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Welk Resort San Diego
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Reviewed May 24, 2013

My family and I were delighted with our 4-day stay here. We are Southern California natives, and I have always noticed this resort from Interstate-15 going south to San Diego, but I assumed it was some sort of retirement home, or a resort intended for golf enthusiasts. I was surprised by how nice the resort is laid out and how family friendly it is.

We took advantage of the swimming pools and taking walks around the resort which is immaculate and safe. Some of the pools and facilities (fitness center, sauna) are adult only, which is good if you want to get away from screaming kids.

The suite where we stayed was clean, well-appointed, spacious, and comfortable. The resort is like a small town with shops, restaurants, and a theater. The staff are very courteous and helpful.

My only complaint is that I unfortunately agreed to attend a sales presentation. I was told that it would be only 90 minutes, but it was more like 2-1/2 hours. The sales staff were friendly and did not use high-pressure tactics, but when we decided not to make a purchase, the staff was very cold and tossed us aside like refuse. It did not make us feel very welcome.

So, I would recommend this resort if you want a centralized, safe, and pleasant location with access to attractions in San Diego and Orange County. Just don't agree to the sales presentation, unless you really want to be an owner in Welk Resorts.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Nancy_Hubby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hutch F, Director of Consumer Affairs at Welk Resort San Diego, responded to this reviewResponded May 31, 2013

I appreciate you taking the time to post a review and the highlights and details you provided on the resort location and features. It is great to hear your family enjoyed their stay here at the Welk Resort. I apologize for your experience during your sales tour. That is not the impression we want taken away from a tour experience here at Welk. We look forward to you visiting us again.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 23, 2013

We were in California with our daughter and family for a Lego Robotics Tournament at Lego Land in Carlsbad in which our grandson was competing. We made an exchange through Interval International. We were disappointed we could not get an exchange to Carlsbad or Oceanside, but in the end, everyone was very happy with Welk Resort. We exchanged a two-bedroom unit at the base of a ski area and were certain we could not get anything as nice as our unit, but were pleasantly surprised. The unit was beautiful, well furnished, well equipped, and located on the golf course. It had a large patio with table, chairs, and lounge chairs, on which we spent many hours just sitting and enjoying the scenery.

The staff were all friendly and helpful. Even thought the reservation was an exchange through II, I called the resort several times before we went and they were always courteous and had the answers to my questions. We made several requests to housekeeping and maintenance and they were taken care of immediately. We tried three of the pools and all were wonderful. The men enjoyed the free golf lessons and a couple of rounds of golf. We especially enjoyed the Farmers Market on Monday and stocked up with bread, fruits, and vegetables for the week. There are plenty of activities, however, we did not take advantage of many because we wanted to see San Diego and then were at the Lego Tournament. It was just about a 1/2 hour to 45 minute drive to San Diego.

Our only problem was that in Harmony Hill the noise from the interstate highway was annoying at times.

Room Tip: Units in Harmony Hill are close to an interstate highway and it can be noisy on the patio or balcony.
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with family
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Thank boatingnana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hutch F, Director of Consumer Affairs at Welk Resort San Diego, responded to this reviewResponded May 31, 2013

I appreciate you taking the time to post a review and the highlights and details provided on the resort activities and features. It is great to hear your family enjoyed their exchange visit and resort amenities here at the Welk Resorts. The robotics tournament is one of the many great things to do in the area. We look forward to you visiting us again.

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Reviewed May 20, 2013

UK visitors. Stayed April 12-19 .We exchanged a timeshare week through Interval I .
One bed unit ground floor was very small at Villas on the Green and very close to all neighbours.
18 hole Golf course poor value....far better in the area
Believe unit may have been refurbished as we did ask to change but alternative was even more outdated , so stayed with the original. Heard that new units were much better in other parts of resort but II exchanges only happened in Villas on the Green , so beware... II members.
One of the worst exchanges we have had in 15 years .
Final point ....international call charges (back to UK ) from the room were outrageous / obscene / disgraceful.
Approx $9 PER MINUTE. When I complained on leaving and asked to see the Manager , she shrugged her shoulders , showed me a photocopied document which she said was in the room...........it wasn't.!! It said $4 / min plus ATT charge PLUS 30% What a RIP-OFF
Would never entertain this Resort again nor any of their others if this is their norm.

Room Tip: Ignore the offers from the Concierge to go on a Tour Visit
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank hibiscus2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hutch F, Director of Consumer Affairs at Welk Resort San Diego, responded to this reviewResponded June 4, 2013

I apologize for the inconvenience you experienced and thank you for bringing this to our attention for correction. I would appreciate it If you could respond to me directly with your reservation number or full name. That information will help me investigate this matter effectively. Please reach out to me at hutch.farrell@welkgroup.com Thank you

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 13, 2013

Most important in my review is that the sofabed for our kids was HORRENDOUS. The mattress literally dipped on either side of the crossbar. I felt bad having them sleep on it for two nights; I cannot imagine staying at this place for a week. I had tried to cancel our booking before we went after reading bad reviews but had missed the cutoff date for my booking through Expedia. Luckily it was only a two-night stay as we were in the area for a friend's birthday so it went quickly. Here are our top ten highlights/lowlights of our stay:

1) My sunglasses were stolen at check in. Yes, that's right. Don't worry about the guests at the resort, it's the staff you should keep your eye on. I called reception literally as soon as we got to our room when I realized I left them there. My fault, I know, but the front desk/lobby area was EMPTY so suspect it was a staff member who found my very expensive sunglasses I've owed for two years on the counter and kept them. My husband found this very annoying so inquired several times over the course of our stay but to no avail.

