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Updated: 36 min 55 sec ago

Marriott’s Frenchman’s Cove Reopens After Hurricanes

After being closed since September 2017 due to significant damage from Hurricanes Irma and Maria, Marriott’s Frenchman’s Cove in St. Thomas has reopened its doors to vacationers. The Marriott Vacation Club property is one of the first large properties on the island to reopen after the storms shredded infrastructure and properties across the Caribbean.

The staff at Marriott’s Frenchman’s Cove have been working with a remediation company and other local businesses to restore the resort’s amenities and accommodations to a working state over the past five months. Though some landscaping and painting work still needs to be completed at the resort, many of the property’s most beloved features have been completely restored. Guests and owners can once more enjoy the resort’s swimming areas, beach access, pier, marketplace, and restaurants.

Despite the Frenchman’s Cove’s sister resort, Frenchman’s Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort, still remaining closed until further notice, the reopening of the timeshare property is a huge step forward for both Marriott Vacation Club and the community around St. Thomas. Scott Dickerson, general manager of the resort, spoke to the efforts of the crew following the hurricanes:

“The unwavering dedication of our associates has shown through during this challenging time at Marriott’s Frenchman’s Cove. I am so proud of the hard work our associates took on and completed to get the resort back open even though they were also affected personally by these storms. We are grateful to be welcoming our first owners and guests back to the resort today.”

As visitors return to St. Thomas for continued vacations, more and more resorts and hotels continue to reopen their doors. Marriott Vacation Club members can expect more regular updates from the brand about any pending changes, but the Frenchman’s Cove is officially open for business. For more information on the recovery efforts in St. Thomas, you can read more here.

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Wyndham Worldwide Earn World’s Most Ethical Distinction

For the fourth consecutive year and sixth time overall, Wyndham Worldwide has been recognized as a 2018 World’s Most Ethical Company by Ethisphere Institute. Wyndham Worldwide is strongly committed to acting with integrity and dedication in helping people travel how they want, earning them this well-deserved praise.

2018 is the twelfth anniversary of Ethisphere and the World’s Most Ethical Companies designation. Wyndham Worldwide and others earn this recognition by aligning principle with action, making trust part of their corporate DNA, and shaping future industry standards by utilizing tomorrow’s best practices today.

“For over ten years, our associates have embodied the responsible business practices recognized today by the Ethisphere Institute,” said Stephen P. Holmes, chairman and chief executive officer, Wyndham Worldwide. “As we look ahead to Wyndham Worldwide’s planned separation later this year, these are the values that we’ll hold for both new companies.”

Korin Neff, senior vice president and chief compliance officer at Wyndham Worldwide also commented that as a global hospitality company with a diverse range of business lines, ethical business practices are crucial in supporting and building great experiences for both guests and associates.

Some of the ethical practices Wyndham Worldwide strongly focused on include:

  • Their global network of Compliance Champions that offer guidance on acceptable standards of business conduct for associates. This also involved providing leadership development programs that show how to make compliant and ethical decision making a part of everyday business.
  • Protecting human rights by providing tools to identify human trafficking.
  • Creating a diverse and inclusive workplace.

Ethisphere Institute awards the World’s Most Ethical Company assessment based on their Ethics Quotient®. This provides a quantitative way to assess a company’s performance in an objective, consistent, and standardized way. Scores are generated in five key categories: ethics and compliance program (35%), corporate citizenship and responsibility (20%), culture of ethics (20%), governance (15%) and leadership, innovation and reputation (10%).

Learn more about Wyndham Worldwide on their official website.

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Playacar Palace Unveils Complete Transformation

Palace Resorts’ property, Playacar Palace, has just reopened after an extensive $14 Million Dollar, multi-phase remodel. This all-inclusive resort is located on the shores of Playa del Carmen in Mexico, just steps away from the famous Quinta Avenida.

Playacar Palace first opened their doors in December of 2005 and has had one previous phase of renovations before this one. The most recent renovations brought the resort up to its highest possible luxury standards with upgraded guest rooms, lobby, front desk, restaurants, and lounge areas. The new interiors blend both contemporary and classic elements for a truly timeless finish.

The guest suites feature new decor, modern furnishings, enhanced bathrooms features, top-of-the-line coffee makers, and enhanced jets in the double whirlpool tubs. Units now offer a private terrace to add to the romantic ambience.

Palace Resorts works to stay ahead of the technology innovations, Playacar Palace guests can now utilize new wristbands giving them access to their room with a wave of the hand. There’s also a new Palace Resorts app that also lets them enter their room.

