Breezy Oak Villa vs. Pleasant Oak Villa: What’s the difference?
If you have seen both of our properties, and are wondering what the differences are between them, this information is for you.
Talking about the differences between the two is a bit strange – because in truth, they are far more alike than they are different.
So what do they have in common?
- 4 Bedrooms
- 2 Bathrooms
- Sleep 8 people without using a pull out sofa bed or cots
- Great kitchen with dining area off the Lounge/Living Room Area
- Patio doors from Lounge out to Lanai & Pool Deck
- Master bedroom with ensuite with large shower with separate door directly out to the pool deck
- Queen 2nd Bedroom
- High-Speed FIOS Internet with WiFi
- Local landline Telephone with Free Long Distance to North America
- Multi-Channel Entertainment Package on Multiple Quality TV’s with BlueRay Players & Internet Access
- Third & Fourth Bedrooms each with Two Twin Beds
- Garage converted into a Games Room, each with a quality Slate Pool Table
- Great Del-Air Installed A/C Systems with Digital Thermostats
- Lanai (Covered Deck) with dining seating in the shade
- Private Pool in screened-in enclosure with pool loungers
- Located in Thousand Oaks, just 15 minutes from the Magic Kingdom Parking Lot (7 minutes to the Disney Resort Property Boundary).
- Attractive Landscaping
- Security features including: Monitored Alarm, Perimeter Lighting, Fire Extinguishers, Emergency Back-up Lighting, Safe, Private Code Door Lock
- Recently installed over-sized pool heaters and energy-efficient whisper quiet pumps
- Offsite parking for two vehicles
- Your terrific hosts!
So what are the differences between the two?
We’ll start with the big one!
Located at the back of a cul-de-sac (court), at the end of a 100′ driveway, and surrounded by tropical forest, Breezy Oak Villa is one of the most private vacation rental homes in the entire Disney area!
Not only does the property have no rear neighbours, it practically has no side neighbours either! This is quite rare. There are two neighbor houses not too far away, but due to the unique layout of the lots, they have practically no relationship or view into the back yard area of Breezy Oak Villa at all. (I’m sure you’ve seen the many pictures of this.) This makes the pool area at Breezy Oak Villa intimately private.
(Most vacation rental subdivisions have homes built very close together, and you usually can see people in other home’s pool areas, and they can see you from theirs. Homes without another pool area across from them at the rear are often described as ‘not overlooked’… but what they fail to mention is that the pool areas ARE overlooked, from eight feet away next door on one or two sides, or the homes back a golf course, and everyone going by on the course can see into your pool area as well.)
Pleasant Oak Villa’s pool area is not as private as that of Breezy Oak, but it’s close, as explained below. Interestingly enough, the pool privacy at each villa is affected by how far off the street they are, so before we go into further detail about pool privacy, let’s talk about parking at each of the villas.
Driveways and vehicle parking
One difference between the two properties is that Pleasant Oak Villa is a bit of an easier drive to get to within the subdivision, and easier to arrive at (see below). That’s a bit of a bonus when you’re arriving late, and tired after a long day at a theme park.
Because Breezy Oak Villa’s driveway is a single car-width wide, and over 100′ long, it is actually challenging for some people to use. It’s easy pulling in… it is backing out over such a long distance where some run into problems. We say that each driveway holds two vehicles, but at Breezy Oak, they are single file, so you may find yourself in a situation where one vehicle has to back out to let the other one out. If you can backup over 100′ without swerving out of a path the width of a parking stall (and any driver should be able to do this) you’ll be fine at Breezy Oak Villa, but the truth is, some people just aren’t up to it and it tests them. Backing in upon arrival instead of going in nose-first doesn’t help, it just switches which of the two procedures, going in or coming out, is most challenging for the driver.
In contrast to Breezy Oak, the driveway at Pleasant Oak Villa is two cars wide, and about one and a half vehicles deep. So it is easy to pull in and out of from the street, and one vehicle doesn’t have to move to allow the other one access. For the driver, it is simply easier to use.
Pleasant Oak’s pool area is still quite private when compared to the vast majority of Orlando area vacation homes. If it was our only home, we would sell its privacy as a major feature and positive selling point!
