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What's the deal with Vacation Village?

Discussion in 'US - Florida Timesharing' started by JudyS, Jul 28, 2006.

  1. JudyS

    JudyS TUG Member

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    Can anyone tell me why the Vacation Village resorts in Florida are so unpopular? The one in Orlando (Vacation Village at Parkway) always seems to be one of the last resorts in the area to fill up, with lots of availability in RCI, and even on SkyAuction. I don't pay as much attention to the other Vacation Villages resorts in Florida, but they seem to have lots of availability -- even more than Vacation Village at Parkway.

    So, why don't these resorts have more bookings? The reviews of Vacation Village at Parkway seem fine, and the pictures of the resort look nice.

    My impression is that the some of the Vacation Village resorts outside of orlandso have poor locations -- is that correct? And, I've heard that Vacation Village at Parkway lacks amenities, although I'm not sure which ones; it seems to have a pool, at least.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. gjw007

    gjw007 TUG Member

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    Judy;

    While I am an owner at Vacation Village at Parkway (VVP), I'm not really a fan of the resort and you have hit on one of my issues. There is nothing wrong with the resort if you like a resort with the only amenity being the swimming pool. The rooms are large but I don't particularly like the layout - others do. It is a 2-bedroom unit that can be split into 2 separate 1-bedroom units. The A-side unit is about 1000 sq ft with an oversized jacuzzi bathtub in the bedroom - some people like this, it's not for me. The A-side is complete with full kitchen and if you were to stay in a 1-bedroom at VVP, this is the unit to get.

    The other 1-bedroom unit, the B-side, is about 500 sq ft and it doesn't include a full kitchen. It doesn't even have a stove but it does have a 2-burner hotplate in the cabinets that you can pull out and use. Some people who like VVP will praise this unit as a great studio but VVP and RCI both treat this as a 1-bedroom unit. If this were a studio, I think it would be a great studio as well but since its treated as a 1-bedroom unit, I find it lacking and don't recommend it unless you plan to eat out.

    The 2-bedroom units is 1500 sq ft (both A- and B-units). I don't like the layout because to create the B-side, the living room space in divided in half. With my family, I would prefer to have the full use of the living room space. On the other hand, if you have non-family members, it may be nice for them to have their own separate space. In some situations, this works, in others it doesn't.

    VVP built unit after unit after unit after unit after unit after unit. I think you see the pattern. They crammed as many units into the buildings as possible. Granted, the units are of nice size (I have objection to the layout but it works for some) but it means that there are a lot of units. It made parking a problem when I was there. It also means more units are likely to be available. This is true of any large resort. I would not exchange to VVP or use points to go to VVP because it is cheaper, usually, to get an instant vacation (extra vacation, bonus vacation, or the flavor-of-the-month name for the program) at around $200 per week but that price does vary depending on the time of year and it seems that RCI has been raising the prices lately.

    VVP has a good location if you are going to Disney. The only real amenity is the pool. When I was there, there were 5 buildings; I understand but could be wrong that there are currently 9 buildings so hopefully they have built more pools as the one that was there when I stayed there would not be able to handle the capacity. On the other hand, I think the thought pattern is that most people will probably be spending most of their time off resort. I know that VVP management says that they limit the amenities to keep cost down but my maintenance fees are about the same as my Orange Lake maintance fees and Orange Lake has a lot of amenities.

    Here's my take on your question. The issue is related to the number of units that VVP built. The units are sold as 2-bedroom units but I think, I could be wrong, that most units used are 1-bedroom units. A result is a large number of units that may be available for rent. Many people like to go to resorts with lots of amenities, but some are more interested in the location as they won't be spending a lot of time at the resort. The combination of a large pool of units available plus people looking at resorts with more amenities may result in the condition of VVP always having rooms available.

    There are many, many people who really enjoy VVP, I would just recommend getting an A-unit rather than a B-unit 1-bedroom unit as I think you will be happier in the A-unit than the B-unit. Oh, if you're wondering why I own there, it is my entrance into RCI Points. While I have some issues with management and it isn't my first choice to stay at, I would stay there again - I'd just make sure it's the A-unit;). In general, I think you would enjoy the stay.
     
  3. KenK

    KenK TUG Lifetime Member

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    Gary:
    Is there a internal exchange program with http://www.dailymanagementresorts.com between the different resorts they manage? (They managem VV in New England, and Weston,Fl and some other places)

    Daily (was or is) associated with the old Berkley Group, and thay also had ties with Vacation Break Timeshares (now part of Fairfiled Resorts Management)

    Is there a reason why it is impossible for me to find the address of Daily Management in the Yellow Pages? I might not have searched very hard.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2006
  4. rickandcindy23

    rickandcindy23 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    I love VV in Orlando. The units are very nice, as nice as the Marriotts, the whirlpool tubs are great, big enough for two average-sized adults. The pool is shaded by the tall buildings, which was very nice for us because we didn't have to wear sunscreen. We loved the large hot tub and had it to ourselves for a good long time.

    We have stayed there three times now and always had a sparkling-clean unit, decorated very well. I don't need, nor do I want, a movie theater or putt putt golf course on site. If we want to play mini golf, we will go to Disney's Fantasia or to Pirates' Cove to play a better course.

