DAVENPORT – In the dining room, the table is exquisitely set and ready for when the guests arrive. The plates, wine glasses and silverware are in place, but there’s something else: the flat screen television on the wall.
For those who want a quiet, relaxing meal with their family, the atmosphere is ideal. There’s no traffic outside, no noise of any kind to disturb their peace and quiet.
And if they enjoy watching the evening news or something else while they’re dining, they can do that, too, without moving to the living room.
“I love that house,” said An Flamand. “We bought it and totally turned it around, and that house rents out really well because it’s a totally practical house.”
It was designed to be that way, she said, which is why that flat screen TV was put in the dining room – giving the guests options for how they want to enjoy their meal.
“I think when you go on vacation, you have to have something more — otherwise, why leave home?” she said.
Flamand is the owner of USA Vacation Homes & Spa, a property management firm at 115 Lake Davenport Boulevard, off U.S. 27 in Davenport. Flamand oversees houses in some of the best-known resort developments in Central Florida, all within close proximity to the theme parks and other attractions that bring millions of people from across the globe to the area every year.
That includes this home at Calabay Parc, a resort off U.S. 27 in Davenport that offers an ideal example of what the vacation home industry has to offer its customers.
The home is spacious – and considerably larger than it appears to be from outside. There’s a wide-open kitchen that provides any chefs in the family with ample opportunity to do some cooking — and not even bump into the kids rushing to the refrigerator for a snack.
The living room has plenty of space available as well, with three sofas to relax on, and a second and larger flat screen TV on the wall to provide family entertainment.
There are multiple bedrooms here, including a children’s room with bunk beds and stuffed Disney characters eager to be played with by the little ones. The master bedroom likewise is well suited for the adults, with a hot tub in the bathroom.
For additional entertainment options, there’s a private pool right outside, facing the deck where the entire family can relax and enjoy the Central Florida weather, or grill up some food for dinner. Inside the house is a game room with a pool table.
The family may be on vacation, but unlike past years when they all tried to squeeze into a hotel room, now they have a lot of space available to them – and so many ways to unwind and enjoy themselves after a long, busy day at the theme parks – with all the comforts of home waiting for them.
Best of all, unlike at a hotel – where other guests may be walking up and down the hallways at night, or where the person in the next room is playing their television set at full volume, or where people in the parking lot are talking loudly right outside your window – this home is set away from the traffic of the nearby highway, and provides the ultimate in peace, solitude, and tranquility.
“That’s something you can’t request in a hotel,” Flamand said. “It gives you more privacy, and it’s more relaxing as well. You don’t have to dress up to have breakfast, you can sit out in your pajamas to eat by the pool.”
And as spacious as the home at Calabay Parc is, it’s not even among the largest ones that USA Vacation Homes has to offer.
“That is a small house, but if you compare it to a room at the Ritz Carlton, it’s still a lot you get for your money,” Flamand said. “When guests call us, they can pick a home based on whatever their style is. We have homes that have up to seven bedrooms and seven bathrooms. There is definitely space for people who want to bring a larger family with them.”
The vacation home industry has been a booming part of the Central Florida tourism and hospitality field for the past few decades, as a growing number of resort homes like the one at Calabay Parc come fully furnished, and made available as short term rentals to tourists and business travelers, those looking to take advantage of the region’s numerous golf courses, and who know just how much entertainment value this region has to offer.
Flamand is also the president of the Central Florida Vacation Rental Managers Association, the trade group representing vacation home managers. She said this niche market recognizes that not everyone who visits Florida wants to crash in a hotel room at night. Some of them simply want more space, and more options, for where they book their stay.
“I think that once they’ve stayed in a vacation home, they rarely go back to a hotel room,” Flamand said. “There’s a lot of things that people don’t realize about a vacation home.”
Take that kitchen and dining room, she added. In a hotel room, guests may either have to make reservations every night at a local restaurant, or order in a pizza and eat it on the bed.
The kitchen at the home in Calabay Parc, with everything needed to serve up a great meal right at their disposal, gives them a lot more options.
“It definitely saves them on going out to eat every night,” Flamand said. “You can cook in the house. A lot of people actually like to cook – I like to cook, but a lot of days I don’t have the time. With a vacation house, you can say ‘Well, I’m on vacation, and I really want to try this recipe,’ and now they have the time to do it.”
While mom or dad may be cooking and getting dinner ready, the kids can be swimming in the pool, hanging out in the game room, or watching television in the living room or in their bedroom.
“Kids can have their own quarters,” Flamand said. “I personally like the fact that it’s a little bit of something for everybody.”
As more and more people come to understand what vacation homes have to offer – plenty of space to unwind and relax in, all the comforts of home, and complete and total privacy – the industry is likely to keep growing in this tourism Mecca, Flamand said.
“This destination is perfect for vacation homes,” she said. “That’s why our repeat clients are our main clientele. They book practically every year. I think it’s because it’s a product that is easily sold on once you’ve done it.”
To learn more about USA Vacation Homes, call 863-424-3835.
Contact us at FreelineOrlando@gmail.com.