Vacationing in Orlando with Kids. Try an Orlando Villa

Orlando, Florida is a wonderful place to vacation, especially if it is a family trip. The Orlando area has all of the famous theme parks and attractions that will entertain the little ones from sunup to sundown. After the decision has been made to take the family to Orlando for a vacation, the next step is deciding where to stay in the city. Orlando villa rentals are the perfect answer when looking to find a spot that will not only be accommodating but economical as well. Furthermore, there are a number of reasons why renting a Florida villa in Orlando is the best bet for families with children.

Spaciousness of the Accommodations

If you are traveling solo to Orlando, perhaps a hotel room would be more applicable because you don’t need much space if you are alone. However, when traveling with families, Orlando vacation home rentals are the perfect way to ensure there will be plenty of room for all. Children especially need the room to run and play without having to worry about annoying other guests with screams, horseplay and of course, the occasional temper tantrum. Also, one doesn’t want to have to restrain their little ones on this exciting Orlando vacation as the trip is really for making the young ones happy as can be. By staying at a rental home in Orlando, the parents can feel more relaxed knowing that they aren’t cooped up in a cramped hotel room constantly wondering if they are being too noisy for the rest of the hotel guests. Not to mention the extra room! Sometimes it is nice not to have to be on your best behavior and to simply enjoy your vacation.

Private Pool

Children of all ages love swimming pools and the fact that most Florida villas for rent in Orlando have these private pools on their properties will delight and occupy children to no end. The children will be able to play happily in the pool without having to be told to settle down all the time. The existence of a private pool on the property also helps out the parents as well. By having a smaller pool which their kids can swim in, the parents do not have to constantly search to find their little ones in a sea of other people’s children. This makes it easier for the parents to watch their kids and make sure that safety is a main consideration.

Children Can Have Their Own Rooms

When a family rents an Orlando villa for their trip to visit Walt Disney World, Epcot and other parks, most likely each child will be able to have their own room while staying at the Florida villa. Not only does this provide a spacious spot to keep each child’s individual belongings but it also makes the child feel like they have their own place where they can go to be alone and read a book or play. This also makes a world of difference when it is time to go to bed as children that stay in the same room together are often up late talking and playing. Lack of sleep makes for a cranky child the next day and a cranky child makes for a cranky parent, and then nobody can enjoy the vacation.

Washing Machine and Dryer

Potential Orlando vacationers who have small children will surely understand the advantage to having a washer and dryer at their disposal any time of the day or night in their Orlando rental. With children, frequent dirty clothes are inevitable and sometimes is seems like the washing machine and dryer is constantly going. And when on vacation, you probably have even more dirty clothes. By having a washing machine and dryer right in your rented Orlando vacation home, one does not have to waste time by doing a 2 or 3 hour stint at the local laundromat. This leaves more time for fun for the whole family. For the simple reason of a washer and dryer you should choose to stay in Orlando villas as opposed to a hotel room.

Outdoor Recreation

Families with children know just how important outdoor recreation is. Fun sports like whiffle ball, Frisbee, and playing catch are activities that make a child’s day. As one can only spend so much time and money visiting the theme parks, there will often be times on vacation when the kids just want to go outside and play. When staying at a hotel, there are certain rules against ball playing and other sport-related activities on the hotel property in order to protect the other guests from being hit by flying balls, etc. By staying in a rented Florida villa, the kids will be able to play in the backyard freely and not have to worry about the hotel staff yelling at them for roughhousing.

Kitchen Amenities

Having a kitchen in your rented accommodations is another wonderful benefit to renting an Orlando villa. If the family has to eat out for every meal, this can become quite costly, especially if it is a large family with many children. By having kitchen amenities available, the family can choose to cook a certain number of meals at home thereby allowing for extra money to be spent on more entertaining activities or souvenirs.

Children’s Games and Videos

Many Florida vacation rentals you will find may have games and videos already in the home for the purpose of keeping the little ones and adults entertained. The variety of games range from board games to Disney videos and perhaps even PlayStation 2 games depending on the Florida vacation villa. These are great ways not only to entertain the kids but to have a little family bonding time as well. Then, when the kids go to sleep the parents can enjoy a DVD or video as well.

Traveling with children is often hectic and challenging, but it will provide wonderful memories in the long run. By renting an Orlando villa, the family will have access to some if not all of the previously mentioned items which will help to make the vacation even that more spectacular and enjoyable. If you are planning a Florida vacation, then take advantage of Florida vacation rentals and really enjoy your time off.

10 Amazing Orlando Hotels

Themes from the Italian Rivera and African Savannas to the Legendary and the places where Kids Rule, Orlando has everything you could want in a vacation hotel and more! Here are10 of the most unique and amazing Orlando Hotels & Resorts listed in a random order.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge– This African lodge-style hotel is set among a 33-acre wildlife preserve, where more than 30 species of animals roam free. It also features authentic African-inspired architecture, thatched ceilings, large beams, a woven ceiling, hand-carved golden-tone furnishings, real African artifacts, a vast mud fireplace in the main lobby, 2 African-themed restaurants and a nightly campfire with storytelling.

