We were invited to one of Club La Costa’s (CLC) marketing centres in the UK just over 1 year ago, where they tried to “sell the dream” to us, the sales pitch was extremely sophisticated and pushy. Even if you are seriously interested in buying a timeshare I would strongly advise you to resist signing on the day, visit the resort and more importantly do you own research.
We were sent options to choose time and dates to visit a resort of our choice, you should get the dates you requested but invariably you will be sent to Marina del Sol, Spain where they have a purpose built marketing centre and over 90 salesmen to welcome you!
The first shock is the sheer size of the Costa La Club’s complex; this is not the usual holiday village, it is expanding into a small city! The apartment was fine, fully equipped, AirCon, electric oven, microwave, English TV channels, DVD, CD player, washing machine, hairdryer etc. I would give it 4 stars.
The bottom line is basically £15,000 for a lifetime’s membership with a £475 annual service charge. So if you spread that over 20 year holidaying, that is £1225 per year and you have to pay for your flights and food on top. That is expensive.
My first major concern is that CLC used to sell fixed weeks in its timeshares, (a finite number) but to give “more flexibility and opportunities” to its clients your membership now entitles you to any week you like. Potentially that now leaves the door wide open for CLC to sell as many timeshare weeks as it can.
The special deal for signing up on the day was £6,500 for 10 weeks of holiday to be taken over 5 years, which is roughly £650 per holiday apartment week. Since the financial crises holiday prices have dropped substantially; a one-bed apartment of a higher standard than CLC’s we rented in Cyprus last May (2008) cost us £250 a week, this year it has been reduced to £150 a week in May 2009.
To really benefit from CLC membership you need to take extra weeks and these, we were informed, are all only £99 each! Any date you like, plus you could choose a 1, 2 or 3 bedroom apartment at no extra cost apart from the £99. I double-checked this with the salesman who assured me this was correct. Seeking out existing CLC members later that week, to find out theirexperiences was quite a revelation; there are not just 1 or 2 bed apartment prices, but bronze ones, silver ones, gold ones, diamond ones and the list goes on and they all cost extra money. And a week in July can cost 5 times more than a week in January.
We also found members selling cheap Club La Costa apartments on Ebay! This is within the rules of CLC, so why bother joining? All you need to do is contact an existing member who can sell on his weeks and obtain any extra weeks for you.
They have an affiliation with RCI where time-shares weeks can be swapped for an extra £125 fee (Europe) £165 (Worldwide). We talked to an existing member who warned us that for a popular resort they wanted to visit the waiting list was over 2 years long.
Is this for you? In my opinion, if money is not an option and you like to visit the same sort of property every year so you know exactly what you are going to get no matter where in the world, then this might suit. But I would still be concerned about joining an expensive club where you have no voting rights and no idea of their financial position; at least my local golf club gives me these rights.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- ISO 9001:2008 Certified by BSI (Resort Management services) ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Club La Costa At Sierra Marina Hotel Mijas
- Club La Costa At Sierra Marina Spain/Mijas, Costa Del Sol