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Favorite smaller resorts?

Discussion in 'Exchanging' started by klpca, Oct 11, 2016.

  1. klpca

    klpca TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Location:
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    Resorts Owned:
    SDO, Quarter House, Seapointe, Coronado Beach, HGVC Bay Club
    I am discovering that we really aren't "big" resort people. It's not the resorts - they are all highly rated and I do love the updated and clean interiors - but the large resort campuses just aren't our thing. We primarily use the resort as a home base for exploring and spend very little time around the pools or doing on site activities.

    So I am looking for new places to visit, located in interesting areas to explore. What are your favorite smaller resorts? We are open to different locations. We trade in both RCI and II, but have also used SFX and DAE. Thanks!
     
  2. ronparise

    ronparise TUG Member

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    I have not stayed at this place but I did visit once when I was in New Orleans

    Jean LaFitte House

    It's 13 units in 2 old buildings. The front building is on the street and there is a small courtyard with a very small pool between it and the back building.

    Walk across the street to the French Quarter. Walk the other way to Frenchmans st and lots of small intimate jazz clubs. Or walk to the waterfront and take the streetcar to see the rest of the city
     
  3. bobpark56

    bobpark56 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Sedona Springs; Porto Bello, etc.

    We enjoyed Sedona Springs in Sedona AZ and hope to return some day.

    We find Porto Bello in Puerto Aventuras, Mexico to be quite nice. There are two Porto Bellos here...not sure if under the same management, but it seems so. We have stayed in both and enjoyed it. We now stay for two weeks every fall in a very nice 1BR unit via a private rental. Good, inexpensive dining, but not much in the way of beaches. Close to Akumal, Xel-Ha, Yal-Ku, and Xcaret...with Tulum & Coba not much further away. Have not tried the cenotes, except that Yal-Ku is a collapsed cenote. Tours will pick you up outside the gate if you ask (Puerto Aventuras is a gated, marina-oriented community...not a typical Mexican town).

    We also enjoyed a stay at La Ermita in Mijas Pueblo, Spain...though our 2BR unit was not one of the best. Be aware when trading in here that there is considerable variability in the units and furnishings. You will have a touch of uphill walking to enjoy the town...and there is much to enjoy: magnificent views, good dining, good shopping (especially for leather goods, but be ready to bargain). Even when staying elsewhere on the Costa del Sol, we will make at least one day trip to Mijas Pueblo. It's more enjoyable than Gibraltar, in our view.

    Fox Hollow in western Massachusetts was also nice, as was Brewster Green out on the Cape. We hope to return to Brewster Green some day. We especially enjoyed the flowers in May. And the fried clams.
     
  4. aandmrun

    aandmrun TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Resorts Owned:
    Marriott Desert Springs 1, Palm Desert, CA
    Park Hotel, Park City, Utah
    Maison Pierre Lafitte, New Orleans, LA
    Innsbrook Village, Ruidoso, NM
    Whispering Woods in Welches, Oregon

    This is a very nice resort in an area called The Villages, about 50 miles from Portland. We loved the resort with lots of hiking trails and a river nearby. It is also close to Mt. Hood and Multlomah Falls. There are so many interesting places to go to as "day trips".
     
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  5. mdurette

    mdurette TUG Member

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    My all time favorite resort it South Mountain in Lincoln, NH right in the center of the White Mountains. Great base camp for exploring the area and a lot to do in Summer, Winter and Fall. (spring, not so much). Second in the area is Pollard Brook. There is also a new resort just coming online called Riverwalk.

    Any of the resorts in Newport, RI. Great location with a lot within walking distance.
     
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  6. DaveNW

    DaveNW TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Carlsbad Seapointe
    WorldMark
    If your focus is a nice place to sleep, and not a bunch of on-site activities, then Kauai Beach Villas in Hawaii will do very nicely. I like its location, central on Kauai, not far from the airport (but out of the flight path.) If you want to head either north or south from there, you're halfway there. Easy shopping trips just a few minutes away, and a virtually deserted beach right out front. Not recommended for swimming, (rocky right off shore), but a fantastic beach for walking on, and laying out.

    Bonus for you: Grand Pacific is taking over management of the place come January, so odds are good it'll be available through GPX.

    Dave
     
  7. tashamen

    tashamen TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Embarc points (former Club Intrawest), Trapp Family Lodge
    We love smaller resorts and that's why we own Embarc (Intrawest) points - most of their resorts are on the small side. Not to say that every once in a while a large resort is great for R&R - like right now I'm at Canyon Villas in Phoenix.

