Accor Vacation Club Review

Accor Vacation Club Review 2020

If you’re about to go to an Accor vacation club preview session or looking at buying into the club this could be the most important thing you read. Accor vacation club review 2020

If you have had any interaction with Accor or you have an upcoming preview meeting booked I’m going to give you my experience as well as what I have learned after personally being in the Accor platinum membership. I will also reference some of my friends experience with Accor.

The idea of this article is to give you more real world experience so if you are looking at joining Accor Vacation Club OR Accor in general you will be more well informed.

I will outline the:

  1. Sales process
  2. Property Case Studies
  3.  Membership Levels
  4. Things that can catch you out
  5. After sales experience
  6. Who the membership suits & Who it does not

 

  1. The Sales Process for AccorVacationClub

So in my experience you will be targeted to fit into a certain demographic then you will receive a call offering you some really cheap accomodation in a really good apartment usually in the city or one of the better properties, the only catch being you have to attend a 90 minute presentation…… no stress. When I was exposed to this I think we stayed at the Sebel in Melbourne for 2 nights at a cost of $99 or something close to free, that was the good bit. The 90 minute plus high pressure sales meeting was what made it a bit stressful for us, It was really high pressure and the maths they use seems to make sense on the spot during the sales process and they ferociously try and get you to commit there and then so you cant go and do any of your own maths. One thing they leave out of the calculations during the sales session is the cost to maintain the membership which you are obliged to maintain for around 80 years at approximately $1000 a year or more. So at a minimum you will be spending around $40k or $40000 to purchase the membership PLUS $80k or $80000 to maintain the membership. So at a minimum you have signed up to spend $120k with Accor. It’s not all bad though, if you the right person you get about 10 nights accomodation a year at some pretty good properties that the club owns.

Note: During the sales session we were lead to believe that the club owned all of the buildings and that we would get access to all of the buildings but after further investigation I found that the club owns small portions of the properties they show you (see “Sebel Manly” Case Study). 

 

Case Study – Property – Sebel Manly 

Note: This is one of the better properties in my opinion and a great spot if you can get a good Room.

Here is an example of how they represent the properties they have as part of the Accor vacation club properties and the actual truth of what is available to you as a member.

So The Sebel has 83 rooms in six categories, ranging from Superior Rooms (all in the South Tower) to One and Two-Bedroom Ocean View Apartments

Accor Vacation Club Has 22 of the 83 rooms, Not the whole 83 as you may be led to believe during the sales pitch. Many of the 22 rooms that belong to the club are in the south tower ( picture included below ). I personally would not want to stay in the south tower under any circumstances.

 

If you are lucky enough to book one of the ocean view apartment well done for a start BUT! there is ocean view, then there is ocean view. My idea of ocean view is you are looking directly at the ocean, this isn’t always the case particularly in the case of the Accor vacation club (included images of “ocean view”)

 

ACCOR VACATION CLUB REVIEW SEBEL MANLY 1ACCOR VACATION CLUB REVIEW PROPERTY MANLY SEBEL

 

sebel manly review of accor vacation club

 

ACCOR VACATION CLUB REVIEW SOUTH TOWER MANLY

Beautifully updated facade and foyer 2020

see the link at the bottom for more photos and information on this property

PROS:

  • Great position in Manly for accomodation
  • The actual ocean view rooms are fantastic
  • Staff are excellent
  • Facade and lobby are nice
  • Free Parking & Wifi (usual cost $30 a day)
  • Great Restaurants and cafes nearby

CONS:

  • In my opinion any room thats not a proper ocean view room is not worth bothering with
  • The south tower is terrible
  • The ability to get a good room is severely limited. If your lucky you may be able to upgrade once you’re there but it’s up to Chance.

Case Study – Property – Lake Crackenback

I believe that Lake Crackenback resort is one of accor vacation club’s best offerings if not the best one outright.

Once again the club only owns a handful of the rooms on the property, you would be forgiven for thinking that they owned the entire place and it would be at your disposal as a club member.

Actual Accor Vacation Club Accomodation Inventory at Lake Crackenback Resort
Expanded View Of Lake Crackenback Property
Example of accomodation standard at Lake Crackenback

At last check Accor Vacation club members get access to

  • 3 – 3 bedroom Apartments
  • 3 – 2 Bedroom Apartments
  • 3 – 1 bedroom apartments

For this reason if you want any flexibility when booking you will need to book 12 months in advance, I will cover this in the membership rundown on point 3.

