Last week’s Fractional Life Awards winners were revealed at a special ceremony at the Rubens at The Palace Hotel in London.
The event brought together the industry’s top resort owners, developers, service providers and press who gathered to share industry knowledge and celebrate the international winners.
After the presentations, the audience had a chance to participate in an impromptu Q&A with the experts, which generated some fascinating comment on the health of the fractional sector and how the lay of the land looks for the foreseeable future.
The majority view is that the fractional market will probably either remain static or improve within the next twelve months or so, while one of the key themes that emerged was the need for transparency and honesty when working with potential buyers, and many agreed that there’s a need also for more co-operation between industry peers.
Above all, one very important over-riding message remains unaltered – there is no doubt that the fractional model makes sense for many reasons, both in challenging and thriving economic times.
Three notable personalities from the fractional and shared ownership world had the honour of judging the Awards: John Howell, editorial director of OPP Connect; Sarah Lee, editor of LiveShareTravel; and George Sell, editor of Fractional Life.
“We were delighted to welcome award winners from across Europe, Asia and the US for the 2013 Fractional Life Awards,” said Sell.
“It’s always good for the industry to get together and celebrate the best in the business, and those who were honoured last night have one thing in common – despite difficult economic circumstances they have achieved success through innovation and determination. The Q&A session after the awards presentation was very illuminating, and revealed a sense of solidarity in the fractional sector as several leading operators offered to share their ‘trade secrets’ with their peers.”
The winners (with judges’ comments) were:
Best development EMEA
Winner: Vilnius Golf & Spa Resort – an ambitious project bringing high quality fractional ownership properties to a new market as part of a thoughtfully planned mixed-use development
Highly commended: Azure (Malta) – A polished Mediterranean resort offering a range of ownership options and comprehensive facilities
Best development Asia
Winner: Karma Kandara Bali – Beautiful setting, superb service levels and great accommodation
Best development US, Canada, Mexico and Caribbean
Winner: Freedom Bay St Lucia – a real success story, demonstrating how the right product and a strong marketing campaign can succeed through the recession.
Highly commended: Dancing Bear Aspen – has seen a real turnaround since coming under the Timbers umbrella and is a model high-end ski resort development
Best PRC/destination club
Winner: Mayacama, Timbers Resorts – A wonderful setting, great amenities, quality accommodation and access to the Timbers reciprocity programme.
Highly Commended: Karma Royal Residences – With standout properties in diverse destinations, this PRC gives owners quality and the flexibility they’d expect
Innovation and excellence
Winner: Azure – The fractional sector has not been noted for its use of social media, but Azure is out to change that with a highly targeted campaign
Highly commended: Residence Club of Argentina – A new territory for the fractional model, incredible value and a real innovation – offering time in three boutique hotels rather than the traditional villas or apartments.
Services to the Industry
Winner: The Fractional Consultant – David Disick: He was there right at the start of the fractional sector with the Franz Klammer Club, and is currently the most visible and vocal advocate of the model in difficult times. Opening up the Russian market and investigating new funding avenues are two of his current projects.
Highly Commended: The Registry Collection – a look at how many of this year’s award entries have heavily emphasised their TRC affiliation demonstrates how highly the exchange programme is rated in the industry
Readers’ Choice Awards
Winner: Vilnius Golf & Spa Resort