My boyfriend and I won a 7-night stay at Vacation Village at Parkway Kissimmee, through SkyAuction for $211 USD ($267 Canadian). After reading the reviews on TripAdvisor we were both worried that we'd been suckered into some kind of weird time share scam. We couldn't have been more wrong! Although Vacation Village IS a time share complex, we were never harrassed or bothered at any time.
I'm hoping this review will help anyone who is thinking of staying at this resort. Here is what we experienced:
Check in went very smoothly (10 minutes)and the clerks were very polite, pleasant and helpful. They recommended restaurants, pointed out nearby grocery stores and shopping centres. Once check-in was completed, we were passed on to a "guest services" clerk who issued us our parking pass and asked if we were "owners" or "guests". When we told him we were guests, he offered us discounts on amusement park tickets, a "free" breakfast at the Radisson Hotel across the street and a $50.00 "gift". We told him politely that we knew these were all tactics to entice us to listen to a time share speech and that WE WERE NOT INTERESTED AT ALL!! The clerk said "very well" and did not persist. The only other "time share related incident" we experienced was a phone call to our room on our 4th day, offering us $150.00 apiece to attend breakfast at the Radisson Hotel. We once again declined and were not bothered again. If this is what other people considered "harrassment", they're nuts! I'll gladly say "no thank you" on the phone to save a couple hundred bucks a night and stay at a 5-star resort!!!!!!!!!!!
The accomodations were fabulous to say the least! I would have gladly paid more than the $30.00/night we actually paid. The suite had a full kitchen including all dishes, cookware, stove, oven, microwave, full fridge w/icemaker, garbage disposal, washer, dryer, dishwasher detergent, laundry detergent, coffee maker. The bedroom had a king size bed, tv, 2 person jacuzzi tub (oh yeah!) and patio doors opening onto the spacious balcony w/patio furniture. The livingroom/diningroom area was tastefully decorated with a 6-person dining table, pull out couch, two lounging chairs and a BIG SCREEN TV (oh yeah!). The bathroom, including another tub and shower, was HUGE! They also provided 5 sets of towels (hand, face, bath) as well as 5 pool towels. I found this to be particularly convenient.
The suite was VERY clean and modern. Maid service was provided once a week, when they take out the garbage (you can dispose of your own as you go if you prefer-there's a garbage chute), and replace your towels. If you want more frequent service, you can pay for it (I think it's like $15.00). Our room was on the 7th floor (of 7) facing the parking lot/pond area in building #3 and we were quite pleased with it. There was no noise from the parking lot or from the adjoining suite. We took a little tour to check out the rest of the complex and noticed construction going on near another cluster of buildings. Don't know if this would have disturbed the people in those buildings or not. (We were in the cluster of buildings that included #1-#6). Construction was going on near building #9 I think.
Vacation Village offers daily activities like any other resort. They have pool volleyball, golf tournaments, trivia contests, barbeques and group excursions. I cannot say what these activities are like as we were gone during the daytime. There are two pools, two hot tubs,a pool house, a children's wading pool w/spraying fountain and a playground all within the complex. There are plenty of lounge chairs and the temperature in the pools and hot tubs was just right!! With your Vacation Village room key you also have access to the adjoining resort (can't remember the name) and their pool, pool bar, hot tub, tennis courts, shuffle board courts. It's a short walk across the pond/"conservation area"( where you can feed the pelicans/fish/turtles) to the resort next door. Their facilities were also very spacious and clean.
Vacation Village has a gym and internet room which we forgot to go check out as we were too busy. Sorry, can't tell you about those!
There is a huge strip a short distance from the hotel where you'll find everything from all you can eat $3.99 buffets and fast food to fine dining and grocery stores, liquor stores, pharmacies, coffee shops, water parks, golf courses, souvenir stores, outlet malls etc. I recommend Logan's Steakhouse for a casual, roadhouse-type meal. They have a large menu and the prices are very reasonable. Whatever you do , DO NOT try the LAS VEGAS BUFFET! I repeat, DO NOT GO TO THE LAS VEGAS BUFFET!!!!
If you're in the area to visit the parks, Disney is about a 5 minute drive from the hotel, SeaWorld is about 8-10 and Universal is ahout 12 minutes away. And it's an easy drive too! Pretty much straight there. Also, there's a nice view of the Epcot/Disney fireworks from building #6 at 9pm.
Our experience at Vacation Village was VERY positive. The suite was more than we expected. It was clean, comfortable and spacious. The jacuzzi tub was fabulous! The people we met in the pool, hot tub, elevator were super nice and friendly. The staff was polite and helpful. Maybe it's all a part of the scheme to make people want to buy a time share (NOT!), but I've never had such a great hotel experience as I did during my week at Vacation Village!! We checked out in 10 seconds on the ground floor at the elevator-poof and it was done!
So, I guess what I'm saying is that if you can get a good deal through Sky Auction or another method, TAKE IT, JUMP ON IT!! If you have to promise to sit through a time share presentation for a stay here , RUN AWAY!! I've never experienced the time share hard sell first hand, but I hear it's nasty.
I hope this has helped! Happy vacationing! :0)