Worldmark Discovery Bay – Port Townsend, WA

Our upstairs unit at Discovery Bay
Our upstairs unit at Discovery Bay

Our 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom unit in the Worldmark by Wyndham Discovery Bay resort in Port Townsend, Washington is the largest unit of any Worldmark resorts that I’ve ever visited.  The kitchen dwarfs the one in our own home.  The dining room and living room are spacious.  The massive master bedroom suite fills the upstairs area and includes a jetted tub.

We enjoy the view from our deck that faces the bay, although our unit is located on the upper level behind the front row of buildings, so our view is slightly  impeded.

View from our car that is parked at the base of the stairs to our unit.
View from our car that is parked at the base of the stairs to our unit.

This may have been my first resort registration where they didn’t put on the hard sell to get me into an “owner education” meeting.  Normally we are promised a $75 gift card and free breakfast for sitting through a 45 minute group educational presentation with no sales pressure.  That always becomes a 2 hour one on one hard sell.  It was refreshing to not have to endure that this time.

The biggest disappointment of this stay was finding out that they don’t give out free coffee any longer.  You start your stay with enough coffee for one pot of regular and one pot of decaf.  I don’t know about other guests, but that isn’t nearly enough for us and our group.  They said that was a new practice for the company since February, but we stayed at another resort this past March and had all the coffee we needed.

Note – We stayed in the Worldmark resort in McCall, Idaho immediately after our stay at Discovery Bay.  McCall was still giving away free coffee but stated that on the following Monday, they were going to begin charging for it.

Many times when we stay at a Worldmark resort, our number one desire is for rest and relaxation, and we spend much of our time watching movies and playing games in our unit, or swimming and hot tubbing in the resort facilities.  Ironically, given that this is the finest unit that we have been in, we didn’t spend much time at the resort. This trip was all about the outdoors.

On the way to the Discovery Bay resort on Sunday, we stopped by two waterfalls that are along Highway 101 – Vincent Creek Falls, and Rocky Brook Falls, which are part of the Olympic Peninsula Waterfall Trail.

On Monday, we visited Forks and La Push to enjoy some “Twlight” trivia and photograph Bella’s 63 Chevrolet Pickup.  While in La Push, we hiked in to Third Beach and stopped to photograph Strawberry Bay Falls, another waterfall on the Olympic Peninsula Waterfall Trail.

Tuesday, we went to the Dungeness Spit to walk out onto the longest spit in North America.  After a brief stay there, we drove up to Hurricane Ridge.  At Hurricane Ridge, we found a picnic table and ate lunch while watching the numerous deer wandering around amongst the trails that were peppered with visitors photographing the deer from distances as near as a few feet.  Obviously, the deer are very comfortable being around the human population and know that they are safe in this area.

Before returning to our condo that afternoon, we made one final waterfall visit.  This was to the Marymere Falls near Crescent Lake.  Of all the waterfalls we visited on this trip, this was probably my favorite with Rocky Brook Falls coming in as a close second.

We would love to have driven around to Lake Quinault and several other of the many waterfalls in the region, but that will have to be another trip.  We were only here for three nights on this outing, and there is way too much to see in only a few days.

We will definitely be back, and next time, probably for a full week.  There is enough to do around here to make it worth spending that much time.  The only thing that we’ll do different next time is to bring our own coffee.

Worldmark Indio – Indio, CA

Worldmark Resort in Indio, CA

Worldmark Resort in Indio, CAWhile in Indio, CA, I received a text message from my dad, letting me know that the high temperatures back home in Central Washington state are beginning to move upwards toward 40 degrees.  Whew!  Heat wave!  I took pleasure in returning a text to let them know that the cold temperatures at night don’t get down much below 50 degrees here.

We are absolutely loved our stay at the Worldmark resort in Indio, California.  Surrounded by The Golf Club at Terra Lago and wintertime temperatures in the mid 70’s, this is  paradise.

The Resort

The  Worldmark resort in Indio might be one of the finest of all the Worldmark properties that we’ve stayed at.  Our room was quite spacious, relative to those of other resorts.  The quality of furnishings and the upkeep of the room was very similar to all others.  In my opinion, Worldmark rooms are good, but not superior.  That’s not a complaint.  Keep in mind that an ownership with most of their competitors is far more expensive, so one would expect much finer accommodations.

The resort facilities at Indio are amazing.  We spent the whole week at the resort, and barely left the grounds.  They have so much to do.

My young adult son and a friend of his were with us for this trip.  They played tennis, basketball, billiards, and ping pong every day.  All of us swam in the pool, relaxed in one of four spas, and floated the lazy river.

It’s a good thing that they offered so much for us to do and we were so content to mostly relax and play at our resort.  As it turns out, there wasn’t a whole lot nearby for us to do that we were interested in getting out for.  We did get out and about a couple times, though.