    My favorite small resorts where we've stayed include:

    Urban:
    Edinburgh Residence in Scotland
    Suites at Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco
    Marriott Custom House/Pulse in Boston
    Manhattan Club Penthouse Suites in NYC
    Tahiti Village, Las Vegas (though we didn't much like Vegas but used the resort for side trips)

    Others:
    Chetola in Blowing Rock, NC
    Samoset, Rockport Maine

    We've also stayed in some smaller resorts that I wouldn't recommend. :eek:
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2016
  8. JuliGee

    JuliGee Guest

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    Sloane Gardens Club in London.

    Allen House in London.

    Club Donatello in San Francisco.

    Manhattan Club in NY.

    These were arranged by SFX.

    Juli
     
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  9. VegasBella

    VegasBella TUG Member

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    Location:
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    Resorts Owned:
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    Avenue Plaza
    Riviera Beach & Spa
    Check out Grand Pacific Resorts. Many are on the small side. I would specifically take a look at:
    Carlsbad Inn, San Clemente Cove, Coronado Beach Resort, Southern California Beach Club, Wave Crest and the Hawaii resorts.
    https://grandpacificresorts.com/resorts/

    You may also like The Blue Whale. And Sedona Pines Resort.

    I feel like most New Orleans timeshares are going to qualify for the feeling the OP is looking for. Even the ones with lots of units are not going to have a big resort campus. Same goes for NYC.
     
  10. klpca

    klpca TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Thank you all so much! This is exactly the kind of information that I was seeking. I knew that it was hopeless when I wasn't enjoying Newport Coast (Marriott). It is such a beautiful resort, but so large - and so many people. We drove into Laguna Beach every day and I wished that I was staying at one of the in town properties, even though they aren't nearly as nice. So I have decided not to fight it any more. :p

    Funny that you mention Grand Pacific - we own at Seapointe and Coronado and I have told my husband that we will never, ever sell those weeks. We think they are pretty perfect - especially Coronado. I'm pretty excited to see the trading opportunities within GP. The resorts that they manage are probably closer to what I like. Smaller scale, and many in-town properties.

    I haven't been to New Orleans (yet) but my daughter assures me that I will absolutely love it. I suspect that she is right.
     
  11. Tahiya

    Tahiya TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Smaller Worldmark resorts

    Many Worldmark resorts are on the smallish side. Gleneden on the Oregon Coast is a favorite of many WM owners (although I prefer Depoe Bay, which is larger, but has guaranteed ocean views.) WM Discovery Bay, Deer Harbor, and Leavenworth are other nice resorts that don't feel large. We just visited Manteo Beach Resort in B.C. and found it small but lovely. Many years ago we exchanged into RHC Lake Placid Club Lodges in NY, and found those homey.

    In CA, we appreciated the privacy of the tiny cottages at Riverpointe Napa. I would have added Coronado Beach Resort as a favorite small resort, but the OP already knows about that one, being an owner there.

    When it's just my husband and I, we prefer smaller resorts, but when we travel with the grandkids (boys 6 and 9), we exchange into the mega resorts for their swimming pools and activities.
     
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  12. Panina

    Panina TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Hgvc McAplin & Eagles Nest, Sunrise Bay, Hideaway Sands, Voyager, Gulf Tides, Jade Tree Cove, Banyan, Blue Ridge Village
    I also prefer the smaller resorts. I own at all of these, nice and beautifully maintained.

    Jade Tree Cove, Myrtle Beach, SC. - II

    Sunrise Bay Resort and Club, Marco Island, SC - II and Rci

    Hideaway Sands, St. Petersburg Beach, Fl - II and Rci

    Gulf Tides, Longboat Key, Fl - II and Rci

    Banyan Resort, Key West,Fl - II
     
  13. bogey21

    bogey21 TUG Member

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    Another vote for the Banyan in Key West.

    George
     
  14. mpumilia

    mpumilia TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Innseason Pollard Brook
    I like that resort as well. It is now Blue Green and no longer Innseason.

    Since I own at Innseason Pollard Brook right up the road from South Mountain I will recommend them as a good small resort alternative. Riverwalk is also kind of affiliated with Innseason- same developer.

    Smugglers Notch in Vermont, where we also own, is not small, but it has a small resort feel to it.
     
  15. AwayWeGo

    AwayWeGo TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    [triennial - points]
    We Were Happy With Our Non-Humongous Orlando Timeshares.

    We enjoyed our few years as owners at Cypress Pointe Resort & Grande Villas Resort in Orlando FL. Both of those qualify as smaller resorts (contrasted with Vistana Orlando, HGVC, Vacation Village At Parkway, Orange Lake, etc.), even though both are now just links in the DRI chain.

    We also enjoyed vacationing at Orbit One Vacation Villas (also gobbled up by DRI) & Magic Tree Resort (still independent). Both of those are in Kissimmee FL on the west side of the Disney Gap.

    -- Alan Cole, McLean (Fairfax County), Virginia, USA.​
     
  16. Passepartout

    Passepartout TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Kuleana Club, N. of Kaanapali, Maui. So close to the ocean that if you lob a seashell off the patio underhanded into the surf, you might hit one of the many turtles.

