All reviews posted are from former guests who have stayed at The Retreat. No review has been falsified
Exceptional property minutes from Disney
Stayed April 2016
Reviewed April 23, 2016
When planning our vacation, I reserved two nights at one of the luxury properties on Disney property. I also wanted to stay off site to experience what the area had to offer in a private home, but I didn't want to sacrifice having less than 5 star accommodations. After spending countless hours researching private properties, the Retreat by the Lake was everything the owners promised it to be. Their home is more beautiful than the pictures, and the master bedroom with master bathroom is something you would see on HGTV. We found their home to be meticulously clean, and it offered a comfortable, quiet place to relax. We enjoyed starting our morning sitting around the tranquil, fully screened pool area while we planned our day. The kitchen was well equipped to cook breakfast every morning before we headed to the parks. After spending a long day at the parks, we were grateful to return to cozy beds and a peaceful neighborhood. The owners, Karen and Mike always responded promptly to all of my questions. We would definitely choose to stay at their lovely home again the next time we're in the area, and would highly recommend it to friends and family. Thank you Karen and Mike for a wonderful experience!
First class villa and location
Stayed March 2016
Reviewed April 10, 2016
The quiet gated community was superbly located with south facing views over the large lake. The villa was also well placed, with just a 5 minute drive to local restaurants, supermarket and a further 5 minutes to the entrance of Disney World drive. The villa itself was well maintained; had a 5 star family area and an excellent heated pool. The kitchen was well stocked with gadgets and utensils as if it was our own home. This fabulous place made our stay all the more enjoyable to come back to, after several hours around the parks. Our only regret was that we squeezed in too much as usual and didn't allow ourselves more time relaxing around the villa and pool. The owners Karen and Mike made us feel welcome and the whole process was seamless.
MODERN, CLEAN, PRIVATE POOL, GREAT LOCATION
Stayed July 2015
Reviewed March 9 2016
Firstly, owners Michael and Karen were absolutely lovely to work with -- professional, prompt and courteous from start to finish. I asked many questions and they answered promptly and honestly. I never had to follow up with them, they were on top of providing every detail in a timely manner! This was clearly the type of vacation house we were looking for. The photos do not lie. We thoroughly enjoyed the pool, not viewed by neighbours on the sides. The entire house was meticulously clean and offered everything we needed for the week. The villa is mature, private and easily accessible to everything. We felt very safe and comfortable here.
Thank you Michael and Karen :)
Stayed December 2015
Reviewed January 2 2016
My family stayed at Karen and Mike's home over Christmas because my son was playing in a soccer tournament at ESPN sports complex. I searched relentlessly for a nice place to stay as most of the condo/home rentals in the Disney area are dated and worn. When I came across The Retreat by the Lake I immediately contacted Karen and Mike eager to book, it looked so beautiful and the reviews were consistent to the description of the villa. Confirming our reservation was smooth and simple with the quick responses from Karen and Mike as to next steps. I will say that the villa is exactly like the photographs. It's gorgeous and impeccably clean!! The beds and bedding are absolutely so comfortable! We spent more time at the villa then we anticipated due to the fact that we just loved being there! I cooked meals because the kitchen is so clean and well appointed with perfect cooking utensils. Something I typically wouldn't do in someone else's kitchen but it was so nice it literally made me want to cook :). The pool and view of the lake is so relaxing and there are so many birds to look at, just like the description says!! I would highly recommend this home to anyone!! Well done Karen and Mike! Thank you for everything!!
It really is a 'retreat by the lake'!
Stayed March 2015
Reviewed April 12, 2015
This is beautifully decorated vacation villa supplied with everything we needed for our short stay. We love the lake view and south-facing pool. The deck is small if you have a lot of sunbathers but we purchased floaters for the pool and then everyone had a spot to stretch out! We were very impressed with the solar pool heat and other energy-saving techniques used in the villa.
Luxury Home Away From Home
Stayed October 2014
Reviewed: March 19, 2015
After and long search for a villa we were happy that Karen and Mike's villa was available.
The location was ideal, only a very short drive from shops, restaurants and Disney.
The villa itself was immaculate, very clean and modern. Our children loved the games room and the abundance of dvds to wind down to after a long day at the parks.
Little things such as Tupperware, (handy for storing snacks) menus for restaurants near by (perfect for decision making at meal times) laundry detergent (useful for Brits using American appliances for the first time) and the abundance of towels were all provided and came in very useful.
The pool was lovely and warm and was always very relaxing after a long day and the view over the lake was idyllic!
