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Old Nov 30, 12, 12:17 pm   #1
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Question Anantara Vacation Club: Thoughts & Experiences?

Anantara Vacation Club: Thoughts & Experiences?

I’m starting this thread under luxury hotels but won’t be upset if it’s moved because there’s a better forum heading for this topic….

I’m asking if anyone has experiences with the Anantara Vacation Club (AVC) and would be willing to expand upon the benefits of their membership, I would greatly appreciate it.

Here’s a synapses of my recent ordeal with them:

I’ve stayed at the Anantara Bangkok Chao Phraya property and enjoyed it. So I did something I’ve never done before and attended a timeshare sales pitch recently in Bali for the AVC. The Mrs. and I accepted their offer to stay for the weekend at Anantara Seminyak (Bali) at a reduced rate and listen to their pitch.

What I got out of the “no hard sales” sales pitch was this: It’s a timeshare where you purchase a set number of points (renewed annually until 2040) which are used at their various properties on various points per night redemption rates (quality of property & season, etc…). Dependent upon the volume of points you agree to purchase, it also comes with various tiers of status and benefits. A basic package allows the AVC member to use their points at the 5 AVC properties (soon to be expanded to 10), but a higher tier allows the member to redeem points at any Anantara property. A Diamond / Royal package ($155k+ USD) would also confer Hilton HHonors status of Gold / Diamond and allow the AVC member to convert AVC points directly to HHonors points at 1:14 (or 17 depending on which piece of literature you were reading). Points were also redeemable at RCI vacation club properties and another program called Registry Collection (which looked really sweet – luxury sailboat rentals or ski chalets, etc…).

There were a couple red flags that went up immediately. The first is that they did not actually put us up at the Anantara. Instead we were housed at the Club Villas around the corner due to the renovations currently undergoing their new property. A little disappointing this room switch wasn’t disclosed prior to our arrival as with the high walls and limited natural lighting we to likened the “villa” to a jail cell; not exactly the grand open vistas so prominently displayed on their website. The second warning sign was when we were told the purchase of any upper elite tier packages was only available the day of the presentation. The third and final deal breaker was that we never actually got any type of contract to review prior to them wanting the 10% deposit paid (0% financing if put on an American Express).

Needless to say, I did not go through with purchase.

Now back from Indonesia, I’m trying to research their sales offers (nothing of which I have in writing, remember). What seemed really decent was the fact that a high tier ACV member would also be granted HHonors Diamond status. But upon contacting HHonors and Hilton Grand Vacations, neither organisation could confirm any sort of agreement with AVC, which now makes me even more suspect about their claims of reciprocity between RCI and the Registry Collection.

On a separate note, after the weekend in Seminyak, we went up to Ubud for a few days to stay with the Viceroy hotel (SLH) and we were thoroughly impressed with this magnificent hotel. I strongly recommend you consider their wonderful hospitality if you're headed to central Bali!

TL;DR – Anantara Vacation Club offered the world in their sales pitch, do you have any experience with them?

Thanks for your time,
DirtyDan

Last edited by DirtyDan; Nov 30, 12 at 3:26 pm Reason: added the name "Registry Collection"
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Old Nov 30, 12, 2:23 pm   #2
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http://www.anantaravacationclub.com/...amui-thailand/
http://www.tripadvisor.com/ReviewPho....html#31467936
i believe theyre the first upscale resort managed pool villas sold as timeshare instead of fractional/full

other related >

for $150K there is banyan tree private collection, which offers great value at BT seychelles ($450/nt instead of ~$7,000/nt over new years eve, although im sure demand for that period is high) as well as access (details?) to two destination clubs >
- the largest - Exclusive Resorts
- a large european club with global portfolio - Hideaways Club

http://propertyinvestments.karmaresorts.com/phase5.html (some may be dated) >
- 1>3BR condos/attached villas with guaranteed rental program (common in asia, %?) from $210K (annual?)
- 4 weeks use, not limited to condos, but any karma resort, almost like a destination club or BT private collection. value is totally dependent on what categories are bookable..
- access (details?) to Quintess destination club
siteplan suggested - 4 1BR garden view no pool + 4 2BR garden view with pool + 18 3BR ocean view with pool

Last edited by Kagehitokiri; Nov 30, 12 at 5:23 pm
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Old Nov 30, 12, 3:49 pm   #3
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Even though this timeshare outfit operates in places other than Thailand, the original post is about Thailand so I think this thread will get better response in the geographic forum; moving it there.

