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Santa Cruz Suites – CLC World Resorts Reviews
Our team here at Mercantile Claims are always on hand to help you with any issues, concerns or questions you have regarding your timeshare contract. Below is a selection of reviews received from existing Santa Cruz Suites visitors. If you have a more specific question please contact our team of experts and we will respond with an answer as soon as possible.
Marina Park Apartments
This review is for the Marina Park part of the hotel only not the Santa Cruz Suites or the other parts of the resort. I think the better reviews of Club La Costa are not from the Marina Park area as it was very tired and dated. We visited the Santa Cruz suite for a meal one night (your not allowed to use the pool facilities there which were much better than ours!), we went to the Safari restaurant which was very good. Had we stayed in this part of the hotel I would expect I would have given 3-4 stars however the Marina Park gets 2!
The area the hotel is in is good if you have a car or don’t mind getting a taxi everywhere or just want to stay in the resort. The hotel itself was clean and tidy which is the minimum you expect when travelling, the staff were very friendly and helpful. As a budget holiday in the Costa Del Sol, it’s fine but it is not a luxurious hotel, at least not the Marina Park part of the hotel which we stayed in.
We travelled as a group of 3 couples, we had a two bed apartment and a 1 bedroom apartment, we had requested to be close to each other, the best they could do was a 5 minute walk up a hill but that wasn’t an issue for us. We had also requested a non smoking room but the people either side of us in both apartments were heavy smokers sitting on their balconies so we still had the smell of smoke coming into the apartments. The walls were paper thin so we could here every movement from neighbour apartments which didn’t help for a good night sleep when the neighbours are up late and awake early, the beds aren’t that comfy anyway.
The room decoration is old and in desperate need of a refurbishment, it looks like it was last decorated in the 1980’s and has been stuck there ever since. We were lucky with our 1 bed apartment that we had air con, in the two bed apartment there wasn’t any air con which is something you would expect in the Costa Del Sol. The bedroom and living areas were small, the kitchens were tiny, floor tiles were old and marked. We also had a washing machine in our bathroom as the apartments were too small to fit them elsewhere.
The resort grounds were OK, gardens were maintained, the pool areas were nothing flash but were clean and tidy, we were there out of season, I would imagine in the summer it would be quite cramped and a struggle to get sunbeds. The restaurant and shop food was poor, the Sports bar restaurant was the worst meal we had during our stay, there are so many great restaurants nearby we didn’t give it a second chance. The on site shop and supermarket weren’t up to much either, we had a drive our to the Carrefour Supermarket up the road which was excellent for stocking up for the week. The evening entertainment was great… if you like karaoke and cheesy pub singers! It was very dated and I feel sorry for the nearby apartments that had to endure it until after 11 in the evening. I also felt that we got charged for things that I would expect to be free such as using the safe in the room and towels for the pool.
There is a beach next to the hotel accessed by a subway underneath a busy dual carriageway, neither of our apartments suffered any road noise though which I was pleased about. It would take about 20-40 minutes to walk into town to the restaurants depending on where you want to go. There are many good restaurants in nearby town La Cala De Mijas, it’s a nice place to visit on an evening. It’s about a half hour drive from the airport, an hour to Gibraltar and Rhonda which are both good days out. Mijas was about a 15-20 minute drive, it’s about 25 mins to Benalmadena and about 35 mins to Marbella and Puerto Banus. These are all places we like to visit so location wise it was good for us as we like to go out driving.
Overall the hotel is fine, I felt it was just below average though from where it claims to be. We have stayed in much nicer hotels on the Costa Del Sol at similar prices, I wouldn’t stay in the Marina Park part of the hotel but I would try the Santa Cruz Suites.
Club La Costa Lot
We were invited in March 2014 to this resort by Club La Costa for a small fee of £99 for a one week duration stay. The only condition was that during our stay, we attended a meeting either in the morning or the afternoon. (The meeting actually went on from 9.15 am to 2.30pm).
We were informed prior to arriving for our vacation, that we would be staying in a house style property in the Marina Del Sol area of the complex. Wrong! We were put in a ground floor apartment at the California Beach Resort, which was at the other end of the complex. We then had to travel by taxi from one end of the complex to the other. The taxi driver, aged about 65-70, drove like a stock car driver around all the bends, dodging in and out of other vehicles including the complex’s own noddy train, to arrive at the CBR just about in one piece. For this fairground ride, we had to pay 7 euros. It only cost 11 euros to travel to the complex from Fuengirola train station!
The CBR end of the complex is a distance from most of the other amenities on site so is either a long walk up and down and around some hilly areas of the site or via the noddy train which is supposed to be every half hour apart from a break early afternoon and again in the evening.
The train is sometimes replaced by a minibus. The only way to know this is by a little picture of a train stuck on the front window of the bus. The train is very unreliable as we found out on numerous occasions. One particular driver spent more time sat at stops playing games on his mobile phone than actually driving. He had a 20 minute break at Santa Cruz, drove us to Marina Del Sol (10 mins) then had another 20 minute break. We hadn’t even reached our destination so we got off and walked the rest of the way.
