These two destination clubs or luxury vacation clubs have quite a bit in common - for instance both were launched by Brent and Brad Handler, and both provide residences around the world - and, they also have their own unique distinctions. We review them side by side so that you can see the similarities and differences

What Are They

Inspirato is described as a "private, members-only luxury destination club," that is "revolutionizing the way luxury travelers spend quality time with their family and friends. At Inspirato, they say, "we've taken best-of-class service and resort amenities combined with the low cost of villa rentals to bring you the premiere club for a new generation of luxury travelers."

Exclusive Resorts, founded over ten years ago, is billed as the "world's foremost private club for luxury vacations… combining stunning luxury villas in the best destinations, customized 'bucket list' journeys, VIP members-only events, immersive cultural experiences and access to elite private clubs in a single, seamless membership."

It's difficult to tell from these rather similar descriptions how these companies specifically differ - so let's take a deeper look.

Exclusive Resorts Paris

Homes And Locations

The core part of both clubs is a portfolio of luxury vacation homes around the world.

Exclusive Resorts refers to its "Exclusive Residences" which number about 350 in more than 60 international destinations. Inspirato refer to its "Signature Residences" which are now over 200 in 52 locations.

The table below compares the main locations for each club:

   Exclusive Resorts   Inspirato
 Beach  Anguilla; Bonita Beach, FL; Fort Lauderdale, FL; Grand Cayman; Kapalua Bay, Maui, HI; Kiawah Island, SC; Kohala Coast, HI; Laguna Beach, CA; Los Cabos, Mexico; Miami Beach, FL; Peninsula Papagayo, Costa Rica; Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; Punta Mita, Mexico; Real del Mar, Mexico; Riviera Maya, Mexico; Rosewood Little Dix Bay, BVI; Sea Island, GA; The Abaco Club, Bahamas; Turks & Caicos; Wailea, Maui, HI  Abaco, Bahamas; Anguilla; Grand Cayman; Hawaii, HI; Hilton Head, SC; Kiawah Island, SC; Los Cabos, Mexico; Maui, HI; Miami, FL; Nantucket, MA; Naples, FL; Newport Coast, CA; Punta Cana, Mexico; Punta de Mita, Mexico; Rosemary Beach, FL; St. Barths; Tortola, BVI; Turks & Caicos;  
 Mountain  Deer Valley, UT; French Alps, France; Jackson Hole, WY; Lake Tahoe, CA; Snowmass, CO; Steamboat Springs, CO; Sun Valley, ID; Telluride, CO; Vail & Beaver Creek, CO; Whistler, British Columbia  Aspen, CO; Beaver Creek, CO; Deer Valley, UT; Jackson Hole, WY; Lake Tahoe, CA; Snowmass Village, CO; Steamboat Springs, CO; Stowe, VT; Sun Valley, ID; Telluride, CO; Vail, CO; Whistler, BC  
 City  Chicago, IL; Las Vegas, NV; London, England; New York City, NY; Paris, France; San Francisco, CA;  Chicago, IL; Las Vegas, NV; London, England; New York, NY; Paris, France; San Francisco, CA; Toronto, Canada  
 Leisure  Devon, England; Newport, RI; Doonbeg, Ireland; La Quinta, CA; Tucson, AZ; Sailing aboard The World; Scottsdale, AZ; Tuscany, Italy  Bordeaux, France; Florence, Italy; Newport Coast, CA; Provence, France; Santa Barbara, CA; Sonoma, CA; Tuscany, Italy  


Other Travel Opportunities

Both companies offer unique "once-in-a-lifetime" trips to some of the world's most beautiful and exciting places. Each of these trips typically involves additional fees, which vary by trip.

Inspirato offers a "curated selection of unique adventures," such as an unforgettable African safari or a private tour of the Galapagos Islands. These trips are personally selected and specifically tailored to deliver the Inspirato experience on a "truly grand scale." In addition, upcoming Inspirato events include the Superbowl and The Masters.

Exclusive Resorts offers fully-customized "Exclusive Journey" vacations which range from relaxing to adventurous. They cover African Safaris, the Galapagos and also include an exploration of the valleys of New Zealand by helicopter and stargazing in rooftop "skybeds" in Namibia amongst others. Their collection of members-only trips like these is ever-changing to provide truly once-in-a-lifetime vacations. They also recently introduced "Exclusive Immersions" to let members go deeply into one particular country. Their "Exclusive Events" provide VIP access to prestigious events with members-only programming including the Kentucky Derby, US Open, Superbowl, Final Four, Fashion Week, or Summer Heli Skiing.

Inspirato also partners with many of the world's iconic luxury hotel brands to offer a variety of travel options and specially discounted rates for its members. They provide access to high-demand metropolitan locales or beachside resorts in the Caribbean and Hawaii.

Exclusive Resorts has also partnered with a collection of elite private clubs and resorts across the globe, to provide more choices and flexibility with world-class amenities. Some of these exciting destinations include riding elephants in Thailand and snorkeling on Turtle Island.

