Florida Villa Rentals: Hidden Gems for Families

Florida ranks as one of the top destinations in the world for family vacations. It’s no wonder, with its sunny weather, pristine beaches, and many attractions. But with so many accommodation options available, choosing the right one can be challenging. Renting a family villa might just be the perfect solution for comfort, privacy, and cost-effectiveness.

Unlike traditional hotels, family villas offer benefits that can significantly enhance your vacation experience. Enjoy ample space to unwind, a fully equipped kitchen, a private pool, and entertainment facilities.

Why Choose a Villa for Your Family Vacation

Space and Comfort

One major advantage of renting a family villa is the space it offers. Villas provide multiple bedrooms, spacious living areas, well-equipped kitchens, and outdoor spaces, unlike cramped and impersonal hotel rooms. This extra room allows everyone to spread out, reducing stress and enhancing the vacation experience. Kids can play freely, adults can relax, and everyone can come together in communal areas for quality family time.

Privacy

I like my private space. In a villa, your family can enjoy a private and exclusive environment, free from hotel disturbances. Whether swimming in your own pool, having breakfast on the terrace, or a late-night movie marathon in the living room, the villa is your personal haven. This privacy ensures a truly intimate and memorable family vacation.

Cost-Effective

When traveling with a family, costs can quickly add up, especially if you need to book multiple hotel rooms. Villas offer a more cost-effective solution. (It took me years before I did the math, but once I did, it was a “light bulb” moment.) 

With a villa, you get more value for your money—more space, flexibility, amenities, and often a better location. Additionally, having a kitchen means you can prepare meals, saving on dining expenses.

Features to Look for in a Family Villa

Bedrooms and Bathrooms

Ensure enough bedrooms for everyone, including bunk or twin beds for children. Multiple bathrooms help avoid morning bottlenecks and make getting ready for outings more efficient.

Kitchen Facilities

Renting a villa has the advantage of a well-equipped kitchen, allowing you to prepare meals and snacks according to your family’s preferences, helpful for picky eaters or those with dietary restrictions.

Entertainment Options

Look for villas with amenities like private pools, game rooms, home theaters, and outdoor play areas to keep everyone happy and occupied without leaving the property. 

Safety Features

Especially important when traveling with young children. Look for safety features like secure locks, fenced-in pools, and childproofing for sharp corners and electrical outlets. Gated communities can offer added security for your stay. 

Outdoor Space

Look for properties with spacious yards, patios, or balconies for outdoor meals, games, or relaxation. Private gardens or beach access can enhance your outdoor experience.

Wi-Fi and Connectivity

Check if the villa has high-speed internet for streaming, gaming, or remote work. A dedicated workspace is a bonus for work or school assignments during the trip.

Discover Your Dream Florida Villa

Miami Beach

Miami Beach is vibrant and dynamic, ideal for families seeking adventure and leisure. Renting a villa here puts your family close to South Beach, trendy shops, and world-class dining. Explore the Art Deco Historic District, visit the Miami Children’s Museum, or spend a day at Jungle Island. The artsy Wynwood neighborhood in Miami has colorful street murals and trendy galleries. A day trip to the Everglades offers a chance to see alligators in their natural habitat.

Miami Marvel: Ultra Oasis

Feel like a movie star in this modern villa in Miami’s Design District. I was amazed at the 11-foot ceilings, glossy marble floors, and a high-tech kitchen. There’s a sunny garden, private pool and large living area for gathering. Use the outdoor kitchen or hire a private chef for an alfresco feast. Cafes, restaurants and art galleries are a short walk away. Your hosts can arrange a driver, yacht charter, spa services, tee times, butler service or other extras.

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Kissimmee

Kissimmee is a great family destination near theme parks, a charming downtown, nature parks, and close to Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, and SeaWorld. Renting a villa here provides space to relax after a day of thrills, with easy access to major attractions.

Storybook Stay: Fairyland Retreat

Fairyland Retreat in Kissimmee offers a magical escape where fairy tales come to life. Just a short distance from Walt Disney/Magic Kingdom, it’s the perfect vacation spot for friends and family. Accommodating up to 18 guests, it creates an immersive experience that cherishes past memories and helps you create new ones.