2) We get to our room and find ants in the kitchen area AND in the bathroom crawling on the wall by the mirror. Ants don't bug us :-) and we weren't surprised because other reviewers had mentioned them but it's still gross that they have not gotten rid of them.

3) Bathroom and the bedroom are fine, well sized and comfortable. The bathroom is well presented, great sliding door and bath/shower, and the bed is comfortable.

4) The sofabed for kids, as mentioned above, is a joke. We've stayed in many resorts with this sofabed option and this is the first time my kids complained. They wanted to sleep in the car.

5) Living area is super cramped. I had to stand on the sofabed to close the curtains as there no room to stand behind the sofa. As I mentioned, ants were already crawling around when we got there. We kept all food (milk, cereal and fruit) in the fridge. The sofabed is literally two feet from the kitchen area so it felt like my kids were sleeping in a kitchen, very weird and not something we've found at any other one-bedroom resort options.

6) The staff were nice but couldn't care less about service or security. I asked several staff where the kids club was, none of them knew. (It's at "Harmony" I learned but my kids took one look and said no thanks). I called to report a suspicious looking guy lurking around a door to villas next to ours that was propped open with the door mat (very suspect, he literally jumped when my daughters and I turned the corner to get something from our room). The front desk staff person told me HE DIDN'T HAVE TIME to report it to security and transferred me to a ringing line to security that no one answered.

7) The construction and fixtures of the Mountain Spring villas and pool area are very cheap and unsuitable. The stairs going up to our villa were filthy and looked like cheap stucco that doesn't come clean. We saw several ADULTS slip in the pool area (one guy literally slipped into the pool and very narrowly missed banging his head on the stairs) because it was finished/covered in a material that was not only burning hot from the sun but very slippery when wet. The lounge chairs also became burning hot in the sun as the arms are metal; my five year old burnt her arm when she put it on the arm rest for an instant.

8) The waterslide is no big deal; it does not empty into the pool so no big splash and has a very slow moving line, even the five year old found it boring. The young staff around the pool are nice enough but have no idea what's going on with activities in other areas. I also found it odd that the staff person acting as lifeguard by the pool was obese and fully clothed. Much to my kid's disappointment, the pool is only about 4 ft at the deepest point but nevertheless, there were a lot of young kids there and this lifeguard seemed totally unfit for the purpose of his role should any emergency happen.

9) Cell phone reception is terrible/non-existent.

10) This place seems set up just to sell time-shares -- the tours were non stop all day. It seems they have taken note of the bad reviews and we were not at all pressured to do one. Or maybe the staff have just done so many, they took one look at us and knew we would not cave to the pressure or freebies. It was horrendous enough just to watch the constant stream of tours, I can't imagine it was worth whatever free tickets or dinner they give away.

It's kind of a shame they've done such cheap cramped construction and wreck with with the nonstop timeshare tours. I can imagine if you get an older villa that has been renovated/updated and you have some space and comfortable sleeping arrangements for your kids, then this could be a nice place to stay as the grounds are pretty and well maintained. We were planning to come again for a longer stay as our kids like to golf and fish after this short visit but will not be back. We did not try the food as the hotel restaurant did not look appetizing at all and Pizza Hut is our least favorite pizza (inedible) though our babysitters did order it.

Room Tip: The newer rooms by the Mountain Spring pool are very cramped for families but if you don't have kids, you may not want to be surrounded by them.
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank SFKAT3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 8, 2013

We enjoyed our stay at Welk Resort in Escondido.

The resort is very nice. It is up to date and everything was in good shape. Our room was on the golf course and we enjoyed the room.

Although we didn't use the pool area, we visited it iand are sure our grandkids would have loved it. It had a long waterslide and both a 3' pool for the kids and a regular pool for the older ones. They also have an adults-only (18 and over) pool on the grounds for people that don't want to deal with kids.

Now the things we didn't like. Who ever designed the place, didn't provide anywhere enough parking at the rooms. We had to park at the pool area EVERY day we were there. Although it's not a big deal, it was a pain in a low place aftre a full day of sightseeing and when checking in and out. I can't imagine why they wouldn't have provided more parking for a resort in such a rural setting.

Speaking of the rural setting, that ws another downfall. It is essentailly 25 miles form anywhere. I suppose that isn't a problem if you are going for just rest and relaxation, but we were constantly in the car for a 45 minute drive from all the tourist attractions (San Diego Zoo, Midway Aircraft Carrier, Gaslamp Village, Balboa Park, Petco Field, etc.).

The other problem has been well documented in other reviews; noise from rooms above. We were very lucky that the people above us were older, like us, and made very little noise, but we heard every time they moved a kitchen chair or walked with hard soled shoes. We tolerated it, but one of our "neighbors" asked to be moved, because they couldn't tolerate the noise from the family with kids above them. I can't believe the lack of sound deadening materials in a resort as nice as this.

All-in-all, I would rate this resort average, but I would probably stay there again.

Room Tip: Stay in an upstairs room.
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank CCS55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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