Vacation and Travel Clubs are one of the big things to hit the travel market in recent years. Updating the traditional timeshare model, instead of being tied to a specific property, club members purchase points or pay a flat annual fee and this can be redeemed against different vacations each year. The huge bonus for luxury travellers is the clubs negotiate impressive discounts with hotels, resorts, attractions and excursions, so if you’d usually stay 4-star, with a Vacation Club chances are you’ll be able to afford to stay 5-star. The clubs vary hugely, read on for our tips of the Best Vacation and Travel Clubs.
1. Hotels Etc.
With a network of more than 500,000 luxury hotels, condos, and resorts in over 141 countries, Hotels Etc. are an excellent choice for frequent travellers.
Established in 1996, their dedicated team has negotiated some of the biggest travel discounts on the internet available exclusively for their members. One of their key differentiators over some of the competitors is that they do not add commissions or fees to your bookings and instead pass all the savings directly to their members. Their goal is to help you travel the world for less, perfect for us luxury travellers who have certain standards which can be costly to maintain!
Hotels Etc. don’t sell travel, instead they negotiate discounts that they pass on solely to their members. Typically, you can expect to save up to 70% – and it’s not just accommodation either; theme parks, movies, restaurants, shows, concerts, tours, kayaking and excursions are all included and all are available at those excellent discounted rates.
They are a professional business who pride themselves on offering great customer service alongside their exceptional travel discounts. Their members tend to stick around for the long term and boast of discounts of 80%, of being able to stay in hotels that appeared to be sold out and of saving hundreds of pounds over the years. They also contest that they often beat corporate rates with Hotels Etc and so work well for business trips too. Top resorts include GrandView Resort, Las Vegas, Vacation Village at Parkway, Orlando and a variety of beautiful properties in Puerto Vallarta and Cancun in Mexico.
Ritz-Carlton Destination Club
Several vacation clubs are run by a sole hotel or resort group. One of our favourites is the Ritz-Carlton Destination Club which offers privileged access to the world of The Ritz-Carlton and Marriot hotels. They run an equity-based points program and have residences in Lake Tahoe, San Francisco, Aspen, Beaver Creek, Vail, Jupiter, Hawaii, Maui, Bahamas, and St Thomas.
Marketing themselves as a luxury destination club, Inspirato offer more than 900 vacation options. Pick from residences, hotels, resorts, cruises, yachts and custom experiences. Travel designers design your vacations and choose from membership options which include Key, Family and Executive.
The Hideaways Club
The Hideaways Club have offices are in Europe but they operate worldwide, focusing on exclusive residences, so villas, chalets and apartments rather than hotels. They target high net worth individuals and operate a Concierge Service too.
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