It is a special treat for us when we receive guest reviews and they talk about the privacy of Pleasant Oak Villa’s pool area in a way that guests have always talked about Breezy Oak’s for years.
But when comparing pool area privacy between these two properties, one has to keep in mind that just about anything is going to pale when compared to Breezy Oak Villa, because it is so unusually private. While Pleasant Oak is not as secluded, it still does offer rear yard privacy better than most vacation rental homes, and that is important to keep in mind. If you’re not going to be using the pool that much, then the privacy at the back of the property may be less important to you.
The privacy and view of trees and shrubs that surround Breezy Oak Villa is a major feature of the property, so many of our guests come to us because they are attracted to its peaceful, beautiful and private surroundings.
With this in mind, after we purchased and renovated Pleasant Oak Villa, we immediately began landscaping its yard to provide as similar an experience to Breezy Oak Villa as possible. We planted hedge shrubs and large palms that block the view to the neighbours, and provide a pretty, tropical feel to the yard.
Everything has been done based on sightlines, to provide privacy without making it feel claustrophobic. As a result, you can be in and around the pool of Pleasant Oak Villa, and you will not be visible to the street, or any neighboring pool areas, nor will you see other people in theirs. And there is lots of nature and nice landscaping to enjoy.
To the NorthEast of Pleasant Oak Villa, there is conservation forest; to the NorthWest, there are two neighbouring properties, but due to the layout of the area, they are on a completely different street, and the two homes themselves are a full lot away from our own. In fact, the closest of these two homes is actually behind our neighbour on one side, and not our own property.
Of course one could simply plant shrubbery completely around the outside of the pool screen enclosure or build a fence (many owners do this) to provide privacy, but this does not provide the quality of experience that we want.
The large lots in our Thousand Oaks subdivision allow us to provide a much better outdoor environment for our guests, and we continue to develop the landscaping at both properties with this in mind.
Pool Orientation and Sun throughout the Year
Some guests are concerned with having a South-facing pool at their Orlando Vacation Rental in order to enjoy the sun while in the pool and on the deck. The concern is that the home itself will shade the pool area, which can have a significant effect on warmth and tanning.
In reality, this should only be a concern in Late November through Early February, when the sun is lowest in the sky.
Occasionally we get people asking about this when they are booking for summer months, and they react like we are trying to put something over on them when we tell them it is not something they should be concerned about. The truth is that Orlando is so far South that in the Summer, the sun actually rises in the NorthEast, and sets in the NorthWest, so for much of the day a house will throw a shadow on its South side! At its highest point in the sky at mid-day the sun is almost directly overhead, so any North side shadow thrown will be measured only in inches on a single story villa! In the Summer a North-facing pool in Orlando actually gets MORE sun than a South-Facing one.
During the winter months, shade is a legitimate concern, and certainly can affect your enjoyment of the pool, particularly if the weather is cool. And yes, Orlando occasionally gets cooler days during the Winter! No one will freeze, but it might not be swimming weather! Usually these cold snaps only last a couple of days or so, and then the temperatures get right back up to their winter norms of highs near 75º F.
Keep in mind that both of our homes are single storey bungalows, so they have a much shorter, smaller shadow profile than a two-storey home will.
The Pool at Breezy Oak Villa faces East and South. On the other two sides of the pool, North and West. The home is exactly square on the compass. This is actually a great orientation, as the pool gets the most sun in the morning with the east exposure, when you want it to be warming up, and then is partially shaded by the house and lanai roof in the afternoon, when the heat of the day is setting in and the sun gets lower in the west sky. Of course, the South side means there is always lots of sun available on the pool and at least part of the deck. It’s a great combination.
The Pool at Pleasant Oak Villa faces North-NorthWest. While the pool at Pleasant Oak Villa would be described as being on the North side of the home, the home is not square on the compass. This is surprisingly important to the amount of sunlight that reaches the pool and the deck around it. The angle of the house off the true North-South axis allows much more sun to get around the rear corners to where the pool is than would normally be expected. Still, it was an issue to be considered by our guests prior to 2019, but is much less important now. Why? See the next sections!
Rear Yard Space and Landscaping
Due to the shape of the house and the lot boundaries, the side yards have always been wider and larger at Pleasant Oak Villa then at Breezy Oak Villa. Breezy Oak Villa presently has a larger rear lawn area than Pleasant Oak Villa, even though they used to be about the same size. So what changed? Again, see the next section!
