Sun, snow, sea, ski, spa…the timeshare lifestyle has come a very long way since its beginnings in the sixties. Goodbye “same time, same place, next year”, hello flexible, international lifestyle. Today’s sophisticated products coupled with a vast choice of destinations and experiences – from yacht clubs to beachfront villas in Thailand – are appealing to a younger family demographic, too.
Points-based timeshare, exclusive private residence clubs and five star fractional developments all offer many of the same key advantages: quality of accommodation; value for money; and a flexible choice of holiday experiences so you can cruise the winter away in the Caribbean, or ring in the New Year in a stylish cottage on the Cornish coast.
Historically, the timeshare industry has shown itself to be remarkably resilient during a downturn. Companies like top Swiss timeshare specialists Hapimag, for example, have been reporting very positive quarterly results, while iconic international hotel brands such as Hilton, Marriott, Disney, Pestana and Wyndham continue to lead the way, creating innovative new products and new waves of ‘affordable luxury’ timeshare holiday experiences all over the globe.
10 reasons why timeshare is well worth a look:
Many of the world’s top class timeshare resorts were actually built by some of Europe and the USA’s leading holiday resort developers or hotel groups. Timeshare offers superior accommodation at quality resorts, alongside excellent on-site facilities such as golf, tennis, and an onsite spa. Surveys show that the vast majority of owners are happy with their holidays, in fact satisfaction levels are very high (almost 90% of those surveyed said they were “happy with their timeshares”). Owners also said their timeshare resorts were better than other self catering holidays they take.
Timeshare has come such a long way since the “same time, same place, next year” timeshare concept of the sixties. The shared ownership lifestyle offers owners the option of revisiting their favourite resort at different times of the year, or exploring completely new experiences – perhaps a beach-shopping-sightseeing break in Thailand or a South African wine-and-safari holiday. Winter sun breaks are giving sun-and-sunlounger holidays a run for the money during outside the peak summer period, while “emerging” timeshare destinations such as Turkey and Morocco are developing their golf offerings.
Yacht club membership is also available within timeshare and fractional ownership programmes – particularly in destinations such as Spain, Greece and the Caribbean.
Both RCI and Interval International have a vast variety of holiday exchange opportunities, while The Registry Collection and Preferred Residences also showcases some of the most exclusive resorts in stunning sought-after destinations within their portfolios.
Although beach destinations remain the most popular, timeshare owners are taking different kinds of holidays these days – whether it’s a golf break in Turkey or a long-haul holiday in India. Urban timeshares are also on the rise, so you can stay in a New York self-catering apartment while visiting the Big Apple, or pop over to Paris and spend a week in your own “pied-a-terre”.
One of the best-known city-based shared ownership programmes is Marriott’s 47 Park Street in Mayfair. The private residence/fractional ownership club offers chic suites just a few minutes’ walk from London’s top shopping on Oxford Street and all the pavement cafes and restaurants around some of London’s smartest addresses in Bond Street, Mayfair and Hyde Park.
4. Not Just a Hotel Room
The big disadvantage of a hotel room tends to be the lack of self-catering facilities – and extra space for guests. Timeshare accommodation tends to be far more spacious than other accommodation types. Apartments range in size from studios – sleeping 2 – to 3 bedded apartments – sleeping 8 – with 3 bathrooms, kitchen and sizeable living/dining room. Some may even have a private sauna, jacuzzi or a pool and the convenience of a mini-market and restaurants on site is a big advantage, especially for families with young children.
5. Family Friendly
As well as kids’ clubs, nannies, and play facilities, many resorts offer exceptional entertainment for both children and adults such as bands, magicians, dancers and local art and cultural events. Many families choose to go to the same resort each year, making life long friends and bringing back wonderful memories.
6. Timeshare, Your Flexible Friend
Modern points-based timeshare has revolutionised timeshare. Shared ownership has never been more flexible – some programmes allow you to bank or borrow points towards future holidays and the length of breaks is often flexible, too. So you can take a number of short breaks instead of a week or fortnight’s vacation. Another new trend is shorter terms, so many developers are offering shorter term membership instead of the long term ownership – that means that not only is a 10-year term less expensive than long term timeshare, you can surrender it at the end of the term.
7. It’s versatile
It’s not just cottages, villas, apartments and lodges that are available to stay at if you own timeshare. How about a catamaran, a house boat, a cruise ship, a canal boat or even an RV recreational vehicle?
8. It’s hassle free
Unlike owning a property outright, the maintenance of the resort is taken care of by the management company, so owners are free to relax and enjoy their holidays and when you’re not there, you don’t need to worry about the property being empty.
9. Today’s affordable luxury: timeshare
You’re paying for tomorrow’s holidays at today’s prices and another benefit is, you’re not affected when hotel rates escalate.
10. The Fractional Ownership Upgrade
Some leading resort operators now offer the option to upgrade from timeshare to fractional ownership so if you’ve bought timeshare but like the idea of owning a share of the actual bricks and mortar and property deeds by investing in a fractional property, the possibility is there. As developers diversify their shared ownership products, this emerging trend is an ideal solution for timeshare owners who want to “upgrade” at their favourite holiday resort..