Disney’s Polynesian Resort– Escape to a tropical paradise that features lush vegetation, thatched roofs, koi ponds, white-sand beaches and culture of the South Pacific. And do it all on Disney World property so you can also spend your days reveling in some of the World’s best attractions. The resort has 11 2-story and 3-story village longhouses and a Great Ceremonial House that was built to resemble a royal Tahitian assembly lodge. At night you can catch a traditional fire-knife dance, accompanied by authentic drumming, chants and a luau.

Gaylord Palms Resort Hotel– The exterior of the Hotel was built to replicate the style and grandeur of a turn-of-the-century Florida mansion, while inside you will find modern rooms and a variety of restaurants, shops, a Relache Spa and an unbelievable amount of convention space. The three Gaylord signature glass atriums here are tropical, lush and recreate three Florida themed environments; the Everglades, Key West and St. Augustine.

The Grand Bohemian Hotel– Sitting like a crown jewel in the heart of downtown Orlando, The Grand Bohemian is designed with an early 20th century European/Bohemian theme. They proudly showcase over 100 pieces of rare artwork from renowned artists such as Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Larry Young, and David Wu-Ject Key. The hotel is also home to a very rare and expensive Imperial Grand Bösendorfer piano, one of only two in the world.

Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando– The sights and feel of the Italian Riviera has been brought to Orlando with the Portofino Bay Hotel. You can take a stroll through the festive harbor piazza filled with Italian sports cars, Vespa scooters and moored boats. The hotel also features three themed swimming pools, 42,000 square feet of meeting and function space, supervised children’s activity center, a Mandara Spa and enough dining options to take a culinary tour of Italy without leaving the hotel.

Nickelodeon Family Suites (Nick Hotel)– A Nickelodeon-branded hotel featuring everything a vacationing kid could want or need before, after or to just skip the theme parks altogether! It has two interactive pool complexes with multiple slides, climbing nets, water jets, and a 400-gallon dump tank. Not enough for your kids? Then how about a netted basketball court, nine-hole mini golf course, shaded kids play area, a million-dollar state-of-the-art theater with live nightly entertainment, a kids Mall, Nicktoons Cafe, Kids’ Spa, an arcade and even a Lounge the where adults can relax with a cocktail.

Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando– You wouldn’t think that a hotel that has been voted “Best hotel in Orlando to spot a celebrity” would have also been voted one of the “Top 50 Best Family Resorts in the U.S. and Canada”, but it has. If you want to vacation in Orlando like a Rock Star, then this is the place to do it. It has an array of dinning and partying options, including the World-renowned Palm Restaurant and nearby is the World’s Largest Hard Rock Cafe and Hard Rock Live Orlando, a 3,000-person concert/party venue.

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge– This hotel was inspired by the Great American Northwest National Park lodges from the turn of the 20th century. A few of its features are; a 7-story lobby built from 85 loads of Lodgepole pine, an 82-foot tall lobby fireplace, a bubbling spring that flows into a creek and tumbles over a sparkling waterfall to empty into the featured swimming pool, a geyser that was fashioned after Yellowstone National Park’s Old Faithful and erupts on the hour with a plume of water jetting 120 feet into the air.

Waldorf Astoria Orlando– Set to open in October 2009 is the first newly built Waldorf Astoria Hotel since the legendary original in New York City opened in 1931. You can bet that this grand hotel will top the chart of Orlando’s luxury hotels for years to come. It will have a Championship Rees Jones Golf Course, a Spa by Guerlain, luxury poolside cabanas and the signature restaurants made famous by The Waldorf Astoria in New York. I’m certain stunning rooms and impeccable personalized service will be necessary as well.

Ritz-Carlton Orlando– Along with the famed Ritz Carlton service, you can find a Greg Norman-designed 18- hole championship golf course, three lighted tennis courts, a fitness center, a Lazy River, 40,000 square foot Spa, jogging trails and a life-size chess board at this regal resort set at the 500 acre Grande Lakes Orlando complex. What really sets this hotel apart is the quality and variety of its recreational activities. A few more options you will have include; a ropes course with zip line and giant swing, horse-drawn carriage rides, fly fishing school and on-site fly fishing and eco-tours on Shingle Creek, the headwaters to the Florida Everglades.

