January 11, 2013 at 7:52 PM
Southern Dunes Golf & Country Club is one of the best public golf courses in Orlando Florida and has been Ranked #6 in Golf Digests “Best Courses in the State of Florida”. It is situated South of Interstate 4 on Hwy 27, near Haines City. The vacation homes and villas are of a good design and many of them overlook the fairways and tees of this wonderful golf course.
There are many communal areas such as a pool, clubhouse with exercise room and pool table and tennis courts. The community is gated and manned during the night.
One of Southern Dunes key features is its proximity to shopping and dining. Wal-Mart superstore is right next door to the community and Winn Dixie is the opposite side of the entrance, both large supermarkets, along with Dollar General and various other smaller shops. All of these are within walking distance from the entrance to Southern Dunes.
When it comes to dining again there are many places to choose from all within walking distance too. Most places are fast food restaurants such as McDonalds, Burger King, Taco Bell and Domino’s Pizza to name just a few. There is one place that is a keen favourite with both locals and visitors and that is Manny’s Chop House and is situated over the road and a little further down from the community. The food is excellent and very good value for money. The place isn’t much to look at and can be quite noisy inside but I and many others think it is worth it.
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By Steve Sewell
December 5, 2012 at 2:09 AM
During these tough economic times it can make even more sense to look for a vacation villa in Orlando. There can be huge savings and much better value for money over hotels, especially for the larger groups or families. Here are some tips, a check list if you like to ensure that everything goes without a hitch.
- Decide where you would like to stay, do some research as to the area and perhaps the type of communities available. Some communities have lakes where you can fish, some have nature trails. Then there are the resort types that have communal areas such as a clubhouse, fitness room, internet cafe and pool.
- The reason? This way you can find out everything about the villa and the community, where it is and the facilities offered, shops nearby etc. If you go through a tour operator, many of them allocate on arrival so you have no idea about the villa or the location until you arrive.
- Send out your enquiry to the owners of the properties that you like to check on price and availability. Be as concise as possible with your enquiry, if you want a villa with a lake or conservation view then put it in your enquiry. Then only those that meet your requirements will reply. This all helps to make your stay in Florida as memorable as possible.
- Decide on whether you want the pool heated. It gets a bit chilly overnight from November to March so if you are travelling over this period it is advisable to book it. It will be cheaper to do it when you make your booking with the owner rather than have the management company come out and switch it on when you arrive.
- Most villa owners will provide mid stay cleans if this is required or perhaps a welcome basket of the bare essentials till you have time to go to the supermarket. Villa owners are very knowledgeable about Orlando and will be only too happy to help and give advice, so don’t be afraid to ask.
- Most owners accept credit card payments, check/cheque payments or bank transfers.
- Most villa owners ask for a security deposit (damage bond) this amount varies but is generally around £200/$300 per stay. This is refunded after the villa has been checked by the management company. It is extremely rare that an owner would deduct anything from the bond, they realise that accidents happen and only if the guest was negligent or wilfully damaged something would they ever do it.
- If you want an early check in or late checkout ask for one, and if the villa is free they will try their best to accommodate you, often at no extra charge.
- Before you arrive in Orlando the owner will have sent you all the information needed to find and gain access to the villa. Many owners have a lockbox or en electronic door lock at the property and all you need to do is enter the code given to you. In most cases it saves having to go to a management company after a long flight and pick up the keys then make your way to the villa.
- All that is left to do is have a great vacation! The last tip is if you have enjoyed your stay let the owner know and keep in touch, don’t be afraid to ask for a discount as many owners do offer discounts to returning guests and for any referrals that you provide them.
By Steve Sewell
November 6, 2012 at 6:43 PM
1. Price, generally Orlando vacation homes and villas tend to work out cheaper if there are 4 or more people travelling together, as the price you pay is for the villa not per person. So they are ideal for families and large groups. That’s not to say that couples can’t enjoy them too.
2. Freedom of choice. When you choose your vacation villa you get to see exactly what you are getting and can choose the things that appeal to you, perhaps it is a conservation or lake view, perhaps you would like to fish in the lake and maybe you want a south facing pool or one with a spa. You may even base your choice on how the home is furnished and decorated. The choice is yours.
3. Space. A villa gives you much more space than hotel rooms, even if there are a few in your party. You can be close enough to other group or family members but can also have your own space if you need it by being in your bedroom or another of the rooms in the villa.
