Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Now find us on Facebook

We are currently in the process of setting up our villa business page on Facebook.

Glorious Gulf Villa - now on Facebook

Please take a moment to 'Like' our page and feel free to add any:-

  • Guest reviews
  • Vacation photos
  • Vacation memories
  • Suggestions for days out
  • Local recommendations
Thank you!


Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Keeping the kids amused

In the unlikely event that the kids get bored of the pool or beach then there’s always something in the area to keep them amused as they encounter wildlife and adventure in the outdoors.  Here are some Day Out ideas:-

Who wants some hands-on, action packed outdoor adventure?

Then head for Babcock Wilderness Adventures, where you can lunch on alligator “bites” and barbeque before taking a swamp buggy tour through the Telegraph Cypress Swamp among four natural habitats. Bring your camera and snap keepsake photos (see Outdoor Action & Adventure section for more information).

Ever thought about hiring a WaveRunner or kayak? 


Island Jet Ski Tours & Rentals in Englewood can help you plan an action pack day on the water.  They also organise guided dolphin tours, deep-sea & bay fishing and even stock electric skateboards!

Make a splash!

When you’re looking for fun in the sun, Sun Splash Family Waterpark, Cape Coral is the perfect place to make a splash for the whole family of all ages.  After much anticipation, Sun Splash has officially opened three exciting, new high-speed slides for guests (over 48") to enjoy. Experience the thrill of plunging five stories down the park's newest attractions:
  • Free fall up to 40 feet per second on the X-celerator, the park's fastest and most extreme slide; 
  • Face your fears on the Terror Tube, an enclosed flume with gradual descent into a sudden, heart pounding drop;
  • Dare to catch air on the Thunder Bump, an open chute with 264 feet of steep, speed bumps!  
Rotonda Park
Just minutes from the villa is a lovely safe playground, bike trails, multi-purpose fields open space, nature preserve, nature trails, picnic area, tennis courts and rest-rooms.

Further Afield:-

Busch Gardens – Tampa (approx 90 mins drive)
Busch Gardens is the ultimate family adventure park offering an array of fascinating attractions based on exotic encounters with the African continent. A unique blend of thrilling rides, one of the country's premier zoos featuring more than 2,700 animals, live shows, restaurants, shops and games, Busch Gardens provides unrivalled "real" excitement for guests of every age.
Definitely worth a day trip.

Roller Coaster in Busch Gardens, Tampa, Florida



Amazing choice of championship golf courses - all on your door-step

Great news for all our Golfing fan Guests!

We have exclusive access to a very special 'Unlimited Rotonda Golf Package' deal via our Management Company. 

The deal is set up as a per person/per week charge (plus cart fees) which allows you to play on any Rotonda Golf Course; The Hills, The Links, The Palms, Long Marsh & The Pines - details on the courses are provided in this link:-  http://www.gloriousgulfvilla.com/golfingfanatic.html
For more info re: prices and waiting list times, please email me ASAP as the deal is super popular.  Interested parties are placed on a waiting list and offered on a strictly first-come-first-served basis.

For Guests staying during our Peak Season (Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr) please note that priority will be given to those who wish to purchase one month(+) golf passes.

Just another great reason why you should choose Glorious Gulf Villa as your perfect vacation destination!

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Restaurant with a difference!

While on holiday in our www.gloriousgulfvilla.com, you may want to have lunch somewhere a bit different.

We can recommend Rum Bay Restaurant situated on Palm Island; accessible only by water taxi it makes for a very memorable dining experience.

Just a short drive from the villa, park the car at 'Johnny Leverock’s' in Cape Haze and catch the water taxi from the jetty (hidden round the back!)

Not only is the restaurant very good, after your meal you can enjoy a stroll along the many miles of totally amazing beaches (usually empty!) and take a quick look at all the Millionaire's Private Beach Homes.

One of the top sport fishing destinations in the world!

Rotonda and the surrounding areas area home to spectacular fishing and boating and is one of the many reasons people from all over the world return again and again to this region of Florida.

