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Thread: Marbrisa Update, July 2013

  1. #1
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    Marbrisa Update, July 2013

    Just spent a couple days at Marbrisa on Open Season. There are now 3 construction areas. I was told that there will be buildings going all the way around the new pool area. At the moment, there is only one building complete there. Check in is still in the old building. I asked about renting a cabana and they were unsure of what to do. They said last they knew, it was a commitment to spend $100. at the pool bar/food place to reserve the cabana, but that it was run by the Sheraton. Since I knew we would spend that much eating lunch and dinner there, I told her we wanted it. She called me later and said it was reserved for me and that $100. food charge was still the same.

    We arrived Friday evening pre "special event" at the Sheraton next door. The parking lot was crazy and there were valets, parking attendants and security all over the place. Checking in was great. We had the sweetest young lady at the front desk. She said that the chaos outside was for the Switchfoot concert on the lawn right next to where we were. I was surprised that Switchfoot would play such a small venue, but it was a fundraiser and then I remembered that Switchfoot were surfers from Carlsbad. So, they were probably very comfortable performing outside at a hotel right there in their hometown.

    We got our pool wristbands from the concierge. I must mention that we were the only people who had wristbands at the pool and the gate is not locked going into the pool. I don't think they are very concerned with wristbands, even though they give them out. She also gave us coupons for dining out. I saved them because I do enjoy Carlsbad as often as I can. The concierge was also very friendly and she didn't push an update. She said that she could tell that we have visited there a number of times before and asked if we know about all the new stuff going into phase 2. Then, she said based on where our room was, we could put our patio chairs outside in front of the front doors and enjoy the concert for free. I was really into either doing that or trying to buy tickets for the event, but my husband didn't seem interested and I didn't push it. We tend to wander around when we go places and find stuff to do. Although, had I known about the concert ahead of time, I probably would have bought tickets online.

    We put stuff in our room and then walked around. I mentioned buying tickets for the concert and my husband didn't say anything he kept walking past it, so I took that as a no. I love rock concerts. He doesn't, but has suffered through a number of them for me in the past. I think we are past that part of our lives now. We walked all the way over to the new pool area. We got to the pool bar at 7:30pm and the bartender told us that they close at 8:00pm. I ordered a turkey burger and fries and we had a couple drinks, sat by the fire and played a round of pool. At 8:00pm, a Disney movie was being shown on a large screen and it was loud. The area is huge, but there are speakers all around it. The good news is that you could see and hear the movie from far away. The bad news it was hard to have a conversation.

    WHen we were walking back, the concert was going. We watched for a song on the other side of the bushes like peeping toms. It was a very small venue and it wasn't close to being too crowded. The sound system was great. They sounded excellent. We walked back to our room and I moved my patio chair to the front so I could listen some more. There were only a couple more songs but it was very nice.

    BTW, our room was right behind the car rollercoaster at Legoland. We were really into it when we first checked in. We tired of hearing the screams after a while, though.

  2. #2
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    Cabana day on Saturday! It looked like there were only 2 cabanas and we were told that we could pick which one we wanted. The bartender was the same as the night before and he was going to be our waiter all day. I asked my husband if he left a good tip the night before and he said yes. I knew we'd have good service after that.

    Gloom day. The sun didn't come out until 5pm and we started cabana day at 11am. It had a chaise lounger, which I lived on for the day and 2 cushion chairs and table. It had a TV and music piped in, which we turned all the way down. Oh, and we turned off the ceiling fan because it wasn't needed. It had an electrical outlet and a place to plug in an ethernet cable. We ordered food at the bar and bartender said he would be checking on us throughout the day and we didn't need to do anything. I swear he checked on us every 30 minutes. I told him that he didn't need to keep coming over there. He was the only bartender on duty and we are capable of walking. He insisted on checking on us again and again. It was very nice, but I actually feel kind of weird getting that much tending to.

    To sum our consumption for the day, we had lunch and iced tea. Then, some margaritas. Later, had some dinner and a soda. We did get our bill to the $100. mark that we were supposed to. $60. of our bill was for drinks. I told my husband that we could never have only spent $40. for lunch and dinner anywhere else and we got a free cabana for the day with it. I won't be surprised if the rates go up when they get busier. I tipped 30%, not knowing if that is good enough for such personalized service. At one point, the chef came out to go over all the food items with my husband because he has so many dietary restrictions. Really good service, decent food and decent prices. I asked for a raspberry margarita and he actually smashed up fresh raspberries and made the drink for me even though they have a mix already made up. OMG, it was soooo good. He told us the staff there all work at Twenty/20 grille and they rotate down by the pool. We've had excellent experiences at Twenty/20 in the past. This was consistent.

    That was our first experience with a cabana like that. Even on cruise ships, we've never sat around all day and been waited on. We like to explore. A whole day of lounging around and eating and drinking does get boring after a while. I said I'd like to do that once per year. My husband said we should do it once per quarter. We can compromise and do it twice per year. It was really fun. At the end of the day, we decided we'd rather sleep in our own bed. So, we checked out and went home.

    Not bad financially for what we got. 2 nights in a studio for less than $200. open season cash rate. $100. for lunch and dinner and several margaritas to get a free cabana for the day. We've paid a lot more for a lot less. It was fun and we will do it again sometime.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator chriskre's Avatar
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    I'd say that security there is really lacking and I see nothing has changed since my visit two years ago.
    Why bother with the wrist bands? Maybe they are training for when they have the place fully built.

    And nice about the Cabana.

    Don't you just love open season?

  4. #4
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    This was emailed to me today. Sounds like they are doing a great job.



    MarBrisa Gets a Top Score...96.21% in Quality Assurance Audit!

    In a surprise audit by a Hilton Quality Assurance Auditor your resort team came out on top with a score of 96.21%! Out of a possible 4,000 points, MarBrisa only forfeited 151.60 points!

    MarBrisa living room

    MarBrisa construction

    MarBrisa construction

    MarBrisa construction

    MarBrisa passenger shuttle
    Staff is not aware an audit is taking place until noon the day before. On the day of the audit, department managers meet with the auditor for an extensive 6-8 hour process. A review is done of nearly a dozen binders that track preventative maintenance projects, safety initiatives, deep cleaning schedules and service logs. All public areas are inspected and their conditions documented with over 150 photos.

    Last, the auditor is given a list of all vacant units, clean, dirty and under maintenance. He selects a dozen units and does a thorough audit on the cleanliness and condition of the units. We are proud of the MarBrisa team for all their hard work that enabled us to achieve this impressive score!

    Construction Moves Forward

    Lobby
    The underground section of our future lobby is quickly taking shape. This area will substantially expand storage space for the property. It will also house the facilities, housekeeping and staff areas. The three-story lobby is expected to be operational by mid to late 2014.

    Phase 2 Villa
    You can expect to see the newest villa's completion soon! The underground work is complete, and any day now the footings will be poured. The additional 12 units are on schedule to open in late spring 2014.

    Keeping up our High Quality - Sofas and Arm Chairs Replaced
    We often receive feedback on the quality of the furniture in our units. We are dedicated to maintaining the high quality that is expected. This is accomplished by replacing items before they look like they need to be replaced. This month we installed new sofa sleepers and arm chairs in the 32 units that were the first to open at MarBrisa.

    Getting Around the Resort is Now Easier
    As part of our expansion, a passenger shuttle was added to our fleet of golf carts! The addition of the shuttle adds another way for you to visit our multiple pools and recreation areas. Just contact the front desk to arrange the service which will be available during peak periods. It will be fully incorporated in our operations in 2014.

    Summer is beautiful in Carlsbad. We hope you'll visit soon to enjoy all we have to offer!

  5. #5
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    Since we are doing the staycation and today is Thursday. The GF and I might have to head up there for Tapas night tonight.

    Always delicious.

  6. #6
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    ***Another update August 2013***

    Weird towel rule in place for the pools now. Towels are in the room, based on occupancy. You have to take it to the pools and then back to your room. If a towel is missing, they will charge you $25.00.

