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Am I the only person who really likes Diamond Resorts?

Discussion in 'Diamond Resorts International / Embarc Resorts' started by chemteach, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. chemteach

    chemteach TUG Member

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    I completely understand why so many people REALLY dislike Diamond Resorts, but aren't there several of us out here who can help people who are having a hard time figuring out their ownership how to make it work better? Perhaps I'm in the minority... I love Sedona, like that I can get SoCal beaches, like that I can go to Hawaii every few years, and of course, I do NOT like the high maintenance fees for Diamond Resorts. But I have been very lucky with the weeks I have been able to get at Diamond. I have had good luck with getting Lake Tahoe in the summer, Hawaii in the summer, and Sedona just about whenever I want to go. I guess I'm in the minority with my love for Sedona... I have been at several Sedona resorts - I love Los Abrigados.

    I haven't gone to Maui yet with Diamond - just Kauai - but will hopefully soon. With my non-club week, I have been looking at the Destination Exchange program. If it stays the way it was this past year, I'm going to be super happy. I go to Cancun or Cabo every year with 1 - 4 other families. I have been able to do that with RCI for about 5 years now. With Diamond, I can now go to Cabo Azul as well.

    I get that the fees for Diamond are too high - but if you do it right, it ends up costing only about $950 to stay in Kaanapali 1BR ocean view or $1200 for a 2BR ocean view in Poipu.

    The key for me was buying Diamond deeded units and then bringing them into "The Club" with a purchase of some US Collection points. I fell into diamond resorts because they bought out two of my resorts about 8 years ago. The club fees can get a little expensive, but I look at them as my cost of exchanging my units - so I don't have to pay RCI or II to make the exchanges. Diamond has such a large presence throughout the US, and has a lot of places I enjoy visiting.

    Is anyone else out there happy with Diamond??

    I do wish they could figure out a way to combine Embarc and Diamond. I would love to go to some of the Embarc properties.
     
  2. geist1223

    geist1223 Guest

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    Seaside Oregon Residence Club
    Diamond Resorts Intermnational Hawaiian Collection 25,000
    Patti and I like our Diamond Hawaii Account. We like the ability to go to Europe and Asia without doing exchanges. We like the access to additional Hawaii Resorts.
     
  3. Almond123

    Almond123 TUG Member

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    Fanta Sea Resorts, Flagship Atlantic City;
    The Bay Club at Waikoloa, HGVC;
    Ka'anapali Beach Resort, DRI;
    I own a Diamond week in Maui and its Ocean view and went there last year for the first time and my wife and I loved it. In fact our MF went down by about 100 dollars this year. The only mistake we made was going to a update and we won't make that mistake again.

    I am happy with my week and look forward to going to Maui many times as long as we are able to get there. We are on the east coast but its worth the trip once your there.

    I also started looking at the Xchange program as well but not sure if its worth doing that or deposit the week in Interval instead. Thats if we even decide to exchange it.
     
  4. Egret1986

    Egret1986 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    I, too, fell into Diamond Resorts when they bought out five of my resorts almost three years ago. I own prime fixed weeks. I'm not looking to buy into the Club or anything else. I didn't buy these weeks to exchange. DR's purchase of these five resorts has definitely impacted the value of these fixed weeks/resorts significantly in my opinion.

    It is obvious that there are those that find value in their DR ownership and I am glad for them, as well as you. :clap: Perhaps earlier in my timesharing days I could have possibly found a way to make DR work for me just like you have done. Unfortunately, as a fixed week owner with no intent on exchanging, DR simply takes value away from my ownership and has soured me on something that has been a part of my life for 34 years. :(
     
    Iggyearl and bizaro86 like this.
  5. artringwald

    artringwald TUG Member

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    DRI: The Point at Poipu, 3 deeded weeks, 1 of which is in The Club.
    Count me in as a happy DRI owner. It seems like most of the ones that don't like DRI, are ones that attended sales presentations, fell for it, and found out it isn't anything close to what was promised. We bought in 2004 when they were selling deeded weeks that included Club membership. Our one oceanfront week in Poipu is worth 15,500 points, so it puts us at the silver level. We've enjoyed stays at several resorts, but we like Poipu so much we bought 2 more weeks on the resale market. We always stay there for 2 weeks, and use the points to stay other places. With a float/float deeded week you can book oceanfront in Poipu if you book it 12 months in advance.
     
