Resort Home Sweet Home: Global Resorts Florida
I like hotels. In fact, I like hotels a lot.
I like the way someone comes in and makes your bed every day. I like that they have spas on site waiting to work out your kinks. And I like the fancy meals at fancy restaurants made by fancy chefs.
But when I’m traveling with the kids for an extended period of time, I actually prefer self-catering options: I’ve found that resort homes or apartment rentals offer a different level of comfort. Sure, we have to make our own beds (believe me I grumble) but we also have a kitchen where we can make our own meals, space to spread out when we’re getting on each others nerves, and we don’t have to worry that someone will enter after knocking softly and mumbling “housekeeping” only to catch us in less clothing than we’d like…
We enjoy a hotel but we fully relax as a family when we’re in an apartment or rental home.
It was true as we toured on our year around the world, and it was true on our most recent trip to Kissimmee, Florida. This time the stay was with Global Resort Homes. We accepted their invitation to try out a property in their Paradise Palms development during a week long stay and it was a great reminder of why this works.
5 Resaons to Rent a Resort Home
Here are our top 5 reasons we think trips of a week or longer need a home:
Even when the kids were little this was an issue. When they were very little we needed to keep them close but as they grew the hardest thing about a one-room hotel stay was that we had to go to bed when they did. Now that they’re older, they often last longer than us. In a hotel I have to keep saying “I’m trying to sleep!” In a house I simply say “Take it to your room boys.” See? Houses make me nicer! Our rental had four bedrooms. And each, except for the King in the master, had two queen sized beds. We could have easily shared with another family (or two!) and still had plenty of room.
It may seem like a make a lot out of the fact that there is a kitchen in a rental home, but as the mother of tween boys I can tell you it makes a huge difference. They eat ALL THE TIME. At the hotel we’d be trying to cram things into the mini-fridge. Here? We had a stainless steel, double-door beauty that we could pack to bursting. But it’s not just the convenience, it’s the fact that – just like at home – the kitchen is the heart of the place. We hung out at the breakfast bar and made plans for the day over breakfast. Not to mention the fact that midnight snacks didn’t have to involve donning a bathrobe or rattling a vending machine.
3. You don’t have to get dressed to go downstairs
At this point you’re probably starting to wonder if I have a thing about clothing. I don’t but I am fanatical about comfort. And there is nothing I love more than hanging out in my comfy clothes. Who can relax in “going to the mall” clothes or “about to hit the theme park” attire? Not me. The longer it takes me to get showered and into “presentable” clothing, the better the day is going. In the resort home, I could jump back into my comfy clothes after a day of activity, cuddle up with my family on the couch and indulge in some high-brow theatrical culture.
4. You’ve got all the benefits of a concierge service
I don’t know who that lady is behind the desk in the picture below but I know that the gentleman who was sitting there when we were there was fantastic. He explained all the facilities to us as soon as we wandered in (pool, gym, movie theatre, arcade and marketplace) and always had a smile and a suggestion. Maps? He had them. Suggestions on where to grab some groceries? He pointed the way. Tips on making the most of our time on property? His list was endless. When all you’ve got is 7 days in a place and you’re trying to make the most of it, having someone in your corner who know the lay of the land is priceless.
5. It’s budget friendly
So here’s the thing. To rent the 4-bedroom, three bathroom home we stayed in would run you about $1600 U.S. for a week. But let’s break that down. That’s about $228 per night. Not bad, right? For all that space and entertainment value? Now add another family to the mix or opt for a smaller place and you’re down to $114 per night! It can’t be beat. You won’t find the equivalent for that kind of money. But it’s not just the cost of the place itself. We ate breakfast out on our first morning in town and the bill was $60. We then headed directly to a grocery story to stock up for the week. Total at checkout: $230. That’s $32 per day! And it covered all our meals (except for a lunch at the Krusty Burger at Universal Studios) including an adult beverage and some extra snacks we could pack in the Tahoe for our excursions.
And there’s more. WiFi? Included. Parking? Included. Laundry? Right there in your house. Still unsure? Take a look at this:
What about you? Have you ever stayed in a resort home? What were the pros/cons for your family?