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.

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.

The luxury second home fund, Equity Estates, has announced the addition of properties in Florence, Italy, and Naples, Fla., to its portfolio. The fund has added five new properties to the portfolio since December 2008 and hopes to add several more properties by the end of first quarter 2010.

In a continuing sign of the times, destination club Distinctive Holiday Homes has quite a few members on it's resignation list and is making adjustments to it's portfolio of homes.

Off-Season in Los Cabos Mexico can be amazing - quiet, peaceful, spacious, un-crowded. But because it's off-season, with all the dicey weather and other challenges that accompany it, you just have to be a bit more flexible.

There's a new fund launching in the UK that is bringing an established investment model to shared vacation home ownership. The company plans to buy luxury vacation homes around the world and balance its portfolio with UK based rental properties.

The second largest destination club, by number of members, has seen a lot of changes over the last year. CEO Jim Tousignant recently shared his thoughts on these developments.

The luxury second home fund, or fractional property club, Hideaways has been very busy adding new homes for its 100 owner/members. Over the past 6 months the club has opened seven homes around the world.

This expanding equity destination club just formed a member council last week to help advise the managing members.

The destination club has achieved good growth this year, even despite the economic climate. It now has over 500 members.

The newly named destination club just launched its "Portfolio Membership" earlier this year, but in the slow economy has announced it is delaying any new developments.

Many of the destination clubs and several private residence clubs have been offering trial memberships over the last year. A&K Residence Clubs new offer is one of the longest trail periods that we've seen.

In a first for the destination club industry, Ultimate Escapes is planning to be the first club to have a public listing of its shares and to be subject to all the reporting and transparency requirements that come with this public listing.

The destination club is reaching out to its suspended members with an offer to bring them back on board.

The 23,000-acre Kapalua Resort on Maui's northwest shore offers an interesting choice for anyone looking into destination clubs and fractional ownership.