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Lazy River coming to Vidanta Riveria Maya

Discussion in 'Mexico Timesharing' started by holdaer, Nov 2, 2017.

  1. Eric B

    Eric B TUG Member

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    For a lot of the Mexican ones, including Vidanta, you would just not pay the renewal fee at the end of the initial contract (10 years for Vidanta). Without renewal, the contract terminated by its own terms. That’s because those ones are right to use (RTU) contracts rather than deeded ownerships with contracts for management, taxes, etc. with RTU, you don’t own the week, so don’t have an enduring obligation for expenses for it.
     
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  2. pittle

    pittle TUG Member

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    In Mexico, most are Right to Use. You only "own" as long as you pay. We quit paying MF and the 2nd year, they emailed and asked if we still wanted to be part of the "family" and we said no. We had heard that others did it at that resort, so took the option. Some contracts say that if you do not pay MF for 2 years, the contract is cancelled. This one had that.
     
  3. RussellSun

    RussellSun TUG Member

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    Now Vidanta is depositing 3 bedroom Grand Luxxe suites into Interval International as exchanges to get sales prospects to Grand Luxxe. So yes, they are selling Grand Luxxe to first timers now. They are doing massive deposits through 2019 in Interval International from what I read on other TUG posts. I have even read that some folks have exchanged into the 3 bedroom Lofts. This is pretty demoralizing to those of us who are Grand Luxxe members. I think Grand Luxxe should allow exchanges for sales purposes but limit it to 1 bedroom inventory. They are allowing Marriott timeshare owners to trade into 3 bedrooms. Ridiculous!
     
  4. tschwa2

    tschwa2 TUG Member

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    They have been depositing 3 and even 4 bedroom Grand Luxxe for the last 2-3 years. Even though they get II exchangers into those units, they aren't pitching Grand Luxxe to most of those exchangers if they don't already own a Vida property. They still start with Grand Mayan and even if you say going in you want Grand Luxxe , to get a price you probably have to do what you did and go back the next day after either buying or not buying but spending a full day hearing the pitch for the lower properties.

    II doesn't even have a 1 in x rule so there are some Tuggers who have stayed 4-5 times in those large units using exchanges that probably cost them less than $1000 including the exchange fee but not the resort fee for each exchange.

    You keep talking about how demoralizing the process is and how they messed up with you but you bought and you gave them 10's of thousands of dollars and they left you wanting to upgrade even though you hated the process. You are proof that they are doing it perfectly.
     
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  5. RussellSun

    RussellSun TUG Member

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    Yes, I guess their messed up sales process of insulting and abusing people works perfectly. I bought and still want to upgrade. I guess that is why they can get away with it. We bought because the product is beautiful even if the sales reps are nasty. The sales process is horribly demoralizing. I do not think anyone would disagree. I was lucky that I finally found a very nice sales rep who keeps me in. Everyone else is mean and nasty but she treats me with respect. If it weren’t for her, I would not still be considering the upgrade. One good apple in the bunch.

    They pitched 3 products to me in the initial sales presentation including the Entertainment Package, The Grand Entertainment Package and the Grand Luxxe Studio Loft. I did not like the GL Studio Loft so they went back to selling me on the Grand Mayan. Then I decided I did not like Grand Mayan and went back to cancel that and I re-inquired about Grand Luxxe and learned we could use the 1 bedrooms with the studio loft contract, which they did not tell me in the initial sales presentation. This changed everything because I love the one bedrooms. At the same time, I also inquired about other units and we are considering an upgrade to a two-level 1 bedroom Residence Loft. It was all negotiated and agreed upon in our first week we were there, when we finally worked with the “nice” sales team who works with Grand Luxxe customers. We have a year to decide.

    We actually like everything about Grand Luxxe and Vidanta except one thing...the salesforce experience still leaves a bad taste in our mouths. We need to see when we go back a few times in the next few months if Grand Luxxe can overcome that with excellent customer service. If they live up to their AAA 5 Diamond reputation, then we will upgrade. If not, we won’t.

