Popular Family Vacation Resorts In Florida
Florida Family Vacation Reviews
Florida is a magnet for families, with its double whammy of
theme parks and popular beaches; but beyond the best-known spots, other great
Florida family vacations await. Florida has long held the title of "Most Kid Friendly Vacation Destination". It is home of Walt Disney World,
an amusement park near Orlando, and many other theme parks. The Walt Disney World Resort with four theme parks, numerous water parks, exquisite florida hotels, shopping centers are major tourist attractions of the state.
However, there are many other reasons to visit Florida. If you are in
desperate need of a great vacation, then come and visit Florida. Florida has it
all: great weather, beautiful beaches and super fun family, honeymoon and spa resorts. It is our favourite place in the world, there is so much
to see and do and it is for all ages.
First hand information is far better than any brochure or pamphlet, and this trip advisor is invaluable
when choosing the right resort or cruise. Look at the following travel reviews
and use it as your personal trip advisor.
South Florida Family Vacations
Club Med: Sandpiper
(All-Inclusive, Family-oriented Resort situated on 400 acres on the St. Lucie
River, 20 minutes from beach).
"...We stayed at the Sandpiper from May 24-28. I have lots of positive and a
couple of negative comments.
I will start my saying the food is FABULOUS.
It was myself, my husband, and my 2 kids (ages 4 and 8). We had
a 2 bedroom marina view. Very big... I had to call several times to ask them to
stock our refrigerator (which they put as one of th perks to upgrading to this
room). They finally stocked ONE (even though we had 2 refrigerators (one in each
room), they only stocked one of them on the 3rd day with the milk, yogurt and
apple juice I requested. I also had to call 3 days in a row and ask about the
toys for the kids they promote for the 2 bedroom marina view. They also, after 4
phone calls, brought up some little toys for the kids which were great. I have
NO idea why they don't automatically do this when they advertise it as one of
the perks to getting this room.
Find Top Florida hotels by destination:
My 8 year old did so many of the activities. Not necessarily in the camp.
When we got there on Wednesday, he was the only one in his age group in his camp so he had a private lesson for in-line
skating but would have been nice with other kids. Then he also went and did
Archery. He played golf with my husband and then they also went on a fishing
trip. He played in the pool and of course, spent time in the game room.
My 4 year old would NOT stay in the camp. I was really hoping that the
GO would help coax her in. I know once she was in, she would have had a GREAT
time but he told me that they had too many kids in this camp and couldn't spend
a few minutes helping me. I was really upset about that but what can you do.
Basically, that was it for that camp. I didn't even bother again. She played in
the pool alot and had lots of fun.
The shows were GREAT. I LOVED the
Memorial Day show by the pool with the balloons and then the circus in the
square. Very fun.
Most of the staff is wonderful. The reception desk
staff were very nice. MOST of the bartenders were very very nice. Quincy was
great. Once in a while you would get a "snippy" bartender but I would say 90% of
them were very nice and helpful.
One thing that did bother me is that
when I went into the fitness center to use some cardio equipment (they have
about 6 pieces total treadmills/eliptical). One wasn't working and the others
were all taken up by GO's. That ANNOYED me that I, as a paying guest, couldn't
use the equipment because the GO's were on it. They should have their own
fitness center OR times that they get to use them. They are all in very good
shape so it is obvious they all do work out, ESPECIALLY THE CIRCUS CREW.
The Circus - My gosh..... The talent. Unreal!!!
So all in all it
was a very nice place and I would go back BUT with another family who has kids
my kids age. The camp just didn't work out for
"...My husband and I live outside of Kansas City. We have a little guy who just
turned 1. This was an awesome vacation for all of us. Dylan went to the Baby
Club Med 6 of the 7 days we were there. He had lots of fun and they made real
easy to stop in and check on him anytime we wanted. He was well cared
The GO's are awesome!! It's a real neat and unexpected dynimac to
visiting a Club Med. I had no idea the staff would have so much to do with our
entertainment. It really gives the resort a personal touch. There are some
really interesting people who work there!!"
"...We had an great time at Club Med Sandpiper! The food is *great*, the staff is
very warm and friendly, and we enjoyed many of the activities that were offered
to us. However, we were disappointed with a few things. Our room overall was
clean and bug-free, which is always important, but our patio door fell off its
tracks every time we opened it, and forget about the plumbing. Both our room
toilet and one of the public toilets needed a few flushes to properly do their
jobs. Also, we would recommend that future guests call ahead to the front desk
before departing for Sandpiper to ask about transportation to the resort. No one
was at the airport to pick us up when we arrived, even though it was specified
that someone would pick us up, so we had to take a cab (which they paid for).
Also, childless couples were rare while we stayed there, which we didn't mind,
but other people who don't like children might be irritated at the number of
small children present at Sandpiper. Fortunately, the adult pool and the
adults-only dining room helped out with that. Also, be aware that
"all-inclusive" includes your flight, your room, food, and some activities -
however, other activities such as wave runners, pontoon boats, Fun Boats, etc.,
are available for a fee. Overall, we had a really fun and relaxing stay
"...Just got back yesterday and had the best family vacation we have ever had. We
are a couple with a 12 and almost 14 year old and they had the time of their
lives. The GO's were unbeleivable. We can't wait to go
"...We just returned from a six day stay at the Club Med Sandpiper. We had never
done an all-inclusive trip before and honestly, had very low expectations. We
figured that our boys, ages 22 mo, 8, and 13, would have fun, but didn't expect
much of the food or accommodations. We were all pleasantly surprised!
One of the only negatives about the trip was our first interaction with the club-
our flight was 15 min. early, and our transfer was 25 min. late, so we were
stuck in PBI for almost 45 min wondering where the driver was. The people at
reception were trying very hard to get info to us, but the driver kept telling
them he was there when, in fact, he wasn't. Once we arrived at the Sandpiper we
had a truly unexpected wonderful time. We were very pleasantly surprised by all
of the elements of the property.
The G'O's were ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!
Because tipping isn't encouraged, you feel like everyone is genuinely very nice
and helpful. This was our first time leaving our baby in any kind of childcare
outside our home, and the mini-club went over the top to take care of our child.
He was only 22 mo at the time of our trip, so by club guidelines should have
been placed in the under 2 program, but they allowed him to move up to the 2-3yr
old group when we requested the move because he is more comfortable around older
kids. On the first day, he was crying and upset that we were leaving but the
G.O's calmed him down quickly and by the third day he was eagerly going to his
favorite G.O. and even participated in the mini-club show at the end of the
week. We also took advantage of the Siesta club one night from 7-11 pm- it was
well worth the extra expense and allowed the rest of us to take part in the
Our older boys had never taken part in any kind of kids
club on any vacation so they too were hesitant to try it, but by the middle of
the week they only wanted to be with their groups and enjoyed seeing the
children at evening activities and meals. We loved seeing them around the
property having fun. We signed the baby up in the club in the morning so the
rest of us could play golf, then took him out in the afternoon and signed the
older boys up for their clubs for snack and afternoon activities. It was a great
way to spend time with all of them and still allowed them to participate in the
The food was
OUTSTANDING!!! We were expecting typical food for the masses, but they did a
great job of creating an environment where everyone was satisfied while
maintaining the caliber of the food. Needless to say, we all left with a couple
of extra pounds and my boys are missing the variety.
The rooms were as we expected. Nothing over the top- just
your basic room with T.V. and phone. Bathrooms were tiny- had to close the door
in order to get around the toilet and into the shower- and not exactly spotless,
but we were only in our rooms to shower and sleep. We did have a beautiful
garden view, but weren't ever in our rooms to enjoy it.
AMAZING STAFF all around
Great kids clubs at every age
Access to a lot of sports ( we
played golf four days- the course isn't in great shape or very challenging, but
what do you want for family golf at $39 a round!, also enjoyed tennis at night,
and sailed in the hobie-cat regatta with the older boys.
True family fun- alot of great
memories- tons of activities for the family
The photographer took a lot of shots that turned out great,
and was an outstanding person!
The property lists five pools, but
one is for ages 16 and up, another is the baby pool at the mini-club, one is the
volleyball pool, one isn't heated, so we only really used the lap pool which is
the only heated pool and the baby pool.
A lot of people- not the place to go if you're looking to
get away from it all. By 9am, all of the chairs at the pool were covered with
towels by people who never seemed to be laying on them- we rarely ended up with
one chair for our family of 5
Room left a lot to be desired, but isn't such a huge factor
since you're rarely in them
Overall, we were very pleasantly suprised by what a great
time we had. Did I mention how wonderful the G.O.'s were? I can't say enough
about the staff- they have a large part in the success of our trip. We would
definitely go back again."
"...My husband and I and our two kids, 5 and 7 1/2 vacationed
at Club Med in mid-October.
