Friday, October 29, 2010

Oahu Timeshare Owners: Follow these Tips from the Locals

Oahu is full of tourist attractions and events that can fill your days with delight, wonder, and fun. And as an Oahu timeshare vacationer you deserve to enjoy everything this island has to offer its visitors. But here's a secret - follow the locals for what to do in the evenings.

Honolulu has a population of almost 400,000. Add to that the people living and working in the other towns around the island, and that adds up to a lot of local expertise. After a long work week, where do the locals head for Friday night fun?

The answer is Downtown Honolulu. The daytime business and financial district of busy Honolulu, Hawaii's capital city, transform after dark into what is officially known as Hawaii's Arts District.

On the first Friday of each month this downtown area becomes one big block party (see photo). The spirited social scene overflows into the art galleries, shops, and fabulous eateries that all stay open late for this fun crowd. You can even take the Downtown-Chinatown Gallery Walk, a self-guided tour of the rotating exhibits of the area's art galleries and studios.

A quieter-paced version of First Fridays is Slow Art Fridays, held on the 3rd Friday of every month. You'll enjoy all of the same art and culinary delights, but with a mellower atmosphere.

Other great night-time entertainment includes The Venue, a brand-new nightclub that offers everything from traditional Hawaiian music to comedy improv. The Nextdoor Cinema Lounge and Concert Hall is a lively nightclub that is both a cinema house and a dance club. It's here you'll find some of the very best in local and international talent.

The Hawaii Theater is actually in Chinatown, and offers eclectic entertainment from Broadway shows to Hawaiian musical concerts. Housed in its original 1922 historical building, the beautiful Hawaii Theater is known as the "Pride of the Pacific." For Halloween 2010 the Hawaii Theater is presenting "The Silent Scream." Its 2010 Christmas offering is "A Cazimero Christmas."

While out on your night on the town be sure to avail yourself of Honolulu's many acclaimed restaurants. Choose the East-West delicacies of Hoku's, the elegant use of local produce and seafood at Orchid's, or the exciting fusion cuisine at Roy Yamaguchi's flagship Roy's Restaurant.

Downtown Honolulu is easy to get to from just about anywhere on Oahu where you might be renting your timeshare - just hop aboard the island's award-winning public transportation system, The Bus. That’s what the locals do!

(Photo credit - firstfridayhawaii.com)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Holiday Airline Travel Tips

Many of you are planning timeshare vacations for the Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years holidays, so the article "Holiday Travel 2010: What You Need to Know" is very timely. Written by travel journalist Ed Hewitt, and published on IndependentTraveler.com on October 25, 2010, the article offers salient advice on how to navigate holiday airline travel.
  • Do it Now
    If you're serious about a holiday trip, make those plans now, says Hewitt. Traditionally, by the middle of October the lower air fares are gone, and from then on fares only keep rising. Every day counts at this point.

  • Fees, Fees, Fees
    If you haven't flown in awhile, you're in for a shock. Be prepared for the fact that airlines are now tacking on extra fees for just about everything. Even those of you who have had some experience with the now-common extra costs of flying might find some surprises here. Hewitt says, "In short you will likely be charged for almost everything you do from the moment you sit down at your computer to search for a fare until you get home" including online booking fees, fees to speak to someone on the phone, fees to use your miles or points, fees to pick your seat, fees for every checked bag, fees for headphones, fees for food, and now a new one - fees for carry-on bags.

  • Peak Travel
    For years the "Busiest Travel Day of the Year" has been the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Many people have been frightened away from travel on that horrendous day, and now opt to fly on Tuesday. So know this: that day is now the priciest day for airline fares in the entire holiday season.

    Hewitt also gives this warning - another tacked on fee by many airlines is now the "holiday surcharge." You'll pay from 10% to 30% more just for flying on a peak holiday travel day.

  • Days to Avoid
    Hewitt points out that both Christmas and New Years land on Saturdays this year. The peak holiday season will officially start for trips that begin on December 17 and later, and end more or less on January 3. The most popular Christmas travel dates will inevitably be Thursday, December 23 and Sunday, December 26. "If you can avoid those dates," says Hewitt, "you will save yourself irritation and money as well."

    "Finally, if there is one travel day you avoid, make it Sunday, January 2," recommends Hewitt. "The entire country is going to be due back at work on January 3, and everyone will be scrambling home, whether by plane, train, automobile, or magic carpet."

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Smugglers' Notch Timeshare Resort #1 for Family Programs

Are you looking for a great timeshare rental destination for your family ski vacation? Well, consider this: Smugglers' Notch Resort in Vermont has been listed as #1 for Family Programs in North America by members of SKI Magazine - for the twelfth year in a row.

"We are thrilled to again receive this recognition," said Bill Stritzler, Smugglers' Notch owner and managing director. "Years ago we focused our mission on being the best resort for family fun, anywhere. Responding to families' vacation interests and recreational needs is the cornerstone of our operations here at Smugglers, enhanced by the careful attention our employees pay to customer service."

"We're famous for our children's ski and snowboard programs," continued Stritzler. "We inspire your children to learn. We encourage them to improve. We build their confidence. We group your children by age and ability, so they can make new friends while they learn. And we challenge them to explore the mountain, and their limits, to be smart and safe, and, most importantly, to have fun."

Further emphasizing the resort's appeal to vacationing families, Smugglers' Notch received top 10 ranking among Eastern resorts in the categories of overall satisfaction, value, lodging, off-hill activities and service. The resort also received top 10 recognition for the challenge and variety of its terrain. The three mountains and 78 trails feature 1000 acres of terrain for all abilities, from the novice skiers and riders enjoying Morse Mountain's gentle runs to the extreme experts taking on Madonna Mountain's gnarly double and triple black diamond Fab Five trails.

Located in the heart of the Green Mountains of northern Vermont, Smugglers' Notch resort offers exceptional family fun year round. With timeshare rentals starting at just $107/night, deciding to vacation at this remarkable resort is easy. In the summer there's fishing, kayaking, camp outs for the kids, horseback riding, and campfire sing-alongs. In the fall you have a front-row seat to the extraordinary experience of Vermont's fall foliage. And in the winter - well, its considered #1.

