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“Nice staff, great location, incomplete in the resort department” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Hilton Grand Vacations Club at MarBrisa

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Hilton Grand Vacations Club at MarBrisa
3.5 of 5 Resort   |   5500 Grand Pacific, Carlsbad, CA 92008   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #25 of 34 Hotels in Carlsbad
GreenLeadersSilver level
Shorewood, IL
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Nice staff, great location, incomplete in the resort department”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

We were recently gifted a week at a HGVC resort, and after researching a bit decided on MarBrisa. Check-in was very smooth and the staff was extremely friendly and helpful. The location is fantastic, just East of Legoland (with its own private entrance) and elevated enough that there are wonderful views of the Pacific, especially at sunset.

When we got into our rooms, they were nice. My wife remarked that it felt more like a very nice hotel room rather than the homey feel you get at some vacation properties. Each unit had its own small balcony, which is a plus. I thought the couch in the living room was very comfortable, and the bed in the bedroom was also very good.

On the downside with the rooms, soundproofing is shockingly not adequate. From the main room, I could constantly hear doors opening and closing around our room. This is helped by the fact that the bedroom does not share a common wall with the outside traffic areas (bathroom on one side, living room on the other), but I could see this being problematic in a studio. Also water pressure/temperature in the shower was pretty erratic during our stay, which I found unusual since the resort was not very crowded.

The pool and hot tub area looked nice but it was too cold to use during our trip. It seems undersized for the number of units that are in phase 1, as is the parking lot, and I don't see these working well during busy season.

There were a lot of nice little touches available such as free dvd rental, a game room, and an activity room (some of which weren't really explained in any of the material in the room and I only found out about from the staff.) One thing that rubbed me the wrong way was the flier that listed activities for the week seemed to nickel and dime you a lot. I understand that there are costs associated with extra activities, but when you are charging $1 for smores night, that just feels tacky to me.

I am going to speak a little on the sales presentation. My wife and I own a timeshare, our parents each own timeshares, generally, we are the audience who is receptive to a timeshare presentation. I've been through one at my home resort and whenever we exchanged and went to a different resort, and have never had any issues. This was the first time I have ever left in the middle of a presentation. The sales associate was rude, and spent most of her time speaking on how this resort is so much nicer than other HGVC resorts. (An odd tact to take, and not close to remotely being true.) We looked at Phase 2, which looks like they are building a few new pools which don't seem like they'll be able to handle the number of units that are being built. (Plus, I was informed that they are also going to be building condos there as well, which isn't going to help that issue either.) The salesperson kept going on about how much better this resort was than anywhere else in the world, which really made me question whether she was delusional or outright lying. I left after 45 minutes and should have left after 10. I do not believe the sales presentation should affect the overall rating of a resort (way too many variables, depends on the individual sales person, etc.) I just needed to report on this experience since it was so singularly bad that hopefully someone sees it and can improve this aspect dramatically.

As a hotel, this is a 4 out of 5. As a resort, it's a 2. There are just too many glaring things wrong and or missing. Here are the pros and cons looking at this property as a resort:

Pros: New and clean
Great location (besides Legoland, the flower fields are right down the street)
Mostly friendly staff
Not complete yet so there is still a chance to deal with some issues.

Cons: There is ONE restaurant, and it is actually at the Sheraton. Which is also where the spa is, the fitness center, and the private entrance to Legoland. As a resort, this just is not acceptable. Most luxury HOTELS have more than one restaurant, for crying out loud.
Inadequate planning for size: the resort was nowhere near capacity and the lot was actually crowded by Friday. What I saw for Phase 2 was not encouraging in this regard.
Not enough things to do to really make this a resort. The activity and game room is nice, as are the bbq grills, but it just feels half done in this department.

Overall, this location was good for my needs (travelling with wife and infant daughter), but if I had come here with grown children I would have felt this was terribly inadequate. I wish there was a half star rating, as I keep wavering between a 3 and a 4, and would rate this a 3.5. THe tipping point for me was at checkout and my one bad experience with the resort staff. At checkout, I was told there were $28 in phone calls made. I asked if this was in our second unit because I found my daughter playing with the phone right after checking in and disconnected it from the wall right away and put it up. I was told no, these were made from our main unit to a number of local numbers during different dates of our stay. I can say with 100% certainty that the only call made from the room was to the front desk to get help unlocking the second unit's door. My wife and I both have cell phones and also don't know anyone in the area (evidently a group of the calls were to the same number.) I was told that the charges would be refunded as a one time convenience and that "the next time, I will not be able to refund this." Well gee, thank you for the courtesy of not fraudulently charging me for calls that I did not make! Figure out if your staff is making calls from the room or if there's something messed up with your billing system, but do not talk about doing me the "courtesy" of refunding the charges. I am so glad that I did not see this "gentleman" earlier in my visit. I do want to stress that the rest of the staff was extremely professional, nice and helpful.