Club Med Sandpiper was very convenient to get to. Hopping on a red-eye flight at 11pm
from San Francisco to West Palm, Florida, and a 1 1/2 hour ride to Port St
Lucie, we arrived by lunchtime at our destination. The grounds weren't as
beautiful and tropical as the Caribbean Club Meds (Punta Cana was our favorite).
The exception was the small beach and boating area. We were impressed by the
very spacious accomodations, though.
There were plenty of activities available, including a new
one for us... yoga every morning by a aged but very flexible wonder, Jack. The
activities were quite close in proximity, so booking ourselves for yoga, tennis,
golf and belly dancing while leaving time for swimming in the afternoon with the
kids, was doable without being too tired out.
1. The pools and pool
chairs were too close together and not very picturesque. We were spoiled by the
beautiful and warm Punta Cana pools and spaciousness of the beach area. There
was one small adult pool (which was nice to hang out at while the kids were in
the Kids Club).
2. Unfortunately, due to the age and
style of the buildings, which needed some upgrading, it didn't feel as if you
were transported to a tropical oasis.
3. Perhaps the smallness of the tiny sandy beach, that only fit a handful of lawn chairs and
the muddy brown river which had problems with sewage contamination in October
from the town of Port St Lucie also disappointed us.
1.The rooms were extremely spacious, and the Marina family
suite was fantastic since the kids got their own room separated from ours by a
2.The food was the best of
all the Club Meds that we went to (Cancun, Turquoise and Caicos, and Punta
Cana). There was so much variety and different themes, that I was never bored
with the buffet. And some of the salads and sushi were some of the best I've
tasted. This is in comparison to some food that we were served in some of the
nicest restaurants in Italy and France.
3.The kids club is the reason why we come to Club Med rather
than any other resort club. It is great for adults pursue their own activities
that they hardly ever do at home. And relaxes them enough to enjoy having a nice
fun swim with them at the end of the day. Also, this is only club I know where
the kids are allowed to roam about with the adult supervision, of course, and do
activities in different areas of the resort. Others I have seen only allow the
kids to play in a contained area and include video games and TV rather than
doing Archery, Tennis, Sailing and all the other fun stuff they get to do. The
GO's, as usual were very fun and kept the kids very entertained.
The food was the best of all the Club Meds that we
went to (Cancun, Turquoise and Caicos, and Punta Cana). There was so much
variety and different themes, that I was never bored with the buffet. And some
of the salads and sushi were some of the best I've tasted. This is in comparison
to some food that we were served in some of the nicest restaurants in Italy and
The rooms were extremely spacious, and the
Marina family suite was fantastic since the kids got their own room separated
from ours by a door.
There were plenty of activities available,
including a new one for us... yoga every morning by a aged but very flexible
wonder, Jack. The activities were quite close in proximity, so booking ourselves
for yoga, tennis, golf and belly dancing while leaving time for swimming in the
afternoon with the kids, was doable without being too tired out."
"...We just spent 4 days and three nights at Club Med
Sandpiper and had a great time. The kids camp was great and our boys (8 and 4
1/2) had a blast. The activities were fun for them (skating, circus, tennis,
sailing, archery, hip-hop, swimming) and kept them busy all day. You can check
the kids in and out of the camp easily, so if they want to skip an activity it
is no problem. You can find them any time of the day if you want to watch them
participate in a certain activity, which was great. My little one stayed at camp
from 9-5:30 and even wanted to go back for dinner one night!! The food was
nothing fancy, but there was a lot of it. It gets a little monotonous, but
overall, it was fine. The staff was very friendly, but a little disorganized. A
lot of staff members just started b/c the season changes in NOvember, so it was
hard to get answers to some questions and I was told more than once that they
were under-staffed. But the kids really liked the counselors!! The pool was
nice, but FREEZING!! We were told the heater was broken at first, but then they
told us it was fixed. It was just as cold the last day as the first day, so I
don't know what the deal was with that! The night activities were
great...perfect for young kids, except some didn't even start until 8:30 PM,
which seemed a little late. We had a connecting room with a king bed in our room
and twin beds for the kids room. The rooms were HUGE. Big sitting areas and lots
of dressing and closet space. They needed some maintenance (light bulbs were out
everywhere!), but they more than served their purpose. This was our first trip
to a club-med, so I didn't know what to expect. We would definitely go back
Club Med Sandpiper Florida
"...My family went to club med with our two sons 11 &
16, my fatherinlaw, motherinlaw and our sister and brother in law and their two
kids 6 & 8.
"...Overall we had a Great time, but the kids had a fantastic time.
"...Great: The kids programs, we couldn't get our kids out of
these. The GCO's, The Food, The activities, The overly accomodating buffet, and
chefs and front desk staff. The room sizes. The beds. Did I say the food? I
usually don't like buffets as I'm afraid kids will have put their hands in
everything, but they had a person at each of the main stations serving so that
wasn't an issue, and alot of the food was still cooked to order (morning omelets
were terrific). I also like that we got to have the same table for every meal if
you requested so we could always catch up with each other.
"...Good/OK: The pools - they said
they were heated, but definitely not enough for us cold blooded adults, in fact
I don't think the adult pool or main pool was heated at all. In summer not a
factor but in march it was. Since my father in law loves to swim this was a huge
Room Service... we couldn't seem to get our
rooms made up before 5pm, and they frequently did an under par job. I even tried
tipping them personally a few times and pointing out my room, but then had to
get heavy handed and complain. This still didn't solve the problem but got us a
complimentary bottle of wine, which I didn't need. I want to be able to go back
to my room in early afternoon, take a nap, shower and get ready for dinner.
"...Aged Pool Chairs...really made the
rest of place look run down...hopefully they are going to fix these soon.
"...Drink or beverage service next to
the Adult pool would be much appreciated, even if its not alcohol....! Leaving
water bottles or ice tea or ice water that is abundant at the main pool would be
a great improvement. They did bring something out in the evening but not at all
during the day.
"...Reservation only restaurant...staff is too slow...went there once, never again. Menu was not
the bar after 9pm...didn't mind they were there as they are always friendly and
fun to talk with...but hey guys serve me my drink first? I'm paying and old, so
I don't have as much time? Can I have a seat?
"...Beauty Salon - would be a great thing to have... at least
for girls we'd like to get our nails done, and haircuts....spa treatments would
be even better. The massage therapist was great. Perhaps they are afraid to put
this in and "charge" I wouldn't mind.
"...So my pet peeves are from the perspective that for the
"price" I expect a few items to be fixed to match the price for the
"...Would I go there
again? Yes.. I just can't give it an "excellent rating".
"...Our family - Brooklyn, NY Mommy, Daddy, 22 month old
daughter and mother-in-law in tow just returned from the Sandpiper and had a
lovely vacation. My wife and I met at a summer camp so even though this was our
first Club Med experience it was oddly familiar.
This is definitely a child-centered resort, so if you don't
have one - go somewhere else. If you have one - good luck finding an equal.
The kids' programs seemed well run
although we are working parents so really wanted to spend our time with our
child and only briefly took advantage of the early drop off and late pick up day
care. We were still able to use the toddler day care facilities (baby pool and
play areas) without feeling like outsiders. Child programs seemed to be well run
and plenty of activities for all ages. 4-12 year olds would probably gain the
most from the experience and looked like they were having a blast. Diapers,
wipes etc...available at the resort boutique if needed.
The staff was amazing - very well
trained. My only complaint would be they were a little too friendly. I'm not
used to so many random hellos but that may appeal to some. Reception was great,
bags handled from start to finish...no tipping was a great relief and at no
point did we ever feel pressured to do so. The rooms were spacious and clean. We
had a few minor maintenance issues but they were handled quickly after calling
the reception desk.
The buffet meals had plenty of options, lots of food for all ages, although not 5 star
cusine by any means. I would rate it as well-seasoned nourishment. There seem to
be a few adult only areas at mealtime but basically lots of kids everywhere. For
us this was great. Our loud, messy and demanding daughter was drowned out by the
others and while meals were not relaxing it was as comfortable dining out with a
2 year old as one could imagine.
The golf course was a little disappointing. The greens were
in poor condition and the course not very attractive or challenging....but a
short walk to the first tee without a tee time (I was solo)and decent speed for
only $36 (after 1:00) including cart made up for it.
The babe rating....no comment.
Lots of nice mommies, daddies and kids - not a big party crowd.
Our daughter loved the puppet show
since it was basically a big dance party - her favorite; other evening ativites
were cute and entertaining.
Overall it is not an exotic vaction but very comfortable
and money well spent."
"...Our family has been to many Club Meds (Hualtulco;
Paradise Island, Sandpiper, Moorea, Tahiti; Senegal, Africa; two in France) so
we feel we can make constructive complaints.