    So if you ask about Grand Luxxe up front, they will sell it to your upfront but the general salesforce does seem to prefer to sell cheaper products for some strange reason. I guess that is what they are trained to do. Our first sales rep did not let me interrupt him because he had a spiel and it was memorized. If I interrupted, he had to start all over. LOL The first sales rep was actually a nice guy. His boss was the a-hole.

    I did not need to go back to get the Grand Luxxe. They would have sold it to me on day 1. My nice final sales rep said the general sales force is not knowledgeable about Grand Luxxe and if they would have known we were the target market for the Grand Luxxe, we would have been placed with a different sales force.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017 at 1:21 AM
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  6. Eric B

    Eric B TUG Member

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    RussellSun, the high season for the Grand Luxxe locations runs from January through early April. I don't believe you will find those deposited in II, although I am not a member of II, so don't know for sure. Like you, we bought directly into GL at the studio loft level in the last year because we loved it. There are some elements of the sales process, however, that can be grating. When I heard of the availability through II, I, too, was a bit disappointed, but not demoralized. You can also get to GL in the low season through SFX with a fair degree of availability and for a lower overall cost than going through Vidanta directly; you wind up paying an exchange fee to SFX plus a luxury upgrade fee plus the sunk cost of whatever you pay in MFs to your other timeshare. For me, the result was $449 to SFX plus ~$400 in MF for a week in a 2 BR GL suite, for a total of less than $1,000. I've also gotten down there through RCI when they deposited a bunch of weeks in the RCI Platinum Priority Access for the fall; then it was essentially just the $239 RCI exchange fee. With SFX there don't seem to be any return restrictions; with RCI the Vidanta properties list a limitation of once per year in high season and twice per year overall. Based on other posts, I understand that they (Vidanta) actually enforce these limitations. I don't know if there are limitations on II exchanges into GL or any other Vidanta property. I accept that what I bought was the right to go to GL during the high season at a fair price (we own 3 weeks at GL for the next 10 years plus additional availability through privilege weeks via SFX and ICE). I'm happy to take advantage of their having availability for sales prospects through exchanges at lower prices to go there in the low season when I can, too. Oddly enough, we met some folks down there that do the same thing, but were too embarrassed to admit having gotten there on the cheap by exchanging a different TS when they own there anyway until we were discussing things.

    I believe the commercial reality is that the GL inventory in the shoulder and low seasons must include a fair number of suites and lofts that are bigger than the 1 bedroom ones. If they didn't make them available for exchanges to sales prospects or other vacationers, there would be a great opportunity cost for the times that those are empty and not in need of painting and refurbishment. As a result, I don't believe we will ever see a complete lack of availability through the exchanges. My suggestion is to embrace the availability and reduce your cost of going down there when you can. I don't plan on paying the usage fees to go there in the off seasons when I can do so for less, even accepting that we may not get the best views. (By the way, I also enjoy going to the Mayan Palace in Marina Vallarta because it's easier to get out in the community and see Puerto Vallarta and the local area; the accommodations aren't as nice as GL, but sometimes you may want a different experience.) I think we are all better off if the company is able to fill rooms in the off season and generate income, allowing a slower rise in usage fees than we would otherwise see. When I was there this last September, there were also a fair number of Mexican nationals in the resort; demonstrating the other approach they are using to run the business efficiently by segmenting the market calendar and filling the place up in the hotter months with folks that aren't just trying to escape the cold.

    Also like you, we've pre-negotiated the cost of upgrading to a GL 1 BR penthouse loft for the next year. This seems to be an approach their upgrade sales team uses. I plan on doing that sometime next year so that I can spend February of the next year in one of those. It won't take me all that long to accomplish that though; I would hate to spend 2 1/2 days negotiating. Based on some of your other posts, I believe we will be in RM at the same time in January; we exchanged into GM rather than GL for that trip, though. The biggest value I see that TUG provides is a forum to exchange information on how best to use timeshare ownership efficiently and effectively - happy to get together down there to compare notes on Vidanta if you like. I've learned a lot by reading the postings here, including some tidbits you've included. I've been trying to point out things I've learned both from TUG and from my interactions with Vidanta, SFX and ICE (Vida Lifestyle), but have probably left some stuff out that others could benefit from.
     
