This summer I plan to take our family of six on a large vacation to Florida. Visit Disney and play at the beach... I want to stay on the gulf coast and use partial rewards.... Does anyonew have any suggestions on a hotel that doesn't tak 25-30 thousand points per night!
Summer is peak season in Orlando, but there are PointSavers available across several brands including Fairfield Inn, SpringHill Suites and believe it or not, Marriott Vacation Club. Availability using PointSavers will vary but there are some deals in late June.
For a family of six, the Marriott Vacation Club brand offers an excellent value. In Orlando, Marriott has several resorts featuring 2 bedroom villas with 2 baths, fully-equipped kitchens, Washer/Dryer and separate living/dining area with a pull-out sofa. Marriott's Royal Palms is a stone throw from Downtown Disney and Marriott's Cypress Harbor is close to Sea World. Both are offering Marriott PointSavers. If you're looking to maximize privacy and cost is not an issue, there's Marriott's Imperial Palms and Marriott's Grande Vista with 3 bedrooms.
Above: Marriott's Royal Palms, Orlando. Living room and floor plan.
Below: Marriott's Cypress Harbor, Orlando. Living room and floor plan.
As an alternative, there is the Marriott Village Lake Buena Vista with a Courtyard, SpringHill Suites and Fairfield Inn. If additional points are needed, you can purchase up to 50,000 points per year for $12.50/1,000 points.
To add to TJC's post, the Grand Vista cannot be beat for its location to Disney, SeaWorld and other great vacation spots. The property is nicely kept, rooms are very nice and the resort offers a little of something for everyone. They have a kids program for different ages, so there is definitely something for the kids to do if you want to enjoy a down day at the property.
As far as points, well its probably not the cheapest points stay out there but if you want something close to the attractions, this one should make the short list :)
The MAZe program at Grande Vista is extremely popular among families with kids and serves as a model for other resorts in Orlando. I agree that Grande Vista is on the short list for Orlando.
I included Cypress Harbor and Royal Palms to highlight the attractiveness of their PointSavers promotions available in late June. Because of the proximity to SeaWorld and Aquatica on I-Drive, availability at Grande Vista during the summer is tough for owners and exchangers. The other contributing factor is that Grande Vista is the only Orlando resort in the Florida Club. So, owners from Marriott's BeachPlace Towers, Marriott Ocean Pointe, and other Floridian MVC resorts are vigorously competing for a limited number of units when supply and demand are working at cross purposes.
Trying to get in there using Marriott Rewards points is frustrating at best. And, if one is successful getting in there on points it's likely to be full-freight. From that perspective, it seemed best to exclude rather than frustrate mom_of_4.
Below: Grande Vista living/dining area and 2 bedroom floorplan.
The Marriott @ Marco Island, FL is great for families. We're a family of 4 (2 kids under 10) and we've been for a week each of last 2 years. Our kids are already asking when we can go back.
Hotel has multiple eateries offering variety, 2 pools (1 w/kids slide & wade-in area), disney movies each night by the pool, & you can walk right onto beach.
Staff is very accommodating & family friendly as well.