Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Sin City - Part 3, Day 2, The Vacation Club Tour

We arrived at the hotel early Friday morning. The hotel looked first class, but I assumed it would if it was to compete with all the other hotels in Las Vegas.

There was marble everything everywhere.

Check in was at 4:00, but arrived a little early........at noon. They gave us a room right away anyway.

The hall was kind of creepy. We had an interesting experience in the hall the next day, but I'll leave that for another post.

The first thing we did when we got into the room was to take pictures of the room before we messed it up. The room was really nice, but nothing special. It was a lot like all the other newer Hilton hotels I've stayed in.

Here's the view of the Las Vegas Strip from our room.

The second thing we did was make drinks (I packed the gin & tonic) and make a toast to the two love birds destined to have a naughty time in Sin City.

Wait, that was the third thing. We went to the bathroom after taking the pictures.

We were going to get together with Tara this weekend, so next I got online to send her an email to let her know we arrived. We exchanged a few text message and emails and agreed to get together the next night on Saturday.

The free high speed wireless internet access was nice. When we were in San Diego last November we only had free wired access. The old phone landlines suck!

The next day, Saturday, we were scheduled to take the two-hour-tour of the Hilton Grand Vacation Club on the Strip we were staying at. I got the cheap rate for the room when I agreed to take the tour. The vacation clubs are time share condos at Hilton resorts around the world. Right now there are almost forty of them.

The tour of the facility was nice and the salesman was friendly and knowledgeable.

They don't have a restaurant in the hotel, but they have a 24-hour deli. There will be a restaurant in tower three when the build it. They are also going to build a fourth tower. With four, almost 40-floor towers, that's a lot of frigging rooms!

They have a health club, but it's one place I'll probably never go into. Who goes on vacation to spend it in a gym?

The tour was nice and then we sat down for the sales pitch to try and get me to buy a time share. He even said they had an incentive to buy into their time share. I just wanted to get it over with so we get back to touring Sin City. But the guy was good, very good. He made it all sound so attractive. Somewhere during this conversation he asked us, "If you could take a vacation any where in the world, where would it be?" Lori said Hawaii and I agreed. I'd always wanted to go there. (Lori thought that this is the incentive to buy they would offer me.)

It isn't like any other time share I'd ever heard of.

You know how when you buy a time share that you get a week at a certain resort at a certain time of the year? This isn't like that.

You know how they tell you that you can trade your week for another week somewhere other than the place you bought into and are lucky if you can get it when you want? This isn't like that.

This one works with points. So many points a year based on what level you purchase. You can use them at any of these palces, any time there is an available room or suite.

Hilton Grand Vacations Club offers a collection of extraordinary resorts in some of the world's most desirable locations, access to over 2,800 Hilton Family of Hotels worldwide, 3,700 exchange opportunities across the globe and a variety of unique adventure and cruise travel options. Hilton Grand Vacations Club resorts offer extensive amenities and impeccably designed studios, one, two and three bedroom villas...destinations unto themselves. Ownership at a Hilton Grand Vacations Club resort comes with a proprietary allotment of ClubPoints - the currency which delivers flexibility, choices and vacation planning services so simple and easy, you'll wonder why you ever vacationed any other way.

I wouldn't be restricted to just one particular week a year. Nor would I be restricted to any one place. I could vacation at any of the places they offered, anytime I wanted. I could even check into a local hotel for a weekend if I wanted. They have about a dozen different hotel chains.

Damn! I was just about hooked!

Next he asked me if I was interested in talking to his manager. It seems that if I bought in that day, the manager would offer me that "incentive" to buy. I figured it wouldn't hurt to hear what he'd offer, so I said yes. He walked away to get his manager.

I turned to Lori and almost at the same time we said, "This sounds good." I was hooked and being reeled in.

A minute later the manager showed up and we chatted a bit. You know, small talk. Then he says, "I see here that you'd like to go to Hawaii."

I said, "Yes."