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  7. RussellSun

    RussellSun TUG Member

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    We are staying in the GL 1 bedroom penthouse loft before we purchase. If you are considering a purchase and you have it pre-negotiated, they will allow you to stay in it in advance to try it out. You just ask them to book it for you and you pay the usage fee, of course. Be sure to ask your sales rep before you buy. This is the benefit of being on TUG. We learn a lot from each other.
     
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  8. Eric B

    Eric B TUG Member

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    That sort of matches our experience in September when we exchanged into GL NV. The fellow that had sold us the GL studio loft had noted in our file that they should try to sell us a 2 BR spa unit at the next upgrade sale opportunity. It confused them a bit that we were there on an exchange instead of a direct reservation, but they upgraded us to the 2 BR spa unit - no extra charge. Found out from the sales presentation about the note in our file and it kind of adds up. Think I'll just make a studio loft reservation when I'm planning on going down and actually upgrading; sales rep will probably arrange to upgrade us if it's a low season visit....
     
  9. rpennisi

    rpennisi Guest

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    Eric B wrote..."RussellSun, the high season for the Grand Luxxe locations runs from January through early April. I don't believe you will find those deposited in II, although I am not a member of II, so don't know for sure..."

    II most definitely has GL offerings in the high season. I have traded for a GL one bedroom suite for January, 2019. I am sure others have done so as well.
     
  10. T-Dot-Traveller

    T-Dot-Traveller TUG Member

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    Vidanta also developer deposits their other brands into RCI .
    If you are able to book 22 months out it can work well . RCI had Feb 2019 last April .
    < Thanks Ron for the heads up when the deposit occurred as I booked MP PV - Marina for Presidents week 2019 >

    IMO - these deposits are partly to keep a steady supply of " fresh meat " for sales / and may have something to do with developer - exchange company relationships (and possibly cash flow).

    That said - Vidanta and their reservations dept management seem quite good at making sure units are still available for various owner ARP periods . ( 1 yr & 6 months )
    IMO - for them it is similar to the way airlines (or hotels) run reservations - re : seat availability and cost per seat at various time lines .
    That is why I posted earlier that they had a " sophisticated reservations system " I think someones job is to monitor daily - the occupancy booked levels & when the reach a certain number xx months out from II ,RCI . SFX etc they have a cut off . Then if owners don't take xx % at xx ARP point / xx units go back into exchange companies etc.
    They also know that (currently ) for instance Acapulco & Mazatlan fill slower for snowbird season and so an owner booking"last minute " can still get a unit BUT perhaps not their first location choice.

    Obviously they have to monitor each brand & within Grand Luxxe each level of ownership as well .
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017 at 8:56 PM
  11. youppi

    youppi TUG Member

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    May be it depends of what you currently own. I went to GL NV for the first time last year (I don't own a Vida property) and they offered me only 2 bdrm at GL (2 weeks + 2 weeks with SFX for around $80,000 for their first offer after discounted what I own and a discount of the day (total discount $120,000)). I refused it and they came back with many different lower offers (only for GL) like a discount of 30% because I'm Canadian (diff between CAD and USD at that time), less weeks, etc. They never put pressure. I refused all their offers and at the end they asked me if they gave it to me (free), would I take it and I said no.

    I don't own a cheap trader (it costed me ~$775 per weeks for a 2 bdrm at GL including II exchange fee and the old $75 resort fee per week) but owners pay ~$2000 per week. Even with their new $11 per person per day, it's still much cheaper to exchange there for me than owning there.

    It took 3 hrs (short time from what I read) including the breakfast, the transportation between different places, a lot of talking about Europe/Canada and the visit of different units.
    Our sales person was from Belgium and spoke French (it's a trick we use often to avoid presentation. My wife told them that I speak only French (no truth but they don't know it). So, if they don't have a person that speak French then we don't have to go to a presentation).
     