Two freshwater rivers, the Peace River and the Myakka River flow into the saltwater environs of Charlotte Harbour and Lemon Bay, which then flow out to the Gulf of Mexico. The mixture of the bodies of saltwater and freshwater spread out to form over 270 square miles of pristine estuary.

It's easy to contact a local Boat company to take you and your family/friends out for private trip to really experience first hand, the joys of fishing in Florida.  Many of our guests have had great success at catching their own dinner!!

Fish from your own Private Dock

One of the unique benefits of our www.gloriousgulfvilla.comvilla is that it has its own private fishing dock situated at the end of the garden.  Many guests have reported back many successful catches.  Fishing rods and beach chairs are provided.

Facing right onto the waterfront, it's the perfect spot for fishing, reading a book, sipping a glass of wine/cold beer wine while watching the sunset or just watching the locals travelling up and down in their boats.

The fishing dock is also a real wildlife magnet with many animals choosing to relax on it so it's a great place to nature watch too.

Fishing from A to Z:-

The following is an alphabetical list of fish that can regularly be found in the waters of Charlotte Habor & the Gulf Islands at different times of the year:-

Amberjack, Bluegill, Cobia, Dusky shark, Eagle ray, Florida garfish, Goliath grouper, Hardhead catfish, Jolthead porgy, King mackerel, Lizardfish, Mangrove snapper, Nurse shark, Pompano, Redfish, Strawberry grouper, Tom Tate grunt, Vermillion, Warmouth, Yellowtail snapper and Zillions of others (well almost!)

Florida Car Hire / Park Tickets

Car Hire & Sat Nav Hire

It's very confusing when faced with so many different car rental websites to choose from when you are planning your Florida travel arrangements.  So, to make life a bit easier for you, I have detailed below a friendly, reliable and competitively priced car hire company.

As villa owners, we have personally used them for many years and their prices are usually really hard to beat and their service is excellent. 
Here's just some of the reasons why you should consider them:-
·       Recognised Reputable Companies – choose from Alamo, Dollar or National
·       Just £25 deposit to book - balance due 8 weeks prior to collection
·       On arrival option to use FREE Express Service – beat the queues!
·       Guaranteed Fully Inclusive Rates (all taxes, surcharges, insurance, excess waiver cover etc) – no nasty surprises or hidden extras on arrival
·       Amendment & Cancellation protection fees included – no charges for unlimited amendments or cancellation
·    Hire Sat Nav as an optional extra 
·       No credit card surcharges
·       Upto 2 drivers as standard
All I would ask is that if you do decide to use this site, please remember to add in our
Villa Code 3146 if you are prompted which will help us out by ensuring we remain near the top of their search listing for advertising purposes.
Car Hire:                Car Hire Web Address Link
Sat Nav Hire:        Sat Nav Hire Web Address Link

Disney/Busch Gardens Tickets

 You may also be looking for competitively priced park tickets for all the Disney attractions and Busch Gardens and again, we can personally recommend the below site.  As before, please remember to add in our Villa Code 3146 if you are prompted which will help us out by remaining near the top of their search listing for advertising purposes.
·       Genuine park tickets
·       No vouchers
·       No timeshare tours
·       No gimmicks
·       Various delivery options
·       Some of the cheapest on the web
Clicking on the below link you will see all the various options:-

Park Tickets: Park Tickets Web Link

Calling all Nature Lovers!

I have just received this amazing email from our long term renters who are currently enjoying their 4th return visit to www.gloriousgulfvilla.com
In the past, they have been so lucky with capturing all sorts of wildlife from the privacy of our villa but I think this report beats it all:-

"Awesome, Awesome, Awesome...could not let this go without you guys being aware of it...

On Tuesday an otter came right up to the lanai with a massive fish and proceeded to eat it within the trees, but yesterday a massive disturbance down at the decking and out of the creek/canal came the same otter with two babies but this time being chased by an Alligator!!!!!  They thankfully escaped to loud cheers from us both sadly it all happened so quick we could not get to camera in time.

Enthralled by this we sat down for a beer to recover and an Osprey flew over and perched on one of the trees for 5mins!!!!

Couple this with red Cardinals red Tannigers and the ubiquitous mocking bird apply for the above!!!"

