Destination Clubs: Comparing Programs

A destination club is a hybrid of owning a second home and investing in a timeshare.

By joining, you get access to luxury homes and villas at multiple locations, assistance planning the trip and on-site services. Here’s a comparison of the bigger players in the market today and an analysis of what your membership buys with each plan.

First, there’s an upfront membership fee, which is substantial, except at Insprato and the newly launched Portico, which is Exclusive Resorts lower-priced option. It’s the equivalent of the membership fee at a country club. It gets you in the door, but there are still dues. For destination clubs like Quintess, the yearly payments vary based on how many nights you’d like to use the vacation homes.

But with the fees, there are no guarantees that you’ll get the property you want for the dates you need. “I tell people that they should be interested in at least a third of our destinations,” says Merritt Hopper, regional director of Exclusive Resorts. “It’s not for someone who wants Vail every Christmas.”

For comparison, we also included an oceanfront, 3-bedroom villa at Turtle Bay Resort in Hawaii (Where “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” was filmed).  The amenities—on-site concierge, golf, beach, fine dining—are comparable to homes and villas in the destination clubs.

Comparing Destination Club Options

Upfront Costs:
Quintess: $165,000 (For 10 nights use each year; less for Duo, which features smaller homes) plus $90,000 for guaranteed holiday weeks
Inspirato: $15,000
Ritz-Carlton Portfolio: $100,000
Exclusive Resorts: $170,000, plus fee of $49,000 to guarantee Thanksgiving and Spring Break or $99,000 to guarantee Christmas week and other popular holidays
DIY Turtle Bay Villa: $0

Additional Annual Fee:
Quintess: $0
Inspirato: $2,950
Ritz-Carlton Portfolio: $7,300 for 5,000 points
Exclusive Resorts: $0
DIY Turtle Bay Villa: $0

Per Night Fee:
Quintess: $1,230
Inspirato: $650-$1,000
Ritz-Carlton Portfolio: Points needed varies based on property chosen and week
Exclusive Resorts: $1,045
DIY Turtle Bay Resort: $902 per night (spring break week)

Number of Locations:
Quintess: 40+
Inspirato: 34
Ritz-Carlton Portfolio: 10, plus access to Ritz-Carlton Hotels
Exclusive Resorts: 40+
DIY: Unlimited (But you have to find and book yourself)

Sample Chicago Residence:
Quintess: Four-bedroom cottage at Rich Harvest Farms through their PGA Tour program
Inspirato: Trump Hotel
Ritz-Carlton Portfolio: No property in Chicago, but can exchange nights to use at Ritz-Carlton
Exclusive Resorts: Trump Hotel
DIY: Trump Spa Suite $550-$800

Amenities:
All the residences are in the luxury category, beautifully furnished and maintained. Each club offers personal assistance in planning and booking the vacation, onsite concierge and housekeeping services. Many also have the option to use nights as currency to trade for trips and experiences.