There is no shortage of hotels and resorts in and around the Orlando area. Many of them are located in and around Disney World, which is fine if you’re visiting the area to see the mouse house. But in case you aren’t – or you just want a break from the theme park theme – consider a hotel away from the crowds.
I recently had a chance to stay a night at Mystic Dunes Resort and Golf Club, courtesy of Diamond Resorts International, during the annual TravelingMom writers’ retreat. Located in Celebration, Fla., the resort is about a 15 minute drive from Walt Disney World and has one, two- and three-bedroom villas. I stayed in a one-bedroom villa, which was much more like an apartment or condo than the traditional hotel room – big, spacious living area; full kitchen with a dishwasher, full-sized refrigerator, and an oven perfect for cooking up a meal or two – and had plenty of room for me to stretch out.
I almost wished I had brought some work with me just so that I could sit in the screened-in balcony and enjoy the Florida weather while I worked. For a small family or couple, the one-bedroom villa would be just the right amount of space so that everyone can spread out without feeling like you’re too close to someone else.
After checking into my room, I did have one small issue with it – I called the front desk and, while they were not able to switch me to a different room, a maintenance person was sent up and promptly fixed the problem.
Dining at Mystic Dunes Resort
I only stayed one night, and checked in well after dinnertime and checked out early the next day to catch a flight, so I did not have a chance to try out the on-site restaurant, Kenzie’s. The resort also offers delivery to your room of Maui Pizza Express, as well as grocery delivery – great for travelers like me who didn’t have a car at the resort and couldn’t just go out to grab a meal off property.
Things to Do at the Resort
A number of amenities and activities are available at the resort. In addition to a championship golf course designed by Gary Koch and rated a 4 1/2 Star course by Golf Digest magazine, the resort has four pools and offers bike rentals and family and supervised children’s activities. Since I checked out early I wasn’t able to experience any of these firsthand, but another TravelingMom who stayed there with her family said her girls really enjoyed the pool.
What to Know Before Staying at Mystic Dunes Resort
The resort property is large – more than 600 acres – and the accommodations are spread out around the property. A complimentary golf cart shuttle service is available to guests to get from one spot on the property to another, but having a car might help save some time and get you there sooner. A complimentary shuttle to and from the airport, and to nearby theme parks.
Also, the property is a time share. I wasn’t interested in finding out about becoming an owner and was never pressured to do so. There is a sales office near the front desk where interested individuals can learn more about the property and ownership.
My one-night stay at Mystic Dunes Resort and Golf Club was hosted, courtesy of Diamond Resorts International. All opinions are my own.
All photos taken by myself with the Panasonic Lumix ZS40 camera.
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