Check out the most popular forums frequented by residents and prospective residents of The Villages, and you'll see that one of the most often discussed community (other than The Villages itself, of course) is Solivita.
Solivita is a national award-winning retirement community located in Kissimmee, approximately an hour and a half south of The Villages. Solivita is being built by Taylor Morrison, a national builder well known for their expertise and experience in the 55+ market.
In many ways Solivita is similar to The Villages, but as you'll find is the case with most of our other head-to-head comparisons, Solivita is much smaller in size.
The biggest complaint a lot of people voice about The Villages is the location. Besides what's immediately available right there in the community (and granted, it's a lot) there's not a whole lot else around.
You might be able to find everything you need in nearby Ocala, Mt. Dora, or Leesburg, but you're a pretty good distance away from the amenities bigger cities like Orlando and Tamp have to offer.
People who want to feel like they've got more options close by may want to check out Solivita. While it's not directly in Orlando, it still sits in what's called the “Attraction Zone”, so it's near the theme parks like Disney, plenty of restaurants, and all the shopping and entertainment options you could imagine.
If you enjoy this sort of thing, in my private, member’s only community for future Florida retirees, I’m comparing lot's of other popular Florida retirement communities just like you see here. Learn more here… (opens in a new window)
A lot of people I know get part time jobs at the theme parks after they move to Florida for retirement just to keep busy and help fund vacations and such.
If something like that is on your radar, Solivita would be the perfect location for it.
There's really no comparison to the array of amenities offered in The Villages.
To keep more than 125,000 people satisfied, you have to offer a lot of things for them to do.
As is to be expected, along with a smaller community comes fewer amenities, but the ones they do have at Solivita are first rate.
While some communities try to cram everything into one giant recreation center, Solivita's amenities are spread out across a handful of centers, much like The Villages does with their amenities.
The Waterfront Galleries include a two-story art and ceramics studio, fully stocked library, three computer labs and game room.
The Riviera Spa and Fitness Center encompasses indoor and outdoor pools, two spas, indoor track, dance studio and sauna.
The upscale resort-style complex The Palms spans 19,000-square-feet showcasing an expansive fitness center, aerobics studio, residents’ business center, members’ club, a 4,000-square-foot heated outdoor lap and splash pool, fireplace piazza and social gathering deck. There are also two heated spas, seven Har-Tru tennis courts, 11 pickleball courts and two lighted bocce ball courts.
This video provides a pretty awesome look at some of the amenities you'll find in Solivita:
Like The Villages, Solivita is a golf cart community, so getting around is a cinch. And, with 4,300 acres of Florida’s natural beauty, there’s plenty of great outdoors to explore. You can even walk, jog or bike the scenic five-mile walking path.
Interested in continuing to learn and grow as a person in retirement?
Both The Villages and Solivita have you covered!
The Villages offers what they call The Enrichment Academy. It used to be called the Lifelong Learning College but that entity was dissolved due to a lawsuit back in 2016.
Every week at Solivita dozens of classes are available to strengthen your body, enrich your mind and make your spirit soar.
Here’s just a sampling of the classes and programs offered at Solivita:
- Aqua Dynamics
- Step Aerobics
- Tai Chi
- Oil Painting
- Jewelry Making
- Stained Glass
- Ballroom Dancing
- Wine Tasting
- … and more.
Again, as is the theme here, fewer choices than they offer in The Villages, but still a great lineup of things to learn and experience.
Two Championship Golf Courses at Solivita
The Villages has more golf courses than any other community…in the world!
There's no denying that.
But what I've found in my many years of covering The Villages is that people tend to play the same 4 or 5 courses over and over again.
So do you really need more than a few courses?
Solivita features two Championship golf courses, The Oaks Course and The Cypress Course.
Designed by Ron Garl, The Oaks Course is bordered by a hundred-year-old oak tree strung with hammocks for shady lounging, lush colorful greenery and abundant streams and lakes. Meticulously created to blend in beautifully with Solivita’s 4,300 acres of natural wetlands and hardwoods, this 18-hole, 7,000-yard masterpiece rewards you with exquisite views and an unmatched golfing experience.
Originally designed by Devlin / Von Hagge and recently modified by renowned golf architect George Clifton, The Cypress Course is a 6,800-yard course is home to sparkling lakes and water features complemented by white-sand bunkers. The Cypress golf course proves challenging to even the most experienced golfers.
Kind of like The Villages has separate neighborhoods or “Villages”, homes at Solivita are spread throughout a collection of welcoming neighborhood enclaves.
The Villages currently offers 6 different home series, ranging from “Patio Villas”, which are going to be your smaller less expensive options, to their “Premier Homes” that are the biggest and most expensive.
Similarly, Solivita has built a variety of different styles and floorplans over the years, but right now they offer a list of 8 floor plans from which to choose.
These homes have open floor plans, bright kitchens, stunning great rooms, spacious and dual owner’s suites, luxurious baths, and inviting outdoor living spaces.
If you want a ton of variety and options, you have to give The Villages the edge in the home styles department.
But if you prefer to have to sort through fewer styles to find the one you like, you might go with Solivita here.
Want to Visit Solivita?
Like The Villages offers with their Lifestyle Preview Program, in the past Solivita has offered a chance to live like a resident for 3 days and 2 nights with their Discovery Days Program.
It seems like the only open this stay-and-play opportunity up at certain times of the year, so you'll want to request more information from their sales team about taking a test drive.
If you're considering communities like The Villages, but are of the belief that bigger doesn't always mean better, Solivita is definitely worth a look.