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Old 01-14-2013, 09:16 AM   #1
jbw2106
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Paradise Palms Resort or Emerald Island

Hi all. I am planning a big extended family trip to Orlando first of July and am looking into renting a villa for 16 ppl. From what I understand Paradise Palms (PP) is a newer resort (or at least the villas are a new addition to the condos). Looking at the 6 BR homes, they look fantastic with a very open floor plan, modern appliances & decor, granite, 2 living rooms (kids can hang out in the other). The only con I see is the small pool in the back of the house (9x18). The houses also look right on top of each other from pics.

Emerald Island homes look decent with a little more scrutiny (since the homes are older, I look more closely). The pool in the back is larger with a small hot tub in most. The resort amenities aren't as eye-catching as PP, but the site may be more greener and scenic since PP is much newer with new vegetation.

If anyone has stayed at PP recently, I'd love to know how the trip went, were the resort amenities "all that" and what you thought of the pool.

The reason I am scrutinizing the resort amenities is we may not do Disney that much during the week stay (maybe 1 day along with a day at Universal), and we have lots of kids with us so we want them to have things to do.

I looked at Windsor Hills, but the homes seem to top out at sleeping 12-14.

Thanks!

J
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Old 01-14-2013, 10:01 AM   #2
Ametista
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbw2106 View Post
Hi all. I am planning a big extended family trip to Orlando first of July and am looking into renting a villa for 16 ppl. From what I understand Paradise Palms (PP) is a newer resort (or at least the villas are a new addition to the condos). Looking at the 6 BR homes, they look fantastic with a very open floor plan, modern appliances & decor, granite, 2 living rooms (kids can hang out in the other). The only con I see is the small pool in the back of the house (9x18). The houses also look right on top of each other from pics.

Emerald Island homes look decent with a little more scrutiny (since the homes are older, I look more closely). The pool in the back is larger with a small hot tub in most. The resort amenities aren't as eye-catching as PP, but the site may be more greener and scenic since PP is much newer with new vegetation.

If anyone has stayed at PP recently, I'd love to know how the trip went, were the resort amenities "all that" and what you thought of the pool.

The reason I am scrutinizing the resort amenities is we may not do Disney that much during the week stay (maybe 1 day along with a day at Universal), and we have lots of kids with us so we want them to have things to do.

I looked at Windsor Hills, but the homes seem to top out at sleeping 12-14.

Thanks!

J
Hi,
We just stayed at Paradise Palms for the first time last week. This was our 9th trip to Orlando. First of all I don't think PP has condos, they have townhomes that also have private splash pools and lanais. We stayed in a 4 bed townhome. It was huge and by far the nicest place we have stayed. We have stayed at a lot of places where they would say "3 bedrooms" or "2 bedrooms" but they were still really cramped and this townhome had huge bedrooms. The splash pool was not huge but honestly the resort pool/hot tub area was so awesome that we didn't use the splash pool at all. I don't know if you have seen the photos of the resort pool and kiddie pool/splash park, or of the hot tubs. The only place I have ever stayed where I was that impressed with the pool area was at Harbour Lake when my kids were little, but of course Harbour Lake is pretty much for little kids and once they are older they are not too into pirate ships. Paradise Palms is suited for all ages, even in January there were a lot of people at the resort pool and kids in the splash park.

I did not go into any of the houses obviously but they looked gorgeous. As far as landscaping, you could not tell it was a newer resort by the landscaping at least that I could tell.

I don't know if this matters to you but we had elderly relatives come down for a few nights (they live about an hour from Orlando). There is a main floor king bedroom with adjacent bath so if anybody in your party has a hard time with stairs they can stay in that room. This was part of why we rented there and it was really nice.
Also there is a cinema so if you want a night off you can send the kids to the theater at the clubhouse, which plays 3 movies a day, all G or PG.

Overall we were very impressed and decided that PP would save us money in a hotter season since we wouldn't feel like we needed to spend so much time at water parks. We just didn't feel that pressing need to "go somewhere fun" because we already were somewhere fun, if that makes any sense. I think every other trip to Orlando has been a marathon of park visits but this was the first time we really relaxed and didn't feel like we were wasting time if we weren't at a theme or water park.

