Original pool 206.jpg?1531943328?ixlib=rails 0.3

Have you been tasked with putting together a family or group vacation? Don’t be daunted by the challenge, instead follow these simple steps.

Choosing Where to Stay

Deciding where to stay with your group is obviously the most important decision - and probably the hardest part of the planning equation, too. So it’s important to go into things with plenty of knowledge about the options in front of you.

Hotels and home rentals each have their advantages, and the first step is pinpointing what will work best for your particular group. When you opt to stay together at a hotel, you can enjoy the ease of onsite amenities that might include restaurants, bars, a gym, business center, etc. Hotels also offer the peace of mind that there won’t be too many surprises - and if there are, that there will always be someone onsite to handle things like a lost room key or an air-conditioning system that suddenly stops working.

As for home rentals, their main advantage is that they generally offer more value per square foot and are truly a private space for big groups. They usually come with shared communal areas that are at the same time exclusive to your group. There’s no need for everyone to meet up in the lobby, when you have your own foyer and other communal spaces such as a pool and living room.

If you’re finding it hard to decide what works best, the good news is there’s one new property that’s bridging the gap between hotels and rentals to offer the perks of both.

Encore Resort in Orlando offers your group the reliability of a trusted hotel, with such amenities as daily housekeeping service and a dedicated staff and concierge to handle any issues that may come up during your stay - all within the comfort of a private rental home, ranging from four to 13 bedrooms, to fit groups of varying sizes.

article continues below ad

During your stay, Encore’s staff is always on call, not only to arrange tickets to Orlando’s many attractions and theme parks, but to give you inside tips on how to make the most of your stay in the area, too. And when you’re looking to venture beyond your front door yet remain on property, Encore has its own water park, two restaurants and a lounge to enjoy, too. Just be beware that leaving the comfort of your rental home might be a challenge since each house has luxury amenities for you and your group only that include state-of-the-art kitchens, laundry rooms, spacious living areas and, yes, your own, blissful private pool.

Consider Your Group

Every family and group is, of course, different. Get a sense of the people you are traveling with and their interests. Do you have a group that wants to dine out or stay in and cook? Is access to a kids’ club, a gym, or a bar important?

Balancing all these factors is always a challenge, and it may require hours of searching on websites—especially if you go the home rental route. It’s another challenge that the Encore Resort rises to. If your sister wants to get in a workout, your dad wants to lounge poolside, and the kids want to spend the afternoon at the water park, the range of amenities at Encore will satisfy everyone. And for anyone in your group or family who wants to explore all that Orlando offers, the best of the city is all nearby.

article continues below ad

Plan for the Worst

The old adage, “hope for the best, but plan for the worst,” will have to be your motto when you are coordinating a group vacation, especially if you choose the home rental route. While the nightmare stories are the exception, it is important to consider what you will do if you arrive at a rental and find it doesn’t live up to the photos or description you saw online. Or, worse, if you arrive only to find that, for example, there has been confusion about the dates you’d be visiting and the unit is unavailable. You may suddenly have to shift gears from trip planner to crisis manager.

These nightmare scenarios were one of the primary motivations behind the creation of the Encore Resort. With its dedicated staff, there is always someone to help with any issues regarding your property. Fortunately, however, that’s an unlikely situation. Instead you can trust that every house at Encore will always live up to the same standards of excellence.