The only shop at Santa Cruz is that small you couldn’t swing one of the many complex cats. The only good point about this shop is Sharon. She is a very nice English lady who is very helpful in informing you of anything you may want to know about any local events and to purchase tickets for local shows.
The apartment was very clean and spacious and had everything we needed for the duration of our stay i.e. hairdryer, iron, TV (ancient), DVD player, free safe, etc. The only downside was the double bed. They definitely need to buy some new mattresses. The lawn outside the apartment was two rolls of plastic grass with weeds popping up through it.
The food in the Safari Restaurant near our end of the resort and Zachary’s at the other end of the resort was excellent but a little overpriced. The buffet breakfast at The Safari restaurant was very expensive at 27 euros for two persons. The beer (San Miguel) at Zachary’s was flat on both occasions we visited this bar. Most evenings we either walked into Fuengirola for a meal or drink or walked through the subway to the little restaurant on the beach at the front of the resort.
Now for the meeting itself. We were greeted by Nick who had been trying his hardest to sell holidays for only three months. He was a really nice guy but we weren’t going to be taken in by any of his sales talks.
If he needed assistance he called for his boss, Ross, or Rossi as he liked to be known. He was a young cockney who gave us the impression that he had still not given up his day job in England as a car salesman. They ask you how much do you spend on average each year on holidays and then try to convince you that it would be cheaper to buy “fractions” from CLC and you could then holiday from their resorts all over the world. They don’t take into consideration that you would still have to pay extra for your flights to these destinations or that there is a maintenance cost of £900 per year on top. If you went away for four weeks per year, would you expect to pay an additional £225 per week of your stay for maintenance costs on top of your flights, meals and “fractions”? If you do, then go and see “Rossi”. He may even throw in a free ride on the noddy train.
One week - not our cup of tea
We travelled here on a one-week promotional holiday. We were upgraded upon arrival to the Santa Cruz suites and cannot fault the room it was fantastic. Having seen the rooms that we would have been in had we not been lucky enough to be upgraded we would not have stayed. The resort is extremely isolated on the side of a hill so the resort has you as a captive audience. This is reflected in the price of everything on site, everything is extremely expensive.
Everything is very slick and professional so much so that you soon realise that CLC are going to try and sell you something.
If you like laying around a pool all day and spending a small fortune in restaurants then this is the place for you but there is not much else to do apart from this. It’s a 40 minute walk or €10 taxi to the nearest town. As this is not our idea of a holiday we ended up leaving 2 days early preferring to pay the €175 for flights home than the €300-€400 we would have ended up spending if we had of stayed.
While we were on resort there was a brush fire that swept through the resort. The staff were fantastic and luckily we didn’t have to be evacuated, however, this did play on our minds until we finally decided to leave and come home.
If you are going on a promotional holiday remember that this is exactly what it is.
Disappointed after positive reviews
I travelled in Jan 2013 for two weeks with my two kids and my parents. My parents are members here and used their points so that myself and my kids could have a fairly inexpensive holiday, and as my parents have been here before they said they knew what to expect and where everything was etc, it seemed ideal. This is a long review but worth a read if you’re considering investing, and take note of the photos.
I would like to say that overall I had a very pleasant stay and that most things were ok but there are a few niggly points that have made me rate it so low. I will first start with the positives.
We had two apartments in the Santa Cruz area and they were quite close to each other which was good, and the views from the balcony were fantastic. The apartments were well laid out and well equipped with the usual itmes in terms of kitchen equipment etc. we were also provided with dressing gowns, towels and a range of toiletries. In the fridge we found a welcome selection of items including bread, butter, jams, eggs and milk, just enough to get you by the first night and morning. We used the ‘Safari’ restaurant twice for dinner and twice for lunch during our two week stay and each time I felt the staff were pleasant and attentive. The kids loved the pool area and we spent a number of days just relaxing there. The Sunset bar was very close and happy hour was from 7pm-8pm where most drinks were half price and they had a cocktail of the day too. Entertainment was advertised daily from 8.30pm. There was a small land train service that was free to use that took you to other areas of the site and we caught this just outside reception to the ‘local’ shop that was onsite as it was cheaper than using Zak’s. The kids enjoyed a horse ride at what I don’t think is part of the resort but is on the site, and we also used the Ponderosa Rib House a couple of times. (I have written a separate review)
Now for the negatives and I don’t know where to start in all honesty. The reception staff ranged from helpful and friendly to rude and dismissive. I work in a hotel on reception and if I treated guests the way I was treated at times I would quit my job now as it was completely unacceptable. I was made to feel in the way, at one point as I approached the reception desk the member of staff got up and walked away. Another was very upset I had interrupted her conversation with a colleague. The land train although useful changed it’s operation times halfway through our stay and I only saw these new items displayed at one stop on the route. When I asked reception about this they looked at me like I was an idiot.
