Is it a Timeshare Resort or a Hotel?

Having spent sometime reading various forums, it occurred to me that many timeshare owners are not happy with a very disturbing situation. The fact that non-owners are able to book into their resorts.

8

After listing several resorts around the Canary Islands, Mainland Spain and Mallorca, placing these into google I was amazed at the results. All came up with various booking sites.

Booking.com; ebookers.com; trivago.com; villas.com; medresorts.net and tripadvisor.com.

Many had websites direct to the resorts offering quite substantial discounts.

 

Was not timeshare originally sold as an exclusive membership, with people being told that only other owners could use them and the facilities. Entering dates for availability and price came as a bit of a shock, in many cases it seemed that the prices were less per week than many owners are paying in maintenance fees. I know if I was an owner I would not be too happy about this. Especially having paid out thousands to buy it in the first place.

2

The question is now is this legal let alone ethical?

 

According to one Spanish Lawyer that commented, it appears this may not be legal. He stated that the double business, hotel & timeshare resort/club was not allowed unless they were fixed weeks and apartments. Well I´m not a lawyer so I don´t really understand this, but I do think that it is not ethical.

 

Has this come about because of the dwindling number of people wanting to own timeshare, or is it the resorts just getting greedy? Many people who own points or floating weeks have told me that getting the availability to the resorts they want is difficult and in some cases impossible. Is it because of these rentals? So on one hand the resorts get your maintenance fees and on the other extra income from renting out. Not a bad business to be in is it!

7-300x300

Thanks to the age of the internet timeshare has become a rather expensive holiday option. Gone are the days when the sales staff could say at least you are guaranteed a certain standard, or use the old financial logic pitch. Yes in those days being tied to the high street travel agent was expensive for decent accommodation, as for the package deals, well, did you know where you would stay until arrival and what condition was the resort/hotel? Yes we all remember those horror stories.

 

Are you happy that your resort now accepts non-owners, let us know your feelings through our comments section. Have a good Easter.


8 Comments

  • Edward

    November 9, 2016

    There was a seminar in Tenerife on May 21 2015 titled “Timeshare, A Key to the Future of the Hotel Business” which highlights the strong place timeshare has in the tourism industry and how it can revitalise the Hotel Industry at little cost and improve income during the low season. They are using the high standard of timeshare resorts to attract and satisfy their clientele. Basically they are letting the Owners pay to maintain a 5 star resort and are free-riding off it to profit.

    If this is successful as implied by the seminar, one wonders what their ultimate aim is. Why be content in using just the “blocked” or cancelled weeks and those put up for rent by owners when with a bit of deviousness they can gain control of all of it.

    When you step back and think of what these companies are doing it beggars’ belief that owners allow it to happen. To put it simply:-

    The resort is paid for by owners who purchase weeks.
    The owners then pay every year to keep the resort in first class condition.
    The owners employ a management company (in my case, Wimpen/Onagrup) to manage the resort and take care of the maintenance.
    The management company then decide to run a Hotel business as a side-line, using the resort they are paid to look after as their accommodation.
    Everyone from reception to gardeners, bar staff to cleaners is paid by the owners via the management fees/contract fee.
    Apart from fees for weeks that Onagrup own this hasn’t really cost them anything. In fact they make money from the commission (32%) they charge the owners for renting out their own weeks.
    The only benefit to the resort is the rental income to cover debtor maintenance fees.
    As Victor Meldrew would say ‘I don’t believe it!’

    Reply
  • Alan Stewart

    November 16, 2016

    Edward

    I am happy that all of my resorts accept non-owners.

    Your input dated November 9 2016 is totally flawed in so many ways, generally and specifically in respect of the timeshare resort where you are an owner.

    You classify only two types of users, actual owners and those that you class as “renters”.

    I wonder where what I call the “exchangees” fit into your diatribe, do you see these as “renters”?. Exchangees come from various organisations not limited to RCI, Dial an Exchange and Interval International.

    Across those organisations there are 292 weeks currently banked by your owners, ie. weeks where despite the sometimes exhorbitant fees, your owners do not wish to holiday at your resort, they wish to exchange to other resorts worldwide. Using RCI purely as an example, they have available 133 weeks pertaining to your resort, despite the many and varied complaints about RCI emanating regularly from owners within your resort. In speaking with some of the owners it was stated that “we would rather spend two weeks at a beach resort in Iraq, rather than go back to your resort”.