This property is really really good particularly if your into skiing, mountain biking, hiking, nature walks and being active. There is so much to do there, plenty of activities if you have kids and the restaurant is pretty good as well.

The accomodation is quite up to date as well, we usually get the 1 bedroom as it has 2 single beds and a full size bedroom with 2 bathrooms so it’s pretty good for a few people and being on the lake is beautiful.

One of the big attractions here for me is access to the Thredbo ski-tube which means you have great access to thredbo for skiing compared to every other location apart from being on the actual mountain at thredbo (expensive).

This property also represents good value for your maintenance fee IF YOU CAN ACTUALLY BOOK.

PROS: – I love this place

  • Great for family’s and groups
  • The rooms are great
  • Staff are excellent
  • Access to Thredbo
  • Mountain biking
  • Activities
  • Free parking
  • Decent Restaurant
  • Excellent value accomodation

CONS:

  • If travelling from the south it is an epic mission to get to
  • No Room Servicing unless you stay something like 8 days
  • Ability to book is extremely limited
  • Ability to book is extremely limited ( extremely)….

Accor Vacation Club Membership Levels

Below is a complete overview of all the Accor Vacation Club Membership Levels, I will include the financial commitment approximation below for each level and focus on the Platinum Membership Level for 3 Important reasons.

I will also cover AHS Hotel Developer Benefits in this section of the article

  • Most People will usually have a platinum level membership
  • The Levels before platinum in my opinion are not worth owning. This is because the booking windows for the memberships below platinum are restricted meaning you only get to choose from the scraps that the platinum members didn’t want
  • Anybody that purchased anything above a Platinum most probably has more money than they know what to do with or they purchased the membership second hand or inherited it.
  • Bronze – 2,300 points – 24 months Validity – 2 cleans –
  • Silver – 3,000 – 24 months Validity – 2 cleans
  • Gold 4,000 – 24 months – 2 cleans
  • All Platinum have a validity of 27 months & 2 cleans
  • Platinum 5 – 5000 points
  • Platinum 6 – 6000 points
  • Platinum 7 – 7000 points
  • Platinum 8 – 8000 points
  • Platinum 9 – 9000 points
  • All Traveller Level Memberships have 27 month points validity and between 4 and 6 cleans, the levels in bold come with 6 cleans. and a points allocation corresponding to the number X 1000 per year.
  • Traveller 10
  • Traveller 11
  • Traveller 12
  • Traveller 13
  • Traveller 14
  • Traveller 15
  • Traveller 16
  • Traveller 17
  • Traveller 18
  • Traveller 19
  • Corporate 20,000 points – 27 months validity – 8 cleans
  • Corporate 25,000 points – 27 months validity – 8 cleans plus an additional 2 cleans per 5000 points owned.

Booking Window – Very Important!!!

Please make note that only Platinum 5 membership and up can book 12 months out which means they have the greatest chance of getting bookings at desirable locations.

Cost of Membership Purchase – Accor Vacation CLUB

If you attend a sales consultation, they will use a number of persuasive methods to get you on board on that day, things like a free holiday etc etc. If you don’t have the money they will try and get you to finance it. They have every question answered in the presentation.

Below is a chart of the purchase cost for each membership option. This does not include the next 60 years of fees you are obligated to pay once you sign on. Your membership lasts until 2080.

Below I will list a number of the other “benefits” that come with membership if purchased New at the premiums above.

AHS – Accor Hotel Select (only available if you bought new or inherited)

There is another complete range of hotels other than the 20+ club properties that you can self book at via the members portal. Depending on what level of membership you have allows you to book with points at these extra hotels.

The hotels in the AHS selection only get really good in my opinion at corporate level where you get limited access to the Accor Hotel Select Elite, hotels like the Sofitel in Bali and alike. If you have a spare 100k to drop on a membership and $4400 per year in fees, you’re probably going to be used to Sofitel or better anyhow.

( Note: If you bought a corporate membership today and fees didn’t go up your total cost would be $366,000 in today’s money lol)

Bonus Time Accommodation

If you meet a number of strict criteria you may be able to book bonus time at one of the properties, I have found this option to be more useful i the sales pitch than actually useful to members. The times I have bothered to call and there has been bonus time available by the time you muck around the savings are barely worthwhile but I’ll list how it works anyhow.