Foreign clubs have beautiful dinners outdoors with candles
and incredible displays of food; lunches outdoors by the sea at least one day a
week, lots of Club Med style dancing to Club Med songs, etc. And G.O.'s who
totally concentrate on making the guests have a great time.
Kids have a great time there and there is lots to do
for everyone...don't get me wrong."
"...My husband, son and I stayed at Sandpiper, Club Med
for the last week in August. Notwithstanding the heat and humidity, we had a
great time! The best part, bar none, was the Baby Club. The G.O.'s working there
were fantastic with the kids and our son, who was 8 months old at the time,
loved it...so much so that we didn't feel bad in the least leaving him in their
care for most of the days. This let us have some much needed "us" time - playing
tennis, golfing, swimming, working out and just hanging around the pool drinking
fruity cocktails. We'd also recommend taking advantage of the Siesta Service in
Well the food at any Club Med (or all-inclusive for that matter), can get boring after a few
days, I thought they did a good job mixing it up and have no complaints.
Overall, would recommend this Club
Med to ANYONE with babies or young kids. It caters to their enjoyment and,
therefore to that of the parents. We will definitely be back."
"...This place is wonderful! The charming nature of Florida plus european cuisine plus
plus cool people working for club med make it a great place for active
If you don't mind
sqeezing OJ yourself for your own breakfast, if you like yoga - aerobics - water
sports - tennis and prefer cocktails to beer - this place is for you.
Otherwise - don't bother.
Be careful with desserts - it is to easy to gain some pounds in a week."
Sonesta Key Biscayne Beach
"...I am so glad that we followed the most
recent reviews and stayed at the Sonesta Beach Club last weekend. Our room was
nicely appointed and had a spectacular view. The front desk staff weren't the
friendliest, but everyone else more than made up for it.
We had such a great day on Saturday that we never even left the property. The food was good and the pina
coladas were great! Be sure to check out Gino at the Seabreeze Cafe for one of
his special pina coladas which goes well with the delicious Curried Bird Salad
(a tropical delight of chicken, curry, pinapple, ginger, and guava).
The beach is very nice and the hotel staff set up chairs and umbrellas for the guests. A very friendly server
brought us drinks and shrimp.
It is really too bad that this place is going to be torn
down for another set of condos. I wish I had found it years ago."
Cheeca Lodge and Spa
"...We got married at the Cheeca Lodge on May 13th with
about 50 guests at the Lagoon Beach. From the moment we arrived at the resort,
we had nothing but fantastic service and an amazing experience. All of our
guests felt the same way. The only gripe that could be justified would be that
the front desk staff doesn't seem to know what they're doing. Michelle, the
wedding coordinator at Cheeca, was so great as was the entire catering staff.
The event was "the most beautiful and wonderful wedding ever" according to all
of our guests. I would definitely reccommend this resort as a place to take a
romantic trip, host an event, or take a family vacation - there's so much to do!
You can play golf, tennis, go snorkeling (the snorkeling trip is awesome and is
the sunset cruise) and our favorite activity was hanging out at the beachside
tiki bar and listening to the live music. Cheeca Lodge is absolutely awesome -
we'll be back!"
"...After reading so many negative comments I was very
skeptical l about the resort. Was I ever wrong? What a great room (back by the
road) Every time I walked to the Lodge I was inspired by the beauty of the Keys
and so thankful to be away from the city. The walk is so beautiful, you can take
a different way every time. Every time I walked to the main lodge I was inspired
by the laid back easy lifestyle of the Keys. The beauty of the island is
everywhere you go. Everything was perfect except for the parents of the kids.
They should be ashamed thinking that the world revolves around thier brats. I
will be back when the kids are back in school. What a perfect spot for adults
only. Leave the kids at home so you don't ruin other peoples well earned
Florida Family Vacations: Tampa Bay Area
St.Pete / Clearwater Beach
"...Here is some good advice - when you go to Clearwater Beach
this is the best value and fun for the money. Try Xtreme Watersports (at the
Marina next to the riverboat) and take their kayak cruise charter. The Capt.
will pretty much do whatever you want to so its like you have your own private
charter. When we went, we wanted to do some kayaking and fishing and the owner
was nice enough to lend us fishing poles. We also went snorkeling and swimming
too. My kids never went kayaking before so they were really happy that the
kayaks were on the boat and they didnt have to paddle too far!!! Seriously, we
had a blast and for less money than it would cost to rent 2 jet skis for a
couple hours. It is definitely the best deal there and the employees were
helpful and wanted us to have a good time. We saved at least $50 doing this
instead of some of the other attractions and had a really fun
"..Wow my family and I (ages 22,8, and 1) just got back from
renting a beach house at clearwater beach.
It was great.
We were a block off the beach and just played the whole time. The house was a 3
bedroom with a pool. We had plenty of room and
super time. We are all ready planning our next trip back. Renting a house is the
way to go."
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
"...We took this well needed trip to Tampa with our nearly 1 year old daughter and had a blast! There
are so many things to see and do at Busch Gardens that we got a season pass and
spent several days there. It is a very relaxing place to take the family. We
travelled in February and the weather was beautiful and the park was fairly
empty. Awesome shows and beautiful animals. I can't wait to go back!"
"...As a Florida local I can say this is the absolute best
park we have. It is enormous and you really need two days to take it all in. The
ticket prices cost alot because Busch Gardens is part of an extensive zoological
program and they have to feed a ton of large animals. If you are one of those
tourists who would rather be visually stimulated during the wait and recieve a
mediocre ride experience, this is not the park for you! I recommend you don't
even come because my experience will only be that much more enjoyable with one
less cranky cheapskate ranting during my ride wait. If you can handle a wait for
what are the best rides in the state, than by all means you will not be
dissappointed. Alot of people come expecting Disney and bring their little
squirts. I can't say I recommend this. They do have a wonderful little squirt
area but if your kids don't like animals it may not be worth it to bring them as
the rides outside of the kiddie area are scary to say the least. If your here to
do all the parks do this one first, than go to Orlando.
I think many tourist get very confused when the go to Orlando first. Florida is NOT Orlando. Tampa is not an
extension of Orlando! The sooner you understand they are two totally different
experiences, the happier you will be.
As a rollercoaster nut, I love this park. How can you
honestly be dissappointed with giant coasters, exotic animals, and free booze?
Some people are just never happy. :)"
More West Coast
Colony Beach Resort
"...Staying here feels like you are staying in a older
relatives house and is full of momentos of better days when they were younger
and on the way up. It was probably built around the time of the Space Race -
when Florida was emerging out of the dark ages, when gas was 40c a gallon,
cigarettes 20c a pack and so on. It has a spent feel about it, that its best
days are way in the past. The 'voted best tennis resort' signs abound and you
can only think the other resorts must be even more worn out. Its not that the
place is bad -its not - its very friendly on a nice beach with great weather
with ok facilites. Its just that it feels so very, very tired and needs a couple
of million spent to bring it up to an acceptable standard."
"...We just got back from the Colony for a 4 night stay
during Spring Break. We don't play tennis much - but got a great rate (50% off)
so thought we would give it a try.
We are 2 adults and 4 kids (ages 5-14), and we all had a
great time. Only my youngest liked kid's camp (and she LOVED it), but everyone
loved the beach and the pool. My girls and I used the spa, and found it
excellent. Housekeeping was spotty, as others have said, but otherwise we found
the staff very friendly and accomodating.
This is not a luxury resort, but very comfortable and
laid-back. We felt very much at home there, and left extremely happy and
We would love to go back - the sooner the better - and maybe we would actually try playing
"...We traveled to the Colony during the last week in March
with two children and three adults. When we travel with kids we look to give
them a great experience, the Colony delivered. The kids tennis program was
excellent, the family beach activities were super, the pool was ok (small), the
beach was exceptional. My six year old son would rather go to the Colony than
This is resort barely reaches three stars for me. The rooms are very average, the exterior of
the resort needs upgrading. The pool bar service was extremely slow, food was
ok. The activity staff was good but the rest of the hotel staff was inattentive.
We paid $350 per night for a two level, two bedroom, two bath unit. Even though
the resort was very average, my kids went to sleep tired and happy every
Northwest Florida Vacations
Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort
"...Having never been to Destin in the
past, we made last minute plans at The Sandestin Resort. Upon arrival, we were
absolutely amazed at the beauty of the grounds, the ease of check-in and the
amenities offered at the resort. We stayed in a house on the bayside and used
one of the many pools, had a blast in the village and rode around daily on free
bicycles. If you go to The Village (and you must), eat at The Broken Egg Cafe
(order the Brie) and spend some time at Hammerhead's when the sun is setting- it
is beautiful! Skip eating at The Acme Oyster House. Also, explore the trails and
little islands in the resort. We found tree houses, saw alligators and fed a
resident parrot. We had a wonderful time and would definately go again."