A bonus to renting a timeshare at "Smugg's" is its convenient location. You'll have a perfect "hub" for day trip sight-seeing. You are just outside the charming village of Stowe; it's just a half hour to Burlington, the shores of Lake Champlain, and the Church Street Marketplace; and a two-hour drive through beautiful scenery will get you to Montreal, Canada, no less.

For a wonderful all-round, year-round, family-friendly timeshare vacation, take a good look at Smugglers' Notch resort.

(Photo credit - onthesnow.com)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

3 Reasons a Timeshare Rental is Not Just for a Vacation

As a timeshare owner, when you think of your annual vacation, you naturally think about visiting your timeshare. But, have you ever realized that there are three reasons when a timeshare rental is not just for a vacation? Take a look:
  1. Holidays
    Whether it's Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukah, the Fourth of July, or even a Family Reunion, whenever many members of your family will be gathering together, bring in the timeshare rentals. Grandma and Grandpa certainly love having the grandkids around, but underfoot? That's a different matter. Or your youngsters might be willing to give up their beds to the grandparents, but is that really the most comfortable way for Grandma and Grandpa to get any rest?

    Timeshare rentals are spacious accommodations that offer separate bedrooms, a living area, and even a kitchen for early morning coffee, late night hot milk, and snacking for kids. Families with young children will find staying in a timeshare rental less stressful than trying to meld into another household. And senior family members will certainly appreciate the peace and quiet of their own place when it's bedtime. You can even save money by sharing a timeshare rental (they sleep up to 8) with more relatives visiting from out-of-town.

  2. House Hunting
    If you're planning a move to any where other than the town where you currently live, you'll be involved in the often frustrating logistics of looking for a new house and needing to find a place to stay while doing it. A timeshare rental is the perfect answer. You'll have plenty of time to work with the realtor, the cost is less than staying in hotel rooms, and the home-away-from-home atmosphere will go a long way toward keeping you relaxed and more able to deal with the inevitable stresses of house hunting.

    Bonuses are the resort amenities that are included in the cost of the timeshare rental. Instead of going back to a cramped hotel room after an exhausting day looking at houses, you'll instead be able to take a dip in a refreshing pool, work off tension with some games of tennis, soak in your own personal whirlpool tub, or even let loose with karaoke at an on-site nightclub - all right outside your door.

  3. Weddings
    You already know that renting a timeshare is a great way to have a honeymoon - budget-friendly and at an exotic locale. But also consider using timeshare rentals in your own area for out-of-town wedding guests. Family and friends who have to come in from out of town to attend your wedding and special activities obviously need a place to stay. By renting timeshares you can give lodging to groups of people per each accommodation. The attached resort's amenities also give the guests activities to enjoy in between wedding events, without you having to take the time to be a social planner.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Earn Marriott Reward Points While Playing Golf


It will soon be winter and you know what that means - Great Golf! What better way to truly enjoy the ice and snow of winter than to be out of it! Now is the time to plan your winter golf getaway timeshare vacation - with the help of Marriott.

Marriott's exclusive golfer loyalty program, Marriott's Golf Links, enables Marriott Rewards® members to earn Marriott Rewards points for golf purchases at participating Marriott Golf Clubs, and redeem points for golf, spa, golf instruction, and more. Marriott Rewards members can earn 10 points for every dollar spent at participating Marriott Golf Clubs. Individuals and groups can earn Marriott Rewards points for rounds of golf and golf retail merchandise purchases.

As a valued Marriott Rewards member you can easily join Marriott Golf Links and begin earning points for golf. You'll find many of the participating golf clubs located in warm, sunny destinations. Here is a sample:
  1. Grande Pines Golf Club, Orlando, Florida
    Listed as one of Golfweek's Top 100 America's Best Resort Courses, this course was designed by renowned golf course architect Steve Smyers in partnership with six-time major champion Nick Faldo. The course is committed to environmental stewardship, and is a member of the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses.

    Grande Pines Golf Club is ideally situated right off Orlando's International Drive, next to Marriott's Grande Vista Resort, and close to all the exciting attractions, finest restaurants and the Orlando Convention Center.

  2. Desert Springs Golf Club in Palm Desert, California
    Located adjacent to Marriott's Desert Springs Resort and Spa, here you'll find two 18-hole championship golf courses, built in a Mediterranean-style, with exceptional views of the Santa Rosa Mountains in the distance. Highly acclaimed architect Ted Robinson, who is called the “King of Waterscapes,” designed both courses.

  3. Wildfire Golf Club, Phoenix, Arizona
    Again, here you have the choice of two 18-hole courses, each designed by great golf legends, Arnold Palmer and Nick Faldo.

    The Palmer Signature Course at Wildfire Golf Club offers scenic and expansive fairways allowing the ball to remain in play even on an "errant shot." The Faldo Championship Course features generous fairways and large Mini-Verde greens. Surrounding both courses are the majestic McDowell Mountains and century-old saguaro cacti, providing a spectacular setting for golfers.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Disney Vacation Club Now on the West Coast

The Villas at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel recently sold out of all available vacation ownership inventory, it was announced this week. The Disneyland resort, in Anaheim, CA, is Disney Vacation Club's first venture to the West Coast and the Disneyland Resort.

“We are very pleased with the success of our first West Coast resort,” said Disney Vacation Club President Jim Lewis. “Families have enjoyed visiting the Disneyland Resort for decades and Disney Vacation Club members who own at The Villas at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel will enjoy the savings for decades to come.”

The Grand Californian architecture is based on the Arts and Crafts movement of the early 1900s. The interior design is inspired by the National Parks Service lodges of the western United States, with a lobby that features an oversized fireplace hearth, lofty ceilings and sweeping crossbeams. The Napa Rose restaurant, inspired by California Wine Country cuisine, is an acclaimed restaurant that boasts a collection of award-winning vintages and has been rated #1 in the Zagat survey for 4 years running.

