Cabo Casitas

Destination clubs, residence funds and luxury travel clubs provide their members with access to multiple luxury vacation homes, located all over the world. The homes are typically multi-million dollar residences, and are sited in major cities, at beaches, in mountains and leisure locations.

Membership of the clubs is an alternative to buying a second home. The clubs are sometimes also compared to, or even mixed up with, private residence clubs, but there are several key differences between the two.

If you're just starting out learning about the clubs and funds read the overview and the glossary. Then you can start to compare them in the comparison table. One way to financially compare them is using a cost per night calculation and we've provided downloadable spreadsheets for these calculations. Here are the top reasons to join a club, but they are not for everybody and here are the reasons not to join.

And for a real in-depth look at the clubs, their homes and services, comparisons to alternatives and questions to consider before joining, download our Guide for Prospective Members.

The latest news and research on the clubs is included below.

The luxury destination club Quintess, LRW has has entered a reciprocal agreement with its newly launched sister club THE TOUR CLUB. Quintess, LRW members will have access to new destinations that include:

The former Major League Baseball pitcher Dennis Rasmussen has signed on with luxury residence fund Equity Estates. Based out of Orlando, Florida, Rasmussen will leverage his involvement with the MLB Players Association alumni arm as well as other professional athlete organizations to expand Equity Estates’ reach in those markets.

The equity-based destination club recently released the highlights from its annual survey of members and a summary of their travel activities. The club also extended its lower introductory pricing.

Since retiring from professional golf after the 2008 season Annika Sorenstam has become involved in a wide variety of businesses. Ritz-Carlton Destination Club has just announced she will be an ambassador for the brand and they will work together on unique experiences for club members.

Last weeks article looked at the destinations and locations that are available to members of Quintess, Exclusive Resorts and Ultimate Escapes. This section of the comparison looks at the homes themselves, the membership plans and several other key factors. (Note, this article was written in 2010 and Ultimate Escapes filed for bankruptcy in late 2010)

Exclusive Resorts, Ultimate Escapes and Quintess together account for over 80% of the members of all destination clubs. They also have by far the largest selections of residences for their members. These two articles compare the clubs and are a really useful template for comparing any clubs (Note this article was written in 2010, and Ultimate Escapes filed for bankruptcy in late 2010).

In the 18th century the English writer and poet Samuel Johnson said “.. when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.” Taking these words to heart SherpaReport went to London last week, and stayed for a few days at one of the Quintess homes in the city.  

AOL Co-Founder and Chairman of Exclusive Resorts Steve Case is leading a $20 million round of new equity financing to further strengthen the destination clubs financial position. The company also recently became the first destination club to reach the 100,000th vacation milestone.

This equity destination club has just added three new homes. Two of the homes are replacements for earlier homes in Deer Valley, Utah and the Gulf Coat of Florida and one is a brand new location for the club on the island of Maui.

Destination club Quintess and the PGA Tour have created a new club giving special access to some of the best that the golfing world has to offer. The initial memberships are aimed at the corporate hospitality market, with individual memberships available later this year.

The equity destination club recently announced that its 142 members, took 655 trips with the club last year, in other words they are taking 4 to 5 vacations a year with the club.

The co-founder of AOL and former Chairman of Time Warner is the majority shareholder and Chairman of destination club Exclusive Resorts. In a recent interview he shared his views on the club and how he saw it developing.

The Hideaways Club, an international property investment Fund that offers its members the opportunity to invest in and enjoy a portfolio of luxury villas and chalets, announced this week that it has formed an alliance with Banyan Tree Private Collection, Asia’s first global destination club.

Ultimate Escapes, has added a new Elite Club residence within the Lungarno Suites in Florence, Italy. Featuring views of the medieval Ponte Vecchio bridge arched over the Arno River.

These two luxury residence funds have formed an alliance which offers each of their owner members access to the homes in the two funds. This means members can choose from 29 homes in 23 destinations around the world.

The luxury second home fund added 30 new member families in 2009. The total membership is now over 90 member families.

Demeure, a new form of destination club that merges a home exchange with equity ownership is about to launch.

Villa Castellamonte del Mare, an exclusive five-star ultra-luxury villa in the Dominican Republic now has a reciprocity partnership agreement with Ultimate Escapes. Members of the destination club, will have exclusive reciprocity access to this 15,000 sq. ft., fully-staffed villa located high atop a sea cliff on the Dominican Republic's beautiful North Coast.

This week the Ritz-Carlton Destination Club announced the opening of its newest ski-in/ski-out property at Northstar, Lake Tahoe.

The equity-based destination club has a limited-time offer, under which prospective members have the chance to buy into the Club for 40% less than the initial membership pricing. Annual dues remain the same, all Club benefits apply and the offer expires March 31, 2010.

Located on the French side of the island, these two free standing, ocean front villas will be available to members of the destination club starting in February next year.

Under the heading “A Shared Destiny”, Lucy Warwick-Ching wrote a very balanced article on destination clubs and fractional ownership. It appears in this weekends House & Home section of the FT.