The housekeeping in the apartment was hit and miss, on arrival it looked ok but I noticed a few things that had been missed. There was a mountain of dust behind an easily accessible pot plant and hairs coming out of the jacuzzi bath nozzles, they weren’t mine, yuk! Each housekeeping visit yielded different results and not one consistent visit was made. One day there was still cereal left on the floor that one of the kids must have spilt at breakfast and my bathroom bin was only emptied 4 times in the two weeks. We were readily handed with a piece of paper to sign one day when we refused any of the services and just asked for the kitchen bin to be emptied.
The jacuzzi in the main apartment was a lovely addition but was badly maintained with cracks all around it and a shaky handrail for getting out. It also hadn’t been cleaned prior to arrival.
Team Marina is responsible for the activities put on at the site and also covered the evening entertainment. Some activities were cancelled due to high winds which I understand. However, there was no mini club at all the second week, which left the kids very disappointed. Also on more overcast days, it would have been nice to have a kids play area with a slide and climbing frame etc as the pool was too cold. In terms of the evening entertainment, this was atrocious. The singer, Nuria Lima, was quite good, although at one point she wasn’t even singing, she just put on a track and did the backing singers part. One evening it was supposed to be a disco night with Gangnam style music, whilst not really my taste I thought the kids would love it. This night consisted of older couples doing the tango, Julio Iglesias style music and one play of Gangnam Style. Now is also probably a good time to say the entertainment didn’t start most nights until 9 pm, as she didn’t turn up until at least 8.45pm! We tried our hand at the blackjack night but left quite disappointed after we had to explain the rules and how to play to the dealer. we didn’t use the bar the second week at all.
The last very niggling point is made up of a couple of incidents. When my parents booked they asked for a three bedroom apartment with a jacuzzi in either the San Diego suites or Santa Cruz suites. They were told this wasn’t available but they could have a two bed and one bed in Santa Cruz and they would get them close. They had the one bed and me and the kids shared the two bed with the jacuzzi and we did all the cooking etc in the two bed. During our stay there were two 3 bed apartments with jacuzzis available, as they were being used as show apartments. This was very frustrating and to be honest, a bit of a mick take as my parents had to use extra points on 2 apartments when they could have had one. Similarly, the standards in the three bed apartments were very high with immaculate furniture etc, and this is what was sold to my parents when they joined but they hadn’t received it this time, so it was very misleading. I have posted photos. One morning we were all invited to breakfast and afterwards, they made the sell to my parents. After telling the staff no several times they still weren’t being listened to so the staff removed them from the marketing list. This is wrong, my parents weren’t interested this time but does that mean they should miss out on offers or new resorts? Just accept the answer you’re given! Again though they were being sold the ‘perfect’ apartments that in this case never materialised for use.
Again I would like to reiterate that I overall enjoyed my stay but if this had been the ‘sell’ for me I wouldn’t have bought. One night in the bar I spoke to another guest who says she alternates between two different resorts each year to keep them on their toes. This shouldn’t be necessary, and working in the holiday and hospitality industry myself I know how important it is to cultivate new customers but also the high importance of keeping the ones you have.
All of the negatives I have listed here were left in the questionnaire they give you to fill in before departure. I only hope that they actually take some notice because it wouldn’t be hard to stop the standards slipping. They never actually market themselves as 5* or say those words, but that is the impression you get from the literature with the language they use, ‘luxury’, ‘deluxe’, ‘premier plus’, all words designed to evoke the best of the best and sadly it didn’t quite match up in reality, as you don’t get what they sell to you.
We came here for a promotional holiday. The apartment was sub-standard and was not able to accommodate two couples in double rooms as promised. We complained and were moved to Santa Cruz Suites. Much closer to expected standards.
WHERE DO I START? PLEASE READ BEFORE BOOKING!!’ CON CON CON
Last year my husband was cold called and asked if he would like to have a week’s stay in the luxurious 5-star accommodation. After a very hard sell and parting with £300, we booked. We were promised the earth, told we were going to be in Santa Cruz‘ the ‘creme-de-la-creme’ apartment.
We arrived, and we were not. Travelling with kids we were put in an apartment block, with a dangerous balcony and a good walk to any pool. After visiting Santa Cruz it was apparent that we were put in the ‘marketing suites.’ Even though the accommodation was clean and reasonably well equipped, it was not what we were used to on holiday.
PLEASE BE CAUTIOUS BEFORE BOOKING – IT IS A CON IF YOU ARE TOLD THE EARTH IT WILL NOT BE. On a positive note – what the hard sales try to sell you looks great – but I do not think it is actually what they are selling!!!!
Tranquil location but very expensive
Just returned from club la costa, we were upgraded to the Santa Cruz Suites which were amazing, outdoor jacuzzi, indoor bath jacuzzi, en-suites, fully equipped kitchen and lovely surroundings. There are a few down sides mainly the cost of everything (as the pound is not as stong as it used to be).
At the moment you can really see the difference in price, 2 adults and 1 child evening meal will not be less than 50 pounds within the grounds of club la costa.
This is also very hilly although there is a train to take you around the resort which is quite nice, children enjoyed it. The weather made the holiday more enjoyable because of the numerous pools that you could use, not many other activities for children.