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Vidante ownership & Vida dollars _HELP NOW!!

Have you been able to use Vida dollars to pay for 100% of any vacation, hotel or travel?

  • Yes

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • No

    Votes: 9 100.0%

  • Total voters
    9
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I am currently at the Grand Luxe in Rivera Maya — we have owned timeshares for years and very happy with our current TS which we use via RCI and points - traded here for 3rd time in 8 years - and love Vida resorts - but not sure what to do about the pressure offer — is it really worth the new “ownership model” - they say no Mtce fee - but you have to pay $1,600 for every usage - my primary questions - does anyone have success trading these for other options? ..and what about Vida Dollars - they are offering us $10,000 Vida dollars and saying we can pay for a full vacation - is this true or not???
 

Karen G

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Once owned these: FirstFairway@Walden X 2; Lawai Beach; ManhattanClub; PuebloBonitoRose; 4 South Africa--now timeshare-free
but not sure what to do about the pressure offer
You're in Mexico and you've been able to trade in three times in eight years. You say you're happy with what you have and it's working for you.

DON'T FALL FOR A HIGH PRESSURE SALES PRESENTATION. Take your gift and get out of the sales room as fast as you can! Others have posted that Vida dollars are never worth what the salesman says they are.
 
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pittle

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OK - Vida Dollars are basically worthless, so do not fall for that option. What they told about these you is very unlikely to happen.

You did not say just what you are buying, but my guess is that it is a Grand Mayan or Grand Bliss 2-bedroom for the cost of MF based on what I pay for a 2-bedroom GL. I know that there are several Park units and assume the MF at those are similar to new GM or GB units.

The no pay unless you go is nice to have. But, you do need to factor in what you pay upfront. Also know that "trade-ins" often do not occur and you will have to pay a company to get rid of your current timeshare with no guarantees that it will sell.

I have been a Vidanta owner for 20 years now and we love the resorts. We have had the no pay unless you go since 2007. In 2013, we consolidated all 6 of our weeks to 2 two-bedroom GL weeks. It made sense for us as we had quite at few cheap resale weeks and some super-special contract options that carried over to the upgrade. We are happy with what we have! It depends on how much you are willing to pay. It will be a lot. :)

If you do decide to buy, spend time totally reading and making notes as to what you thought you were getting and what is in the contract. We both did this and found different things that we understood would be there. We went back the next day and talked to the VLO in Member Services (person who you actually signed all the papers with). They made an Addendum to ours to cover our concerns. Do this BEFORE you leave the resort. You can rescind with no issues at this point.
 
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mike53

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I am currently at the Grand Luxe in Rivera Maya — we have owned timeshares for years and very happy with our current TS which we use via RCI and points - traded here for 3rd time in 8 years - and love Vida resorts - but not sure what to do about the pressure offer — is it really worth the new “ownership model” - they say no Mtce fee - but you have to pay $1,600 for every usage - my primary questions - does anyone have success trading these for other options? ..and what about Vida Dollars - they are offering us $10,000 Vida dollars and saying we can pay for a full vacation - is this true or not???
We are relatively new GL. owners and we are very pleased with the resort too.

It is true that you only pay a usage fee when you use your week(s). But...be very careful if they are selling you something without an underlying contract. From the usage fee of $1600 it seems like you are getting something other than a Grand Luxxe unit.

If this is all that you are paying it seems like they are offering some sort of exit package. I understand these aren’t very good or useful. If you are actually buying a contract read it and the associated addendums careful before you commit and that you understand everything in the contract so you know what you are getting.

The vida $$ are basically useless. They will likely offer that amount for a “discount” in an overpriced theme park contract.

I’m not an expert. Still learning the Vidanta programs but there are many folks here that offer more advice.
 
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You're in Mexico and you've been able to trade in three times in eight years. You say you're happy with what you have and it's working for you.

DON'T FALL FOR A HIGH PRESSURE SALES PRESENTATION. Take your gift and get out of the sales room as fast as you can! Others have posted that Vida dollars are never worth what the salesman says they are.
Thanks Karen!
 
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OK - Vida Dollars are basically worthless, so do not fall for that option. What they told about these you is very unlikely to happen.

You did not say just what you are buying, but my guess is that it is a Grand Mayan or Grand Bliss 2-bedroom for the cost of MF based on what I pay for a 2-bedroom GL. I know that there are several Park units and assume the MF at those are similar to new GM or GB units.

The no pay unless you go is nice to have. But, you do need to factor in what you pay upfront. Also know that "trade-ins" often do not occur and you will have to pay a company to get rid of your current timeshare with no guarantees that it will sell.

