Do you think “timeshare” is as tired as the McCourt-owned Dodgers? Well, no longer dread the dream condo in a forgotten Honolulu neighborhood where the ocean “view” is a photo mural on the wall next to the marshmallow-mattressed Murphy bed. Timeshare has evolved, and be it a deeded interest at one luxo-cool spot or a hunk of the calendar that can be spread out across the globe, this latest greatest iteration in the world of fractional vacation ownership is equal parts high class, higher satisfaction and highest ticket.
Spotlight: Pauoa Beach, Kohala Coast, Big Island
Argue all you want about “best” Hawai’ian island or the “best side” of the best island. Kohala works. Slipped in between Fairmont Orchid and the Mauna Lani complex, these ER homes sit where the sun always is warm, it seldom rains and the sea teems with honu and a Monterey Bay Aquarium-worth of critters that thankfully reside in a part of the Pacific that isn’t Monterey Bay frigid.
Home Sweet Home: A dozen-plus 3,000-square-foot four-bedroom “traditional” or three-bedroom “Balinese-style” homes, with the latter consisting of separate buildings surrounding a large private pool and outdoor living area. All include pools, hot tubs, dual master suites, receding-glass walls and outdoor showers; four-bedroom units sport a detached guest house.
Call the Bank: ER members own vacation days, 10 to 60 per year, not affixed to a specific property and priced from $160,000 to $500,000, with annual dues of $9,995 to $59,700.
Trading Places: Hundreds of residences arrayed from Kiawah Island, South Carolina, and Whistler, British Columbia, to the French Alps and a castle in Devon, England; even a number of 1,300-square-foot “apartments” onboard a permanently sailing residential cruise liner, The World.
And Now a Word From … Bobby and Linda Gross of St. Petersburg, Florida: “Exclusive Resorts offers us more vacation choices than any other option. Before joining we were considering buying a second home, and we’re so glad we didn’t do that. With Exclusive Resorts it’s like we have hundreds of vacation homes, instead of just one. We have loved our Big Island vacations so much that we have made them an annual tradition of our family. The club has become part of the fabric of our family life.”
Spotlight: The Ritz-Carlton Club, Lake Tahoe
This Destination Club is situated about halfway up the mountain at Northstar, and if you are doing the geography that means one thing: ski-in, ski-out. OK, that’s two but you know what I mean. By summer, it’s still Tahoe: boat, hike, gamble down where Nevada dips into the lake, play golf, fish. Owner-residents can partake of the spa and other facilities at the adjacent Ritz-Carlton resort.
Home Sweet Home: Two- through four-bedroom residences ranging from 1,500+ to nearly 2,700 square feet.
Call the Bank: 1/12th deeded interests start at mid-$100,000, with annual dues of $13,097 to $17,061. (Ritz also offers a membership category where the interest is not vested in a specific property.) Destination Club memberships range from $100,000 to $800,000 depending on property and interest-share, plus annual dues of $7,600 to $22,700.
Trading Places (select locales): Club residences in Abaco, Bahamas; Aspen Highlands and Bachelor Gulch, Colorado; Kapalua, Maui; San Francisco; Ritz-Carlton hotels and resorts.
And Now a Word From … Jorie Scull of San Ramon: “The ski valet is one of my favorites. I show up with my kids [3 and 7] and they get them comfortable with their boots and skis before going out on the slopes. Then coming back to the lodge they always have hot chocolate waiting. My kids feel right at home.”
Spotlight: The Villas at Rancho Valencia, Rancho Santa Fe, CA
Rancho Santa Fe is excess done right, a place where a Mercedes with a model number excluding “6” is ghetto. Owners get a chic address, nearby ocean and access to the onsite Auberge Resort, with tennis, spa and a certain vibe that’ll convince you it’s the ‘30s, Hollywood is relevant and the guy at the pool is Crosby at a time when cool is Bing.
Home Sweet Home: Three-bedroom, 3,500-square-foot villas with steam showers, private pools, huge arboretum-like patios and outdoor fireplaces.
Call the Bank: 1/8th deeded interests are priced at $425,000, with annual dues of $12,000. Timbers properties range in price from $245,000-$612,000, plus dues.
Trading Places: Tuscany, Italy; Doonbeg, Ireland; Steamboat Springs, Colorado; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; Scottsdale.
And Now a Word From … Nancy Stark of Santa Monica: “We stayed at the resort many times over the years before the villas were developed. The ability to use all of the facilities and our own concierge service as if we were resort guests, yet enjoy the privacy and spaciousness of the villas, was particularly attractive to us. The fact that we do not have to take an airplane to Rancho Santa Fe was not just a plus, but a requirement.”
Spotlight: Pronghorn, Bend, Oregon
World-class fishing, skiing, backpacking and hiking; kayaking and canoeing on lake and stream; mountain biking and hundreds and hundreds of miles of open road; little rain, abundant sunshine; a half-dozen or so brew pubs in town—Bend could just be America’s best onshore getaway spot. Did I mention golf? Tom Fazio and Jack Nicklaus designed the two Pronghorn courses and they might not even have produced the most notable courses in Central Oregon.
Home Sweet Home: Quintess’ “Sunset Sage” home outside Bend sits on a promontory with a full-sweep view of Cascade volcanoes and the to-the-horizon high desert from its furnished rooftop observation desk. Come winter, there’s don’t-bother-driving shuttle service to Mt. Bachelor.
Call the Bank: As with ER, Quintess member-owners have an interest in 10 to 60 vacation days, moveable across myriad homes and properties. Membership fees range from $140,000 to $525,000, with annual dues of $11,775 to $70,650.
Trading Places: Typical residences are valued at $4,000,000 each, with 4,000+ square feet (non-city properties), in such diverse spots as Sotogrande, Spain, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Napa Valley and Miami’s South Beach.
And Now a Word From … Chris Shepanek of Lake Oswego, Oregon: “I had the great pleasure of visiting Pronghorn and played the Fazio course. What an amazing experience. Everything about the community is first-class and with its close proximity to Bend, I think you have an absolute perfect destination. We are enjoying Quintess more and more every day.”