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Momto3cuties
11-15-2011, 08:56 AM
We are planning an early February vacation and are Marriott Platinum members who currently have lots of points :) I have looked at the Marriotts in the Village, the World Center and timeshares surrounding it, and the Marriott Vacation Clubs - Harbour Lake, Cypress Harbour, etc. I am still undecided and in need of expert advice.

My children will be 7, almost 5, and almost 3 when we go - Harbour Lake looks very child friendly. Do they have activities for days we may opt to stay at the resort instead of going to the parks? Can anyone share info on this -

Cypress harbour looks nice as well - really like the jacuzzi tub in the master :)

How much time should I plan to give ourselves to drive to the Disney parks from here, take the monorail or ferry in and be at rope drop?

Marriott in the Villages seem closer to the parks, lots of affordable food court places to eat, less points, etc. Free breakfast. I am thinking we may need more space to spread out than a "suite at Springhill"

The timeshares at World Center look nice as well. Is Sabal palms the closest to the World Center? I like that they have an indoor pool also - not sure the weather will allow for much outdoor swimming the first week of February.

We do plan to eat dinner at a park/resort/DTD and do breakfast/lunch on our own - either free at marriott village, in condo, pack lunch for park or food court at hotel on midday return.

Any advice is welcomed - it seems the more choices I have the harder it has gotten!

littlestar
11-15-2011, 09:51 AM
Since the weather could be cold on your trip, I'd be tempted to stay at Sabal at the World Center. It is the closest one to the World Center. All of the timeshare units at the World Center have been refurbished and are beautiful. We have stayed at Imperial Palms (3 bedroom unit) and loved it - it was totally redone. Having said that, Cypress Harbour is my favorite Marriott in Orlando, but if the weather is iffy, the indoor pool at Sabal would be great.

Harbour Lake is great for kids because of the pools, but I don't know how much pool time you would have in February.

I'd definitely go for a Marriott Vacation Club timeshare condo over a hotel suite - there's no comparison.

Drive time to the Magic Kingdom is not bad from the World Center or from Harbour Lake or Cypress Harbour - I haven't timed it but if I were to guess I'd say 15 minute drive from the World Center and maybe a 20 minute drive from the other two. Of course Magic Kingdom you have to factor in the time for a boat or monorail ride in.

dis-happy
11-15-2011, 12:25 PM
We're platinum and usually stay at the Res. Inn on Palm, sometimes on points, other times on cash (I just booked a 2 b/r in dec. for only $111. per night; sometimes it's so much "cheaper" to book cash than use the points we just do that instead). Res. Inn has the best free breakfast of the area Marriotts; staying there is equal to approx. $50. per day of free food for our family of 5 (3 boys incl/ a teen!).

Other options to check for good use of points: Courtyard on Palm in a suites room; no free breakfast but with plat. they almost always give us a free breakfast coupon for everyone in the room; you do pay tip out of pocket though.

The SHS at MV is a decent hotel with a little extra space. The FF has a (seperate) bunkbed room option now as well.

note: many of the Marriotts in the LBV area only have double beds, not queen (although some of the hotels have been upgrading). If that's an issue for you (it is for me) make sure you check the room details before you book.

Also check out the new (rebranded) Fairfield Suites on the corner of Palm and 535. They also have suites room and breakfast included. I like the Palm location because you can easily get to Disney the back way in and miss all the DTD mess.

Haven't stayed at the TS Marriotts but they are supposed to be really nice. Have fun if you go that route!

jeff968
11-15-2011, 12:58 PM
We are marriott fans and have stayed in many of the Orlando resorts and we always travel on president's week in February. We always have great weather. 2011 was especially great with every day of our February visit being sunny and in the eighties.

I'm not a fan of the MVCs around the world resort because you have to take the shuttle to get to the world where everything is happening and the shuttle is a pain! Cypress harbor is our favorite, beautiful, something for everyone, and just the right size. That said, harbor lake may be the best choice for you based on the age of your kids. We had a great time there a couple of years back. They have all kinds of organized events for the little ones.

