We stayed over thanksgiving. Family of 5 in executive suite and 2 adults, 2 children in one of the regular rooms (get the one with the kitchen, well worth it). Staff very friendly and accomodating. Dont expect 24-7 coverage, as its not that kind of place- but the service you get is friendly and personal. Rooms clean, well appointed, as portrayed on the website. Kitchen had the basics- oven, microwave, dishwasher, blender, coffee maker, can opener and basic pots and pans- enough to put together a simple Thanksgiving meal. multiple nearby large grocery stores, nice restaurants in town- but you need a car. Basics available at the store on the premesis. Grounds well maintained, pretty, and safe. Kids loved playing along the water edge- catching turtles, lizards, etc. Even saw a 1.5ft aligator sunning itself on the dock and the manatees swam right by! Outdoor patios a pleasure to hang out on. Hontoon Park is available in a short walk from the hotel where you catch a ferry to the island- very clean and nice.
Rented a pontoon boat- tons of fun and reasonably priced! We had no trouble navigating the waterways with the map provided (the water is deep) and the boats are well maintained and easy to operate. the Dead River looks like its out of a movie! Do get the additional insurance for $25. We were told the prop would need to be repaired (suprise to us as one of our boat members is very experienced and didn't notice anything was struck) and that this occurs in 3/10 boats that go out. You can beach the pontoon at Blue Springs Park (a 15-20 min boat ride away) but the water parking space is very limited- went on-land the next day by car which is also about 15-20 min ride). Manatees were awesome from the boat (came right up to us) as well as from the walkway in the park.
In Deland- the Reptile Research/venom lab a must! Blue Srpings State Park also.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hontoon Landing Resort & Marina is located near DeLand, Florida and is nestled along a bend in the St. Johns River - directly across river from Hontoon Island State Park. The Resort is situated on three acres and provides accommodations and lodging in 18 Riverside Rooms and Suites. Kitchens are available in most of the rooms and suites. Resort accommodations are provided in five buildings - Riverview Building, Executive Building, Captain's Suite Building, Hummingbird Cottage and Duplex Cottages. The Resort offers for your relaxation and enjoyment...Boat Rentals - 24' Pontoon Boats for exploring the St. Johns River and viewing the abundant and varied wildlife, and 16' fishing boats for pursuit of the bass, crappie, or whichever may be your favorite. River Tours - offered daily aboard the brand new 49 passenger "Great Blue" Tour Boat, your front row ticket to the world of nature. Birdwatching - Whether you are a beginner or have been a bird watching enthusiast for many years, our Resort could become your favorite destination for enjoying the natural beauty of the river and abundant birds and other wildlife. Hummingbirds - The Resort is a haven for the Ruby Throated Hummingbirds. The Hummingbirds arrive in late February and remain until late August when they begin their migration to Mexico and Central America.The Resort also offers a Sparkling Pool, Ship's Store, Slips for Private Boats, Hummingbird Garden, Hummingbird Plaza, Boardwalk, Riverside Patios and Decks, Manicured Lawn & Grounds and Free Wireless Internet. ... more less