Posted April 12, 2018 – Narrated by Carmen
UPDATE: Chula Vista RV Resort is under new management as of March 2019. While we haven’t been there since the new management took over, we can assume most of our comments below are still true and accurate.*see our 5-Bambi rating legend at the end of this review.
RV resort, or marina?
Yes and yes! It’s the Chula Vista RV Resort and Marina where migrations of floaters and rollers from all over the world gather on the southernmost end of the beautiful San Diego Bay to luxuriate in the blessings of the Baja California / San Diego lifestyle with fresh air, wildlife, sunshine, and a different brewery for every day of the year!
Like the gray whales, we return to this enchanting corner of the USA – Chula Vista, our base of operations – to recharge our LIB (Living in Beauty) energy. There are several places we could stay throughout San Diego County – a nurturing land where the Kumeyaay have managed to thrive for over 600 generations – but Chula Vista RV Resort and Marina is our sanctuary, the place we go to wrap-up a year of intense travel and begin drafting a loose itinerary for the coming year.
Ironically, our own persnickety five-Bambi rating fails to capture the full range of guest services and amenities provided by the top-notch staff at Chula Vista RV Resort. Their seemingly effortless coordination of these seventeen acres of beautifully landscaped, sparkling clean buildings and grounds give the resort an easy-going aloha atmosphere.
As long-time San Diego residents, this is the coastal campground we usually recommend to RVers who are visiting San Diego for the first time. That’s because it’s right on the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge, the 24-mile Bayshore Bikeway, only a half-mile from the I-5, and it’s a great jumping-off place to Baja-Mexico. This is our fourth visit. For nearly six months out of the last three years, we’ve called this place “home.”
… to the large reception area …
… where the friendly staff welcome new arrivals…
… to the main concourse.
The level, paved sites have full-hookups (30 and 50 amp). Most sites are separated by walls or private green screens.
There are thirty-seven pull-thru sites but most of the 230+ sites are back-in. All sites are reservable – no first-come-first-serve.
Once the easy-squeezy hook up is done …
It’s time to explore…
Shall we cycle, walk, or kayak? Right from our campsite, we have unlimited choices.
The resort adjoins a 5-Star marina, and is surrounded by public access paths for walking, jogging, and cycling. Bayside Park is only separated from the resort by a fence. A public boat launch is nearby with limited parking at the Marina to stow a boat trailer.
There is also a sandy beach to launch kayaks …
… and a fishing pier.
The Bayshore Bikeway runs right through Bayside Park …
…so we can cycle to downtown San Diego, Imperial Beach, Coronado …
In the evening we walk next door to The Galley At The Marina, to enjoy a beer and a bite to eat on the waterfront deck and listen to live music. …
The next day, we start all over again with the exclusive $5.50 breakfast special at The Galley for guests of the resort.
Inside the Chula Vista RV Resort
The sparkling clean pool and hot tub are open until 10 pm every day.
There is a fully equipped fitness center and professional exercise coaches lead morning yoga and “toning with bands” classes. The daily water aerobics class at the pool is led via a taped instructor.
Once or twice a week, in the courtyard beside the pool, staff hosts a happy hour party with live music. Wine and margaritas are sold for a nominal price.
Weekend social hours are often held at the Tiki Bar and Firepit overlooking the marina and bay. The Tiki Bar is available for rent when not in use.
This is a family-friendly resort, so expect kids – especially on school holidays and weekends. Midweek is much quieter.
The General Store is stocked with groceries, beer, wine, personal care items, resort clothing and camping supplies.
Bicycles are available for rent year-round and kayaks and paddle boards are rented out during the summer.
Check-in is at 2:00 pm and check-outs are at 12:00 pm. But early check-in and late check-outs (up to 3 pm, no charge)are available upon request, space permitting. There is no refund for early departures.
Rates for 2018 range from $79 to $123 a night, with monthly rates from $1,428 to $2,952. Electricity is an additional cost for monthly stays. We average $2 a day. Our per-day rental usually averages to $49 a day for a non-prime spot. The fenced areas are closer to the public park and the walled areas are closer to the street. We prefer the solid wall along Sandpiper Way, and it’s cheaper.
No wood fires are allowed, but portable propane pits are okay.
This time, our space (#79) is directly under a WiFi antenna. Verizon cell service is at four bars LTE and the WiFi screams when it works and crawls to a standstill when it doesn’t. It’s fine about 80% of the time but almost never in the evening when guests live-stream movies and bog down the system.
This is a dog-friendly resort, but aggressive breeds are not allowed.
There is a nominal fee per dog: Daily $3.00; Weekly $10.00; Monthly $30.00. They put the fees to good use with three very clean and maintained doggie parks…
… and a spiffy dog washing area with three stations at low, medium and high levels to accommodate different sized dogs, and a foot pedal to control the stream of perfectly warm water.
The spacious and sunny laundry room is maintained throughout the day.
And there is a sweet rose garden outside the laundry with gliders. How lovely to read or enjoy a glass of wine while the laundry cycles.
The bathrooms and showers for people are clean and modern, too.
For meet-ups, the clubroom facilitates groups of 16 rigs or more. The Large Clubroom seats 126 guests and is equipped with an industrial kitchen.
There is also a small clubroom where 42 people can be served dinner and a third, upstairs, that can accommodate up to 30.
Let’s see what else …? Oh yes, Propane is available on the premises.
I mean, what is this place missing?
How much better can it get?
Honestly, we can’t think of any reason not to stay at Chula Vista RV Resort and Marina and it’s even harder to think up a motivation to leave except … Canada …? or wine country in Mexico next winter…?
|Our “BAMBI” rating system explained:
– One Bambi: Should’a boondocked.
– Two Bambi’s: Better than a Cracker Barrel or Walmart.
– Three Bambi’s: Adequate for a short stay.
– Four Bambi’s: Great place! Met our expectations for an extended stay. Needs minor improvements or is not ideally situated for all our preferred recreation (walking, cycling, swimming, kayaking) without driving.
– Five Bambi’s: Destination Camping at it’s best! Critical as we are, there’s nothing we’d improve, and you can bet your sweet Bambi we’re going back!