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“Fantastic Orlando Family Holiday travelling on Thomson Dreamliner”
Review of Silver Villas

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Silver Villas
Ranked #83 of 154 Hotels in Kissimmee
Reviewed 6 July 2014

We booked with Thomson for 4 adults for 11 nights in a bronze (sorry not silver) villa and a family car. We upgraded the car and flights.

The Thomson Dreamliner with premier cabin upgrade was excellent. Getting in and out of the window seat with the seat in front in the incline position is quite a challenge, but not too bad. Food, service and entertainment was very good. We were glad that we spent the money to upgrade especially as the flight was 8.5 hours outgoing and 8 hours on the return.

We upgraded the car to an intermediate SUV with Gold insurance package before we left the UK. However, the sales person at Alamo was keen for us to upgrade again once we arrived (bigger car for our baggage and GPS) - we didn't. We had to put one case on the back seat for the journey to and from Sandford airport, which wasn't an issue and allowed us to save the money we would have paid just to put a case in the boot. We bought a GPS system before leaving the UK, which included the US. This is a must have and we can carry on using it when we're back in the UK. We did upgrade to kerbside assistance insurance for $50. We had everything else as part of our upgrade to intermediate Gold.

The villa for the four of us was more than adequate. 5 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms (2 en suite) was great for me with my wife and two grown up daughters who are always in front of a mirror. We were 30 minutes from Universal and 20 minutes from Disney. It was a little annoying that we didn't get a folder explaining what we needed to do because apparently the previous guests took it with them. We didn't get any advice. It was nice to receive the password for free internet after three days of calling the office, which should have been in the missing folder. We did have to buy trash bags and toilet paper, which was strange and had to put the trash out one day and get home to retrieve the bins from kerbside the following night before 23:59. The pool was lovely and big and was imperative to keep us cool with the temperature hitting the high 90s. All pools have black netting, which allows you to get a nice colour whilst making it more comfortable to sit by the pool. It appeared cooler under the netting than outside in the sun, which could be fierce at times. You have to register for the villa once you get there at the Thomson property office. They give you a choice to leave a damages deposit of $500 or a one of payment insurance of $39. Everything here is about getting as much money as possible off you everywhere you go albeit with a smile. And after some pleading and begging we got an extension from 10:00-13:00 on check out day, which was handy as we had a 18:00 flight.

We went shopping at Publix and Wallmart to stock up on essentials, which was a good experience. We also spent money at the local designer outlet malls. Check sell by dates - we got caught out on this a few times as some produce was well out of date. The Mall at International Drive was the best on choice and price. Purchased a lot of Oakley stuff at good prices.

After some research over the last few months we decided to purchase our theme park tickets from Park-tickets.com. We purchased bonus package A, which gave us 4 days at Disney - Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Epcot & Animal Kingdom (no hopping between parks on the same day) and 14 days unlimited at Universal - Studios, Islands of Adventure and City Walk (you can hop between all universal parks as much as you want). This cost $499 per person. This was more than adequate for us as we didn't fancy the waterparks and didn't want to visit Epcot. We were away for 11 nights and spent 8 at the theme parks. We also received free tickets for Wild Florida although we didn't get time to use them. Although we were going to buy these tickets in the UK, we ended up buying them online once we got to Florida at the same price. We picked them up as they were only 10 minutes away from Disney and we received a bonus goodie bag worth $25 for our efforts. You can also get 3 x fast pass tickets per person, which allows you to book time slots on the Disney App or at the park. Once the 3 passes are used you can then find another Fast Pass booth in the park and get another Fast Pass. You can keep doing this all day everyday whilst you're there.

In addition, Universal sell Express Tickets to avoid the standby lines on many rides. If you want to go on as many rides as you can in the shortest amount of time, you'll need these. It's better to buy these just inside the park instead of queuing outside on the gate. However, I found out that it worked out far better to book a night in one of the Deluxe on site hotels. We booked the Loews Pacific Resort Hotel for $342. This allowed us to book in before the park opened on check in day, which gave us two days in the park and we also could spend the whole day there on check-out as well. This then enabled us to take advantage of the 1-hour early opening on both days and get on the Harry Potter rides before the crowd got there. This also gave us 2-day unlimited Express passes for all four of us. The usual express pass price was $99 per person for the 2-days. Car parking is $17 per day for regular visitors or $20 for 2 nights if you're staying at the hotel. Therefore, by booking the hotel we saved almost $70, got in the park earlier than everyone on both days and even had a pool that the wife and I could head for leaving the girls (aged 22 & 18) in the park all afternoon. Tip - although we got to the park at 07:50 (park opened at 9am) it was already open for hotel guests. We had breakfast and dinner at the hotel and was pleased with the food, service and the price wasn't too bad.