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  12. pianoetudes

    pianoetudes TUG Member

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    There is no renovation fee in my contract.

    It is the fee to re-new the contract every 10 years. See below

    3.- TERM. This Certificate shall remain in effect for an initial term of ten years, beginning with the first calendar year after the date of this Certificate. Certificate Holder may extend this Certificate for additional ten-year periods by paying to the Hotel (through the Contact Center), within three months after the end of the preceding ten-year period, an extension fee equal to one then current Reservation Fee multiplied by the number of weeks indicated on the Cover Page. Certificate Holder may extend in this manner a maximum of nine times. If, at the end of any such ten-year anniversary of this Certificate, Certificate Holder does not extend this Certificate within the three month time window, all rights and obligations under this Certificate shall terminate. Operator does not invoice extension fees; it is the responsibility of the Certificate Holder to contact Operator to determine the amount of the fee and to make payment in accordance with the instructions in the Internal Policy.
     
  13. RussellSun

    RussellSun TUG Member

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    What did they offer you at a lower level after you said no to the 2 bedroom for $80,000? You said they made various lower level offers at different prices.
     
  14. youppi

    youppi TUG Member

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    She came back with a resale package (somebody was just upgraded is package supposely). It was a multiple weeks too but I don't remember the cost of this one. It was cheaper.
    She came back again with 1+1 week in a 2 bdrm for 30K CAD (30K USD - 30%).
    She left and a guy came and he asked us if he gave it to us if we would take it.
    I told him that it costed me $700+$75 per week to came here in a 2 bdrm. So why I would take it and pay $2000 per week ? To have a better view ? I don't care. I don't pass my day in my room.
    He agreed and gave us our gift and we left.
     
  15. T-Dot-Traveller

    T-Dot-Traveller TUG Member

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    So the sales (mgr- likely) was testing to see if you were a serious buyer or just a tire kicker .
    I do not think " free" would have been in a written contract .

    Youppi- I do think from your post and some others recently on TUG that 30 K is the approximate
    (net- net )entry price point for Grand Luxxe . IMO - What you get and how you get there - would take an actual written contract , likely a rescind , and negotiations with Vidanta Member Services to come to a final agreement with all the addendums and perks that are personally important .

    IMO - there will be a time frame ( or two ) in the next 18 or so months when a good negotiator could get " more / better " addendums . The time frame is based on Vidanta's need for cash to keep building the Cirque Theme park . It could be May 2018 as snowbird sales slow but cash needs for building continue . I do not think the $$ price will go down . It is what you can negotiate as an extra addendum with Member Services that determines the value of buying .

    For example - free golf . This was given in pre - build contracts 7 +"years ago . In the last few years
    the directive has been discounted golf . If a serious buyer was to get to that "sign the final paperwork moment " with Member Services , and said - throw in xx free rounds for 2 - per registered week paid for and used - and I sign . IMO it could happen . IMO - the xx rounds is less than 7 , and they might stipulate no use on xx day of the week ( whatever is the most busy ) etc.

    Thoughts ?
     
  16. Eric B

    Eric B TUG Member

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    B7DC91E6-84FF-40CE-B7B7-2C646272DD4A.jpeg Price point sounds about right proportionally; I got more weeks for a higher price, but about the same rate. They threw in unlimited free golf (pay for cart rental, though), 1/2 price spa treatments and tennis court usage. Pretty sure that’s limited to weeks booked directly, i.e., not privilege weeks through SFX. In a separate conversation w/ the reservation folks, though, they told me to just give them a call if SFX was ever unable to get the week I want, so it’s probably possible to work around that.

    They were also selling add on packages for Cirque park access. Details are in the picture I took of the offer sheet. They were bargaining lower prices for not using privilege weeks this year, but I’m not sure how they would accomplish that limitation - my use year doesn’t start until next year anyway.
     
