Getting away in my own backyard has been what 2020 has been all about. The year of the staycation. While I am hopeful for 2021, I believe staycations will be very necessary. A mini-vacation where you don’t have to travel far to enjoy leisure experiences you have on holidays in far-off places. A staycation offers you the opportunity to “get away from it all”. It involves minimal planning and stress that often goes into planning a vacation. Especially now people have been canceling their dream vacations and planning trips in the far future is a gamble.
If you are constantly working, at home, and not taking the time for yourself that a holiday often lends, you may get burned out easy and feel a bit restless at home. Time to hit the reset button? Then a staycation may be the right move. I found myself getting restless at home and needing a change of scenery to recharge and reset. Looking into resorts in the Orlando area (which I call home), I found Westgate’s top Orlando hotel. Westgate Lakes Resort and Spa was offering staycation deals for Florida residents and I decided to check out what they offered.
I was hosted by Westgate Lakes Resort and Spa, but all views and thoughts are my own. I share my honest opinion. Some links may include affiliate links, which at no cost to you helps support this blog.
What is a staycation?
It is a way to go on vacation like you would, but stay in your own town. So, I thought it would be nice to stay at a resort that I didn’t have to worry about anything in terms of activities, restaurants, and treating myself to a weekend of selfcare.
Westgate Lakes Resort and Spa offers everything one could need on a staycation, it is close to many activities on International Drive, The Orlando Eye, Restaurant Row, and is close to the theme parks, often the first choice for some of the best Disney accommodations for large families.
Why Westgate Lakes Resort and Spa was perfect for an Orlando staycation?
I had a few reasons I chose Westgate Lakes Resort and Spa. I used to stay there when I was younger with my mother. Westgate Lakes Resort and Spa was my family’s choice when visiting from Massachusetts. They always had friendly staff, activities as a kid I loved, and it was located right on a beautiful lake! Fast forward years later, I decided to check it out as an adult. It was time to make new memories since I had such fond ones as a child.
Westgate Lakes Resort and Spa didn’t disappoint! They had a recent renovation and added many buildings and keeps on adding things to keep their guests busy, including a waterpark that is opening in 2021! Also, I was happy that there was a spa located right on the property. I decided to get my nails done, which is something I always say I am going to do, but never make time for.
Places to eat at Westgate Lakes Resorts
If you know me I don’t really like to cook, so while we had an amazing kitchen in our room I was definitely interested in a resort that had different options for places to eat. Westgate Lakes Resort had quite a few options, including: Drafts Sports Bar and Grill, Sid’s Bistro, Joe’s Pizza, and a Marketplace and Deli.
I loved Drafts Sports Bar and Grill they had a $10 burger and beer special (I just got a Diet Coke), and a little bowling alley attached! The game was addictive to say the least and this is where I spent a night bowling. The burger was truly delicious and I really felt safe eating out here with all the precautions Westgate Lakes takes to keep guests safe.
Another amazing thing is when you hang by the pool here you can always find refreshments with the poolside bars. That is something you won’t get at home! In the mornings they also had a café that offered Starbucks craft drinks, and breakfast options. If you know me I almost always have a cup of coffee in my hand.
Room Tour at Westgate Lakes Resort and Spa Tik Tok videos:
Best Staycation Tips
Plan A Resort Staycation
Planning a resort staycation close to home gives you that perfect holiday complete with amazing pools, restaurants (so you don’t have to worry about cooking), outdoor activities and of course the spa at your disposal. It avoids the pains of travel time and distance to get you that much quicker to relaxation. Pro tip: Book your resort staycation during the holidays because some hotels like the Westgate Lakes Resort and Spa offer the best decor for your holiday pictures.
Actually, Take the Time Off!
When you take a staycation the number one thing to remember is “treat it like an actual vacation”. Don’t check in on what is happening for work, stop checking email 24/7, and embrace the time with your family or your time alone.
Since I was on vacation, I didn’t cook, I got food at the restaurant at the resort or ordered pizza in for a movie night. The best thing is everything was on Westgate property. Also, to get around I didn’t even have to drive since golf carts make their rounds around the resort to take guests to where they need to go.
The best way to enjoy vacation is to get some much-needed Vitamin D. That is why I recommend getting outside for your staycation. At Westgate Lakes I was able to rent a paddle boat from the marina, and mini golf outside. Also, with 7 pools I was more than covered for areas to swim. When I looked for resorts for my staycation, it was important they have outdoor activities.
I wanted things to do outside and Westgate Lakes Resorts offered fishing, paddle boats, mini-golf, barbeque areas, and of course many pools. I decided to check out the running/walking path for sunset and they had great adirondack chairs to sit and relax while the sun came down. Also, my mom who joined me loved reliving our old days of mini-golf. However, probably the best thing to do outside here is head out on the paddle boats from the marina to enjoy the lake. Pro tip: If you want a beautiful sunset head out on the water with the paddle boats for a peaceful sunset.
On vacation you probably pamper yourself, and a staycation shouldn’t be different! If you are looking to really add the sprinkles on top of your epic staycation a day of pampering should definitely be on your agenda. The Serenity Spa at Westgate Lakes Resort offered 10,000 square feet of pure bliss. They offered massages, manicures, pedicures, and they also offer in room spa services. I personally loved that you could even do a DIY spa day in your room since they had a jacuzzi jet tub in the room! I personally enjoyed a bubble bath something I actually never take the time to do (even when I am traveling).
Visit Tourist Attractions and Museums
There is nothing like the experience of being a tourist in your own city. Westgate Lakes Resort and Spa was definitely a great spot to check out some of the spots always featured by Visit Orlando on International Drive like Icon Park. Icon Park is awesome with the Orlando Eye/ The Wheel, the Star Flyer, and restaurants like the Sugar Factory that offer the BEST DESSERTS! Currently, Florida residents can get 40% off on special tickets.
Don’t Over Plan and Enjoy The Room
Relax in your room and enjoy things you enjoy. That is why I loved the one-bedroom suite I had at Westgate Lakes Resort and Spa. The room was spacious and offered a dining area, kitchen, comfy couches to watch tv, a porch, and huge king-size bedroom with a large jacuzzi tub. The screened in porch on the 7th floor gave me amazing views to sit outside and enjoy.
When I arrived, there was a beautiful little welcome package with candy, candles, and incense. I used everything! Especially candles to create the ambiance of a DIY spa night of relaxation in the tub, and a movie night.
Time to Book Your Staycation!
All around the USA many resorts and local hotels are offering staycation deals, and while I am lucky to be from one of the tourist destinations of the USA. While originally Westgate Lakes Resort has been known as a premier location and Orlando’s family reunion resort, it is also a great place to have a staycation because they literally have everything you could need or want. Also, I was excited to check out a place that I had visited as a child with my family. Travel in your own backyard can often be exciting and open your eyes to things you often just pass by. I for one never take the time to watch the sun go down when I am home in Orlando, but sitting back and relaxing on chairs facing the lake with a cup of coffee in my hand was a priceless staycation experience.
Westgate Resorts not only offers places in Orlando, but they have locations in Florida, New York, Utah, Tennessee, Nevada, Montana, Virginia, and Arizona. I highly recommend checking out Westgate Resorts near you for your next vacation because the care they showed for their guests during this odd time, the cleanliness, and guest-experience have remained unaltered.