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Newbie with questions about Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta possible membership and ways to stay

OregonDucks

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Some background. I'm 41, wife is 39. Kids are 11m, 15m , and 18f. The 15 and 18 year old will likely live with us through the end of college, maybe longer, LOL. We've gone to Mexico (Cabo and PVR) a total of 4 times.

Our first trip to Mexico was in 2019 at Villa del Palmar (Cabo) trip with just the wife and I (used certificate from a friend who received credit for giving it to us). Cabo was nice, but it wasn't something we fell in love with right away (we may go back to try it again). We did enjoy certain things about the resort: We were able to have breakfast and dinner every day right next to the water. The food was really good and wasn't expensive. We enjoyed the water taxi and various marina trips we could take. The room we stayed in was small and musty smelling, didn't like that. I think it's an old resort, so likely has water damage issues. Oh, my wife and I both got sick and spent a lot of time on the Toilet and taking pepto. We've never been sick since though.

Next, we took the entire family to Puerto Vallarta in March of 2021 during covid. We stayed at Villa Del Palmar Flamingos. Our room was very nice and didn't smell musty. Food was quite good, and the staff were great. The beach was nice as well. Overall, it was a great trip and we'd go back given the right price.

March 2022 my wife and I stayed at Villa Premiere Adults Only (PVR) which was located north of the Romantica Zone. Their food was the absolute best, also not expensive. It was a nice little resort with easy access to town. All rooms had an ocean view. On this trip we went to a timeshare presentation at Vidanta and ended up getting suckered into the exit package. We thought it was 1 week/year forever and we'd just have to pay the Usage fee each time we booked. Turns out we purchased 5 weeks to be used in 5 years and a Vacation Club package with Limitless. After the 5 years, we no longer would have access to Vidanta but can continue paying $199/year with Limitless for their "benefits". I don't even want to say how much we paid, but it was just shy of 10k. Huge mistake, but it's water under the bridge.

We just used (last week) the SQN certificate we were given to attend the Vidanta presentation. We stayed at the Grand Mayan in a one bedroom at Nuevo Vallarta. As you all know, the resort is HUGE and you are pretty much isolated to the resort unless you want to take a Taxi into town (which I've heard is expensive and by person???). We ended up bringing our 11 year old. We chose to attend the member update so we could get a few discounts and breakfast. We enjoyed the lazy river, the water slide, and I ended up doing a round of golf at the lakes (10 hole par 3 course). The food was decent, but I thought it was a bit overpriced and thought the food at every other resort was better. It's not that the food was bad, it just wasn't as good as we were hoping. The room was the most musty room we've stayed in so far (our clothes still smell like it now that we are home). I didn't enjoy the idea of sleeping in a room with hidden water damage. It was floor 2 of the Tikal building and wasn't an ocean view. We did go up to a higher level just to see if the mustyness level was lower, and it was. Water travels downhill, right?

When we went to the member update, we were paired up with a British guy named Stanley who had a dedicated office on the 9th floor. He said he wasn't one of the typical sales people and was filling in. He wasn't overly pushy. He offered a Right To Use 2 bedroom Jungle Aqua for 100 years (transferable to children I assume) and 10 years at another new hotel being built near the park (I think). It was somewhere in the 18k range. I can't remember how many weeks it was, but I think it was 2 weeks at Jungle Aqua and maybe another week at this other building. He said he was crediting our Limitless purchase price to this, but based on what I've been reading, I think that was just a sales ploy. I'm guessing anyone off the street could get what we were offered for 18k or even less? He said as members, we would get the best rooms (higher up and ocean view). Not sure if that's really correct or if that's a sales tactic. Another issue when contemplating this package is my youngest will be 12 soon, so our family of 5 won't even be able to stay in a 1 bedroom at the GM according to the website (4 adults + 2 kids). We asked about bringing another adult and he recommended booking (2) 1 bedrooms. That seems like it would be sort of expensive (~3k vs. ~2k for a 2 bedroom). We'd also like to be able to bring our kids' friends, so then we'd be in the same boat. Although, when we checked out, we asked if we could have 5 adults and 1 child in a 1 bedroom at the GM, and they said yes, but it would be 1200 pesos/night extra. I told him we wanted to finish out the week and see how we like Vidanta before making a decision. He thanked us, showed us the elevator and off we went.

