Timeshare presentations can be tough to attend and vary from friendly to extremely pushy. Since I was staying at the Breeze Residence Club which I discussed here, I thought that I would attend the presentation to see what their program was all about.
In exchange for our time, we were given daily housekeeping and wifi which would have cost $210 for the week. It was optional and not really needed but I did not go on the tour for this perk. The Breeze Residence Club was really nice and was interested to learn about their system and see if there was potential value.
My family of four were treated to a nice breakfast at one of the local restaurants on site. The breakfast was quite delicious and the entire family was well fed. The person who was assigned to us was pleasant and we did small talk during breakfast on our travels, cost of vacations, where we would like to go and so on. The standard small talk.
I quickly tried to bypass this small talk and get down to the actual system. The point of the small talk is to assess your vacation style and vary their pitch based on how often you travel and your desired locations. The pitch is different based on whether you travel a lot or little, spend a lot or a little, do multiple weeks or go once per year.
My family and I travel a lot so they presented us with a 4 week package. They claimed that it was the minimum amount of time offered but when I pushed a little more, we can get as little as a week if we wanted.
The pitch clearly tried to differentiate itself from a timeshare. They were NOT a timeshare but rather a club and they do not have ongoing maintenance fees, just usage fees.
Regardless of what they call it, this was pretty much a standard timeshare.
Here is a picture of the pricelist:
As you can see, the price for 4 weeks is $75,150 which is definitely expensive. Almost immediately, they offered me the pre-construction pricing of $51,600 even though they were already constructed.
The pricing above gets you 4 weeks but you choose what type of unit - 1 bedroom, 2 bedroom or 3 bedroom. The pricing above is for 10 years. If you do not want to participate after 10 years, you can simply stop paying. If you want to keep using it, you need to pay the property taxes which they claim is 20% of the purchase price so basically another $10,000 in ten years. I was hesitant to believe any of this and did not get to see the fine print.
They claim that there is no maintenance fees so if you do not use your weeks, you do not pay anything. If you do actually want to use it, you pay a usage fee per week which ranged between $500 for a 1 bedroom to over $1000 for a 3 bedroom. Again, very skeptical on this function.
The Breeze Residence Club trades through the Registry Collection which is an affiliate of RCI. The Registry Collection is supposed to be the highest quality resorts within RCI. The review of the Registry Collection did appear interesting as these did appear to be very high quality resorts.
They claim that if you did not want to use your week, you can exchange it into the Registry Collection by paying your "usage fee" which turns your week into points. Here is the exchange amounts:
These credits were per week and can be exchanged through the Registry Collection. Fortunately, the Registry Collection actually has a transparent site so that you can see the exchange grids for each property.
They are here for your review:
Interestingly, the exchange grid on the Registry Collection has weeks associated the amount of points where some weeks at the Breeze Residence Club require as little as 350 points for a 3 bedroom week. During our presentation, no weeks were mentioned and they simply claimed the above points in exchange for the week. Again, very skeptical on the amount of points actually given.
They also claimed that we could give them our existing timeshare and they would give us credit for purchasing through them. I did not pursue this as I doubt that this was really worthwhile and told them that I actually enjoyed our timeshare and would not be getting rid of it.
They also claimed that by owning through Breezes we would get access to something called the Advantage Program. They claimed that we can get access to every single type of timeshare regardless of affiliation (Interval or RCI) (Marriott, Hilton, Four Seasons, Hyatt, etc) as this was basically a consolidator which purchased inventory from the developers and resold it at the "guaranteed lowest prices". Guaranteed lowest prices is completely meaningless as you cannot see prices through a lot of avenues without logging in. I doubt that this had any validity.
When I pushed to see availability, we did a couple of brief searches and saw a couple decent properties for costs than ranged from $1000 - $1500 for week. Without a login and ample time to review, it was difficult to see if there were viable options.
When we were pushed whether this was attractive, I told them that I needed more time to review the program. This did not go over that well and they sent in their manager who offered us a foreclosure option for around $15,000 for the same four weeks.
Again, I stayed firm and told them that I wanted to review the program and see if this was a viable solution for us. After a few more "nos", we were on our way.
Truthfully, I was actually very confused about what they were offering. They claimed that we owned it outright but had to pay 20% again in the next 10 years. They claimed that there are no maintenance fees but had to pay for "usage fees". They claimed that we could exchange into any unit but did not show us how and the resulting cost.
They claimed that there were no exchange fees or other fees but I don't believe that for a second.
Overall, this was another example of why timeshares have such a bad name. They change the terminology for everything and claim that you can travel the world anytime you want in luxurious accommodations for cheap. This is simply not true as availability is always an issue.
While the Breeze Residence Club is an extremely nice property, I left the presentation confused about what they were offering and what we would purchase. Despite the prices being hefty, I could not assess whether there were any great values to be had in the Registry Collection or the Advantage Program. They simple made over broad promises without showing any real examples.
I was disappointed with the experience as I really did want to learn abou the system. The timeshare was a little pressure filled and tried to make me feel like an idiot for not believing in their promises of being able to travel wherever and whenever I wanted to.
Despite, this the Breeze Residence Club is a stellar property and definitely recommend a visit.
What have your experiences been. Have you participated with the Breeze Residence Club? Leave some comments below.