The neighbourhood was beautiful and the neighbours next door were very welcoming and friendly and even came round to wish us congratulations on our wedding (which took place whilst we were there)
Overall we were thoroughly satisfied with our stay and would certainly be in contact with Karen and Mike for our next visit.
Stayed August 2014
Reviewed Mach 15, 2015
This is our second stay and it was as fabulous as ever. If we lived closer than the UK we would be going far more often!
The listing description is very accurate and since our initial stay the property continues to remain clean and fresh and has had some lovely upgrades, not that they were needed, but very welcome all the same. The property is beautifully maintained and very much to our taste. Both the owners and management are extremely helpful and professional. We had an issue with the air conditioning and they sent someone the same day to fix it - and this was over a weekend.
We stayed with our 2 teenage boys and my mother-in-law and everyone loved the place. The house is set up so that everyone can do their own thing when they want and the communal areas are great for when everyone wants to be together.
The location is perfect, very close to Disney, approx 40 mins max to Universal and a few minutes drive to supermarkets, shops and lots great restaurants. Its a gated community so very safe for families and although minutes away from a major highway you feel like you are in the countryside. No traffic noise, a beautiful lake with amazing wildlife.
Great place to stay!!
Stayed December 2014
Reviewed: March 14, 2015
We are a family of 6, father, mother, daughter, son and two grandchildren. We had a wonderful stay at Sunset Lakes Villa. After spending several hours trying to find our vacation home, when we came upon this villa, we immediately knew our search had ended. Karen and Mike made it so easy for us with their downright friendliness and professionalism. We enjoyed every moment. From the first time we entered, we knew we had made the right choice. The place was spotless, good work Management team!!
I would not go into many details as other reviewers have done so, I concur with their findings!!. We spent two days at Disney and also did some shopping, could not resist that.
Breakfast was a pleasure to prepare with all conveniences. Spent most mornings looking at the sun hitting the lake, that view was awesome!! The pool was the place where my grandchildren loved to be. They had such fun. I was so happy to see each room had its own tv, just as advertised, no horror stories!! and most of all..no sharing!!!!!
We still talk about our vacation and know that there will be a part 2. For those persons reading this review, I unhesitatingly recommend this villa. You will have no regrets!! Karen and Mike.... a big THANK YOU for allowing us to stay here. You will certainly hear from us again!!
EAUTIFUL LUXURIOUS RELAXING VILLA
Stayed July 2014
2Reviewed March 14th 2015
Myself, my husband, our 18 year old daughter and her 18 yr old friends booked and stayed in this beautiful villa for two weeks from 20th July until 3rd August this year (2014).
The villa is very well maintained, beautifully decorated and very luxurious, with all the amenities you could wish for and the best part was the gorgeous relaxing view of the lake which you have from the master bedroom, living room and dining room, in fact most of the living area has the view of the pool/lake.
Karen and Mike who own the villa supply everything you might need, plenty of towels/flannels or face cloths, pool towels, several sets of crockery, cutlery glassware and plastic ware for the pool area.
Roger who manages the villa does a wonderful job as we did not need to contact him for anything, everything was in full working order and very clean, he even took the time to take in our ordered grocery shopping and delivered to the villa for our arrival - saving us the added trouble of going grocery shopping on our arrival after a very long flight from the UK.
The villa comes with a beautiful living, dining kitchen area with breakfast bar, fully equipped beautiful kitchen, four bedrooms, two bathrooms and two floor mounted safes. Plenty of storage, flat screen TV's in all rooms, games room complete with pool table, darts and sets of fishing rods so you can fish on the lake. Free Wifi, Games and plenty of books DVD's for your use while staying at the villa. Great views - saw several sunrises over the lake but unfortunately no sunsets as other houses/trees block the view. Sunshine on the pool all day long, plus an area out of the sun in the shade where you could eat if wanted. Gas BBQ supplied.
We had a wonderful relaxing stay in this beautiful villa and will definitely be back. Would highly recommend.
A TRULY MAGICAL BEAUTY
Stayed June 2014
Reviewed August 18 2014
We had an amazing stay at this beautiful villa in Sunset Lakes, Orlando. The villa is truly wonderful and it has everything you need and the location is perfect. After visiting the parks you can easily return to the villa for a swim and a bit of relaxation time before heading back to the parks for the evening entertainment. The villa was extremely clean and stocked lots of books and dvd's to keep everyone entertained. We loved our stay here and did not want to leave, we will definitely return and are counting down already,
Amazing villa, Beautiful location
Stayed April 2013
Reviewed April 28 2013
Just finished our wonderful 2 week holiday in this amazing villa. The villa is just as beautiful as the photos make it look and its in a great location, only a short drive to plenty of shops and restaurants and we were at Disney in around 15 mins. Our children loved the pool and games room and for us it was the perfect place to relax after a long day in the parks. Just hope we are lucky enough to return one day.