The Villas at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa opened in September 2009 as the first stage of Disney Vacation Club’s extension into the west. Designed as part of an expansion of the existing hotel, the 50 2-bedroom Villas offer members and guests a variety of Disney Vacation Club amenities, such as kitchens, living and dining areas, and other home-like amenities.

Many of the Grand Californian villas overlook Disney California Adventure Park, where a major transformation is taking place. This summer saw the debut of “Summer Nightastic” and “World of Color,” utilizing the world's largest waterscreen. The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure will premier in 2011, and the summer of 2012 will see the opening of the widely anticipated Cars Land, a 12-acre expansion inspired by the Disney-Pixar blockbuster “Cars.” From the villas at the Grand Californian, members of Disney Vacation Club will be able to experience these exciting changes firsthand over the coming years, said a Disney spokesperson.

(Photo credit: travelandleisure.com)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Top 5 Most Requested Hawaii Timeshares

Hawaii is such a wonderful vacation destination. If you are planning a trip to Hawaii soon, you’ll want to review the top 5 most requested Hawaii Timeshares, as determined by RedWeek.com members.

  1. Marriott's Maui Ocean Club – Lahaina, Hawaii (Maui)
    Relaxation is the focus at Marriott's Maui Ocean Club. When you’re ready for fun, try the resort's 3.5-acre super pool complete with a water slide, waterfalls, and children's area. Amenities include a beauty shop, barbecue area, game room, and restaurants. Each unit features a king bed, separate bath, and lanai in the master suite, kitchenette with microwave, mini-refrigerator, and dishwasher, and TVs with DVD players.

    Also available, Marriott's Maui Ocean Club - Napili Villas. If you are looking for a unit with a full kitchen please see Marriott's Maui Ocean Club - Lahaina Villas.

  2. Marriott’s Ko Olina Beach Club - Kapolei, Hawai (Oahu)
    Just 30 minutes from Honolulu, this beach front oasis is secluded and peaceful situated on the spectacular Western shore of Oahu. Waterfalls, fountains and seven lagoons surround you at the resort sprinkled among the stunning gardens and beautiful landscaping.

    On-site at Marriott's Ko Olina Beach Club you will find four pools and whirlpools, a poolside bar and grill, Polynesian dinner show, children's activity center, a fitness center, The Marketplace convenience store, golf, a full-service marina with 270 slips, and a wedding chapel.

  3. The Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas - Lahaina, Hawaii (Maui)
    The Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas is a remarkable resort. Perched on 26 lush acres with breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and the islands of Lana'i and Moloka'i, this resort provides the ultimate in pampering and relaxation. There are five outdoor heated pools, four outdoor jacuzzis, two lighted tennis courts, and outdoor gas grills for barbequing.

    Enjoy several lagoon style pools, the luxurious 10,000 square-foot Spa Helani by Westin Heavenly Spa or the fully equipped Westin Workout facilities. Children will have fun at The Westin Discovery Center where they can learn culture, create crafts, and play in the pirate ship pool.

    There are also rooms available in the Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas North.

  4. Kaanapali Beach Club - Lahaina, Hawaii (Maui)Located on Maui's world famous Ka'anapali Beach, the resort offers sumptuous landscaped grounds and is located directly on the beach. A highlight of the resort is its one-acre swimming pool with a two-story water slide. The resort also offers miniature golf and a children's program and a variety of on-site dining.


  5. Marriott's Waiohai Beach Club - Koloa, Hawaii (Kauai)
    Elegant units await you with separate living and dining areas, a private lanai, master suite with a separate bath, and oversized soaking tub and shower. The Waiohai Beach Club is beautifully landscaped with waterfalls and lagoons, lush tropical plants, and is a stone’s throw away from the beach. Two outdoor pools are available plus a shallow kiddie pool. Also on-site are a fitness center and children's activity center.

    While on the island, take a cruise on a flat bottom riverboat up the Wailua River to the Fern Grotto, a lava rock grotto covered with tropical ferns. When you arrive you will be serenaded by Hawaiian musicians playing traditional, local songs. The acoustics within this natural amphitheater are fantastic and greatly enhance the singing and guitar accompaniment.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Heading to Your Disney Timeshare? 6 Fun Facts to Know!

Do you enjoy vacationing with a Disney timeshare, and love all things Disney? We’ve got 6 fun facts you might want to know, and they focus around conservation. From founder Walt Disney's time to the present, this company has had its hand on the pulse of what makes a vacation purely magical. We've all seen that just about whatever Disney puts its touch to turns out Very Well.

So, it's nice to know that the company's commitment to "only the best will do" goes beyond the realm of theme parks, movies, and iconic character marketing. The Disney company is very involved in conservation, world-wide.

From Disney's own web site we've gleaned some fun facts about its very serious involvement in the well-being of our world.
  1. Decades ago Walt Disney started making movies about animals, called "True Life Adventures." The very first one, "Seal Island," won an Oscar in 1948 for Best Documentary.

  2. In 1993 the Disney company purchased 8,500 acres in central Florida, and donated it to the Nature Conservancy to create the Disney Wilderness Preserve. Home to many protected birds and animals, the Environmental Agency calls this preserve "a model for sustainable development."

  3. Walt Disney World made so many improvements to save energy through out the Parks that it was enough to power Animal Kingdom when it opened in 1998.

  4. The trains at Disneyland are powered by biodiesel, a fuel that is made from recycling the cooking oils from Disneyland's restaurants.

  5. Thousands of bright lights cover the castles at the Disney parks, but because they are energy-efficient LED bulbs, one castle's 170,000 lights use only the amount of electricity it would take to power 12 microwave ovens.

  6. In the U.S. parks alone Disney has kept almost 200 million pounds of waste out of the landfills by recycling, reusing, and donating. A spokesperson says that is equivalent to 666,666 baby elephants!
So as you enjoy Disney timeshare rental vacations you can rest assured that not only is Disney taking very good care of you, it's also working hard to help take care of our planet. Learn more about the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, which, since 1995, has donated over $12 Million to global charity organizations, helping save animals and habitats in 110 countries.