    As you are aware, these numbers of bankings will bring in many non-owners across the estate throughout the year – where do they fit in as part of your resort, the maintenance fees of which is paid by the people (owners) for the people (owners) – would they come if they knew how unwelcoming your resort is? – I do not include the reception staff in this, I am talking about the cliques of owners who resent “exchangees” in attendance.

    Is there still a “1 in 4 rule” with RCI to prevent exchangees returning within that time frame? I suppose you would be a supporter of this .

    I turn now to the Ona renters, who seem to be upsetting you. Other more enlightened resorts have used the rental income generated to improve the facilities. A sister resort is totally replacing all poolside and patio furniture covering the cast with rental income, which is not affecting reserves. Whereas you see that at your resort this could cover debtors maintenance fees, the increase of which is put squarely at the door of Ona, rather than the many owners who are “walking away” or abandoning weeks under Escritura. When it is complained that Ona are encouraging people to hand back weeks, surely you are not supporting a “buy out” type of arrangement like Macdonalds at 4 times the maintenance fee?

    Ona is not interested in having full control of your resort I can assure you.

    You may be a contributor to the company website, but I am told that the bile and vitriol has risen to a head in the last few days to fever pitch. We all know the causes, I never attend but you can hear the raised voices at the weekly meetings as far as the Mirage, above the noise of the cranes.

    I have to draw to a close for the moment, but wonder if the two unhygienic and filthy keyboards – in fact pretty deadly I would say have been replaced yet? they certainly would not pass health & safety. Alongside years of misery with your wi-fi for owners, exchangees and renters alike.

    Happy holidays
    World Traveller (aka Victor Meldrew)

    Reply
    • Timeshare Insider

      November 17, 2016

      Thank you Alan for your input, this is a topic where there are very differing views. One view from many owners is that when they originally purchased, they were buying into an “exclusive club”, that only members or those on exchanges would be using. What we are seeing now with many resorts is more rentals and in some cases the price is less than the annual maintenance. This obviously would get owners backs up.

      I do agree with you on the point the resort does need to have revenue, especially as timeshare is not selling and the membership base is getting on in years. Also most of this ageing membership have changed the way they holiday, with their now grown children not wanting to take on the burden of maintenance or holiday in other ways, i.e package and all inclusive.

      Some resorts use the rental system to encourage new members, this has been seen for years with the “flybuy” programmes. Vastly discounted weeks with the obligation to attend a presentation. The old method of “kids on the street” with scratch cards is not working as it used too, most travelers are now aware of this method, with many tour operators warning them about this practice.

      I think we will be seeing a large increase in this method of filling the resorts in the future, especially if the industry does not change the way it treats members.

      Once again thank you for your comments and encouraging debate.

      Reply
      • Alan Stewart

        November 17, 2016

        Charles always happy to comment and encourage debate. On that point I have much more information in respect of the big mac figures re Fergus but i cannot find my link to add it on. I have had difficult getting passed the capcha to send you a message can you e-mail me and I will send it by e-mail . Thanks again

        Reply
    • Edward

      November 17, 2016

      Alan, I referred to renters and owners in my “diatribe”, as you wished to describe it, because they are related to the subject of the article – hotels or timeshare. In error, I overlooked exchangees but, like many people, I do not have a problem with them, as all the exchange companies abide by the rules of the resort; with at least two of them exceeding the guest criteria laid down in the resorts rules and, I too have made use of the exchange system via RCI at times. A comment made by to me by exchangees in the past is that, as primarily fellow timeshare owners, they have the same respect for the host resort as they would their own.
      As far as I am aware the 1 in 4 rule with RCI is still applicable. Wimpen say that this rule is at the resorts discretion and that it is solely to prevent abuse of the system.

      My use of the phrase “to cover debtor maintenance fees” originates with Wimpens MD who regularly made the comment at our AGM’s, but whether the rental income is set aside to cover the fees or is used to fund extraordinary expenditure is neither here nor there as the end result is the same. Additionally, another comment the MD made at a recent AGM referred to the devious tactics management companies use to gain control of a resort for their own ends and it was partly this that alerted me to the threat to resorts.

