What are Private Residence Clubs?
When we go on vacation, we often feel at our most relaxed if the environment we're in seems like a 'home away from home'. But it's also nice to experience the luxury of a first class hotel. A private residence club offers a combination of both of these things. Located in all the prime vacation settings (beachfront, mountain, leisure resort, vibrant metropolis), private residence clubs offer luxury apartments and freestanding houses. Each property is furnished to the same high quality as a first class hotel.
The properties within the club are bought using a fractional ownership plan. This means the owners each purchase a share of a property, the size of the share denotes the amount of time that they can use the property. For example, if a quarter share is purchased, it entitles the buyer to use the property thirteen weeks a year. Typical shares are 1/6, 1/7, 1/8, and 1/10. Many clubs also allow their members to exchange the time they have available in their own property, with other members who own properties in a different location. There are also residual schemes, these offer the option of exchanging unused time for vacations in other facilities the club manager may own, such as luxury hotels. As with owning any property, there is the potential for its value to increase. Each owner is free to sell their share at anytime, and so may benefit financially if the value has risen. The share can be mortgaged or resold without the need to contact the other owners. Read this article for information on fractional mortgages.
Each of the properties are fully serviced and maintained by a management company. When staying in one of the club's residences, members will receive full concierge service, and the home will be prepared in advance according to their individual taste. This includes the groceries and beverages stocked in the kitchen, as well as books, games and entertainment in other parts of the house. Most clubs also offer flexibility with regard to who can use the property. Family and friends are usually free to stay unaccompanied by the member.
Many clubs are located in areas that cater for a specific type of vacation. Chief amongst these are properties within ski resorts, which offer quick and easy access to the slopes. Many clubs are also situated around or near golf courses, membership of the club may also include full use of the golfing facilities. Others are located at beaches or on lakes and some are located in major cities. Follow this link for a list of private residence clubs and luxury fractional homes.
Many private residence clubs are run by well-known hotel operators.
- Four Seasons Hotels have private residence clubs in a variety of locations, including Punta Mita in Mexico and Aviara near San Diego.
- Marriott Hotels have a vacation club that offers family oriented villas in beachfront locations, mountain resorts and also within theme parks.
- Ritz-Carlton cater for the high-end of the market, with private residence clubs in a variety of locations, all offering luxurious getaways.
- St. Regis Residence Club operates two hotel style, luxury fractional properties in Aspen and New York, both of which are at the high-end of the market.
- Fairmont Heritage Place also operates two private residence clubs, with one in Colorado (primarily aimed at skiing vacations), and the other in Acapulco.
There are also many independent private residence clubs which have one or more properties.
Prices for joining a private residence club vary according to the location, size and type of the property, the ownership period and the services provided with the property. Entry-level prices start at around $50k to join, with annual membership fees of about $5k. At the higher end of the market, $600k buys part of a luxury private residence club in a prime location, followed by annual fees of around $20k. The annual fee covers all maintenance costs over the year, and is divided up amongst the owners of the property in proportion to their ownership periods. It also covers the cost of the concierge, maid service and use of the club's other facilities.
You can also read about the reasons to buy a Private Residence Club with quotes from actual members.