Anyway, we will be going back and I wish I had found PP sooner. If you have any specific questions let me know, we spent a lot of time poking around the resort. Oh yeah and there is tennis, basketball, and beach volleyball too, and an arcade/game room.
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Old 01-14-2013, 10:41 AM   #3
jbw2106
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Thanks Ametista! I appreciate your detailed feedback. We too hope to have a relaxing week. I did mean townhomes (I called them condos).

A few follow up questions: What was the privacy like in back where the splash pool was? You mentioned relatives coming to stay. We have other family staying in Orlando that week (informal family reunion) and wanted to have them over for a bbq or just to hang out one or two days (not overnight, just visiting). Was that easy to do?

Also for getting around (if we stayed at PP), what was the traffic like? Mainly for going to Disney or Universal. How close are grocery stores?

Thanks again.

J
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Old 01-14-2013, 04:03 PM   #4
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Hi,
Our splash pool was completely private and even had the rear door frosted so you couldn't see into our pool area from the alley. We walked all around the upstairs and tried to see into other people's pools and we couldn't do it, so we were very impressed with that. When you walk out to the lanai there is about a six foot stucco wall and then the screens on top of that, so even though we could hear the kids next door playing in the pool we never saw them. I hope that makes sense. We were worried it would be like everybody was standing there staring at everybody else and it wasn't like that at all.



I know you can see windows from where the photo was taken but from the pool area you couldn't see them any more. I don't remember what the pools looked like for the houses, I just saw them from the resort pool area. I can't imagine they would be any less private than in the townhomes.

As far as our guests, the first time we went through the manned gate they gave us a gate code. So then we just went through the side with the box and we put in our code. We gave the code to our guests. I guess they could have gone to the manned side and told them they were our guests, either way would work.

There was a Super Target 8 minutes away and a Walmart about 7 minutes away and there was a Publix grocery store near each. I timed them to see which was closer but they were about the same. Also Sweet Tomatoes and Olive Garden are right by the Super Target if you like those.

We only did Disney and Seaworld and the only traffic was on I4 near Seaworld because they were doing construction. There is a turnoff into Disney called Sherberth road, you turn off of Irlo Bronson, that takes you right to the Animal Kingdom parking lot.
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Old 01-15-2013, 06:20 AM   #5
jbw2106
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Ok thanks for the info!


J
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Old 01-15-2013, 04:21 PM   #6
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We've stayed at Emerald Island in 7 br homes but they also have a few 8 bedroom homes. We've found that we never use the resort facilities at all. The grandkids just want to stay at home and use "their" pool. You could also look at the homes in Formosa Gardens Estates. Although there is no community facilities the homes themselves have enough to keep you busy. These are on bigger lots and some back on a lake. Some of these places definitely have the "WOW" factor. I think you can even find 9 br. homes.
Also big, "WOW" homes at Reunion Resort which are gorgeous.
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:16 PM   #7
jbw2106
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Thank you! Any others?
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Old 01-17-2013, 11:39 PM   #8
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I don't have any new to add...just another vote for Paradise Palms. The pictures don't do it justice. We've stayed once and will be returning this summer. I was nervous the first trip because I read a post that it was too far from Disney. Trust me, this place is close to Disney and tons of restaurants. We always felt safe, as it is gated and the security regularly patrols the area. I say defintely do with Paradise Palms. Emerald Island is nice but the communal pool is not as extravagant as PP.
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:25 AM   #9
jbw2106
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeyMickeyUSoFine View Post
I don't have any new to add...just another vote for Paradise Palms. The pictures don't do it justice. We've stayed once and will be returning this summer. I was nervous the first trip because I read a post that it was too far from Disney. Trust me, this place is close to Disney and tons of restaurants. We always felt safe, as it is gated and the security regularly patrols the area. I say defintely do with Paradise Palms. Emerald Island is nice but the communal pool is not as extravagant as PP.
Thanks for your input as well. We booked a 6 BR villa at PP for July. I am looking forward to it! We'll have lots of kids and hope to spend time at the resort since Disney daily is out of the question. It's going to be hot anyway so a really nice community pool is a plus.

JW
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