I might have convinced the boyfriend to go to Florida just after New Year to use our AP. Yay! To save some money, we will stay offiste.
I have enough points to stay at Hyatt, Marriott or Hilton for four-five nights for free. We will rent a car to get around. Disney will be important, but we will probably go to the Kennedy Space Center.
I have stayed at the Waldorf Astoria Bonnet Creek and I really liked it. We want this vacation to be relaxing, so a nice resort with nice pools and nice rooms is important. Let me know what would be your favorites!
The Swan and Dolphin are also within the Mariott chain, in case that helps. Used to be Starwood, and then Mariott bought Starwood…
Thanks! I wanted to check those specifically, but Marriott is updating their website because of that merger this week and everything is down. I will wait a week for that.
Last time we stayed at Sheraton Vistana Resort. Not to be confused with Sheraton Vistana Villages. Beautiful resort with condos, full kitchen, balcony, washer/dryer. Multiple pools. No resort fees or parking fees! Super close to WDW <5min Going back in October
Is Sheraton part of SPG? So that would mean it’s Marriott now, which would be great! I will need to look at it!
Sheraton is/was Starwood, yes.
Also the pool grotto at Hyatt grand cypress looks sick!
I’ve stayed at a bunch of Marriott properties near Disney World, though all in the “budget” category, so if you’re looking at one of the more upscale resorts, then I probably won’t be of much help. I’ve paid cash for each of these locations, but none charge resort or parking fees, so if you book on points, then they’re actually free.
Of the places where I’ve stayed, here’s the order I’d rate them:
- SpringHill Suties at Flamingo Crossings (in a relatively new development, not much else nearby yet)
- Courtyard Orlando Lake Buena Vista at Vista Centre (solid choice, spotty service, small, but quiet pool)
- SpringHill Suites Orlando at SeaWorld (resort was fine, just a bit out of the way to Disney World)
- Fairfield Inn & Suites Orlando Lake Buena Vista (looked a little worn, I’d skip this place)
I’ve also stayed at the Dolphin using Starwood points, but since then the price of using points has gone up. The location is great and I enjoyed the resort, but in addition to being a relatively pricey redemption for you points, you also pay a resort and parking fee, adding up to nearly $50/night for your “free” room. The new Marriott/Starwood system is supposed to have different prices for redemptions during value and peak seasons, though, so when the combined system comes back online I’ll be eager to see if there might be times when booking the Dolphin might be cheaper/a better value.
Thanks! I don’t actually know if I want to stay at one of the more budgets or more upscale. I am actually waiting for the new reward system to see! I don’t actually have that many Marriott points, so that will have an impact, that’s for sure (I have a decent amount, but way less than Hilton). I think we will rent a car this time, so how much is parking is definitely going to have an impact.
I like Courtyard, so that might be a good choice! Thanks a lot!
JW Marriott Grande Lakes is our go-to off-site. Huge lazy river and pool area, good restaurants, pretty central between WDW and Universal, close to MCO, near I-Drive, really nice rooms, have had about 50% success rate at upgrade (if you are gold/plat) because it’s so big.
Good to hear! I will probably qualify for gold this year, so upgrades are always so nice! I would love a lazy river. I will need the relaxation coming from the crazy holidays.
There’s another Courtyard right around the corner from the Vista Centre property I mentioned above (in the Marriott Village), but that one charges for parking, so I haven’t found a compelling reason to try it out. Might be a little nicer property, but the other Courtyard is fine.