RichardInSF, moderator, luxury hotels
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Old Jul 27, 13, 5:50 am   #4
  
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not worth it

I joined the AVC back in 2011 believing that I had invested myself in a lifetime of wonderful holiday experience. During the sales pitch they seem to promise you everything, selling you a perfect holiday dream for a lifetime (30years). But it's only when you start using the club services and facing so many restrictions, you soon realise that it was a dream that was not gonna come true. They had promised an extensive range of hotels and resorts which you can gain access to through their RCI. Knowing that I was not only stuck to using Anantara and had the option of accessing over "4000" hotels/resorts around the world was the selling point for me. It was only when I tried using their RCI exchange program that I realised all the hotels/resorts was not only hard to book, it was at all the locations which you would never imagine to visit. They are often located far away from the cities, somewhere isolated and secluded. The program itself is not cheap and you have to pay annual club fees to maintain the club services. I should have been more cautious when attending the sales pitch and it's a great lesson to be learnt. I am now stuck with points that I can hardly use and also paying the annual club fee for the remaining 28years. I hope that anyone out there who is considering joining AVC to think twice before joining and remember to ask as many questions as you can to know what you're in for.
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Old Jul 29, 13, 2:53 am   #5
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There are a million time shares. Buy new or buy used. I can't see much difference...
except for price. And that 'weeks' are not really being sold, as they prefer to sell you points.

First, take a look at your annual fee. I pay under $300 per year.

I have 1 week a year, can use previous unused years, or borrow from future. My initial purchase price was less than 1/10th of what you quote.

I think it's a rip off. You decide for yourself.
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Old Jul 29, 13, 6:19 pm   #6
  
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I think the only guarantee is the annual fee will increase! Is there any limit to the number of members? Each member is a competitor for the primo destinations. You are also betting that this company will be around for 30 years! A hard sell means they don't want you to read the fine print.
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Old Sep 13, 13, 3:10 am   #7
  
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Angry me2

Hi momo, I too join AVC in 2011. During the presentation they promised us everything (two weeks on Maldives every second year etc).
When we tried to book this vacation we found that with our AVC level we can hardly get 1 week in low season in every 3 years....and this cost me $15k+ yearly fee !!! - and btw. now they change also min.level so we can use only club resort and not all Anantara hotels!!!

AVC simply misusing people good mood during vacation and try to sell you something which is not true...

My advise to everyone - stay away from Anantara Vacation Club!
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Old Oct 4, 13, 11:23 am   #8
  
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Anantara Vacation Club is Awesome

Regarding the post about whether or not to buy Anantara Vacation Club, the answer is "Yes"! if you can afford it.

The properties are second to none. Just Google "Anantara Vacation Resorts" and all of them are 5 stars and the trip advisor comments are almost always 4 to 5 stars.

We bought Anantara Vacation Club Ownership a year and a half ago and used it this past summer and it was wonderful. The customer service is excellent whenever you need to make a booking or change it. It is easy to use you points
at all their properties, including the Chao Praya River Resort and Spa---even if you just buy ownership to save money when you stay at this one property then it is worth it!

We are able to get nights at the Hilton Grand Vacation Club locations too. We did not buy at the level that allows us to stay at the Hilton Hotels. However, I am sure it would be wonderful and that you would book through Anantara rather than Hilton which probably explains why the hilton rep doesn't know about it. Or maybe you get some card from Anantara for that. The hilton reps don't know every detail of every vacation club out there.

Anyway, I travel too much and have my girls in too many dance classes so now I am in debt and unfortunately have to sell my Anantara Vacation Ownership.

Last edited by l'etoile; Oct 11, 13 at 7:13 am Reason: Tos violation removed
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Old Oct 4, 13, 4:45 pm   #9
  
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What a great first post. Thanks for showing how difficult it is to get out of a timeshare.
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Old Oct 6, 13, 9:30 am   #10
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Timeshares...stay away.

Look at it this way. You are stuck with that one place, or you can "trade" for what's typically an inferior property elsewhere.

There is little or no quality control across the Interval (or similar) network.

You pay a weekly maintenance fee, which, with judicious use of points and benefits would cost as much or maybe more than booking a hotel on your own. And you don't need to put a large sum down for the privilege of joining a hotel rewards program.

You "own" nothing.

If you ever get an offer on a timeshare you might be lucky to receive 30 cents on the dollar.
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Old Oct 6, 13, 9:34 am   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mango575 View Post
Regarding the post about whether or not to buy Anantara Vacation Club, the answer is "Yes"! if you can afford it.

The properties are second to none. Just Google "Anantara Vacation Resorts" and all of them are 5 stars and the trip advisor comments are almost always 4 to 5 stars.

We bought Anantara Vacation Club Ownership a year and a half ago and used it this past summer and it was wonderful. The customer service is excellent whenever you need to make a booking or change it. It is easy to use you points
at all their properties, including the Chao Praya River Resort and Spa---even if you just buy ownership to save money when you stay at this one property then it is worth it!

