About 10 years ago, my husband and I started getting solicitation phone calls from Hilton for 3 nights and 4 days in Las Vegas, Hawaii or Orlando for $100 and a “brief” presentation. We are Vegas and Orlando fans so of course we accepted each time. In total, we went to Vegas twice and Orlando three times before we purchased anything other than the $100 offer. The first three times we told the salespeople quite frankly that we were only there for the cheap vacation and had no intention of buying. Some of the salespeople were quite determined but one man stands out. He said “Ok, I have to keep you here for an hour. What do you want to talk about?” We shared recipes and cooking tips until our time was up. Another woman refused to believe that we wouldn’t want this wonderful product and when we held fast to our “NO” position told us “Well apparently you don’t like to stay in nice places.” Finally, on our fifth trip, this one to Parc Soleil in Orlando, my husband surprised me and bought a starter package of just under 5000 points every other year. I was turning 50 that year and had always wanted to go to Spain, so for my birthday he bought a package that would allow us to spend a week in Spain and it all grew from there. Today we have just under 25,000 points every year. We qualify for the Elite Plus status and intend to buy another 10,000 points to put us at Elite Premier when we retire.
So why did we finally buy in. After numerous trips to various Hilton properties, we realized that the saleswoman was right. We like to stay in nice places. Also, our kids were getting older and we had more time to travel but didn’t always do the planning to make it happen. Buying the timeshare points gave us the motivation to plan a trip and go somewhere different each year. We also liked the point system. We have a typical time share on Holmes Beach and absolutely LOVE our time there but we have to use it for a full week, Saturday – Saturday each year. The point system allows us to choose how long we want to stay. There is a three night minimum but the maximum is whatever your points will allow and you can check in an out any day of the week. There is also a program called Open Season, where if a unit isn’t rented 30 days in advance you can book it for cash at greatly reduced rates. HGVC has lots of resorts in Florida so, the Open Season is a big benefit for us. I almost never use points to stay in Orlando which stretches my point allowance and provides me with more trips.
Ok so I talked about staying in nice places. Parc Soleil by HGVC is my favorite! It is located 10 minutes from Disney World. Half of the rooms face Disney so you can watch the firework shows at the various parks from your balcony. The rooms range from a studio to three bedrooms. The studio has a small kitchenette with a small refrigerator, coffee maker and sink. The other condos have a full kitchen, living room, balcony, washer/dryer and a CRAZY nice bathroom.
In addition to Orlando, HGVC has resorts in Miami Beach, Honolulu, the Big Island of Hawaii, Las Vegas, California, New York, Park City Utah, Breckinridge Colorado, South Carolina, Hilton Head and Myrtle Beach, Scotland, Portugal and Italy. So far we have tried the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Honolulu, the Bay Club on the Big Island, the Elara and the Flamingo in Las Vegas, and West 57th Street in New York City. Check out the photos from some of these places below and watch for our posts about the incredible resorts.
Miami Beach, FL
West 57th Street NY
Las Vegas Elara