The Best Gated Communities in the Orlando Area
Deciding where to stay when you visit Orlando can be quite confusing, there are so many options on offer, but gated communities are always popular with good reason. You can stay in a luxury villa, with a home from home comfort and still experience all the facilities on offer within the resort. There are several gated communities within the area, so here is a little more about the best five we have found.
1 Reunion Resort
Sitting at the top of our list is the Reunion Resort, which offers you a high-end luxury stay and is packed full of extras to ensure you have the best stay. Located just six miles from Disney it is easy to see why it is so popular with families.
One of the things that the resort is famed for is the quality golf courses that are available for residents to book. There are three courses, Nicklaus, Palmer and Watson, each coming with their own range of challenges for players at any level. Of course, they are also styled beautifully and boast some stunning views as you walk the green. A lovely way to spend a day if you are not just in Orlando for the theme parks.
Food plays a big part of resort life, and of course, with your villa, you are free to eat at home or dine out as you choose. There are some stunning dining venues on within Reunion Resort offering you plenty of choices whether you are looking for a grown-up fine dining experience or something a little more child-friendly. If you fancy a night under the stars, then Eleven could be the destination for you with the rooftop patio for alfresco dining and a little bit of sky watching. This is a steak house that offers creative menus and a collection of cocktails to accompany your meal. For those that are after a little raw fish, the Grande Lobby Sushi bar is perfect and brings some stunning dishes to your table. If you prefer a quiet night in then their in-room dining brings the food to you. With an extensive menu and a choice of shopping essentials, you have to give notice, but this can be invaluable. There is a small delivery charge but well worth it if you want to spend your time out and about instead of shopping.
If you fancy a quiet day with lots to do then the waterpark, cove pool and activities offer a great range of water-based entertainment, and there is also tennis courts, bocce ball, bike rentals and fitness classes to ensure you can be as active as you like. If you are looking for a more restful experience, then the spa is well stocked and offers a range of treatments. This is a well thought out and constructed resort that provides something for every traveller from singles to large families.
2 Encore Resort at Reunion
Second on the list is the Encore Resort at Reunion and this is a perfect family destination, so probably best avoided for those seeking a quiet life or travelling alone. There is a vast sense of hustle, bustle and fun here and again this is just minutes from the major theme parks making a villa rental here the perfect base for your stay.
The waterpark is a massive part of the experience, and if you have water babies in your party you will love spending time here, of course, it gives you the option of a down day away from the huge parks, and it has so much going on your can entertain the kids for hours without having to leave the poolside. There are slides for all abilities and life jackets are provided for parental peace of mind. If you plan to be there for a while, you can rent a cabana to give you a covered space, and protection from the sun. Without leaving the waterpark you can purchase food and drinks, and supplies such as sunscreen should you run out, or pop over to the arcade for some dry land fun. The arcade room has loads of games on offer, and the space is fully air-conditioned if you are looking to escape the heat for a while.
The Hang 10 Hideaway is another excellent area for keeping the kids entertained and has loads in the way of crafts, games and puzzles and well as some gaming systems so they can stop complaining that they are missing their consoles at home. For the grownups, there is a well-stocked fitness suite that enables you to stay on track with your training goals, and the resort offers tennis, basketball, sand volleyball and a full-size soccer pitch, so pretty much every sport you could want on tap. There is also a relaxing spa, swimming classes and the chance to rent bikes and get around the area in a quicker manner without needing a car, which is useful in such a big community.
When you are looking to eat you also have a great range of choice, from restaurants to home delivery services that will bring stunning meals to your rental villa giving you the chance to chill in your home from home space without the effort of cooking. There are small shops for basic groceries when you want to stop up for snacks and lunch packs, or you can head to a grill, fine dining or takeaway style food outlet and grab so much needed sustenance.
Encore Resort at Reunion definitely has a group and family appeal and is clearly setting that as the target market, it is a great place to stay if you fall into that category and there is so much geared towards kids and young people they will never be bored, and you won’t need to spend every single day at one of the more expensive theme parks.
3 Champions Gate
Making the third spot on our list is Champions Gate, which has a heavy emphasis on the stunning 36 hole golf course which was designed by champion golfer Greg Norman and plays host to the Leadbetter Golf Academy, however, this gated community is more than just a golf resort and features some stunning luxury self-catering villas and with a 25 minute drive of Disney makes an excellent base for couples, singles and family alike staying in the Orlando area.
Stunning palm trees tower at the perimeter to guide you in, and there is plenty to occupy the everyone within this gated community. This resort does cater to the family, but again there is a lot of emphases placed on the stunning golf complex so it will appeal to those hoping to take in a game or two. It is not as close to Disney as the first two but for some people, of course, that is not what Orlando is all about, but there are the expected shuttle buses that leave regularly taking you into the park without the hassle of parking a rental car.
There is a wave pool which is the only one within a resort in the area, and there is a heated family pool, formal pool and waterslide for those who love to splash around. To cool down in a more gentle way why not float around the 850-foot lazy river that takes in some of the sights of the complex. By the side of the formal pool are beautiful cabanas which can be rented out to give you some privacy and cover from the scorching Florida sun.
