Diamond Resorts Members is an independent website to help members get the most out of their Diamond Resorts membership. This site contains resort reports from around the world. Each resort report that we have published on the site contains a Diamond Resorts Members rating and a Tripadvisor rating. Tripadvisor is possibly the biggest hotel and resort review site so you can really get all the information that you need before booking your next holiday vacation. In addition to a Tripadvisor rating we have included a map of local restaurants and things do to.
As well as regular resort reports we publish regular news from around the internet about Diamond, bringing it all together in one handy location. We will also try and answer your questions about being a member, offer hints and tips so that you can try and get the most out of your membership.
The owner of the website has been a member for over 10 years and has tonnes of experience. Having originally become a Grand Vacation Club (GVC) back in 2003, the club changed ownership and became Sunterra before eventually becoming Diamond Resorts International. As you can image the club was run very differently under each owner, with some owners being better than others.
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Diamond Resorts Membership is a site that reviews and, based on customers’ feedback, rates resorts through regular reports on the internet. Vacation Clubs are now the most popular form of Timeshare ownership. I’d like to discuss the pros and cons of joining them, and how to make the best pick if you choose to join a club.
How do vacation clubs work?
Vacation clubs are much like timeshares, but instead of owning a week somewhere you own points and they can be spent each year at different resorts. If you join a traditional timeshare, you are investing money in a particular unit for a later time when you want to go on vacation. These units should ideally be in vacation resorts that suit your tastes, as this is not a small investment you are making. Now most timeshare organisations sell their product in the form of points.
You buy points to cover the time when you choose to go on vacation and the destination that you prefer to go. If you choose to go on vacation during peak times and in the most sought after resorts, then you will need more points in order to obtain that unit. The more the points you spend the higher the cost you will incur.
Clubs expect that you pay lump sums of money upfront or through financing. This money first enters you into a contract with the club and the reminder cover the expenses of your vacation for that year. Joining a vacation club is more like making a real estate investment, whereby you enter into a contract to own a bit of the resort, and sometimes this ownership can be passed on to your descendants.
Vacation clubs joining fee is normally in the tens of thousands with a yearly maintenance costs of a couple of thousand each year. You should therefore be certain before joining a these types of club that it is within your means.
Besides these costs, if the management of the resort deems it necessary to carry out major renovations or repairs, you might be required to help in meeting the cost of repairs.
It is important to note that in case you join a club but want to try other resorts, this is possible through timeshare exchange organisations. Diamond allows for the exchange of points using Interval International. This switching is made possible by companies acting as middlemen and helping you to trade your timeshare unit in one resort for another that suits you best.
Not only Diamond but other organisations allow for this. It is catered for in your membership fees, therefore the club takes the responsibility of exchanging the timeshare units for you. There is an administration charge for this.
What to Look For In a Vacation Club
Different vacation clubs have different priorities when it comes to serving members, be it consideration of the price, or a variety of resorts, or good customer care. So before you join a given vacation club, here are a number of things that you ought to consider:
Before making commitments to join a certain vacation club, be sure you are well versed with what implications that commitment will have on your vacation plan. You do not want to join a club that has only one resort, and you will have to contend with the boredom of going to the same place year in year out. So if travelling around the world ranks high on your priority list of what you want your vacations to look like, then be sure to join a club that offers different choices in resorts. This is a very important factor that you shouldn’t ignore.
Additionally, you need to know how long your timeshare unit remains in your name. If you want a real estate investment that will belong to you and to your descendants to posterity, then seek that assurance before you enter into a contract with a club. It can be devastating to find out later that the vacation club to which you belong imposes an expiration date, and by then it could be too late to do anything about it.
Also, what offers or perks does the club you are considering to join have? If you need guidance as you tour places, or more information on those historical places you want to tour, then you need to look for vacation clubs that make tour guides available. If travel insurance is important to you, then you should check out those clubs that have this offer.
The whole point of going on a holiday vacation is to get away from your daily life to experience life in another, more relaxed and more refreshing dimension. If you get into a club that has a very limited number of resorts which you can access, it takes all the fun out of your vacation and can prove to actually be boring. So choose a club that avails to you a wide range of destinations so that you can enjoy the benefits of variety.
Going on vacation is quite expensive, especially if you take the vacation club option, because here you incur both the membership cost as well as the annual vacation expenses. A club that offers discounts on certain services is therefore a rather enticing option. There are clubs that give discounts on airfare and car rentals, therefore easing the financial burden of having to cater for these basic needs besides everything else. Also, there are clubs that might sell their merchandise at lower prices ensuring that you go home with a souvenir, among other discounts.
Before you join a vacation club, be sure to research on how well they respond to their members’ call, how available they are to solve any problems that may arise in your vacation.
When all is said and done, the single most important factor that determines what vacation club membership you can purchase is how much money you are willing to commit to make your vacation memorable. This decision should be made with the foresight that this membership costs more than the initial joining cost, that you will require money annually to cover the expenses of your holiday each year.