Thanks Karen and Mike
Our best holiday EVER
Stayed March 2013
Reviewed April 27 2013
This Villa is absolutely fantastic! Its a home from home, Karen and Mike have thought of everything! It's ideally situated for the parks and a lovely place if you just want to chill by the pool - my children loved the pool, as did the adults. The pool table was a hit as were the abundance of DVDs and game - we had many a fun night playing Clue and Uno! The villa was very clean, very well equipped, beds were very comfortable, Sunset Lakes is a beautiful setting - we loved this villa, I didn't want to come home!! Thank you so much for letting us share your beautiful villa :)
Stayed December 2012
Reviewed January 13 2013
I'd just like to say a huge thank you to Karen & Mike for letting us stay at their villa, it really was fabulous and exactly as represented in the description & photos (if not better). This property is a cut above the rest and I say that as a seasoned villa renter and had everything we needed for a very restful 3 week holiday.
We both had a fantastic time and we will definitely stay again if we are lucky enough to return to Orlando.
Amazing Villa in a Great Location
Stayed September 2012
Reviewed October 10 2012
When it comes to staying in a private villa in Florida this one is hard to beat for its location, quality and comfort. The house is immaculate and had everything you could possibly need for a great holiday. The poolside is so peaceful and a great place to enjoy all day sunshine or relaxing after a day at the parks. Sunset Lakes is a gated community and is so convenient for all the parks and restaurants. Our favourites being Carrabba's, Outback and the Cheesecake Factory at the Mall at Millenia. I would recommend this house to all that would like a fabulous Florida experience. Thanks again Karen and Mike.
Stayed August 2012
Reviewed August 14 2012
This was a dream vacation for our family. The house was spotless when we arrived, everything at our fingertips. The pool was amazing and the view from the patio was wonderful. All the comforts of home. Our 17 month old grand daughter was with us and all of the baby needs were at the house when we arrived...big thanks to Rob...amazing property manager. Karen and Mike have thought of everything possible that could be needed while on vacation at the villa. I will absolutely recommend this to my friends...and actually already have.
A truly amazing week.
A Florida Gem!
Stayed June 2012
Reviewed July 2012
If you are looking for a 5* villa to stay that will give you all the comforts of home and is literally a 10-15min drive from Disney then this is the place. The villa is gorgeous, beautifully decorated, comfy beds, fluffy towels and is sparkly clean- we loved every minute here! I spent weeks looking at what seemed like hundreds of villas online before coming across the Retreat and I'm so glad I did. The children loved the villa and pool and felt comfortable here from day 1. Sunset Lakes is a very quiet estate but so close to everything you need. The choice of fantastic places to eat just up the road is a great advantage (Bahama Breeze was our favourite).
We stayed a few nights at the Hard Rock Hotel while here and I can honestly say the The Retreat more then lives up to the standard of this top class hotel.
Thank you Karen and Mike for letting us stay at your home, it is lovely and I'm very jealous that you have such a gem but glad you are willing to share it:) I have already checked your availability calendar for next year so I might be in touch! To anyone reading this review and thinking of booking don't hesitate, you might miss out on a fantastic place to stay!
Stayed May 2012
Reviewed June 14 2012
If you are searching for the perfect spot to stay for a Disney vacation, look no further - this is it. On past trips we have stayed at hotels on & off Disney grounds, timeshares, etc.
Nothing has come close to the cleanliness, spaciousness & beauty of this home. Our family of five consists of 3 very discriminating teens...we all loved it! Karen & Mike were a pleasure to deal with and have absolutely thought of everything you will need to make your stay relaxing & stress-free. After we got back home, they even asked if we could think of anything else they could provide. We couldn't think of a thing! 15 minutes to the parks, 5 minutes to stores/restaurants. Believe all the reviews & the photos - this is the place.
Beautiful home!! Can't wait to return!!
Stayed February 2012
Reviewed February 21 2012
Our stay at the villa was fantastic. The owners have truly thought of everything possible to make your stay as inviting and relaxing as possible. The villa is beautifully decorated, well maintained, and truly a Florida gem. Very close to Disney World, Universal Studios, and other Florida attractions, it is the perfect stay for families, or couples. We were thoroughly impressed at how the owners followed up with us to ensure our stay was exemplary. I would recommend the villa to everyone, and cannot wait to return in the future.
