Sunday, August 29, 2010

Stay at the Best Resorts for $500 per week

I personally own 2 intervals at Blue Water Acres in Muskoka which gives me 10 weeks ownership. Blue Water Acres offers fractional ownership of detached 2 and 3 bedroom lakeside cottages on beautiful Lake of Bays at extremely competitive prices. I use most of these weeks to travel to resort destinations around the world. My maintenance fees for the 10 weeks adds up to about $5000 per year or $500 per week.

Fractional ownership at the resort comes with a gold membership to Interval International which is one of the world's largest and most successful exchange companies. I am able to deposit any of my weeks (one or all if I want) and exchange them for weeks at other member resorts. There are over 1200 resorts in over 75 countries to choose from. Many are brand name resorts such as the Marriott's. Many of these resorts can cost as much as $400 per night or more. My exchanges have included destinations such as Florida, Aruba, Mexico, Vail Colorado, Radium Hot Springs in BC, Scotland, Malta, California, Arizona, and more. Most resorts where we've stayed are 5 star. Almost all of our accommodations are in 2 or 3 bedroom units with two full baths, and full kitchen.

I concede that I must own a fractional cottage before I can take advantage of this great arrangement. However, I do not include the capital cost of my purchase into this equation. I am making the assumption that the value of my interval which is real estate based, will increase in value. As such I tend to treat it as an alternate form of investing my money to that of putting into bonds or stocks. All resales at Blue Water Acres to date have appreciated over the original purchase price. Besides, even if I only break even, it is at least an investment I can use and enjoy and that has to count for a lot.

To be honest, I should have added the administrative fee paid to Interval International to make the exchanges. The cost of this is about $139 US per week. Even considering this, it's an absolutely fabulous deal. Here are several examples of resorts we've traded into.

Most owners of course, prefer to stay at Blue Water Acres for most of their weeks, but it nice to have the option of trading one or more weeks and going elsewhere.

Marriott Ocean Pointe, Palm Beach Shores, Florida
Marriott Grande Vista, Orlando, Florida
Raddison Golden Sands, Malta