We stayed for two weeks in two different units at the Welk Resort in January, 2014. We are Marriott owners and had never stayed at a Welk Resort. We were pleasantly surprised by the resort, the units and the offerings they have. In both units we stayed in, the views from our patio/balcony were very nice. We were in the Volare building and our view included a lawn area, the catch and release fishing lake, the golf course, the mountain area with its rocky outcrops and lots of palm trees.
The first week we were in a downstairs unit. We always prefer the highest units but they could not provide us one for the first week. We had children upstairs happily running around in the unit fortunately only for the weekend. That’s why we request top floors in the first place.
We then changed to an upper floor, making our 2nd week annoyance free. The upper unit had cathedral ceilings and seemed much more spacious and light-filled. The view was better too. We also liked that both bathrooms had double sinks and were completely private baths with no doors entering into the living area.
In the Welk Resort, there are 5 living and recreation areas: Boulder Springs, Broadway, Melody Hill, Harmony Hill, and Mountain Villas. Each of these has its own recreation center and pool with lots of activities going on around the resort throughout the day. All resort guests have access to all these areas and activities. Many of the resort activities are free to participants. Some reviewers complain about activities costing extra but guests can’t really expect Welk Resort to foot the cost of all materials included in the activities such as the food items, craft making supplies etc. If the resort were only offering one activity a day, it would probably cover that cost but with 10-15 activities going on all day, those material costs would soon add up and have to be passed on to timeshare owners in their maintenance fees. A nominal fee for participation is reasonable.
It's a secluded resort with the nearest grocery store about 5 miles away. However, there is a small market onsite for immediate needs. In the true Lawrence Welk tradition of entertainment, the resort also has an active live theatre onsite featuring top Broadway-style shows. Cole Porter’s “Anything Goes” was playing during our stay. A weekly farmers market offers crafts, fresh foods, dinner options etc. There is also an event center for large gatherings. The resort grounds are well kept with lots of greenery and a golf course. The hills surrounding the resort are full of rocks and boulders (much like Joshua Tree National Park) and are ruggedly beautiful. It is right off of Highway 15 whose buzz you can definitely hear especially at bedtime when all else is quiet. No problem for most. But, if you are a light sleeper and focus on noise, then you may want to bring earplugs. As light sleepers, we always pack earplugs just in case. The good news is that freeway access to all attractions is close by.
We have read the reviews critical about cleanliness etc. We found the units generally clean with only the usual wear and tear. They were quite large and completely adequate for our needs. These are upscale timeshare units. We did not expect them to be luxury hotel accommodations. Perhaps a complete “Spring cleaning” of the units on a more stepped up schedule would satisfy some other critics. But, honestly, you really have to be picky to expect perfection. The nearby Ducane BBQ’s work great, cranking quickly up to 600+ degrees, far superior to the usual timeshare outdoor cooking equipment.
The resort is within 30 minutes of beaches, mountains, wineries, 2 California Missions, a safari park, Lego land, casinos, and San Diego etc. For example, we drove to Palomar Mountain to see the observatory, visited the 2 California Missions (San Luis Rey Mission and Pala Mission) and drove over to the coast (Oceanside, Carlsbad etc). We are hikers. So, with all the mountains around we were disappointed not to be able to go hiking right out from the resort. Welk Resort could perhaps extend its very short nature walk with a switch-backing trail up to the top of its easement hill behind the Administrative Office building. However, within about 10 minutes of the resort on Cougar Pass Road, we hiked the 5 mile Englemann Loop of the Daley Ranch. There are other trails that extend another 10-12 miles. There are other hikes within 20+ minutes of the resort.
We wanted a quiet getaway so going there off season was great. On the weekends there are lots of families with children increasing the hustle and bustle. The Melody Hill Recreation Center is for those over 18 and includes a “serenity” pool and fitness center for “adults only”. However, during the week, Welk Resort is a quiet off season getaway and very peaceful.
In brief, we had a good time at Welk Resort in Escondido. We found the staff to be professional, friendly and helpful (“Joshlyn” comes quickly to mind). As one would expect, there are sales staff who sign you up for timeshare presentations with $100 Welk vouchers while giving you your parking pass. A day or two later, we returned the vouchers to the concierge and cancelled our timeshare tour. They only called us back once with a bit more enticement which we again declined. The sales staff was simply and politely doing its job and was not pushy or intrusive as some other reviewers allege. And the 4PM Check-in and 10AM Check-out is pretty much standard, as regular timeshare guests realize.
In its continuing maintenance and development planning, the Welk Resort(s) would do well to include a much larger full service fitness center with a major up-grade to the weight lifting and cardio equipment. The present situation is inadequate. Contemporary seniors and younger generations are active and health conscious and expect far more up-to-date fitness facilities.
We would definitely recommend the place for families with children (as they have lots of pools and activities). We would also recommend it for retirees during off season, family reunions etc.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welk Resort San Diego is a Southern California vacation all suite/villa destination Resort and Water Park offering couples and families the ultimate San Diego getaway experience. Just minutes from world famous destinations San Diego Zoo's Safari Park (20 minutes), LEGOLAND (25 minutes), San Diego Zoo (40 minutes), San Diego Gaslamp District (35 minutes), SeaWorld (40 minutes) Temecula wineries, area casinos, and some of the most beautiful beaches (30 minutes) in the world! Welk Resorts offers luxurious and spacious one and two bedroom villa suites, with panoramic views of golf courses or surrounding mountains. Villas include sitting and dining areas, complete kitchens with full cookware and dishware, patios or balconies, and complimentary WiFi access. Parking is complimentary and there are no resort fees. Guests will experience casual dining at Canyon Grille restaurant or Pizza Hut Express, fun in the sun at Five Clubhouses featuring one colossal pool and seven large pools & 8 spas, two water slides, two kids' splash pads and playgrounds, table games, catch and release fishing pond, hourly planned activities for all age groups, new for 2016 state of the art fitness center, lighted tennis courts, and a relaxing round of golf on one of two 18 hole golf courses. The Welk Resort Theatre is home to top-notch talent performing Broadway style musicals and starring in comedy and variety shows, including tribute bands. During the Summer are music festivals at the Welk Amphitheatre on the Greens. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Welk Resort San Diego Hotel Escondido
- Welk Hotel Escondido
- Welk Resort Escondido
- Welk Hotel San Diego