4. Mum & Dad time. If Mum and Dad are travelling with small children and staying in a hotel room, when it comes to bed time for the little ones Mum & Dad can’t very well do much else themselves so they watch some TV but have to keep the noise down so as not to wake the children. In a villa the kids can share a bedroom or have one each if you wish, most have TV’s in them so they can watch their own favourite programs. Leaving Mum & Dad to do what they want, whether it is a swim in the heated pool, or a few drinks and watch some TV, knowing the kids are safely tucked up in bed.
5. Meals. If you wish to cook some meals or have children that are hard to feed when out in restaurants you have a fully equipped kitchen at your disposal. It can work out cheaper too if you do cook some of your own meals.
6. Laundry. All vacation homes have washers and dryers and especially if you are on vacation with children, what better than to be able to keep on top of the washing, without having to find one in some hotel after saving up a whole load of quarters. In any case why take back a suitcase of dirty washing with you when your vacation is over?
7. Games rooms & Home theatres. Many villas now have games rooms, some have home theatres with large screen TV’s. There are some that offer free use of bicycles. Many have games consoles to keep the kids happy.
8. Relaxation. If you are not into the hype of Disney and the theme parks and just want the Florida climate and to be able to relax by your own pool. You can do this too if you wish. Almost all of the homes are close enough to the action but far enough to be able to shut off from it.
9. Nature Walks. Some of the villa communities have nearby nature trails and walks.
10. Great Advice. By booking a villa in Orlando directly with an owner gives opportunity to get to know more about the area by dipping into that pool of knowledge that has built up over the years. Many villa renters have built up a good rapport with an owner and they have become good friends and regular guests to their homes.
By Steve Sewell
June 5, 2009 at 12:09 PM
Have you ever considered renting an Orlando Villa instead of a hotel room? There are so many advantages to doing so. Many years ago it was probably different but now vacation villas, condos and townhouses offer so much more than many hotels and at a cheaper price. It is not uncommon to be able to rent a property on a resort that has a communal pool, clubhouse with bars and restaurants, fitness centers , fishing lakes and much more. With such enchanting names such as Watersong, Emerald Island and Thousand Oaks they all live up to it with beautifully landscaped gardens and conservation.
Most villas have private pools that can be heated on request again some of them overlook breath taking views of lakes or conservation giving you the opportunity to see some Florida wildlife close up. Increasingly, there are now many homes that offer high speed internet access, free long distance and international phone calls, large screen tv’s, DVD players, spa’s/hot tubs and everything you need to make the villa your home from home, including, all linen, cooking equipment, towels etc. All included in the price. If you want mid stay cleans these can always be arranged.
If you consider the cost of say a group of 6 travelling to Orlando, work out the cost to stay in hotel rooms, then compare the cost of a vacation home. I am sure you will be surprised. Plus you have all that privacy, independence and freedom. If you want to cook in the villa then there are all the modern appliances at your disposal. If you need to do any washing, no need to drag all your washing to whichever floor the washing machines are located in a hotel, you have your own washer and dryer.
All vacation homes are within a short drive to Disney World and the other Orlando attractions. Orlando Villas at Perfect Florida Villas we have provided many satisfied travellers to Orlando with first class, affordable accommodation. We list the vacation homes, you choose the ones that you are interested in and contact the owner directly. All our owners are verified and are also very knowledgeable about Orlando and other parts of Florida and will only be too happy to help and advise you with planning your trip.
By Steve Sewell
May 20, 2009 at 9:37 AM
Mrs McCullum and her husband, Ian from Edinburgh, Scotland had long dreamed of taking their family to Disneyworld in Orlando, Florida. She states that “Having 3 children, I had always thought that it would be too expensive” Then she started looking into doing the trip in an independent way instead of using a package holiday. “ I started searching for flights and found that they were much more expensive during the kids school holidays, so we managed to work it so that they would only miss one week of school, the prices were much better" By this time Ian’s Mother and Father had also indicated that they would love to go along too.
So the next step was to find somewhere to stay when she was getting prices for hotel rooms the cost started to get quite high. To be comfortable she didn’t want to cram her and her husband and 3 kids into a hotel room. “The youngest Chloe was 5, Joe was 12 and Janine was 14, so it would have been a bit cramped. This meant looking at 2 rooms for us and one for my in-laws. It was then that my mother-in-law suggested that we rent a villa. I did a search on Google and found Orlando Villas from Perfect Florida Villas. I am so glad that I did, I was able to browse through the large selection homes on offer, able to choose the location and amenities etc. We narrowed it down to a short list and ended up choosing a gorgeous villa on Calabay Parc. We had some great chats with the owner and she gave us tons of advice that proved very useful. It had a games room, PC and free international phone calls. The pool was marvellous and we had the sun most of the day. The kids loved it. The cost of the villa for the 2 weeks was much less than the hotels we were looking at working out to £900 for all 7 of us and we loved the comfort and freedom.
