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Old 10-20-2011, 07:49 AM   #16
jeff968
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We've stayed at many of these and most are very good. If I had to pick a #1 it would be:

Marriott's Cypress Harbor

Overall it has the best of everything, great location, resort not to big, not to small, something for everyone, huge rooms, and beautiful with the high standard of care found at a Marriott.
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Old 10-20-2011, 10:19 AM   #17
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brucerob62

I am the off site king well maybe not..but I have stayed at orange lake..summer bay..caribe royale..barefoot in the keys..wyndham bonnet creek..cypress pointe..out of all of those ...I would say bonnet creek..is best because of close location to WDW..its there..without the high prices..epcot right in front of you...Caribbean beach resort next door..its DISNEY without being on site..So close..great accomodations..lazy river..awesome Highly recommend...cant wait to go in NOVember to bonnet creek..
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Old 10-20-2011, 10:59 AM   #18
SaskieGirl
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We have stayed at Windsor Hills the last two fall trips, and have been very satisfied. So far we've rented 2 and 3 bedroom condos and a 3 bedroom townhouse. It really is only about 10 minutes parking lot to parking lot, and we really loved the extra space for everyone to have some room to themselves. (It's always been my parents, DH and I and our two young children sharing a space.) The pool is fantastic for little ones, and a great playground too. It's always been spotless and uncrowded. Several grocery stores nearby as well. We're trying Bonnet Creek this next time just to change it up a bit, but not because we ever had an issue with Windsor Hills. We've actually had two sets of family and three families of friends that we've recommended it to and they have loved it as well. We eat out breakfasts in, pack lunches and snacks for the parks in a cooler backpack, and often eat an early supper before heading back to the parks after some afternoon pool time. Saved us a ton of money since flights are about $700 each from where we live in Saskatchewan.
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Old 10-29-2011, 06:54 AM   #19
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Thanks everyone for all the responses! I plan to print out this thread and then research all the suggested locations-in my spare time I wanted to take time to answer these questions that were posted..sorry it has taken me so long...


Quote:
Originally Posted by DCTooTall View Post

1. Do you want/need Daily maid service? (rental homes and Timeshares often don't offer daily maid services.

Maid service is certainly not a necessity. We tend to keep a pretty tidy place, whether at home or in a hotel. Although, I do like having clean towels and washcloths brought to me. I do enough laundry at home!

2. Do your kids enjoy visiting the pool? Do they want slides? lazy rivers? etc.

The pool is definitely going to be important on this trip. Our almost 2-year-old LOVES the water. Something themed would be great for us. Also, I dislike an overcrowded pool area. One thing that I really like about some of the DIS resorts, like POR, is the quiet pools clustered around.

3. Do you enjoy having a resort feel, or would you prefer being someplace that could be a bit more isolated and/or private?

Hmm...not sure about this. I think on vacation we would prefer the resort feel.

4. Do you need/want a kitchen and/or Fridge? (Meals at your room? breakfast or snack before the parks? a place to keep leftovers from eating out?)

A Fridge is a MUST have. A kitchen would be a desire but not a necessity.

5. How comfortable are you with driving in the area? (ok short distances? prefer to rely on the hotel/resort shuttle to the parks? Don't have a problem driving a bit or dealing with traffic)

My husband does the bulk of the driving in our family. He definitely would prefer NOT having to drive. That said, with 3 kids now, I really feel it would be easier to have our own vehicle. Definitely the closer to the parks, and an option of shuttle would be great. (I can see us dividing up and maybe one of us returning to a park with our 5 year old daughter, for example)

6. Do you want to be close enough to allow an easy/quick mid-day break back from the parks?

YES!

7. Do you want theming and/or entertainment available at the resort for the kids?

Not necessary, but would be great.

8. Do you like the idea on onsite restaurants at the hotel/resort?

YES

9. Do you want/need a bar for your tasty adult beverages?

Not necessary-my husband may disagree with this answer!

The answers to these questions could help steer our suggestions in a direction that suits your needs/desires.