After the trip, I started looking at what it would cost for our family of 5 to stay in PVR for a week to see if becoming a member actually made sense. Prices range from 2k-6k with 2k being at maybe one or two of the smaller resorts. We do love going to Mexico to escape the winter cold and get sunshine, but I'm not sure what to do. 2,000-3,000/week seems to be my mental limit for lodging expenses given my Salary. I think I'm beginning to understand why people become members. If you like the Vidanta experience, how else can you come every year? And once you have that initial investment, you pay what is a reasonable fee to book a week at a nice safe resort with golf, lazy river, access to a beach without a lot of vendors pestering you. It's a different Mexico experience, but it's still a good one that checks a lot of boxes.

Without being a member, is there another way to stay at Vidanta GM each and every year for somewhere in the 2,000-2,500 range for a 2 bedroom?

Is there a membership option that actually makes sense that you can purchase in 2023? I know it's dependent on what a person wants, so for us, it's probably the ability to come to PVR once a year for a family of 5 (considered adults going forward I guess). Personally, I'd like a slightly nicer room than what we experienced at the GM, but GM is fine as long as it doesn't smell so bad. Maybe The Grand Bliss?

Given the ages of our kids, I can see Vidanta GM working for us for the next 5 years and that's mostly taken care of by our Limitless 5 weeks we still have. (bookable until March 2027). So, I'm really not sure it makes sense to "Upgrade" at this point unless they truly give us some type of trade-in value for what we spent or we get a "better" experience.
 

OregonDucks

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you can rent from an owner, if you want to go every year
Maybe I'm not looking in the right area, but I haven't found anything in that 2-3k range available online? Most everything I've seen is 4-6k.
 

pittle

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Your family would need at least a 2 bedroom unit.

We have been with Mayan World as I call it as we have "owned" MP, GM & GL for 24 years. We have a LOT of money invested. Many owners do rent their units for the MF + 20% or so. A 2-bedroom GL would run around $3000. GM or GB should be less.

My advice is use what you have. If Limitless lets you use RCI, II, or SFX, you can exchange what you have for a 2-bedroom, try that. Even at Vidanta, 1 Bedroom GM would get you book a 2-bedroom Mayan Palace. They do not have the decks or dipping pool, but do have 2 bedrooms and 2 bathroom, plus the sofas for overflow.

The best option is to rent with VRBO or other rental sites, you can get a great condo in town for the cost of MF. Our son just rented an entire house with 5 bedrooms, 6 baths, a full kitchen and a kitchenette, ourdoor grill area plus a private pool for a week in November. It was quite expensive, but he is planning to invite friends to join them and then our grandson is bringing a friend. His friend will pay his share for his family. But, there are quite a few 2 bedroom condos for less than $2000 per week right in PV where you can go out to eat wherever you want and taxis are cheap.

We currently have 2 weeks in 2-bdrm GL and a week at the Buganvilias in PV. The family likes Buganvilias better because of the location. Our son thought about adding his name to our contract and then re-upping it for 15 years, but it is cheaper to rent since once you pay the initial $25-30,000, you still have to pay MF. So in the long run, it is better to rent and have many choices of where to stay when in Mexico.
 

T-Dot-Traveller

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Hi @OregonDucks .

Welcome to TUG
start by using the 5 weeks in 5 years program that you bought.

For Timeshare rentals -check out TUG Marketplace (free) and www.Redweek.com (about $20 year membership) for Vidanta brand rentals
*********
We started with 1 week in Puerto Vallarta in 2006.........
Our total days in PV is now past 160 - and we have had 2 days when it rained enough time to see a puddle.
( stays were between mid Nov.and mid April )

I will try and add more later.
 
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T-Dot-Traveller

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......I think I'm beginning to understand why people become members. If you like the Vidanta experence .......to book a week at a nice safe resort with golf, lazy river, access to a beach ......... so for us, it's probably the ability to come to PVR once a year for a family of 5 (considered adults going forward I guess). Personally, I'd like a slightly nicer room than what we experienced at the GM, but GM is fine .......

Given the ages of our kids, I can see Vidanta GM working for us for the next 5 years and that's mostly taken care of by our Limitless 5 weeks we still have. (bookable until March 2027). So, I'm really not sure it makes sense to "Upgrade" at this point unless they truly give us some type of trade-in value for what we spent or we get a "better" experience.
I think your plan for the next 5 years is on target.
Use what you paid for and spend some time reading about other access points to both Vidanta and Puerto Vallarta.