    What other amenities does VV lack, but those things? The new buildings have washer/dryer units in both A and B sides. Noise is not a problem, either. I have never seen anything broken or stained, no bugs at all.

    As far as buying a week there, even with points, I probably wouldn't do it. The RCI points level is a great value now but may not be when the developer moves out. We have not seen any of the older buildings and have wondered if they are in need of updating. I would love to see an older one, just to compare.

    I wonder if Gary has only seen the old units, while we have seen the newest ones. Perhaps exchangers get priority, for that possible sale? I don't know for sure, but I definitely do not understand why Gary and I have such differing opinions about Orange Lake and VV. He owns both, I own neither.

    I was genuinely disappointed in our OLCC unit. The RCI guide talked us into the trade, told us all about a friend who stayed at OLCC the month before. There were so many cleaning and maintenance issues in our particular unit that I felt uncomfortable sitting on the furniture and going to the bathroom at night. It was not what we expected.

    Our son is going to be in a three-bedroom at OLCC next month with his friends. I grabbed one for 7,500 RCI points a few days ago. I hope it works out for them, but if the unit is less than GC, at least it only cost him $225. He is on our points account, so we didn't have to get a guest certificate.
     
  5. gjw007

    gjw007 TUG Member

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    Ken;

    There is no internal exchange policy but if you mention it to RCI, they are suppose to give you a discount off the exchange rate for resorts within the group. I think the discount is $25.

    Cindy

    I stayed there in 2003 in a new unit in building 5. I was in a B-unit. There was no washer/dryer, no stove, etc. They were building more and more building with the emphasis of putting up more units and building. The emphasis was on getting as many units into a building as possible. The little game of making me inventory the unit and bringing it to the front desk started the week's adventure. From your previous comments, I understand you believe this was to get the guest to go to a timeshare presentation. I've also heard of them using a ladder scheme during their presentations in a way similar to Westgate (maybe not as hard a sell as Westgate though but I've never been to Westgate to experience it). I understand that the layout in building 1 (the oldest building) may be slightly different the other buildings. VVP doesn't make a claim that every B-side will have the washer/dryer/stove, only that some may. I will admit there was a washer/dryer down the hall for common use if you choose to use it. Certainly more convenient than DVC where those staying in studios can use the washer/dryers but many times they are located near the pools. They have also been known to fool guests into paying to use them when in fact they are free (they need to remove teh coin devices). There are washer/dryers available for those who use studios at Orange Lake as well (I've stayed in the studios at OLCC as well - they had more fully equipment kitchen than did the B-unit at VVP). The quality of the units I been at in Orange Lake (I've been in both newest and oldest sections) and VVP are about the same, the only difference is layout. I accept that people like different things. VVP doesn't work for me but it does for others. I have no problem with that. My week there may be an aberation to them but it was my worst timesharing experience where the emphasis wasn't on the guests but focused on money. Since they are done with construction, I think, the emphasis I experienced may have changed.

    I don't go out of my way to trash VVP. I think it work fine for some people but not for others. It doesn't fit my style and for my use, it is not a well design but it does work for others. There are plenty of positives about the resort especially its location to Walt Disney World, the size of the 2-bedroom unit (1500 sq ft), the size of the A-unit 1-bedroom unit (1000 sq ft), the items in the 2-bedroom and A-unit 1-bedroom unit (washer/dryer, full kitchen, jacuzzi), and the location next to I-4 so its easy to get to. But the B-side may be a big negative since it is treated as a 1-bedroom unit but it doesn't have all the items that I think should be in a 1-bedroom unit. You need to understand that I could have lived with a 2-burner stove and without the dishwasher, but a 2-burner hotplate was nuts. I could have rented a hotel room and done that. Having said this, the B-unit is fine for people who will be eating out rather than cooking in the unit but I like to cook my own meals as a way to save some money on my vacations so that I can bring back other gifts for family and friends.

    For purely selfish reasons, I want people to give VVP good reviews especially to RCI. If the reviews go down, RCI might lower the RCI Points to the resort and that would affect me negatively. While it doesn't work for me, the resort is fine for others. I really don't think it is a Gold Crown resort (shouldn't Gold Crown resorts have something more besides location and having a pool - some Motel 6's have that) but this question is not specifically addressed to VVP as Celebration World (which I like better than VVP - notice a pattern here, Orange Lake and Celebration World are more spread out than is VVP - In an off topic, my DVC membership is the same. I like SSR and OKW where the units are more spread out than BCV, BMW, and VWL where the units are more like VVP in that they are in one building or cluster of buildings rather than in multiple buildings) also only has a pool and it is a Gold Crown as well. Alhambra Villas just before the hurricanes also had achieved Gold Crown and it also only has a pool. There are many resorts like this that have limited amenitites that are Gold Crown resorts

    I've never understood some of the color schemes for some of the resorts. For example, in that 90s I stayed at a resort along the barrier island outside Clearwater. The resort had a pastel pink color. The only thing it had as well was a swimming pool but it was right on the beach.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2006
  6. rickandcindy23

    rickandcindy23 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Gary, you are just spoiled! :D

    Really, all kidding aside, our B side of our two bedroom at VV was amazingly nice. So many studios only have a mini fridge, this one had the same as the B unit, a nice L-shaped kitchen area, a sink, microwave and plenty of dishes and the washer/dryer unit in the closet. There was even a small table and chairs. We have stayed in studios that I would call hotel/motel rooms, like a Motel 6, but VV's was far and away better than any studio we had ever seen before. It was better than Marriott's, except Marriott had the king bed, which was great, but it had a small fridge, no washer/dryer, smaller kitchen, etc.