Perfect Retreat - Stop here, you've found it!
Reviewed January 22 2012
My family stayed at Mike & Karen's Retreat by the Lake & it was all we hoped and more from a rental retreat. The retreat is professionally and impeccably decorated with the most comfortable bed linens and perfectly folded towels in the brand, new spotless bathrooms. The Retreat is a stone's throw away from the Disney parks, a myriad of restaurants and Publix/Target. Our favorite morning activity in the retreat was drinking coffee while sitting on the couches which overlooked the beautiful, new heated pool and sparkling lake as we watched hot air balloons fly across the sky. The heated pool was perfect for a morning dip or to soak your sore muscles after walking all day in the Disney parks. You can't help but feel serene and calm as you watch the birds fly across the beautiful lake. The kitchen was stocked with all the items needed to cook meals in the retreat, which we also did daily. Mike and Karen made the booking process easy & the management team was easy to contact if you have questions. The fact that the retreat was newly renovated and one-level appealed to us as well as its close proximity to Disney. The furniture and beds were very comfortable and we loved having family dinners at the dining room table. My son, age 2, loved the community park which had a slide that he must have slid down 50 times each morning and night! From the park, we would walk to the dock and explore the lake and its surroundings. I cannot say enough good things about the Retreat. We have memories that will last a lifetime and hope to stay at Mike and Karen's retreat again soon!
A WONDERFUL RETREAT!
Stayed November 2011
Reviewed December 3 2011
Mike and Karen were wonderful before and after our stay at their villa. The management company was great during our stay! We didn't need them but the manager stopped by to introduce himself and immediately we felt we had known him for a long time. The home was clean and comfortable and we would definitely stay here again and I have not said that about a rental house before.
The villa to stay
Stayed July 2011
Reviewed August 29 2011
We decided to take the family on a special holiday to Florida before they flew the nest. It was so important to us to find a really nice base which combined luxury with the right location. After searching the web we were struck by the rennovation blog for The Retreat as it seemed to have everything we needed. Upon arrival we were not dissapointed as it was just as we had hoped. Everything was as new and finished to the highest standard. It was clear that this is the owners personal holiday home which is hired out and not just a villa rented out to tourists. We would recommend this time and time again to anyone visiting the area as it has everything you could wish for. There are no negatives - the place it is exactly as stated and with all the amenities nearby it certainly make it the place to stay.
Stayed August 2011
Reviewed August 25 2011
My husband and our 2 boys aged 10 and 11 stayed here for a fortnight this summer. We have stayed in many rental properties all over the world and this has to be one of the very best. The service we received from Karen and Mike before we booked was friendly, professional and quick. Do look at the blog as it gives a real insight into their journey with the house and really gives a sense of the effort they have made. On arrival we were totally blown away. The photos make the place look lovely, but its way way better in real life. This is a luxury home with every amenity you might want and them some, but it is also a relaxing and comfortable space that is very child friendly. There is a lot of space for everyone and the pool is wonderful, as is the varied wildlife that walks and flies by. We had trouble tearing ourselves away and in fact most days were back at the house by late afternoon to spend the rest of the day by the pool. It really is a few minutes drive to Disney and half an hour to Universal. Only a few mins to big supermarkets, shops and restaurants, but in a very quiet location. Don't hesitate to go - except when we want to be there!
Perfect vacation, Perfect House
Stayed June 2011
Reviewed June 23 2011
We just got back from our vacation and stay at The Retreat by the lake. The house was simply awesome! We have four boys ages 7 thru 12 and there was something for everyone from the games, including pool table to movies. Other than a few thunderstorms the boys were in the pool every opportunity they got. We were also able to save lots of $$$ by cooking our meals at the house, packing lunches for our trips to each Disney theme park. The house is convenient to lots of grocery stores, theme parks and shopping. Again, the house was wonderful and a great way to spend our vacation, in a private gates community where we could relax and enjoy each day of our vacation. The beds were very comfortable and provided a great nights sleep. If you are looking for a very nice vacation this is definitely the way to go in Orlando!