It was a great holiday and we hope to repeat it again next year and would not consider staying in a hotel room. Thank you Perfect Florida Villas!”
August 4, 2008 at 7:31 AM
So you have decided to rent an Orlando villa for this year's vacation. So what do you do next? First visit a site such as Orlando Villas by Perfect Florida Villas or Florida Villas Elite and take a look at what is on offer. Browse or search the villas to find the perfect villa for your trip. Check to see the distances from the theme parks if this is one of your reasons to visit. Most all of the villas listed are within 10 -15 mins of Walt Disney World. If you have any questions you can ask the owner directly and they will only be too happy to help. Once you have selected the villa or villas you are interested in send out your enquiry. Be sure to list any preferences that you would like, such as, games room or South facing pool etc.
Next you will receive replies form owners meeting your requirements. They will confirm that they have availability and give you a total price for the period. You will see just what good value it represents especially for larger families and groups. Once again, if you have any questions feel free to ask. Once your mind is made up and you have chosen your dream villa contact the owner and let them know. They will ask you to send a deposit to secure the booking. There will be nothing else to pay until the final balance is due. This could be anywhere from 8 - 12 weeks prior to you arriving in Orlando. With the final balance a security deposit is normally required, some owners take a swipe of a credit card to cover this. The security deposit is like a damage bond and if there is no damage the owner will return it shortly after your departure from the villa. The security deposit amount is around $300/£200 for the stay.
Shortly before you arrive at your chosen villa you will be given the details of how to get to it and how to gain access. Almost all of the villas have a lock box on the outside or an electronic door lock that has a code to allow access. Inside the lock box you will find the door keys after entering a code. This eliminates the need to have to travel to a central point to pick up keys which is great especially after a long flight.
I'm sure you will be sad to leave your new found home and will not be able to wait till you can return. If you do wish to come back in future years contact the owner and ask if they would give you a discount, most owners do give a discount to repeat visitors.
That's about all there is to it. If you would like to rent the property above visit Orlando Villas.
By Steve Sewell
July 8, 2008 at 10:11 AM
Imagine the scenario; you want to have a large family get together in Orlando or one of the other beautiful Florida destinations. You have tried several hotels some can accommodate you some can't, those that can accommodate you can't guarantee you will be in the same part of the hotel complex let alone the same floor.
Even if you are travelling as a family, many offer 2 Queen sized bedrooms or a King. So if you are taking kids with you it's going to be Mom & Pop in one Queen and the kids in the other. Not much privacy there. Once the kids are asleep and you want to watch a bit of TV you have to keep the volume down low so as not to disturb the kids.
So what's the solution?
Simple, take a look at the many vacation properties available in Florida and particularly the Orlando Area. These luxurious vacation homes are equipped with everything you need to make it your home from home. Almost all of them have private heated pools, some with hot tubs and Jacuzzis. Many have large screen TV's, games consoles such as xbox and PS2 along with games. Others also have games rooms with pool and foosball tables. So after a tiring fun filled day at the theme parks if the kids have any energy left there is something for them to do. Mom & Dad can have some quality time too once the kids are all tucked up in bed. If you wanted to cook some meals instead of eating out all the time, even if it is Breakfast the choice is yours. All the facilities are there at your disposal. Some villa communities have communal areas with a pool, kids play areas, hiking trails and clubhouses too.
What about the cost?
Many times the cost is comparable or cheaper than hotel rooms, depending on the number of travelers. If you take in value for money then Vacation Villas are cheaper than hotels every time. The average cost of of a vacation home that has 4 bedrooms and can sleep up to 10 people (many have sleeper sofas), is around $900 per week. If, lets say, there were 8 people traveling in your group and you stayed in hotel rooms, it could easily cost more than the $900 especially if you had 4 rooms! Bedroom sizes can be as many as 7, often with more than one master suite. These huge villas can sleep up to 16, if you would want that many! For the privacy alone it's got to be worth the money.
When choosing a vacation villa online from a website such as Perfect Florida Villas or Florida Villas Elite you can rest assured that you will be dealt with in an honest and professional manner. All villas have been verified by the site owners as being registered with the state and hold a Hotels license and do indeed exist and are owned by who they say they are. All villas have a competent Management Company that provide any assistance that may be required by you throughout your stay.
When visiting Orlando Villas you are able to view the property you like see many pictures of it and ask the owner for answers to any questions or requests you may have.
So it's time to break the hotel habit and give vacation villas in Orlando and Florida a try. You wont regret it!
By Steve Sewell