"...Our one week vacation to Sandestin
Golf and Beach Resort was like a week in paradise!! It is like it own little
city! The accommodations were A+, along with the never-ending list of amenities,
not to mention having the beach a few feet away. I would highly recommend this
resort for anyone looking for a beautiful place to vacation. The staff was
wonderful, and the rooms were fully equipped with a full kitchen, living room
two bedrooms and two bath and a washer and dryer!!! What else could you ever
Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort
"...We just got back from a wonderful stay at the Hilton
Sandestin. It was a family vacation, 2 kids 3 and 6. The room was excellent with
a wonderful view of the ocean, it was a junior suite with a king (the bed and
bedding were outstanding) and a bunk bed in an alcove of sorts. The room was
very clean as was the entire hotel. I found the staff to be very friendly and
accomodating. The pools were great, lunch at the grill was very good and not as
pricey as I had expected. The big surprise was the beach. You could not tell
that there had been a hurricane, it was as advertised. I use a credit card/debit
card and had no issues at the hotel, the room had high speed internet access
only 10 bucks a day. I would highly recommend this resort. The only suggestion
would be a kids club that would accomodate younger children as their club starts
at age 5."
"...My husband and I stayed here when my husband was at
Eglin AFB for a conference. I left the kids with relatives and went along. The
hotel was wonderful!!!! I had such a great time relaxing in the pool and on the
beach. Since this was the first time away from the kids in a few years I spent
the 4 days we were there just relaxing and couldn't have asked for better
atmosphere. Our room had a view of the beach and the pool. The room was
extremely clean and neat. The housekeeping staff were wonderful with extra
towels and anything else I asked for. The bell staff were extremely helpful.
Since we were there before the official start of the summer season the hotel
shuttle to the Silver Sands Outlet Mall wasn't getting much use (I was the only
interested person) they drove me over personally in the hotel van. Once there
they asked me what time I wanted to be picked up and they arrived right on time.
This was wonderful since I was without a car since my husband was at the
conference. The beach is beautiful and the 3 pools were very clean. Be sure you
have plenty of money if you want to drink adult beverages. A strawberry daquari
costs $7 a pop but since I was on vacation I didn't mind. I would definately
stay there again. There does seem to be quite a few conventions there but there
wasn't excess noise and no loud parties. The new outside bar and restaurant was
great. You can sit right next to the beach. The barmaid said it had only been
open a few weeks when we were there. The hotel is in a gated community which
made me feel safe since I was by myself all day. Great walking trails and golf
too. The only thing I disliked was coming home."
"...This hotel is very nice. Three pools - one indoor, two
outside. RIght on the Gulf of Mexico with spectacular sugary white sand. Front
desk, valet, bell desk couldn't have been more attentive. Our room was VERY
large. We stayed in the family tower and had a large room with an alcove with
bunk beds, a full bath, and then an additional sink, a minibar, with another
sink, microwave and coffe maker. 2 more double beds and a sleeper sofa that also
slept 2. A very nice balcony with two chairs. Awesome view of the gulf. Our room
was in very good condition and appeared to have been newly renovated. The baths
were granite and marble.
The pool bar was great, yes perhaps the prices were more expensive than if I
schlepped a cooler of beer - but this is a resort! There was live entertainemnt
outside by the pool and then again in the evening at the bar.
Yes, there were a few conventions
occuring and TWO weddings and Tulane University Fraternity dinner - it made for
a nice blend of people, not too crowded.
We had a very good time, and would love to return here and
would not hesitate to recommend this hotel.
Additionally, the HOtel is part of the Sandestin Resort and
offers a complimentary shuttle all over the property - to the golf courses,
tennis and Baytown, which is also nice for a little shopping and dinner. Our
family of 4 (kids 12 & 10) loved this place!"
"...For the past four years our family goes to Wakulla and
stays there for the week during spring break. It is a great vacation for the
family with friendly people."
"...I have been staying at the wakulla every year since i
was 2 and i would never think of going any place but there, it is peaceful,
right on the ocean for a price you can't beat and the courtyard is lovely....i
can't say enough great things sbout this place"
"...My parents and I started staying at Wakulla when I was
in high school (1979). I now have a family of my own and we vacation at the
Wakulla every year on Spring Break (along with my three sisters and their
families!!). It is the "only" place to stay ... apartment living at motel
prices!!! With the design of the courtyard, it is a "safe haven" for children to
have fun. Many great memories have been made by staying at the Wakulla!!!"
Disney's Beach Club Villas
"...I stayed at the beach club villas with my family in
march 2006. We had a court yard view, that you could see the fireworks from
epcot from the balcony. Everything in the room was updated and clean. The sand
pool was great for the kids, but the pool could use a new bottom to it. The play
area for the kids was not great at all, but do you go to disney for the
playground or the parks. We had the dining option which was great because you
could go anywhere to eat. I have one suggestion. Make reservations well in
advance. Just remember that gratuity with most of the restaurants are included.
my husband forgot this when we ordered room service one night, and the guy
walked away with a hefty tip. The hotel is a bit pricey, but you can walk to
epcot and mgm from this hotel. Magic kingdom was a 10 min bus ride away. The
staff was very friendly and helpful. Over all we will stay here again."
"...The Beach Club is probably one of the most beautiful
hotels at Walt Disney World. With it's Cape Cod beach theme, absolutely
beautiful decor and excellent location it's really hard to beat. Although as
some reviewers have mentioned there are some wear and tear issues in the Villas
I found these were only minor things, and overall our Studio was very clean and
in good shape. Also housekeeping does not come until the 4th day but you are
told this when you reserve - the villas are treated more as condos than as hotel
rooms. The kitchenette was very convenient as well as the free laundry
facilities on the 4th floor."
"...Excellent location, spacious, fairly well appointed
villas. Worth the off season rates (not a member, paid cash). Minor complaints:
Grounds not kept as nice as typical Disney hotel grounds. Weeds everywhere, bare
patches in the grass, sidewalks need power washing, railings need paint, pool
tiles cracking, etc. Rooms could use new carpets too. The whole place is only a
few years old but it looks 10 years old. Sofa beds a joke but the villa was nice
otherwise. Housekeeping was pretty good."
"...The Beach Club is probably one of the most beautiful
hotels at Walt Disney World. With it's Cape Cod beach theme, absolutely
beautiful decor and excellent location it's really hard to beat. Although as
some reviewers have mentioned there are some wear and tear issues in the Villas
I found these were only minor things, and overall our Studio was very clean and
in good shape. Also housekeeping does not come until the 4th day but you are
told this when you reserve - the villas are treated more as condos than as hotel
rooms. The kitchenette was very convenient as well as the free laundry
facilities on the 4th floor.
Unfortunately for us it was too cold to go swimming (it
went down to 34F - yikes!) but the pool area was just gorgeous. The
"marketplace" store near the lobby had lots of food available including fresh
pastries each morning. The buses and boats to the parks were very quick. We were
very impressed by the beauty of the Beach Club Villas and will likely stay here
Disney's Old Key West Resort
"...I would recommend this resort without question. We had
no cleanlieness problems at all in our room other than the cooking smell, which
a little Febreeze could have taken care of no problem. HOWEVER, this is NOT A
NEW resort and while everything was very clean and in good condition, if you
prefer a NEWER looking hotel, this will not suit you. I loved the huge bathroom,
full-sized washer/dryer and generously sized rooms. I understand that WDW's
newer timeshare units are SMALLER than the rooms at this resort."
"...Of course, going to Disney World almost promises a no
"...Old Key West is absolutly perfect. The rooms were very
clean & huge, we stayed in a 2 bedroom 2 bath w/ 4 adults & 2 preteen
girls and had more room than we needed. The grounds are beautiful the new main
pool w/slide was terrific. The staff was more than friendly and helpfull. The
Disney transportation was wonderfull. Old Key West is very relaxing and quiet,
you will appericate this after 10 to 12 hrs. in the theme parks. When you check
in they say "Welcome Home" and that is just what it feels like HOME! You will
not be disappointed staying here. We can't wait to go back!!! Also, don't be
fooled by the publicity pictures they don't do justice to the property, this
place is truely beautiful."
"...During our very first trip to Orlando, we stayed at
the Old Key West Resort. It was absolutely fantastic! We had a two-bedroom
villa, and everyone (5 in our party from age 9 to age 50) had more than enough
space. The kitchen made it easy to prepare breakfasts (who wants to go out
hungry first thing in the morning?) and other meals as necessary. It was
fabulous having the washer/dryer....no dirty laundry going home! We experienced
some of Hurricane Wilma as it passed through FL, but was kept updated constantly
by messages from the resort. The cast members were friendly and courteous. The
resort grounds are beautiful with golf courses, pools and play areas throughout.
