I recently made it back to the LHVC resort for 2 weeks during the middle of January 2012 and remembered that I wanted to post a quick review. I went to join up with some other friends and since we all came and left on different days, we did have to move our rooms a couple times, as our group size changed.
Since the last time I came about 2 years ago, they have improved it even more - WOW. I think there are now 16 great restaurants and even more have improved menus, where before you might be limited to only a few topnotch menus for the highest-level members, now you can get into most. Their best, AZUL (dinner) and ANYA (lunch) is reserved for black band shareholders having first choice but I also saw Gold Bands at every meal. I had no problem going to the others and getting very well.
As in the past, I have never had a bad experience, as I always shop online for owner's websites and routinely find the best prices at LhvcRentals.com - two brothers seem to run it and always give great advice to shop around and even provide a list of their competitors to check - a very fair practice that builds trust!!
There is however one thing I have learned YOU MUST DO - make reservations early - 6 months or more in advance, 1-year early is required if you want to go during Christmas!! It was quite crowded when I was there (they said they were full) but was only turned away from one restaurant for lunch on one day.
I recommend avoiding arrival and departure on weekends, you will get cheaper airfare and airport transfers will go much smoother.
While there in January, the evenings were much cooler and there were a couple days it never stopped raining, but when it stopped the days were absolutely perfect with a light breeze, great sunshine, and pretty blue skies!
One weeknight (I think it was Thursday) when LHVC has their free Casino Show, I noticed the Las Vegas style song and dance acts were about 85% NEW from previous years and several involved the audience, resulting in a much more fun experience not to miss.
Oh yeah, another EXTREMELY IMPORTANT thing to do (to forget this can ruin your trip) is to coordinate all your dinner reservations, for all days, as soon as possible after arriving. IT IS A TERRIBLE MISTAKE to wait until each night, when you get hungry, to think you can make a reservation or just show up - about all that will be available without advance reservations is the Casa Blanca buffet (which I always plan to eat at on the first day I arrive) or from the menus at one of the bars (sports bar, VIP World, etc). And a tip - I like to go to Bellini's for lunch and order a couple extra pizzas to go
Lastly, after reading a few reviews ranting about scams and bad times, I cannot even imagine how this can happen unless these are folks who waited until the last minute to try to get reservations and were probably lucky to get any kind of rooms during such a busy time.
I hope this review helps future travelers! It is based on renting through an owner, if you get reservations through RCI, be sure to ask about upgrade packages to improve your vacation (typically included if renting through owners). Talk to people while you are there, they are all very nice - the employees and the other guests - and I always learn about new improvements in this way.
-FZ, LaCanada, CA
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC