Both of these UK based clubs have continued to grow and expand over the last few years. Both offer fully serviced vacations at luxury villas, residences and city apartments. So how do they compare to each other? Read on....
What are they?
We've seen these companies called "fractional ownership funds" or "equity destination clubs" or "equity investment travel clubs" or even a "timeshare company for wealthy travellers". But this proliferation of monikers makes it a little harder to understand what they really offer – which is something rather appealing, if you like to spend your holidays in beautiful homes with wonderful service.
Rocksure describes itself as "The smart way to own a second home" and adds "You need to spend no time and little expense on maintaining or managing the properties and you can enjoy luxurious, inflation-hedged holidays for years to come with the full support of our Concierge Service."
While Hideaways calls itself "An investment that provides the smart opportunity to co-own luxury properties with like-minded members and share the high running costs while ensuring exclusive access for Members and co-owners."
In essence both of these clubs offer an investment in luxurious, fully maintained holiday homes, and provide a full concierge service to cater to their members needs when they stay at the homes. So they combine a financial investment in a diverse property portfolio, with a lifestyle investment in holiday trips to the homes in the portfolio.
Both of them offer a choice of funds so that member investors can choose between villa funds or city apartment funds.
Homes & Locations
Rocksure villas have 4 to 5 bedrooms with spacious living areas and usually a terrace for lunches and for dining under the stars, plus a good sized swimming pool. The average value of the villa properties is around $1.5 - $2.5 million and for the city apartments the average value of the properties is over $1.8 million (€1.3m).
Shareholders in one Rocksure fund can enjoy the villas and apartments owned by all of the other Rocksure funds, through an inter-fund exchange program. In addition to their own funds, Rocksure has also made arrangements with private individuals who own luxury villas or apartments around the world - in Cape Town and Mykonos, for example – whereby they will accept Rocksure Pounds for half of their rent.
At Hideaways the villas also have 4 to 5 bedrooms, mostly with en-suite bathrooms, there are large living and entertaining areas, with outdoor BBQs and dining areas. Many also have large well-maintained gardens with private pools. Overall the average value is around $2 million, so about the same as at Rocksure. One difference between the clubs is that Hideaways leases some of its homes, whereas all the homes in the Rocksure funds are fully owned and purchased debt free for cash.
The Hideaways Club apartments have 2 to 3 bedrooms and are located in city centres. All properties are fitted with state-of-the-art equipment and luxurious extras for added comfort and relaxation.
Both Hideaways and Rocksure have partnerships with other similar clubs. For instance Rocksure is partnered with M Private Residences and Hideaways has arrangements with Banyan Tree, Equity Estates and Exclusive Resorts. Members are able to use the properties at these partner clubs on a reciprocal basis, so expanding the destination options that are available.
The table below shows the locations for homes owned or leased by the respective funds. It doesn't include any other partner property locations, which add a large numer of other destinations fro both clubs.
|Beach||Algarve, Portugal Bel Ombre, Mauritius; Brac, Croatia; Cote d'Azur, France; Bali, Indonesia; Galle, Sri Lanka; Ibiza, Spain; Kalkan, Turkey, Koh Samui, Thailand; Majorca, Spain; Phuket, Thailand; Sardinia, Italy; Sotogrande, Spain; ++||Algarve, Portugal; Andalucia, Spain; Antigua, Caribbean; Buzios, Brazil; Istria, Croatia; Phuket, Thailand; ++|
|Mountains||Chamonix, France; Crans-Montana, Switzerland; Morzine, France; Nendaz, Switzerland; Niseko, Japan; Four Valleys, Switzerland; ++||Breckenridge, Colorado; ++|
|Cities||Bangkok, Thailand; Barcelona, Spain; Berlin, Germany; Dubai, UAE; Istanbul, Turkey; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; London, UK; Miami, USA; New York, USA; Paris, France; Prague, Czech Republic; Rome, Italy; Singapore; Vienna, Austria; ++||Barcelona, Spain; Florence, Italy; London, England; New York, NY; Paris, France; Prague, Czech Republic; Vienna, Austria; ++|
|Leisure||Provence, France; Marrakech, Morocco; Orlando, USA; Puglia, Italy; Tuscany, Italy; Western Cape, S Africa; ++||Marrakech, Morocco; ++|
The Rocksure concierge is available to help members plan their days and evenings and provide additional support.