(Photo credit disney.com/conservation)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

5 Reasons a Timeshare Rental Makes a Great Holiday Gift

Christmas and Hanukah are fast approaching, and if you haven't a clue what to give, here's a great idea - a timeshare rental. And here are 5 reasons why:
  1. Give One Gift for an Entire Family.
    A timeshare rental can easily accommodate a number of people. It's a spacious and relaxing home-away-from-home, with separate bedrooms and living and dining areas, along with the convenience of a full-sized kitchen. Instead of trying to come up with individual gifts for each member of the family, a timeshare rental easily takes care of everyone.

  2. Better than Theme Park Tickets.
    For lots of activities and family fun, a timeshare rental can rival a theme park, or any other group activity - and cost a lot less since the activities are part of the price of the accommodations themselves. Many timeshare rental resorts offer so many on-site activities that there's barely any need to venture out. For example, take a look at the Sheraton Vistana Resort in Kissimmee, Florida, that has 135 acres of pure fun. Or Smuggler's Notch in Vermont, the #1 rated family resort in the country.

  3. Open up the World.
    What better gift can you give than new experiences? Whether the timeshare rental is in a foreign country (Mexico and the Caribbean count), or downtown New York City, if you get your family or friends out of their own backyard, it's a new world. A Cancun timeshare rental in Mexico, offers not only beautiful beaches, but ancient Mayan ruins to explore. New York City's Manhattan Club is within walking distance of Central Park, Times Square, and NYC's famous museums. The National Parks are open year round - so give the gift of exploring the world of nature.

  4. A Getaway is Good for the Soul.
    Study upon study has been done showing the benefits of getting away from it all. A gift of a timeshare rental vacation is a gift that keeps on giving - even after the experience is over the benefits of rest, relaxation and rejuvenation continues into daily life. If the family just can't seem to manage this on their own - a vacation as a holiday gift is one way to get it done.

  5. What a Surprise!
    Who in the world would be expecting such a fabulous holiday present? And the good news is that there are many budget-friendly good deals on timeshare rentals. There are so many available that you can even choose one that is within driving distance of your recipient's home - that'll make it budget-friendly, and doable, for everyone.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Eurostar Makes Travel Easy from Your London Timeshare to Paris

Have you been thinking about a vacation to London, or maybe Paris, but are not sure which location to rent a timeshare? What if you could get a London timeshare rental and still easily explore the Eiffel Tower in Paris on the same vacation?

Can you imagine London and Paris being "day trips" from each other? It was just announced that a new train is being commissioned between London and Paris that will make the trip in just over two hours. Unbelievable but true. It will travel at 320 kph, which translates to 198.9 mph.

Eurostar, the high-speed passenger rail service that connects England and France, is building not only faster trains, but also fancier ones. The new trains will be roomier, and offer Wi-Fi art and music services, and video, on demand. The interior of the new trains will be built by the Italian design firm Pininfarina, famous for its work with Ferrari and Maserati.

So, in wonderful comfort you can step out of your London timeshare and whiz over to Paris, spend a delightful day hob-nobbing with Parisians, and be home and tucked into your timeshare bed at a proper English time. Or, rent a Paris timeshare instead and head to London for the day. Tour the Tower, view the glittering Crown Jewels, and be back in Paris in time for dinner.

The truth of the matter is - you can do that now. Eurostar's current high-speed trains will get you from one city to the other in 2 hours and 15 minutes. Since Eurostar launched operations in 1994, when the Chunnel - the tunnel under the English Channel - was opened, it has carried more passengers between London and Paris than all airlines combined. The convenience and speed of service, along with shorter check-in times, quicker boarding, and high punctuality, all have created a huge demand for high-speed rail service, which also have a good safety record.

Happily for timeshare rental vacationers, Eurostar is actually going to be getting some competition. Deutsche Bahn is starting trial runs for a future Frankfort-London route. And Trenitalia has announced plans to eventually run high-speed trains from Italy to the United Kingdom. So, browse RedWeek.com for more European rentals and timeshare exchanges and start planning your next vacation to some exciting destinations you’ve always dreamed of visiting.

(Photo credit wikipedia.com)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Halloween Haunts Near your New Orleans Timeshare

Can you imagine a better timeshare rental destination for Halloween than the beautiful, mysterious city of New Orleans? Halloween is a season that fully takes over New Orleans, with costumed fun, spooktacular social happenings, and hauntings - both real and make-believe.

To start with, local author Anne Rice created a vampire legend that New Orleans has embraced. The Louisiana Area Vampire Association, among other vampire organizations, holds wickedly wonderful vampire balls during Halloween. And the annual Voodoo Music Festival, held in City Park, attracts well-known performers. Or head to Jackson Square after dark, where you'll encounter fortune-tellers, mystics, and a voodoo priestess or two.

As an adult Halloween visitor, a must-see place for you is Bourbon Street in the French Quarter. Here you can find boutiques offering a variety of Halloween costumes. Then return at night to show off your creation in the wonderful mêlée of hundreds of other costumed revelers.

Also for adults only - and teens of course - the Mortuary Haunted House on Canal Street is where to go if you really want to be scared out of your wits. Realistic and gory special effects, along with frighteningly talented actors, combine to make this one of the most popular Halloween haunted houses in New Orleans. But there's a twist. This used to be a real mortuary. The basement that used to house the embalming room has been certified by paranormal investigators to be inhabited by several real ghosts. During the Halloween haunted house the ghost of a teen-aged boy is frequently seen darting among the visitors, apparently enjoying the festivities.

Another popular New Orleans haunted house is The House of Shock (see photo) - which has its own twist. Pyrotechnics and live music combine to make this experience so frightening you may find yourself running for your life.

There are many kid-friendly Halloween activities in New Orleans, too. The Halloween parade is fun for all ages, and you'll see plenty of floats, marching bands, and costumed participants, all tossing beads and trick-or-treat candy. This parade is a production of Blaine Kern Sr., known widely as "Mr. Mardi Gras," so the floats are spectacular. Following the parade will be the "Monster Bash" at Blaine Kern's Mardi Gras World.