Things to do near Indio

Cabot's Pueblo Museum in Desert Hot Springs, CAOne of the significant reasons we elected to visit Indio, is that my in-laws live in nearby Desert Hot Springs during the winter months.  Naturally, we spent some time with them during our vacation.  I’m not suggesting that visiting my wife’s folks would be a highlight for anyone else, but if you are ever near Desert Hot Springs, you may wish to visit a cute little attraction called Cabot’s Pueblo Museum.

This museum is the homestead of an early settler in the region.  His home, outbuilding and landscaping is fashioned almost entirely from recycled materials and/or natural resources that he scavenged from around the area.  Learning about Cabot Yerxa and about the development of the city of Desert Hot Springs was fascinating.

I don’t know that I would recommend driving all the way from Indio just to see this attraction, but if you are in Desert Hot Springs, it’s certainly worth taking a little time to walk the grounds of the homestead.  We didn’t spend the money, or take the time, to go inside the buildings, but there was plenty to see without doing that.  If we weren’t so consumed with pinching pennies on this trip,  I’m sure we would have enjoyed taking the indoor tour.

Joshua Tree National ParkOn one of our other days during the week, my wife and I (without the boys) took a drive to Joshua Tree National Park.  I think the boys were interested in going with us, but on the day that we decided to make this excursion, they had already scheduled time on the tennis courts at the resort and had made arrangements to play some doubles with some other guests.

As it was, we only allotted ourselves about 4 hours to spend at the national park, including drive time, which was about a half hour each way.  That’s just not near enough time to do it justice.  I could have spent a couple days there, and not seen all that I wanted to see.

You have to be a nature lover to fully appreciate the beauty of this region.  Our timing wasn’t the best, since they haven’t had much moisture, so the colors were a little drab.  There were lots of earth tones, you might say.  But, the varieties of plants and the earth and rock formations that surrounded us were amazing.  We didn’t even make it to the most popular part of the park, as we entered through the Cottonwood entrance on the south and we didn’t have enough time to drive through to the northern parts of the park.

Later that same evening, we went to Palm Springs for their Village Fest.  Imagine a farmers market with 150 booths on one city street lined up about half a mile.

Outside of that, we just sat around at the resort, relaxed, and enjoyed the perfect weather.  That’s what I call a vacation.

Worldmark Long Beach – Long Beach, WA

Worldmark Long Beach
Worldmark Long Beach as seen from the beach.

We have a membership with Worldmark by Wyndham, so much of our travel is to locations where they have resorts.  This trip is no exception.

Check In

Upon our arrival, the check-in was great.  The people at the desk were very courteous and helpful employees.  The explained everything to us quickly and clearly.

Then we stopped by the concierge desk to grab some information about the area and ask a few questions about restaurants and activities nearby.  After answering our questions, they proceeded to invite us to an owner education class over the next couple days.

I’m smart enough to know that owner education class is short for “presentation to get you to purchase more ownership points.”  Anyway, the assured that it would be absolutely no longer than 1 hour, would be all about educating us on using our membership more effectively, and for our attendance, they would give us a $75 American Express gift card.  We agreed to attend.

The only truth to their offer is that they gave us the gift card.  The class lasted 2 1/2 hours and they offered to sell us more points.  We did get to tour their Presidential Suite.  OMG!  Now I know how the other side lives.  I’d have to save up all my points for a couple years to stay there, so it’s unlikely that I ever will.

Our Room

One of the reasons I like Worldmark is that their rooms are very consistent.  Our room at Long Beach was no exception.  Our room was clean and well stocked with all the necessary supplies.  We always need more coffee, laundry soap, and dishwasher soap during our stay, but a quick trip to the front desk remedies that.

Good thing each room has a vacuum cleaner in it.  With two young toddlers along, we used it after every meal.  I’m sure most of their food ended up on the floor.

Wireless internet access  is available in the room.  It’s a small fee for the service if you aren’t an Elite member.  Fortunately, we have the Elite membership.  The Long Beach resort is in a beta testing of resortnet 2 which allows wireless access without requiring the resortnet box that other resorts use.  We found it simple to use and reliable throughout our stay.

Phone service around the peninsula was good, except for data access.  Even with Verizon mobile, we weren’t able to connect with either 3G or 4G service, so we had no mobile data access except when in our room.

The resort has direct beach access. It’s located right at one of the main beach access road in Long Beach.  You have to cross about 100 yards of beach grass before you get to the sand, but there are no other properties between the resort and the beach.

It’s also got close access to the boardwalk that borders the beach area from the city of Long Beach.

Then on the other side of the resort, it’s only about 3 blocks to the main street of town where all the  shops and restaurants are located.  We couldn’t have asked for more convenience to all the activities.

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