Hello! I’m Alvina, proud owner of Upendo Orlando Vacation Condo.
An interesting fact about me is that I didn’t see our condo in person until a year after we began renting it to guests. My late husband stumbled upon a condo for sale at Vista Cay in 2009, during a business trip, and I quieted my usually cautious nature and agreed to go for it. (That sale actually fell through, but it was meant to be; we found the condo that would become Upendo Orlando—a better condo, with a lake view!—shortly after.)
Our first year of renting presented learning curves of all kinds, though I always had a clear idea of how I wanted guests to feel here. As a mother of four, I know that travel is stressful, even when it’s fun. I wanted guests to step inside and instantly forget the TSA checkpoints, the airport food, the 5 a.m. wake-ups…
Fast forward a year, to my first in-person visit to the condo.
Reviews seemed to suggest we were doing something right, but it was time for the ultimate test: if the condo met my own high standards, well, then I’d know we were in business.
Spoiler: it did. And we were!
Truthfully, I’ve never loved a place more. The lake views from the balcony at Upendo Orlando are pure magic. One glance at at the shimmering, gentle water you can’t help but be entirely present in the moment. After losing my first husband to brain cancer in 2012, I realized just how important those “present moments” are. I’ve since remarried, and am working to bring structure and harmony to our blended family.
Where Our Name Comes From
“Upendo” means “Love” in Swahili, my native language as a Kenyan-born immigrant who moved first to Washington D.C., and then to Toronto, Canada. Over the last decade, Upendo Orlando has witnessed love in all its forms: multi-generational families and blended families like ours, friends of all ages, couples ranging from newlyweds to fifty-year marriages.
And, of course, there’s the love for Orlando itself, a one-of-a-kind place where even the most skeptical people can feel like kids again. We hope that even our business travelers feel the love here after a long day of meetings!