    slip likes this.
  6. SmithOp

    SmithOp TUG Member

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    I have never owned DRI but I’ve stayed at several of their resorts and enjoyed all of them, the quality was every bit as good as the HGVC I do own. I’ve stayed in several of the Sedona resorts and Kaanapali.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
     
  7. dlferree

    dlferree TUG Member

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    I started the post "DRI Negativism" back in October 2017, so I'll add to your post. We enjoy our membership a lot. We purchased a week in Sedona and later converted it to points the same as the OP stated. We are retired so we use the Diamond Getaways and booking at a reduced number of points less than 59 days out. We also like Club Select. We booked a 2br resort in Mississippi for $550. Just using those options make DRI work for us. MF's are high, but we have done more traveling since we became a TS owner then we would have otherwise. We have been an owner since 2007/2008. With all that said, if we didn't own a TS today we wouldn't buy one. To many options to rent a TS or HRBO for a reasonable price without actually owning.

    Dave
     
    Egret1986 likes this.
  8. Steve Fatula

    Steve Fatula TUG Member

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    Playa Andaluza Silver Seafront 2BR
    Destinations Points
    I have also stayed at several Diamond resorts, and another one soon on Lanzarote. They were pretty good resorts. What I am less positive on is the salesman. We went to one Diamond presentation in Branson for the gifts, and they added our phone number to all sorts of spam lists. That, I did not appreciate.

    As I do not own Diamond, I can only agree with the OP. You should indeed be focusing on how you can make more of what you have, i.e. move forward. I was on other forums where timeshare was being discussed, and I felt exactly like you must feel, it was 99% negative. No reason to be there as I really wanted to deal with how to make my ownership better. Why people would insist on posting 1,000 times how they hated it was beyond me. I don't get that sort of thinking. Fortunately, TUG at least for my ownership seems a lot better.
     
  9. klpca

    klpca TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    I have only stayed at a Diamond Resort once - it was fine, but a step below Marriott/Westin/HGVC, imho. About 5 years ago I sent a couple on their honeymoon to a Diamond Resort and even though they did not attend a sales presentation, they are still receiving texts and phone calls from Diamond (using spoofed numbers!). They are good sports about it but I am so unhappy that they are treated this way. The cell number was given to the front desk at check in and the rest is history. Personally, I think that the high pressure sales tactics cheapens the brand. I hesitate to exchange into their properties due to the hard sell pressure, the constant intrusive phone calls and texts, and the resort fees. I am sure that the owner experience is better, but as an exchanger they are not my first choice.
     
  10. Egret1986

    Egret1986 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    As long as I was able to work the system to my benefit vacation-wise, I was happy exchanging and felt I got "good bang" for my buck. Our family has taken years of great vacations. I'm just late to the DR game. I'm a bit closed-minded at this point. I had read all the "DRI Negativism" for many years. I didn't pay too much attention to it because I never planned to be a DR owner. I've been a DR owner for over two years and it has been very painful. Things are finally starting to settle down somewhat since the acquisition of my resorts. I have been a timeshare exchanger since 1984. I still get great exchanges, but I'm ready to try new and different ways to vacation. We are now flexible and there are so many different options out there with easy access for searching these deals out.

    Did DR's offensiveness chase me towards leaving timeshares behind or would I have simply come to this place anyway. Who knows if it will work out, but I'm ready to give it a shot when my exchange company membership expires next year. My plan is to liquidate all but two of my timeshares before I retire.


    After posting earlier, I realized that I shouldn't have posted. That's not what the OP was asking for and I'm sorry. :oops:

    You are correct that you need to learn to use what you have and make it work for you. From reading the posts, I believe that had I been absorbed by DRI a few years back when I was interested in learning and working a new timeshare system that DRI may have worked for me. DR came at a time when I no longer am interested in being tied to timeshares. They threw a big wrench in my plans. So I believe it's a bit DRI and a bit me when it comes to my feelings about DR.

    I am happy for any timeshare owner that makes their ownership work for them for their vacations. :whooopie: That's what timeshare ownership should be all about.