    I don't use a stove on vacation. For us, it is cold cereal, pack a cooler with soda and snacks, then we are off to Disney or Universal. We cooked a roast at Cypress Pointe once, on Superbowl Sunday. I tried to cook a pizza at OLCC and the oven handle fell off. That is the extent of oven use. The burners are also rarely used.

    VV should have had an electric frying pan in the cupboard. That would work fine for bacon and eggs. ;)
     
  7. gjw007

    gjw007 TUG Member

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    Cindy

    Maybe so but that is what I spent the money for and expected. The fact is that VVP doesn't deliever on the B-units when compared to other timeshares with 1-bedroom units. The 1-bedroom unit at Celebration World was listed as partial and it was more complete than VVP. In addition, VVP doesn't have studios. If it had studios, I would agree with you. Many studios do have only small kitchenettes. DVC is an example (I don't stay in the studios at DVC for that reason). The fact that VVP doesn't have studios can be verified by looking at the resort directory at RCI. You will see only 1- and 2-bedroom units listed. As a comparison, HGVC on Tuscony does have studios and they are listed as a type of room at the bottom of the list so if VVP had studios, it would have been listed. The same is true at Orange Lake. So I'm comparing 1-bedroom units to 1-bedroom and find that the B-unit is lacking the items that I look for. I don't understand why are you comparing the 1-bedroom (as defined by RCI and VVP) to a studio and then saying that the 1-bedroom is a great studio. I like to cook in the unit so that I can save some money. It is something that I expect and the hotplate in a 1-bedroom just didn't do it for me. Someday, when I can get a week for $200 and I can take the time off, I may try the A-unit or 2-bedroom unit for a comparison but there are other resorts that I plan to stay at first. I will be at the HGVC Tuscany Village the first of September as an example.

    As I've said before,it is something that works some people and I'm fine with that. It just isn't for everybody and it isn't my first choice when for me, there are better options available. I think it may work for others but I think there may be others that will be disappointed with the resort. I don't discourage from people staying at VVP but I think they need to be made aware of the difference. Most people will advise, as I have, to get the A-unit.

    I'm sorry but this has gotten away from the OP's original question why there are so many rooms at VVP available. As you can probably tell, Cindy and I have had this discussion before. I think its great that different people can like different things as the world would be pretty bland if we all had to like the same thing.
     
  8. rickandcindy23

    rickandcindy23 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Gary,
    I think I need to have someone hit me over the head so I will get it! :eek:

    I do get what you are saying. That is correct, that definitely is not the same as a one bedroom. It would be a super studio, though. :D

    You are definitely correct that if they are calling that a one bedroom, the full kitchen kinda keeps it from being a one bedroom.

    I gave your wonderful VVP glowing marks, I like it so much. I think your points will be safe for now. When are the salesmen moving outta there? It looked like they were starting three or four new buildings to me when we were there early May. The sales division will make sure your points are safe too. Whatever they have to do to keep the place GC, they will do it, otherwise they might as well be selling Orbit One down the street. (VVP sales are the same guys who are collecting cash for RCI point conversions from Orbit One, Florida Vacation Villas, Club Seville, and many others in the same area, for a low, low price of $2,995.)

    I have never stayed in a one bedroom at OLCC, so I cannot comment on that one. Are they newer than the units on South Magnolia Ct.?
     
  9. gjw007

    gjw007 TUG Member

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    Cindy;

    They lowered the price on conversions to points?:D I thought they were doing it for more when I was there but they may have been talking about something else. They kept throwing out numbers. There are a few resorts, Vistana Resort being one, that RCI does the conversion. I believe they are charging $495. I think I've said it before that management is where I have most of my issues with VVP and the $3,000 charge for conversions to points illustrates the emphasis on money.

    I haven't stayed in the Magnolia Court area but I've stayed in a 1-bedroom in the West Village just across the street from the clubhouse so it was very convenient to the Olympic size pool. I'm not sure that OLCC has enough pools on hot days like those in July or August. I heard a rumour that they are looking to build a new one in the East Village. I really like the Olympic-sized pool, even more than the new River Island lazy river. The other 1-bedroom that I stayed at in OLCC was in the North Village right next to Splash Lagoon. The layout in the North Village 1-bedroom is basicly the same as at VVP's B-unit but larger (not quite as large as the A-unit at VVP). If you look at the layout on www.olcc.com for the 2-bedroom units (or 3-bedroom units for that matter), if you split it along the hallway, the 1-bedroom units is the West Village are like the one side of the 2-bedroom unit with the living room area, the kitchen, and the bedroom. The proportions are different though. I actually like this design better than the North Village design but both are fine and this is a matter of personal choice. Most of the 1-bedroom units that I have stayed at have designs similar to that of the North Village and the B-unit at VVP (again, only larger). The 1-bedroom unit that I stayed at Vistana Resort, Villas at Wilderness Lodge, and Celebration World followed this pattern if I remember correctly. The 1-bedroom at SeaShells in Orsmond Beach followed a pattern closer to that of the North Village unit but not quite the same. I've seen the designs for the 1-bedroom in the River Island units but I don't remember the layout but I think it was closer to that of the North Village units.
     