We are able to get nights at the Hilton Grand Vacation Club locations too. We did not buy at the level that allows us to stay at the Hilton Hotels. However, I am sure it would be wonderful and that you would book through Anantara rather than Hilton which probably explains why the hilton rep doesn't know about it. Or maybe you get some card from Anantara for that. The hilton reps don't know every detail of every vacation club out there.

Anyway, I travel too much and have my girls in too many dance classes so now I am in debt and unfortunately have to sell my Anantara Vacation Ownership.
At first I thought that 1st post was an insider doing some promotion. Then I got to the last paragraph and realize you are trying to sell....good luck.

Shoudn't have bought it in the first place. Did you calculate how many nights you could have bought with the upfront and maintenance fees, interest you paid on your credit cards (which should have been paid off instead of buying this membership) etc.

Of course anyone "owning" a timeshare is going to rave about it. One has to talk oneself up to the silly investment made.

And yes, I speak from experience. But I bought a resale timeshare for about $6K which was originally "worth" $25k. I obviously didn't find a buyer, never stayed there, exchanged one week for someplace I could have rented cheaper than the exchange fee and maintenance, and eventually defaulted (on purpose) on the weekly maintenance fee. Rinse and repeat (actually forget the rinsing part...)

Last edited by l'etoile; Oct 11, 13 at 7:15 am Reason: Removed now-deleted section of quote
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Old Oct 6, 13, 9:37 am   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DirtyDan View Post
Anantara Vacation Club: Thoughts & Experiences?

I’m starting this thread under luxury hotels but won’t be upset if it’s moved because there’s a better forum heading for this topic….

I’m asking if anyone has experiences with the Anantara Vacation Club (AVC) and would be willing to expand upon the benefits of their membership, I would greatly appreciate it.

Here’s a synapses of my recent ordeal with them:

I’ve stayed at the Anantara Bangkok Chao Phraya property and enjoyed it. So I did something I’ve never done before and attended a timeshare sales pitch recently in Bali for the AVC. The Mrs. and I accepted their offer to stay for the weekend at Anantara Seminyak (Bali) at a reduced rate and listen to their pitch.

What I got out of the “no hard sales” sales pitch was this: It’s a timeshare where you purchase a set number of points (renewed annually until 2040) which are used at their various properties on various points per night redemption rates (quality of property & season, etc…). Dependent upon the volume of points you agree to purchase, it also comes with various tiers of status and benefits. A basic package allows the AVC member to use their points at the 5 AVC properties (soon to be expanded to 10), but a higher tier allows the member to redeem points at any Anantara property. A Diamond / Royal package ($155k+ USD) would also confer Hilton HHonors status of Gold / Diamond and allow the AVC member to convert AVC points directly to HHonors points at 1:14 (or 17 depending on which piece of literature you were reading). Points were also redeemable at RCI vacation club properties and another program called Registry Collection (which looked really sweet – luxury sailboat rentals or ski chalets, etc…).

There were a couple red flags that went up immediately. The first is that they did not actually put us up at the Anantara. Instead we were housed at the Club Villas around the corner due to the renovations currently undergoing their new property. A little disappointing this room switch wasn’t disclosed prior to our arrival as with the high walls and limited natural lighting we to likened the “villa” to a jail cell; not exactly the grand open vistas so prominently displayed on their website. The second warning sign was when we were told the purchase of any upper elite tier packages was only available the day of the presentation. The third and final deal breaker was that we never actually got any type of contract to review prior to them wanting the 10% deposit paid (0% financing if put on an American Express).

Needless to say, I did not go through with purchase.

Now back from Indonesia, I’m trying to research their sales offers (nothing of which I have in writing, remember). What seemed really decent was the fact that a high tier ACV member would also be granted HHonors Diamond status. But upon contacting HHonors and Hilton Grand Vacations, neither organisation could confirm any sort of agreement with AVC, which now makes me even more suspect about their claims of reciprocity between RCI and the Registry Collection.

On a separate note, after the weekend in Seminyak, we went up to Ubud for a few days to stay with the Viceroy hotel (SLH) and we were thoroughly impressed with this magnificent hotel. I strongly recommend you consider their wonderful hospitality if you're headed to central Bali!

TL;DR – Anantara Vacation Club offered the world in their sales pitch, do you have any experience with them?

Thanks for your time,
DirtyDan
$155K???? that's amazing. can't believe anyone does this. That's 15 years of 10-day holidays in $1000 a night rooms!!! And you don't need to pay upfront, choose anyproperty you want anywhere in the world, and collect points on top (For instance as Marriott Plat you would collect over 2.3 Million points not counting bonus promotions; that 2.3 Million points gets you about 10 packages of 1-week stay plus a business class award flight from most places in the world). It would also earn you lifetime platinum status with all associated benefits after the first 1 million points.
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Old Oct 9, 13, 6:03 am   #13
  
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Be warned.. there's many a scam in their "PITCH"

1st - Pricing. Notice that the cash discount is significant because the financing is built into their price, and that's also why they CONVENIENTLY allow 0% financing. Geez...