“As a brand, we are always looking to reinvent ourselves and elevate each part of any guests experience. It’s not only about being better but also about offering our guests a completely unique experience, while offering the highest quality of standards,” said Gibran Chapur, Executive Vice President of Palace Resorts. “The renovations to Playacar Palace are only one of the many ways, our brand continues to evolve and stay ahead of the most demanded trendy in the luxury all-inclusive We are proud to open our doors to the newly-revamped Playacar Palace.”

Playacar Palace has also updated the look and flavors of their on-site dining options including the property’s main restaurant, Café del Mar. The on-site Italian restaurant previously known as Terraza is now reopening at Bocelli, with a new style and menu that includes fresh pasta made in-house.

Palace Resorts is a leader in the luxury all-inclusive resort offerings, showing its dedication by continually improving the dining experience by partnering with top brands like Certified Angus Beef® and hiring “Star Chefs.”

Guests who book a five night stay or more at Playacar Palace are able to take advantage of the current promotion: $1,500 Resort Credit to use on spa and beauty salon treatments, golf outings, romantic dinners, wedding packages, and off-site excursions and tours.

Learn more about Playacar Palace by visiting their website.

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Interval International Signs Affiliation Agreement With D’Monaco Private Residence Club

One of the leading external exchange companies in the industry, Interval International, has just announced their long-term affiliation agreement with D’Monaco Private Residence Club. This timeshare property is just minutes from Branson, Missouri, and offers a Mediterranean-style atmosphere overlooking Table Rock Lake.

Tim Freund, owner of D’Monaco Private Residence Club, is especially pleased with the affiliation with Interval International, as a new entrant to the timeshare business. He looks forwards to the guidance and expertise Interval International will offer to help the property grow and flourish.

“D’Monaco is surrounded by some of Branson’s most spectacular natural wonders,” said David Callaghan, Interval’s vice president of resort sales and service. “Its spacious accommodations are perfect for couples and families seeking adventure, eco-tourism, or a private sanctuary for relaxation.”

D’Monaco Private Residence Club features two- and three-bedroom accommodations that boast amenities like full kitchens, washers and dryers, flat-screen TVs, living rooms, private bedrooms, and private verandas with lake views. On-site, guests will enjoy a wealth of amenities like a boat dock, beach area, swimming pool, Harley’s Restaurants, swim up Tiki bar, and concierge services. Expansion plans are in the works to compliment the Club atmosphere by offering more dining options, pools, and a day spa for members to utilize.

Nearby Table Rock Lake, one of the Ozark’s top attractions, guests will have access to a wealth of water sports, camping spots, hiking trails, and sightseeing. Top local attractions include the Lost Canyon Cave and Nature Trail, Ancient Ozarks Natural History Museum, a plethora of restaurants and bars, and world-class golf courses.

New purchasers at D’Monaco Private Residence Club will automatically be enrolled as individual Interval International members, as well as gaining the Interval Gold® status. This level entitles members to a variety of perks including flexible exchange options and upgraded benefits and services. Some of the notable Interval Gold® membership benefits include Interval Options®, ShortStay Exchange®, discounted Getaway vacation rentals, Golf Connection, City Guides, and much more.

Learn more about what Interval International has to offer D’Monaco Private Residence Club owners by visiting their website.

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Grand Cayman Welcomes Back Grand Hyatt Brand to the Island

Hyatt Hotels Corporation was excited to announce their new partnership with Pageant Beach Hotel Ltd. to bring back the brand to Grand Cayman on the famous Seven Mile Beach in 2020. This premium Grand Hyatt location will give spectacular views for many of their 352 guest rooms.

Previous to Hyatt’s earlier, 20-year contract in Grand Cayman expiring in 2007, the hotel brand faced substantial damages to their Hyatt Regency Grand Cayman location after Hurricane Ivan in 2004 and never reopened. Their teams are excited to get started on this 7.1-acre site and become a staple in the community of hotels in Grand Cayman. Along with the over 300 guest rooms, it will also include an oceanfront eco-walk, six distinct food and beverage venues, spa, fitness center, multiple swimming pools, shops, kids club, and screening room. This particular location will be managed by one of the largest independent hotel investment and management firms in the Caribbean and North America, Aimbridge Hospitality.

Senior Vice President of Development for Hyatt David Tarr stated:

“We are delighted that the Grand Hyatt brand is expanding in the Caribbean, and especially in Grand Cayman where the hospitality and tourism sector is primarily aimed at the luxury market. The opening of this hotel will be a great addition to this popular destination, and marks the welcome return of the Hyatt brand to the Cayman Islands. Guests will experience welcoming luxury and best-in-class restaurants at Grand Hyatt Grand Cayman Hotel & Residences, while also creating memorable experiences in this breathtaking destination.”