Super quiet, easy access to shuttle buses. It is a bit difficult getting around
the actual resort grounds, though. You have to walk and/or wait for a shuttle
bus to get to the Hospitality House, restaurant or shopping. We hated to
leave...and would definitely stay again!!"
Disney's Vero Beach Resort
"...I stayed there with my mom (58) and
my kids (8, 7 and 4). I'm a 34-year-old, well-traveled woman. I will just say
that it was first class, just as Disney always is. I would compare the Vero to
the Grand Floridian. The only thing I didn't love was that there were no
bellmen. It was more of a condo set-up where that was concerned. Otherwise all
things were fantastic."
"...This beachfront resort is in a beautiful area, the
architecture is unique, and the activities are a blast. My husband & I took
our 9 year-old son for the weekend. We had a fantastic time. Staff is
consistently courteous and professional. We are looking forward to returning."
"...Just got back from a week at disney vero beach. we
have 3 girls 6 8 and 10. We had so much fun. For a family it is a perfect place.
The staff is so friendly. The pool and slide is lots of funs. So many
activities. We are so happy to have found this awesome hotel, can't wait to go
"...We stayed at the Vero Beach Resort in August right
before the hurricanes decided to blow through Florida. I just wanted to let
everyone know what a wonderful place Vero Beach turned out to be. It was
wonderfully quiet and subdued. The perfect getaway after 4 days at Disneyworld!
The food was fantastic, and although the beach was small, it was secluded and
quiet. Our daughter participated in the children's outing one evening so my
husband and I could have a quiet romantic dinner and a beautiful stroll on the
beach. She had a fantastic time and couldn't stop talking about all the things
that the children did. We will definitely stay there on our next family
"...We stayed at Vero Beach from June 23-26, 2004 and did
not want to leave.We found the
resort to very enjoyable and family-friendly."
"...We stayed at Vero Beach from May 24 to May 28, 2004.
What a great place to kick back after the fast-pace of WDW. We had a Inn view
room--great sized room with small fridge, microwave, and sink. We purchased
breakfast items at the hotel grocery and ate breakfast in the room. (Only
complaint--housekeeping was slow to make up the room sometimes not arriving
until 5:00 p.m.) Lots of fun activities for all age levels--the recreation staff
is great! Try to attend one of the campfire sing-alongs. The beach is beautiful
and very clean. We saw sea turtles out in the waves while on the beach. The pool
area is fun and don't miss the minature golfing. Our kids loved the beach but
also liked the pool area and slide. We had plenty to do at the resort but also
drove along the coast and visited Sebastian Inlet Park (saw dolphins, turtles,
but missed the manatees), Florida Treasure Museum, and also Kennedy Space
Center. If you drive to Kennedy, plan an entire day to see the exhibits. Would
definitely return to Vero Beach!"
Hawks Cay Resort
"...I went to Hawk's Cay recently for a
wedding and stayed in the Inn. They certainly had a lot of amenities - the
outdoor pools, lagoon, etc. were all very nice -- gorgeous location for a
wedding. They have 5 - 6 dolphins on-site that you can swim with. They have
shops and restaurants on-site. Porto Cayo, the Italian restaurant near the
family pool was excellent. The Palm Terrace was good for breakfast buffet as
well (much better value than the room service options). The rooms were in need
of updating, but our King Waterview was spacious with a walk-in closet and
dressing room area, and had a view of the adult pool and ocean. The rooms aren't
very well sound-proofed.
Overall, it was alright, but for the price I wouldn't stay
here again unless I was attending another wedding. After driving to Key West, I
would have preferred to stay there. There's more to see & do there."
"...Spent a mother / daughter annual vacation here. I
think we'll be coming back every year! Staff is so accomodating and even our
basic room was extra nice with everything you could need! It was great that they
had an adult pool for the quiet times. Only drawback is the drinks are really
pricey . Although I've seen reviews complaining about the food prices, I think
they were in line with any other resort but I took another guests advice and
picked some things up at the local supermarket nearby for snacks and breakfast.
The marina store sells snacks, beer etc. as well! Just an all around great time.
We'll be back!"
"...2 moms, 4 kids ages 3 to 6 just returned from a 5
night stay, it was GREAT. We stayed in a large 2brdm villa, great location on
the canal, condo was clean and neat and nicely decorated. Each room had a TV
which the kids loved for down time. Washer/dryer, etc.
Our children loved the Pirate Ship
in the Indies Kids CLub. This club is enclosed for security and has lots of
things for the children to do. Mini golf, volleyball, basketball, art projects,
sand box, playground, childrens pool with the Pirate Ship with slides and cannon
guns shooting water and an adult pool. Great for us, we actually had time to sun
and relax. Our children did a 1/2 day at kids camp, they feed fish at the
marina, did art projects, played games and had a BLAST!!
We had breakfast every morning at
the buffet which was good and again easy for us with all of the kids. We did the
Family Explorer package which allows kids under 12 to eat free when an adult
orders off the menu, what a savings!!!!
We loved the casual and comfortable feeling of the entire
resort. How nice to eat by the pool in your swim suit. Overall generally great
service from everyone.
Kids are already asking when do we get to go back!!"
"...Given the fact that we spent over $5000 for the week
for a family of five (just for the hotel) we expected a bit more.
At check-in there was only one person checking in six
parties. after a long journey that was a tough hello. when we checked into our
villa, it was clean but a little tired looking - the carpeting should probably
have beeen replaced. but everything worked fine.
There is a fee of $20 per day which we were told takes care of transportation and the
like. since our villa was on the farthest end of the property from the pool,
restaurant etc. - we felt we would use the transportation. we found ourselves
waiting longer than the walk would have taken, so after the first couple of
calls, abandoned that idea.
our first morning we tried
the self-serve brunch. it was overpriced and packed. the line was a 20 minute
wait to serve ourselves. the food was good, but we were very disappointed to get
hit with an automatic gratuity of 15%. this would be fine if the waiter had done
more than get us coffee, but since we served ourselves and waited a long time,
we felt that this was a bit greedy.
at the pool and
lagoon, there werent enough chairs/lounges to accomodate the number of people
there which seemed to be poor planning. but the area was clean.
the Water's Edge restaurant was good, and I would recommend
the food. skip the bar at Truman's, the bartender didnt know how to make a drink
and kept customers waiting for long periods."
"...At Hawk's Cay you are greeted by a friendly doorman.
All questions can be answered at the handy information
booth. Our room was comfortable with a great second floor balcony that over
looked the adult pool. Hawk's Cay has two pools both with hot tubs. It also has
two restraunts and a coffee shop. You can eat outside by the pool if you feel
casual or inside if you feel more formal. At night they show old movies that can
be watched while relaxing in the pool. Most of all Hawk's Cay is a place to
relax. Children as well as adults will love the dolphins. An interactive
experience with the dolphins is expensive but very rewarding. Many just watch
the show for free if the dolphins are active. Hawk's Cay also has a nice
clothing store and gift shop. You can rent bikes and ride around Duck Key,
charter a sailboat or just sleep by the pool. It's the best place in the
"...My husband and I just returned from a visit to Hawk's
Cay. Everything about our stay was perfect. The staff work hard to maintain the
resort. We loved the ease of the front desk check-in (Ashley) and Tula at guest
services was very helpful. This was our second stay at this resort and we plan
to go back every year. We loved the champagne sunset sail that takes off right
at the resort's marina, very beautiful. We had a room with a private deck which
had steps going down to the adult pool and hot tub which was great. Our room was
very clean and looked just like the room in the advertisement. Loved listening
to the dolphins swim at night when it was quiet. This is also a great place for
kids, the pirate ship pool area will keep them entertained for days. Bike
rentals are a great way to see the rest of the island. Service and food at the
Cantina restaurant were good too."
Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa
"...We just returned from a stay here. This resort has
excellent service, we had a bayview suite which was very nice with separate
living room and 2 bathrooms. Turn down service every night with nice little
The pool area is decent and the fitness
center is good. The spa has great treatments.
The only complaint is that you have to take a boat to get
to the ocean since this resort is on the marshland.
Very nice place overall."
"...Went in February to stay for three night at the
vacation club and three night at the hotel with two boys aged 6 and 4. We took a
taxi to the hotel and it seems most people rent a car. The 2 bedroom vacation
club was beautifully funished and looked over the 10 hole of raptor bay golf
club. There will be about 12 condos eventually built, but a bald eagle seems to
have limited the building to just 3 condos which means the facilities are nicely
underutilised. The pools were great and the kids loved the floating river. Still
there was no restuarant after 6 pm and you had to go to the hotel which a
distance away. So we got early take out from the snack bar which was fine. They
have a fire pit but could not get it working any nights. We played golf one day
and put the kids into the kids club. They begged to go back the next day but the
golf course at $185 is so overrated. The greens are too firm for their donald
ross design, even good shots can be rejected. I have a 7 handicap and hit 20
chips in 18 holes, the course seems like it was crowded in although we did see a
"...We moved the the hotel and had a normal suite
overlooking the bay, the pools were great and the eldest loved the slide down
into the pool. They have a walkway to the boat which can take you out to the
ocean beach. It was a fun ride and there were plenty of shells to collect but
the beach is near a bay opening and there were alot of jet skis flying by only
20 yards from the shore. It was ok. The restaurants were expensive but i thought
they were excellent and had great kids choices. We hired a car to drive down to
alligator alley for just one day and had a great time on one of those air boat
rides. The foyer has great chess sets to play and they had a nice cafe and free
dvd rentals (well free given we are paying a daily resort fee). All in all a
great trip, i love golf and i never back for another game which says alot."