A Halloween party just for kids is Ghosts in the Oaks. Held as a fundraiser to help repair the damage done to the city park by Hurricane Katrina, this lively party offers your youngsters exciting entertainment including spooky music, Halloween-themed food, and not-so-scary rides.

So if you're looking for that special Halloween thrill of shivers running down your spine - a New Orleans timeshare rental will give your entire family a truly spooktacular time.

(Photo credit houseofshock.com)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

DAE Takes over Timeshare Exchange Program for RedWeek.com

The RedWeek executive team has decided that the best way to continue to enhance our timeshare exchange program for our members, while not straying from our core focus, is to transfer the RedWeek Exchange Program completely to Dial An Exchange (DAE). DAE has been the back office support for the exchange service since its inception and will now be given the reins to continue to grow the exchange business with the personal customer service that has made them a staple in direct-to-consumer timeshare exchanges worldwide.

We believe that the combination of RedWeek's and DAE's respective areas of expertise will provide better service to our exchanging members and allow RedWeek to do what we do best: facilitating rental and resale transactions between timeshare owners and the traveling public.

That said, effective November 15, 2010 the RedWeek Exchange Program will be combined with the DAE Exchange Program and any remaining RedWeek Exchange Points will be converted to DAE Exchange Credits (good for one week per credit).

All of the DAE Exchange services will continue to be offered on RedWeek.com and a toll free number will be posted to answer any questions you might have concerning the transition, new benefits that are available to you, and how you can best use the service to add value to your timeshare ownership.

DAE has been in the timeshare exchange business for 13 years, currently has over 250,000 members worldwide, and has been our partner for RedWeek Exchange since its inception three years ago. We know these people well and feel this transition will enhance the exchange service and benefit all parties.

You are welcome to continue depositing and making reservations under the existing program up through November 14, 2010. On November 15, 2010 all remaining points will convert to DAE week credits according to a conversion schedule. Requests for valuations of your proposed deposits will be accepted only until November 6, 2010.

Those members who have RedWeek points in their accounts can check current timeshare exchange availability online. You may use your points now to exchange for existing inventory.

Existing reservations made through the RedWeek Exchange Program will not be affected by this transition.

Some of the additional features you will have access to include:
  • Personalized service by a toll free phone number and personal e-mail contact with exchange counselors
  • The ability to request a week that is not currently available
  • The ability to put a week on hold for 24 hours before booking
DAE also intends to proactively search for exchange destinations that reflect your personal preferences. To assist them in finding the exchange you're looking for, we plan to share some basic information with DAE about user activity on RedWeek Exchange. This would simply include what you have submitted for valuation, what exchange availabilities you have expressed interest in, your name, and e-mail address. DAE will then be able to search their system to provide you with exchange options customized to you. If you do not want us to share this information with DAE, please just let us know before midnight PT on November 14, 2010, and no information will be shared. You will still have an opportunity to opt-out of DAE mailings anytime after that point by contacting them directly.

We recommend that you give this improved service a try. With a strong track record for excellent customer service and a growing base of members worldwide, DAE is well prepared to take the exchange service to new levels for RedWeek members.

Thank you for your participation in RedWeek Exchange. We feel confident we are doing the best thing for all of our members.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Marriott Tracks "Green" Projects

Marriott, parent company of Marriott Vacation Club timeshare resorts, is the first U.S. lodging company to follow the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). The hospitality giant's Sustainability Report tracks reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, among other "green" projects.

Marriott was honored with the 2007 ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Since 2007, Marriott International has reduced its energy consumption by 11 percent, reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 10.7 percent, and is on track to meet its aggressive goal of an amazing 25 percent decrease in energy and water consumption per available room by 2017.

These results are among those reported to shareholders, customers, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in the company’s first official Sustainability Report using the guidelines set forth by the GRI.

In the report, Marriott documents results from 2008 and 2009 in the areas of economic, environmental, and social responsibility performance. Highlights from the report include:
  • Reducing water consumption per available room by 8.2 percent in two years.

  • Increasing LEED® (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) registered and certified hotels from 18 to 67.

  • Seeding $2 million to jumpstart an Amazon rainforest preservation project in Brazil and $500,000 to help protect access to fresh water in China.

  • Surpassing the goal of 500 minority- and women-owned hotels a year early, reaching 525 in 2009.

  • Reviewing community programs and NGO partnerships addressing poverty alleviation, disaster relief, education and children’s wellbeing.
“We are committed to being a corporate social responsibility leader, benchmarking with like-minded companies, and providing the information and transparency that our stakeholders increasingly expect,” said J.W. Marriott, Jr., Chairman and CEO, Marriott International, Inc.

Marriott had its beginnings in 1927 when J. Willard Marriott and his wife, Alice, opened a root beer stand in Washington, D.C. Today Marriott International is the largest U.S. hotel company by market value, with over 3,000 lodging properties in the U.S. and 67 other countries and territories. Marriott International brought to the lodging industry a respect for the consumer which has culminated in innovative lodgings, quality service, and now a commitment to the environment.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

5 Reasons to take a Timeshare Rental Halloween Vacation

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  1. Location
    Seriously, how many great pumpkin patches are in your area? There are good odds you might not even have any. Even if you have the local old stand-by, maybe it's time to try something new. Across our country there are pumpkin patches with train rides, corn mazes that are haunted, and even a pumpkin patch in Hawaii!

  2. Budget-Friendly
    It's easy for a Halloween vacation to not only be family-friendly, but also budget-friendly with timeshare rentals. Hotels are expensive (and often not even near a pumpkin patch or a haunted house), and if you have a large family you'll end up having to pay double for extra rooms or beds.

    A timeshare rental is can be up to 50% less than hotels. And while the hotel room is cramped, your timeshare rental will come with separate bedrooms, plus a dining area, a living area, and a full-sized kitchen. With a timeshare rental you could even bring grandpa and grandma along - a real treat for everyone. In addition, they could help split the cost, and even be baby-sitters!

