How to Use a Hilton Grand Vacations Club Timeshare

Published: 02nd February 2011
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Copyright (c) 2011 Richard Marquette



Hilton Grand Vacations Club (HGVC) is operated and marketed by Hilton Grand Vacations Company LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hilton Worldwide, formerly known as Hilton Hotels Corp. HGVC is a points based timeshare system, which also provides property management services to affiliated resorts. Currently there are fifty HGVC affiliated resorts worldwide!



The Timeshare Resorts:



HGVC destinations offer both developed and affiliated resorts. Only a few timeshare resorts have actually been built and developed by the Hilton brand. The majority of Hilton Grand Vacation Club properties are actually affiliate resorts. These resorts were developed by other companies, and then later entered into an affiliation agreement to participate in the Club. At the time of publish the HGVC vacation destinations include:



California: Carlsbad SeaPointe Resort, Club Intrawest Palm Desert, Grand Pacific Marbrisa, Grand Pacific Palisades



Colorado: Valdoro Mountain Lodge



Florida: HGV Club at SeaWorld International Center, HGV Club on International Drive, Parc Soleil by Hilton Grand Vacations, HGV Club at South Beach, Plantation Beach Club, The Cottages at South Seas Island Resort, Harbourview Villas, Plantation Bay Villas, Plantation Beach Club, Plantation House, South Seas Club, SeaWatch on the Beach, The Charter Club of Marco Beach, Club Regency of Marco Island, Eagle's Nest Beach Resort, Sunset Cove Resort, Surf Club of Marco, Casa Ybel Resort, Hurricane House Resort, Sanibel Cottages Resort ,Shell Island Beach Club Resort, Tortuga Beach Club Resort, and Club Intrawest Sandestin



Hawaii: Bay Club at Waikoloa Beach Resort, Grand Waikikian, Hilton Hawaiian Village, HGV Club at Waikoloa Beach Resort, King's Land by Hilton Grand Vacations



Nevada:HGVC at the Flamingo, Hilton Grand Vacations Club Las Vegas, HGVC on the Las Vegas Strip



New York: West 57th Street by Hilton Club, The Hilton Club New York



Canada: Club Intrawest Whistler, Club Intrawest Tremblant



Mexico: The Explorean Kohunlich, Club Intrawest Zihuatanejo, Fiesta Americana Villas Cancun, Fiesta Americana Villas Acapulco, Fiesta Americana Villas Los Cabos



Portugal: Hilton Vilamoura Vacation Club



Scotland: Hilton Craigendarroch, Hilton Dunkeld, Hilton Coylumbridge



Usage Strategies and Rules:



The Club is in reality just a point based reservation system. Club members receive a point allotment based on the villa type and season they own at their home resort. As with any point system, proper planning can greatly enhance your usage and satisfaction. It's important to understand the different ownership types available, the benefits of ownership, the basic rules of the system, as well as some strategies that current owners utilize to maximize their usage and enjoyment.



Ownership Types:



To understand this timeshare system, the distinction between Hilton developed resorts and HGVC affiliated resorts is very important. The ownership and usage information may be quite different depending on your home resort. The underlying ownership is always determined by the home resort. Because of this, usage strategies can vary quite a bit from owner to owner. For example, some affiliated resorts located in southwest Florida were originally sold as fixed week timeshares. For fixed and event week ownerships, the home week is automatically reserved each year unless the owner cancels the reservation. Most Hilton developed and built condo projects are all sold as floating week timeshares.



The ownership documents may also vary from resort to resort. Some Hilton deeds show a specific week and unit in the legal description, even if that information is only used for inventory purposes. Other deeds don't show an assigned week or unit, but instead show a usage type in a specific villa size. Finally, when you consider the affiliated Fiesta Americana resorts in Mexico- these properties are not even deeded. They are sold as non-deeded right to use leaseholds with a specific expiration date when the timeshare usage will end.



Also, it's very important to understand that Elite Status designation cannot be obtained via resale purchases and that not all affiliate resorts allow the Club membership rights to transfer on the resale market. Carefully consider the pros and cons before making any purchase, either resale or via the developer.



Season Information:



Generally, there are four main season names that are used by HGVC: Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze. The particular weeks that fall within these seasons will vary depending on the resort. Some locations will have all four seasons, while others may only be divided into two or three seasons. The real confusion begins with a few of the affiliates. Some affiliate resorts were originally sold with different season designations than those used by Hilton. Also, a few of these resorts may have a float season that encompasses weeks which fall into different HGVC season designations. It's possible that an owner may have the ability to reserve a week in part of the platinum and also the gold season.



Point values for weeks, seasons, and unit information can be located in the published Member's Guide. Often, resale buyers will target Hilton developed resorts to avoid confusion with the buying process and to ensure they obtain a consistent number of Club points each year.



Exchange Information:



There are different ways to exchange your ownership week for another resort. The easiest way is often simply using the Club points to reserve at another Club affiliate. To go outside the Club, a third party exchange system must be used such as RCI, Interval International, or a smaller system such as SFX Resorts. Your home resort will determine which exchange systems you have access to as an owner.



Fee Information:



Fees and assessments are determined each year based on the overall operating budget of the home resort. Fees can vary widely from one resort to another, and will vary from year to year and will increase over the years. You should always consider maintenance fees before making a decision to purchase.



Generally, the unit type and size determines the base maintenance fee amount, not the point allotment. A one bedroom villa in the platinum season will be assessed the same base maintenance fee as a one bedroom in the silver season, even though the point allotment is far less.



Club dues are also paid each year. For most resort, members living in the US and Canada are currently charged $99. while members living outside the US or Canada are currently charged $139. (West 57th owners are charged $197. and $232. respectively). Members who own a US resort and also an international resort may be required to pay Club dues for each account as the two systems may not be able to be combined into a single billing account.



Reservations:



There are five types of reservations within Hilton Grand Vacations Club.



Home Week Reservations are a full seven night stay in the exact unit type and season owned at your home resort. Reservation can be made from nine months up to one year prior to check in. Because owners get a longer reservation window at their home resort, it's smart to buy at the resort you believe you will use most often, in the unit and season that best meets your future plans. Home week reservations have the greatest opportunity at finding availability.



Home Resort Reservations are currently only available to owners of the West 57th by Hilton Club. There is no minimum stay requirement for these reservations, but they can only be made at the West 57th resort from 45 days up to nine months in advance of the check out date.



Club Reservations can be made up to nine months prior to the requested check out date at most resorts. Club reservations must be for three days or greater in duration. Reservations can be made at most resorts during this period (West 57th in New York for example, only allows Club Reservations to be made up to 44 days prior to the check out date) and all points owners have an equal opportunity to get reservations. You can reserve any type of villa, and in any season- only being restricted by the number of points that you own!



Open Season Reservations can be made at most resorts (West 57th is excluded) up to 30 days prior to the check out date and require only a two day minimum stay. These reservations are paid for with cash, but at highly discounted rates!



Point Charts:



Please review the Member's Guide for the latest point charts and season calendars.





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About The Author: Richard Marquette is the editor of the free online magazine

Vacation-Times , which focuses on the timeshare and vacation ownership

industry.

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