In addition to the many on-site amenities, it is located one mile from George Town’s city center and ten minutes from Owen Roberts International Airport. There are a number of exciting outdoor activities and excursions to consider, such as the blow holes in the East End, Mastic Trail, Hell limestone formations, snorkeling and diving at the islands famous coral reefs and shipwrecks, and Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park. A Pageant Beach Hotel affiliate will also include a rental program for residences where participating owners can have Hyatt rent out their units when they are not in use.

Chairman of Pageant Beach Hotel Howard Sitzer also stated:

“Pageant Beach Hotel Ltd. is excited to be developing what we know will be a sought-after vacation and meeting destination, with the Grand Hyatt brand’s signature grandeur, authentic dining experiences and memorable moments of more. Grand Hyatt Grand Cayman Hotel & Residences will represent a unique concept in the Cayman Islands for international leisure travelers and groups looking for the ideal combination of luxury, comfort and function in their resort experience.”

For more information or to learn about other Grand Hyatt locations around the world, please visit their official website.

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Welk Resorts Rejoins RCI Vacation Resorts Directory

Welk Resorts’ Platinum Program proudly returns to the global leader in vacation exchange network, RCI. This new affiliation agreement brings benefits to both businesses. Welk Resorts will be adding five new affiliated properties to the RCI vacation resorts directory while actively working on another two it will plan to add in the future. In addition to providing a handful of vacation options for RCI members on top of their three existing RCI properties, RCI will also assist Welk Resorts Platinum Points owners with exchange services and other technology solutions.

In a statement made by RCI president Gordon Gurnik, he said:

“We are thrilled to be working with the team at Welk Resorts and look forward to providing great vacations to Welk owners as a result of this agreement. We are also excited about the additional, high-quality vacation options we are able to provide to our existing members in popular destinations in the Cabo san Lucas, San Diego and Lake Tahoe areas.”

Here is more about the first five Welk Resorts to join RCI:

Northstar Lodge is located in Truckee, California and loved for its central location to the mountains and beaches of Lake Tahoe. The lodge-style accommodations range from studios to multi-bedroom units and come with spectacular amenity options such as private decks, full kitchens, fireplaces, and more.

Welk Resorts San Diego gives vacationers the perfect opportunity to explore southern California. With on-site amenities such as two top-rated golf courses, waterslides, Bello Vito Spa, in-unit washers and dryers, large bathrooms, and lavish furniture, you will enjoy every minute of your stay here.

One Village Place by Welk Resorts is in the center of Northstar Village in the Lake Tahoe area. There are 21 incredible unit options available just minutes from some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the country.

The Lodges at Timber Ridge, located in the scenic Ozark mountains of Branson, Missouri, this resort is the perfect getaway for couples and families. With mini golf, a fitness center, waterpark, and game room, there is plenty to do before retiring to your one-bedroom suite with a full kitchen, living room, private balcony or patio, and dining area.

Sirena del Mar by Welk Resorts gives you the perfect view of the beaches in Cabo San Lucas. Sitting on the cliffs of the Baja peninsula, you can enjoy your oceanfront suite with some of the best amenities included upgraded appliances and multiple bedroom options.

Welk Resorts president and CEO Jon Fredricks expressed his excitement:

“We are pleased to be partnering with RCI to provide exchange services to our owners and look forward to the exciting opportunities ahead. RCI provided Welk with a customized Club-enabled exchange solution, and offered several additional technology solutions like RCI Presenter SM and RCI LiveStream® that are expected to provide world class service to our owners.”

For more information about a particular RCI resort or this new affiliation, please visit their official website.

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Marriott Vacations Worldwide Donates to Hunger Global Food Drive

Marriott Vacations Worldwide donated over 101,000 pounds of food from their Harvest for Hunger food drive as part of their fight to help end world hunger. Through the month of November, non-perishable food items were donated by associates. Marriott Vacation Club resort owners and guests were also invited to participate. The donations benefited local food banks near the resorts and offices.

These efforts tooks place along with the initiated to help their fellow associates at Marriott’s Frenchman’s Cove in St. Thomas after the hurricanes. Marriott Vacations Worldwide associates were able to donate over 10,000 pounds of basic supplies. They also sent all the 135 associates generators to help supply power to their homes.

“I am so proud of how our associates have come together to not only help their fellow associates in St. Thomas but also help those facing hunger in their local communities through these two initiatives,” said Stephen P. Weisz, president and chief executive officer. “The generosity shown by our associates this year is nothing short of amazing, and they truly make Marriott Vacations Worldwide an extraordinary place to work. We are continuing to make a difference in our communities where we live and work.”

The first year of Harvest for Hunger, 50,000 pounds of food was collected company-wide. In 2016, this number was surpassed by 18 percent. And in 2017, Marriott Vacations Worldwide topped their goal of 40 tons of food and improved 62 percent above the previous year’s donation.

