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Need advice--Portugal Exchange

regatta333

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I have the opportunity for an exchange at Club la Costa Lagunamar in Portugal for May of next year. I don't see any review for this resort. Has anyone stayed here or have any knowledge about this resort? Any advice is greatly appreciated.
 

Blues

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I don't know the timeshare, but the Club La Costa web site says it's new, so that's probably why there are no reviews.

Pretty area, but out of the way. DW & I got hopelessly lost around there last year, trying to find a riding stable reputed to be in the area. We found the stable, but couldn't find our way back to Vilamoura. The roads there are very windy and not well marked. We ended up at dead ends or private property a lot. Make sure to get a good map or GPS.

From what I remember, my impression is that if you're a golfer, you'll love it. The entire area is built around golf courses. If you want to use it as a base for exploration, it will be a little more difficult. You'll need to find the route to get back to Almancil, and go through there before getting to anywhere else. Heck, even the town of Almancil confused me, and I'm usually good with maps and directions. But it did have a decent grocery store.

Summary - beautiful, but limited accessibility.
 

Carolinian

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Club La Costa is also a trading partner of DAE, so you might want to exchange through them to get a lower exchange fee. Also when I exchanged to another CLC resort through DAE, I was treated like a CLC member, meaning I was not charged some resort fees that are charged to exchangers through other exchange companies.
 

regatta333

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The exchange would be through SFX. Apparently, the units only have a partial kitchen (coffeemaker, small fridge, microwave), which probably is not that big a deal as we probably would not be doing any real cooking there.

They were not able to tell me whether or not there are any additional fees, like electricity, that would be required. Do these generally apply through Club la Costa, and if so, how steep are they? We have never stayed at any of their resorts, but judging from the website, they appear to be very nice.
 

regatta333

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Pretty area, but out of the way. DW & I got hopelessly lost around there last year, trying to find a riding stable reputed to be in the area. We found the stable, but couldn't find our way back to Vilamoura. The roads there are very windy and not well marked. We ended up at dead ends or private property a lot. Make sure to get a good map or GPS.

From what I remember, my impression is that if you're a golfer, you'll love it. The entire area is built around golf courses. If you want to use it as a base for exploration, it will be a little more difficult. You'll need to find the route to get back to Almancil, and go through there before getting to anywhere else. Heck, even the town of Almancil confused me, and I'm usually good with maps and directions. But it did have a decent grocery store.

Summary - beautiful, but limited accessibility.
My husband and I are not golfers. We'd be going primarily to do sightseeing. Will this be a problem location from that standpoint? I had been hoping for an exchange to Four Seasons Fairways or Villamoura, but not sure how likely that would be. Many of the CLC resorts in Spain appear to have only middle-of-the-road ratings. Since this one is new, it might be a step above, but probably not in the same category of the Four Seasons. I could probably live with that, but not so much with a very out-of-the-way location that required a lot of driving whenever we wanted to go anywhere.

Also, the airfares are looking pretty scary.
 

Blues

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My husband and I are not golfers. We'd be going primarily to do sightseeing. Will this be a problem location from that standpoint?
Not really. I may have overstated it a bit above, in remembering being lost. Assuming you learn your way around on the first day, it will probably only add about 5 minutes or so to get out to the main roads to begin your touring.

But do make sure you have good directions for how to get there. When you arrive, get a good local map.

-Bob
P.S. Almost all European time shares have a separate charge for electricity. At Four Seasons, I paid about 20 euros for the week for a 2 BR unit. But it was off-season, so we didn't use the air conditioning much at all.
 
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