  3. Kitchen
    The full-sized, fully equipped kitchen is a real bonus to any Halloween vacation. You'll save money by being able to prepare your own meals, instead of having to take the entire family out to a restaurant 3 times a day.

    The kitchen is also where you can put to good use your Halloween pumpkin patch finds. Your timeshare kitchen is the perfect set-up to carve jack o'lanterns from all of those prized, perfect pumpkins that were picked at the patch. Try doing that in a hotel room.
    Many pumpkin patches are also associated with orchards - bring your fresh picked apples to your timeshare kitchen and make an apple pie right there, or have a make-your-own-caramel-apple party with the kids.

  4. Room to Spread Out
    Often a Halloween haunted house is a little too scary for the younger set. What to do? Send dad with the older children, and mom (or grandma and grandpa) can entertain the littler ones at "home." The timeshare rental has a real home-like feel, and you can do a lot to keep the kids busy - make Halloween crafts or play games (hide and seek, pin the nose on the witch) - all because the timeshare rental gives you room to spread out.

  5. Start a Family Tradition
    Once you've had a great Halloween vacation at a fun destination by staying in a timeshare rental, you'll be hooked. Now you can plan to check out the fun pumpkin patches and haunted houses all across the country - a different one every year!

Monday, October 11, 2010

RCI TVs New Spanish Channel for Timeshare Travelers

With the slogan "Vacation Planning is Fun and Easy in Any Language" RCI® has just announced that it is launching a Spanish Language Channel on RCI TV. Numerous videos are offered in Spanish, and high-definition videos narrated by the "RCI Guy" now feature Spanish subtitles.

RCI is part of Wyndham Exchange & Rentals, the worldwide leader in timeshare exchange and the European leader in vacation rentals, with access to more than 80,000 vacation properties in approximately 100 countries. Wyndham Worldwide Corporation is one of the world's largest hospitality companies with leading brands in vacation ownership, vacation rentals and vacation exchange.

Through tailored online and on-air programming, RCI TV went public in November, 2009, to promote the benefits of owning or vacationing in a timeshare resort. Its network of channels includes An Inside Look, What You Need to Know, Ask the RCI Guy, Resort Showcase, and Destination Reviews.

Less than a year after its debut, RCI TV had over 1 million views. "The overwhelming usage and success of RCI TV has surpassed anything we originally envisioned when we launched it to our subscribing members nearly a year ago," said Geoff Ballotti, CEO of RCI. "Because RCI has more than 200,000 members in Latin America and about 30,000 Spanish speaking members in Europe, RCI TV in Spanish was a natural and highly requested progression."

In an entertaining as well as educational way, RCI TV provides vacationers with answers to frequently asked questions such as - How do timeshares work? What is the quality of the resorts? Why are timeshare resorts a preferred vacation option?

See our previous post: RCI TV Now Available Online for All Timeshare Owners

Friday, October 08, 2010

Rent a Maui Timeshare for a Hawaiian Halloween

Rent a Maui timeshare and experience a Hawaiian Halloween. Did you know that Halloween on Maui has been called the "Mardi Gras of the Pacific?" Who knew! You'll find this Maui Halloween celebration in the town of Lahaina. In fact, Halloween week is the most booked time in Lahaina outside of the winter vacation season.

Lahaina is located on the west side of Maui, and is the gateway to the famous Kaanapali Beach Club and Kapalua beach resort areas. This fascinating town was once the capital of the Kingdom of Hawaii, and during the 1800s Lahaina was the center of the global whaling industry, with many sailing ships anchored at its waterfront.

Today it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Hawaii. With historical forts, famous historic buildings, the fascinating whaling museum, and an amazing banyan tree, your family will find plenty to do between hunting for ghosts and running from goblins.

In the past the Lahaina Halloween celebration was sanctioned by the Lahaina's town council, but 2010 will find many permits denied due to the fears of some members that Halloween is not a good mix with historic Hawaiian culture. However, many events and activities are still planned, including the wildly popular Keiki Parade (see photo).

This children's costume parade starts in the afternoon, and hundreds of keiki-sized ghosts, goblins, superheros, and Hawaiian characters will march. As a spectator be sure to bring plenty of candy - at this parade you will be tossing candy to the parade participants rather than the other way around!

Children friendly events will also be held at many of the major retail centers. The Lahaina Cannery Mall, Queen Ka'ahumanu Centre, Maui Mall, Pi'ilani Shopping Village, and the Shops at Wailea will all host activities for keikis including costume contests, spooky Haunted Houses, and kid-friendly Ghost Story times.

Adults will find plenty of Halloween activities on Maui, too. Many Lahaina night clubs are decorated in the spirit of this ghoulish celebration, and have costume contests along with Halloween themed drinks and menus.

You can also head over to Maui's north shore where the small artsy town of Paia also goes all out for Halloween. This community has a lot of fun decorating its art galleries and boutiques in Halloween themes. For example one gallery likes to fill it's windows with the tombstones of dead artists such as the likes of Andy Warhol, and a clothing boutique displays the most fashionably-dressed skeletons on the island. In addition to the holiday displays, the town will host a massive Halloween bash featuring costume contests, kids' activities including trick-or-treating, a haunted spa and late-night dancing.

Rent a Lahaina timeshare on Maui and celebrate Halloween with the Aloha spirit!

(Photo credit psmaui.com)

Thursday, October 07, 2010

5 Tips on How to Maximize your Timeshare Resale Value

Ready to sell your timeshare? Take a look at these 5 tips on how to maximize the value of your unit on the timeshare resale market.
  1. Condition
    Prospective buyers will be paying particular attention to the condition of the unit, especially the bathroom and kitchen, and the condition of the furniture. Be sure all plumbing is in working order, as well as the kitchen appliances, electrical outlets, and the fold-away beds. If there are any problems, report them to your resort maintenance department, and be sure to follow up on the progress of repairs. If you are responsible for maintenance of the unit, make sure you get all repairs completed before putting the unit on the market.