  10. JudyS

    JudyS TUG Member

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    Ok, thanks for the replies!

    It looks like the answer is something like this -- Some people like VVP, some people don't. However, VVP has a lot of units, which is a main reason why something is almost always available there. It has less amenities than other resorts, and is mostly just condos placed closely together. However, the rooms themselves are nice, except that the B sides are small. Does that sum it up?

    Gary, I believe that you & I were discussing the number of units at OLCC and Vistana over on the DISboards a few days ago. Do you know how many units they have at VVP? Or how many are in each building?

    Also, thanks for warning me about the lack of a stove in the B side; I would find that a serious problem. I actually do a lot of cooking when I'm in a timeshare; I like to cook but can't always find time at home.

    I can verify that VVP claims to have no studios, only 1 bedroom and 2 bedroom units.

    I like shady pools, but I still see drawbacks with having buildings around the pool. There will be no privacy for swimmers, and it will be noisy for anyone staying in the units that face the pool -- in fact, I just came across a VVP review complaining about this.

    Cindy, I was wondering if you stayed in just the B side, or if you had both sides. I find that smaller units often look OK, but when I actually try to stay in them, I find there is no room to put things, little room to move around, etc. In fact, I just had problems like that in a small 1 bedorom I stayed in last week. Also, apart from OLCC, which resorts have you stayed in in Orlando? I'm wondering how VPP & OLCC compare to others.

    Anyway, thanks for the input!
     
  11. rickandcindy23

    rickandcindy23 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    The B sides are about the same as the Marriott Lock-out studio. It is still bigger than a hotel room but does lack a stove. You are not guaranteed a washer/dryer unit in the side B, but all of the newest units have them. I think they are very likely to give a newer unit to an exchanger.

    We have had both the two-bedroom unit, complete with two washer/dryer units, and just the A side of the lockout in May. We would not ever stay in a unit without a whirlpool tub. VV treats exchangers very well. The buildings are huge and have lots of units. I wouldn't care if someone was watching us swim or in the hot tub. Most people in the units wouldn't care to watch pool activity, plus most are in the parks, not at the resort. I like the shade because I am allergic to the sun and break out in hives when I am in the direct sun. I am a very pale person. :eek:
     
  12. abc31

    abc31 TUG Member

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    I am a new owner of Vacation Village at Parkway. I have never been there. When I deposited it with RCI, I intended to deposit the whole 2 bedroom lock-off unit for one exchange. My thinking was that I would have more trading power. I preferred to get one good vacation out of it rather than 2 not so good ones. The rci rep. talked me into trading it as 2 one bedroom units. She said that my trading power wouldn't increase too much for the two bedroom and I might as well get 2 vacations.

    I did actually get 2 great trades with it. My husband used one trade for a 3 bedroom at Orange Lake for a golf trip with his buddies during their off season in January. My other trade was for HGVC International drive this coming Thanksgiving week. I was very surprised I was able to get that.

    However, I have also noticed how many units they always seem to have available on RCI at VVP, but they are always 1 bedroom units. It has occured to me that RCI might be foolish to always try to rent them as 1 bedroom units that never sell. A lot of people go to Orlando with children and prefer to have a two bedroom. I'm sure they do it to get two exchange fees out of it, but if they don't get taken, they wind up with nothing for it, so it doesn't make sense to me.
     
  13. rickandcindy23

    rickandcindy23 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    That's great that your trading power is good. The low maintenance fees make it a great purchase right now, especially when you are able to trade into two other Orlando resorts that have much higher fees.
     
  14. abc31

    abc31 TUG Member

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    I think so, Cindy. I'm very happy with my purchase. I bought it for $1000 on ebay. My maintenance is around $580.00 and I got 2 great vacations out of it this year. I feel like it already paid for itself!
     
  15. gjw007

    gjw007 TUG Member

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    I don't know how many units there are at VVP. I believe there are 9 buildings. I won't say that the B-side units aren't nice but they really should be considered a large studio. As a large studio, they are great. They just lack some of the things that I think a 1-bedroom unit should have.

    VVP should be a RCI Points resort but I have heard of VVP selling them as weeks instead. It would appear that the unit that abc31 is a weeks rather than a points unit (or he didn't opt to get a points membership). I'm not sure how hard it is to trade into HGVC at Tuscany as I traded Alhambra Villas to it and Alhambra is not rated a Gold Crown. Sometimes the way that RCI allows trades doesn't make sense as you can sometimes trade a studio for a 3-bedroom unit at a Gold Crown or a non-Gold Crown resort for a Gold Crown resort.
     
  16. rickandcindy23

    rickandcindy23 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    My blue Colorado week pulls HGVC in Orlando, both of them, but I was surprised that half of a VVP pulled two vacations in Orlando. Is the HGVC a one bedroom? I cannot believe you pulled a three at OLCC for a one bedroom at VV.
     