"...Our stay at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort and
Spa was nothing less than fantastic. The entire hotel staff were friendly,
helpful and all had smiles on their faces. Every area of the hotel was clean,
including the lobby, rooms, pool areas and workout facility. The grounds were
well manicure. The Spa and spa staff was top notch. I would recommend scheduling
a massage the day you arrive...it really puts you in a relaxed state of mind
especially if you are on vacation. Scheduling a massage was not a problem. The
pool and pool areas were enjoyed by everyone, both adults and children (the
slide was a big hit as was the rock climbing wall). They have a lazy river that
was fun. The workout facility (open 24 hours) had some of the best treadmills
and other stationary bikes, etc. on the market. I can't wait to return."
"...Stayed here for 5 days and absolutely loved it! This
resort is truly beautiful with its lush tropical grounds and amazing pools with
waterfalls! The rooms are a good size and floors with an odd number have full
walk out balconys, the even floors have a french balcony. The hotel is located
in a secluded area, so unless you want to eat all of your meals here (which can
be expensive) you will need a car to venture out and look for other eating
options. I look forward to staying here again!!"
Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress
"...Great Hotel. The grounds were simply elegant and well
kept. We had a standard room with two double beds for four. The room was
spacious and the view out the window was very nice. We were not facing Disney so
we could not watch the fireworks from out of the room but we could see the
lovely courtyard. Parking in self park is free but can be a hassle if there is a
convention going on. Loved the lighted tennis courts. would not recommend going
at night , the bugs were bad and the path is not well lighted for the walk back
unless you have a flashlight. The food was great. We ordered from room service
and my kids especially liked the milkshakes. The pool was nice and big. They
also have a heated pool which was very enjoyable. The hot tubs were a nice way
to wind down in the evening after a long day at the parks. The weather in
Orlando was terrific. Warm 80's in the day and cool at night. Great trip and
wonderful hotel. I would like to stay there again."
"...The Hyatt is beautiful. The grounds are immaculate and
pretty and there is so much space. We travelled over Easter and there was always
somewhere uncrowded to find with sunbeds available galore (no towel territory
marking required here!). The sunbeds were more like beds they were so
comfortable. There is plenty to do with the option of bike riding, mini golf and
any number of floating devices to use on the lake. The man made beach is
gorgeous and you simply wouldn't know you were in the middle of bustling
Orlando. The pool is a childs dream with waterfalls, caves, 2 slides and a great
"...We stayed at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress between
1st and 18th April 2006 on our 5th Orlando holiday, having stayed twice at a
private house with pool and twice at the Wyndham Palace Resort and Spa (now
re-named Buena Vista Palace). Our trip was very much a theme park / attraction
based holiday but staying for 18 nights we wanted somewhere that was both close
to the parks but also offered a pleasant retreat away from all the theme park
mayhem to recover in between - the Hyatt certainly lived up to our
The hotel is magnificent, and the
breathtaking atrium an awesome sight with beautiful interior landscaping. We
arrived at 3pm on a Saturday and the check-in process was swift, helpful and
efficient. We did not have to wait in line for this, I think there were 3 or 4
people behind the front desk. All our requests of a non-smoking quiet room on a
high level and away from the atrium and conference facilities were granted, we
ended up with a pool view room on the 7th floor with an excellent view of the
firework displays of Epcot, Downtown Disney and Magic Kingdom. We had read
reports that the atrium can be noisy but this was ceretainly not the case, and
had also read that the smartly dressed conference delegates can make casually
dressed holiday folk feel uncomfortable, but again I would disagree with this.
There were plenty of holiday guests walking around in all sorts of casual
clothing from shorts and tee shirts to sarongs and bikini tops and flip-flops
and no-one looked out of place.
We also hired a fridge
for the room and were pleased to receive a full-sized one which fit in the room
fine without compromising space. The room decor was colourful and pleasant, and
whilst the bathroom wallpaper is a little dated the rooms are kept impeccably
clean by a very diligent and respectful housekeeping staff. The room size was
adequate and the large marble topped table in the room good for room service
meals. Our room had 2 double beds (for two adults and one 13 year old) which
were on the firm side but comfortable none the less, with regularly changed
linen. There were no technical problems in our room and the air conditioning was
fairly quiet and made more effective by the seperately controlled ceiling
There are 5 lifts in total and use of these is
mandatory as there are no stairs except for emergency evacuation. The lifts were
our only frustration during the holiday as there were occasionally long waits
for them, notably at certain times of day around 8-9:30 in the mornings, and
mid-late afternoon. This was made worse for us as the lifts were undergoing some
maintenance during our stay, which meant that sometimes there were one or two
out of action. Conference delegates can also cause a bottleneck here at their
start and finish times.
The pool area is magnificent and
although the larger one is not heated and therefore on the chilly side, it was
not prohibitively cold and was regulalry used by both adults and children (The
weather during our stay was good and daytime temperatures ranged from 80-90
degrees, with nightime lows in the low to mid 60's). The pools and decks were
kept clean and there appeared to be staff regularly collecting debris left by
guests coming and going. During the peak easter weeks there was a notable demand
for well positioned sunbeds around the main pool areas, particulalry the heated
pool, and the early morning towel brigade was often out by 8am or earlier
reserving beds. However there are so many spread around the large grounds that
there was never any danger of not finding ones suitable. The other on-site
recreation facilities are very enjoyable and worth taking advantage of. A well
maintained and nicely landsacped 9-hole pitch and putt golf course, cycle hire,
boating on the lake and a well equipped gym are also included in the daily
resort fee of $11 and were never overly busy, even over easter.
The hotel restaurants are expensive but excellent and offer
a range of dining styles. We enjoyed both Hemingways (for seafood) and the White
Horse Bar and Grill (for steaks), and typically if you splashed out on a
3-course meal with drinks and coffe you can easily top $200 plus gratuities for
a family of 3. The palm court deli is more cost effective and great for quick
meals, a light breakfast, or even to take food back to your room. Service in all
of them was impecable. We did not use La Coquina.
Having been stung for valet parking charges at the Wyndham Palace in the past, we
elected to use self parking and were pleased we did. The self parking lot is
only a short walk from the main atrium, with a choice of either an indoor route
through the conference level, or a pleasant outdoor route through the gardens,
and I would not discourage people from using this. The resort is ideally
positioned for Disneyworld, and by using Hotel Plaza boulevard and avoiding the
I4 were were able to drive to all of the disney parks and park the car within
5-15 minutes. Even trips to Universal studios took less than 20 minutes.
The checkout process was swift and efficient with no room
All in all we had a fantastic stay, and
if you want an upmarket luxury hotel well-deserving of it's 5 stars and are
prepared to pay for it, we would unreservedly recommend the Hyatt Regency Grand
Cypress. The only time I could expect anyone to be disillusioned is if you
expect all this but at the price of a budget hotel."
"...I am very selective when it comes to determining
adequate hotel accommodations during my travels. With that said, the Hyatt
Regency Grand Cypress hotel in Orlando, FL comes highly recommended by me
without any reservations whatsoever. It is an excellent hotel. I have absolutely
nothing negative to say about the establishment. Everything was "picture
perfect". The courteous, attentive staff; the beautiful landscaping of the
property; the ambiance and decor; the fabulous pool and surrounding settings;
the thick padded lounge chairs at the pool; the amenities (the bikes, etc.
included as a part of the resort fee); the cleanliness of the hotel and room;
the Eucalyptus spa toiletries...extremely relaxing (e.g.: body wash, body
lotion, soap, etc.); the architecture of the hotel; restaurants; etc. I really
enjoyed myself at this hotel and will definitely stay here again if I'm in
Orlando. I can't say enough positive things to truly convey the experience we
had during our stay there. It was splendid."
"...I stayed here with my 8 year old daughter for two
nights in March - booked a room at Regency Club level. Found the Check-in staff
very efficient & polite. They were happy to locate a room for me at 11:00AM
with a pool view. Housekeeping was prompt and kept the rooms very clean. There
is a Hertz rental on-site for last minute car rental needs. Pools are well kept
and plenty of chairs around. Only one pool with smaller slide is heated. Pitch
and Putt is great and it is free to resort guests. They do not offer
complimentary trasnportation to/from airport or to nearby restaurants and shops.