We dined out at a few places. We tried Denny's for lunch because it featured on the series Breaking Bad. This was mainly a little Chef with burgers the size of a large grapefruit and was okay. We tried Margeritaville at Universal. The food was good. However, despite only 3 tables being occupied, they forgot our order, which meant it took 50 minutes to see any food. The server constantly offered us tap water as a consolation! We stuck to bottled water during our entire stay. The main restaurant we dined at was in Disney Hollywood Studios and called Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italian. The service and food was okay but pricey. We asked for a booth for the four of us (all adults) and was told we couldn't have one as they were for larger groups. However, it was a little annoying to see every booth allocated to parties of three and four. I think the staff member just simply couldn't be bothered, which was a poor show. We also dined at Vinito Restauante at the Mall on International Drive twice. This was excellent in comparison and shows how it should be done. Great food, service and price. Great server called John. Unlike Mama Melrose, we were happy to return to Vinito Restaurante. We also loved the food, service and atmosphere at the Hard Rock Cafe in Universal City Walk. Although the air con made it a little too cool. Our server Jerry was outstanding. Our best breakfast was at IHOP, where we dined on pancakes. For those watching the calories, it's worth going for the wholewheat blueberry pancakes with scrambled egg white and turkey bacon.

Remember the theme parks charge $17 per day standard rate to park your car.

Our top 10 rides.

1 Harry Potter and the forbidden Journey - Universal Islands of Adventure (there is no express pass available for this but it opens an hour earlier for Deluxe Hotel Guests - not Cabana Beach Resort.
2 The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man - Universal Islands of Adventure.
3 The Incredible Hulk Coaster - Universal Islands of Adventure.
4 Hollywood Rip Ride Rocket - Universal Studios.
5 Rock 'n' Roller Coaster - Disney Hollywood Studios
6 Space Mountain - Disney Magic Kingdom.
7 Harry Potter Flight of the Hippogriff - Universal Islands of Adventure
8 Revenge of the Mummy - Universal Studios
9 The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror - Disney Hollywood Studios
10 Big Thunder Mountain Railroad - Disney Magic Kingdom

All of the firework/laser shows at all of the parks are well worth staying to the end of the night to watch. We loved the film/Laser show at Universal Studios. The international food & film festival is the best place to watch the show. Grab a table behind the wall near the Simpsons ride, there's no charge unless you want to buy a drink. I bought a beer. The Blues Brothers show at Universal Studios is brilliant, but too short. Harry Potter Diagon Alley at Universal Studios was about to open when we had to depart back to the UK, which was a big shame because we thought the set including Kings Cross Station and the Hogwarts Express looked amazing. VIP guests appeared to be getting some priority and seemed to be to get on this ride, but we have no idea how they qualified.

We went to the Orlando Gun Range at Vineland Rd - it cost us $65 for two of us to shoot 50 bullets at 6 Targets including Zombies. Brilliant! Remember to bring ID and don't wear open toe sandals/shoes.

Hope this helps.

We loved Florida. It was like home from home and we didn't want to leave. It was a fantastic family trip and it was the first time for many years that we all spent every day and night doing things together for the entire holiday. The girls, despite being 18 & 22, were like little kids again.

I hope we can save up enough to get out there again.

Sent from my iPad

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
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28  Thank rikdav
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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17 - 23 of 31 reviews

Reviewed 18 May 2014

We had booked a 2 weeks long package with Thomson at a silver villa. We requested a 3 bed villa. I was apprehensive as I had never had an allocation on arrival holiday but couldn't have been happier with the villa we had been allocated. When we arrived it was a 5 bed 3 bath property with large pool and games room in the garage. The villa was located at Sandy Ridge, which was around 6 miles from animal kingdom and Hollywood studios and slightly further out to Epcot and magic kingdom. There are 2 publix supermarkets near by and various other stores and pizza take away places (Pizza Hut and papa jones) also a dunkin donuts if you fancy a coffee and donut. There were no problems with the villa decor and there were plenty of bed linen, towels etc etc.. I don't think I would book to stay in an allocation on arrival villa again as it was too far out for us and we like to be nearer the action.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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3  Thank Sarah B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 May 2014

After reading the other reviews on here we were very nervous in the lead up to our holiday and en route to our allocate-on-arrival villa. When we got there we were stunned at how good it actually was. After staying in fantastic villas before I had high expectations and our villa lived up to them.

