In the past timeshare resorts used to be ultra-exclusive, members-only type establishments for which travelers paid a premium for excellent service and luxurious accommodations. The line between timeshare and hotel has started to blur over the past ten years, and many timeshare resorts now offer rooms by the night or week to non-owners. In fact, a great way to decide whether or not you think purchasing a timeshare at a particular location would be a good choice for you is to reserve a room outside of a timeshare exchange company, instead using a commercial hotel website or calling the resort directly.
Despite the convergence of features between hotels and timeshares, there are still distinct differences a traveler will notice when staying at a resort that is involved with vacation ownership. For example, timeshare resorts are generally far higher in quality than most hotels, and offer a wide array of owner amenities and services. Often these amenities and services such as access to pools, show tickets, happy hours and entertainment, are only available to resort guests that own timeshare. As a regular guest you will not be permitted access to these special perks and activities.
While most timeshare resorts are located in similar settings as hotels, they have the added bonus of a home away from home. Time shares are often larger and more spacious than a typical hotel room, spanning anywhere from a two room suite to a five bedroom house (or more). Timeshares are commonly equipped with fully furnished kitchens, TV’s, DVD players, gaming systems and linens with daily maid service. Timeshare owners also have special privileges for use of sporting, fitness and recreational areas, as well as swimming pools, spas, tennis courts, golf courses, horseback riding or skiing.
I think in the future we are going to start to see even more similarities between timeshares and hotels, especially with the new wave of “extended stay” hotels that have been popping up all over the country. Marriott, Hilton and Disney have all recently decided to try their hand at timesharing, and the involvement of these major hotel chains will certainly play a role in the evolution of hotels becoming more like timeshare resorts. Many hotels have started offering all-inclusive options, similar to those offered at international timeshare locations.