Free scheduled time transportation is available to Disney, Universal and Sea
World. Do note that service to Universal and Seaworld is limited - two drop-offs
in the morning and one pick-up around 6:15PM. Plenty of choices on food for all
age groups and plenty of bars in the property. Staying again here in mid
South Seas Resort
"...I am 18 years old and I have visited south seas 12
times. South Seas is an amazing resort for people of all ages. It truly has
something to offer for everyone. I will agree with people that it is expensive,
but some people need to realize that there are doctors, lawyers, and corporate
executives in the world that can and will dish out money for a luxury vacation.
And give me a break.... people are trying to compare this piece of paradise to
the Keys? This isn't supposed to be a night club scene... it is a tropical
resort! I love south seas and I will continue to visit each year with my family
because of the tropical setting, 5 star accomodations, and family friendly
environment. This resort is very laid back and comfortable and I would reccomend
it to anyone that wants a luxury vacation. Research the resort and if you feel
that you can afford it, I guarantee that you will have a great time!! I
reccomend staying in a Condo and trying a different pool each day! My personal
favorite is the pool at land's end!"
"...We have visited SOUTH SEAS many times over the past 15
years. The natural beauty draws us back, year after year.
Every evening at sunset, We take a
walk on the beach.It is usually a place for quiet solitude. You may see a few
people doing the "Sanibel stoop", as Captiva and Sanibel have the most beautiful
shells in the world. There is an area called "Red Fish Pass, that is beautiful
beyond compare,especially at sunset, also We'll walk along the golf course,
which is "picture perfect", with gorgeous gulf views at most of the 9 holes. If
you are a golfer, you are in for a treat...................and if you are
not......try the sunset walk !
We always stay in the HARBOURSIDE HOTEL and request a
junior suite with a gulf view (No building is taller than the trees). Our
favorite suite overlooks the fishing pier, which is busy with water sport
rentals during the day, but in the evening turns into a peaceful tropical
paradise..with pink clouds and turquoise water.
Having visited most of the Islands, including Bermuda and
Hawaii, We would rank the accommodations as average, most of the restaurants are
average, except for Kings Crown and also the steak restaurant, which are both
exceptional. The service is also average throughout the resort. Many years ago
they employed only college students from around the country. The resort was
called SOUTH SEAS PLANTATION at that time and the service was truly
As you can surmise....we like everything about SOUTH SEAS RESORT, but would especially
recommend it..............if you would like to visit a "naturally" beautiful
Sundial Beach Resort
"...This was my first trip to Sanibel Island and it was
absolutely wonderful!!! I've been to many coastal places including three trips
to the Caribbean (Jamaica, Bahamas, Florida Keys, and Cozumel), and I can
honestly say this has been my FAVORITE of them all. I cannot attest to the
staff's service because I booked a privately owned condo through Royal Shell.
Booking through Royal Shell saved lots of money! They were extremely helpful and
check-in/out was a breeze which was completed at their office less than a mile
from the resort.
I traveled with my husband and in-laws and stayed in a two bedroom condo which had a
partion between the living room and den area. This provided a "third bedroom" of
sorts since it had a pull out couch. We stayed seven nights at the resort and
loved every minute of it. I believe each of the privately owned condos actually
do have oceanviews. Ours did.
I would highly recommend Billy's Bike Rentals - we rented some for the whole week
at $50 each. Their service was great - free delivery and pickup. The bike trails
literally cover the entire island. We also golfed at both of the courses which
were very nice and challenging. Fishing excursions are available on the island
as well as on Captiva Island (about 20 minutes from Sundial). If you want to
fish for the big ones make it clear! We used Captain Joe on Captiva. He really
worked hard to ensure we caught some fish (shark, tarpon, trout, catfish, etc).
The best experience of the week had to be the Dolphin Cruise which we also
caught in Captiva. Restaurants abound on Sanibel, but don't look for the typical
chain restaurants which have been banned. The only fast food restaurant on the
island is Dairy Queen which was built in the 1960s and "grandfathered" in under
the stipulation that no renovation can be done. So, today, you still walk up to
the outdoor counters to place your orders and dine al fresco. :-)
I can't wait to return to Sanibel Island - when I do, you'll find me staying at Sundial!"
"...We stayed here 5/1/06-5/5/06 and it was the best
vacation we ever had. The room - studio - was clean, spacious, and bright. We
had an ocean view from our screened balcony. The staff goes out of their way to
accommodate you. The staff seems to anticipate your need and is ready before you
even ask. Our housekeeper, Julie, was the most friendly we had encountered
anywhere. She worked hard to keep our room clean and mad sure that we never ran
out of soap, shampoo; etc. I heartily reccommend this property and plan to make
this an annual vacation highlight."
"...I've stayed at many wonderful resorts and The Breakers
ranks very high on my list. We will be going back again, I am very fussy about
where we stay on vacation and The Breakers did not disappoint me. The
architecture is just amazing, with the grand european style lobby, the other two
loggias that were just as grand as the front lobby and the circular main dining
room with the ceiling frescoes. You don;t often see hotels in this country like
the Breakers, they are usually just cookie cutter hotels with a nice lobby.
Dining options were diverse and quite good. We have 3 young children so we spent
much of our evening dining at the family friendly Italian restaurant attached to
the wonderful children's center. Complete with playroom, small move theater,
craft area, playground and arcade. This family entertainment area of the hotel
was nicely appointed and allowed families to have an area to have dinner and
keep the children busy without having to bother those guests without children.
As far as another reviewer's comment that the hotel is noisy because of kids. I
think this hotel and its staff does an outstanding job making everyone feel
comfortable from honeymooners, to families and couples alike in an upscale
setting. There are many dining options, many more formal where we would not
bring our children too. If you are looking for complete tranquility then people
should consider the many hotels and resorts that don't allow children or that
are more of a boutique hotel of which there are many. But otherwise I think this
resort is amazing with its ability ot handle a diverse base of guests, including
some of the elaborate weddings that take place on the weekends. We were not
disturbed by the weddings because there is plenty of common space in this hotel,
besides they were beautfiul weddings to see. The pool area is like no other
(many pool options) and the al fresco dining by the pool and ocean is wonderful.
Many hotels now allow people that are not guests of the hotel to dine by the
pool and these non-guests end up accessing the pool area. However the Breakers
really monitors access to the pool area and limit it to guest only. The 2
restaurants by the pool are also reserved for hotel guests. Our room was
spacious and faced the ocean. The room itself was elegantly done and the
bathroom was also large. I noticed that housekeeping spent more time cleaning
the rooms than in most hotels (I notice these important details). The entire
staff we encountered were friendly and very helpful. It cannot be easy to run a
resort as large as this but I think the management and owners are doing an
excellent job and I hope their standards will not change. The hotel is
expensive. Our room was $800 a nite, but I felt the price was well worth a
vacation in luxury. I would rather stay home than go to a hotel that is not as
freindly, clean and beautiful with a top notch location."
"...If you would like to experience Palm Beach at it’s
finest, The Breakers is the only way to go. The Breakers Hotels is perfect in
every sense of the word. Just a perfect way to unwind from the outdoor patio to
sitting poolside. The interior of the hotel is breathtaking. The lobby,
courtyard, and ball rooms take you back to the Italian Renaissance. I doubt
there are many hotels like this one that has so many beautiful intricate
details. The hotel is for someone who has good taste and appreciates the finer
things in life. You won’t be disappointed with the food. Would love to visit
I have a very high standard for hotels and this
hotel is just wonderful!!!!!!!!!"
"...My wife, 3 daughters and I stayed for a week over
spring break. We had a very nice time and enjoyed the beach. I’ll say the hotel
is beautiful. The grand ballrooms and public spaces are among the best we have
seen. The service on the other hand was a little cold. We never got turn down
service after asking 3 times, we eventually gave up. We were to have a crib in
our room and it wasn’t when we arrived at 4 pm – it took several calls and
arrived at 8 pm. The daily maid service didn’t seem to show up until around 4
pm. Which is a little late – Not so nice to keep coming back from the beach
after a day in the sun to a messy room. Could explain why the turndown service
The suite we had
was fair. The furnishings were nice, but a little beat up. For a one-bedroom
suite, we had plenty of space, but the view of the ocean was limited and we
really did not enjoy looking at the employee smoking area right outside our
window. The shower door was broken and the Upon check out I was asked – “was
everything O.K.?” and responded, “Yes, it was o.k.”
