If you’ve considered joining a vacation club or purchasing a luxury timeshare, you’ll know they have just enough similar features to confuse you.

Both provide benefits for those who don’t want full ownership of a vacation home.

In this article, we cover Exclusive Resorts vs. a luxury timeshare priced over $100,000, such as the Celeste Beach Residences in Huatulco, Mexico (USD 147,000).

The Exclusive Resorts Vacation Club

Exclusive Resorts destinations are exciting beach, mountain, and metropolitan properties and are arranged by professionals. Members want access to luxurious locations without worrying about the details. The 4,000+ members of Exclusive Resorts travel worldwide 15-30 days per year to more than 400 residences and experiences.

Luxury Timeshares (Over USD 100,000)

Luxury timeshares give members the option to travel to vacation destinations worldwide, traditionally for two to six weeks per year. Buyers typically view it as an alternative to rental vacations and don’t consider it a financial investment. The majority of timeshare owners report they are satisfied with their purchase, believe it is a less expensive alternative to hotel rentals, and enjoy access to the network of properties in their agreement (usually Registry Collection).

1. Comparing Perks

Exclusive Resorts members get assistance to choose from a curated list of world-class properties. Stellar customer service at every step takes details out of the way. Private chefs, sommeliers, and housekeeping are all arranged ahead of time.

Luxury timeshares have broad portfolios of residences with choices worldwide. Perks and services are usually more limited.

WINNER: Exclusive Resorts

2. Comparing Initial Membership Fee

Exclusive Resorts caters to those who want to see the world in style. After an initial investment fee of up $85,000 – $250,000, members must pay a nightly rate. Members invest a comparable amount as they would to purchase a vacation home, but instead get access to a portfolio of extravagant properties with no maintenance headache. These clubs typically have a minimum qualifying household income of at least $250,000.

On average, a luxury timeshare requires an up-front investment of $100,000 – $150,000. Annual maintenance fees apply and can vary per agreement. This provides for two to six weeks at a three-bedroom unit in a deluxe resort. There is no nightly rate during the stay.

WINNER: Tie

3. Comparing Total Costs

Club members can opt out of Exclusive Resorts and be reimbursed 75% of their initial membership fee if new buyers are replacing them.

Timeshares can also be sold, but resale is difficult even at reduced prices. With so many owners, there is always intense competition from other units and new developments.

Total Costs Chart

Celeste Beach Residences Exclusive Resorts
Initial Fee ±$147,000 $85,000
% fee sellable 100% 75%
Easy sell? No Yes
Annual dues $3,500 $1,250 per night
# of nights 15 15
Vacation options 400+ 400+
Locations 250+ 120
% homes owned 0 100%
Home/Room size 2700 sq. ft Avg. 4000 sq. ft

Realized Cost Per Night *

$625.00

$1,476.00

WINNER: A Luxury Timeshare

4. Comparing Flexibility

Exclusive Resorts club members can choose to travel 15-30 days per year, at the cost of $1,275 per night. Those who travel more than 25 days per year have reservation preference. Members are forced to use their days.

Members can share travel days with friends and family under limited conditions.

Luxury Timeshare owners often have the option of not using the weeks and renting them out.

WINNER: A Luxury Timeshare

Conclusion

A luxury timeshare and Exclusive Resorts can both give you spectacular vacations in the world’s most popular destinations. The significant difference between the two is that Exclusive Resorts will provide the highest in service at every step – at a steep price.

With larger homes, more amenities and more exotic destinations Exclusive Resorts members spend about double on their vacations then luxury timeshare owners.

*realized cost per night is calculated by using annual fees, rental rates, opportunity cost on the upfront investment, and the value upon sale of ownership.