I have been a Vidanta owner for 20 years now and we love the resorts. We have had the no pay unless you go since 2007. In 2013, we consolidated all 6 of our weeks to 2 two-bedroom GL weeks. It made sense for us as we had quite at few cheap resale weeks and some super-special contract options that carried over to the upgrade. We are happy with what we have! It depends on how much you are willing to pay. It will be a lot. :)

If you do decide to buy, spend time totally reading and making notes as to what you thought you were getting and what is in the contract. We both did this and found different things that we understood would be there. We went back the next day and talked to the VLO in Member Services (person who you actually signed all the papers with). They made an Addendum to ours to cover our concerns. Do this BEFORE you leave the resort. You can rescind with no issues at this point.
Thanks for the detailed feedback - we are actually buying the one bedroom suite (two bathrooms) at the park —- and its very complex package - its 4 weeks, but they take 2 back for marketing and then give you one more .... so you end up with 2 weeks you can use/trade and 1 week that can only be used at the resort - in each case we have to pay the use fee .... agree on the T&Cs — we both heard similar things but all this stuff about the buy back guaranteed at 65% seemed very good - so glad you gave some insights on that .... and we are here a few more days so absolutely will go back to the lawyer who recorded are conversation ...unless the VLO is someone different - thanks so much!
 
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We are relatively new GL. owners and we are very pleased with the resort too.

It is true that you only pay a usage fee when you use your week(s). But...be very careful if they are selling you something without an underlying contract. From the usage fee of $1600 it seems like you are getting something other than a Grand Luxxe unit.

If this is all that you are paying it seems like they are offering some sort of exit package. I understand these aren’t very good or useful. If you are actually buying a contract read it and the associated addendums careful before you commit and that you understand everything in the contract so you know what you are getting.

The vida $$ are basically useless. They will likely offer that amount for a “discount” in an overpriced theme park contract.

I’m not an expert. Still learning the Vidanta programs but there are many folks here that offer more advice.
Thanks for the feedback - we are paying a big upfront fee and then the usage fees .... but they told us the VIDA dollars (offered us over $10,000 ) will offset the upfront fees - so knowing that they are not really usable is extremely helpful - I guess if it sounds too good to be true ...it probably is ,.. thanks for the info
 

mike53

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Thanks for clarifying that you have the up front fees. Then you are buying a “real” contract and not some strange exit package.

Check the contract to see the number of registered weeks you will be getting. That’s where I was really confused with their mumbo jumbo. It may be only one in the first 10 years. We negotiated something a little different. From what I now know the registered weeks are the ones where you must pay whether you use them or not. These weeks should give you the ability to reserve the prime weeks is you choose to do so.

The other 2 weeks that are probably in the 100 year part of the agreement are pay as you go. Also they may have given you some Privilege Weeks that you also can pay to use.

I think the 65% buyback is only if you purchase something else from them. Not a refund if you don’t want them.

I suggest reading and re-reading all the pages to make sure. You understand everything (as much as it is possible).

I think there is a 5 day rescission period but it may be difficult to get an appointment with the VLO if you tell them that’s what you plan on doing. If you are there are instructions hidden in the contract outlining what you should do.

Also there should be a page in your contract telling what types of unit you can trade into if you’re not using yhe actual type of unit you purchased.

They make it very confusing to say the least and just go by what is actually written. Not what sales told you.

Again we are comfortable with our purchase. It just takes a while to figure out the system. I’m still learning after over a year. Lots of folks here that own at Vidanta that will help.
 
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Thanks for all the “heads up” - we have reviewed the contracts in detail tonight (we actually have 3 different contracts for this single purchase) and everything you said appears to be true and not what we understood from our 3 sales folks - disappointing but so thankful that we have all the facts now to make our final decision - we did get a meeting with the VLO for tomorrow (we said we had some questions) so will be a very interesting ...much more informed decision - thanks so much for sharing your experiences!
 

T-Dot-Traveller

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Thanks for all the “heads up” - .....we have all the facts now to make our final decision - we did get a meeting with the VLO for tomorrow (we said we had some questions) so will be a very interesting ...much more informed decision - !
You did not mention the ARP period - advanced reservation period / priority for the contracts and the various weeks .

( Ignoring the upfront $ cost) - the key to best usage is your reservation priority time line - especially for peak snowbird season ( Jan - Mid April ) .

My Mayan Palace registered week has 6months / Aug 1 2019 we can book Feb 2020 weeks .
Grand Luxxe are 12 months . Bonus weeks may vary from this .

If you choose to negotiate with the VLO - make sure this is reviewed to meet your needs .
 
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You did not mention the ARP period - advanced reservation period / priority for the contracts and the various weeks .

( Ignoring the upfront $ cost) - the key to best usage is your reservation priority time line - especially for peak snowbird season ( Jan - Mid April ) .

My Mayan Palace registered week has 6months / Aug 1 2019 we can book Feb 2020 weeks .
Grand Luxxe are 12 months . Bonus weeks may vary from this .