    I have only posted a few times about my disdain for DR on other threads. The OP didn't ask for what I gave in my post. What can I say? DR triggers something in some folks. Case in point, my post. ;)
     
  11. tperez

    tperez Guest

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    My wife and I are very happy DRI owners. We originally purchased in Maui then added on three more times, both developer purchase and resale. We also own Marriott and Westin, and while DRI resorts aren't as luxurious as the others, some are pretty close and there are many more of them and they are more spread out. We've been all over with DRI: Hawaii, all over California, Sedona, Santa Fe, Gatlinburg, Key West, etc. Just got back from Daytona Beach, and are next heading to Las Vegas and then Jackson Hole. Since we are retired we make great use of the pointsavers and have found some resorts, like Cancun in Las Vegas or Lake Tahoe Vacation Resort, will go on a significant "sale" fairly often so we're able to make our points stretch. At some of these resorts its not unusual to get spring or fall reservations for less than 200 points a night. Also, of the three timeshares systems we own, the DRI website reservation system is the easiest to quickly make, change, and cancel reservations. If you get the cancellation insurance (even with the recent changes) it is very easy to search and make reservation changes if you have enough points and you see that something has gone on sale.

    We obviously don't like the business practices or heavy sell, but now we're actually used to it and will go to presentations to get some of our maintenance fees back. The difficult part of the owner's updates is keeping a straight face as they tell us yet again how there are massive changes now that Apollo "recently" purchased DRI and how we can work the system to not pay any maintenance fees anymore.
     
  12. pedro47

    pedro47 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    There are two (2) things that people dislike about DR and they are their high M/Fees and their hard sell pressure tactics by their sale staff. That is my personal opinion.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2018
    Almond123 likes this.
  13. RLS50

    RLS50 TUG Member

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    I would add something about the high maintenance fees. It's not just about the high maintenance fees, it's what you receive in return. I don't know any Marriott owners that are happy with the MF cost and inflation in the Marriott system, but you rarely hear complaints about the properties, the staff, or the general resort operations. In other words, while Marriott charges top dollar, in general they provide exceptional properties and are exceptional property managers.

    My personal experience with Diamond is that they charge Marriott level management fees (or higher), but their entire operation from owner services to property management (and the resulting guest experience) can be wildly inconsistent. If you read reviews at many Diamond properties you will get a bad review, good review, bad review, good review, etc. A major component of good management, maybe the most important component, is reliable consistency.
     
  14. pedro47

    pedro47 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    It has been reported in another TUG thread that Diamond is the new management company at Sunrise Ridge in Tennessee.
     
  15. RLS50

    RLS50 TUG Member

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    Last edited: Mar 16, 2018
  16. RLS50

    RLS50 TUG Member

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    Back to the OP's question. Do I personally like Diamond Resorts? I definitely like some of the individual people inside Diamond I have met who I know have tried, and are trying, to help correct issues and make positive changes. But do I like Diamond the company as it relates to the overall owner / customer experience? For some of us owners at least that answer is not just a simple Yes or No. In VB and OBX especially the jury is still out.

    The new regional GM for Diamond in VB seems very good and has helped start to turn things around, but unfortunately by the time he arrived the hole he had to start in was very deep. And quite frankly, the erratic inconsistency we have experienced with Diamond so far does not inspire confidence that progress would continue to be made if something happened to him. Too often one's owner / customer experience with Diamond seems to be far too dependent on the specific person inside Diamond one deals with.

    Would a person be happy if they were making a monthly payment for a Mercedes Benz and instead were driving a really nice Ford? Or would they always have that nagging doubt from the knowledge that they were overpaying for what they were actually getting in return?
     
  17. JeffDH

    JeffDH TUG Member

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    I was/am a Monarch Grand Vacations owner, which was taken over by Diamond several years back. Since then there have been several policy changes which adversely impact my ownership. The club connection was initially free, now they charge $240 per year just to exchange into a limited larger group of resorts within Diamond. The resorts available to me through club connection keep changing and there is no member communication on when or what changes are being made. I used to be able to reserve a week and deposit with II which let me bank for a couple years if needed; now I have to use first which gives me no way to bank time/points I can't user right away. They won't even confirm a reservation with a third-party exchange service like DAE or SFX to let me use my ownership that way. My last 4 vacations have all involved weddings in areas without timeshare options, leaving me in a bind with points/time to use and no vacation in sight. And others of course have commented on the sales staff and high MFs.

