Top Eight Destination Clubs
- M Private Residences
- The Oyster Circle
- Exclusive Resorts
- Abecrombie & Kent
- Equity Estates
Given how badly the industry has been beaten up since the real estate market soured, it's simply a marvel that we have at least eight clubs still around.
Why should North America get all of the fun? This is Europe's high-end offering.
Second in size to Exclusive as a non-equity club, Quintess also operates the entry-level DUO club. The two clubs have reciporicity.
Marriott's fancy Ritz-Carlton brand is the biggest name in this space, though it arrived toward the end of the concept's heyday. Ritz-Carlton's financial stability would deem it to have a higher rank on this list, but the properties aren't the iconic ones that pure clubs have. This is more, at times, like a high-end timeshare or a fractional residence club.
The largest of the clubs, fronted by former AOL head Steve Case. It would rank higher, but the club has grown so large that it has to buy properties in bulk, making it feel less exclusive.
A new concept in 2011, where members pay just $15,000 to join and then have access to destination club-style concierge services at a growing portfolio of properties. Consider it more like VRBO.com or HomeAway with pampering and guidance.
A&K threw its name behind a destination club pioneer that wetn under, so a few years later it acquired some equity clubs and decided to give it a go with an equity model.
There have been way too many bankruptcies in the destination club space, so it pays to know what you're getting into. Equity Estates is an equity-based club, with plans to liquidate at a set time in the future and gains (if any) will be distributed at the time. Consider it closer to a REIT with vacation rights.
List by: Rick Munarriz
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Photo Courtesy: Ekem