  17. lawgs

    lawgs Guest

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    Very good trade for OLCC using a 1 Bedroom and getting a 3 bedroom, we know from experience that the reverse is not true

    supposedly that is not going to happen anymore according to an "informed" TUG poster who is an owner there and has "strong ties" to management, of course they did not state this as being "absolute", although it came across that way

    with the new Global Access being introduced which is tied to RCI points, there might be more difficulty for VVP's who are RCI points members getting into OLCC without having the pay the "points" valuation set up by Global Access which will be higher than the generic chart for RCI resorts in Florida

    will be interesting how OLCC deposits iinto RCI are filtered out within the RCI system, that is will OLCC now only deposit RCI Points into RCI or will there still be WEEKS availability too, which would then mean savvy RCI points owners might still be able to snag "gem" exchanges into OLCC using instant exchanges during the last 45 days...

    on a side note, when we toured VVP in may the mantra was , weeks are going the way of the dodo bird, points is the way to go, and the Berkley group has a very high PRESENCE within the RCI organization right up there with the likes of OLCC ( provided by sales at VVP so taken in with a "grin of salt" )....they had 11 buildings completed when we were there and about to open building 12, the master plan has if memory serves me correctly up to 20 buidlings total for the complex. They seemed to be putting exchangers into the newer units a wise move from a sales perspective since some of the early buildings ( 5 being one of them ) had some "refurb" needs in particular the sofa sleepers in the living room ( very uncomfortable to just sit on, could not imagine sleeping on one...even though the over all look of the sofa was nice, the cushioning was deplorable) When we mentioned that at a sales presentation they did admit they had supplier problems with those particular sofa in the early buidlings as a response.

    we like staying there, but have found that more and more it is geting very, very hard to find a 2 bedroom for exchange....even when we use a 2 bedroom GC to search, VVP listings come back with all those 1 bedrooms both full and partial kitchens as an "equal" trade for the two bedroom....the lockout concept while nice for owners can sometimes be short shrift for exchangers

    at least at the BERKLEY Grandview in Las Vegas, the two bedrooms are really two "mirror image" 1 bedrooms, thus if you did decide to accept a 1 bedroom for exchange since you really wanted to be in vegas and nothing else was showing up, you would not be getting a lesser side
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2006
  18. abc31

    abc31 TUG Member

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    Yes, Cindy. I will be staying in a two bedroom at HGVC. I did deposit early and search early, but as I said I got 2 great trades. My VVP Unit is weeks not points.

    abc
     
  19. gjw007

    gjw007 TUG Member

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    lawgs;
    Thanks for the comments. I didn't realize they had so many buildings and were planning on building more. I don't know where they are putting all the buildings as it was such a small space when I was there. I remember that they pushed Points really, really hard but that is what they sell. Its funny because after getting a Points account, I found I like Weeks better. So much for the one-size-fits-all approach. Yes, the Berkley Group has a high presence within RCI.
     
  20. Colorado Belle

    Colorado Belle TUG Member

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    I used a certificate from sky auction to stay here last December. I got a 2 bedroom, high floor overlooking the playground area.

    I own at Boardwalk Villas, DVC so I am very spoiled re location .

    I thought the unit size and furnishings were great. It is very close to Disney...probably closer to MK than Saratoga Springs (DVC) in mileage.

    I agree that they tried to get as many units as possible into their acreage.

    Sometimes people need location, sometimes space in the unit and sometimes resort amenities. I didn't use any of the 'amenities' as I was spending all my time at Disney.

    The B side of my unit had a reasonable living room, a small efficiency kitchen with sink, full size fridge, microwave, hotplate (so it was bigger than a Disney DVC studio), the bedroom was completely separate (so not comparable to a studio IMHO) with a queen size bed, and the bathroom had its own stackable washer /dryer) and a small patio off of both the bedroom and the living room area.

    Not sure why these units are so available for cheap, but I 'm glad they are, because I plan on taking adantage of them again in late August. Of course, they will probably be much busier then and it is true that I had some difficulty with finding a parking place close to my unit in December.

    So, I had no noise, didn't have much of a view since it faced 'inward', loved the jacuzzi and the huge big screen TV and the space.
     
  21. Neesie

    Neesie TUG Member

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    Was wondering if anyone could comment on Westin Vacation Village (Bonaventure) near Ft. Lauderdale.

    We're considering a trade in late March (spring break) and have only been to Florida during January. I'm not crazy about the Spring Breakers, though I absolutely love the Ft Lauderdale area. I'm aware that this resort is 20 miles or so from the beach. In the past we have been strictly ocean-front with the exception in Kauai last year and being across the street the year before. However I notice that hubby and I are as likely to hop in the car and drive to another beach, anyway! We go to Miami Beach all the time and have never stayed closer than Ft. Lauderdale anyway.

    So I'm thinking if it is a really nice resort I might take it. Then we'll just have to find a beach that is fairly tame for our time in the sun.
     
  22. KenK

    KenK TUG Lifetime Member

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    Your first sentence includes two different Daily Managed resorts in Weston. There is a third....which is the newest.

    There are hardly any spring breakers in Ft Lauderdale, if you mean the college kids....they moved on to more fun & less costly places.

    The same reasoning above is why there are so many available units in the Weston area....there are many of them...and in this case, they are far from the beaches.

