My lovely wife Jane and I have just returned from another great holiday with the Accor Vacation Club this time to the Sunshine Coast. I cannot believe what value this Club has been to us.
Five years ago we attended a Kris Kristofferson concert at the Palais Theatre in Melbourne. We were staying at the Novotel in St Kilda and had been invited to participate in an Accor Vacation Club presentation the next morning. We decided to attend for all the wrong reasons, free nibbles, a chauffeured limo to the venue and $100 off our accommodation cost for the night! Little did we know it was to lead arguably to one of the best decisions we have ever made.
I attended the presentation armed with a healthy scepticism and the intention to withstand any sales pitch I was sure we were going to get thrown at us. Six hours later I was a member of the Accor Vacation Club still bearing grave doubts that all the promises made to us would be fulfilled. Five years on we are continually amazed that in fact they have been provided way beyond what was guaranteed.
When we joined there were fourteen Club properties and we were advised this number would increase as membership grew, there are now 21 a 33% increase in five years. Our initial financial investment has also increased by a similar amount. I have kept an accurate record of what our accommodation would have cost us if we had booked the same venues as normal holiday makers, and we have already enjoyed over $8000 worth of accommodation in our relatively brief time as members.
We expect to have our initial money back in well under a decade of membership.
Despite only being Silver level Members we have had brilliant holidays at Palm Cove twice, the Sunshine Coast, Coffs Harbour, Surfers Paradise, Mt Lofty House in the Adelaide Hills, Darling Harbour and Daylesford, not to mention nights at the Grand Mercure in Melbourne, our home City. We have already booked for New Zealand in 2011.
When we first joined we assumed that the accommodation would be in hotel style rooms and we may well be treated as second class citizens, the opposite has been the case. We always book one bedroom apartments, all of which have been substantial enough to live in, not just as holiday venues.
Only once have we not been able to get the time we required and the staff have always bent over backwards to suit our needs.
Having said this it needs to be accepted that as Members we need to be flexible with our booking windows. After all, it is the quality time spent with each other that really matters, not the times and destination.
The aspect I have appreciated most is the genuine Club feel that the staff engender, both in Member Services and in the resorts and hotels we have stayed at. Only once in our time have we had a booking concern and once advised the Club resolved it to more than our satisfaction. No more can be expected than that.
Another real benefit of the Accor Vacation Club is that it makes you organise holidays. In this ridiculously pressured modern world, far too often we don’t find time for ourselves. Jane and I both run individual small businesses and it is a real trap to become too business focused. Knowing that to benefit from your investment in the Club you need to use the points, Members are forced to look after their own well-being and this is a real positive.
Given all the above, it is clear that we are very happy Members and look forward to many more great years, as will our children after when they get their hands on the membership in the future.
Melbourne – Victoria