Where to Stay in Kissimmee, Florida
It doesn’t get more ’boutique’ than having your own home all to yourself! With literally thousands of vacation rental properties in the city, Kissimmee can boast that it has a home for every taste – from 2-bedroom condos to luxurious mansions with their own squash courts or bowling alleys! Many of these homes are purpose-built to rent out to visitors when their owners are not using them, and the complexes where they are located offer resort-like amenities such as pools, water slides, restaurants, fitness clubs and tennis courts.
Best of all, most of these properties are professionally managed by companies such as Jeeves Florida Rentals, which takes all the hassle out of the process and offers even concierge-style services to guests at a price that is a fraction of what those theme park resorts might cost.
ENCORE CLUB Vacation Rental Home at Reunion, Kissimmee, Florida
I stayed in a property in the Encore Club community, managed by Jeeves, which offered 8 bedrooms, a media room, large great room, gourmet kitchen and of course, a private backyard and pool. Tastefully decorated and tricked out with everything you could ask for, including a TV in every bedroom, I couldn’t have felt more at home. And having the option to cook, or just chill after a busy day (with some chilled wine!) made me feel completely at home and spoiled at the same time. Read a more complete review of this property with additional photos.
Where to Stay in St. Petersburg, Florida
If you think that St. Petersburg is more beachy than boutique-y, these hotels might change your mind. In fact, there have been lots of changes to this city in recent years, with many new restaurants to discover and a vibrant arts and culture scene. And with the grownup amenities at these hotels, the only thing you’ll need to choose is whether you want to stay near the gorgeous white sand beach, or downtown where most of the restaurant and shopping action is.
THE HOTEL ZAMORA, St. Pete’s Beach
One of the few modern additions to St. Pete’s beach in the last 10 years, the Hotel Zamora is a beautiful blend of historic-inspired architecture (the exterior is reminiscent of a Spanish hacienda) and stylish boutique hotel design. In fact, don’t be fooled by its simple facade – inside and at the back of this hotel you’ll find an oasis that offers all the amenities you’d expect from a more urban hotel, but with the perfect location just opposite St. Pete’s white sand beach. It’s also close to the Grand Dame of the area, the Loew’s Don Cesar, and the north end of Passe A Grille, both places you will want to visit if you are staying in St. Pete’s. For a more detailed description of the Hotel Zamora’s other hidden surprises, read the full hotel review.
THE BIRCHWOOD INN, Downtown St. Petersburg
Full disclosure, I didn’t actually stay at the Birchwood Inn while visiting St. Petersburg, but I did get a tour of the Inn’s hotel rooms, private facilities for dining and events, its rooftop lounge, and I enjoyed an incredible dinner at their restaurant, the Birch and Vine. And judging by the calibre of all of these, I wouldn’t hesitate for a moment to stay here. Completely renovated in 2012, its 18 rooms are beautifully decorated in 1920’s-inspired decor, but with every modern touch and convenience you would want, and the luxurious appointments in the bathrooms will spoil you into thinking you’re a guest at a spa. And the Birchwood definitely has, location, location, location going for it: smack-dab in the middle of downtown restaurants, shopping, museums and nightlife, everything is literally here at its doorstep. Or if you’d prefer to rise above all this, their rooftop lounge is absolutely THE place to have a drink (and don’t be fooled into thinking this is out-of-reach expensive – the minimum spend to secure yourself a private lounge area here is actually very reasonable, especially if you are with friends.) The Birchwood provides everything you’d want in an urban grownup stay.
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