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  17. RussellSun

    RussellSun TUG Member

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    I agree with T-Dot Traveller. I suspect the entry level price for Grand Luxxe is in the $30K range and varies depending on what unit type they give you, how many weeks go on your contract and what benefits are included and the terms of the contract. I was surprised they went down to less than US$30K for 1+1 in a 2 bedroom though. That seems very cheap to own a GL 2 bedroom unit even for a 1+1. I wonder what the terms of the contract would have been.

    BTW, those “resale” packages are a gimmick. They did that to us too. It is just a sales tactic to make people think they are getting a deal.
     
  18. T-Dot-Traveller

    T-Dot-Traveller TUG Member

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    Hi Eric - the pay for golf cart etc makes sense . Vidanta has a golf management company ( Kemper? )
    that has expertise in running golf courses . I assume the carts are part of their operation and therefore
    the payment goes to them .

    That is similar to the "go to a presentation " goodies . IMO the 10 % off is coming from the " hotel "
    side and does not change . Free cabs back to the airport , massages etc come from the TS sales promo
    budget and can be negotiated .

    Hi RussellSun - perhaps the " better deal" came with mandatory MF for xx years before pay on use starts . That way Vidanta would get the same dollars . Who knows ? and was it in writing ?
    My 2006 Mayan Palace contract had mandatory MF for the first 5 years , then became MF on use only.
    ( " no go / no pay " )
    This & the Vacation Fare week , was in writing and it can transfer to family but not resale .
     
  19. RussellSun

    RussellSun TUG Member

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    I would tend to agree from what I have seen so far. I would guess the 1+1 for a 2 bedroom for under $30K would probably have had more mandatory MFs, very few freebies and seasonal restrictions. Even the $30K-$40K GL contracts have 5 mandatory MFs in them and seasonal restrictions. The more expensive GL contracts have no mandatory MFs and a lot of extra perks and start getting silver, gold and platinum status for better rooms and service and no seasonal restrictions.

    I can totally see why many Tuggers would not pay for a Grand Luxxe membership. I did not think we would buy a membership either. However, I quickly learned I do not have the personality for exchanging on a regular basis. I like the idea every now and then but not on a regular basis. I mainly like the exchanges for the low price getaways. I like the “idea” of the SFX Vida Weeks where you can request a search but do not have to give up one of our Grand Luxxe weeks.

    I plan well in advance. Even having 11-12 months to making a booking seems too short to me. I wish I could book 18 months in advance. I also like to know exactly what view and room type I will get. This is priceless to me. So for these reasons, it is worth paying for a membership to me. I figure over the long run, the cost per year for a Grand Luxxe membership is not that much if we keep it for 30-40 years, let alone 100 years and put it in the trust and will (with prepaid renewal fees) for the kids and grandkids.

    Grand Luxxe is a relatively new brand. I think the first Grand Luxxe opened in the late 2000s. It was only awarded the AAA 5 Diamond in 2012 in NV and this year in RM. Once it becomes established like the Ritz Carlton and Four Seasons, it will be over $100K for an entry level membership. Those of us who are in early will look back with a sigh of relief. Yes, we could save a ton of money now with the exchanges. Yes, right now we are throwing away our money. But if Grand Luxxe achieves its long term goal, it will no longer have to “dump” Grand Luxxe in II. I think long term, it will use Mayan Palace and some of the Grand Mayans to get people to the Vidanta properties for sales purposes. If Vidanta is smart at brand management, it will protect the Grand Luxxe brand.
     
  20. rpennisi

    rpennisi Guest

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    Russell, hate to say this but it sure seems you have bought the schtick hook line and sinker in a very short period of time. 30-40 years, seriously, and then in a trust, and looking back in the future and being happy you got in early?
    I love Mexico for vacations, but you better hope that Mexico stays stable and Vidanta and Sr. Chavez have your best interests in mind in becoming the next Ritz Carlton and Four Seasons.
    We're not talking here about being in at the beginning of Microsoft or Google. But, if you have the disposable dollars, go for it.
    IMO, one thing for certain is that Vidanta will always come up with something new and more expensive to make the newbies think they are on top of the heap. There is a history to this.
     
