Details About “The Club”

I return to my chair on the beach. There is a different couple sitting next to me, from when I left for lunch. Eder comes by and we chat. He talks to the couple next to me. They ask what the deal is with reserving chairs. He clarifies that a rolled up towel on a chair means, you can have this chair. It was placed there for your convenience by a beach butler. A towel spread out means that someone has reserved the chair. We all chat about how long it should be okay to reserve a chair. The woman says she would pay $20 a day to reserve a chair all day. I think back to my discussion with René. Maybe I was wrong. Maybe people do like different levels of service.

It really seems like the whole club concept is evolving. At this point there is a special lounge for club members and I believe they get checked in there. For the record, I have not ever had to wait to check in. Remember, I have been here 16 times (although this trip report is the 15th time). Never. Had. To. Wait.

There is a special area on the beach for club members. On this trip that I am currently reporting on, the sign saying this is a special area, for club members, is being ignored. On my trip in June there were fancier beach beds and there were no non-club members, but I’m wondering what will happen when the hotel is at capacity and there are no chairs to be had. The biggest benefit for club members is they get a 25% discount on their rates, so if you travel several times a year or for longer periods, it would be a benefit. They also get upgraded amenities in their room (Moet and L’Occitane), transportation to and from the airport. It seems what people are paying varies. There are different levels, affecting what kind of room you can book. You can book any Iberostar property and there are other properties you can book. It is definitely not a timeshare. You are not buying a certain number of weeks or a specific period of time. It seems vacation club is a more accurate name. The fees are pretty high (tens of thousands of dollars). There seems to be a lot of secrecy about how much it is, which probably means different people pay different amounts, and no one wants to talk about what they get. This is the part that makes me uncomfortable. It should all be above board. While some people report that people are signing up in droves, the empty special beach section and empty lounge tell a different story.

René talked about all kinds of possibilities for club members. But like I said, it is evolving. If you are interested in finding out more you can schedule a breakfast meeting with a sales rep, who by the way, is not an Iberostar employee (I’ve been told). It takes longer than they tell you it will, but you are in control and can always say, I’m done. They’ll give you something for your time, they always do. I’ve never sat through a presentation that I thought was worth it though. The other thing I have heard is, GET IT IN WRITING. Every thing they say you will get, make sure that is documented.

I was also told by René and others that Iberostar was going to come up with some kind of loyalty program for people like me who come all the time. Still waiting for that. It would be nice, but doesn’t matter to me. I’m going back either way.

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5 Responses to Details About “The Club”

  1. Robin Schlachman says:

    Hi,
    I have been to the Grand and other Iberostars many times. I firmly believe that an upscale resort should be upscale for everyone- not just members!! I hope the service for us non – member people remains as good as always! I do though understand that it is a business…..
    I loved Secrets Maroma Beach, but don’t know if I would go back, because of their club ” you can’t go to this bar or this pool blah blah blah! I hate that !
    As always, thanks for the blog, I really enjoy it!!
    Robin

  2. Sheila says:

    I am so glad that you are telling us about this “new club” thing with the Grand. We have never been approached about it, probably because we are older and never likely to subscribe, but then again we have been on many timeshare things but have never bought into it. We ran the numbers on possible vacations we might do, and they lose. We have many friends who have bought into these deals and are happy. So I say to everyone–think about what your vacation pattern is, what do you expect from a top quality vacation, run the numbers. Use your intellect, not your emotion when choosing. Make the right decision for you. Don’t be pressured. The only timeshare we ever were interested in was a condo hotel in Charleston right on the marketplace, we went for the introductory tour, but when told the salesman we wanted more information on his company before committing, he turned on us accusing us of only wanting the cheap vacation, turned us off completely. He had a sale but blew it with his attitude. Again, think with your head if you are at all interested. If it is a good deal, they would be willing to let you check it out.

  3. shoediva50 says:

    They don’t seem to be targeting loyal guests.

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