    Daily Weston, Fl Resorts: go to www.dailymanagementresorts.com for more info on the weston units

    Directions for Vacation Village at Bonaventure

    From the Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport
    Take I-95 to I-595 west and proceed to exit at 136th Street (exit 1A). Exit the highway and continue heading west on the service road/State Road 84 until you reach Bonaventure Boulevard. Make a left at this light and proceed south to Racquet Club Road. Make a right turn and you will see Vacation Village at Bonaventure, which will be on your immediate right-hand side.


    Directions for Vacation Village at Weston

    From the Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport
    Take I-95 to I-595 west and proceed to exit at 136th Avenue (exit 1A). Exit the highway and continue heading west on the service road/State Road 84 until you reach Bonaventure Boulevard. Make a left on Bonaventure Boulevard and drive under the overpass to your second traffic light (Racquet Club Road); turn right at Racquet Club Road and Vacation Village at Weston will be on your right-hand side (first driveway on the right).


    Directions for Mizner Place (Town Center)

    From the Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport
    Take I-595 west and proceed to exit 1A (also known as Southwest 136th Avenue). Exit the highway and continue heading west on the service road/State Road 84 until you reach Bonaventure Boulevard (approximately two miles). Make a left under the overpass and proceed south to Racquet Club Road. Make a right turn at the light and you will see the Vacation Village Resort, which will be the first entrance driveway on your right-hand side.

    I copied some of this from other posts......and some new. The first bit of info is also below, concerning deep sea fishing and closest swimming beaches. Please check www.watertaxi.com before you leave. The front desk at the Westin units had some errors on pick up places.

    The units are right next to Bonaventure units, and the Boniventure CC. Original purchasers had golf included, but I don’t think it is continued.

    I don’t think below also mentions Sawgrass Mills, very close to the units.

    As mentioned, Cheeburger is pretty good....also one in beach place. Check www.cheeburger.com

    Excellent crabs right next to FLL at the Rustic Inn (coupons here:): www.rusticinn.com Very expensive in PM, try lunch, full lunch starts at $4.99 .

    Since you are about 23 miles from the beach, I think these suggestions might come in handy. First, there is a large group of fishing boats (Charter, drift, group) next to the entrance to the now poorly rated Jungle Queen. It is in the Bhai Mar Marina, just off route A1A across from the Yankee Clipper (and MAR Harbour Beach Resort)....but on the intracoastal side. Next to the Sheraton Yankee Clipper going N on A1A is a beach front parking lot.

    On a day you plan to go to the beach, this might be the place to head. I would pile everyone ito the car with all the beach stuff you need (Soda Water sun protection, feet protection (sand will burn), and take off after 9 AM. (After 9 AM to try to avoid the rush hour).

    Take 595 E to the exit US Route One North (Ft Laud). (You will have passed the airport). Drive N until you see 17th Street, and turn R. There will be signage that says A1A N, Beachfront...( It is after the turns into the Port Everglades entrance)

    Con't on 17th, go over ICB (note ocean liners on R), and follow curve toward the Sheraton Yankee Clipper.

    Directly across A1A you will note a Days Inn (dump but bar & Grill are super), then a fire department, and the entrance to the fishing boats, Jungle Queen and www.watertaxi.com .

    You will probably miss that turn L off A1A, but thats OK...bcause you are heading to the beach....so stay in R lane on A1A N to the entrance to the Parking Lot you have been passing by for the last 1/4 mile.

    There is a gate, and the closer you park to that gate, the closer you will be to restaurant services (ie- Las Olas & Beach Place are a short walk N).....but you might want to first drive down toward the Clipper because it will be closer to the info you will obtain when you cross A1A and get the fliers.

    Now you can plan for the fishing trip.....or.....you can still take the 1/2 day group in the PM. One flat fee for parking all day. I used to reco the jungle queen dinner, but its gotten pretty bad....check TA...if you want, it might be OK...there are showers and bathrooms on this section of the beach, or.....you can use the Clippers when you enjoy a libation Wreck Bar, or (hard to access) the Marriots bar.

    Just remember, there will be a ton of traffic on 595 in the AM rush going E and the PM rush going W.

    www.flamingofishing.com (Coupon on this site- free parking at the resort...drive in at the Jungle Queen entrance....or you must pay if you park acrss the street)(another terrible maintained ex Radission)

    http://www.tacohookedup.com/

    http://www.fishladyhelen.com/pages/671685/index.htm

    http://www.all-inclusivesportfishing.com

    ###########################################
    Dave gave a real good spot run by the NPS for the Everglades Tours

    These two, however, are a few minutes away from the Weston Units:

    Sawgrass Recreation Park (Ent Coupon- one free with one)

    Take 595 W to RT 27 NORTH

    U.S. 27 north of I-595, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33329, United States
    • Tel:*954-389-0202

    ############################################

    Take 595 W to RT 27 SOUTH (to Griffin Rd) TURN R onto Griffin RD. (It ends at Rt 27)
    Everglades Holiday Park

    21940 Griffin Road, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33332, United States
    • Tel:*954-434-8111
    • URL:*http://www.evergladesholidaypark.com

    Fort Lauderdale Museum of Art *

    1 East Las Olas Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301, United States
    • Tel:*954-525-5500
    • URL:*http://www.moafl.org


    Bonnet House Museum and Gardens *

    900 North Birch Road, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33304, United States
    • Tel:*954-563-5393
    • URL:*http://www.bonnethouse.org


    *
    Museum of Discovery and Science and IMAX 3D Theater *

    401 Southwest Second Street, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33312, United States
    • Tel:*954-467-6637
    • URL:*http://www.mods.org


    Broward Center for the Performing Arts *

    201 Southwest Fifth Ave, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States

    http://www.browardcenter.org/
    • Tel:*954-462-0222



    Jungle Queen *

    Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States
    • Tel:*954-462-5596
    • URL:*http://www.junglequeen.com

    Food has gone down on dinner cruise...