    Jim
     
  17. youppi

    youppi TUG Member

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    Royal Sea Aquarium in Curacao (30x 2bdrm LO).
    Nice small resort on an artificial island linked to the Curacao island.
    Curacao is a very nice Caribbean island part of the Netherlands ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao). Curacao is my favorite of those 3 islands.
    Exchangers/owners get free access to the aquarium next door.
     
  18. 51ssvinton

    51ssvinton Guest

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    Try egrets Pointe at Edisto island, 24 condos 1500 Sq ft, back is glass looking into lagoon w lots of birds, a few small gators and just plain beauty.
    Give it awhile due to Hurricane to get back in order....my favorite on east coast if you NOT looking for hhi or myrtle Beach type chaos. Www.egretspointe.com

    Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk
     
  19. mdurette

    mdurette TUG Member

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    OP - what may be an easier idea to help you is if you give a couple geographic regions you have on your bucket list...then we can pin-point the smaller resorts at that particular location.
     
  20. pedro47

    pedro47 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    There are some very nice small resort located on Shipyard Plantation located on Hilton Head Island. Examples: Port O Call and Spinnaker @ Shipyard Plantation.
     
  21. silentg

    silentg TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Hi Kit, We went to a resort last New Year called Lehigh Acres in Florida. Off the beaten path, but not too far from Fort Myers. A lot of families there and very relaxed atmosphere. We don't own there just traded. I posted a review.
    Silentg
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2016
  22. klpca

    klpca TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Even though we are on the west coast, we are open to whatever. I am loving this list - so many places that were never on my radar. With the exception of Yosemite and Hawaii, we like to go to places where we have never been before.

    In the spirit of the thread, our favorite timeshare vacation was to Club Intrawest Palm Desert. We loved the units - decorated in a very southwestern style - and the unit we stayed in had an outdoor shower as well as a private courtyard patio. The resort was nice and compact, and of course Palm Desert is close to Joshua Tree NP and some great hiking up at the Palm Springs tramway. Even though it was warmer than we expected in October (over 100 degrees) we had a great week.
     
  23. raygo123

    raygo123 TUG Member

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    I have been there years ago. We wife and two daughters stayed in the back smaller house on the top floor. It was great! I can't even describe it.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk
     
  24. T_R_Oglodyte

    T_R_Oglodyte TUG Lifetime Member

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    Whispering Woods immediately came to mind. I was going to mention it, but you beat me to it. It's one of our favorite "small" resorts. We're VRI owners and we've done short stays there using VRI owners discounts. DD and I stayed at WW shortly after her 21st birthday, and used it as a jumping off point for wine tasting. The only caveat is that winter would not be a good time to visit, unless you planned it as a base for some winter activities in the mountains.

    Some other thoughts:

    The Oxnard/Ventura, CA resorts are very small and laid back, and provide a great place for enjoying the So Cal coast without the LA crowds. Channel Island Shores and Mandalay Shores are both a couple of blocks from a long sand beach that stretches for miles, form Ventura to Port Hueneme.

    Also the coastal timeshares in San Diego County. Only a few of them are beachfront, but they all offer great access to the coastal areas and beaches.

    Sea Mountain on the south side of the Big Island is another place we enjoy. It is remote, but it's the only timeshare on the south side of the island, which makes it a great option to explore areas of the island that are more difficult to access from Kona. It's less than an hour from the main entrance to Volcanoes Park. Hilo and the marvelous Puna Coast (which includes the current lava viewing area) is an easy day trip. You can do night time lava viewing and be back in your unit before 10:30 pm.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2016
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  25. sue1947

    sue1947 TUG Member

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    I also am not that resort centered. I'm more interested in the location and rarely take advantage of any resort amenities. I like outdoor activities so here are some of my favorites:
    Starr Pass Golf Suites in Tucson (I don't play golf) for the proximity to Saguaro National Park, the Tucson art scene and the Tucson Audubon group that leads lots of nifty bird watching trips to natural areas.
    Lagoon Shores in Roche Harbor on San Juan Island in Washington. Forget summer, but you can get a May week and lodging in the San Juans is really expensive so this is a great deal.
    Manteo Beach Club in Kelowna BC which are townhouses right on the lake/river.
    Eagle Crest in Central OR or Stoneridge in Sunriver in Central OR (I prefer Sunriver over Eagle Crest).
    Harbor Ridge in Acadia NP; comfortable and location, location, location.
    San Luis Bay Inn on the Central CA coast; again location, location, location.

    And see these older threads:
    Steve's thread on hidden gems:
    http://tugbbs.com/forums/showthread.php?t=195418

    and
    http://tugbbs.com/forums/showthread.php?t=96945

    Sue
     

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