Todays Weekend section of the Wall St Journal (subscription required) has an article about fractional ownership and in particular the large luxury hotel companies that are including more fractional offerings within their hotel developments.
The reporter stayed at the St Regis Hotel in Aspen and found that her friends, who are fractional owners in the neighboring St Regis Residence Club Aspen, were having a much better experience. The friends owned four weeks in a 2 bedroom apartment. They made good use of the clubs concierge to book top restaurants at short notice and to set up a rafting trip.
Laura Landro, the reporter, noted that fractional ownership "offers all the perks of a second home in a luxury property - at a fraction of the cost of owning and without many of the headaches, such as worries abut maintenance and burst pipes" Her comments echoed many of the reasons for buying a private residence club or luxury fractional that we've heard
Members of the St Regis Club in Aspen buy four weeks of ownership. Owners can choose to buy either the same four weeks every year or have varying times that they stay by booking reservations and using the clubs priority use schedule. As with most fractional ownerships the owners title to the property is recorded by a title deed and guaranteed with title insurance and the ownership can be sold like any other real estate. The St Regis Residence Clubs members can also trade in some of their weeks of ownership for stays at other Starwood hotels and resorts.