Before joining Quintess, we considered The Ritz-Carlton Club as well as Exclusive Resorts. With The Ritz-Carlton, we felt limited by the fact that they only have about ten destinations. And although Exclusive Resorts offers comparable destinations, we felt that with 4,000 members, it may not offer the same quality of homes as Quintess. From what we could tell, Quintess limited the use of its homes in order to ensure an extremely high level of quality, maintenance and care. There's nothing worse than arriving at a vacation home with high expectations only to be sorely disappointed. With Quintess, we know what to expect, and expect not to be disappointed. We also liked that Quintess offered a lifetime membership, as opposed to Exclusive Resorts, which at the time was offering 30-year terms. Plus, we prefer a portfolio with more individual, free-standing home options than Exclusive Resorts offers.
Our Member Relations Manager, Megan Batsell, is fabulous. She's continually bending over backwards for us, helping us maximize our membership, striving to keep everything simple and remaining upbeat throughout it all. She is a real asset to The Quintess Collection.
We have two daughters, aged 11 and 12, who have always looked forward to all of the exciting amenities of a hotel stay, so when we first joined The Quintess Collection, they weren't totally sold on the concept; they didn't want to travel a long way just to stay in a big house with no perks. But our first Quintess experiences were enough to change their minds. With excellent access to resorts coupled with large and well-maintained homes, the girls quickly decided that Quintess was not only the best way to travel, it was the only way. Now when we take non-Quintess trips, the girls want to know why we aren't staying in a home like the ones we enjoyed in Hawaii last summer.
Although we had already planned a trip to Hawaii to visit my brother, due to a last-minute cancellation, our Member Relations Manager offered us the Maui home for a few prime nights last August. We decided to re-arrange our plans and jump on it. The Maui home turned out to be absolutely beautiful and in a great location. We didn't have to get in the car and go somewhere if we didn't want to. Our Host, Lisa, was unbelievable. She called every day and was on top of each detail, always checking in with us to see if we needed anything. One morning she called because she knew we were planning on driving to Hana and wanted to warn us about some road construction that could have negatively impacted our drive. She suggested that we go another day – a tremendous help for a group like ours, and exceedingly thoughtful. It is clear that Lisa loves what she does and she treats the home like it were her own; she makes it shine.
After Maui, we went to Ke Aloha on the Big Island. Although we were originally booked in a different home, we made a Wish for Ke Aloha and then when it became available, we were able to snag it. This was another beautiful property, right near the beach with its own large pool and located in a development with stores and restaurants everywhere. Ke Aloha offered the best of both worlds – a perfect mixture of spacious comfort and great amenities. Hawaii was an excellent introduction to The Collection; we've already made reservations to stay there next summer.
Every year for Presidents' week, we go somewhere fun to celebrate our daughters' birthdays (amazingly, they are born one year and ten hours apart). This year we'll be in Canouan for their birthdays – something the entire family is looking forward to, especially since we've read great things about the island. Next year for Presidents' week 2013, we'll be in St. Martin, a destination that caught our eye when we were first looking into Quintess; I'm sure the girls will love it, too.
For summer 2013, we are slated to stay at Villa Tavernaccia in Tuscany. This has been the big plan from the get-go – the dream trip. Our eldest daughter will be graduating from middle school and we'll combine this trip with a Mediterranean cruise. My brother will come in from Hawaii and my parents will join us, as well. My favorite part about taking my parents with us is the way that the large homes allow them to feel like they are part of everything – included in all of the family's comings and goings as opposed to being isolated in their own hotel room.
My husband says that if he had known about Quintess years ago, he'd have more money and fewer second homes. We have only been members for one year but have already realized the fabulous benefits and value of a Quintess membership. We look forward to many Quintess adventures in the future and have recommended a Quintess membership to many of our friends and acquaintances....BRAVO QUINTESS!!!!.
Donna Miccolis is a member of The Quintess Collection.