Marriott Vacations Worldwide is committed to giving back to the communities with their “Spirit to Serve” initiative. This helps support signature issues including:

  • Shelter and Food
  • Environment
  • Readiness for hospitality careers
  • Vitality for children
  • Embracing global diversity and inclusion

Find out more about Marriott Vacations Worldwide and their local and global initiatives by visiting their website.

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Interval International Welcomes a New Affiliate: Residence La Ferriera

Interval International, one of the largest timeshare exchange companies in the world, welcomes Residence La Ferriera to its collection of timeshare resorts. The Tuscan property is situated in Loro Ciufenna, a village dating back to the 8th century B.C. The resort itself was built in 1875.

Interval International senior vice president of resort sales and business development for Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, Darren Ettridge, spoke highly of the property:

“You couldn’t find a more picturesque setting than this village that’s within easy reach of Arezzo, Siena, and Florence. Our members will enjoy visiting the region’s medieval towns with their stunning architecture, art treasures, and renowned vineyards—all accessible from this historic residence.”

The new Interval International affiliate has undergone restorations, while also preserving its old world charm. Traditional stone buildings house one and two bedroom apartments with spacious living and dining areas, accentuated by locally crafted furniture, Cotto floor tiles, and rustic wooden beams, as well as flat screen TVs, internet access, and convenient kitchenettes.

Residence La Ferriera on-site features include a river, outdoor pool, sundeck, and tennis court. Guests looking for refreshments can visit the resort’s onsite restaurant, which offers a meal plan and on-site wine shop, which offers locally produced wines, olive oil, cooking lessons, and tastings. Guests who love wine can also enjoy wine tours from the resort. The resort also offers excursions to nearby towns including Cinque Terre, Arrezo, Cortona, Pisa, Lucca, Siena, and San Gimigano. Nearby, travelers can also find opportunities for horseback riding and watersports, and enjoy a wellness center and spa. Additionally, visitors can explore the village’s history, via the Pallazo Venturi museum, an old working water mill, Porta dell’Orologio (also called the Clock Gate), a Romanesque arched bridge, and Santa Maria Asunta church.

Residence La Ferriera Managing Director Mauro Rampi spoke of the resort’s past, as well as its present relationship with Interval International:

“Residence La Ferriera has had many lives—as a foundry, flour mill, silk thread producer, the village’s power plant, and soap-oil factory—before our family purchased it in 1996 and brought it back to life as a vacation ownership property. We greatly value our relationship with Interval and look forward to sharing our rich cultural traditions with members who visit our resort.”

From now on, those who purchase timeshares at Residence La Ferriera will be enrolled as Interval International and Interval Gold members, and receive benefits that include the ability to exchange resort weeks for cruises, tours, and more, access to private golf courses, rental discounts, and a variety of other Interval International perks.

To learn more about Interval International, visit the company’s official website.

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Hilton Grand Vacations to Open New Japan Resort

Hilton Grand Vacations, one of the world’s leading timeshare organizations, recently announced its intent to open a new vacation ownership resort in the nation of Japan. HGV purchased part of an existing property from Hilton to redevelop and repurpose existing land and buildings into an oceanfront resort. The new location will be the company’s first dedicated timeshare property in Japan.

The new Japan timeshare resort will be contained within the existing Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa in the Kanagawa Prefecture. Just 30 minutes from Tokyo, the hotel was recently named “Japan’s Leading Resort” by World Travel Awards. While Hilton will remain the owner of the property and maintain on-site amenities and accommodations, a new portion of the complex will be dedicated to Hilton Grand Vacations Club timeshare owners.

Mark Wang, president and CEO of Hilton Grand Vacations, expressed his excitement about the opening:

“We are pleased to announce our first resort to open in Japan, in collaboration with our esteemed partner Hilton, in this scenic location close to Tokyo, which has consistently been a top choice for vacations by our owners and guests. We look forward to working with the city of Odawara to promote tourism and contribute to the vibrant local economy.”

The Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa will be HGV’s first timeshare property to open in Japan. However, the brand announced their first property intended for the Asian nation, the Hilton Okinawa Sesoko Resort, back in November of 2017. That resort is still in development, with an anticipated opening date of 2020.

Tim Soper, who serves as the vice president of operations for Japan, Korea, and Micronesia for Hilton, spoke to the growing popularity of Japan among avid travelers:

“With the Japanese government’s aim to welcome 40 million tourists by 2020, we see great continuing potential in providing more offerings to an ever-expanding and diverse group of travellers. Part of how we will do so is to offer our guests the best of both worlds by working with key tourism players, including Hilton Grand Vacations.”

For more information on the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa or HGV’s other planned Japan timeshare properties, read the full press release.