If you choose to negotiate with the VLO - make sure this is reviewed to meet your needs .
Thanks - that part I think we did ok, they gave us 8 months advance. — but I will double check that as well
 

pittle

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Good Luck!
 

echino

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I don't understand what is the value of these contracts if you can consistently exchange into units up to Grand Luxxe, with a total cost of about $1,000 for the week.
 

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The Vida dollars *used* to be basically the SFX Travel Store "rewards dollars". ICE = SFX Travel Store. Many other timeshares (looks like El Cid does as well) use that same web interface/ICE as their "dollars". El Cid would tell you they give you dollar for dollar, which isn't really true (ie, they may "give" you dollar-for-dollar where the 2nd dollar = SFX Travel Store dollars). But the Travel Store/Vida dollars do not equate for dollar for dollar. OR if they do, you're limited to the redemption value you can use.

For example, SFX travel store/ICE lists a Junior Suite at El Cid Ventus (even low season) for around $8,500 (not really sure that's even the Direct Pricing from the Resort/hotel itself, but you never know.) Includes AI for 2 people, BTW. SFX will let you redeem "$6,000" but no more so you end up paying like $1800

Or there's a $4,000 cruise. Let's say you have $12,000 "dollars". You can only take maybe $200 off a balcony or $400 off a suite, but that's it. Can't actually use the whole $12,000 and get a free anything.

I've gotten SOME good deals in the Travel Store, but not always. Sometimes for the Cruises, it's been "ok", but they also won't let you combine any discounts/loyalty (even if it's published on the Cruise website).
 

echino

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If Vida dollars are similar to SFX Travel Store dollars, then their value is approximately Zero. As hurnik said above, SFX travel store prices are crazy high, but they let you use the "dollars" to get a discount. That discount just brings the crazy high price down to a regular price. So in effect, you use the "dollars" for the privilege of paying real cash to buy something from them at a regular price.
 

StructureGuy

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.... and we are here a few more days so absolutely will go back to the lawyer who recorded are conversation ...
It's interesting that they allowed you to record the sales pitch. They knowingly lie about a whole lot of things and then you have to sign the contract saying that nothing verbal counts, only the written contract. And the written contract is a whole different ball game.

I currently have $26,450 Vida Dollars and I will get another $6,000 when I go to Riviera Maya this October.
Ahhh. If only I was allowed to sell them for 10 cents on the dollar, I'd sell them all.
 

T-Dot-Traveller

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......
I currently have $26,450 Vida Dollars and I will get another $6,000 when I go to Riviera Maya this October.
Ahhh. If only I was allowed to sell them for 10 cents on the dollar, I'd sell them all.
Should be worth a couple of cases of (real cane sugar) Mexican Coke - IMO

LOL
 
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T-Dot-Traveller

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..... here a few more days so absolutely will go back to the lawyer who recorded are conversation ...unless the VLO is someone different !
FYI - the person who did the recording may have used the term "attorney " which in Mexico IS NOT synonymous with lawyer .
There is a current Mexican forum thread that includes a discussion of this terminology .
 
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TO ALL: after meeting with the VLO we have cancelled our contract. I do believe in the end, we got a very good deal based on what is possible - however given that we have successfully traded here 3 times on RCI and even with our Mtce fees/RCI membership/RCI Exchange fee/Vida resort fee we are paying about $1,000 for the week here ... this is far below the $1,600+ use fee in the offer and we don’t need to put down another huge investment.

THank you for your feedback and insights - it was VERY HELPFUL in understanding the offer and making the decision for ourselves ... All agree, the Vida dollars are not worth anything and shouldn’t be factored into the financial part of your decision, which we were doing with our assessment ...we do really like these resorts and I look forward to exchanging here in the future .... but not ready to become an owner here!

BTW, we did not record the sales pitch - after we got to final contract and signing we met with a lawyer on site we reviewed the final contract and they recorded our verbal conversation and consent to all T&Cs — so for anyone else considering in the future, make sure you include in the recording the verbal recap and cancellation process so you have options!!!! Hadn’t expected to use the “out clause” but glad we knew how!! Hope you enjoy your vacations!!!
 

MoPops

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Sounds like you made the right decision. Vida dollars are truly worthless. Our sales person said she used them for all her Christmas shopping. Bought her nieces and nephews laptop computers, flat screen televisions etc. That was one of the bigger lies, but only one of many. Great resorts! Horrible sales and marketing strategy!
 

pittle

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Actually, the VLO is the Verification Loan Officer. They are kind of like the Closing Agent you see when you buy a house or car. These folks are not lawyers. I know a person who did that at Mayan World years ago. These people are generally helpful, but will do what they can to get you to keep your contract.