**********
By the way - don't feel bad about the Limitless purchase. The Vida sales machine is very good at what it does.
We all have stories like that; the key is learning how to use what you own now.

FYI - regarding room smells. We generally open the balcony sliding doors - turn off the air - open the closet doors and let the stale air in the room leave & the room refresh. If the PV weather is in the 80's we don't turn the air back on and leave it this way. PV does not have mosquitoes & you will notice houses do not have screens.
 
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rpennisi

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I have owned a two bedroom two bath MP bought resale (Ebay) since 2007, it was an original buyer's 2001 purchase. In 2026 the 25 year contract runs out. To get another 25 years, I would have to pay five times the MF, probably around 6000-7000 dollars. I could sell it for a dollar, and the buyer would have that 6-7 thousand + 1MF transfer fee for a 2bedroom 2 bath unit for the next 25 years.
I would definitely be willing to do that, because if I don't Vidanta will resell it for 17000 (original price)+++.

The 100 year contract (4 25 year subcontracts) also comes with a VF (Vacation Fair) trade week where for another MF one can get another week stay in a MP 2 bedroom 2 bath unit.

On RCI, if you deposit the unit, you can easily get two weeks of trade into 1-2 bedroom TSs.

Throwing this out to see if it makes sense to others(?).

Ron
 

OregonDucks

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I have owned a two bedroom two bath MP bought resale (Ebay) since 2007, it was an original buyer's 2001 purchase. In 2026 the 25 year contract runs out. To get another 25 years, I would have to pay five times the MF, probably around 6000-7000 dollars. I could sell it for a dollar, and the buyer would have that 6-7 thousand + 1MF transfer fee for a 2bedroom 2 bath unit for the next 25 years.
I would definitely be willing to do that, because if I don't Vidanta will resell it for 17000 (original price)+++.

The 100 year contract (4 25 year subcontracts) also comes with a VF (Vacation Fair) trade week where for another MF one can get another week stay in a MP 2 bedroom 2 bath unit.

On RCI, if you deposit the unit, you can easily get two weeks of trade into 1-2 bedroom TSs.

Throwing this out to see if it makes sense to others(?).

Ron
Is that a right to use with no required maintenance fee, just the fee to book a week if you want to go?
 

easyrider

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A person could join SFX and pay to be diamond for $99 and get free upgrades meaning a 1 bed Grand Mayan and exchange fee would fetch a 2 bed unit plus a bonus week at possibly the Grand Luxxe.

Bill
 

T-Dot-Traveller

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I have owned a two bedroom two bath MP bought resale (Ebay) since 2007, it was an original buyer's 2001 purchase. In 2026 the 25 year contract runs out. To get another 25 years, I would have to pay five times the MF, probably around 6000-7000 dollars. I could sell it for a dollar, and the buyer would have that 6-7 thousand + 1MF transfer fee for a 2bedroom 2 bath unit for the next 25 years.
I would definitely be willing to do that, because if I don't Vidanta will resell it for 17000 (original price)+++.

The 100 year contract (4 25 year subcontracts) also comes with a VF (Vacation Fair) trade week where for another MF one can get another week stay in a MP 2 bedroom 2 bath unit.

On RCI, if you deposit the unit, you can easily get two weeks of trade into 1-2 bedroom TSs.

Throwing this out to see if it makes sense to others(?).

Ron
In another Mexican Forum thread - a recent post mentioned buying a resale Mayan Palace for an all in cost of about $ 8000 including the transfer fees.

The Grand Mayans that were sold between launch in about 2003 and Nov. 2005 would be a bit more . The transfer fee on those is 10 % of original purchase price. I believe that would be approx. $ 3000 and they could renew for 5 x MF between 2028 and 2030

***********
After Nov. 2005 the transfer fee was changed to 5 x MF and the VF weeks don't transfer. At the same time the addendum that says MF on use only was added.
{Our Feb. 2006 contract had a requirement of a required MF for the first 5 years and then pay on use only.}

In 2010-11 the renewal was changed to 10 years for a smaller amount (often 1 MF / Usage Fee) and a 2nd bonus week was added for the first 10 years.

All contracts can transfer to immediate family (children & grandchildren) for $ 0 and without loss of VF-bonus weeks or addendums.

Thanks to @pittle for many prior postings of this information.
 