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Eight Companies Have Joined the Canadian Vacation Ownership Association Since VO-Con 2017

Since the Canadian Vacation Ownership Association (COVA) annual conference VO-Con held in September 2017, eight companies have become members of their vacation ownership and timeshare association, now made up of 63 members. Of these companies, seven are located in British Columbia and one in Nevada.

Sooke Harbour Resort & Marina of Spoke, Harrison Beach Hotel of Harrison Hot Springs, True Key Hotels & Resorts of Radium Hot Springs, Bighorn Meadows Resort of Radium Hot Springs, Sunrise Ridge Waterfront Resort of Parksville, Nootka Marine Adventures of Courtenay, Mara Lakeside Resort of Sicamous, and ResortCom of Las Vegas are all proud new members of the organization.

The mission of CVOA is to promote high standards of ethical conduct and professionalism throughout the Vacation Ownership and Timeshare industry, assist in resolving consumer matters that involve CVOA members, consult with all levels of Canadian government to ensure fair and equitable industry advancement policies that govern both members and consumers, work on behalf of CVOA members to promote a better understanding of Vacation Ownership and Timeshares by the public, media, and governments, and encourage the beneficial expansion of the Vacation Ownership industry. This organization is make up of a variety of businesses within the Timeshare Vacation Ownership industry including resorts, exchange companies, development companies, and management firms.

CVOA CEO John Zwickel stated,

“Our organization supports Canadian-based companies as well as those interested in expanding their opportunities in Canada. We are thrilled to welcome these organizations to our constituent roster. We are looking forward to seeing these new faces and our existing members at VO-Con 2018 to be held in September.”

VO-Con 2018 has already been announced, and is scheduled at the Westin Trillium House Resort in Blue Mountain, Ontario for September 25-27.

To learn more about CVOA, their members, or VO-Con 2018, please visit their official website.

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$250 Million Margaritaville Resort to Open in Nassau, Bahamas

Margaritaville Holdings announced its project to build a $250 million, 150-room, six-acre destination resort in Nassau, Bahamas called The Margaritaville Beach Resort at The Pointe with construction already underway. This oceanfront property will be home to a number of amenities  including a water park, spa, entertainment center, kid’s club, famous Margaritaville menus, shops, and marina. Phase openings are anticipated for sometime in mid-2019.

Of the 150 rooms at this resort, 100 will be branded One Particular Harbour at The Point and will house some of the most lavish accommodations in downtown Nassau. These rooms will be equipped with incredible ocean views, balconies, personalized service, and attention to detail. Guests can choose between one, two, and three bedroom suites with amenities such as stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, large closets, and modern fixtures throughout.

With its prime location on the water, this Margaritaville resort will be the ideal place for visitors to get out on an expedition in the Bahamian waters famous for fishing. The property will include a 45-slip marina with room for yachts up to 150 feet and a boardwalk with a yacht club facility, restaurant, and tiki hut-themed shops where guests can buy local crafts. From here, families can take excursions and other exciting adventures on the water. In addition to the marina, it also includes a private beach with furniture to lounge in the sand.

Back on land, there will be plenty for vacationers to enjoy during their Caribbean vacation inside and out. The resort will include a movie theater, bowling alley, spa, shops, kid’s club, blue hole diving pool, water slide tower, LandShark water park, infinity pool, surf simulator, beach entry pool, and much more. Just like other Margaritaville resorts, families will love everything this Nassau resort has to offer.

For those who want to make The Pointe their home away from home every year, the Pointe Residence Club will provide exclusive privileges to renters and owners. Some of the many perks include excursions, preferred berthing rights, access to an on-site fitness center, library and beach entrance, as well as concierge services to book restaurant and spa appointments.

Maragritaville’s Chief Executive Officer John Cohlan is thrilled about the brand joining existing Nassau resorts and stated:

“The Bahamas—one of the most beautiful places in the world—is an absolutely perfect location for a Margaritaville lifestyle destination. We’re excited to combine our casual-luxe brand with the local Bahamian culture, known for its warmth and hospitality, to create a one-of-a-kind paradise to vacation, visit, live or just kick back and relax. Nassau is an ideal destination for our lifestyle brand as we continue to expand our global hospitality footprint.”

To learn more about the details of this project or about Margaritaville Resorts, please visit their official website.

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The Westin Resort & Spa Cancun Completes Renovations

The Westin Resort & Spa Cancun has just unveiled their extensive redesign of all of the public areas at the resort as well as the launch of the Arena Sports Bar & Restaurant, and the debut of their Flowrider® surf simulator.

General Manager of The Westin Resort & Spa Cancun, Pedro Groschopp, commented on the top-to-bottom renovations process:

“Following a nine-month refurbishment, we are delighted to offer guests a dynamic and rejuvenating experience that combines the sleek sophistication of the Westin® brand with the natural beauty of our surroundings. Following the total remodel of our public areas and enhancements to our recreation facilities, the resort is a standout in this sought-after vacation destination.”

