Families flocking to Central Florida are finding that it pays to rent a house instead of a room.
More than a half-dozen home rental firms are flourishing in the Disney-centric area that stretches from Kissimmee to Davenport and includes such towns as Lake Buena Vista and Celebration.
All-Star Vacation Homes, operating out of an office in a mall off U.S. 192, offers homes of all sizes and descriptions, some of them in gated communities that provide better security than most hotels. All come equipped with screened-in pools, multiple bedrooms, large kitchens, and enough TV viewing rooms that multiple families won’t fight over what to watch.
Guests Enjoy the Sounds of Silence
Instead of doors slamming all night — a virtual guarantee at a hotel, motel, or even a country inn — the only sounds that invade the ears of guests are the cacophony of birds and animals.
One home, in the gated Windsor Hills development, sleeps 10 people comfortably. It includes four large rooms, two master medrooms, a game room, WiFi, pool, Jacuzzi, barbecue, and even a home theater with eight movie-house seats and a large viewing screen.
Priced at $35 per person per night, the house provides more bang for the book than any hotel room — plus proximity to Disney World, Universal Studios, MGM, Sea World, International Drive, and the Orlando Convention Center. Highway access is good too, with I-4 stretching diagonally across the state between Tampa and Melbourne (Cape Canaveral area).
Company Offers Family-Friendly Properties
Properties offered by All-Star Vacation Homes are located in the family-friendly Windsor Hills Resort, where the clubhouse amenities include a built-in movie theater and oversized pool, and Formosa Gardens Estates, where homes have up to seven bedrooms and can accommodate 8-16 guests.
Windsor Hills and Windsor Palm Resorts homes have luxury condos and spacious town homes with private lounge pools.
All-Star Vacation Homes also offers options at Vista Cay Resort, a condominium community on Universal Boulevard, adjacent to the convention center on International Drive, and Lighthouse Key, a blend of villa-style vacation homes four miles from the hubbub of Disney, and Reunion Resort, six miles from the omnipresent Mouse.
Discounted Attraction Tickets Are Also Available
Discounted tickets to area attractions, as well as rental cars, are available through the rental office. Patrons can even arrange to import a chef for an evening of home cooking and service; the cost is similar to taking a family out to dinner but eliminates the all-too-common problem of lengthy waits.
According to Steve Trover, chief executive officer of All-Star Vacation Homes, “People always feel they have to get out of their hotel room. But our guests don’t have that problem. They can stay in their homes and relax as long as they want to.”
Trover, who has created and developed nine different businesses over the past 18 years, has been improving the services of All-Star Vacation Homes since founding the firm 11 years ago.
USA Vacation Homes Also Provides Luxury Rentals
At USA Vacation Homes, owner An Flamand also maintains a hands-on managerial role. Based on U.S. 27 in suburban Davenport, just beyond Kissimmee, the popular company provides luxury homes-away-from-home plus a litany of customer-friendly services.
USA Vacation Homes features privately-owned guest homes that are personally inspected before winning a spot on the company’s rental roster. The firm also checks the house before each guest’s arrival and turns on both the air-conditioning and the lights.
Pool heat costs extra and there’s no maid service, although special arrangements can be made, but many guests are startled by the size, comfort, and cleanliness of their rental homes. One New Jersey couple found their vacation home larger and quieter than their place up north.
Guests Warm to Orlando Climate
Most visitors find paying for pool heat is not an issue, especially during the hot months from March through October. Pools usually warm to a daytime temperature of between 70-80 degrees, according to a spokesman for USA Vacation Homes.
Greater Orlando is chilly in the morning and the evening but warm and often humid after the sun rises. Afternoon thunderstorms are always possible.
Like its competitors, USA Vacation Homes maintains a website that allows prospective visitors to pick the perfect match for their family size and budget.
Because USA Vacation Homes and All-Star Vacation Homes have parlayed their success into a major travel trend: renting a house beats renting a room.
Both companies say they are expanding and may soon reach into South Florida and beyond.