A return to an annual trade show brought us back to Vista Cay because of our outstanding experience last year. I booked early through our industry rep and I was disappointed not to be able to get confirmation on a town home (3 bed/3-1/2 baths) for our dates so instead booked a 3 bed/2 bath unit and wait-listed for the larger unit, which didn't clear by the deadline. As advised, close to the time of the show, I did call Vista Cay direct, and Jessica on site was very helpful and found us a town home at no up charge. I was thrilled to have the extra space because of traveling with 3 female staff members - the extra bathrooms are a real plus.
As mentioned by another reviewer, these units are operated by several management companies, which is extremely confusing for the user. When requesting pool towels at the front desk, I was asked what company I had booked through and that I would have to get pool towels from them - not likely! The unit we were assigned was obviously just a rental, not an owner-rental like we had last year, and the furnishings and condition a definite step down. The carpet was discolored in a few places, the furnishings also in the dark, heavy Mediterranean style which seems to be the preferred decor in this resort (in Florida???), the "wall art" cheap and oddly placed, the curtain rods hung crooked, the lamp in the master bedroom wobbly. You get the picture. Another pet peeve of mine - rumply sheets. On my bed in the master suite, the king bed had a flat sheet on the bottom and a queen sheet on top. Needless to say, I spent time every night and morning tugging on the sheets to get them tight.
All that said, the unit was very clean and spatially accommodating for our group of 4 women. The resort is attractive and well maintained. The pool area is large with several areas for sunning or gathering. Based on my experience last year, I planned ahead and brought extra soaps, shampoos, trash bags and dishwasher soap, which is easy only because I come by car from the Florida west coast, meeting up with staff that fly in from the northeast. The Publix close by filled in the gaps for coffee, snacks, wine and soft drinks. A Walgreens on the other corner is within walking distance. The units are "self-catering" which means no one comes into the unit during your visit, but you are on your own with bed making, managing dirty dishes, discarding trash and washing towels.
Although we traveled to and from the convention center by shuttle bus, I feel a car is essential to visit the surrounding areas of interest and the restaurants and shops along International Drive, unless you want to pop for a cab ride each time, which is about $10 including tip. The airport has shuttle transportation available, but it's easily accessible from this location by toll road 528 and is about a 15 minute drive.
In spite of the shortcomings of this unit, I would stay at Vista Cay again. I have tried a number of places in the convention center area, and have also had feedback from colleagues who have stayed other places, and as long as we continue to come to this event in a pack, this arrangement suits my needs the best and is a good value for housing us all together.