The pools at both villas are the same size, though of slightly different designs. Both feature walk in steps at one end, and a seating shelf that will allow an adult to sit with their head out of the water in the deep end of the pool.
Each pool is roughly 12′ by 24′ in size, with an average 3.5′ deep shallow end, and a 5.5′ deep end. These are the typical size of Orlando Vacation Rental home pools. Some guests are surprised when they see them, expecting them to be larger, but soon discover that they are really a terrific, almost perfect size for a family. And they certainly provide much more room than the ‘splash pools’ provided at many vacation rentals (which are around 9′ x 9′).
Both pools have the exact same high-quality over-sized electric heat pump pool heater, and super energy efficient variable speed pool pump with remote programming and monitoring to ensure they are always performing for our guests.
Both of our properties have a larger lanai (that is a covered deck, NOT the screen enclosure as many mistakenly believe) than is typical for homes of their size. These have always been a big plus for our properties, and something that is often missed by guests when selecting a vacation rental home. It is surprising how some of the nicest, larger vacation rentals have no lanai at all.
At Breezy Oak Villa, the orientation of the lanai adds to the pool deck space very well. At Pleasant Oak Villa, even though it is just as large, the lanai cuts into the house farther, with a narrower opening out to the pool deck. This means it provides greater shade, but doesn’t add to the pool deck in the same way as at Breezy Oak.
Pool Deck & Screen Enclosure
We were always aware that having a (mostly) North-facing pool and deck would present a challenge for winter guests at Pleasant Oak Villa. Plus, the decks surrounding most pools at Orlando area vacation homes were never that generous in our opinion, especially if a guest wanted room around the deck to strategically move loungers in order to catch the sun. This would of course be a bigger concern at a home with a North-facing pool.
With all of this in mind, we began scheming in 2016 to enlarge the pool deck and screen enclosure at Pleasant Oak Villa to alleviate these issues.
After much planning, getting engineered drawings and arranging for permits, construction to enlarge our pool deck and screen enclosure
at Pleasant Oak Villa began in 2018 and was completed in Spring of 2019.
The pool deck was doubled in size, and the pool screen enclosure was enlarged by 50%, extending it past the corner of the house. As a result, there is now always some part of the pool deck that is in full sun! Even in the winter, there is part of the pool deck at Pleasant Oak that has sun, at any time of the day! Pool orientation is truly no longer an issue for those who want to lay out and tan, at any time of the day or year.
At 64 Feet wide, the pool deck at Pleasant Oak Villa is the widest in the entire subdivision! With the enclosure enlarged to accommodate them, we purchased four wonderful imported Italian loungers to add to the pool furniture already in place for our guests. There are now six loungers and seating for ten with two tables on the deck and lanai!
Future yard development at Pleasant Oak Villa
With the deck and enclosure extending past the corners of the house on both sides, this unfortunately means that the extensions now have some visibility out to the front street. We are hard at work adapting the landscaping to the new deck design, and in true Breezy Oak Villas fashion, we will keep at it until the entire deck is shielded from public view. (As before, the pool and immediate surrounding deck are not presently visible to anyone off property.)
Part of this work will result in the larger side yard of Pleasant Oak Villa being sheltered and available for guest use, in a fashion similar to what a rear yard would normally be. The screen enclosure was designed with a second door leading out to this area, and our future plans will see this area turned into a terrific unique and special feature for our guests.
Plus, there is even more to come! A feature outdoor fireplace and covered kitchen, and lounging area is planned for the open deck area. And another surprise is also on the way… to be revealed in the years to come. These efforts truly take years of work to plan, build, plant and grow!
To sum it all up, Breezy Oak Villa may have the more private pool area and larger rear yard, but in every other way, Pleasant Oak Villa’s pool area and deck has got it beat!
Both bathrooms at Breezy Oak Villa were updated in 2016-2017, which meant a complete renovation, as they were stripped down to the bare studs and rebuilt from there.
So Breezy Oak Villa gets the nod (for the moment) for nicer bathrooms. We are planning to also renovate the bathrooms at Pleasant Oak Villa soon, and will update this post when it happens.
