Florida Guide > Accommodation
Choosing a villa
The choice of accommodation for tourists in Florida is overwhelming, especially in the areas around Orlando and all of the major theme parks. There is every possible option from budget motels through to up-scale hotels and obviously many villas available to rent. We are obviously biased on this site to being in favour choosing a villa and we make no secret of that!
The villa offers many advantages over staying in a hotel:
- Plenty of space for the whole family;
- Several bedrooms and bathrooms to use;
- Separate kitchen and living rooms/areas;
- Most villas have private pools;
- No noise from the rooms next door!;
- More facilities included as standard.
These are just some of the obvious benefits, but many guests find staying in a villa to be not just a nice feature of the holiday, but one of the key elements. It is nice to know that at the end of each day you are going back to somewhere special, if you want to relax by the pool you don’t need to fight for a sun lounger and that you can come and go as you please.
So you have now decided that staying in a villa is the best option (wise choice!), but how do you decide which villa and how safe is it to book directly with the owner?
To decide on the best villa for yourself we would first recommend having a good look at some of the different villas available. The majority of villas are four bedroom villas in the Orlando area, but you may want to consider a three bedroom for a smaller family or even up to a seven bedroom for a large family or two families sharing a villa.
Once you start to browse the villas you will hopefully find the your own criteria to narrow down your selection becomes obvious. Some villas offer such features as a games room, others have internet access or a PC for guest’s use. Some villa locations may suit you better than others, perhaps you would prefer to be in a gated community, or one that has a golf course or a club-house with communal facilities such as gym or swimming pool.
If you do have specific requirements for your holiday, or definite requirements of your villa then it would be best to use these while searching as it will quickly weed out many of the villas that don’t meet your requirements. As all the villas on this site are certified to be owned by individuals then the variety of options available means that you are sure to find the correct villa for you, plus if you have any questions about the villa then you can ask the owner directly, rather than dealing with an agent that is just wishes to clinch a sale.
Most of the villas are within a 20 minute drive of Walt Disney World and the roads are very easy to navigate, so getting around in a hire car for the novice traveller is not usually a problem – just take your time and stay calm. If you are unsure at any point there are usually plenty of shops and restaurants around where you can pull into the parking lot and get your bearings. Some of the villas closer to Disney World will be more “in the thick of things” which makes it very handy for restaurants and amenities. However it is often quite rare to walk to even nearby restaurants due to the lack of pavement (sidewalk), the volume of traffic for trying to cross roads and the sometimes limited street lighting. Therefore it may suit you better to be a little further away from Disney, perhaps at a slightly quieter community with more permanent residents – blend in with the locals! Whatever suits your family and vacation needs is sure to be available. You can also be reassured that all of the communities are pleasant and safe communities, with homeowner associations that ensure the look and feel of the community.
“But how safe is it to give my hard earned holiday money to a complete stranger?”
This is one of the most common questions for guests booking a villa for the first time. All of the villa owners on this site have waited some time to have their villa listed here and the waiting list is still significant. There is a level of conduct expected from the villa owners and unreasonable behaviour from the villa owner may result on their exclusion from the site – believe me this is something that no villa owner here wants! Although we are not enlisted with the likes of ABTA, the villas of owners here are routinely certified to ensure ownership. By booking directly with the owner you will know exactly which villa you will be staying in, you can find out what’s nearby, what facilities it offers and how to get there from the airport – leaving those allocated on arrival guests of large companies in your wake as you breeze through the airport.
Ultimately the greatest risk also lies with the villa owner, you are a guest in a house that is worth several hundreds of thousands of dollars, containing many thousands of dollars worth of furniture and equipment. There is a level of trust on both sides and this is perhaps one of the reasons that guests and owners often become good friends over many repeat happy vacations. All of the owners will offer a booking terms and conditions and you can clearly see what is and isn’t involved in the relationship before any money exchanges hands.
So please start having fun browsing the villas and begin imagining your next fantastic Florida vacation!
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