    Parker Playhouse

    707 NE 8th St
    Ft Lauderdale, Fl

    http://www.parkerplayhouse.com/


    *
    Big Cypress Seminole Reservation and Ah-Tha-Thi-Ki Museum

    THIS IS THE BEST EVERGLADES TOUR...TAKES ALL DAY and costs $$$$

    West Boundary Road, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States
    • Tel:*863-902-1113 (Check out Billie Swamp Safari -all day everglade & Cypress tour-learning experience. 1/2 way to Naples on US rt 75 W (595 to 75 West) Turn R where it say Billie Swamp safari...cont 18 miles on Seminole Reservation. Bring lunch, water, and insect repelant

    • URL:*http://www.seminoletribe.com


    Stranahan House *

    335 Southeast 6th Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301, United States
    • Tel:*954-524-4736
    • URL:*http://www.stranahanhouse.com


    Flamingo Gardens (coupon on website) is not far from Sawgrass Mills....

    595 E exit on Flamingo Rd and go S for Flamingo Gardens. You can go N on Flamingo Rd and get to Sawgrass Mills at the coener of Flamingo and Sunrise Blvd....yes, its the same that runs to the ocean front....but will take hours...only use 595 E to ocean and then get off on US Rt one...N fot Ft Laud...S for Hollywood

    * Watertaxi accessable ($10.00 all day unlimited) NOTE CONTRACT DISPUTE WITH COUNTY .....need to check prices and times of service.

    CLUBS:
    Ft Laud Area:

    Cheers. 941 E Cypress Creek Road, Tel: 954.771.6337

    Dicey Riley's. 217 SW 2 St, Tel: 954.522.2202

    Galleria G'vanni. 625 E Las Olas Blvd, Tel: 954.524.5246

    Jimmy O'Hara's. 2500 W Oakland Park Blvd, Tel: 954.777.1776

    Hot Jazz & Alligator Gumbo Society Shrine Club, 1717 N. Andrews Avenue. Tel: (954)563-5390 [Rob McGowan, President. Non profit jazz society meets fourth Sunday at bring your* horn! $5* admission for members,$7 for non-members, muisicians free]

    O'Hara's Jazz & Blues Cafe. 722 East Las Olas Blvd. Tel: 954-524-1764 Music Line 954-524-2801 Fax: 954-524-4778 [contact: Kitty Ryan. Live music 7 nights & Sunday matinee. Full liquor, wine & beer bar/light food menu. No cover. Casual atmosphere. 21 & up. Voted best jazz & R&B club since 1990. Sidewalk cafe atmosphere outside with intimate brick interior, mahogany bars and 18th century chandeliers. Excelent sound system.Blue Note recording artist, Dr. Lonnie Smith house pianist on weekends. Week nights varies with blues, R&B, Funk & jazz. Club located in historic downtown Ft. Lauderdale]

    http://www.oharasjazzcafe.com/


    Poor House. 110 SW 3rd Ave. Tel: 954.522.5145

    Tavern 213 . 213 SW 2nd St. Tel: 954.463.5213

    Yesterdays Love 94. 3100 E. Oakland Park Blvd. Tel: (954) 561-4400 [Jazz brunch 11am - 3pm. Every Sunday]

    (HOLLYWOOD AREA.

    Most at: 1.2 miles from beach via Hollwood Beach Blvd at Youngs Circle where US Rt One, HBB, and Harrison Streets meet.

    Cool Beans Cafe. 2039 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, Tel: 954.929.1772

    Ellington's Jazz Cabaret. 2009 Harrison Street, Hollywood. Tel: 954.920.9322 [contact: Peter Loblack. Intimate Jazz Cabaret & Restaurant - Upscale Cool Jazz crowd - presenting real improvisational jazz and extraordianary cuisine. Award winning jazz vocalist Dana Paul and the Fakulty perform Sunday nights. Ruby Baker sings Thursday nights. Guitarist/vocalist Gary King Quartet holds court Wednesday and Friday nights. Vocalist Leesa Richards entertains Saturday nights Elegant Cigar room. 7pm till 2am Nightly. No Cover Charge]

    O'Hara's Jazz & Blues Cafe. 1903 Hollywood Beach Blvd. Tel: 954-524-1764 Music Line 954-524-2801 Fax: 954-524-4778 [contact: Kitty Ryan. Live music 7 nights & Sunday matinee.(No Sunday Mat currently listed for Hollywood. Check website) Full liquor, wine & beer bar/light food menu. No cover. Casual atmosphere. 21 & up. Voted best jazz & R&B club since 1990. Sidewalk cafe atmosphere outside with intimate brick interior, mahogany bars and 18th century chandeliers. Excelent sound system.Blue Note recording artist, Dr. Lonnie Smith house pianist on weekends. Week nights varies with blues, R&B, Funk & jazz. Club located in historic downtown Ft. Lauderdale]

    http://www.oharasjazzcafe.com/



    Jazziz Bistro. 5751 Seminole Way, Hollywood. Tel: 954-583-8335 [Supper club in South Florida located in the Paradise Shops at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. Featuring the biggest names in a small intimate setting with our state-of-the-art Klipsch sound stage and spectacular lighting, while dining in a chic and sophisticated atmosphere]
    http://www.jazzizbistro.com/

