We received this vacation from a friend who has a timeshare through RCI. We took our 3 boys, ages 3, 5 and 16. Overall, we had a great time. I'll start with the positives.
We were fortunate to get to stay in the Presidentials, which was the Beach Club Resort area. This area, although about a mile drive to the activity center, was awesome b/c it had it's own private beach area and pool. The beach was clean. There was volley ball available and you can also fish from there. However, no swimming is allowed. The pool was fantastic for kids. There is a separate kid pool with giant waterfall and also a hot tub for the adults. Outside of the pool there is another water play area. There is also a very nice playground near the pool. The grounds are very well kept. There are grills located near every unit. We did not mind the drive to the activity center because we enjoyed having the privacy and added amenities of the Presidentials. Our room, which I'm assuming is the same for each condo there, had 2 bedrooms. One with a queen bed and one with a king. The couch in the LR folds out into a bed but is not comfortable (most fold outs are not!). The unit had one full kitchen and one of the bedrooms had a kitchenette as well. There were 2 full BR's, one with a jetted tub. My favorite part of the unit was the washer and dryer! I was so surprised to find it- made life lots easier that week. There was a DR table that sat 6 and a bar that sat 3. The kitchen is stocked with every utensil, pot, etc. that you will need. The beds were very comfy. Bring your own pillows, though. Ours were NOT comfy. The unit had a nice balcony, too with a slight view of the lake. There is another set of Presidential condos right next to the Marina that have a full view of the lake. These are not as private, though. The Villages is a huge spread out with a nice variety of units accommodating all price ranges. There is no shortage of things to do for young kids. There are activities scheduled each day such as coloring contests, games, contests, family activities, ping pong tables, even a small movie theatre. You can rent movies and check out a variety of board games anytime. The mini golf course is nice. My boys loved the arcade. The marina is about a mile away. There are several fishing docs there. We rented paddle boats. You can also rent kayaks and pontoons. Trail rides are available but we were disappointed that the minimum age for this was 8 yrs old. Within the activity center there is an A&W and Pizza Hut. There are a few local places to eat outside of The Villages- Sonic, a crawfish place, a shrimp place, etc. You have to try Pop's Fried Chicken, too! Yummy. If needed, there is an Urgent Care about 3 miles away. We ended up here when my oldest son got sick while there. In and out in about 30 minutes. Tyler is a 10 minute drive from The Villages. We visited the zoo which was fun. Also enjoyed the Brookshire's Animal Museum. They have a small mall and a few movie theaters. We LOVED the water part on site. This time of year is a great time to go- we never waited in line. We received fast service when we requested towels, etc.
Okay, now for the cons. I will admit that my level of cleanliness is high, so other's opinion of the cleanliness of the rooms may vary. I found the carpet in our room was disgusting. Our socks were black within a few hours of being there. It was obviously old, which I'm sure played a part. Our room had a foul odor, also. We called about this right away and they were quick to send someone over. She sprayed our room with deodorizer which just added a flowery scent on top of the existing odor- yuck. There was a black ozone air machine in our room when we arrived which meant they were aware of the smell. The smell lingered on through out our stay. I asked them to shampoo the carpet which they did the same day. I was hoping that would help the smell, but it did not. The smell got some better but it still hit us in the face each time we opened the door. The base boards were dirty. I don't think anyone cleaned behind the toilets in a while b/c there were yellow urine stains on the wall and base boards. The couches smelled like cigarette smoke. There are no smoking signs posted all over the room so I guess this was not here fault but instead contributed to people who have no respect for the facility or those that will stay after them. I would also say that customer service is hit or miss. The activity coordinator was super friendly. The girl who answered our service calls was not. The staff who came to deodorize and clean the carpet were obviously very busy and let us know just how busy they were with the short attitudes and unconvincing "thank you's." The staff at the restaurants were always friendly.
We had a great time- just wish the rooms were cleaner and a few of the staff members would've been a little friendlier. This trip was for our kids and fortunately they did not notice either of these issues :).
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.