    Do I like the actual properties? The answer is pretty much yes - I've stayed at Brianhead/Cedar Breaks (2 days skiing one trip, longest lift line was 4 chairs!), Palm Canyon/Palm Springs, Cancun/Las Vegas, Tahoe Seasons, Sedona Summit, Scottsdale Villa Mirage, and have a week reserved at Riviera Shores (see the rental add in the marketplace if you are interested in using that time).

    Bottom line, you get too little for what you pay and have to deal with too much garbage along the way for me to be truly pleased with my ownership - to the extent that I am seriously considering going another direction by relinquishing through their transitions program. YMMV
     
  18. chemteach

    chemteach TUG Member

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    Can you deposit your week into Destination Exchange? (That is Diamond's own exchange program.) There is A LOT of availability at many diamond owned resorts in the Destination Exchange program, and you can upgrade to a nicer place for $175 per "Tier" that you upgrade. If you own in "The Club" you can't use Destination Exchange, but if you own weeks that aren't in The Club you can deposit them into the program. They get assigned a Tier value when you deposit the week.
     
  19. JeffDH

    JeffDH TUG Member

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    Getting off topic here, but I reviewed that information and sent them a query. Since I am a points owner (and club member) rather than owning a fixed week at one of the listed resorts I'm guessing probably not... Resort list appears to be an expanded version of the ones available to me through the Club, I checked availability as a trial and there is some overlap but definitely not the same exact inventory available for California in April compared to my Club availability.
     
  20. dougp26364

    dougp26364 TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    I liked them fine when we owned them but......not for the fees they were demanding. I was paying LESS for our Marriott weeks but DRI isn’t Marriott quality. When it came time to get rid of a couple of weeks that fact made it any easy decision. If the quality had been equal, or even reasonable for the quality level, maybe that would put have been the case.
     
  21. cali-gal

    cali-gal TUG Member

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    I guess I'm also in the minority, but I have been extremely happy with our DRI properties. Yes, the MF are high, higher than our Marriott properties that are also on Maui, but I've never had an issue getting to go where and when I want. Yesterday for the first time I tried Diamond's Destination Exchange program-- and am very happy with our exchange. Of course, we have ocean view and ocean front views in our Diamond properties, so that gives a lot of exchange power. I haven't yet tried, though am enrolled in, Marriott's Vacation Club Destinations program, so it will be interesting to see how that works for us. With Diamond frequently expanding, I'm even more pleased with our ownership.

    We are dedicated weeks owners in the MOC and KBC, since we were unwilling to lose our deeded properties. The DRI Destination Exchange program is a great asset and improvement for us, as is Marriott's Destinations program, since it gives us the flexibility to upgrade that using II doesn't (at least for Marriott properties). The last trade using our MOC unit through II took us to Ko'Olina, but we were given the dreaded wall/parking lot view and had no options to change that.

    Just to add a little venting here-- since we own a Maui Ocean Club unit, unless we are staying in Hawaii, we don't get like for like, so 90% of the time trading into Marriott gives us a much less valuable trade. With Marriott always giving the worst rooms to traders, weeks owners who want to trade within Marriott using II are penalized. While I can, of course, use II for other branded properties, I have a preference for Marriotts when trading.
     
  22. Steve Fatula

    Steve Fatula TUG Member

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    If your week is enrolled, you can trade your MVCI unit for destinations points, then allowing you to get a view choice.
     
  23. chemteach

    chemteach TUG Member

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    I just recently got an ocean front unit at Point at Poipu at Destination Exchange using a poor trader by paying $500 in extra fees for a MUCH better unit than the one I gave to Destination Exchange. I really like Dest.Exchange, but I wonder how long it will be great. (I'm sort of afraid of telling people how great it is because then there is more competition - but since people seem to hate Diamond so much, that doesn't seem like a big concern.). I do hope that people who are having a difficult time with Diamond can figure out how to make it work for them. One thing about Destination Exchange is that you have to use a week that isn't in "The Club."
     
  24. cali-gal

    cali-gal TUG Member

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    Right Steve, that's exactly what I did -- see the second to last sentence in the first paragraph. Since we just joined, we won't be able to try it out until 2019. That's where DRI has it better than Marriott-- you can enroll and immediately get access. For the DRI Destination Exchange program, I joined and traded in less than an hour.
     
    Steve Fatula likes this.
  25. Eileen A.

    Eileen A. TUG Member

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    I'm a DRI owner.
    What is the Destination Program and how do I sign up.
    I could not find anything on their website.

    Thanks!
    Eileen
     

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