The Westin Resort & Spa Cancun overlooks the Caribbean Sea and the Nichupte Lagoon with lavish guestrooms and a wide range of recreation facilities in one of the best locations in the area. The new lobby is styled after the beauty of Cancun with water views, a relaxed blue and green palette, and various marine accents.

The brand-new Area Sports Bar & Restaurant also offers lagoon and sea views. The bar is made of recycled marine glass to compliment the tropical views. Sports fans will love watching games on large-screen TVs while enjoying specialty cocktails and a diverse menu for all tastes and diets.

The vast recreation and water-sport center at The Westin Resort & Spa Cancun now offers a Flowrider surf simulator that allows guests to try a surfing experience in a safe setting. Children as young as six can try bodyboarding on this wave generator and adults can learn to stand on flow boards with supervision of instructors.

Outdoor activities at The Westin Resort & Spa Cancun include prime beach access, the newly renovated Terrace and Lagoon Pool, the poolside Brisas Bar, and more.

New accommodations will open this spring including 44 studio and two-bedroom villas. These will come equipped with modern kitchens, living and dining areas, washers and dryers, private balconies, and luxurious bedding.

To learn more about the incredible Westin Resort & Spa Cancun, visit their official website.

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RTX Annual Casino Night Raises Over $24,000 for Local Children

Resort Travel & Xchange (RTX) held one of its most successful charity events in December 2017, as part of its 2017 Year of Giving initiative. The event raised close to $25,000 for local children.

RTX partnered with Resort Hospitality Solutions, Zealandia Holding Company, and Patton Hospitality Management (PHM) to put the event together. 2017 was RTX’s fifth year of putting on its Casino Night Fundraiser, and the company raised $24,438—significantly more than in 2016, when it raised $19,000. The event was one of the most successful charity events RTX has ever put on.

The Casino Night fundraiser raised money for the Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministries’ (ABCCM) Christmas Angel Program, which provides gifts and other aid to local children. RTX, along with VacationCondos.com, Festiva Development Group, and TSA Choice, helped raise enough money to purchase holiday gifts for 100 children.

John Catton, an RTX employee, praised his company’s philanthropic efforts:

“It is so exceptional that we receive time during work to give a little something to those in need of some extra help. It is definitely a great reflection of our company’s mindset and all of those who participate.”

RTX has helped a variety of charitable organizations, including Ingles/Eblen Tools for Schools Drive, Brother Wolf Animal Rescue, and Asheville GreenWorks. The company hopes to change consumer perspectives regarding the timeshare exchange industry, through philanthropy and excellent customer service.

To learn more about RTX and the company’s charity involvement, visit their official website.

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Diamond Resorts Promises Improved Communication and Connection with Brand Refresh

Diamond Resorts has begun to make some great changes, starting with a brand refresh and a slight change of name. This hospitality and vacation ownership leader has shortened its name from the former Diamond Resorts International® and is now focused on helping their members make the most of their vacation by, “making a habit of breaking from the routine.”
Just as quickly as it has been announced, Diamond Resorts has started their transition by implementing their new company name, website, and logos across all platforms. These designs are simple, approachable, and modern with the hopes of encouraging open dialogue, communication, and transparency with their customers as they enjoy their vacation ownership journey.
Diamond Resorts CEO Michael Flaskey was thrilled to talk about this transition and stated,

“Vacations are meant to be fun and exciting, and it was time we updated our look and communications to better reflect that mentality. Relationship building is at the heart of our business, and we wanted to create an image that was warm, inviting and innovative for our members and their families. With this refresh, our goal is to not only get to know our members better, but open ourselves up as well, so they feel like a part of the Diamond family.”

After extensive research conducted with customer interviews, members of the company, and guests interested in the company’s vacation ownership programs, Diamond Resorts learned a lot about their strengths and weaknesses. In addition to removing “International” from the company’s name, Diamond Resorts has built their new brand around their core objectives: consistency across all locations, streamline all areas of membership, become the vacation escape many are searching for, and connect on a personal level with members by meeting their needs and expectations.
Though Diamond Resorts is making many small changes throughout the company, there is one thing that remains; their delivery of quality customer service and incredible vacation experiences. Flaskey also added,

“We’re still doing what we love. Our goal is to continue delivering unforgettable getaways, exclusive concerts and VIP events to our members, making sure they know that a Diamond membership is a promise to always have another vacation to look forward to.”

To view their newly designed website or to learn more about the Diamond Resorts rebrand, please visit their official website.

