Monday, October 14, 2013

Steve Burton Reviews The Osborne Club

I have decided to write my next review about the Osborne Club which was the first timeshare development in England when it was developed back in 1979. I have owned timeshare at the Osborne Club since 1980 however my review will be fair and objective and show no favour because I am a long standing owner there. The Osborne Club is located in Hesketh Crescent in Torquay Devon on the south coast of England. The area is known as part of the English Riviera due to its mild climate. Hesketh Crescent is a Grade two listed Regency crescent which has had its fair share of famous visitors over the years. Charles Darwin stayed in Hesketh Crescent for six weeks shortly after writing his famous book the Origin of Species. The crime writer Agatha Christie was also a frequent visitor to Hesketh Crescent.

The Osborne Club is located in a spectacular position just a stones throw from Meadfoot beach with a great view of the English Channel. Many but not all the apartments have superb sea views. I am not aware of any other resort where the location of your apartment is as important as is the case for the Osborne Club. At the time of writing my review seven RCI members have after staying at the resort written about the Osborne Club on the RCI website. Several people have commented that the Osborne Club is a good exchange destination if you exchange to a sea view apartment but they would not want to visit if they were offered an apartment at the back of the building without a sea view. One member commented that they informed the resort over a year in advance that they would like a sea view apartment. This request was never likely to be met because it is normal policy for the resort to keep you in the apartment that was banked either with RCI or Dial an Exchange. Of the seven reviews on the RCI website apartment 15 is singled out for negative comments as it is at the back of the crescent, has no sea views and the living area is located on the ground floor and the two bedrooms are located in the basement. I can see why some people would not like this apartment but for twenty years I actually owned the Christmas and New Years weeks in that apartment and as it is dark for around sixteen hours each day at that time of year and I was out during the day it really did not bother me that there was no sea view. Actually to me when staying in a timeshare resort the most important issue is to be able to go to bed without any noise that is stopping me sleeping and due to the position of the bedrooms in apartment 15 it was one of the best apartments I have stayed in that respect. If the need for a sea view is an over riding factor then before you confirm a week with RCI or Dial an Exchange you need to check with the resort the location of the apartment especially in relation to the sea views.

This timeshare resort has two swimming pools an inside and outdoor pool but due to the English climate the outdoor pool is only open from May to September and due to health and safety issues single bathing is not allowed. There are two restaurants located in the Osborne Hotel in Hesketh Crescent. The Osborne club is located around twenty to thirty minutes walk to the Torquay sea front where the ambience is much different from the peace and quiet of Meadfoot beach which is very quiet for the majority of the year.

I am well aware that most of the readers of Timeshare Insights are Americans who perhaps may not know a great deal about the British weather so please let me say that Torquay say compared to Scotland has a very mild climate in winter and if you are lucky you could visit the Osborne Club in mid winter and enjoy some very pleasant walking weather. The Osborne Club itself is located in a position that shelters it from any cold Northerly winds which can make it very pleasant to go down to the beach to watch the waves coming in over the beach. I think under these circumstances it is worth considering visiting the Osborne Club out of season when there is usually some availability with RCI and probably Dial an Exchange.

It obviously comes down to personal choice as to what to do on a visit to the Osborne Club. My choice would include walking on the coastal paths visiting places such as Babbacombe and Cockington Village and also the Paignton to Kingswear steam train which has some fantastic views of the coast of South Devon. There are some enjoyable cruises as well especially the one on the river Dart which is located where the steam train terminates in Kingswear.

Please be advised that outside of the winter months availability is very limited with RCI and you would be well advised to put on an on going search but don't put it on automatic confirmation with RCI so you can check out with the resort or their website the location of the apartment specifically in relation to whether it has a sea view or not.

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