Room Tip: The ocean view is worth it. There was also one building that was literally sitting at the edge of L...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paradise03Carlsbad, General Manager at Hilton Grand Vacations Club at MarBrisa, responded to this review, February 3, 2013
Hi Stormins,
Thank you for reviewing Hilton Grand Vacations Club at MarBrisa on Trip Advisor. We greatly appreciate your feedback regarding your most recent stay and apologize for any inconveniences you may have experienced. We hope to welcome you and your family back again in the future!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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449 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    61
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See reviews for
251
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (118)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Redondo Beach, California
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2013

As owners of 2 Starwood Resorts, my husband and I have always been interested in learning more about being owners of HGVC Resorts. We just spent 3 days/2nights for a "deal" but we had to attend a sales presentation. The sales guy was very friendly and nice, but he bragged quite a bit and was a little obnoxious. He spent SO much time in the beginning doing useless chit chat with my husband (who partly encouraged it) and after 2 hours, when we said we had to think about such a huge purchase, he said it had to be either a yes or no. So we said "no" and he shook our hands immediately and literally "pushed" us out to the next lady who then tried to sell us something else. It was fine with me, but nevertheless - rude.

Note: Our Marbrisa Resort review is based on our experience with the other Resorts we have vacationed at (primarily Starwood and Marriott Resorts).

Pros:
1. Concierge was quick and efficient.
2. Nice location, beautiful facility.
3. Nice looking rooms with a beautiful view of the pool and partial view of ocean.
4. Easy access to Legoland.
5. Clean resort, nice new pool chairs.
6. Love the hammocks!
7. Elevators to 2nd and 3rd floor.


Cons:
1. Could not give us a refund for the second room we didn't need.
2. There were pieces of blue tape all over the kitchen, bathroom and dining area.
3. There were dried cement on kitchen tile, sticky tape marks all over entry and bathroom and kitchen floor was not clean.
4. After taking a shower, you will continue to hear an echoing drip sound coming from the shower drain for the next 5-15 mins? That was rather annoying.
5.. The gate entrance to the pool was always flooded due to poor drainage or design flaw. That was dreadful.
6. No pool service?
7. No fireplace in unit - no biggie, but nice to have.
8. No washer/dryer in unit.
9. No towel ring for the 2nd sink (no big deal, but strange I had to walk over to my husband's sink to dry my hands).
10. No patio chairs to sit or hang wet bathing suits (since no dryer...) railing was very dusty.
11. No fan in the bedroom. Either too hot at night, or have the cold air blasting in your face. If open the door on balcony, you can hear people chatting and laughing by the pool even past midnight.
11. Living room sofa is too firm, not comfy. Pretty though.
12. Not enough Kitchen counter space.
13. No wine opener. Had to make 2 requests (waited almost an hour) to get one. Then the very nice/helpful lady who finally showed up kept calling me a "sweetie" at least 6-7 times. Maybe Marbrisa/or Hilton should train their employees not to call owners or possible owners of the Resort "Sweetie". I know she was being nice, but seriously....I am not a child. It was a little demeaning.
14. Soundproofing needs improving.
15. Aside for the hammocks, my 3 kids (3-9yrs) were pretty bored there.
16. I'm spoiled, but no down pillows :-(

Honestly, the overall stay was not terrible. It was comfortable for 3 days as the resort was pretty empty. I hope the developers for Marbrisa/Hilton will consider making some changes on the new units based on this review. Several owners in the hot tub we met all agreed that this facility doesn't meet up to the quality you would expect with a Hilton built, a Marriott or a Westin resort quality. This place sort of have a higher end motel feel to it.

Room Tip: Pick a 3rd floor room far from the hot tub. It can stay noisy past midnight.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paradise03Carlsbad, General Manager at Hilton Grand Vacations Club at MarBrisa, responded to this review, February 3, 2013
Hi Jebrass,
Thank you for reviewing Hilton Grand Vacations Club at MarBrisa. We greatly appreciate your feedback regarding your most recent visit. We will certainly pass along your comments to our respective teams to enhance the vacation experience of others staying at the resort. Your detailed feedback will be put to work. We look forward to welcoming you to MarBrisa on your next trip to Carlsbad and fully exceeding your xpectations.
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Ames, Iowa
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2013

MarBrisa is always a wonderful experience.I have stayed here many times as I am an owner and have always found it a great place! Service is great and all the extra amenities give it that five star feel. Moreover, many of my family members and friends have benefitted from my ownership and have stayed here also. We have always enjoyed our experiences here! Hats off to HGVC!!