    How clean a unit is can certainly be a deciding factor in a buyer's decision. If your unit has been unoccupied for a period of time, make sure to clean it thoroughly, or talk to the resort's housekeeping department regarding the cleaning needs.

  2. Pricing
    To determine a fair and equitable price point, do your research. Check the classified ads for current sales and closing resale prices for units available at your resort, as well as other resorts in the area. See other listings on RedWeek.com to compare what other units at your resort are selling for.

  3. Advertising
    When offering your timeshare for sale you'll want to highlight such factors as location (beach, mountain, theme parks), resort amenities (pools, spa facilities, family-friendly aspects), and the resort's rating and reviews.

    Also be specific about the potential savings if the buyer purchases the timeshare from you rather than through a broker or the resort itself. If your research shows that the price difference will be minimal, focus your advertising instead on luring out-of-town buyers with the location, attractions, resort reviews, etc.

  4. Listing
    To maximize your profit margin, don't spend large amounts of money listing your timeshare. There are many other, inexpensive, ways to go. An online timeshare marketplace such as RedWeek allows you to get the most out of your listing dollar by paying a minimal listing fee and getting the potential of reaching millions of prospective buyers around the world.

  5. Educated Buyers
    A good tip here is to focus on advertising to potential buyers who are already educated about the benefits and how-tos of timeshare ownership. Working with knowledgeable buyers can help eliminate the need for extensive information sessions, and the possibility of cold feet at the last minute.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

4 Photography Tips for Your Timeshare Vacation this Autumn

Autumn is really a magical time. The air is fresher and clearer, and the slanted sunlight causes nature's colors to be more intense. Wherever you take your timeshare rental vacation this autumn one thing is for sure - you'll want to try to capture the beauty of the season in pictures.

Professional photographer Topher Donahue says that getting a good photo of fall colors has never been easy, even for pros, and that today's digital cameras make it even harder. The film that was used in the days of point-and-shoot cameras allowed a better color saturation so that even amateurs could come up with a memorable photograph of vivid autumn colors now and then.

Donahue offers 4 tips for making your autumn photography look better no matter what type of camera you are using. The photo (shown above) by Donahue demonstrates all four.
  1. Shoot in the Shade
    Shoot in the shade. Your eyes are so much more sensitive to colour range than your camera that you are tricked into thinking you see a good photo just because you see a pleasing view. When the leaves are sunlit, they are often so bright that the sensor cannot record the subtle colours and instead records washed-out highlights. In the shade, natures colours – be it spring flowers or autumn leaves – are revealed to the sensor in a much more manageable hue. Those cloudy days, or shady hillsides like in this photo, often result in better photos than the perfect bluebird morning.

  2. Crop Other Colors into the Frame
    Cameras and the human eye have one thing in common: colour is relative, not absolute. When you include other colours in the frame, it changes how the sensor and the viewer’s eye records or perceives the colour. For this photo I looked for a place where the yellow and orange contrasted against each other to make both look better.

  3. Include Compositional Elements, Not Just the Leaves
    In this case, the ghostly aspen trunks give a sense of depth to the photo. Including singular evergreens amidst a forest of leaves, small meadows, a stream, or even a road or trail in the frame can often help your camera record a memory and an emotion rather than a just a photograph.

  4. Buy a Good Camera
    All sensors are not created equal. The difference between a good camera and a bad one has never been greater. Buy the best camera you can afford at the size you're willing to carry.
Autumn is a grand time for a timeshare rental family vacation, and with nature's bounty of color, it's also the perfect time to practice becoming a good photographer.

For a great chance to learn and shoot alongside a professional wilderness photographer in an unbeatable setting, check out the CMH Photography Workshop with John E. Mariott next summer in the Bugaboos.

Photo by Topher Donahue

Read the original article, re-posted here with permission by Canadian Mountain Holidays.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Oahu Timeshares and the Hawaii Pumpkin Patch

This is the final installment of our 5-part series highlighting some of the states where you can have a great fall family timeshare rental vacation. Finding everything from pumpkin patches to corn mazes we've seen some great places for autumn fun. But along with coconut palms and mango trees, would you ever have thought of Hawaii as a destination for fall festivities?

Rent a timeshare on Oahu and discover that Hawaii is also a great state for enjoying traditional fall fun - with a real pumpkin patch, no less!

Aloun Farms is where you'll find The Great Pumpkin Patch in Kapolei. No kidding. From 5 acres of leased land in 1977 the Aloun Sou family has increased production of farm fresh produce to over 3,000 acres. With 80% of fruits and vegetables being imported into the Hawaiian Islands, a source of locally grown produce was long overdue, and Aloun Farms has become widely popular.

Realizing that kids of all ages who live on Oahu still enjoy traditional fall festival activities, the Sou family began offering a pumpkin patch experience comparable to any found on the mainland.

Although soft trade winds and guava juice take the place of autumn winds and apple cider, you still get to take a hay ride out to the huge pumpkin patch and wander through all of the pumpkin offerings that not only include huge bright-orange jack-o-lantern pumpkins, but also white pumpkins, mini pumpkins, baby pumpkins, and even ornamental gourds.

Not to be outdone by any mainland pumpkin patch, Aloun Farms does this autumn tradition up in a big way. Take a look at last year's numbers: Their vast orange fields - 83 acres to be exact - yielded approximately 71,000 jack-o-lantern pumpkins, 20,000 cooking pumpkins, and114,000 miniature decorative pumpkins. Some pumpkins are 40 pounds and up.

In addition to the pumpkin patch, there is a corn field where, for an additional fee, you can pick as much corn as you could carry in a 5 gallon bucket. This fun-filled fall family event also includes pony rides, farm style food including roasted corn, a petting zoo, and there's even a beautiful picnic area. Oh, and be sure not to miss the Flyin' Hawaiian Pumpkin Slingshot!

Who would have thought that you could take a traditional Hawaiian timeshare rental vacation complete with beaches, out-riggers, and luaus, and mix in there somewhere a real autumn pumpkin patch. That's just about as perfect a fall vacation as you can get.