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Marriott Vacation Club is Now Open on Bali

The brand new Marriott Vacation Club property, Marriott’s Bali Nusa Dua Gardens, is now open on the beautiful island of Bali. Offering gorgeous accommodations for a sunny, tropical retreat, guests will enjoy uncompromised relaxation. This is the first Marriott Vacation Club resort in all of Indonesia.

Marriott’s Bali Nusa Dua Gardens has a prime location on one of the best islands in the world, ranked highly by both TripAdvisor and Condé Nast.

This new addition coincides with the Marriott Vacation Club expansion to exciting destinations throughout Asia and the Pacific. Other new additions include Marriott’s Phuket Beach Club, Marriott’s Mai Khao Beach, Marriott Vacation Club at the Empire Palace, and Marriott Vacation Club at Surfers Paradise.

This new Bali property offers large studio, one-, and two-bedroom suites each equipped with kitchenettes and tropically-inspired designs and furnishings. Marriott’s Bali Nusa Dua Gardens shares access to the amenities and activities available at Courtyard by Marriott Bali Nusa Dua resort, located right next door. This includes on-site dining, spa services, a fitness center, Kids Club, and access to a private beach club at Nusa Dua Beach. Nearby, guests will find local cultural attractions, shops, and an eclectic selection of world-class dining options.

Bali is often referred to as the “Island of the Gods,” and is known for its impeccable surfing and diving opportunities, spectacular beaches, and turquoise waters.

Learn more about Marriott Vacation Club and how current and new members can enjoy a Bali retreat by visiting their official website.

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Wyndham Sea Pearl Resort Phuket is Recognized for Supporting People with Disabilities

On December 1, 2017, Wyndham Sea Pearl Resort Phuket was thrilled to be presented the Outstanding Employment Support for Persons with Disabilities Award by the Department of Empowerment of persons with Disabilities in Thailand.

Since 2013, the resort has employed people with disabilities and currently has four staff members with physical or visual impairments. Their departments include Human Resources, Housekeeping, and Food and Beverage.

This Wyndham Thailand resort along with 64 other Phuket resorts, hotels, and hospitality businesses in Phuket were celebrated for providing work opportunities and protection rights for people with disabilities.

Scott Walton, General Manager of Wyndham Sea Pearl, said this about the recognition,

“We are proud to accept this recognition that further strengthens our commitment to forge a culture where people with disabilities are accepted and offered with equal opportunities within the local workforce. As part of a global hospitality company, we strive to be leaders in driving socially responsible initiatives and creating a fair working environment for all. Despite their disabilities, our staff members have proven to be invaluable assets to our resort and each have a part to play in creating exceptional experiences for our guests.”

To learn more about this award or Wyndham Sea Pearl Resort Phuket, please visit their official website.

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Bluegreen Vacations Earns Resort Design Awards

Bluegreen Vacations has announced that three of their timeshare resorts were honored by the 2017 American Resort Development Association (ARDA) Awards. The awards are held by ARDA every year to highlight those vacation ownership resorts that go above and beyond to provide owners with a premium experience.

Bluegreen Vacations operates properties located throughout the United States and the Caribbean. Focused on providing catered experiences to owners seeking a vacation each year, many Bluegreen resorts incorporate an efficient and enjoyable design to provide the very best accommodations and on-site amenities. The brand also offers their members the chance to explore beyond just their home resort, offering an internal exchange feature to mix up their yearly trips.

The following Bluegreen Vacations properties were announced as winners and finalists at the 2017 ARDA Awards:

  • Paradise Point Resort Pool (Hollister, MO) – Winner, Design
  • Mountain Run at Boyne Presidential Units (Boyne Falls, MI) – Finalist, Design
  • Mountain Run at Boyne (Boyne Falls, MI) – Finalist, Design
  • Studio Homes at Ellis Square (Savannah, GA) – Finalist, Design

David L. Pontius, executive vice president and COO for Bluegreen Vacations, expressed his excitement over the awards:

“We’re humbled by the recognition from our peers at the 2017 ARDA Awards, especially in categories such as Resort Design where there is a mix of big brands and even bigger ideas. Every enhancement to our properties is carefully designed and reviewed to maximize the experience, comfortability and quality for our owners.”

For more information on Bluegreen Vacations or the resorts that were honored at the ARDA Awards, visit their official website.

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Timeshare Ownership Event VO-Con Has Been Announced for 2018

VO-Con 2018 has been announced for September 25-27 at the beautiful Westin Trillium House Resort in Blue Mountain, Ontario by the Canadian Vacation Ownership Association (CVOA).

VO-Con is an affordable event dedicated “To Explore the Business of Vacations” and provides excellent opportunities to meet, work, and share information with other professionals in the timeshare ownership industry. Keynote speakers, social events, schedules, and sponsorship opportunities will be released in the upcoming weeks and months.