Inspirato Los Cabos Mexico

Other Benefits

Both clubs provide an array of other partner services, relationships and benefits. There's a few examples of these in the table below. They are certainly always nice to have but are not a primary reason for choosing either club.

 Exclusive Resorts   Inspirato
 Avis, Delta, AirMed, Butterfield & Robinson, United Airlines, Luggage Forward  
 Hertz, Netjets, Clubcorp, AirMed, Tour GCX, Luggage Forward  


Full Service

Both companies provide exemplary service for every aspect of your vacation with "Personal Vacation Advisers" at Inspirato and "Exclusive Ambassadors" at Exclusive Resorts that help membes plan, organize and make the most of every holiday.

At each location, the Inspirato "Onsite Destination Concierges" deliver personalized services with as much or as little attention that members desire.

The Exclusive Concierges work with the Exclusive Ambassadors to create an individualized itinerary and make all a members arrangements including stocking the pantry with family favorites as well as scheduling activities or even running late-night errands and making exclusive hard-to-get reservations. And, for instance, both clubs provide full daily housekeeping at their residences.

Club Management

Inspirato was launched almost two years ago, in January of 2011, founded by the same team that had founded Exclusive Resorts, brothers Brent and Brad Handler. It has grown very rapidly adding several thousand members to date. The Handlers grew Exclusive Resorts and sold it to Steve Case, before leaving a couple of years ago to start Inspirato.

Exclusive Resorts was established in 2004, the largest destination club with over 3,000 members and has so far provided over 150,000 vacations for their members. Today they are managed by CEO Phillipe Bourguignon, one of the most highly regarded execs in the global hospitality industry and Chairman Steve Case who spent 20 years as a pioneer in interactive services as the co-founder and CEO of America Online and the Chairman of AOL Time Warner.

Clearly, both clubs have management teams that offer a very strong depth of experience and knowledge in the high end hospitality and travel sector.

Reservations

As with any destination club, it's important to understand how to make reservations. The process is fairly simple - you can call your vacation adviser at Inspirato or your ambassador at Exclusive Resorts, or go onto the club website to see what's available for the locations and dates you want to travel and simply book your vacation.

For Inspirato, reservations may be made up to one year in advance of your desired arrival date. Members may place a tentative hold on a desired Inspirato residence for up to twenty-four (24) hours.

With Exclusive Resorts, advanced reservations are always recommended and may be made up to two years in advance. If you desire something on short notice, space available reservations may be made at any time within the space available reservation window of the membership plan selected.

Co-members and Guests

Guests are always more than welcome at both Inspirato and Exclusive Resorts. Each clubs primary residences are large spacious multi bedroom homes, with room for friends and family to accompany a member.

At Inspirato, a spouse or life partner may be added to the membership as a "co-member." Exclusive offers family sharing privileges as a standard benefit of membership. This enables members to gift "unaccompanied" Club vacations to parents, siblings and adult children who are at least 23 years of age - as well as those of a spouse or partner - at no additional cost.

Membership Structures & Prices

Both clubs charge an initial fee to join as well as an annual fee. At Exclusive Resorts the annual dues cover a set number of nights of travel per year, so each year a member commits to and pays for a certain number of nights at a flat nightly rate. Inspirato has a much lower annual dues, and then members pay for nights as they use them.

Inspirato has varied nightly rates depending on the size of accommodations, location, time of year and other seasonal factors. The times of the year that are in most demand command the highest nightly rates with the times of the year in least demand commanding the lowest nightly rates.

Inspirato requires an initial joining fee of $15,000 with an annual membership fee of $2,500. Typical rates on the company's "Signature Residence" villas are:

  • Average nightly rate for a non-holiday stay: $814
  • Average nightly rate for a holiday stay: $1,328
  • Lowest nightly rate: $225
  • Highest nightly rate: $4,350

This summer Inspirato launched its "Jaunt" program of last minute travel deals for members, where homes are $295 per night for the first 7 days and then $495 a night after that.

At Exclusive Resorts, a 20 night club membership is $170,000 with an annual fee of $1,045 per day for 20 days use per year. To be able to book over "Select" or "Peak" holiday periods is another one off membership fee of $49,000 or $99,000. A one-year trial membership is available for $15,250 for 10 days of travel plus $1,045 per day annual dues, for a total of $25,700. The company also offers 20-day and 30-day trial memberships.

Advice

Both clubs offer an excellent way to commit to travel and enjoy time spent with family before the years pass too quickly, with practically stress free vacations in many exciting upscale destinations throughout the world.

Before making a decision as to which to join, look through the clubs reservation systems and determine which have homes in areas that you like to travel to and compare prices as well as availability. While Inspirato is a newer club, it is backed by a familiar founder; both are expected to continue to provide very high levels of service and the highest quality of accommodations.