A February 2004 trip
to Ormond Beach by DianeNYS
Quote: Our first trip to our new timeshare was GREAT! We are planning on going back to the Casa Del Mar year after year (for upstate New Yorkers, awakening to a morning view--right off our bedroom deck--of dolphins frolicking in the surf was a real treat!).
See my freeform entry for all the details (I couldn't fit it all in this limited space).
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 29, 2004
Casa Del Mar
621 South Atlantic Avenue
Ormond Beach, Florida 32176
The second bedroom had a very large and completely adequate bathroom just across from the bedroom door (there is a closet with a safe in that bathroom--the safe is free to owners; a minimal cost for others--$10 for the week, I believe). The master bedroom was amazing! There was a wonderful deck with chairs overlooking the beach that was private enough for us to leave the drapes to the sliding doors to the deck open at all times pretty much. It had a king-sized bed (I think! It might have been a queen; we have a full-sized bed at home, and this one was BIG!!) and a wonderful jacuzzi for two right near the bed.
In the master bedroom was a GREAT bathroom that included two sink/mirror areas--one was a walk-in area from the bed/jacuzzi area near a large closet and the other was in the actual bathroom itself, where the toilet and tub/shower were. This was a HUGE bedroom, which worked well for us; at night while my parents watched the television (which was a large screen) in the living room, my husband and I could watch the TV in the master bedroom in a large, very nice room with an ocean view! There was also a deck overlooking the ocean in the living room--we pretty much left the drapes open at all times to take advantage of it!
The living room was a nice, large size, with a large couch and smaller love seat (which was, unfortunately a little worn in the cushions). The kitchen was really our only disappointment: the cooking area was pretty small with no counter space to speak of (though the dining table was large, so we used that for our counter needs), and no cabinet space available for us to store our groceries. The cabinets that were there had all the necessities for cooking and eating, though, and the oven, stove, microwave, coffee maker, toaster, refrigerator, etc. were all full-sized and in good shape, and clean. But since my mom and I were NOT on vacation to spend our time cooking, it didn't totally WRECK our vacation!
Check-in was easy and quick (they let us in a couple of hours early), and the resort itself seemed clean and neat to us. Parking was underground but convenient, and we never had problems getting a space close to the elevator. There weren't any washers/dryers in the rooms, but the laundry room was on the first floor and easy to use (free to owners; I believe that everyone else does need to pay with quarters). The location was great for us! We absolutely LOVED Ormond Beach! We purposely picked a non-bike or non-race week, so traffic wasn't bad at all, and Daytona Beach with all its activity was just minutes away.
From the Casa Del Mar, we could walk to all sorts of restaurants for any meals we would need (did breakfasts and snacks at all times at the timeshare); a favorite was Stacey's Family Buffet right across the street! But anything anyone would want--in all price ranges--were all over the place in easy to get to places. Grocery shopping was all over the place, too, and the prices weren't bad (Publix, Winn-Dixie, Super Wal-Mart, and even a Sam's Club, were not far away).
If there were any planned activities, we actually didn't participate in any; we spent our time going to St. Augustine, the Daytona and Sanford/Mt. Dora Flea Markets, Orlando, and just sightseeing all over the area. The B.J.'s Wholesale Club on the way to Sanford/Mt. Dora has a gas station, so that was a help. For our purposes, the Casa del Mar was GREAT (we are VERY happy to own there!), but for people that want to just go to the timeshare and stay there all week, if the beach isn't enough for you, then you might be disappointed. The Resort is small with few amenities other than a good workout room, good pools and hot tub, a GREAT beach, and a WONDERFUL location.
The "Owners Meeting" we went to was low-pressure and conducted by BlueGreen Vacation Club; we went for the $50 in restaurant gift cards and to hear the "benefits of upgrading to the BlueGreen system" from our Amber Vacation Club membership. Once we saw the differences, we felt that we were very happy with the Amber Club and the salesman let us go without a fight. It was a totally informational, interesting meeting that lasted about two hours, only because we were sincerely interested in hearing what the BlueGreen program was all about (until we heard the $4,800 price tag to convert--adding the obligatory minimum extra points and maintenance fees, of course).
The housekeeping was good for us; new towels and tidying up--emptying trash, etc.--each day. Not intrusive, and a nice feature. Since we are owners through the Amber Vacation Club, we will only have access to the first three floors, I believe, when using our Amber Club points. BlueGreen owns the upper floors, but the room layouts are comparable. BlueGreen did insinuate to us at the meeting that soon all the Amber Club owners will be upgrading to BlueGreen, lessening our chances of being able to use our points with flexibility (we actually own a one-bedroom unit during a summer bike week). I took the chance that this was not really the case and declined the offer to "up-grade". Once at home, I called the Amber Club and they assured me that most Amber owners are NOT fleeing to BlueGreen, and my chances of booking the actual units and weeks I need will not be difficult as long as I book six months in advance as always.
We LOVED our stay, are VERY happy to have become owners at the Casa Del Mar, and thing that Ormond Beach is a great place to vacation! We are owners at Orange Lake Country Club, Cypress Pointe Grande Villas, Polynesian Isles and the Coral Sands (now Westgate South Beach), and we feel that the Casa Del Mar fits our needs well. I would rate it an 8.5, only because I know that other vacationers might want more amenities at the resort. But to us, it's a 10!!!
Cortland, New York