He says, "If you buy today, I will give you two free round trip airfares on American Airlines and a week at one of our vacation clubs in Hawaii. What do you say, interested?"

(American Airlines is part of this too. So are every cruise line in the world and many other travel and vacation companies including house boats, including RCI time shares. It's just not Hilton's I am limited too.)

What else could I say but, "Yes."

That's right, I bought a time share at the Hilton Grand Vacation Club on the Strip in Las Vegas. I swore I'd never do that, but I bought it. I am retired, can travel at will and have been taking vacations anyway, so this seemed like a good idea. Besides, I'm actually buying a piece of the vacation club in Las Vegas. I can hand it down in my will, even give it away. I just couldn't see a down side.

The plan I bought was for a two-room suite, for a week in Vegas. That is 5,000 points. If I take a smaller room, like the studio we stayed in, the price in points drops by about half. That would give me two weeks at least. I can even use the points for airfare.

The incentive points I got for the free vacation in Hawaii was for 15,040 points. So I expect that a one-week vacation in Hawaii, in a two-room suite with airfare is expensive.

Does anyone have any idea how much that would cost?

But I'm free to use the incentive points and the 5,000 points I get right away, for any vacation I want. It doesn't have to be Hawaii. Having 20,040 points to start, is a lot of frigging points and a lot of vacation time immediately available to me. If I don't want to use it, or can't, I can bank it for future use.

I just couldn't see the down side to this, can you? Honestly, can you?


patti_cake said...

This isn't Blue Water by any chance is it? We did their tour one time in Charleston and it sounds eerily similar. You have time and that's one thing we don't have. I think you'll enjoy it alot Tony!

BTExpress said...

No, it's run by the Hilton Hotel chain.

Jodes said...

sweet!! what fun!! Happy Turkey Day - come by when you can - I got 3 day pics up.

Fabulous Me said...

I am sooooooooooo jealous!!! Dan and I checked into a timeshare offer last summer when we were on vacation, but it turned out to be way expensive and not at all worth it.

Fabulous Me said...

PS: When are you coming to Seattle???

MizMouthy said...

Great pictures! Sounds good! Congrats on your time share :)

I can't wait to hear the story about the spooky hallway!

Libby said...

tony-i think the time-share was a great thing to do!! and, as for that hallway...it looks a whole helluva lot like the one in Stephen King's book/movie The Shining! So, please tell about it??

gab said...

When we first bought ours in Iowa(yeah I know dont get me started)It was for the one week a year that we were blocked into. Then when we bought our second one in Northern MN it too was for a blocked time(we got Jan)
Now they have started to switch over to the point system. We haven't been to the meeting to find out how it works but I think its probably along the same lines as what they just sold you. And your right that's better that being locked into a certain week.

TK Kerouac said...

This time share sounds like a good deal, a friend of mine that bought in could only stay in Florida and Up North Canada.
You have more options.
Love your Vegas Pics.

Snow White said...

Sounds fab to me! Great pitures, too. I'm enjoying your Vegas visit! Can't wait to hear more.


Tara Tainton said...

The strip's all the sweeter now that you own a bit of it. ;)

But keep those interesting scary hallway experiences to yourself. I don't like those twin girls in The Shining! ;( And I walked down that same hallway. :(

SignGurl said...

Tony, it sounds like you really got a good deal. My dad bought a timeshare at the Jockey Club (now the Polo Club) in Vegas and hasn't been able to sell it to save his life. He's really screwed.

Shumpy said...

that is too cool! Congrats on the timeshare.

If you're cruisin' we are doing one out Galveston in December - get with me for details.


BTExpress said...

Shumpy - I would like to, but closing will be sometime late in December, so that isn't going to work out. Keep me in mind for the next trip.

jillie said...

My brother has one in St. Thomas. He is going to sell it to me for $1.00! Yep...ONE DOLLAR. BUT the catch is, I pay the $50.00/month fee and I can never sell it. Only back to him or his daughters. Works for me! What a great trip all the way around for you guys.