Maybe we are spoiled because we are members at Bay Hill in
Orlando where we live. There the service is very personal. A word of advice to
the Breakers staff- say “good morning” or “good afternoon” or what ever might be
appropriate. Looking away or ignoring the guests does not make them feel
Another thing that I
was aware ahead of time of but still kind of bugs me is the pricing of things. I
really don’t mind paying up for the room. In fact we had a suite for roughly
$1,000/night - which for Spring break isn’t bad. However, $4.50 for an 8 oz
bottle of water by the pool is absurd. Buffet breakfast for my wife, 10, 6,
2-year-old daughters, and me was $100 each morning. Room service one night – a
pot of coffee, 2 ice creams and an apple struddle - $85.00. Dinner at the
Italian restaurant was loud and out of control. Service was poor and again
prices were too high. $175 for what you can expect from and Olive Garden.
All in all, I go to other place
next time. I just sort of feel like the Breakers is just trying to take a buck
from me at every turn. I’m o.k. with that if they step up with the service. But
they did not."
"...Obviously the hotel has a reputation as being one of
the best. The price reflects it as well as the service. The location is also
beautiful. We had a large room with a balcony, facing the ocean. It was heaven.
The history of the hotel and its old rooms are amazing. We were there over
Easter weekend so it was definitely the family weekend with kids all over the
The Resort at Longboat Key Club
"...My boyfriend took me here as a surprise and actually
proposed to me here. He had the entire staff in on making our weekend
incredible. When we got to the room there was a dozen long stemmed roses in a
gorgeous bouquet and after he proposed to me that night on the beach when we got
back to our room there were chocolate covered strawberries. My fiance said he
was so impressed with the staff. The grounds were incredible and the drinks were
great. The beach was so private. The bed was super comfy. The restaurant at the
hotel was very good. Would highly recommend the Chart House which is right down
the road. We will go back for sure!"
"...What a lovely getaway - i loved the resort - the beach
was the best we had seen throughout our stay along the Florida Gulf - it was
peaceful and quiet and the staff were helpful and friendly. (the boys on the
beach are so good - nothing is too much trouble) The barman is excellent - ask
for Bimini but go careful on the Longboatinis.
We had a room in block 6 overlooking one of the water but not the beach and i actually
preferred this as it was much quieter - watching dolphins feed twice a day, the
fish jumping and the birds was a wonderful experience.
As other reviewers said some guests are return visitors and
are welcomed as such but i do find kissing all the staff in the bar and
reception a bit much. You do feel slightly put off by this as though it is a
totally private club however this did not spoil the overall experience.
We did expect to use the bus service into st armaunds
however this only ran in the day and at limited times however we either drove or
took a taxi.
The kitchen facilities were an extra bonus
and had we stayted longer would have used them more. This is a lovely relaxing
place to stay and i thoroughly recommend it."
"...The Longboat Key Club offers something for everyone.
During a busy season (spring break) the beach was relatively quiet and staff was
always eager to set up a beach chair with canopy or umbrella. The clay tennis
courts were plentiful, clean, and great to play on. The spa services (manicure
and massage) were excellent. The staff was always friendly, courteous, and ready
to help. The suite was spotless and spacious, and the in room washer, dryer was
a nice convenience."
"...This is a great hotel -- on a beautiful stretch of
beach on the gulf. The hotel is next to some condos but no other hotels, and
really feels very private and secluded. Granted we went during the low season
(September), I think even during high season it would feel that way.
It has a very nice restaurant and
a bar at the pool. It was great for our family (we brought two kids under 2
Also, our room had a washer and dryer, fridge and microwave.
Big plus: The beach is literally several feet from the
pool, which makes it easy to go back and forth and then up to your room.
Downside: First, the only place to
stay is the part of the hotel next to the lobbey (the cheaper rooms are a haul
from the beach, and have a lousy view). Second, the place is downright expensive
-- you can pay almost $250 for a pretty simple room, including all the extra
charges (you get charged just to use the pool area). Third, no cheap place to
eat on site (you can stock up at the grocery store).
Conclusion: If you can afford it, stay here!"
"...This is a fabulous hotel - great location - great
family hotel - they treat you like it's your home! It was amazing and
Tradewinds Island Grand Beach Resort
"...If anyone is wanting a very wonderful place to
vacation---this is the place ! It was very well landscaped, clean and very
spacious rooms-newly decorated, directly on the Gulf of Mexico---the beach was
Many activities for
all ages, many restaurants to choose from on site and nearby. EVERY staff member
was friendly and courteous and available any time of the day to answer question
or do whatever to make our stay enjoyable.
This has my rating as a NUMBER 1 vacation spot!"
"...Our family spent one week at the Island Grand for
March break 2006 and loved it. Our children had a great time with all the
activities like mini putt, chipping contest, beach front water slide, peddle
boating, pirate show with Red Beard and his "pits" and Sponge Bob activity
morning. Pizza Hut on site was very popular with our kids too ! The staff was
very friendly and helpful. Always with a "good morning" or "hello" as they
passed. We had a One bedroom suite which had an apparent "parking lot" view! To
our delight the palm trees masked most of the parking lot and we could actually
see the beach and gulf to the right! We always chose the pool in front of KNOK
Club building - a little less busy and water seemed cleaner. We dont usually
vacation in the same place twice - we like to explore - but...I would definately
love to stay at the Island Grand again."
Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin
"...My husband and I have stayed at the Walt Disney World
Swan Resort, numerous times, and in different months. However, our most recent
stay was November of 2004.
We love "The Swan" for
several reasons. The location can't be beat. You can take a boat to either MGM
or to Epcot. If you don't want to wait for a boat, then just walk.
In addition to being close to two of the theme parks, this
resort is close to the Boardwalk *( where there is all kinds of entertainment) ,
and other great hotels...mostly Disney hotels. These surrounding hotels have
wonderful restaurants and are fun to explore.
Now perhaps the biggest reason we enjoy staying at' The Swan" is the "Swan" itself.
The hotel is situated so that it is near a large area of water, and beautiful
plants/flowers are in abundance. Giant cement Swans are perched on top of the
hotel and they can be seen from just about anywhere. We have never had problems
checking in or checking out, and we like the fact that we are on Disney
property, but are not "Disneyed to death" in the hotel. Actually, the hotel is
quieter than most, but don't let this fool you. The hotel has several good
restaurants, and if you want even more of a variety, step across to the sister
hotel "The Dolphin". There are several nice pools, a jogging trail, a small
exercise room (but you can always use the exercise area at the Dolphin, also)
and the staff is great, and is willing to go the extra mile. Rooms at "The Swan"
are fairly large and nicely decorated....and yes, the heavenly bed is worth it.
This year we will be returning to our favorite hotel in November, and I am
counting the days. What's not to like?"
Amelia Island -- in the northeast near Jacksonville
"...I just spent 5 days at the Ritz Amelia with wife, 5yr
old boy and 2 yr old daughter. The excursion was a getaway from a family trip to
Atlanta and not a airplane-destination in and of itself - thank goodness.
The construction complaints on
tripadvisor are valid. At time of reservation, we were told construction was
"indoors" and away from guest rooms. In fact, the contruction is front and
center around the pool area. Because of the limited pool area space , pool area
was severaly over-run with guests - many compaints on not having acess to a
chair - and they simply couldn't staff enough servers to satisfy pool goers.
Thus, if you're seeking the "above and beyond" tranquility associated with
exemplory pool service - you won't find it here. I attemped to go to the pool
bar and get a refreshment personally, and simply couldn't get waited on - given
the lack of staff. The beach-side cabana was frequently absent of staff and
beach services are non- existent. (You have to trek back across the sharp shells
etc. to schlep a $4.50 bottle of water yourself). They did beach comp umbrellas
after a minor complaint about the overal state of the pool area. One other
observation is the pool architecture and layout in general - not even close to
the league of quality you find at Ritz Maui - more of a suburban Marriott feel -
chairs etc. NOT pristine clean - lots of white vinal strapped pool furniture -
no real theme going.
Resort (during our visit) consisted of many, many more business travelers than
vacationeers. I would guess that it's proximity to Jacksonville lends to this
balance rather than the true beach resort service atmosphere one would find
elsewhere (i.e. Ritz, Maui). It also lends support to where the priorities lie
with management's allocation of resources to pool/beach services.
However, let's end on a positive
note: Pool services not included - general service inside the hotel was very
good (not quite Four Seasons - but very good). While I wasn't greeted with a
Hawaiin lei - I could help myself to nauturally flavored water/drinks
conveniently available in main lobby from stylish drip-coolers. The restaurants
were exceptional in and of themselves! Breakfast/lunch were temporaily housed in
the up-scale "Grill" restaurant due to construction noise- with great beach
views - and wonderfull local options. A pleasant surprise was the affordability
of kids meals - around $5 as I recall - or just a bit more than a bottle of
self-serve water. The room and general layout of the property is ideal - and
reflective of the natural beauty of north Florida's undeveloped eastern
I will return - as an excursion from traveling to family in Atlanta - but will verify the status of
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