Located just one hour and 15 minutes from Pearson International Airport in Toronto, Westin Trillium House Resort sits between Georgian Bay and Niagara Escarpment and is the perfect place for attendees to introduce themselves to and learn about other industry professionals and the timeshare vacation ownership industry in Canada.

CEO and President of CVOA, Jon Zwickel discussed the success of 2017’s VO-Con in Whistler, B.C. by stating,

“Last year’s conference proved that our casual format, with plenty of time for networking and professional relationship building, was enthusiastically welcomed by attendees, who are predominantly stakeholders in the vacation ownership industry. The resort environment enhances our goals to encourage out-of-the-box thinking among our constituents.”

Since 1980, CVOA has been an association committed to giving proper representation to the vacation ownership and resort development industries. It is the only association in Canada of its kind, helps create networking opportunities for industry professionals, maintains a high ethical standard, educates consumers, and has a community of active industry leaders.

To learn more about VO-Con or the Canadian Vacation Ownership Association, please visit their official website.

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El Cid Vacation Club Members Gain Access to OMA Premium Lounge

Mexico’s award-winning luxury resort travel club, El Cid Vacations Club, has just added more member benefits by partnering with the OMA Premium Lounge located in Mazatlán. Through this, El Cid Vacations Club members that travel from the Mazatlán International Airport have the chance to relax in the lounge for a discounted rate before their flight home.

Members of El Cid Vacations Club can take advantage of 40% off the already affordable $25 entrance fee to the OMA Premium Lounge by showing their membership discount card.

With an understanding of the stress of travel, the OMA PRemium Lounge treats guests to soft drinks, alcoholic beverage, Wi-Fi access, a business center, complimentary newspapers, and televisions in their inviting atmosphere. Travelers are also able to enjoy complimentary snacks such a fruit, yogurt, cookies, pastries, and canapes before their flight.

El Cid Vacations Club members who arrive to the airport early can unwind for up to three hours before their departure time.

Discounted access to the OMA Premium Lounge is just one of the many benefits that El Cid Vacations Club members can enjoy. Flexible travel opportunities, fabulous accommodations, and exchange through partners such as Wyndham, RCI, and International Cruise & Excursions are some of the things that make being a El Cid Vacations Club member great.

Find out more about El Cid Vacations Club, their resorts, and membership benefits by visiting their official website.

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St. Regis Locations Expand to Hong Kong By Early 2019

In just over a year’s time, Marriott International hotels will debut their tenth location in Hong Kong and the first of the St. Regis brand.
It was announced that St. Regis Hotels & Resorts will begin collaboration with China Resource Property to officially begin construction of its first location in Hong Kong. It will be located in historic Wan Chai among the skyscrapers, shopping, and commercial buildings and in close proximity to the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre and Victoria Harbor.

Managing Director of China Resources Property Frankie Y.F. Bao was excited to share the news and stated,

“We are proud to be bringing this iconic brand to Hong Kong. All St. Regis Hotels & Resorts represent the ultimate in timeless, tasteful luxury, which the discerning and sophisticated traveler appreciates. We are also happy to note that the presence of the outstanding new St. Regis in Wan Chai district will add a new level of prestige and appeal to this vibrant quarter of our city.”

As a city, Hong Kong is a fascinating mix of Chinese customs and colonization. It creates a unique blend of some of the newest and most luxurious buildings on the planet designed around ancient concepts, such as feng shui. Here, visitors get a combination of a passion for growth and a respect for tradition. With St. Regis being one of the fastest growing luxury brands, Hong Kong is the perfect next step for the company.
Vice President and Global Brand Leader of St. Regis Hotels & Resorts Lisa Holladay also exclaimed,

“Hong Kong is a bustling center of commerce with an incredible mix of glamour, culture, history and tradition. This vibrancy makes it an ideal destination for St. Regis. With its excellent location, impeccable service, and refined elegance, we look forward to offering guests an exquisite experience in one of the world’s most exciting cities.”

Famous Interior Designer André Fu will create the unique style for this 129 guest suite hotel facing Victoria Harbor and Kowloon Bay. The hotel will also include many of St. Regis’ signature luxury amenities such as Chinese and French restaurants, a banquet hall, heated pool, and Butler Service.

Paul Foskey, Chief Development Officer, Asia Pacific, at Marriott International was equally as thrilled as his counterparts on this collaboration and stated,

“St. Regis constantly seeks to reinterpret and reimagine time-honored traditions, bringing exciting new options and modern conveniences to luxury travelers. We are glad to be working with China Resources Property, a subsidiary of China Resources Holding, to bring the legendary St. Regis name to Hong Kong.”

With more on this announcement, please visit St. Regis’ official website.

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