      The majority of timeshare resorts were created in the Club system, with Club being the operative word. Over the years owners saw familiar faces and the resort, being Friday to Friday was generally quiet, relaxed and peaceful. Now, marketed as a hotel, that is not the case, with the daily hustle and bustle of hotel life becoming increasingly common and owners at many resorts unhappy at the changes that this brings. As mentioned in the article, this is not restricted to my resort.

      For whatever reason, whether it is debtors or owners unable to visit etc. the rental market has to be an option but should be strictly controlled. Wimpen, prior to Onagrup’s acquisition, admirably achieved this, annually making use of the rental market very successfully without the use of outside booking agencies, with an uptake of 85% of rental availability contributing 17% to the maintenance fee income, abiding by the Statutes and Club Constitution and without the problem of unruly guests. Unfortunately the same cannot be said since Onagrup’s acquisition; with the resort manager, on a few occasions, having to evict guests for abuse of the facilities and unruly and disruptive behaviour, which included, on one occasion, one apartment allegedly being trashed.

      The resort is now marketed as a hotel and with the use of online booking engines. The rules of the Constitution are ignored to comply with the terms and conditions. From it once being a Friday to Friday resort (which is still the rule of the Constitution), guests are now coming and going daily which increases the service of the rooms. Stag parties, hen parties and one-nighters, with the accompanying disruptive behaviour, are now familiar. Room occupancy is also exceeded.

      There were very few problems with guests in the 25 years Wimpen marketed it as a timeshare resort. But the last 2 years that has seen the resort marketed as a hotel has also seen the appearance of the aforementioned problems. It is now clear that, being marketed as a hotel through outside agencies, the same vetting of guests is not occurring.

      As regards you implying that the resort is one to be avoided, facts and figures seem to disagree with that, with sales and enquiries still being reported together with the obvious high take up in the rental market. As with all resorts, the problem with owners wishing to exit is an age old one. Again, the MD of Wimpen admitted that the ‘strong selling tactics’ employed in the past resulted in sales to people who could least afford it.
      The problems with cleanliness and Wi-Fi lie with the management company and are cause for complaint by owners and renters alike. In fact the management company signed up to €580/month contract with the internet provider without approval from owners.

      Finally, could you enlighten me as to how you can assure me that Onagrup are not interested in having full control of the resort?

      Reply
  • Alan Stewart

    November 17, 2016

    Edward

    I appreciate your response to my comments. Extremely erudite you have answered many of my points, and have expanded excellently on the problems in respect of the incorrect “Hotel” classification at your resort and others.

    I would take issue with only one point in no way did I imply that the resort is one to be avoided, I repeated only what was said to me in several conversations. I have visited the resort very regularly and would not do so if I was unhappy.

    I know that you follow closely the articles on this website, so you will be aware of the Spanish Supreme Court decisions in respect of perpetuity, ie. maximum term is now 50 years. It may be that sales contracts and transfers to Escritura at your resort are at odds with this, and could make any contracts signed since 1999 nul & void. I believe someone needs to look into this.

    At this time I am only able to say that in all my dealings with Onagrup across several years, their only stated wish is to be managers not to take full control of your resort or in fact any other.

    Like many, including yourself I await the next development(s) in respect of the life of your resort.

    Kind regards

    Reply
    • Timeshare Insider

      November 21, 2016

      Thank you to Alan and Edward for this conversation, it certainly brings forward some of the concerns of owners regarding this subject. This is something that we have been seeing for several years now, on many occassions owners I have spoken with have expressed the same feeling, non owner rentals (in this I do not mean friends who have used a guest week) do not seem to have any respect for the place. As Edward stated he has known management having to evict people for unruly behaviour, something which I have heard from owners in the past.

      Once again thank you to both of you in helping to get the conversation going, I am sure other readers will have gained something from this.

      Reply
  • Alan Stewart

    November 21, 2016

    Charles could you e-mail me i have a load of info re Macdonalds and i cant find the link from my last input thanks again Alan

    Reply

Leave a Reply