Good luck.
Jeff

summerrluvv
11-15-2011, 02:07 PM
Harbor Lakes is amazing for kids! They have a ton of daily activities, the pools are awesome, mini golf, playground, bonfires, grills, etc. But, since you are going in February, not sure that you will be able to take advantage of all that it offers, and IMO it's a waste of points if you can't utilize it all.

I've booked a stay on platinum points for the re-branded Fairfield Inn. The "newness" factor appealed to me, and queen size beds, although the reviews on TA as of late are iffy. Concerned about the parking issue specifically. They do offer a free shuttle, I just called yesterday to ask. It takes you only to Epcot though she said, then you have to transfer to the other parks.

I almost changed our ressie to World Center because for 20,000 points you get SO much more in terms of entertainment, but the lack of free breakfast, the parking factor (long walk I hear and a fee), turned me off. Maybe for a longer more relaxing trip I would do that. But we are only there for 4 full park days (other 2 are travel days).

tkldisney
11-16-2011, 10:15 AM
We like the World Center. Have stayed in both Sable and Royal Palm and like both. It's very close and easy to get to/from Disney World, grocery store, etc.
That would be my pick. When you stay at one of these the parking is free. They only charge for parking for the Hotel.

Have stayed at the Courtyard Marriott Village and the traffic is terrible getting in/out of resort.

dis-happy
11-16-2011, 10:53 AM
Have stayed at the Courtyard Marriott Village and the traffic is terrible getting in/out of resort.

You can turn left out of MV and exit the back way (past Publix) to WDW. It's a little bit longer in distance but avoids the traffic. We noticed early on that the taxicabs all do this.

Epcotopia
11-16-2011, 01:50 PM
The Courtyard at the MV has an indoor/outdoor pool. You have access to that pool and the 2 at the other hotels when you stay at the MV. You also have free parking and free breakfast (not at Courtyard though - that one is a paid full service breakfast). This property is my personal choice! :thumbsup2

While there are a lot of amenities at the world center hotel....I personally dont feel that its as family friendly as the villas.

Enjoy! :cool1:

momof2cutegirls
11-16-2011, 01:56 PM
The Marriott Grand Vista is really neat! They have the best indoor play area/slide. There are activities for the kids, a small beach area and two huge pools. There is entertainment in the evenings as well. I would highly recommend it to anyone!

summerrluvv
11-16-2011, 02:03 PM
The Courtyard at the MV has an indoor/outdoor pool. You have access to that pool and the 2 at the other hotels when you stay at the MV. You also have free parking and free breakfast (not at Courtyard though - that one is a paid full service breakfast). This property is my personal choice! :thumbsup2

While there are a lot of amenities at the world center hotel....I personally dont feel that its as family friendly as the villas.

Enjoy! :cool1:

How do you get free breakfast staying at the Courtyard? Do you just go over the SHS or the FI?

Epcotopia
11-16-2011, 02:12 PM
How do you get free breakfast staying at the Courtyard? Do you just go over the SHS or the FI?

Sorry, maybe I misspoke. The if you stay at the CY, you are not entitled to the free breakfast at the SHS or FI. They have a breakfast option available at the CY but you must pay for it and its more of a full-service sitdown breakfast.

Although, if you stay at the SHS or FI, you still have access to the CY indoor/outdoor pool. Who knows why the setup is like this.....:confused3

Epcotopia
11-16-2011, 02:14 PM
I should have also said that SHS and FI are better suited for families. CY is more of a conventioneer style set up in regards to ammenities and room set up.

Montegut
11-22-2011, 11:07 PM
When first looking into our anniversary trip next year, I found a very inexpensive room rate at one of the Marriott Village properties, either a Fairfield or a Springhill, as those are my husband's preferred properties.

We're instead staying at the Contemporary, since it's a special occasion, at about 100 times the price, but I will definitely be checking these properties out for quick family trips.