Vacation Lover, I think you made the right decision for now. You have learned a lot and next time, you will know what to expect. You also now have TUG friends to help answer questions! :)
 

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I am currently at the Grand Luxe in Rivera Maya — we have owned timeshares for years and very happy with our current TS which we use via RCI and points - traded here for 3rd time in 8 years - and love Vida resorts - but not sure what to do about the pressure offer — is it really worth the new “ownership model” - they say no Mtce fee - but you have to pay $1,600 for every usage - my primary questions - does anyone have success trading these for other options? ..and what about Vida Dollars - they are offering us $10,000 Vida dollars and saying we can pay for a full vacation - is this true or not???
It's interesting that they allowed you to record the sales pitch. They knowingly lie about a whole lot of things and then you have to sign the contract saying that nothing verbal counts, only the written contract. And the written contract is a whole different ball game.

I currently have $26,450 Vida Dollars and I will get another $6,000 when I go to Riviera Maya this October.
Ahhh. If only I was allowed to sell them for 10 cents on the dollar, I'd sell them all.
1 cent on the dollar would be a good return.
 

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So . . . balloon deflating. :) I was hoping that we could book one vacation OR deposit some weeks and parlay the Vida dollars or SFX dollars into a non-Vidanta trip we want to take next summer. I would love any advice--brand new to Vidanta. Too late to cancel, so I want to figure out how to use this well. What do folks do that is really successful for them? Go to Mexico every year? Thanks. (Also, I don't know how to make this its own post and not just a reply.)
 

pittle

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So . . . balloon deflating. :) I was hoping that we could book one vacation OR deposit some weeks and parlay the Vida dollars or SFX dollars into a non-Vidanta trip we want to take next summer. I would love any advice--brand new to Vidanta. Too late to cancel, so I want to figure out how to use this well. What do folks do that is really successful for them? Go to Mexico every year? Thanks. (Also, I don't know how to make this its own post and not just a reply.)
Mexico is not a bad place to go. We have been many places in our 28 years of timesharing, but decided that we like Mexico the best. :) We have been to Hawaii numerous times, but it takes so long to get there and is so expensive. We found PV that has the same climate and we can get there in less time (especial now that we fly out of Phoenix 2.5 hours) and once we get there, the cost is less than at home! The people are friendly and gracious. Our family like PV the best and we have taken them to Acapulco, Riviera Maya, Cancun, Acapulco, Cabo, Mazatlan and Puerto Penasco. Once the family chose PV, we sold other timeshares and locked in on PV/NV.

Mayan World upper level units are pretty expensive to exchange though. You have to add the exchange fee to your cost to go elsewhere. AND - many places you go do not compare for your costs. :( We got into Mayan World in 1999 because we took a chance on an exchange in Acapulco using a 1-bedroom 2-bath Waikiki timeshare that we had. The Acapulco place was a dump! :eek: We bought at Mayan World because we could move there right away and save our vacation! :) We have never looked back and had some great exchanges when the MF were still under $500, we got really nice exchanges. Now that MF are 3-4 times that, I doubt that is still the case.

We now subscribe to the "Buy where you want to go" concept.

Welcome to TUG! :)
 

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So . . . balloon deflating. :) I was hoping that we could book one vacation OR deposit some weeks and parlay the Vida dollars or SFX dollars into a non-Vidanta trip we want to take next summer. I would love any advice--brand new to Vidanta. Too late to cancel, so I want to figure out how to use this well. What do folks do that is really successful for them? Go to Mexico every year? Thanks. (Also, I don't know how to make this its own post and not just a reply.)
If you're referring to the Vida dollars:

My assumption is based upon them acting like the SFX "dollars" (via the ICE website):

1) I've gotten some decent discounts on car rentals--especially Hawaii and one-way rentals (where you pick up one spot and drop off at another)
2) I've sometimes gotten a decent discount on a hotel room (these are NON REFUNDABLE and you won't get any points with the loyalty program and if it's Hilton, you don't get any of the benefits of your status--so keep that in mind). For example, needed a one night stay at the Hyatt in DFW. With my SFX dollars, I used "$40" to get the rate down to $80 (the cheapest I could find elsewhere was $120). Since we arrived at midnight, we didn't really need any "perks". Now that I'm Hilton Diamond, the free breakfast may be "equal" to the $40 (haha).
3) Sometimes you can get a decent deal on a resort--I was able to pick up a junior suite at the el Cid Ventus in June (yeah, I know) for two people WITH THE AI included for $800 and $5,000 "sfx dollars".
4) Rarely, but sometimes can get a discounted cruise. The big gotcha with the cruise discounts are that you can't (normally) combine any other published discounts or loyalty programs. However, they do sometimes let you combine the Norwegian "3 for free" or whatever with select sailings, and I was able to combine my MSC 10% discount (had to book it first, and then call and they had to call MSC and took the discount from the remaining balance owed). But you can't use like "I'm a Carnival Gold VIP" discount, or anything like that. More often you can get a better rate (but not always) with Cruise Compete or the like.
 
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