  21. pittle

    pittle TUG Member

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    I am somewhat surprised at the $30,000 number for a Grand Luxxe 2-bedroom because in 2006, $31,000 was the absolute bottom line for a Grand Mayan (I had a very reliable source at that time.) Things change as they need cash, however. We felt that we made a good deal when we upgraded to consolidate our contracts to just 2 weeks in a 2-bedroom, because we did not have a lot invested and were obligated for the 5 year renovation fees, so we are $ ahead.
     
  22. T-Dot-Traveller

    T-Dot-Traveller TUG Member

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    Hi Phyllis
    Since I am the one that pulled the 30 K out of my TUG hat - I have to say that number is purely based on reading TUG and some posts in the last few months .
    I am not sure what level "into the GL door" that gets you ( & it may not be a 2 bedroom ) . As you know Vidanta does occasionally "reset" the starting MF for new contracts . Owners of older contracts with the MF yearly increase cap may benefit over time and pay less for the same unit .

    There was an extensive Grand Mayan post / thread last year and I believe that number was now about 16 K . I will find it & fill in details . Remember also that Vidanta charges a
    "closing fee " and their is some Mexican sales tax added as well . I am sure those are on top of quoted best price .

    I do feel that Vidanta has increased their focus on use revenue through owners via the " hotel side " use . You are the perfect example , (and even if coming via an exchange) your regular use is the loyalty all brands look to create .

    <I can remember a TUG post from more than 10 years ago - when someone posted they went to presentations for 2 reasons - to get information on what was going to be built & because they had breakfast everyday anyway . No Vidanta Traveller , no emails about the resorts , and a brochure of nice pictures (with little information) every couple of years .Those were the days of Casey Owens and the "Sell a Mayan Palace Chevrolet" to anyone who was not comatose. Post sales "owner information " was hard to find . Then I found TUG and read every Mayan Palace archive post so I could better understand what we bought & owned .
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017 at 10:04 PM
  23. pittle

    pittle TUG Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Resorts Owned:
    Grand Luxxe
    Buganvilias Sky Suites
    Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay
    In 1999, a 2-bed MP unit was $15,800. That is the only one that We learned about resales. Back in 2000, hubby worked at MP NV for a very short time (he could not lie), so we had some "inside" info for a while. We no longer have inside info, but I was totally surprised at the $30,000 amount because they were pushing for close to $50,000 for a 3-bedroom in 2014.
     
  24. RussellSun

    RussellSun TUG Member

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    I think the bottom line is unless that person signed a contract, they do not know what they are talking about. They do not know what would have been in it. People on TUG who are exchangers and have not bought are just bragging about how much money they are saving and how stupid people are to own. They do it on the Mexican forum and on the Hawaii forum, too. If people do not care about luxury and views and do not care when they go or what room they end up in, then of course they will save money by being flexible and exchanging. I had a choice of paying $899 for a Jungle Suite in Riviera Maya for January with a Saturday arrival through ICE Rewards or $1550 as a Grand Luxxe member and a Friday arrival. Guess what? I choose to pay more because I wanted to check in on Friday. The convenience was worth it for me. I am now glad I did it because I added a second week and Grand Luxxe made it easy for me. I doubt they would have done that for me had I booked the first week as a trader especially in high season. That is just an example of why it is worth it to me to shell out a huge upfront fee for my timeshares rather than buying a cheap trader.
     
    T-Dot-Traveller likes this.
  25. T-Dot-Traveller

    T-Dot-Traveller TUG Member

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    Hi RussellSun ,
    I think this was a good choice because it improved your personal vacation enjoyment .

    Over the 14 days this worked out to less than $50 a day . I realize from reading your posts that quality of the resort & experience are likely primary to your evaluation .
    I am simply breaking it down this way because- even for me that is a daily cost that is affordable . My wife and I may have chosen the $899 option in the end BUT
    having options is what makes sense to me .

    The good news - is that your hearing primarily from Vidanta owners who like the resort quality and service .
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017 at 10:13 PM

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