Last month, for the first time, my family stayed in a vacation rental home in Orlando via Starmark Vacation Homes. Our past accommodation experiences have mainly been hotels and resorts. This was a completely different but positive experience. Here’s how:
Cost. Starmark Vacation Homes have a selection of rental levels. For example, depending on size and season, Silver Star Homes (standard rentals) range from $129 to $199 per night while Gold Star Homes (upgraded) range from $169 to $249 per night. We stayed in a four-bedroom home that slept between 8-10 people. If you have a large family or are having a family reunion it is impossible to beat these prices (per person) if you were staying at a resort or hotel. Plus, the homes are just minutes from the top Orlando theme parks and attractions.
Savings on food – and coffee. Because these are fully equipped homes you can easily avoid eating out as much or as little as you like. Again, if you have a large family, opting for meals-in (even ordering pizza) will save you hundreds over a one-week stay. We didn’t take the effort to cook at home because we stayed so busy, but we did bring our espresso machine from home (yes we really did!) and that saved us time and money that would have otherwise been spent at Starbucks.
Elbow room. When we stay in hotels we usually aim for a two-queen guest room but sometimes get stuck with double beds. Having a vacation rental meant the kids could have their own room which was fantastic because they love to keep each other up late while Jeff and I could watch TV without worrying about waking kids. On the days I woke early I cruised down to the kitchen to make coffee and the days the children woke early they went right to the…
Game room. My family will always opt for the Gold Star option simply because of this feature. The game room was fantastic! It was equipped with a foosball table, mini-basketball, pool/ping pong table, darts, and a stereo system. This room was a hit whenever we were “home”. If you have kids, teens, or even young (or fun older) adults this is a must-have for a vacation rental.
Pool. This is another Gold Home perk. In the backyard was an enclosed patio with a lovely pool, hot tub, and lounge chairs. Again, the kids were in heaven having their own pool.
Washer & Drier. My clan’s stay in Orlando was four days out of 14 so a washer and drier were a much appreciated feature and it didn’t cost extra (although we did need to buy detergent).
Excellent customer service. The Starmark communication regarding check-in, neighborhood gate code, house access/key, and check-out was always efficient and professional. We never had any questions arise (probably because the communication was so good) but we did receive emails with Starmark contact information and reminders that if we needed anything someone was always there to help and only a phone call away. That’s not all. In the house was a thick binder loaded with home details and important city visitor tips including a list of local restaurants.
Other things you should know: Staying in a vacation rental means you need to treat it like home and what I mean is it’s not like a hotel where daily service is offered. You will want to stock up on things like toilet paper (only one roll is provided per bathroom), toiletries like shampoo, body wash, and soap (our rental did have small hand soaps) and other necessities. At the end of your stay be sure to follow the directions given. For example, we needed to place all linens and towels in the laundry room, toss trash bags thrown in the bins out front, and ensure the air was set at 74 degrees.
Over all, my family will absolutely consider a home vacation rental, especially in Orlando where family vacation costs can add up very quickly!
Thank you Starmark Vacation Homes for introducing our family to the vacation rental world. You run a seamless operation!