Every Rocksure villa is looked after by a housekeeper/cook who does all the shopping and will cook and serve lunch or dinner on six days per week. There are maids in support, so members will scarcely need to lift a finger –and there's a gardener who looks after the garden and takes care of the pool. The Rocksure apartments are looked after by the local concierge, who will assist with any requests and also manages the daily cleaning.
Hideaways central concierge team is on hand to give advice on the destinations, reserve the properties and arrange pre-travel requirements from airport transfers and sightseeing tours to spa treatments and securing a table at a popular restaurant. Local concierges prepare the property for a member's arrival, meet members at the property, turn lights on, make sure beds are made and deliver pre-ordered grocery shopping. The local concierge has a solid knowledge of the area and can assist with specific requests.
Hideaways provides daily maid service at its properties and has housekeepers in Asia and Morocco.
Both clubs offer a variety of ownership levels in each of their funds. The different levels grant different numbers of weeks of holiday time each year. The highest levels for each fund are shown in the table below, and the lowest levels are typically a quarter to a half of these amounts.
|Hideaways Classic (villas)||£250,000||£14,000||4-6 weeks|
|Hideaways City||£127,000||£6,500||12-24 nights|
|Rocksure Crystal (villas)||£238,000||£4,800||4-6 weeks|
|Rocksure Capital||€120,000||€2,300||14-24 nights|
|Rocksure London||£245,000||£7,500||14-22 nights|
|Rocksure Manhattan||$350,000||$9,500||21 nights average|
|Rocksure Liberty||$295,000||$8,500||21 nights average|
The Hideaways Club also charges an annual "Fund Provision" of 0.75% to 1.0% of the net asset value of the funds.
Both clubs have experienced management with very entrepreneurial backgrounds.
At Rocksure, David Rogers is a former COO at Abercrombie & Kent the luxury travel company, where he was responsible for many operating companies around the world. He has more than 40 years' experience of international luxury travel operations and is well able to ensure that the houses around the world are expertly managed and maintained. Alistair Ballantine is the Chairman of Rocksure in the USA and has spent his entire career in the luxury travel business.
At Hideaways, Stephen Wise set up and managed a number of different successful businesses, including QMS, which was originally formed in 1993 and became a leading organiser of technology exhibitions and conferences and Networks Direct, another technology business. He formed Hideaways with Helmut Schon an experienced institutional and private investor, with board involvement in a number of early and late stage businesses. He was also a senior corporate financier with Merrill Lynch and UBS.
Reservations & Usage
Both clubs use a points system for members to use the homes, and members receive a certain number of points each year based on their investment or membership level. In each case the points charge reflects the size and seasonality of each home, so for instance the homes will cost more points at peak times of the year.
Rocksure members receive a number of "Rocksure Pounds" based on their investment level. Hideaways uses "Destination Points" for its villa fund and straight nights in its city fund.
Reservations can be made simply through the concierge or the club website. At both Hideaways and Rocksure, members can typically reserve homes up to 12 months in advance, although some lower tier memberships at Hideaways have a nine month reservation window.
Members and Guests
At both clubs, the spacious homes are designed for inviting friends and family. And, whether it's the villas or the city apartments, members can give weeks to friends, family or colleagues without needing to be present themselves.
Leaving & Exit
Hideaways facilitates the selling of member shares when they want to exit the fund. When a member leaves, there is a 5% sales fee and they receive 80% of any upside between the share purchase price and the share exit value. The Hideaways funds are open ended, in other words they have no pre-determined lifetime, and just keep going.
At Rocksure, the funds have a pre-determined lifetime of 7-10 years and at the end of this period the properties in the fund are sold. On the sale of the fund properties, the investors receive back the first 120% of the value of their investment and then 82.5% of the balance. In other words there is an investment return hurdle of 120% before the fund managers receive any benefit from the increased property values. Members can also leave before the end of the fund lifetime, with Rocksure facilitating the sale of a members interests.
Both clubs provide an excellent way to spend holiday time with family and friends before the years pass by. They both offer nearly stress free vacations, in upscale destinations across the globe. If you're assessing or comparing the clubs, download our Guide to Destination Clubs which walks through a variety of questions that you can ask, to make sure you select the right club (Note, we do ask you to register to access this Guide).
Overall Rocksure, offers a smaller more boutique feel, and its funds have a finite lifetime, which may be appealing. Hideaways is larger, with a bigger number of club properties. There's no right answer to which is better, it's a personal choice of which you prefer.