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T-Dot-Traveller

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Is that a right to use with no required maintenance fee, just the fee to book a week if you want to go?
No - that addendum was added to contracts after Nov. 2005 (see my post above)
but remember every use year you don't use is like burning a part of your initial cost of buying.
 

rpennisi

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Is that a right to use with no required maintenance fee, just the fee to book a week if you want to go?
It is a required MF each year, and an extra MF for renovation every 5 years. So, the yearly required MF is really 1.2 times the annual rate, right now (2023) MF is $1041 (therefore around $ 1250 real cost per year for 2 bedroom 2 bath unit).
I have never not used a week or banked (RCI) a week, although I have not used many Vacation Fair weeks over the years.
 

OregonDucks

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It is a required MF each year, and an extra MF for renovation every 5 years. So, the yearly required MF is really 1.2 times the annual rate, right now (2023) MF is $1041 (therefore around $ 1250 real cost per year for 2 bedroom 2 bath unit).
I have never not used a week or banked (RCI) a week, although I have not used many Vacation Fair weeks over the years.
What is a Vacation Fair week? Can you tell me a little more about RCI? They are a travel club, so I'm assuming you are giving them your week and they are crediting you a week in their system? What's the downside of banking a week, slightly less in return?
 

rpennisi

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What is a Vacation Fair week? Can you tell me a little more about RCI? They are a travel club, so I'm assuming you are giving them your week and they are crediting you a week in their system? What's the downside of banking a week, slightly less in return?
Vacation Fair week (VF) is an extra week that you can pay the MF and use it as an extra week of vacation. With my MP contract, I have a six month window to book a week. That also applies to the VF week except for Feb and March when booking the VF week is 45 days.

When you bank a week with RCI, you get TPs (for those who are not on a points system). Those TP's are then used to trade for weeks at other resorts in the RCI collection. With a 2 bedroom MP contract, you can bank into RCI the entire suite or bank as separate one bedroom suite and one bedroom studio generating 2 deposits. Or you can bank with RCI only either part of the 2 bedroom suite. Say you're going with just your wife, you can use the one bedroom suite or the one bedroom studio and bank the other side with RCI, or you can stay 2 weeks using the one bedroom suite one week and the studio the second week.
 

douglasmhines

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A person could join SFX and pay to be diamond for $99 and get free upgrades meaning a 1 bed Grand Mayan and exchange fee would fetch a 2 bed unit plus a bonus week at possibly the Grand Luxxe.

Bill
how does this work. I have 1 BD Grand Bliss. Are you saying if I am SFX diamond, i get a free upgrade for each use?
 

OregonDucks

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Vacation Fair week (VF) is an extra week that you can pay the MF and use it as an extra week of vacation. With my MP contract, I have a six month window to book a week. That also applies to the VF week except for Feb and March when booking the VF week is 45 days.

When you bank a week with RCI, you get TPs (for those who are not on a points system). Those TP's are then used to trade for weeks at other resorts in the RCI collection. With a 2 bedroom MP contract, you can bank into RCI the entire suite or bank as separate one bedroom suite and one bedroom studio generating 2 deposits. Or you can bank with RCI only either part of the 2 bedroom suite. Say you're going with just your wife, you can use the one bedroom suite or the one bedroom studio and bank the other side with RCI, or you can stay 2 weeks using the one bedroom suite one week and the studio the second week.
@rpennisi - Thanks for taking the time to explain this. I assume RCI requires an annual membership fee? I wonder if I can bank any of my Limitless 5 weeks I received?
 

T-Dot-Traveller

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@rpennisi - Thanks for taking the time to explain this. I assume RCI requires an annual membership fee? I wonder if I can bank any of my Limitless 5 weeks I received?
Hi @OregonDucks
RCI Membership is about~ $100/year
Then there is an exchange fee - $ 289 per .
I doubt you can put Limitless in RCI because it has to be deposited directly by Vidanta - and LM is a " gatekeeper ".for your weeks.

In my opinion - it.also.would not be
a good -(cost effective ) use.
 

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Hi @OregonDucks
RCI Membership is about~ $100/year
Then there is an exchange fee - $ 289 per .
I doubt you can put Limitless in RCI because it has to be deposited directly by Vidanta - and LM is a " gatekeeper ".for your weeks.