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Old 10-29-2011, 10:33 PM   #20
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with your answers would say Wyndham bonnet creek.

it is a timeshare so definitely has activites, nice pools,now it does have a shuttle - but not certain how often it comes and goes to the parks.
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Old 10-30-2011, 02:09 PM   #21
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I'm at the Caribe Royale right now for a work conference. I'm pretty happy with it. We're booked for Wilderness Lodge in January but Caribe's got me reconsidering that....

Very close to Disney property, lots of space (all the hotel rooms are suites, and they also have villas), there are shuttles to Disney property (not as convenient as Disney buses, but probably enough so that if one person gets tuckered out and wants to leave separately from those who drove, it's doable). Two sit-down restaurants plus a quick-service type restaurant. Pool is themed (waterfall pool with slide). Last night they showed an animated movie poolside (like they do at Disney resorts). There's a bar and a lounge.

Not sure about crowding at the pool, this week there have been people swimming but not tons. It's been low 80s as highs with no humidity this week.

Restaurants are expensive but if you have a car you could go off-site. Then again Disney restaurants are expensive too.

Staff have all been nice. Housekeeping impeccable.

The suites have a mini-fridge (with small freezer section even) and microwave. I guess villas have a full kitchen.
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Old 10-31-2011, 01:16 PM   #22
DCTooTall
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spiceycat View Post
with your answers would say Wyndham bonnet creek.

it is a timeshare so definitely has activites, nice pools,now it does have a shuttle - but not certain how often it comes and goes to the parks.
I'm also kind of leaning towards Bonnet Creek with those answers. The only real gotcha is the being brought clean towels/washcloths.

It's a timeshare, so they don't officially offer that service... however there have been some reports of people requesting clean towels and having them brought to you. I don't know enough about the new Wyndham Grand hotel to know how it might fit all the requirements. (room types for space and the fridge specifically.)


Beyond that.... Bonnet creek is incredibly close ("next door" to CBR to be precise), and they do offer a scheduled shuttle to the parks which people have reported working quite nicely for them as either their main park transportation, or when they "split" up during the day.

Some of the pools have been reported to get very busy during peak times, but there are enough pools that if one is very crowded (say the pirate pool or Lazy river pool by Tower 5), you can usually find one that isn't too terribly crowded (Personally I've seldom seen a large crowd at the Main pool by the lobby).

There are also 2 (3 now with the hotel I guess) pool bars for snacks/drinks while at the pool. the new Hotel also has several restaurant options on top of the pizza, burgers, and bar food that has traditionally been available at the resort.

There is some basic theming at the resort (now as heavy as Disney, and honestly. more like a overlay/second thought kind of theming), but they do have a nice activities department which has things planned throughout the week such as movie nights by the lake, Karaoke, arts and crafts, etc.


You may want to check out the big Bonnett Creek thread for more information on the resort to see if maybe it would be something that could suit your needs/desires.
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Old 10-31-2011, 01:30 PM   #23
JimMIA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCTooTall View Post
I'm also kind of leaning towards Bonnet Creek with those answers. The only real gotcha is the being brought clean towels/washcloths.

It's a timeshare, so they don't officially offer that service... however there have been some reports of people requesting clean towels and having them brought to you.
Couple of comments on this.

One, the pool towels are separate from the room towels. You sign them out, and any time you want fresh ones, you just turn the old ones in for new.

Two, your Wyndham Bonnet Creek villa will have a washer/dryer. We've never asked for additional towels, etc, but we do occasionally throw them in the washer. It's easier than requesting fresh ones.
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Old 10-31-2011, 01:42 PM   #24
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Having read your answers, I would agree with Pat above -- WBC would be a great choice.

A deciding factor might be the pools. There are five pools at the timeshare towers at WBC. Four of those are large, and they also have zero entry which would be perfect for your 2 year-old. Two of them have great lazy rivers with plenty of tubes. Two have slides for the bigger kids (48" height requirement). The new hotel also has a pool, but I haven't seen that yet.

One good thing about the WBC shuttles is that they are scheduled, and from what I've read they don't vary too much from the scheduled times. If you're thinking of splitting up for a mid-day pool/nap break, knowing when the shuttles run is a bonus. You have to check the schedules before departing however, because there is a lull in the middle of the day when they're not running as regularly.
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