Read Part 1 - Find the Perfect Pumpkin at Your Arizona Timeshare
Read Part 2 - Vermont Fun and Fall Fun in the Pumpkin Patch
Read Part 3 - Halloween Fun Near California Timeshares
Read Part 4 - Wisconsin Timeshare Rentals: A Fall Family Tradition

(Photo credit Alounfarms.com)

Monday, October 04, 2010

Wisconsin Timeshare Rentals: A Fall Family Tradition

One of the most beautiful places in America when covered with glorious fall foliage is Wisconsin. Rent a Wisconsin Dells timeshare and experience the heady autumn colors yourself. Part 4 of our 5-part series on finding the perfect pumpkin patch for your timeshare rental autumn vacation spotlights this amazing state.
  1. Country Bumpkin Farm Market
    Located right in Wisconsin Dells you'll be met by official greeter, black lab Duke. This "furry pumpkin picker" says the sugar pie pumpkins are the best to munch on out in the patch. Here you'll get a hayride straight out to the pumpkin patch where you can pick your own perfect pumpkin. You'll be astounded at the variety of pumpkins grown here, from Freaky Pumpkins, to Cinderella Pumpkins, to giants that weigh in at almost 200 pounds. You'll also have a real corn maze to get lost in.

    Be sure to try their own honey, and local maple syrup and sorghum. A real treat for your timeshare breakfast is the local farm fresh brown eggs available for purchase here. You can also find many fall ornamental products such as gourds and colorful broom corn and Indian corn. Real hand-made corn shock bundles and hay bales are also available.

  2. Green Thumb Farms
    Just a hop and a skip down the road, in Prairie du Sac, this is Pumpkin Land Adventure (see photo). Not only can you choose your own perfect pumpkin but you can shake hands with Zombie Homeboyz and Girlz as you do it! There's a hay bale maze for the little ones and a corn maze for the adults. Tom Sawyer's Fort has a tube slide, and kids 8 and younger can have fun on the Heavy Duty Trike Track.

    Special events include feeding the Pumpkin Eating Dinosaur, and watching the Ultimate Pumpkin Launcher competition. Last year they were launching pumpkins over 500 feet. Other activities include horse-drawn hay rides, tractor-pulled hay rides, wagon rides, honey from hives on the farm, maple syrup from trees on the farm, and prepicked produce. The youngsters will enjoy the face painting, the petting zoo, and getting to feed the farm animals.

    There is a lovely picnic area where you're invited to bring a picnic packed from your timeshare kitchen. For dessert try your hand at swirling caramel apples at the Caramel Making Station, using apples grown right on the property. While you relax under the covered pavilion and listen to the Ghoulish Animated Band, your youngsters can ride the tractor powered Barrel Train around the park.
Autumn in Wisconsin is really spectacular, and when you add all of this fun you just might make a Wisconsin timeshare rental vacation a family fall tradition.

Read Part 1 - Find the Perfect Pumpkin at Your Arizona Timeshare
Read Part 2 - Vermont Fun and Fall Fun in the Pumpkin Patch
Read Part 3 - Halloween Fun Near California Timeshares
Read Part 5 - Oahu Timeshares and the Hawaii Pumpkin Patch


(Photo credit gtfarms.com)

Friday, October 01, 2010

Halloween Fun Near California Timeshares

In Part 3 of our 5-part series on where to have a family fall timeshare rental vacation in search of such fun autumn activities as pumpkin patches and corn mazes, we'll look at Southern California. Any southern California timeshare rental will put you within very easy driving distances of these fun places.
  1. Bates Nut Farm
    This 100-acre farm, located in Valley Center, started life in 1922 as a walnut ranch. Today it's known for bringing joy to generations who love being out on a farm. Autumn is celebrated throughout October with pumpkin picking, a straw bale maze, tractor-pulled hay rides, and special activities for the kids including face painting, pony rides and a petting zoo.

    You can also enjoy BBQs, live music, and special events such the Pumpkin Festival Crafts Fair on October 2,3; the Nuts for the Arts Fine Arts Faire, October 9,10, a scarecrow-making contest on October 8 - the winning scarecrows will remain on display until the end of the month; and a Halloween costume contest and parade on October 29.

    One happy family member had this to say: "I just wanted to RAVE about the fun my family had at the Bates Nut Farm Pumpkin Festival. There were so many activities, food was great and the pumpkins, WOW, so many to choose from! This is truly the most fun family outing!!"

  2. Irvine Park Railroad
    Located in Orange County, this pumpkin patch also comes with train rides, a haunted house, hay rides, a pumpkin bounce house, a hay maze, panning for gold, carnival games, and pony rides (see photo). Continuing with the carnival atmosphere, you can purchase food from hot dogs and hamburgers to cotton candy and freshly-popped pop corn.

    Fun for both children and adults, the train takes passengers on a scenic ride through beautiful Irvine Regional Park. You're sure to find the perfect pumpkin as the train circles Locomotive Loop and the Pumpkin Patch.

    Or send your youngsters, 5-7, out on the John Deere Tractor racers - a race around a safe and fun obstacle course on cute little child-sized tractors.

  3. Halloween Friday Night Sing Along
    It's not a farm, there are no pumpkins or a corn maze, but leave it to Los Angeles to come up with a fun unique way to celebrate Halloween. Meet up on Grand Avenue Friday, October 29, with hundreds of other song lovers and belt out spooky and kooky songs - such as the Adams Family theme song - on the Music Center Plaza. You'll have live band accompaniment and lyric sheets are provided. Come dressed in your Halloween finest.
Read Part 1 - Find the Perfect Pumpkin at Your Arizona Timeshare
Read Part 2 - Vermont Timeshares and Fall Fun in the Pumpkin Patch
Read Part 4 - Wisconsin Timeshare Rentals: A Fall Family Tradition
Read Part 5 - Oahu Timeshares and the Hawaii Pumpkin Patch


(Photo credit irvineparkrailroad.com)