Making luxury holidays work for you
I’ve made no secret of the fact that I like luxury accommodation when travelling. Let’s be clear, it’s a holiday not hard time, so I opt for quality accommodation. In this I know I’m by no means alone – the luxury travel market has grown exponentially in recent years and there are more and more magazines, websites and tour companies dedicated to elegant escapes.
But the hardships of the last two years have naturally had a knock on effect and even those with executive incomes have reassessed their travel arrangements. A few weeks ago I blogged on a predicted travel trend for 2010 – austerity chic – cutting back on luxury breaks to avoid ostentation in our travel. As stated, I think instead of travelling cheaper in a bid to satisfy any social concerns this is a time to travel smarter.
Depending on what you are looking for, there are various travel options available, but one of the major growth areas set for 2010 is shared ownership.
As global property markets have crashed so too has the housing market in many of the world’s second home hotspots. Yet shared ownership property – timeshare and fractional has weathered the financial storm. Timeshare has had a checkered history across Europe. It’s not a product that appeals to everyone. But for the right person, who buys at the resort that’s right for them it can offer a lifetime of luxury holidays at the price you paid ten (or even more) years ago. Timeshare has been popular in North America for years with big names in luxury hotels like Fairmont, Four Seasons and Marriott opening countless resorts there and in other parts of the world.
Few people actually know what a fractional is, but all this is set to change. With 10,000 units coming on sale across Europe and the Middle East, 2010 is set to be the year of the fractional. A fractional does have some common ground with timeshare. It’s shared ownership of property at a luxurious or exclusive development for periods of anything up to three months. These properties can be found the world over but the more exclusive the better – so look for them in Lake Tahoe, Aspen, London, Paris, Venice and more.
Fractional properties are not cheap (although some are very reasonable) but they offer fantastic quality, luxury fixtures and fittings, incredible locations and extras such as 24/7 concierge services, private jet and yacht use, exchange programmes that can take you around the world, and many the investment aspect people look for in second homes.
As I specialise in writing about shared ownership, I have stayed in some timeshare and fractional properties and can vouch for the quality of the accommodation. If you’re looking for an investment in a holiday ownership property check out industry regulator the Resort Development Organisation for independent advice via the following sites: gotimeshare.org and gofractional.org.
As for which resort to buy at, well that’s down to the individual but here is just a small selection of the great ones going on sale this year that I have either visited myself or have grabbed awards or interest within the industry:
- La Herencia Residence Club, Mexico
- Venice on Water, Italy
- YooPhuket, Thailand
- Halcyon Hills, Samos, Greece
- Arcos Gardens, Spain
- Pezula, South Africa
- Martinhal; Portugal
- Marriott’s 47 Park Street, London.
Read more about timeshare and fractional on LiveShareTravel: