Monday, May 25, 2015

May Resort Spotlight - Elara, a Hilton Grand Vacations Club

Las Vegas is a vacation destination unlike any other - there's so much to do, see and experience that it can be tough to cram all the excitement into one trip! One thing is for sure though - you'll be very, very busy! And you'll want somewhere plush, luxurious and utterly relaxing to come back to after your day in Sin City. The perfect choice? Elara, a Hilton Grand Vacations Club!

HGVC's Elara towers over the center of the Strip in the very heart of Las Vegas, providing convenient and easy access to the area's best attractions. The 52-story is right across the street from the Cosmopolitan and adjacent to the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino complex. Adjoining access to Planet Hollywood makes exploring the hundreds of shops and restaurants along the Miracle Mile easier than ever. Traveling with a car of your own? Elara is conveniently located near I-15 and just four miles from McCarran International Airport.

Even with so much to do in the city, Elara is packed with a bounty of amenities to enrich your experience. Looking to kick back and relax after an exciting day on your feet? Cool off in the outdoor tropical complex, complete with whirlpools, private cabanas and a pool bar. A fully-equipped, modern fitness center ensures that your fitness routine won't suffer even on vacation. Before hitting the town, enjoy a cocktail or beer in the lobby bar. For an extra-indulgent experience, enjoy a massage and other spa services at the Mandara Spa right next-door at Planet Hollywood, also home to nine exclusive restaurants that cater to nearly any taste.

You'll enjoy every moment on Elara's sundeck!
Elara's studios, one, two, three and four-bedroom suites are undeniably luxurious. Each is decked out in ultra-modern, bold colors and prints while the decor is sleek and striking. Floor-to-ceiling windows offer breathtaking views of the city - especially at night! Studio units can sleep two individuals and offer all the essentials in a slick, attractive package. A well-furnished kitchenette, 42" plasma televisions, jetted bathtub, automatic curtains and a spacious seating area lend a luxe edge to the standard studio experience. Meanwhile, the larger rooms come with even more to make your trip as perfect as possible. Full kitchens equipped with stainless steel appliances and granite countertops are perfect for whipping up your own meal. Large living areas are furnished with leather sofas and even an eight-foot wide screen, projector and home theater system for serious entertainment. As for the bathrooms? Enjoy a whirlpool tub, separate shower and even a TV in there too! Every one-bedroom and larger suite includes in-room laundry facilities.

Sleek and modern - the perfect Vegas accommodations!
We could go on for days about everything there is to do in Las Vegas. Of course, the city is home to over 70 casinos where you can try your luck, each with a unique theme. But Las Vegas has much more than just gambling - there's literally hundreds of restaurants, a handful of malls and dozens of other shopping opportunities. Live entertainment is always in progress, whether you're looking for shows, concerts or something completely different. Don't think you're limited to the city, either - beautiful natural preserves such as Red Rock Canyon are just as exciting, as are attractions like the Hoover Dam!

Elara, a Hilton Grand Vacations Club's perfect blend of convenient location, gracious amenities and breathtaking accommodations earns our May Resort Spotlight. But we want to hear about your experiences as well! How was your visit? And would you return? Sound off below!

Imagine waking up to that view!


Monday, May 18, 2015

The Best Beaches for Your Summer!

The temperatures are rising, the days are getting longer and May is in full-swing. As summer draws closer, we begin to think "beach" - on those long, hot days, there's no better way to cool off than with some sun, sand and surf with your family and friends! But which beach is perfect for your summer getaway? This week, we're looking at five often-overlooked beaches that are perfect for making awesome summer memories!

Eagle Beach, Aruba

Eagle Beach is the picture-perfect Caribbean retreat!
If asked to picture the perfect tropical beach, this is undoubtedly the one that springs to mind! Endless stretches of velvety, white sand melt into sapphire waters and cool breezes coming off in off the water help to stave off the heat. Without a doubt, this is the picturesque Caribbean beach that will leave all your friends back at home jealous! Cabanas and beach chairs are available for rent and due to the sheer size of beach, crowds are often at a minimum. Best of all, Eagle Beach and the greater area of Oranjestad are home to some of Aruba's finest resorts, making your stay just as enjoyable as endless hours soaking up that Caribbean sun!

La Jolla Cove, California

Tucked between beautiful sandstone cliffs, La Jolla Cove is one of Southern California's most beautiful beaches. While a bit smaller than other nearby beaches, La Jolla Cove makes up for it with a gentle surf that's ideal for swimmers, snorkelers, scuba divers and kayakers. The beach lies firmly within the San Diego La Jolla Underwater Park Ecological Reserve which means visitors just may encounter local wildlife - including the area's resident sea lions! While you're there, don't forget to visit the Caves, whether by foot or by kayak!

Sanibel Island, Florida

Every shell you collect on Sanibel is 100% unique!
Sanibel Island is a unique getaway, a retreat that's both relaxing and family-friendly. On Sanibel's pristine beaches, time slows down and you can appreciate the natural beauty around you. One of Sanibel's best attractions can be found right on the sandy shores - thousands of seashells, making shelling and beachcombing near-mandatory activities. Unlike many beach getaways, much of Sanibel is not lined with hotels, making for a clean and tranquil horizon. Rather, the island is packed with nature preserves, making sightings of rare Floridian birds and other fauna very common.

North Shore, Hawaii

If you're looking to catch a wave, Oahu's North Shore is the ultimate beach destination! With intense waves in the winter and gentler waves in the summer, North Shore proves to be an ideal beach for surfing regardless of skill level. During the winter months, visitors can also glimpse whales moving through the waters. Regardless of why you choose to visit North Shore, one thing is certain - it's a fantastic break from the crowded hustle and bustle of Honolulu!

Akumal, Mexico

Imagine swimming with wild sea turtles!
Akumal is a terrific alternative to Cancun for those who want shimmering, pristine beaches but not necessarily the party scene that comes with them. Indeed, Akumal's waters are sparkling-clear and ideal for snorkeling, where you can catch glimpses of rainbow corals, beautiful fish and even the sea turtles that are the area's namesake (Akumal is Mayan for "Place of the Turtle). When you need a break from the water, plenty of authentic restaurants and unique shops without the tourist spin are within easy reach.


Of course, these are just our recommendations! Which beaches are your annual go-to's? Have you visited any of our featured locations? Let us know!

Monday, May 04, 2015

Florida's Newest Timeshare Bill Stirs Up Controversy

A new bill has made its way through Florida Congress that spells quite a few changes for timeshare owners. Known both as House Bill 453 and Senate Bill 932, the controversial legislation makes a great deal of technical changes to the Florida Vacation Plan and Timesharing Act. The bill's passing
has ruffled some feathers among both individual owners and industry leaders who fear the vague language can be abused. Others hold a more optimistic outlook and believe the bill will provide more stability and inherent protection for timeshare owners. As an owner advocate, RedWeek is committed to providing you with the entire rundown.

The bill was conceptualized with the best of intentions - to streamline and simplify ownership for owners. HB453/SB932 introduces changes like eliminating doubled-up interest fees and providing ways for a contract to end or be extended when the plan does not specify a way to do so. In addition, backers of the bill hold that the changes will provide consumers with more protection and freedom in regards to the fate of their timeshare plan, as well as bring the Florida Vacation Plan and Timesharing Act up to speed with modern real estate law.

State Representatives Eric Eisnaugle and Kelli Stargel have spearheaded the crusade for the introduction of HB453/SB932, fervent in the belief that the changes will help owners. The bill is also backed by the American Resort Development Association (ARDA), the Realtors Political Advocacy Committee (RPAC) as well as Florida-based developers Orange Lake Resort Alliance (Holiday Inn) and Disney Worldwide Services, Inc. - all of whom contributed monetary donations to the bill.

This endorsement of HB453/SB932 has many skeptics raising their eyebrows, fearing the legislation only gives more sway to developers who already hold the lion's share of power in a timeshare contract. Others are not as concerned with what the bill does say, but rather what it doesn't. Neither compliance nor materiality are adequately defined, giving developers the ability to define exactly what these terms mean in regards to mistakes or omissions in a given contract. Additionally, "nonmaterial" errors would not grant the purchaser cancellation within ten days, as is permitted now.

It's not just owners who are concerned with the implications of HB453/SB932. Industry figureheads like Gregory Crist (CEO of the National Timeshare Owner's Association) are also expressing their concern, stating that the bill is designed to protect developers who have no intention of following the law and that the technical changes will strip away mechanisms intended to protect consumers. Others like Scott Smith (assistant professor of hospitality at the University of South Carolina) only see removing property taxes from the 125% cap on annual increases in assessment fees weaken the allure of timeshares as an affordable vacation option.

So what's an owner to do in midst of such changes? If you find yourself wary of the implications of HB453/SB932, we encourage you to check out and sign the Change.org petition to veto the bill. Also, be sure to keep an eye on our partner blog Timeshare Information and our Facebook page for more updates as we hear about them. And of course, let us know your thoughts on the issue!