If you head to the Champions Gate Village area you will find a shop till you drop retail experience which offers plenty of retail therapy and lots of fast food outlets to keep the kids happy with names like McDonalds and Subway, plus the 7/Eleven and Public Super Market so you can bag supplies for your villa, leaving you free to eat when you like and even spend a chilled day at home. You will also find dog grooming and a nail salon, should you fancy a manicure.
For those looking to eat out then head to Champions Gate Down Town where there is a stunning collection of restaurants on offer including a Little Greek Restaurant and Jersey Mike’s. You will find that you can get breakfast, lunch, supper, dinner and snacks and you will not have to leave the resort to do so. This is well set up for catering at the villa, and you will have access to supermarket prices making it cost effective to cook and prepare lunches at the rental.
Champions Gate resort lacks some of the social activities at the other two resorts, but if you are going to be out and about most of the time, or have a love of golf, then this is an excellent choice and has some lovely smaller luxury villas to ensure that you can keep your costs within budget.
4 Windsor at Westside
Windsor at Westside is one of the newest gated communities within the Orlando area and has already managed to rank fourth on our list. While this isn’t as swanky as our first resort you will find that prices are correspondingly lower and this is perfectly pitched for families with kids who are not looking to break the bank but want simply well maintained, luxury villas with between four and nine bedrooms with loads on offer to help keep the younger guests amused between theme park visits. First on the list is the impressive 10,000sq.ft. Clubhouse which is a great place to chill and watch the world go by, there is also a video arcade if they just cannot live without that all important games console.
With that in mind, they will love the kid’s water park which is pack with loads of water fun including slides and aquatic climbing fun. If you want to eat while you are there, then you will find the Tu Casa Tiki Bar just the ticket with poolside dining on offer and a great range of food and drinks that will appeal to all the family. Of course, some of the villas have their own pools so if you really want to kick back with the occasional dip you never need to leave the villa, and can just enjoy that home from home chilled feeling of being away from the hustle and bustle.
Within the resort, you will also find volleyball courts and a well-appointed fitness centre giving you the opportunity to keep your training program going even while on holiday. Nearby there is myriad of shopping and dining options giving you such a great choice of cuisine types you will be able to dine from a different continent every night. Of course if you prefer the peace of the villa and do not mind a spot of cooking then you can stock up at the local supermarket where you will find a lovely range of food, drink and other sundries that you might need during your stay, and don’t forget most of the villas have outdoor cooking facilities so you can barbecue a storm while the kids play in the pool and are never out of sight. One the kids are tucked up in bed a glass of wine by the pool is the perfect way to spend the warm Florida evenings.
This resort also has a stunning lake and pier which add to the ambience and are lovely to visit while you are there. This is a great family resort so you will feel comfortable from the moment you arrive and this becomes the perfect space to explore the local area with some of the best beaches just an hour drive away, and of course all the theme parks within easy reach. Being one of the newer resorts there is sure to be more developments within the gated community over time, so why not get in early and enjoy this stunning new resort.
5 Solterra Resort
Last but not least on our list is Solterra Resort which is another excellent example of a gated community and is a 20-minute drive from the main gate at Disney so a great location if you are planning to head to the theme parks during your stay. There are many private villas for rent within the resort from family size to group size some sleeping up to 24 people. This is an excellent choice for extended family and friend groups looking to bring the cost of a holiday down by sharing accommodation.
There is indeed plenty to do within the resort, and all of the clubhouse and leisure amenities are free for guests to use when renting a property on the complex. In the clubhouse, you will find a lounge which is a great place to kick back with a drink, and there is a computer room if you need to grab a quick technology fix before heading back to the fun. This is a resort that has been designed with families in mind, and there is plenty for the kids to do including a large heated swimming pool and jacuzzi. Of course, you will have a private pool in your villa rental, but sometimes it is nice to get the kids out for a few hours. There is a water slide and children’s play area to help keep them busy, tiring them out well before bed so you can sit by your private pool with a glass of wine and chill. If you fancy a chilled way to travel then why not hitch a ride on the lazy river pool attraction which winds its way through a landscape of trees and greenery.
If you are sporty you will be delighted to learn that there are tennis courts, volleyball courts and basketball courts all available to use should you fancy the odd game. You will also find a well-appointed fitness facility with personal trainers on hand to offer advice. This resort is close to Champion’s Gate, so you will be just minutes away from their stunning shopping and food halls where you will be able to find everything you need to cater at home. Ponser Park outlet shopping just tucked just to the south if you like big label brands at discount prices. There is plenty to choose from in the way of food close by whether you are looking for a steakhouse or fine dining, plus a good selection of take-out options that are sure to appeal to the kids.
Solterra Resort is an excellent choice for families, and there is a definite focus on guest satisfaction. There is plenty going on, and this resort is ideally placed for those planning a theme park style stay while in Florida. All the parks are within easy distance and shuttle transport can be arranged if needed. The whole resort is well thought out and makes clever use of the more significant communities located nearby.