Hotel Review: Grande Villas Resort in Orlando, Florida.
There are plenty of things that make me happy when "crashing" a hotel or resort and there are certain aspects of hotel living that make me unhappy. Since we just visited the Grande Villas Resort Orlando, I thought I'd write my first review.
I decided to create my own ratings list, partly so I can remember what places I really liked in case we go back for a visit, and partly to share with others to help you make an informed decision when choosing a place to stay. You certainly learn a lot when traveling full-time and the past year has been an experience!
How did Grande Villas Resort Orlando do?
Overall I gave a 6.6 total rating for Grande Villas. If you don't mind a little noise and a small kitchen I would definitely recommend this place. If you're looking for a larger room and/or a quiet atmosphere this might not be the place for you. But I also want to give you a break down for the reason for this rating.
The Property: 10/10
This is one of the nicest places we've been as far as the amenities and grounds go. There are two large, beautiful pools with a hot tub at each. There is a shallow kids pool, a playground, mini golf, corn hole, fire pits, grills, hammocks, Adirondack chairs, a convenience store, a restaurant and bar, and activity center, benches and "porch" swings around the property, and a fitness center. They also have activities that they do at various times each day for those who like to get out and participate in those.
The Kitchen: 5/10
The kitchen is one of the most important things to me as we make almost all of our meals in the room. This kitchen has a full size stove and oven, full size fridge and freezer, microwave oven, coffee maker, toaster, and blender. It also has dishes for 4, cooking utensils, and pots and pans. The sink is also very nice as it's large and has a good faucet as well as a garbage disposal.
Where it's lacking is in size! It's super tiny with very little counter space for prep work and it doesn't have a dishwasher. It also only has one drawer so most of the cooking utensils are shoved in there. Almost all of the dishes - including the silverware - are in one large upper cabinet. It's enough to get the job done but definitely not much storage space and prep space.
Living Room: 3/10
The living room/dining area at Grande Villas Resort Orlando is one of the smallest rooms we've ever been in. We were definitely not a fan of this space!!
The dining room table is a drop-leaf table because a regular table would never fit. There are no windows in the room at all, and with an adjoining door to the next room, it's also not very quiet if you have neighbors. The one good thing was the couch was comfortable enough. There's just nothing that made me want to hang out in the living room. It's like a cave and I didn't want to spend much time there.
As far as bedrooms go, this one is pretty nice. It's not huge but spacious enough to have a king size bed, which is comfortable enough, and a nightstand on each side. There's also a dresser that we can put our clothes in and a nice TV that is easily accessible so we can plug in our Firestick and watch our own shows.
The best thing about the room was the large sliding glass door that goes out to a (very small) balcony that overlooks the pool area. It makes for a nice view and lets in a lot of light.
This place has a great and enormous bathroom. It has a huge soaking tub, a separate shower, a toilet closet, and a large vanity with two sinks and plenty of storage. There is also a large closet in the bathroom with plenty of space to hang clothes.
The only reason the score isn't a 10 is because there's only one outlet and it's oddly placed under the mirror making it very difficult to use. They provide plenty of towels, which are nice quality, and they also have plenty of tissue and toilet paper, which are also decent quality.
The one bedroom we stayed at in Grande Villas Resort does not offer laundry in the unit, but there is a washer and dryer on the second level of the building in a closet. It's not the worst laundry facilities we've used but not the most ideal either. One good aspect about the machines is they have a timer on them so you know exactly when they'll finish. Checking on your laundry every 20 minutes can be a real pain.
There's plenty of storage in the bathroom and there's also a great closet in the bathroom but that's it - no other closets anywhere. The dresser is average size and holds our clothes well. The kitchen and living area is very lacking in storage area.
Outlets might seem like an insignificant problem to consider, yet when you have a LOT of devices to plug in and charge, it sure makes a difference.
The outlets at this resort are well placed, though I wouldn't mind if there were extras in the bedroom. And the bathroom outlet is right under the mirror which makes it a challenge to plug in larger plugs and impossible to plug in two items together.
Sound and Noise Level: 5/10
The noise definitely carries in these units! :( When we had neighbors next door, we could definitely hear them. Sometimes it was extremely frustrating. James spent many nights calling security about the disturbances after 11 pm.
Additionally, the back door overlooks the pool area and courtyard so if there were a lot people out there, the noise carried right into our room. Plus the loud people on their balconies is quite annoying at night.
This is also another deal breaker for us. WiFi is how we work and make money, so if it sucks at a hotel we're not being productive.
The WiFi at Grande Villas Resort Orlando gave us trouble the first day but then after that it worked okay. My biggest issue with the internet was getting kicked off of it every day then having to log back in continuously -- sometimes numerous times per day.
This Diamond Resort is in a great location. There are plenty of stores and restaurants nearby and you're very close to Disney World, Sea World , and Universal. You can also visit many other places of interest within several miles of the resort.
The only down side is the insane amount of traffic on the main street. It can take 20-30 minutes to drive a few miles. So be sure to leave earlier than expected if you want to be somewhere at a specific time.
The Bar and Store: 9/10
James wanted me to add this into my review because he went every morning to get an espresso and a few beers in the evenings. The bartender Josef was awesome and super friendly ... plus he makes great drinks. Samantha in the story was great to visit with and very helpful.
While a "good" price can be subjective depending on several factors, we always try and keep our nightly budget to $80 or less. Given that this is the peak traveling season in many tourist destinations, this goal isn't always possible.
Because we're Diamond Members we got a rate of $72 per night for $720 total for ten nights. Compared to other places, this was good for us for the quality of place.
Overall Grande Villas Resort Orlando was a good experience but it wasn't excellent.
While the property was nice and certainly comfortable compared to other hotels we've crashed, the size of the room and the loud, obnoxious people didn't help make this a great stay.
I hope this helps you if you're ever considering this place as an option.