so it made it very good value for money (per head). Compared to a hotel that is now $90 + per room per night, this seemed excellent value.
One thing I always remember about staying on the property on Rolling Hills was the massive amount of space we had. I was only used to large hotel rooms, but could not believe how much space we actually had in the villa. The main living room was almost as big as my house in the UK! There were some main doors that lead out to the large swimming pool area. It always seemed to be very hot out there by the pool area. I actually remember having to jump in the pool as it was that hot on my feet. I think the pool must have been south facing as I always remember the sun being on the pool (all day).
We so enjoyed our time in the villa we booked almost straight away for the next year. We were looking at going in Dec this time as the weather and crowds were not as big. When we went to book we were very disappointed that the villa was already booked and had to find another place to stay. This did take me back as I did not realise that these types of property were so popular. But as there was plenty of choice we managed to find a place that was just as good.
It was safe to say we now had the Florida bug and wanted to go each year (but only staying in a villa!).
This was one of the best chance bookings we ever did, but turned out to be one of the best things we ever did. Without the stay in Rolling Hills we would have no doubt never got to stay in our own house for 2 weeks and enjoyed our own space as much as we did. We liked it that much that in 2004 we purchased our own property so we could stay during the year.
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