Wilf Gobert, who's been a member at destination club M Private Residences talks about why he joined and his experiences to date in travelling with the club.
• When did you become a member?
We bought our A share in January 2007, as I had decided to quit my job, work from home and spend more time golfing and traveling.
• How did you hear about M Private?
I was encouraged to look at M by a friend who was also looking but didn't buy until two years after I did.
• What made you decide to join the Club?
We like variety in our travel but also really enjoy the comfort of a home not a hotel room, and the added space that allows family or friends to join us.
• How does M Private suit your lifestyle?
Retirement is a great lifestyle but you have to keep busy, so M's homes afford lots of opportunity for tourism, golf, beach or just enjoying warm weather in the winter.
• What's the best thing about being an M Private Shareholder Member?
Because M is an equity investment in a corporation, we have the luxury of owning a piece of eighteen homes in six countries, with the luxury convenience of a concierge service in each city.
• Which is your favourite property?
After six years on the M board of directors, my wife and I have stayed in, or seen seventeen of M's homes. There are too many superb homes to have one or two favorites.
• How do you feel/what's the first thing that comes to mind when you step into that property?
All the homes have a "wow-factor" because the homes are tastefully decorated and equipped with the essential household goods
• What are you Top 5 favourite things to do there?
The homes we like most are varied as to tourism (London, France), golf, shopping, seasonal weather, and sharing a home with family or friends
• What's your favourite thing about the Mbassador(s)?
The Mbassadors are facilitators and friends, with a devoted interest in the homes and the shareholders.
• What's your least favourite thing about the Mbassador(s)?
I don't have a "least favorite thing about the Mbassadors. If one doesn't need them, then they are not a presence during our visits. When we do use them, they are superb at planning, scheduling or pulling strings for the special restaurant or table.
• Which is your least favourite property?
My wife doesn't like traveling to Mexico but I love Cabo's weather. The Canadian properties are of less interest to us (except Shutters) because we own a mountain/valley cottage that gives us all the amenities of M's home.
• How has M Private changed the way you vacation?
Any vacation outside of M is in a hotel, with any accompanying friends or family staying in separate quarters. With M, our trips are shorter than otherwise, given the booking restrictions.
• How has this made your family even closer?
We don't have any family or friends who don't think we are their favorite people! Not because we are, but they don't know anyone else who invites them to join them in eighteen homes in six countries!
• If you could use three words to describe the Club, your experience, how being a member has impacted you/your family/your vacationing experience...what would they be?
Equity, luxurious-variety, family-cottage holidays.
• What are your thoughts on the value of your membership?
The housing crisis has unfortunately hurt the equity of all destination clubs and secondary home ownership. M's portfolio of homes and healthy balance sheet, mean that shareholders with a long term view don't need to worry about the sustainability of M. Most destination clubs don't have that luxury and because they don't sell equity, the cost of membership in other clubs, which already exceeds M's by a substantial margin, represents a financial risk.