If you would love the opportunity of getting up close and personal to many different species of wildlife then please consider our www.gloriousgulfvilla.com as your next holiday destination.

Monday, 27 September 2010

Diary of Florida House build

Back in 2006, we embarked on a major adventure - building our own house in Florida.  With no prior building knowledge, we threw ourselves head first into the project and boy, it was a rollercoaster!  Here's our diary:-

Glorious Gulf Villa - House Build Diary

New Year family decision to be made; put a lump sum into a pension fund or invest in an overseas property?  Er hello!  For me, it’s like choosing between a date with George Clooney or Gordon Brown!!  It’s a no-brainer.  Overseas here we come!
Attend Overseas Property Exhibition and before I know it, book an eight-day Exploration Trip to Florida.  I drive home and deliver the news to my husband that he’s off to Florida.

BIG discussions/arguments about who should go.  Husband is adamant it should be me and he should stay take the easy route and stay at home with our girls!  Easy – PAH!  Little does he know.  I’m freaking out about the whole idea.  I’ve never even spent a night away from the family – let alone eight nights, 4,500 miles away.

8th May
Departure day.  Try to be very grown up but collapse in a crying heap once through Security.  Not so grown up!  Calm myself down with some Duty Free therapy.
Spend flight showing everyone photos of my girls.  Airline staff very sympathetic to a point, then just keep me quiet with copious amount of gin and tonic!

Land at Orlando and meet my Guide who’s built like Mr T from the A Team called Rocky...only in America!  He has five girls of his own - I think we are going to get on well.

Day One
An early 8am start and spend 10 hours viewing properties around Orlando.  I’m constantly surrounded by Disney paraphernalia which makes me miss my girls even more.  I want to go home.

Day Three
With no joy in Orlando we head to the beautiful Gulf Coast.  With jaw-dropping beaches and amazing scenery, it’s a real breath of fresh air. We arrive in an area called Rotonda, nestled between Sarasota and Naples – it’s stunning. Introduced to a company who build homes from scratch.  I would be in sole charge of deciding:-

Location; golf course, woodland or water front views?
Number of bedrooms; 3, 4 or more?
Design and layout;  open plan, country style, formal/informal areas etc?
Exterior & interior finishings; enough home style encyclopaedias to wade through it made the entire back catalogue of Next Directories look like a light read!

For a control freak like me, I’m in heaven.

12th May 2006
Our wedding anniversary.  Wake up with my emotions colliding; I’m missing my husband, I’m excited that we’ve decided to build our dream home, I’m nervous about signing the paperwork and totally scared about how much I’m about to commit to.  This calls for Rescue Remedy – preferably intravenously!

Seeing the beautiful sunrise, I’m calm again.  I’ve found a wonderful plot of land, overlooking the tranquil waterway and chosen a beautiful villa.  It’s going to be perfect.  Later that day, I sign the deal, open a bottle of wine and ring home for a verbal hug.

16th May
Arrive home.  If I thought the hard bit was over, I had little idea of what lay ahead for the next 15 months.  Maybe it’s the heat but everyone has a mañana, mañana” attitude which drives me crazy.

6th October
Finally the builders break ground.  Any longer and it may have broken our marriage!

Money for the build is rushing out of our bank faster than pensioners from Northern Rock. We pray for a hurricane-free season.

I start working on our website to advertise the villa. 
http://www.gloriousgulfvilla.com/ is born – virtually of course although it’s starting to feel like my third child. 

Trying to compare monthly update photos from the site is like playing Spot the Difference.  Little progress is being made.  Almost every week a new challenge or dilemma arrives sucking up precious family time quicker than Great Uncle Dyson.  Sleepless nights, frantic phone calls and demanding emails are now a daily feature.  Trying to juggle running a home, being Mum to two girls under five and being a great wife leaves me feeling exhausted.  This is definitely aging me. 

I constantly ask myself “Why did we think it would easy to build a house 4500 miles away?”  I feel totally out of control being so far away from the build but I have to plough on regardless.  The list of people and jobs that I have to manage and juggle is endless from builders and banks to County offices, to interior designers and landscape gardeners.  Honestly, anyone would think it was their house?!  We may all speak the same language but they may as well be speaking Cantonese!

Now the fun starts.  I’m asked to choose everything from the roof colour, to the size & design of our pool.  Most people would find this level of detail a nightmare – fortunately I love it.  However, what I quickly realise is my husband doesn’t share my passion.  Being a Virgo, I’m surprised with his lack of interest.  Normally, he’s all over detail like a rash.  With his eyes glazing over before I even open my mouth he assures me that I have his full trust and I should make decisions on behalf of the family.  GULP! As if the pressure wasn’t massive already, I feel like it’s just gone up a few notches!

We always had May in mind as a month in which the villa would be built and we would all go out to visit but it’s no-where near ready.
After what seems a life-time of waiting, we get the news - the house is finally built.  We all sigh a huge sigh of relief.  All we need now are some renters through the door.  I feel more sleepless nights coming on!

16th October
We arrive in Rotonda to admire the fruits of our labour.
I feel sick with a mixture of excitement, apprehension and tiredness.  The final photos we’ve seen look good but it’s going to be so different seeing it for real.
Oh my God, what if we hate it?
I feel as though I’ve been holding my breath since we landed so it’s not surprising when I nearly faint as we walk through the door...

Glorious Gulf Villa is totally amazing.  Everywhere I look I see things that I love especially the wonderful four-poster bed!  It’s a real home-from-home.  The girls are most impressed to have their very own swimming pool. 

My husband looks at me with new found admiration.  I can’t believe my eyes.  I feel like I’m dreaming.  I’m half expecting someone to put a blanket round my shoulders and hang a medal around my neck as it feels like I’ve just completed the London Marathon!  Instead, in a terribly British manner, my husband makes me a cup of tea and puts me to bed for a lie down to recover.

The journey has been long and emotional.  My knowledge of house building has of course increased but more importantly I’ve learnt so much about myself.  I’ve definitely earned a few brownie points from my family but I don’t think anyone really understands just how much this project has taken out of me.

In Summary
Am I proud of the end resultYes!
Would I do it againNo!
Is our marriage still in-tactJust!

The End!

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Golfers Paradise


Many Guests choose to stay at our Glorious Gulf Villa because of the wonderful choice of local golf courses.  If you like your golf, then Rotonda is definitely the right location for you.  With over 30 courses in the area, ranging from executive to championship level, it's easy to see why they call it "Golfers Paradise!"

Our villa is only a 5 minute drive from 5 different clubs however the closest one is Long Marsh Golf Club (Rotonda Circle)

Long Marsh’s gently rolling fairways meander thoughtfully through 300 acres of natural Florida scrub, its fairways and green invitingly framed by an abundance of stately oaks, native pines and palms. Natural waste bunkers, marshes and lakes provide a challenge for golfers as well as a haven for a variety of wildlife.

Measuring 7,120 yards from the tips, the course can be daunting, but four sets of tees, a minimal use of bunkers and strategically placed mounding provides a friendly game for all levels.

The signature holes on this demanding course are the final three holes on the front nine. The seventh is a long straight par four with not much trouble. It is a straight forward hole, but into the prevailing wind, it’s a lot harder than it looks. The eighth is one of the toughest par threes in southwest Florida, and, at about 240 yards, is one of the longest. This requires a good hit with your longest iron or a fairway wood.

Don’t get roped into thinking you’ve hit a good shot until the ball lands, however, because it is a shallow green and very hard to hold with the type of club being hit in there. The ninth is a 90 degree dog leg to the right with water on both sides of the fairway. It is crucial to pick the right club because if you are long or short you will be in the water. The second shot, however, is a lot easier with only a waste bunker that is in play. The funny thing about this hole is the local rule placed on it. There is a house on the short side of the fairway and even if the ball heads over the out of bounds stake and comes back into play, that is still deemed as out of bounds to protect the house from being peppered with errand tee shots.

For lots more information please check out our Golfing Fanatics section on our villa website:-
Golfing Fanatic?

Or check out Rotonda West's Golf & Country Club site:-

Rotonda West's Golf & Country Club