Way back in December, my friend Sheri over at Kidsumers.ca hosted a giveaway for a three night stay in a Global Resort Homes vacation house. At the time I was in a giveaway entering mood, so I gave it a shot. You can imagine my surprise when on January 2 she emailed me to tell me that I won! I honestly couldn't believe it. I never win anything, never mind something so big and awesome. Funny thing is, I met her a week later at the Ford auto show event in Detroit.
So here myself and my family had an opportunity to go on a memorable trip to Florida. Global Resort Homes was kind enough to let me extend my stay to six nights for a review and so we began planning our vacation to Walt Disney World. When I was sent the listing of the house we would be staying in, I once again went into shock. It looked absolutely gorgeous.
After a long drive down from Connecticut, we arrived at the Windsor Hills Resort in Kissimmee, Florida and were anxious to check out our vacation house. And trust me, it did not disappoint. First, the resort is a beautiful gated community with a large recreation center that has a fitness area, community pool, playground and more. The home itself was absolutely gorgeous, immaculately clean and very nicely decorated.
When you go inside you walk into a great room that consists of the living room and the dining room. The large dining room table was the perfect size for my big family of six, where we enjoyed breakfast and dinner every day. I loved the pass through into the kitchen which made meal serving and clean up a lot easier.
Right around the corner is the family room with super comfortable couches and a large flat screen television. The kids enjoyed Disney Junior every morning ass we got packed and ready for the parks. In addition to this TV, all six bedrooms also have flat screen televisions for a total of seven TVs in the house. My kids were certainly spoiled this week with having their own TVs in their rooms. All of the rooms had cable so the boys got to see something other than PBS for a change. During the nightly bath routines they would chill in their rooms watching The Clone Wars or Ninjago while they took turns washing up.
The family room opens up to a large kitchen with a breakfast nook. There are four seats at the table and another two seats at the island so combined with the dining room, you have seating for 12 for meals. While no one ate at the island, it was the perfect spot for my seven year old to do his homework. The layout and cooking area of the kitchen itself was great with tons of counter space and I felt right at home cooking our meals in here. The kitchen comes fully stocked with plates, glasses, silverware, pots and pans so there is no need for you to bring stuff from home or waste money on throw away tableware. They even had some plastic tableware which was great for the kids. When we arrived we were greeted by some tasty goodies courtesy of Global Resort Homes, including a much needed bottle of wine.
The sliding glass door in the kitchen goes outside to the screened in patio and private pool. This was probably our favorite thing about the house. I mean we loved it all, but the pool was the show stopper. The pool was crystal clear and heated (so awesome!) with large steps that walk into the shallow end. The elevated spa was enjoyed by all and the kids loved that little waterfall. You can't really see it in my photos, but we had a beautiful lake view from back here.
Now the first thing I think of when I see a pool is safety. I am absolutely terrified of kids and water. Thankfully, the pool has a fence that the kids cannot open. Heck, even I was too weak to open it, which is perfectly fine by me. The gate stretches closed and locks on top, out of the reach of little fingers. Every day when we got home from Disney, usually between 4:00 - 5:00pm, my husband headed out to the pool with the kids. This left me with a nice quiet house to cook in, which I never get at home. We of course also brought safety vests for all of them to wear. And since the pool was heated, once all of the kiddos were in bed, mama got to enjoy the pool too.
Up on the second level, the master bedroom and bath are the kind I dream about. A spacious bedroom with a king size bed and a huge bathroom with a walk-in closet, glass shower, separate oversize bathtub and double sinks. What I wouldn't give for double sinks at home. It was nice for my husband and I to have our own counter space: his was neat and tidy and mine was the complete opposite.
Our Windsor Hills home had a total of six bedrooms: one on the main level and five on the second level. It was awesome to be able to put the boys in their own rooms for a change. At home, the four year old twins share a bedroom with their 2 year old little brother. We put our seven year old in the bedroom with its own bathroom since he often gets up during the night; we put the twins in the room with the two twin beds and we put the little dude in a pack-n-play in the bedroom next to ours. I don't know if it was being in their own rooms or just the sheer exhaustion of all of the events, but they all slept later than normal every day.
The house had four full bathrooms all of which were quite spacious. One was on the main floor near the family room and the other three were upstairs. While two of the upstairs bathrooms were attached to bedrooms, the third was in the hallway and is what we used for the boys to take baths, brush their teeth, etc. All four bathrooms in the house had a shower and three of them had bathtubs. So if you have a full house, there is a place for everyone to wash up.
You know, it probably sounds weird for me to say that it was exciting to have a washer and dryer in the house to do laundry, but it really was. I guess that's how you know you are a mom, when things like laundry excite you. Have you ever returned home after a week long vacation with six people's worth of dirty laundry to wash? I have and it is not fun. Here we had a laundry room right off of the family room and I used it about every other night. The result is that I returned home with only one small shopping bag of dirty clothes to do. A very huge plus for me!
A really fun feature of our vacation house was that the garage has been converted into a game room which had a pool table, Foosball table, card table with cards and a dart board. I had visions of us tucking the kids in bed and then coming down here to enjoy a drink and shoot some pool at night. Sadly, it never happened. Not even once. After walking the Disney parks every day, by the time the kids were all in bed, I was ready for bed. This would be awesome if you had more adults on your vacation with you or even when the kids are a little older.
The location of the house and resort was absolutely perfect for us. It was just a few minutes to so many restaurants, the grocery store, Super Target and really everything we needed. But most importantly, it was close to Disney. Windsor Hills is less than 2 miles from the gates of Walt Disney World which equaled about a 5 minute drive each way. We could not have asked for a better spot.
I think its pretty obvious that we loved this house. A week later we are still talking about it and how much we miss it. Its funny, before this vacation, my husband and I had always said that we would stay at a Disney resort for the ease of going to and from the parks with their buses. But after our stay with Global Resort Homes, we have 100% changed our minds. Like I said, we were just minutes from the parks and this is so much more affordable. For us to stay in Disney and have a kitchen (we NEED a kitchen), it would cost us close to $5,000 just for the place. In off-peak season, which we were just there for, this house is $383 per night which is $2,298 for six nights. Even during peak time when its $500 per night, that is still nearly $2,000 less than staying in a Disney villa. Plus this house is big enough for multiple families so once you split that cost, its just that much more affordable. (Is my family reading this? Forget Jersey!)
Not to mention, everything about this was so much better than staying in a hotel. The private pool was amazing. We didn't have to worry about our kids bothering other people or be bothered ourselves by someone else's rowdy kids. We had so much space which allowed the kids to either hang out together in the family room or take a break from each other in their own bedrooms. Having a kitchen allowed me to cook meals and bring lunches to the park every day and not have to eat unhealthy fast food all of the time. It was all just so perfect. We are already planning our next trip down to Disney in two years when our little guy will hopefully hit 40 inches and can go on more rides. We fully plan on using Global Resort Homes again. In fact, we want the same exact house. We fell in love with it.
Global Resort Homes has nine resort locations in the Kissimmee/Orlando area and all are within minutes to area attractions like Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando and Seaworld. Consider one of their beautiful resort homes for your next Florida vacation!
I won a 3-night stay at Global Resort Homes and received another 3-nights for review. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.