With a background in traditional timeshare sales, I will readily admit to having a lack of knowledge on the higher end timeshare products available.
With that in mind, I reached out to Christina Markowitch, Manager of Public Relations for Wyndham Exchange and Rentals, to find out more about RCI's Registry Collection. Future posts will cover II's high end product offerings.
I just returned from a site visit to Orange Lake Resort and Country Club where I met with Gregg Anderson, Registry's Club Global Vice President and Brooke Doucha, Senior Manager of Corporate Communications of Orange Lake Resorts and there are 3 things I can say with great certainty: 1) there is a lot about timeshare that isn't widely known, 2) there is a lot about timeshare that I need to learn about and 3) high end timeshare is far removed from the standard "3 day/2 night mini-vac with timeshare tour required" that is still widely used to "pitch" timeshare.
RCI has 160+ Registry properties around the world (http://www.theregistrycollection.com), Orange Lake's Signature Collection being one of them. The rooms themselves are spectacular; I could easily live there if I could afford the cost, which alas, I can't. But it's not about the LCD televisions, iPod docking stations, upgraded furniture, linens and kitchen appliances. As nice as they all were, I can't imagine anyone plopping down the necessary dollars for a 1 or 2 week vacation because of the real wood floors.
It's the service; the concierge who calls 30 days prior to arrival to find out if you're celebrating anything during your stay or if you need park tickets or groceries. It's about, in my opinion, what a vacation experience is all about. I don't know about you, but I don't go on vacation to get a "nice room" somewhere. But, I do want the accommodation portion of my vacation to be as relaxing, comfortable and stress-free as possible. And yes, I want to be made to feel welcome and special.
This isn't cookie-cutter timeshare and it is NOT for everyone in either style or, let's be honest, cost. But, if you're the type of person who has thought that you "weren't a timeshare person" or one of the hundreds if not thousands of travel writers and reporters who still think that a timeshare restricts you to the same week every year in a high rise at beach, then you might want to check out the Registry Collections.
My regular readers know that I do not endorse any timeshare. So understand that I am not endorsing RCI or Orange Lake. As I mentioned, I'll be covering II's high end collection soon as well as sharing some information on the ins and outs of these high end collections. 2012 will be a learning experience for me in many ways and I will be sharing that knowledge.
In the meantime though, I'm glad I am able to add to my knowledge base and hopefully open some eyes to the many fine timeshare products out there.
Now, go explore!