Our Secret Spot
Stayed May 2011
Reviewed June 16, 2011
We've been staying at this Villa almost twice a year for the past 7 years...and when we heard you had completely renovated everything - we couldn't wait to check it out! To say we were blown away does not even begin to describe the changes. New EVERYTHING! From the fully equipped kitchen (and we cooked almost daily) to the grille outside - nothing else was needed. Beds, linens - all top shelf. Cleanliness? Spotless. LCD's in every room, dvd players, satt radio, wifi and playstations...along with a brand new pool table and darts - kept us all busy. But our favourite part is the pool - the fully screened in, heated pool is where we spent most of our time. Early mornings and evenings we spent fishing the lake (full of largemouth bass) directly behind the Villa. We normally drive but flew this time ...and couldn't bring our gear - then we saw there's 4 rods supplied in the game room, complete with tackle! We picked up a dozen worms at Wal-Mart and our 2 kids were soon busy reeling in 1 - 2lb bass almost non-stop.
We've always loved the Villa for the location. It sits backyard facing south - sun all day on the pool and lake...in a quiet, gated community - close enough to everything, but far enough to enjoy the peace and quiet. Restaurants galore less than 5 minutes away. We enjoyed Joe's Crabshack, Kobe Japanese Steakhouse, Smokey Bones and Crabby Bills. Disney is only 10 minutes away - and we also saw Pirates 4D in Downtown Disney. Brand new Super Target and Wal-Mart are practically right around the corner, and we visited the Vans Skatepark and Bass Pro Shop at the Festival Mall.
Great job Karen and Mike! We can't wait to come back!
A Perfect 10!
Stayed March 2011
Reviewed May 18 2011
The owners have thought of everything in this well appointed and conveniently located villa. The Retreat is spacious and the furnishings comfortably accommodated our vacationing group that included children ranging in age from 5 to 17. The Moms enjoyed the tasteful and comfortable decor (you'll love the luxurious linens and the spa-like ensuite bathroom), and relaxing by the pool after a day of touring Orlando's attractions that are within easy driving distance. The teens appreciated the private bedrooms equipped with TVs (video games and movies included), while the younger children especially enjoyed the pool and walks by the lake. The home is spotlessly maintained. Reservations and check-in are hassle free and the owners are more than pleased to answer questions on touring the area. We highly recommend!
Luxury and convenience are key here!!
Stayed April 2011
Reviewed May 5 2011
First, our trip was amazing - 7 days 90 degrees...Awesome!!
This home is exactly what we needed to relax but plug in if you need to(teens and the internet..uggh! :-)). We were in the pool a lot (we're from Seattle...we don't have pools here...LOL), quiet for sleeping in, and we got to many parks in both Tampa and Orlando with ease. Local amenities were close by and plenty of restaurants if you don't want to cook in the well equipped ,very nice kitchen. We cooked!!
The owners have taken great care to ensure everything is available for use. We were not missing one thing!! Super clean and well taken care of. This is truly like coming home to a very clean house!! I was excited to see of some other upgrades coming soon. This is definitely a place you'll want to stay. We'll be back very soon!
Truly a Home away from Home
Stayed March 2011
Reviewed April 14 2011
The retreat was just the place we needed to relax and enjoy the 2 days we were there. It was peaceful and beautiful. Our teenagers really enjoyed the space and the pool. I would definitely like to come back and stay longer.
A rental oasis just far enough from Disney to relax
Stayed March 2011
Reviewed April 2 2011
The owners have done a great job renovating this property and their management team keeps it in fantastic shape. Their care and attention to detail was much appreciated.
Probably the best feature of the property is the setting of the pool overlooking a small lake. You can relax there all day and try to forget how much you spent at Disney the day before. You can fish on the lake too, though the house was not equipped with fishing poles...
Disney is about 15-20 minutes and Universal/Seaword a bit further. However, you only need to drive about 5 minutes for a huge collection of restaurants, grocery stores and mini-golf. The local sushi place was a big hit.
Great place to relax with children
Stayed February 2011
Reviewed March 2 2011
Mike and Karen have beautifully renovated this fantastic home. The kitchen is highly functional and we were able to keep our toddlers and children entertained throughout the week with the exceptional collection of kids DVDs and of course, the pool. The views of the lake are gorgeous and not a bad spot for birdwatching either - there is a family of sand cranes about and we actually witnessed a bald eagle going fishing too!
Minutes away from everything thing and yet off the beaten track which limits exposure to road noise etc.
Overall a great spot!
Great Vacation Home
Stayed February 2011
Reviewed February 17 2011
The Retreat was a home away from home. It has a beautiful location on the Lake and the development itself is in an ideal location; close to all the amenities and attractions. The interior of the home has been beautifully updated with all the modern amenities (i.e. WiFi, digital cable, and the internet radio) and the extras provided by the hosts (i.e. books, games, DVD's and Playstation) helped to ensure you're always entertained even on the rare rainy day.
We had a great vacation at the Retreat and would return in the future with no hesitation.