Room Tip: ask for a room near the pool
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paradise03Carlsbad, General Manager at Hilton Grand Vacations Club at MarBrisa, responded to this review, February 3, 2013
Hi Carolyn H,
We're always delighted to hear from our owners and are so glad you had a wonderful vacation. We look forward to serving you, your family, and friends again in the future!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wichita, Kansas
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2013

We are owners in the Hilton Grand Vacation club and decided to visit the MarBrisa location for a little break from the cold in Kansas. We stayed in a one-bedroom plus and enjoyed every minute of it. We were only a short walk from the lobby, activities center and pool. The concierge was extremely helpful in aiding us in how to spend our time and great places to check out in the area. The room was very clean and we enjoyed the view of the ocean from our balcony. We will definitely be returning here in the future.

Room Tip: Definitely spend a little extra getting a "plus" ocean-view room! The view is worth it!
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paradise03Carlsbad, General Manager at Hilton Grand Vacations Club at MarBrisa, responded to this review, January 30, 2013
Hi Emily H,
We're so thrilled to hear you had an amazing time during your most recent stay with us. Our staff is always making sure our guests are having a great time, we're glad they were able to assist you. We look forward to your return in the future!
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riverside, ca
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2013 via mobile

My family and I stay here quite a bit. We love this resort. The rooms are always clean, pool is nice and warm, and the location is perfect. The staff is very attentive and the kids love the activity center.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Albans, Vermont
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
158 helpful votes 158 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2013

I'm fairly sure we were the first to stay in a villa that was just opened, although there's still a lot more ongoing construction on the property. Both the bed and the couches were hard as rocks, and the lovely tarp and bulldozer view took away from the resort feel. No restaurant on property had us hauling to McDs for breakfast. The time share presentation was notably lacking in high pressure. The staff were exceptionally nice and it was a good location for North of San Diego attractions. The first day we drove North to San Juan Capistrano, no swallows but we saw their cool nests. We returned to the San Diego Botanical Garden a few minutes from the resort. We loved it, but you'd have to be into botany and photography. The second day we went to La Jolla Cove, the underrated must-see attraction of the trip. There were sea lions and seals everywhere on the beach, and I could have watched them frolic all day. We hit the Birch aquarium which would have been an overpriced dud except for a terrific collection of seahorses. Where else can you buy seahorse socks? Then, off to Torrey Pines. Nice hiking and views but no whales seen from the cliffs and the wind nearly blew me to the bottom. So, lots of good nearby attractions and a practical home base, but little else.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paradise03Carlsbad, General Manager at Hilton Grand Vacations Club at MarBrisa, responded to this review, January 30, 2013
Hi PLUMBO,
Thank you for reviewing Hilton Grand Vacations Club at MarBrisa. We're so grateful to learn of your most recent stay with us and are glad you had a wonderful time exploring many of the surrounding areas. We hope to welcome you back again in the future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenix, Arizona
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013

Check in was a little slow since the entire property was not finished but nothing too terrible. Our room was located on the top floor. There is no elevator on the building we were in. The laundry room was located 2 floors below us, so that was a little disappointing.
The 2bdrm 2 ba unit we had some nice amenities. The main bedroom had a really nice bed and bath set up. The second bedroom had a full size bed and twin bed. There is 2 balconies and enjoyed the sunrise every morning.
Parking can be a bit of a challenge as it is limited. However, they were accommodating and allowed for 2 cars to be parked there with no extra fees.
At the present time there is no restaurant service, one has to go next door to the Sheraton.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paradise03Carlsbad, General Manager at Hilton Grand Vacations Club at MarBrisa, responded to this review, January 30, 2013
Hi BudgetTraveler81,
Thank you for reviewing Hilton Grand Vacations Club at MarBrisa. We hope you had a wonderful time with us and are glad to know you enjoyed the amenities provided in your suite. We look forward to welcoming you back again in the future!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hilton Grand Vacations Club at MarBrisa

Address: 5500 Grand Pacific, Carlsbad, CA 92008
Location: United States > California > Carlsbad
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Green Hotel in Carlsbad
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Carlsbad
#19 Romantic Hotel in Carlsbad
#25 Family Hotel in Carlsbad
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hilton Grand Vacations Club at MarBrisa 3.5*
Number of rooms: 128
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Also Known As:
Hilton Grand Vacations Club At Marbrisa Hotel Carlsbad

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