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Orlando

Orlando is known for family fun, with its renowned theme parks and attractions. Renting a villa here puts you in the heart of the action, with easy access to Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, and SeaWorld. Orlando also offers family-friendly activities like interactive museums, water parks, and lush gardens. With a villa, you can be close to the excitement and have a spacious retreat to return to each day.

Family Fun: Orlando Thrills

Discover a world of entertainment at this fabulous Floridian villa on a holiday resort. There’s something for everyone with two game rooms, synthetic ice rink, swimming pool, cinema room, and pizza oven. I love the golf simulator! Orlando’s theme parks are nearby, and your host can arrange tickets. For a different experience, consider a swamp tour, a visit to the Kennedy Space Center, or resort activities like golf or water park fun.

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Sarasota

Sarasota is great for families seeking a more relaxed vacation experience. Located on Florida’s Gulf Coast, it’s known for beautiful beaches, cultural attractions, and family-friendly activities. Spend your days exploring Siesta Key or Lido Key Beach, discovering exotic animals and lush gardens at Sarasota Jungle Gardens, or playing pirates at the Gasparilla Pirate Festival in nearby Tampa.

Siesta Key: Paradise Cove Retreat

Siesta Key is one of my favorite places in Florida. This coastal farmhouse on Siesta Key accommodates up to 14 guests. It has a private, heated pool with a waterslide, sun shelf, and covered patio, and it’s near South Siesta Village and Siesta Key Beach. The interior includes an elevator, five bedrooms (two master suites), en suite bathrooms, and a game room. With 2,500 sq. ft. of living space and 1,600 sq. ft. of outdoor entertainment areas, it’s ideal for families seeking comfort and relaxation.

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Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale, known as the “Venice of America,” offers outdoor activities, picturesque canals, and family-friendly attractions 30 miles from Miami. Visit the Museum of Discovery and Science, take a boat tour through the canals, or relax on Fort Lauderdale Beach. 

Fort Lauderdale Glam: Sunshine Magic

This one-of-a-kind waterfront home is designed for up to 20 guests, with ample space to gather. It’s spread over three floors with an elevator, and includes a two-level botanical greenhouse ideal for special events (I’ve never seen anything like it in a villa). Enjoy the heated pool, hot tub, and pool tanning shelf while watching boats pass by the private dock. The home features exclusive amenities like a wine cellar and sports bar. Admire waterfront views from the terrace and take a short walk to Fort Lauderdale Beach.

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Florida Keys

The Florida Keys offer a unique island experience ideal for families seeking natural beauty and outdoor adventures. This chain of tropical islands stretches from Key Largo to Key West and provides a picturesque setting for a memorable vacation. Renting a villa in the Keys allows families to enjoy activities like snorkeling, kayaking, and fishing. We went swimming with dolphins. I also recommend visiting charming Key West to explore historic sites like Ernest Hemingway’s Home and Museum, see street performances at Mallory Square, and enjoy delicious seafood.

Marathon Marvel: On the Ocean’s Shore

This waterfront property in Marathon offers a 50-foot dock for boats or jet skis. After a day at sea, you can enjoy the private swimming pool, barbecue station, wet bar, games room, and fire pit. The modern, three-story interior has a gourmet kitchen and bright lounge on the ground floor. The top-floor family loft, which doubles as a fifth bedroom with a double sofa bed, opens onto a sun-drenched terrace.

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Tips for Renting the Perfect Villa

Booking Early

Popular Florida destinations can see high demand, and the best villas are often reserved months ahead. Early booking ensures a wider property selection and better rates. Many rental agencies offer discounts for early bookings.

Check Policies

Before finalizing your reservation, carefully review the villa’s rental policies including cancellation, security deposit, and additional fees. Some villas may have strict check-in and check-out times or rules regarding amenities use. Understanding these policies upfront can help avoid surprises and ensure a smooth rental experience.