Vista Cay Resort – International Drive – Orlando – Florida Holiday Rentals – The Top 3 Pros And Cons



  1. The Location: From any reasonable viewpoint this has to be the top location where Holiday Vacation Rental type accommodation is available within the entire Orlando Area: It is situated adjacent to Universal Boulevard, off International Drive, a short distance from the Orlando Convention Centre. Universal Theme Parks, Wet n’ Wild, Sea World and Aquatica Water Park are within around 5 minutes drive – the Disney Theme Parks are around 15/20 minutes. Hit the rush hour and times can be much more! The downside is that outside of the Vista Cay leisure amenities there is very little of interest within short or even reasonable walking distance so you need a rental vehicle. Parking space is plentiful at Vista Cay. Walgreens are at Vista Cay and Publix is at The Isles of Cay Commons.
  2. The Accommodation is Good to Excellent: The standard condominiums are of a good quality and the units are in Ventura Buildings which are at least equal to, or better than, similar types of units in the Orlando area. The top units are excellent by any standard and are in the Monterey Buildings which have a lobby and interior corridors – they are by a distance the best holiday rental condominiums anywhere in Orlando. Ventura and Monterey Condos are all 2 or 3 Bed 2 Bath with a private patio or balcony (TIP: The Monterey unit balconies are much larger and have a cooling ceiling fan so are conducive to relaxing on them for a period of time, whereas the Ventura balconies are a bit on the small side to say the least and can only accommodate a couple of people at best at any one time). All types of accommodation are fully furnished and equipped ready for ‘home away from home’ accommodation with open plan living and dining area and modern kitchens. In addition there are 3 storey 3 Bed 3 Bath Townhouses with their own entrance and single garage. The Townhouses are of a similar standard to the Monterey Condos. Things like Widescreen TV’s, DVD and wi-fi are pretty much standard in most units. TIP: Individual units can be booked to secure one with the bedding types that you need – maybe one with two King sized beds or all double beds, one with a 4 Poster Bed in the Master Bedroom or any other type of configuration. Other features might be a particular building (maybe near to friends staying at the same time), the floor level or the view (Lake View have a southerly aspect and many offer views of the Sea World firework display in the evenings) or even the style of decoration and furnishing.
  3. On-site Resort Facilities and Amenities: Everything most visitors could want – A state-of-the-art Clubhouse with Concierge Desk surrounded by tropical landscaping which includes a lounge, licensed bar, oversized swimming pool overlooking Lake Cay, kids splash pool, jacuzzi spa, gift shop and sundries, fitness facility, games area including pool tables, Business Center with Computers with high-speed internet and printers, ATM Machine. There is also a West-side swimming pool with pool house, jacuzzi and BBQ grills. A ide path runs along the front of Vista for strolling or jogging. NOTE OF WARNING: There are a lot of references to a Basketball Court and a Clubhouse Theatre – this is ‘out of date’ information, neither facility is now there.


  1. The Location: Now this must sound strange given the No. 1 Pro but let us explain. Visitors staying at Vista Cay really must have a rental vehicle to get around the area, including both the local International Drive area and when visiting the Orlando theme parks, especially in the summer months (heat!). Walking to International Drive is an average of between 20 to 30 minutes. Yes, a fast walker might save 5 minutes but a slow walker could take quite a bit longer – and as for kids, don’t go there. Do you think they will fancy trekking back and forth! I don’t think so. So, if you are not planning to rent a vehicle then Vista Cay is not going to be a good choice. TIP: Be warned, if you don’t have a rental vehicle, waiting around for local buses is no fun; they are erratic with timing and always stopping. The I-Drive trolley does not have a stop near enough as it does not go up Universal Boulevard. Taxis might be an expensive solution but will only seat 4 persons maximum at any one time.
  2. No Restaurant: There is no restaurant at Vista Cay and only a Pizza one (getting very average reviews) nearby. So you are back to renting a vehicle again! NB: For groceries and general household items there is an excellent Publix Supermarket on-site in The Isles of Cay Commons Area.
  3. Vista Cay is NOT a Hotel or really even a Resort – as is referenced throughout the Internet. Vista Cay is a residential community which has been licensed for short-term rentals, so whilst the majority of units are owner occupied a substantial number are ‘individually’ owned by investors and these are the ones that are available for short-term rental. Just to make things completely clear the rental units are managed by a variety of management agents, most of which are not on-site. The on-site Management Company is located in the Clubhouse and run the Concierge Desk.


Vista Cay is a great place to stay in a great location, 90% ideal for visiting and getting around the Orlando area. There is a choice of type of units: standard or luxury – the luxury units offering more space than any comparable accommodation anywhere in Orlando. The staff in Vista Cay are friendly and most of the Management Companies that look after the units keep them in good order for the turnover of guests, which is quite high. The resort facilities are excellent, the swimming pool is a large one (and yes, it can get busy at times! when everyone fancies a dip at the same time) and yes, there are quite a few kids that usually stay as part of the family units so it can get noisy. Top Tip: The pool at the West side is usually much quieter and less used so if you want to laze around reading a book then head over there. Some complain it’s too quiet – there is no pleasing some folk! The walking distance between the west-side, known as The Isles of Cay Commons (which is where Publix and the Pizza place is) is a maximum of 15 minutes walk and you can simply stroll along the lakefront to get to and fro. PS: If you are staying in this area – which incidentally many returning guests prefer – you than have your own quieter pool area and Publix on your doorstep. You can enjoy the main facilities when you want to use them.