    Meanwhile, there are still towels at the pool for Sheraton guests. Last month, they were out in the open, but because Hilton doesn't want their guests to use them, the bartender has to keep the towels out of sight. If you go to the bartender and ask for a towel, he has to ask you where you are staying. If you say Marbrisa, he has to tell you that your towel is in your room. FYI, the bartenders hate having to do that. I asked him if we could just lie and say we are staying at the Sheraton and he said yes.

    The pools are so far away from the rooms. It is very asinine to require to people to carry towels back and forth.

  7. #7
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    Perhaps it's to prevent us locals from renting a Studio and then bringing 12 of our friends.

    Thanks for the "tip." ;-)

    Had a fun evening with Cali Dave there last week. The new pool really looks great.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by buzglyd View Post
    Perhaps it's to prevent us locals from renting a Studio and then bringing 12 of our friends.
    It could be partially to deter day users. When I was there in July, there were several families there with coolers and lots of pool toys. Didn't seem normal for someone staying in a hotel.
    Yesterday was the first time I've ever seen the door locked to the pool area. Although, I wouldn't be surprised if day users could go to Twenty/20 and tell them they want to eat and drink at the Cove bar. They need to make money there and I can't imagine them turning anyone away.

  9. #9
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    Under the current HGVC contract there isn't day use. The original MarBrisa units had day use when it was being sold by Grand Pacific. It would be pretty darn easy to sneak in though since it's so far away.

    When La Costa resort remodeled and opened its new pools, I used to take my son down and see plenty of locals. We would get some towels and order some food and no one said a word.

    Going rogue!

  10. #10
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    Marbrisa Update Sept 2013


    MarBrisa Villa 69

    MarBrisa lobby construction

    MarBrisa Welcome Fest

    MarBrisa Welcome Fest

    MarBrisa Welcome Fest

    MarBrisa trellis construction
    Construction Quickly Moves Ahead!

    Villa 69 has been going up at an impressive speed; just a few weeks ago it was a slab of concrete and now the details of the structure are becoming apparent. We expect to have it completed and ready for guests in the spring of 2014.

    We are most excited to welcome Owners and Guests in the summer of 2014 into our new Lobby and Sales Center. Owners and Guests will be welcomed through a porte-cochère and into a grand, two-story vaulted main lobby. The building will provide ample space to house the Sales, Front Desk, Maintenance, and Housekeeping teams. Both Owners and staff alike are excited for the completion of this new expansive resort feature.

    Also expected to be completed on the heels of Villa 69 and the new Lobby/Sales Center is Villa 58. It, and all the other future villas around The Cove, will have an elevator, and provide washers and dryers inside the one-bedroom units.

    Welcome Fest is a Fun Way to Get to Know Your Resort!
    Every Sunday from 2-6 p.m., we host a Welcome Fest on our Sunset Lawn. This family-oriented event includes activities to entertain all ages: a bounce house jumper, carnival games, local vendors, popcorn, cookies, and beverages. Live music performed by our talented staff rounds out the festivities.

    The Welcome Fest is also a great opportunity for Owners and Guests to become oriented to the resort, meet the staff, and find out about events and services available to them during their stay.

    Owners and Guests who have just checked in or are looking to socialize are encouraged to attend so that our MarBrisa team can get to know them and do our best to help them have an extremely satisfying stay.

    More Improvements and Additions
    You may recall that soft goods were recently replaced in Villas 54 & 56 last quarter. Since that time, a few additional initiatives are underway, some of which have already been completed.

    The railing and trellis in villas 54 & 56, the Activity Center, and Sunset Pool are currently in the process of being repainted. This will ensure the maximum life of these building components is achieved.

    A new plaster coat at the Sunset Pool will occur in September following the popular summer season.

    In the units, based on Owner and Guest feedback, new decorative pieces will be added to compliment the design, make up mirrors will be in every bathroom and luggage racks are now included in each closet.

    MarBrisa in Positive Financial Position
    A close eye continues to be kept on working efficiently to minimize spending. Despite reduced collection of anticipated income, the resort is at a positive $33K net performance as of July 31st. This positive financial position is slated to extend through 2013.

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