Communicate Needs

If you need baby equipment, accessibility features, or special dietary accommodations, clear communication ensures the villa meets your needs. Hosts are willing to make arrangements or provide recommendations. A good host will appreciate your proactive approach and work to make your vacation comfortable.

Consider Insurance

Travel insurance can protect your vacation investment. Consider insurance that covers trip cancellations, interruptions, and unexpected events. Some policies also offer coverage for rental property damages, providing peace of mind for accidents or unforeseen circumstances. 

Planning Your Stay

Groceries and Supplies

Find nearby grocery stores and markets to stock up on essentials. Many villas have full kitchens for meal prep. Look for supermarkets, local markets, and specialty stores. Planning ahead and having a list of nearby stores can save time and ensure a smooth stay.

Family Activities

In Miami Beach, enjoy water sports, boat tours, or Zoo Miami. Kissimmee and Orlando are ideal for theme parks, mini-golf, airboat rides, and dinner shows. In Sarasota, spend time on the beach, explore botanical gardens, or take a dolphin-watching tour. Fort Lauderdale offers beach fun, cultural attractions, and outdoor activities like kayaking and biking.

Dining Options

In Miami Beach, try the catch of the day, Cuban cuisine, and beachfront dining. Kissimmee and Orlando offer a wide range of dining experiences, from themed restaurants to international cuisine. Sarasota is known for its fresh seafood and waterfront dining spots. Fort Lauderdale boasts diverse culinary options, including seafood shacks, upscale restaurants, and casual eateries.

Plan Relaxation Time

While it’s tempting to fill every day with activities, don’t forget to schedule some relaxation time at your villa. Enjoy the private pool, have a family movie night, or unwind on the patio with a good book. Balancing busy days with downtime ensures everyone stays refreshed and fully enjoys the vacation.

Packing for Your Villa Vacation

Essentials

Start with the basics: weather-appropriate clothing, swimwear, and beach towels. Don’t forget toiletries, sunscreen, insect repellent, and any medications. Most villas provide bed linens and bath towels but confirm with the rental agency. 

Kitchen Supplies

Villas come with fully equipped kitchens, but consider bringing non-perishable snacks, spices, and condiments. For young children, bring special utensils, sippy cups, or baby food. A small cooler can be handy for beach picnics or day trips.

Entertainment

Bring personal items for entertainment during downtime. Pack books, board games, and playing cards for family game nights. Bring favorite movies or shows if the villa has a DVD player or streaming capabilities. For outdoor fun, pack beach toys, sports equipment, and pool floats.

Pool and Beach Gear

Pack waterproof sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, swimwear, and towels. Consider bringing beach chairs, an umbrella, and a beach blanket if your villa doesn’t provide them. Bring snorkels, goggles, and water toys for added fun.

Outdoor Adventure Gear

If you plan to explore nature trails or state parks, pack comfortable walking shoes, reusable water bottles, and a backpack. For fishing or water sports, consider bringing your own gear or checking for nearby rentals.

Electronics and Chargers

Pack electronics and chargers (phones, tablets, laptops, cameras). A power strip or portable charger can be useful for multiple devices. Bring accessories for remote work or school like headphones, a mouse, or a laptop stand.

Special Items for Kids

Pack special toys, blankets, or stuffed animals they can’t sleep without. A portable crib or highchair might be necessary for younger children, though some villas may provide these upon request. Don’t forget swim diapers for the pool and plenty of snacks for outings.

Being well-prepared allows you to relax and enjoy your time with family, creating lasting memories in your home away from home.

Your Unforgettable Florida Villa Experience Awaits

Each location offers unique charm and family fun, from Miami’s beaches and Orlando’s theme parks to Sarasota and the Florida Keys. Villas provide extra space, privacy, and customization, while saving money compared to booking multiple hotel rooms. 

A villa is the ideal setting for creating unforgettable memories, whether you’re lounging by your private pool, exploring local attractions, or enjoying home-cooked meals. The perfect villa is waiting for you. With careful planning, packing, and an eye for the best features and destinations, your family villa vacation in Florida is sure to be a hit.

Share your experiences and tips in the comments and follow our blog for more family travel villa inspiration and guides. Let’s make your next vacation the best!

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