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Diamond resort US points, a good deal or not?

vacationer2011

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Dec 7, 2011
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I live in Northern CA and am interetsed in buying into a timeshare. I have stayed at the Diamond resort locations in CA and I see some good deals in buying points to get in. But I have a few concerns and I would appreciate any perspective:
1. Maintenance fees are too high
2. U.S. collection is very limited & only has 2 locations in CA
3. Availability seems to be scarce & have to reserve long time ahead of the planned trip.
4. It seems unclear whether I can join their club or not and at what cost. This would be to use their other locations.
5. Lots of complaints about their fees going up drastically every year.
6. Unsure how many points I need to reserve at different times of the year. It seems like no one can answer how many points are needed for example for a 1 bedroom at peak season in Lake Tahoe, it seems to be a moving target. So I am not sure if I will get 1 week or 2 weeks for 11,000 points? And by week do they mean 5 days or 7 days.
I appreciate any feedback,

Thank you.
 

artringwald

TUG Review Crew
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Resorts Owned
HVC: The Point at Poipu, 3 deeded weeks, 1 of which is in The Club.
I can't address all your concerns, but to book a 1 bedroom in Lake Tahoe from 07-Jul-2012 to 14-Jul-2012 costs 10,000 points. In 2006, the maintenance fee payment for our week in Kauai was $875. The 2012 fee is $1353, not including the special assessment (a whole other story). It's hard to say whether the fees went up because the previous management company wasn't maintaining the property properly or if the owner's association has been paying too much back to DRI. Unfortunately, DRI employees and relatives have a controlling majority on the board of the owner's association.
 

PamMo

TUG Review Crew: Veteran
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We love Sedona and have owned at Los Abrigados Resort for several years. It definitely isn't the nicest resort we've stayed in, but the location is unbeatable, the grounds are beautiful, the restaurants are good, the spa was excellent, and the units were comfortable. Unfortunately, management was not so good, and Los Abrigados ended up in bankruptcy court. Diamond bought the resort at the end of 2010, and we've seen MF's rise from $615 (2009), to $635 (2010), to $787 (2011 - when Diamond took over), to $891.20 (2012). This is for a 1BR unit, worth 6,000 points. These fees do not include the Diamond Club, which we opted out of, which adds another $150 or so.

Some of the 50% spike in fees in two years is due to previous management's mismanagement, but fee increases like this are a shock to owners nonetheless. (I guess we should be happy we don't own at Point at Poipu in Kauai, where Diamond just assessed the owners almost $6,000 per unit for needed repairs!) Los Abrigados WILL be updated and improved under Diamond, but I don't forecast fees ever going down. Our hiking getaway isn't the great deal it once was - we now pay higher MF's than owners at Hyatt's Pinon Pointe timeshare up the street in Sedona.

As far as availability goes, after Diamond took over, it was harder to get the weeks we wanted. It is now absolutely necessary to plan a year ahead. This year, we had to do an Interval trade using Diamond points to get back to Sedona.
 
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