Centrally Managed Resorts vs. Resorts of Individually Owned Homes

Choose the right kind of resort – Most people are familiar with resorts that are centrally managed like hotels and timeshare resorts.  In these resorts, all units are decorated with the same level of luxury.  They have the same size televisions, the same furniture, are cleaned & maintained by the same staff to the same standards and generally are priced the same.  With these resorts, you are really shopping by the standards and reputation of the resort.  A new breed of resort has recently appeared in the Orlando area that is run very differently.  Even though these vacation home communities look a lot like a standard resort, you cannot drive into these resorts and ask for lodging because no one at the resort knows anything about the lodging.  The resort management only runs the resort amenities, not the lodging.  The lodging consists exclusively of privately-owned condos, townhomes and pool homes that are managed by one of 700+ off-site management companies.These communities represent a very cost-effective way to enjoy the space & privacy unlike any hotel can offer, but it’s important to understand that unlike hotels or timeshares, these vacation homes are all decorated by individual homeowners with a huge variety of budgets & level of finish.  In this kind of resort, shopping based ONLY on the basis of price is definitely NOT recommended because while some homes are very plush, others resemble a multiple-bedroom version of cheap hotel.  To be successful, take a close look at the level of finish in any home you might rent & shop by value, not price. 

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Romancing the Mouse reply:  Living locally, there has been far more personal attention to the finish of our three homes and the little extras added that others can't compete.  Holly is continually asked to go into business decorating vacation homes.  She constantly updates the items of decor to keep things fresh.  Mark has added such things as built in electronic safes for valuables, ceiling fans for every bedroom, ceiling fans & outdoor speakers to bring music to the screened in lanai/pool area, and built-in TV shelves in all the bedrooms, allowing us to install larger TVs without feeling like  they are intruding on your living space.  He is currently in the process of installing motion sensing porch lights so you are greeted by a lighted entryway as you return to your home without the telltale porch light being left on in the morning, indicating the absence of the occupants.  We offer free use of pay-as-you-go cellphones to reduce costs to non-US residents, a massage table to work out the theme-park induced aches & pains, and even the services of a personal chef to create a memorable, special evening.  Backwhen we engagedthe services of local management companies rather than manage our homes ourselves, the decor andlevel of finish meant our homes were always the VIP or showcase homes.  We are confident that you cannot find homes that are more 'full service' than our homes.