I was hosted by Westgate for this hotel stay. As always, opinions and reviews are 100% mine and unbiased.
Orlando is a massive city in Florida with some of the world’s most popular attractions. Selecting a hotel there can be daunting and expensive.
Having stayed at a few Westgate properties around Florida, I ventured to Orlando to check out the Westgate Vacation Villas Resort, one of three Westgate properties in the area. The Vacation Villas is the premier Westgate property with a superb water park, multiple onsite restaurants, and a long list of amenities that can’t be beaten. Here is what I thought of Westgate Vacation Villas Resort after visiting with my husband a few weeks ago.
Check In and Social Distancing Measures
You have the option of checking-in at the lobby counter or via drive-through procedure. You can be assured that all of Westgate’s staff are wearing masks and even have marks on the floor for properly distanced waiting areas. I found hand sanitizer dispensing stations plentiful around the property, and cups for both clean and sanitized pens around the desk area.
I chose to go inside for check-in. In about four minutes, had my keys, a resort map, parking tag (Westgate offers free parking), and a list of weekly Westgate activities. You can also buy local attraction tickets in the lobby. A coffee bar, convenience store, and plenty of seating arrangements make this a nice place to sit and relax.
Westgate’s Vacation Villas
Accommodations at Westgate Vacation Villas range from studios to four-bedroom villas, which can sleep 16 guests. Our one-bedroom villa was on the 4th floor of a building near the back of the resort. We found parking easily and made our way up to check out our one-bedroom unit. All the comforts of home can be found in the Westgate Vacation Villas Resort rooms, including kitchen dishes, appliances, and accessories.
An eat-in bar was my favorite part of the kitchen area, with a microwave, range, refrigerator, coffee maker, and dishwasher. Westgate provides dishwashing soap and a roll of paper towels, and even a washer and dryer in the unit for your convenience.
A six-person dining room table and chairs offered a nice place to eat our meals and play games. The living room held two small couches (one is a Queen sleeper sofa), a coffee table, armoire with a big TV, and attractive furnishings.
A set of sliding glass doors led to the outdoor screened-in patio. One night, we ordered take-out and enjoyed the meal from our screened-in porch. There was a gentle breeze blowing and the views were spectacular. Plus, we didn’t have to wash dishes or wear a mask out anywhere to enjoy our dining experience.
Our Westgate Vacation Villas bedroom had a pretty red headboard and chair to accent the otherwise neutral room. Blackout shades allowed us to sleep in. The room also held a two-person Jacuzzi tub, one of the best I’ve ever used–and I consider myself an expert. Its seats were contoured to make it more comfortable than a typical tub setting. A bathroom was down the hall from the kitchen and connected to the bedroom, offering a glass shower and light-up mirror.
Westgate is a pet-friendly resort, but does have an applicable pet surcharge.
The Westgate Resort
Though the Westgate Vacation Villas Resort has a boatload of amenities, the swan boats won me over from the get-go. Unfortunately, they were not running as the resort is working on the safety measures. Regardless, they are stunning just floating at the docks.
Jurassic Golf is fun for the entire family and has life-size whimsical dinosaurs through the course. Or, you might consider renting bikes to explore the entire Westgate property. The property offers tennis and basketball courts, a free Disney movie theater, shuffleboard, volleyball courts, playground, horseshoes, and fitness center. Westgate Vacation Villas even has boat rentals.
Westgate is a big property, but an adorable gold and blue trolley can take you around with no problem. Free scheduled shuttle rides are also offered to the Orlando theme parks.
The seasonal activities offered at Westgate Vacation Villas Resort during my stay were:
- Body Toning for Beginners
- Picture Scavenger Hunt
- Dance Classes
- Tie-Dye Creations
- Poolside Bingo
- Spin Class
- Pokémon Go Social
- Ping-Pong Challenge
- Craft Kits
- Name That Tune
- Paper Airplane Competition
Fun Water Park and Pools
Perhaps the biggest reasons for choosing Westgate Vacation Villas are the water park and fourteen swimming pools for guests to use, with dozens of lounge chairs, space for social distancing, and hot tubs. Pizza can be delivered to any pool–a cool way to enjoy lunch without having to dry off.
The water park, Shipwreck Island, requires a paid ticket but has action-packed water features and activities. One area has many thrilling slides, lagoon splash pad, and dump buckets, while another has Walk the Plank, a Pirate ship, and water cannons. Lifeguards are on duty all day long at the Shipwreck Island Water Park.
There are three restaurants at Shipwreck Island to purchase food and drinks: Jolly Roger’s Galley, Crow’s Nest, and Sea Dog’s Bar. And who doesn’t love a good lazy river to float around in? The one here circles the pool and has a swift current to pull you.
I ate at Villa Italiano Chophouse, Westgate’s Italian restaurant. A reservation is required as seating is limited due to social distancing guidelines.
The restaurant takes great measures to ensure that guests are safe. First, we were temperature-checked, then seated at tables with no placemats or silverware. Our server brought disposable menus for us to use, which I kept for a placemat and to add flair to my pictures. Villa Italian Chophouse is aiming for as little contact as possible, so beverages are served in disposable cups, guests use plastic utensils, and real plates are only used for entrees. Drink refills are given in brand new cups and menus can be scanned (QR code) for a touchless option. My husband and I felt very comfortable with the noticeable measures the staff took for our safety.
Guests are served olive and Italian bread with a spread of toppings upon arrival. For dinner, my husband chose a personal size Margherita pizza, while I had the hearty Short Rib Ravioli. I loved the beautiful dishes that our gorgeous meals came on, but eating pasta with a plastic utensil is challenging.
My ravioli was sensational! It was chock full of flavor, with a rich, meaty red sauce, and the pasta was homemade. Villa Italiano’s prices are reasonable for the quality of food served. I loved everything about our dining experience.
Other resort restaurants are Sid’s Bistro, Drafts Sports Bar and Grill, Hershey’s Ice Cream Shop, Joe’s Marketplace & Deli, Cordovano Joe’s Authentic New York Style Pizza, and poolside bars. In-room dining is also available.
My Final Thoughts
I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Westgate Vacation Villas Resort and would definitely go again. I’m so glad I chose this hotel in Orlando for our visit. It is an excellent option for a romantic getaway or a big family trip. The Westgate Vacation Villas property is pristine and the amenities plentiful.
Currently, the resort’s nightly charges are insanely discounted, so if you have been looking for a place to escape for a night or two, now is the perfect time.
Stay safe and enjoy your travels!
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