Curious about the Marriott properties near Universal Studios, as we will probably do a combo Universal/Disney trip for our family trip.

BTW, I have been earning some free rooms and taking inexpensive short trips by signing up for the Marriott Rewards program and participating in their Mega Bonus promotion. For every two stays, you earn a free night at a category 1 through 4 Marriott property. The Marriott Village properties fall under that category. We do a lot of inexpensive overnights to my son's college town and always earn at least one free night a quarter. Cuts down a lot on travel costs, especially when you're already paying for rental car and airfare. Nice to at least get a free hotel room at a clean hotel.

Looking forward to hearing about your trip!

Momto3cuties
11-23-2011, 03:15 PM
Thank you all for your wonderful advice.

We did decide on the Marriott Harbour Lake, the 2 bedroom setup with the two queens in the second bedrooms was really a deciding point. The boys will sleep together and my daughter an have the other queen bed. I know they will love the pool and will swim no matter how cold :) The ice cream sundaes and the other activities sound like fun, too. Since we are planning one day of "downtime" the space in the 2 bedroom condo will be needed.

N_Phoenix
11-24-2011, 07:19 AM
I'm currently at the Residence Inn on Palm after another members suggestion. Pretty nice for a RI. Free breakfast and drinks at happy hour (beer/wine during the week) which is a plus. Pool area is nice too. I had a few category 1-5 certificates to use so this worked out well.

I have stayed at the Grande Vista and really enjoyed that resort as well. Lots of things to do there if you want to stay on property. I also drove by the JW Marriott, which I think is Grande Lakes and that is huge resort. Looks beautiful.

jlevis
11-24-2011, 07:49 AM
We're owners at Marriott's Grande Vista. We've also stayed at Cyprus Harbor. Grande Vista has a wide range of activities for children and adults. It is a 15 minute drive toWDW, less than 5 to Sea World and close to Universal. Tickets are available to the attractions.

jeff968
11-28-2011, 08:34 AM
We did decide on the Marriott Harbour Lake,


Excellent choice! You and the kids will love it. The pools are heated so you'll be able to swim whenever. Have a great time!

mickycollege
12-05-2011, 10:56 AM
Which WDW Marriott is best for a honeymooners who don't have kids and want to be close to the theme park, but also in a nice area of gardens, etc.?
In Feb or March 2012?

Do any of the Marriott's have 4 or 5 star restaurants for a newlywed's honeymoon dinner?

jeff968
12-05-2011, 11:27 AM
Which WDW Marriott is best for a honeymooners who don't have kids and want to be close to the theme park, but also in a nice area of gardens, etc.?
In Feb or March 2012?

Do any of the Marriott's have 4 or 5 star restaurants for a newlywed's honeymoon dinner?

Assuming we are talking the villas and NOT the hotels, for a honeymoon, of the places I have stayed the Grande Vista would be the most fancy although you will still find families there as well. Marriott just built a new villa resort called the lakeshore reserve which looks very nice and may be the best choice based on what you are looking for. Check it out.

http://www.marriottvacationclub.com/vacation-resorts/marriott-lakeshore-reserve/overview.shtml

Epcotopia
12-05-2011, 02:13 PM
Which WDW Marriott is best for a honeymooners who don't have kids and want to be close to the theme park, but also in a nice area of gardens, etc.?
In Feb or March 2012?

Do any of the Marriott's have 4 or 5 star restaurants for a newlywed's honeymoon dinner?

The JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton are most what you are looking for with the exception that they are the furthest away from the parks. Their 4 star / 4 diamond restaurant Norman's is one of the best I have eaten in Orlando (twice!). Its a mix of Caribbean, Asian, and Latin fusion....sooooo good! The property is incredible and there is so much to do there including a private guided eco-tour in a canoe down Shingle Creek. The only drawback is its distant location (15-20 min drive to parks) and no shuttle so you would have to drive.

If you are looking for the closest Marriott to WDW I would say the Orlando World Center Marriott.