Or is it just another janitorial service for the 0.1%?
As the world becomes more and more crowded, vacation options seem to become more limited. Hotels are always booked during peak travel season and come with exorbitant costs, flights are crowded (also expensive), rental cars are scarce, restaurants are booked, and attractions are flooded.
The stress of booking vacations, especially for large families, is at an all time high, and the pressure to make the most of your little free time is becoming even more critical.
For all of these reasons, people have started to turn to vacation clubs. But the question generally is: what are vacation clubs? And in reality, many questions arise: how much do they cost? How difficult are they to enter? What are the advantages ?
First of all, vacation clubs are a lot like country clubs and not at all. At the highest level, they may have initiation fees that are only affordable at 0.1%, while the cheapest options are still out of reach for the average consumer. But what a vacation club does is eliminate clutter. They have access to thousands of luxury homes, upscale hotel accommodations, elite travel adventures, and an unmatched level of service.
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Most importantly, they are not a timeshare. You don’t need to attend a two-hour presentation to get a free helicopter ride and then save your equity on a house in the Caribbean you will never go to. Clubs give you some flexibility for a price, but is it worth the price?
One of the most exclusive and expensive vacation clubs is without a doubt Exclusive resorts.
âWe describe ourselves as a members-only vacation club,â said James Henderson, CEO of Exclusive Resorts. âWe have 4,000 members and we provide access to 400 homes and experiences in 75 destinations around the world. All of the homes we’ve managed from two to five bedrooms are well positioned to provide incredible experiences for families. The other part of what we do is we have a series of what we call unique experiences. We do 25-40 a year, which range from listing trips, safaris to cruises to trips to Japan. And then we do a lot of community type events, ranging from the Kentucky Derby, to the US Open, to Formula 1 in Austin. And then we have a series of community events, which are intimate events for members to connect. And these are events where we bring the members together and they create a level of community. “
The price tag for exclusive resorts comes in different packages. A 10-year subscription starts at $ 150,000. A 30 year membership starts at $ 250,000. In addition, annual dues are $ 1,395 per night and members travel 15 to 30 nights per year. But there are tons of upgrades available and you can share your days with family and friends or even donate your days to charity.
The perks of this club are access to an unbeatable inventory of accommodations that all come with five star hotel services, dedicated concierge, personalized and hassle-free travel planning. The downsides of the club are (obviously) the gigantic price tag and the fact that you have to spend a minimum amount each year (although the fees are the same regardless of the season), and it is more difficult to become a member.
Created by the former founders of Exclusive Resorts, Inspired is a cheaper and more accessible vacation club that aims to provide a luxury vacation experience without the ultra-luxurious cost.
âWe bring a level of certainty and service to travel that is unlike any other,â says Inspirato President David Kallery. âWe have a portfolio of nearly 400 accommodations in addition to the high-end hotels that are part of our service. And when you travel with us, you never have to worry about whether the house will be perfect or not. When you book a house on a typical market site it’s a bit of a crapshoot – you can show up and it can be amazing, but it can also be a little nightmare. Next is our service. It’s not only that you go to a house that you know will be near perfect, but we complement your experience with [the] the highest level of service you can imagine. Our members work with a team of people who know them very intimately. They learn all about your family, your personal travel preferences, the time of year you want to travel and the destinations you want to go. And they really take all the planning and the guesswork to make the experience amazing doing all the work. Members don’t need to call restaurants to make reservations or golf courses to make tee times, we have teams of people doing all of these pre-planning activities. And then once you’re on the ground, our homes are staffed with teams of people who take care of all kinds of last minute requests, or changes you want to make to your itinerary, or spontaneous things you might. to wish.
What makes Inspirato different from Exclusive is that they don’t own their own properties, but rather rent them out or have partnerships with hotels to provide inventory. This allows them flexibility in the event that a property is not rated well among members.
There are two cost levels for Inspirato. The Inspirato Club, which costs $ 600 / month and $ 1,200 at signing, is open to everyone. These fees give you access to the portfolio of houses and hotels, but you still have to pay for the place itself each night. Then there’s the Inspirato Pass, which costs $ 2,500 / month, which gives you access to all the properties that you can book for free at any time. For the Pass, you are only allowed to make one reservation at a time, so switching from one to the other endlessly is a bit more difficult unless you pay for multiple passes. The key to remember for Inspirato is that the nightly fee you pay will be lower than what you would find in the open market for much better properties.
My Travel Rewards Club
My Travel Rewards Club is another membership club that also offers more than just places to stay. Part of their infrastructure includes partners who offer plane tickets, rental cars and other services. They have access to over 700,000 properties worldwide and claim to offer rates that can save you up to 70% on hotels.
Plus, My Travel Rewards has great deals and offers that include 250 different airlines, over 250 cruises, 8,000 sightseeing packages and even 5,000 sporting event packages. Like other clubs, there are full time concierge services that come with membership.
There are three levels of membership: Silver, Gold and Platinum. Silver comes with 10% off bookings, the ability to add two authorized users, and $ 129 / year for membership dues. Gold includes 20% bookings discounts, the ability to earn 4% cashback on bookings, and the ability to add additional users. Platinum offers 30% discounts, 8% cash back on bookings, and the ability to add 10 users.
With each booking, members earn reward points that they can redeem on future bookings. And these rewards never expire.
A little different from other clubs, Solstice has only eight properties in its portfolio, as well as a few additional member-owned homes offered to other members on occasion. Destinations include Florence, Paris, London, Aspen, St. Barts, New York, Napa Valley, and Cabo San Lucas. Additional properties can be found in Lucens, Marrakech, Pataua, Weatherford and Koh Samui.
The club is keeping its membership small with a 6: 1 house-to-member ratio to help ensure space is available throughout the year. Like other clubs, concierge services take care of all your needs. The club’s highest tier allows a total of 56 vacation days throughout the year, provided there is up to eight months notice.
To become a Solstice member, the initial fee is approximately $ 15,000, while annual membership fees can be well over $ 40,000. Also note: all homes are in the $ 6 million range.
There are dozens of other clubs to choose from, including Quintess, Equity inheritance, 21-5, Destination M, and many more. Each club offers its own properties and value propositions. Most clubs are geared towards the wealthy, but a few are more affordable from a cost perspective. The key is to do your homework, determine how much you like to travel, who you want to travel with, and what parts of the world you want to travel to. A travel club might make sense if you reach all the right places for your future adventures.