Now… other than the bathrooms, and privacy and size of the rear yard (for which the nod easily goes to Breezy Oak Villa), Pleasant Oak is NICER than Breezy Oak Villa in almost every way!
It is larger in square footage, has a bigger and better games area, bigger and better TV’s, newer and nicer furniture, newer and better A/C.
The interior of this home was completely renovated by us throughout 2012. The first guests arrived in December 2012 and loved it!
We knew immediately we had a winner on our hands!
The four-poster canopy king bed in the master bedroom is amazing! It is the most comfortable bed I’ve ever enjoyed! (That is, once you’re in it. Some guests are challenged by its fairy-tale height, but we have step stools on each side of it to make getting in and out easier.) Many of our guests agree. We’ve had them mention the bed in their exit reviews, with some even checking the manufacturer of the mattress to get one at home (they can’t, it was custom manufactured locally in Orlando)!
And ultimately, now the pool deck and BBQ area at Pleasant Oak surpass that of Breezy Oak as well!
Something for the foodies
Wait ’till you see the kitchen at Pleasant Oak Villa! Stained maple cabinets, soft touch cabinets and drawers, with custom quartz countertops and black subway tile backsplash, and an elegant dual basin sink with high-top pull-down faucet means this kitchen is a joy to prepare food in. And we’ve equipped it like no other.
At both of our villas you will find, dishes, glasses, plates and cutlery, cooking utensils, pots and pans, hand appliances and everything you need to cook in a way that you just won’t find at most vacation rentals.
We’ve had a number of guests comment that they prefer the layout of the kitchen at Pleasant Oak Villa, and how it relates to the rest of the home. We consider that a real compliment, because I designed that kitchen from scratch, completely tossing aside the original plan used by the builder when the house was first built. And I designed it for Donna, the greatest personal cook one could ever hope to have without them being a pro! And she loves it!
We charge the same amount for both properties. Breezy Oak is more private, and that is its best feature. Pleasant Oak is better in almost every other way, meaning its quality is higher. The features tend to be a tradeoff on which property is better, and that’s why they get the same rates.
We’ve actually had a couple of guests stay at both properties. One spent a week at each right together. Here is what he had to say about the two properties:
You asked if I would also give comparison feedback as we had stayed at both Villas…..
Overall Breezy had the edge with the pool area due to its outlook, although in isolation Pleasant was also excellent and although overlooked on the left, not intrusive. The pool was warmer at Pleasant Oak – maybe due to more sun. There was more pool furniture at Pleasant, which also had soft covers on the sun loungers
Note: Since this guest stayed with us, the landscaping at Pleasant Oak has grown substantially providing more privacy, the pool deck and screen enclosure at Pleasant Oak have been enlarged, and we have added new pool loungers to both homes. Comments must be kept in context of when they were left.
We preferred Pleasant Oak internally although in isolation Breezy Oak was excellent as well. Most Villas we have stayed in have had more areas carpeted. Pleasant benefitted from more tiling and I can understand this is more forgiving over time, it also worked well. The flow of the home was better at Pleasant with the Kitchen area easier to access from all areas. Pleasant has a slightly more modern feel to it, not that Breezy is in anyway dated.
Both villas are more homey than any others we have stayed in due to the detail you have added that many do not. This made them feel more like a home than a rental – a very positive point. Both were a pleasure to stay in!
The conclusion? The winner is (drum roll please)…
There is no winner! Both homes have their attributes and best features. Personally, we love them both.
The most positive thing I can tell you about Pleasant Oak Villa? Even though Breezy Oak Villa is our first home in Florida… our baby, and we love it… given the choice, we prefer Pleasant Oak Villa, and it is where we will stay if both are free.
Shhhhhh! Don’t tell Breezy Oak! We don’t want to hurt her feelings!
Breezy Oak Villa is amazingly private and relaxing. Pleasant Oak Villa is amazingly comfortable, luxurious and relaxing.
Both are magical places to stay!
Honestly, Breezy Oak Villa is easier for us to book, because it tends to photograph better, which makes it more attractive in listings and advertisements. But based on guest responses in exit surveys, once you stay at Pleasant Oak (and especially if you don’t highly value total pool privacy) you’ll thank me for encouraging you to give it a shot!
They are both wonderful properties!