Sometimes the Club has unused available rooms at Club Property. As an added bonus for Members, when there are unused rooms available, the Club sometimes offers these rooms to Members to purchase at a discounted rate. Members do not use Periodic Première Points for Bonus Time
Accommodation but instead pay a cash rate.

The charge for Bonus Time Accommodation is calculated using the number of Periodic Première Points a Member would need to stay in the particular accommodation at a conversion rate of AUD 16 cents per point with a minimum charge of $75

Example: If it cost 2,520 points to stay for three nights mid week in a two bedroom Australian Club Apartment, then the Bonus Time cost would be AUD$403.20 for the three nights.

1.All Club Fees must be fully paid and up to date, and finance payments (if any) not be in arrears, at the time of booking and check-in;

2. Bookings are for short stays of two, three or four nights only;

3. Bookings are made last minute and reservations by Members for their own stays can only be made up to 14 days before check-in;

4. Reservations by Members for their Guests can only be made up to 5 days before check-in;

5. Only one Bonus Time Accommodation Reservation may be reserved at any one time per Membership;

6. Generally no refunds are permitted on cancellation of Bonus Time Accommodation bookings.

Things That Can Catch You Out – Things To Consider

  • I think the main thing that can catch you out is being put under pressure to buy something at a premium on the spot that you don’t really understand
  • Booking short stays and having your cleaning credits reduced at a cost of around $135. I did this for a one night stay in Melbourne, I also had to pay for parking so might has well have stayed at the Sofitel or somewhere else for a little more and saved the cleaning credit for a week or more stay somewhere else.
  • Getting booked in with a consultant while your on a holiday so he/she can show you how to get the most from your membership. This is another high pressure sales session to get you to upgrade, once again they will use every trick in the book to get you to buy more points. My advice is give it a miss
  • Points expire if not used meaning if you don’t use them it makes for an expensive passive financial burden
  • Your apartments are not serviced like you might be used to so just something to think abut.
  • If you decide you want to stop being in the club you can sell your membership BUT DON”T expect to get much more than 5K for it on the secondhand market. In fact this is probably the best way to buy a membership you just miss out on the AHS developer benefits which are a bit of a crock of shit in my experience (as in you can usually do better on the open market) I have not been able to use any of the AHS benefits on our family membership.
  • Booking window, If you really want to go somewhere the earlier you book the better otherwise you’ll be booking your trip based on availability and not what suits you which is not the way to go in my opinion.

After Sales Experience

  • The properties within the club. Some are good some are not so good, there are only a few that I would bother using due to location and quality. An example of this is I like staying at Manly BUT It’s only worth going if you can get a beach front room. SEE Case Study
  • Staff and customer service. Very helpful and friendly in my experience.
  • The business model seems to treat the club members as the bottom feeders of the cash flow of the business, this is just the feeling I get when looking at all the Accor accomodation inventory and the actual rooms, apartments etc that are available to club members. An example of this is the Mercure in the gold coast. The club gets use of the 2 blocks right down the back in the boon docks. Another thing that gives you this feeling is when you see availability online but as a club member you cannot access through AHS or Club points.

Who the membership suits & Who it does not

Accor Vacation Club Suits You if:

You like going to the same places each year and are happy to book 12 months in advance.

I find it works really well if you like skiing or surfing each year and you know when you will be able to go 12 months in advance.

If you like staying in the same accomodation at the same spots and don’t have a zest for variety i.e. You like to know what your getting in advance

You have the stability financially to commit to yearly club fees of at least $1000

Accor Vacation Club Doesn’t Suit You if:

You like trying new spots where they don’t have properties

You like to explore different accomodation types

You need flex-ability around where and when to book your holidays

You do short trips

You don’t want to invest 30-100K in holidays in a lump sum with ongoing yearly fees of around 1k – 4.5k

That concludes the article review on Accor Vacation club 2020. I hope you found it useful.

If your looking at buying an Accor vacation club membership I suggest you buy a Platinum 5 secondhand on gumtree for 5-10k and forgo the AHS so called benefits.

If you have any questions or comments leave them below the video and we can chat there. Including if you want help with this.

Cheers,

Brent Clayton

www.brentclayton.com

https://www.oyster.com/sydney/hotels/the-sebel-manly-beach/photos/

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