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Reviewed March 21, 2012

My ratings start with 4 stars and go up or down from there. For a 5th star it has to have something that really sets itself apart.

My experience:
We booked a 1BR at the Star Island Resort through Interval International a few months before our visit to Orlando and Spring Break. We came for the Universal Studios and Disneyland type of trip with our 9-yr old daughter. The confirmation came for our unit (2144 A) and described the unit as only having a bar sized microwave and fridge with no kitchen. We were prepared for the smaller size as it was our only available choice. When we arrived we were surprised to find a full-size fridge, dishwasher, 2-burner stove, utensils and a microwave that doubles as an oven. We realized that the description was for the lockout side of 2144 (B). So lesson here is to understand if you are really on the lockout side of the unit or not, and call if you have to in order to verify the amenities. I would have cancelled based on the description, but since I had no other choice, I was ready.

Check-in was fast and friendly. The grounds were beautiful. The unit was not oversized but just right for a 1BR. Yes, some of the units had a walkway in front of the living room (as did ours), but privacy was not an issue as the shades would not allow a view into your room anyway. The resort had 2 full size pools which were well used and a hot-tub. The on-site / poolside gift shop also doubles as a short order kitchen and has just about everything you may have forgotten. My only regret is that we only used the resort to stage our Theme Park vacation and did not allow a day to just relax at the resort.

Pros:
Friendly staff and activities every day for both the kids (Pizza night) and adults (Drink specials).
Close to the Theme Parks (15 minutes)
Numerous restaurants close by
Nice pools and Tennis courts
Game room for the kids

Cons
Pricey - 2 Margaritas were $18 at the pool bar.
Walls are noticeably thin so expect to hear your neighbors and be heard.
Internet is extremely spotty and often dropped which required you to re-enter your authorizations code. This happened so many times everyone in the family had the code memorized. Very frustrating.

Room Tip: Verify whether you are on the lockout side or not to determine kitchen amenities.
  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank KevandKaren
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 19, 2012

Wonderful resort, clean room, large, newer furnishing. Washer/dryer, dishwasher. Two Pools....Close to Disney, Arabian Knights and Midevil Times.

Room Tip: We had a two bedroom lockout. VERY large condo unit, one bedroom large with King bed, and bathroom. One room with two double beds, efficiency kitchen with pull out sofa. Also sofa in livingroom pulls out to sleep two.
  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank pkbehappy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 16, 2012

We stayed at Star Island last week to visit friends. We had a timeshare that was listed as a (1) bedroom, but we got an "efficiency unit" as is known to the regulars there. Not sure what happened there but I didn't push it, it was only my husband and I. It was very small, holiday inn size with separate bedroom, kitchenette that included a dorm size fridge, 2 stove top burners (only one worked), coffe pot with no supplies and a toaster. No oven. The kitchenette is part of the small living room. The bathroom had a pedestal (???) sink, very! limited counter and storage space. But it was very clean. We were originally assigned a ground floor room in an older building, but because we arrived early (10 a.m., check-in is at 4), we were able to switch to a newer renovated top floor corner room. And thank God because you can hear all conversations, not even yelling, but regular conversations! though the walls. I brought ear plugs in case and used them so I got some sleep. The bedroom had 2 twin beds, fairly comfortable, but again very clean. The staff were all very nice, but they absolutely! refuse to do any room change requests over the phone.....I tried several times before we got there to no avail. So I called when I landed and I must say they were very nice about early check-in which was great once we got to the resort. There is only one pool for the entire complex, and it gets very crowded. Need to grab a chair early. They have many tennis courts, but they were usually being used by a local school or club, saw only one court that renters could use at most times. The complex itself is small in comparison to other resorts I have stayed at, the "lake" is very small with no swimming, the gym gets filled but has decent equipment. I did like seeing the same people at the pool day after day, it was easy to make friends and converse. Overall it was a good experience, I would stay here again, but I think the location of the room has alot to do with whether or not you enjoy your experience based on noise, size, and amenities. The location cannot be beat, near everything including a Publix nearly right across the street (two lane double road, difficult to cross safely), main boulevard street with lots of stores including Dunkin' Donuts (yea!), but you still need a car to access most safely.

Room Tip: Top floor corner, most newly renovated. Noise through the walls is definately an issue.
  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank BCalla8035
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 15, 2012

We spent a week at Star Island Resort in late February/early March of 2011. We were happy with the resort overall, although we didn't participate in any of the on-site activities. We thought that the pool area was very nice and the grounds appeared to be very well kept. The unit was nice, but perhaps not what I would expect from a gold rated resort since there was obvious staining (including something a little clumpy like candle wax) on the carpet and the appliances were on the older side. We were in what they label a 3-bedroom, which was actually both sides of a lockoff unit, and the third bedroom was really a den with a sleeper sofa, so that might be unfortunate for some if they were expecting 3 standard bedrooms. Fortunately, we knew this ahead of time since their site indicates it. We did like that there was a washer and dryer in the unit. For people going to the theme parks, this resort was very well situated. Our drive time from resort to parking area was nearly the same for both Disney and Universal, and both were only about 15 or 20 minutes. Not bad at all. Two other big things that I liked about this resort. 1. They didn't pressure us to attend their timeshare presentation - I only had to say no thanks once and that was the end of it. 2. Fast maintenance - our smoke detector battery started going bad and beeping. We called it in and they had someone there in just a few minutes to replace the battery. Bottom line: we'd stay there again.

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled with friends
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2  Thank zipporah8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 8, 2012

We just exchanged for two different rooms at this resort. The first week was in a lock off at the back building. This was one of the smallest units we have ever traded for in our exchanges. A one bedroom with only a queen bed and not a great mattress. The sofa bed wasn't bad so I slept on that and gave my wife the bed. The kitchen was tiny and only one window had a view of anything. It was clean and quiet and the maintenance people were amazing. We had a locked safe when we checked in and security was there in minutes to fix it. Another day the key wouldn't work so we called from the telephone by the elevator and a girl showed up right away to let us in and got us new cards.
Our second week was in a Villa near the front of the resort. The bar and fountains are noisy if you are on the balcony at night but it was a great unit with a jacuzzi tub, washer and dryer and a full kitchen. The only drawback is that it is a three story building with no elevators but private with only the two units on each landing.
We were out every day so didn't try any of the amenities but there was a full slate of events and many people we talked to were happy just to stay in the resort.
I would rate this resort higher if the lock off we stayed in were better but there was just too much of a difference.

Room Tip: If you want more than a queen bed check what is there.
  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank bobbrecken
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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