The villa was on the Westridge estate off the US27 equidistant from the I4 and US192 junctions so in a good location to get pretty much anywhere. The estate seemed to have a lot of permanent residents, which added to the homely feel I enjoy from a villa. The villa was very well presented from the outside and when we stepped inside we couldn't get the grins off our faces. It was gorgeous. Big flat-screen tv, massive curved sofa, beautiful dining area and more than adequate kitchen. The bedrooms were good sized and the kids rooms were full of cool Disney stuff and other kiddy stuff like Batman toys on the bed etc. Also a tv complete with all the Disney classics on video. The living room tv cabinet included a Playstation 1 with classics such as Tomb Raider 2 and Crash Bandicoot, DVD player and video player with some more classic Disney films.

The pool area was very nice, plenty of comfy pool furniture and even a whirlpool extension on the pool. It was all clean and tidy just as you'd expect. The garage had table tennis and table football tables, along with the washer and dryer as well as buckets and spades for beach use.

One minor problem we had was 'sugar ants', which are highly common. They're tiny little ants that just look like little black dots and they seemed to accumulate in random places, including the bedside tables, around the kitchen sink and on the wall above the kitchen/lounge doorway. They were no trouble and nothing to be worried about despite us both not liking creepy crawlies. I contacted our Thomson rep Sherly and she was fantastic. She got pest control out and they visited twice and dealt with the problem sufficiently. She also got maintenance out immediately when I notified her of the shower head being cracked, which they replaced with a new one.

All in all, aside from the actual booking of the holiday (which was poor from our local store), the holiday was a great success. The customer service I received from Thomson's social media before we left was fantastic and sometimes the replies came within 5 minutes. The flight on the Dreamliner was excellent, aside from the one meal option having mushrooms in which I detest, the rep (Sherly) at the airport was great, as she was throughout the holiday.

I probably wouldn't book this way again, as the uncertainty of what our villa would be like was nerve-wracking, but despite this I would recommend this holiday.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank AC1712
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 April 2014

We booked Thomson Silver Villas having previously visiting Florida twice with the same standard of accommodation. We definitely drew a short straw this time! Villas are allocated on arrival which was fine. Picked up the car and satnav and away we went.
Hampton Lakes is in a great location on US27 between I4 and US192. First impressions were great - nice lake and sports courts. Our Villa was 208 Castlemain Circle. Opened the door and shoulders dropped.
Dirty, badly fitted carpet
Scuffed lino (tiles throughout work much better esp. when you are in and out of the pool area)
Scuffed walls with odd holes
Scratched and bubbled furniture
Every bed squeeked and had springs jumping out
Kitchen had plenty of cutlery and crockery but not much else.
Pool had sand and white paint flakes in it
Toilets didn't flush well, hence each had a plunger at the side. Toiletbrushes were disgusting! I think I could now add toilet plumber on my CV!!
Broken furniture, pane of glass and tin of chemicals in garage/games room. Broken games tables.
Thomson were unable to relocate us. The maintenance guy appeared on the first working day and replaced kettle, toaster, lights, bin, toiletbrush, cleaned the pool, tested the beds. The washing machine packed up half way through and was replaced 4days later.
Thank goodness the weather meant we could be out all day. We had a great time in the parks, at Clearwater Beach and Tampa Bay Rays baseball.
Old Town Kissimmee is a must visit, great to see the Americans dancing.
Outback Steakhouse, Bonefish and Little Italy restaurants were great. Olive Garden has lost a few points due to them seemingly trying to get you in and out within an hr.
Tower Lakes had the best villa we had ever stayed in - shame we weren't there again.
Dreamliner was good too.

Room Tip: Reject 208 Castlemain if Thomsons try to locate you in this villa. It needs a serious upgrade.
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with friends
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5  Thank amanda s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 August 2013

When we arrived at the villa it was pretty obvious that we were not going to be happy as the front door looked like it had been broken into and repaired with bluetack and a couple of screws. Other than that directions hire car trip out went well. So it was one of those "oh, this looks a bit......odd" moments that you dont need with the family in tow.

When you first went in you got an initial good impression (for the photos.....) and it had obviously had a makeover but actually after a day it was obvious it was a "lipstick on a pig" job.

It certainly wasnt up to anything like the web site description of Silver Villas - and a quick bit of research showed similar on the same estate - but better state of upkeep at about £425 a week.

There was dirt. damage, awful uncomfortable beds, broken drawers, holes in the pool netting, missing blind slats, broken cooker drawer, cheap flat whit kitchen units - everything was just obviously done by the owner as cheap as possible - it was a 15 year old property. Ok - individually minor things but when you get into double figures and you are there for the villa not for disney, then it starts to matter. But even the pool had a damaged floor - broken away - repaired with some putty, and a nice hole in the netting supposed to keep the buggies away. Come on guys - the villa-with-a-pool is what its all about !!