    Ginger Bay Cafe. 1908 Hollywood Blvd. Tel: (954) 923-1230 [9pm till 1:30am. No Cover]

    One Night Stan's. 2333 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood Tel: 954.929.1566 [ jazz/blues club and restaurant]

    Club Gemini*
    2100 Hollywood Blvd,. Hollywood., a predominantly Colombian crowd mixes it up with salsa and merengue, and Puerto Rican, Cuban, Dominican and other Latin American bands bring in a varied crowd. A flashy mirrored-and-sunburst decor, linen tablecloths and candlelight attract a mix of young and old, singles and couples. Gemini's partner club, Casas Viejas, at the same address, offers a restaurant-type atmosphere that draws an older crowd. Plenty of live music, including mariachis and old-style salsa, make dancing a must. Both are open Thursday through Sunday. Call 954-923-9255.

    The front desk also pushes toward a day at the beach in Hollywood......but I think Ft Laud is a bit closer.

    Energency hospital of first choice is the Weston branch of the Cleveland Clinic...just under 2 miles from some of the Weston T/S resorts

    If you need a list of the restaurants in the area using the entertainment card, reply here, and I will post those with the corresponding number.

    This is only a very small amount in the area.
     
  23. Neesie

    Neesie TUG Member

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    Big thanks to Ken!

    Thanks, Ken, for taking the time to post all that information. Sorry about the confusion regarding the name of the resort. I wrote exactly what the vacation counselor said "Weston Vacation Village Bonadventure."

    My husband and I have travelled to Florida in January for the last 20+ years, the last 10 years as condo owners/exchangers. I work at a college; there is a 6 week break between Christmas and the Spring semester which is why we go in January every year. This year we'd also like to travel during Spring Break. We love the Ft. Lauderdale/LBTS/Pompano area. I have heard that the Spring Breakers don't flock to FL like they used to so it is good to hear someone like you confirm that.

    My husband is a true beach bum, which is why I hesitate to stay 20 miles inland. But truth be known, we go to many different beaches even when staying oceanfront. We have grown to love Miami Beach even though we've never stayed there. We also have friends in Naples and find that Alligator Alley is a quick way to get there. We are not afraid to drive.

    I am glad to see that you included the Water Taxi in your post. We never took it until it became the Water Bus, since we didn't have a particular destination and just wanted to sight see on the beautiful intra-coastal waterways. I recommend it to everyone who goes to Ft. Lauderdale area. What a bargain!

    I am printing your post since it has so much information, particularly restaurants. I've seen Cheeburger, Cheeburger on Access Hollywood and they made it seem as though it was in Miami, and here it was in Ft. Lauderdale all that time!

    The Bonnet House was a real pleasure to go through. Twenty years ago when we first started going to FL it was not open to the public. So I "discovered" it about 3 years ago and also highly recommend.

    I will find out more about the resort from the vacation counselor. Sounds like they are in the same basic area, anyway. The date she gave me turned out to be a week after my Spring Break but since there is so much availability maybe we can work out something for the dates I want.

    Again, thanks for taking the time to respond to my post.

    Denise:hi:
     
  24. KenK

    KenK TUG Lifetime Member

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    I'm sooo old, I met the lady who owned the Bonnet House.....but can't even remember her name. (Bartlett???)

    She still used it as a winter home then....and although she owned it she had (I think) made a quit claim deed for the property to the foundation well before her death....with her having 100% rights to use...

    Can't even get the story right...I have heard so many with all the tours (we were members a long time until they raised the fees).

    Monkeys are still running wild there. Great Folk Art. Families were from Eli Lilly Drugs and another from what had become True Value. This was not their primary vacation home, either......

    Cheeburger is a big chain (almost) Started with one in Sanabel area, and one in the Broward area (don't know city). They are a very inexpensive franchise... www.cheeburger.com

    As most everyone here is aware...I really like the Hollywood Beach...a bit too blue collar for most...but ocean is great, as are the small restaurants long the b'walk.

    When in Fl, (4 blocks to beach) I usually have to go to the C Clinic in Weston 3 times a month....so i know dozens of ways to access...but there is no short cut.
     
  25. Neesie

    Neesie TUG Member

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    Wow, you are really impressing me! Imagine meeting the owner of the Bonnet House! Not only were they in the Eli Lily drug & True Value Hardware family but that park across the street - Hugh Birch park - was also in the family. Imagine owning all that property in South Florida! (And much of the intra-coastal that is developed was once their property too.)

    Theres a decent little restaurant down the street (blue collar). I'll try to spell it correctly: Primanti Brothers. Was I ever surprised the first time I ordered a sandwich and the coleslaw that "came with it" actually was inside the sandwich. Neat little place. The cook says they're busiest after the bars close and they sell pizza by the slice through their walk-up window.
     

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