Diamond Resorts acquires Intrawest Resorts

Diamond Resorts acquires Club Intrawest
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Diamond Resorts is one of the timeshares that we own, and we’ve traveled throughout the US and abroad to Mexico, St Maarten, and France with them.  They are growing their portfolio of resorts with the addition of 9 properties with the acquisition of Intrawest Resorts Club Group.

Why we love to travel using timeshares

We have used our timeshares extensively to travel the world – domestically in the US, Australia, France, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Canada.  Aside from being in, or near, locations that we want to travel to, there are several reasons why we love using our timeshare to travel.

Saving money on food

Since we use airline miles to fly almost everywhere we go, and we use timeshare or hotel points to stay, our biggest expenses when traveling are food and fun.  Now that we have two small children in our family, access to quality food at an affordable price is even more important.

If you take a weeklong vacation, you’re looking at approximately 21 meals.  Even if you’re going economical and eating fast food for every meal, for a family of four that’s almost $700 in food if you only average $8 a person per meal.  Imagine the groceries you could buy for $700 to feed your family for just one week!

When we travel, we don’t eat exclusively at the timeshare because we want to experience some of the local cuisine and other times, we’re frankly too tired or too busy exploring to prepare a meal.  However, imagine how much money you’d save if you were able to cut out half the meals while traveling.

More space, even when traveling with friends

The other primary reason we love using our timeshares is how much space you get.  In a normal hotel room, you get the bed, the bathroom, and a U-shaped area surrounding the bed.  If you pay for a room upgrade or have high-level status with a hotel chain, you may get upgraded to a bigger room, which is always nice… however, not always guaranteed.

When we travel with our children, it is nice to have a 1- or 2-bedroom unit where we can put the kids to bed, then can enjoy some evening fun watching TV, sharing a bottle of wine over great conversation, or playing a board game without fear of disturbing a sleeping child.  Nobody wants a cranky kid in the morning!

And traveling with friends is more fun this way too!  If you book rooms at a hotel, there’s a small chance your rooms could be adjoining or near each other, but most likely you’ll be on different floors or wings of the hotel.  With a timeshare, you can reserve a bigger unit where both families can enjoy a common area to play and share meals, while still having a your own space to retreat to when you need some quiet time.  We do this a lot with our friends and family… to me, this makes travel so much more fun!

Club Intrawest Zihuatanejo
Photo courtesy of Club Intrawest website

Club Intrawest locations

Within these 9 new resorts, there are some places I definitely want to visit.  Click on the links below and you may be as impressed as I am with how attractive these resorts are.  Here are the acquired resorts:

These additions are exciting for our family as owners of Diamond Resorts.  More resorts to choose from increases the enjoyment of our membership.  Anna and I like to snowboard and are looking forward to teaching our kids how much fun that can be.  Palm Desert is a short drive away, so that could be a great weekend getaway spot.  And Mexico is a fun “exotic” location that is a short plane ride from our home in Southern California.  I can see our family visiting all of these locations once they’re available.

Availability of these new locations

Unfortunately, owners of Diamond Resorts will have to wait awhile before we can book one of these Club Intrawest resorts, per the email I received from Diamond Resorts this morning:

Due to the size and limited availability of these resorts, it is unlikely that these vacation destinations will be made available to members of THE Club® for the time being. While this decision will be reviewed in the future, our immediate priority is to ensure that the vacation ownership of the current Club Intrawest Members remains fully accessible for them to book. We also want to be transparent with members of THE Club® and realistic with you about the availability at Club Intrawest resorts at this time.

I’m sure that the delay is so that Diamond Resorts can determine which “collection” each resort will belong to, and at what price in points night at the new resort will cost.  Since it is only January 2016, I would guess we should receive an announcement later this year providing more details and announcing availability starting in 2017.

Do you own a timeshare?

I’ve owned timeshares since I was about 20 years old.  I’ve had so many positive experiences because I like to plan ahead.  What are your experiences with your timeshare units?  Do you have any favorite locations where you’ve stayed?  Any tips or tricks on how to get the most out of your membership?  We’d love to hear from you.  Please write us here.

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    • We really enjoy our timeshares Kym. Many people have a tough time using their timeshares, but they’re just like airline miles and points. There are definite sweet spots and better ways to use them… and there are certain situations where timeshares and miles & points won’t work. Glad to hear that you’re open to investigating whether a timeshare will work for you or not.

      • Yes I knew a few people that absolutely would not recommend them – but on the other hand my god parents have used them for years and adore their vacations. We are starting to think about these things as the kids are at those prime travel ages (3 and 10).

        • If you’re thinking about buying a timeshare, I would try a few test runs first. Take advantage of their promotions and attend presentations by each company you are considering buying into. Then, evaluate the pros and cons of each. When you’re ready to buy, go to TUG2.net, RedWeek.com, or eBay.com to buy on the secondary market to save 50-90% what they sell for direct at one of those presentations. You may lose out on some benefits by buying second-hand, but I think the savings are worth it.

  1. Do your timeshares work as weeks or nights? If on nights, is there a minimum number of nights you can stay? In the past when I’ve reviewed timeshares they have been week minimums which can be troublesome as most of my trips are going to be four nights or less.

    Your food analysis is pretty compelling as that is your biggest cost. When you stay at your resorts, what do you typically do? Do all the meals at the time share in your kitchen? Or do you budget for a few meals out as well?

    • Each timeshare company is a little bit different, and your membership will dictate how you can use it. Both of my timeshares are points-based, so they act just like hotel points with Hyatt, Hilton, etc. If there’s space available, I can book a room. The location & popularity of the resort, size of the room, day of the week, time of year, etc. all play a part in determining how many points the room costs.

      Diamond Resorts has a two-night minimum, while it is one-night with Worldmark by Wyndham. In both programs, weeknights (Sun-Thurs) are cheaper options than Fri and Sat nights. In fact, weekends are generally twice as many points as weekdays.

      With Diamond, I pay higher annual maintenance dues, but that’s all I pay. With Worldmark, my annual maintenance dues are about half of Diamond’s, but I have to pay “housekeeping” with every reservation, which varies depending on the size of the unit. I have 20,000 Worldmark points, so I get 2 “free” housekeeping tokens each year.

      For food, we try to eat most meals at the timeshare. For what you’d pay at a restaurant or fast food place, we can eat better food at a cheaper price when buying groceries and using the full kitchen that most timeshares have. At a minimum, we’ll eat breakfast and most dinners in the timeshare, then buy lunch while out exploring and go out to dinner once or twice to sample some of the local cuisine.

      Especially when we’re with other families, we find that cooking meals together in the kitchen or on the BBQ brings us closer together.


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