2nd - Product keeps changing. If you ask other owners who've bought in earlier, it's better to buy the smaller 5,000 points for elite status (which they will drop down to for you,) and upgrade later. You get a better discount on additional points

3rd - Ask previous owners who were offered a tiered approach and now everythings restricted (like the previous villas at the Phuket Villas -- which they only owned 2 Villas incidentally,) and were promised as Club Resorts with access to the full facilities.. everything is slowly becoming more and more restricted unless you upgrade of course and future owners do NOT get the 30 years the program began with

4th - maintenance fee's are NOT guaranteed even though they keep saying in their pitch that it will not exceed 5%. There is no guarantee. The language on the contract said something to the effect of "will strive to maintain under a 5% cap"... STRIVE being the operative word

5th - buy today or no 10%, incentive points, free interest, etc.. all BS. And there's no integrity because some owners I've heard get 15,000 points on 5,000 points purchase while others get no points on their 5,000 point purchase. And it's even more insane for people who buy bigger programs.

etc.. etc.. etc.. please do your due diligence.. Basically they're using our money to fund and build their new properties which all go back into Mr Heinecke's pocket. And try getting a reservation. Even when you call their club services, their automated messaging system asks you if you have a jade/diamond membership (Jade -5000 to 15,000 points, and Diamond membership starting at 15,000 which btw in the early days, only was available starting at 25,000.. so how would you feel about that,) or an Plat/Royal membership. The minimum Platinum membership costing roughly upwards of 150000 US "financed" or only 100,000 US "cash"... and royal at 300,000+.. well guess what, when you click 1 on the phone for the earlier, you're in a very long wait queue.. and ultimately must leave a message. When you click 2, you're automatically connected to their staff... go figure.

Their Hilton Honor points are NO WHERE guaranteed for the term of the membership, so Hilton can remove them at any time, nor is it easy to book in any of the desirable places in the HGVC properties. A joke.

They offer "free" RCI membership, but you have to book thru their Customer Service because you don't actually get a RCI membership card, nor access to the RCI website. You're going thru their corporate membership. And good luck doing that.

etc.. etc.. etc..

If you break it down to a cost per point, it gets really expensive. Trust me, you're better off booking on Agoda every year. Or book their units thru their rental which runs pretty cheap.. BUYER BEWARE. You could argue this about many timeshares, but deeded properties are the better buy (i.e., the Marriott, Wyndham, Starwood properties in the US.) At least they can't keep changing the rules on you.

last but not least.. they mention the DREAM "registry collection" you are eligible for when you buy a Diamond or above membership. A friend of mine who's very upset about their membership tried booking one of their top boating trips only to find very restrictive time dates for usage and very expensive ADDITIONAL fee's for gas and food. Of course, you don't get a membership number to access their website, nor the book they show you to show off their Registry Collection membership.

Last edited by l'etoile; Oct 11, 13 at 7:17 am
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Old Oct 9, 13, 8:15 am   #14
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Originally Posted by flyerman22 View Post
last but not least.. they mention the DREAM "registry collection" you are eligible for when you buy a Diamond or above membership. A friend of mine who's very upset about their membership tried booking one of their top boating trips only to find very restrictive time dates for usage and very expensive ADDITIONAL fee's for gas and food. Of course, you don't get a membership number to access their website, nor the book they show you to show off their Registry Collection membership.
...and of course, this being Thailand, if you actually post about it on a blog or forum you will immediately not only get hit with a criminal defamation suit, but also possibly a computer crimes act charge.

So, you won't find many complaints online in Thailand about this or any other Thai enterprise.
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Old Oct 11, 13, 2:35 am   #15
  
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Anantara Vacation Club is very concerned

Anantara Vacation Club is very concerned about the claims and allegations made by some of the contributors to this forum. Some contributors may not be Anantara Vacation Club Points Owners and are making potentially misleading and incorrect information regarding Anantara Vacation Club. Anantara Vacation Club takes great care to answer all legitimate inquiries and comments as a priority to strive for the best Shared Ownership Program in Asia. However, for reasons of privacy, confidentiality and civility, we wish to discuss and address issues pertaining to individual cases directly with Club Points Owners and not in a public forum such as this. Please send all comments to comments@anantaraclub.com, and we will endeavor to respond within 24 hours. Anantara Vacation Club will also not hesitate to pursue proper and legal actions against those contributors who do not have legitimate and proper grievances yet have been making incorrect and misleading statements in the forum.
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