In my opinion - it.also.would not be
a good -(cost effective ) use.
Would there be any good reason for someone to join RCI if they don't "own" weeks with someone like Vidanta?
 

pittle

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how does this work. I have 1 BD Grand Bliss. Are you saying if I am SFX diamond, i get a free upgrade for each use?
In the past with SFX - you cannot exchange into a Vidanta resort using a Vidanta week. I do not know if that has changed. We use a Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay 1-bedrrom unit that I bought on ebay for $400 that has MF for around $700. I deposit it with SFX and can get a 2-bedroom GB for the $150 exchange fee, plus the $99 annual fee - but I can you get a 2-bedroom GB for less than $1000, but that is cheaper than your annual usage fee. It costs more to exchange into a GL, but even that route was cheaper than paying our usage fees.
 

WatsonC2

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Would there be any good reason for someone to join RCI if they don't "own" weeks with someone like Vidanta?
You can't join RCI without owning a timeshare that trades or can trade into RCI.
 

easyrider

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how does this work. I have 1 BD Grand Bliss. Are you saying if I am SFX diamond, i get a free upgrade for each use?

Yup. You become a diamond member at SFX , deposit your week and once the deposit is confirmed you can make a reservation and get an upgrade to a two bed unit. The unit we had a couple of winters ago was a two bed Grand Luxxe in building 5. The exchange fee is $149 I think. There are other fees for the Grand Luxxe as well.

Bill
 

douglasmhines

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Yup. You become a diamond member at SFX , deposit your week and once the deposit is confirmed you can make a reservation and get an upgrade to a two bed unit. The unit we had a couple of winters ago was a two bed Grand Luxxe in building 5. The exchange fee is $149 I think. There are other fees for the Grand Luxxe as well.

Bill
So it would go as follows (if i am diamond):

- pay fee for 1 Bed GB
- deposit 1 Bed GB into SFX
- it gets confirmed
- SFX will allow me to book 2 Bed GB (with exchange fee of $149)

is this only in the slow season?
 

T-Dot-Traveller

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So it would go as follows (if i am diamond):
- pay fee for 1 Bed GB
- deposit 1 Bed GB into SFX
- it gets confirmed
- SFX will allow me to book 2 Bed GB (with exchange fee of $149)

is this only in the slow season?
I think this could work as per @easyrider 's post / or you may need to use a different TS deposit as per @pittle 's post

- However : I think the process would add the Vidanta NV resort fee at check in of $ 550 for a 2 bedroom .
( FYI- you could cut the resort fee cost by half by going to a Vida Sales presentation)

SFX exchanges at one time had a $ 75 resort fee. I believe Vidanta resort fee now is the same cost for : SFX - RCI - Intervals exchanges.

I believe (based on TUG threads) that with SFX it is best to use phone contact to initiate and confirm transactions .
By this method you may have access beyond "slow / shoulder " season- but it is all based on Vidanta inventory availability
and the inventory fill rate for the week you request.
 
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pittle

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I always call in to make reservations and requests. I deposit online and when I deposit my PBEB week before Deember 31, I usually get a Bonus week to book too. :)
 

easyrider

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So it would go as follows (if i am diamond):

- pay fee for 1 Bed GB
- deposit 1 Bed GB into SFX
- it gets confirmed
- SFX will allow me to book 2 Bed GB (with exchange fee of $149)

is this only in the slow season?

Yup. You pay your mf for your resort.

You join SFX and upgrade your SFX to diamond. At the diamond level you will get benefits that include the ability to get a room upgrade so a studio can get a 1 bed, 1 bed can get a 2 bed and 2 bed can get a 3 bed.

You can deposit your week online or call SFX and they will assist.

Once your reservation is confirmed by SFX you can request a vacation online or call SFX. It's faster to just call and see what is available, imo.

You make your SFX reservation and confirm it via email. You can use your exchange week or a bonus week that you are given for depositing your original week into SFX. Sometime SFX offers 2 bonus weeks for a deposit. The bonus weeks are a pay for week. There are other options like travel insurance and other things. I have my own travel insurance so I decline.

You are able to get an upgrade in any season if it is available. Some upgrades for high end units do have an extra fee. Grand Luxxe is one of these. For Mexico, SFX has been working well for us. You might want to call SFX and ask some questions especially about Vidanta exchanges. If you can't use Vidanta as an exchange you might be able to use a bonus week to get into Vidanta.

Bill
 
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