Of course , having started to complain to the rep, and after a couple of days of "we'll get somebody out" not delivering the goods - and to be fair the Thomson rep clearly being told rubbish by their suppliers, I made it very clear to rep, and Hotelbeds their subsidiary facing of to the actual supplier - I was not prepared to spend two weeks of my holiday chasing them for repairs and wanted moving immediately. We were probably very unlucky but Thomson need to sort out their supply chain because they are working via Hotelbeds - who dont do villas anyway (!) and are trade only - who then sub out to in this case villa4uflorida which then blamed the owner of the property - "we have already told them to sort these things out but they have been paid already so there is nothing we can do".....just what you dont want to hear.

The property by the way had had a flood some time before we arrived - which was already know to the mgmt co - but had not been taken up with the owner. And so a lot of the cheap chipboard furniture had done that wonderful thing chipboard does when it gets wet, as had the cheap laminate flooring.

Great ! I'm on a well earned family break and I'm just dealing with all the different bits of the supply chain. And yes that developed into the mgmt co telling the hotelbeds rep who told the thomson rep - that everything had been fixed when NOTHING had been.....cant get worse can it really. Customer passing message between mgmt co and rep - who "can only go on what they tell me"..... :-(

By the Thursday of our first full week Thomson apologised but could not offer me an option because "they" (or shall we say there mom and pop supplier) had no other properties available. Previous years I have done it myself, worked direct bought direct, but I thought I'd let the package operator deal with it this time. Never again.

I'm sure if it wasn't peak season I could have been moved and maybe their supplier might have had something decent but this was clearly something allocate very late when there was nothing else left - we booked the holiday 7 months prior..., but really its just not acceptable to be dealing with a global package operator who is in effect dependent on a small-beer villa provider who themselves is selling a property they know to have damage - and yes, I paid the damage cover insurance too ! Thats £25 I wasted as the property had plenty of damage already.

Get out of "allocated on arrival" Florida villas Thomson. The market has changed and owners rent direct and the nice ones are gone. You need to stick to hotels and contracts you can enforce as the whole capability of the supply chain to help you deliver an excellent experience (as I know you want to having worked in part for your main competitor) falls apart when your rep tells me its probably best for me to deal direct with the issue as she is just passing messages and is the "Middleman"...

So we ended up moving ourselves somewhere else for week two and hitting my credit card - we needed a holiday not this hassle.

Suffice to say I rejected the offer of $150 compensation made in resort and the subsequent $300 one - and will be after about 10 times that. The bottom line is the only advice I can give after 8 trips to Florida and this being the first one I left to the pro's is .....Book the package but plan to use the flights only because this is still cheaper than flight-only options (The Dreamliner was Great !!!). Sort out the Villa yourself by using Tripadvisor or Homesaway.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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11  Thank MalpasSteve
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 July 2013

The villa was in a decent location for park access. The villa itself was average and would benefit from some updating. While we were there, the air conditioning broke down, although it was fixed quickly. A couple of other repairs were also required during our 2 week stay. This was inconvenient but again the service to fix these was prompt. The villa was well equipped and the pool was great. I have stayed in other villas during previous Florida holidays which were more modern and nicer than this Thomson silver villa.

  • Stayed: July 2013
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3  Thank Anne2472
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 July 2013

Booked a Thomson Silver Villa. The location on arrival was in Clermont, Glenbrook, Morning Star Drive. First impressions simple nice looking pleasant residential area. Once inside the place was roomy, nice sized living accommodation with only 4 of us we were spoiled for bedrooms. Pool area was ample there was patio furniture and some loungers and the pool was a good size and depth. Now for the other stuff the villa itself felt dated it really needs a facelift and a good scrub cause I don't know who does the cleaning when there is a changeover but they ain't doing a very good job ! Also the beds were very old lumpy and extremely uncomfortable. Additional extras you have to phone the letting agents to rent the safe and also to purchase the Wi-Fi Internet connection ! There is also a book letting you know about the do's and dont's and everything seems to be a don't. Everywhere you look there is notice telling you about additional costs if you don't do something which really doesn't make for a nice holiday environment. These charges should be in the house manual out of sight. Overall this is our first villa and I don't think I would book with Thompson again I think I would be doing my own research and choose my own villa.

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled with family
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4  Thank John G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Silver Villas

Address: Oakwood Dr, Kissimmee, FL
Region: United States > Florida > Central Florida > Kissimmee
Hotel Style:
Ranked #83 of 154 Hotels in Kissimmee
Number of rooms: 22
Also Known As:
Silver Villas Kissimmee, Florida

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