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first time FLorida suggestions?

abdibile

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I will be going to Florida for the first time for the first two weeks in December.

As it is really off-season I see lots of great resorts available in II (Marriotts, Sheratons and even Disneys) and RCI (Hilton and others) so the choice is not too easy.

I am going alone and want to relax (so great pool with very comfortable sunbeds and a spa/indoor relaxation pool, perhaps hot tub in the room would be great) as well as drive around a little to get to know the state.

I think one week should be Orland as there are so many resorts around there and I would want to visit one or two theme parks for a day.

The other week should be in the south to see the beaches, everglades, the keys.

Any suggestions for the best resorts for these purposes?

As there are lots of big units 2/3 BR available, are there any disadvantages in reserving a 2 BR unit although traveling alone?

Thanks!
 

pedro47

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I would select a two bedroom t/s in Orlando at either Disney or the Marriott.
A two bedroom room unit will give you more space to enjoy the resort and for you to go shopping at the many great malls in the area.

Enjoy you week in Florida.
 
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Zac495

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I loved HGVC Hilton in Orlando. Hyatt in Coconut Grove was even more awesome!
 

lprstn

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If it was just me, I'd personally would stay in Daytona Beach on the water and do a day trip to the amusement parks. But if you have 2 weeks to burn than you can do 1 week at the beach and 1 week in Orlando. Daytona and Orlando is about 45 minutes from each other.
 

vacationhopeful

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I would suggest the Ft Lauderdale area, on the beach ... for the dining, nightlife and the day bus tours to Key West, Everglades National Park, and Miami South Beach. Being as you are alone, this would not have you driving and mapping reading by yourself. And cost effective if you consider the price of gas, parking, toll roads, and tour guide suggestions. Plus, it there is an interest in returning, you can drive back and at least have SOME idea where you are going for a day or overnight. Ft Lauderdale has a water taxi loop on the intercoastal which allows viewing of the waterfront houses and the many, many yachts. I would go to Ft Lauderdale first and just stare at the beach, waves, ocean and lay in a heated pool/hot tub. There is a wonderful walkway along the beach which goes for several miles, plus several state parks and the historical Bonnet House, too.

As for Orlando, yes, there are many Disney, Universal Parks, Water Parks, and other tourist traps. They are expensive to just roam around in for a day unless you have good discount passes. But Orlando has good road access to both the Gulf Coast cities and the east coast points of interest (NASA space launch center, NASCAR raceway, manatees at Blue Spring State Park). Outlet stores are very popular here also.
 

sfwilshire

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As there are lots of big units 2/3 BR available, are there any disadvantages in reserving a 2 BR unit although traveling alone?
No disadvantage, but if there is a 1 br available at the same resort, I'd book the smaller unit. That leaves the 2 br for someone who is booking last minute that might need the extra room. It just seems silly to take more room than you need when there is no advantage for you.

If only a larger unit is available in the resort you want, then by all means, go for the bigger one.

Sheila
 

dvc_john

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I loved HGVC Hilton in Orlando. Hyatt in Coconut Grove was even more awesome!
I believe that Zac495 might be referring to Hyatt Coconut Plantation in Bonita Springs (between Ft Myers and Naples). In any case, this is a terrific resort (although not directly on the beach).
 

dvc_john

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No disadvantage, but if there is a 1 br available at the same resort, I'd book the smaller unit.

Just be careful if booking a 1-br unit.

At some resorts, they have 2 versions of 1-br units: a regular sized unit, and a smallish unit (I call them mini-1-br's). What these resorts have done is to build a 2-br lock-off. But instead of a studio, they make that side a little larger, separate the bedroom, and call it a 1-br. So the lock-off consists of 2 1-br's: a regular sized one, and a smaller one. If you get one of these mini-1-br's and are expecting a studio, you will be delighted. If you get one when you are expecting a full sized 1-br, you will be disappointed.

In the past, when booking at a resort that I wasn't sure of the configuration of the units, I have booked a 2-br to be safe even if I only needed a 1-br.
 
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rapmarks

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I too was wondering if the poster was referring to Hyatt coconut point.

The advantage to booking a two bedroom unit is usually an extra bathroom, more dishes in the kitchen so you don't have to wash them after each meal, a little more space. I can't stand having only 4 spoons, 4 forks, etc, even if there are two of us. You can get stuck with the tiny side of a lockout if you book a one bedroom.

I prefer Cocoa Beach to Daytona Beach, It is just as close to Orlando, but I think most of the resorts in cocoa Beach are pretty nice quality and you have the Kennedy Space Center and Merritt Island National Preserve too.
 

Dublin 4

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Florida in December

Going in December I would stay on the Gulf Coast rather than the Atlantic. Weather is generally milder. Look at Sarasota.
Certainly we have found that the quality of time share in Orlando is unbeatable. Love the 2 bedroomed at HGVC and Vistana Village.
Once you leave Orlando the resorts can be more 'beachy' but that great. Have a look at Sarasota Suntide Island Beach Club. Its a small very friendly well kept resort and though not luxurious, is directly onto Lido Beach. Sarasota has museums and theatres and the lovely Armands Circle...15 minutes walk from the resort has many excellent restaurants and shops
 

Zac495

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I believe that Zac495 might be referring to Hyatt Coconut Plantation in Bonita Springs (between Ft Myers and Naples). In any case, this is a terrific resort (although not directly on the beach).
Yes I was. Sorry about that!!!
I have pics of that resort - and if you're willing to do a timeshare presentation, they may still have cheap 4 night packages. That's what I did - and I didn't have hubby with me- just said I was single. They didn't care.
 
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