Our first timeshare consisted of 7000 points in the Hilton Grand Vacation Club deeded at the Flamingo Hilton Timeshare in Las Vegas back in 1998. We were on a vacation to Las Vegas and got trapped into a timeshare sales presentation, which was really okay, because we were curious about timeshares.
We loved everything about the Hilton timeshare: its location, accommodations, activities and the concept of trading into other locations– but we didn’t like the price. We came very close to buying, but kept our cool and said we would think about it. We went home, did our homework, and ended up buying resale.
We still own that timeshare and use the points every year. It does a number of things for us that none of our other 14 timeshares can do. For example, if you want to get into Marco, Sanibel or Captiva Island timeshares, about the only way to do it without actually owning there is by owning in the Hilton system.
We have also used it to get into the Hilton timeshares in Hawaii, both on the Big Island as well as Oahu. Traditionally, they were hard trades to get, although it has recently become easier because more systems have built there. But it has worked well for us.
We have written a couple of articles about our stays in Hilton timeshares that you might find interesting: Click here to go to our category Hilton Timeshares.
You can also borrow points ahead or bank your points forward. This gives you greater flexibility in planning your vacations. Another nice feature is you can turn your points into Hilton Honor Points and then use those points to stay in Hilton hotels where there are no timeshares. We have done this on a couple of vacations and it worked great.
The system is points-based and is very easy to use and understand. All of their timeshares are top-of-the-line and include around 20 resorts and 30 affiliated resorts. They have resorts in Orlando, Las Vegas, New York, South Beach, California, Colorado, and Hawaii. The affiliated resorts are located in additional areas in Florida, Mexico, Portugal and Scotland. The maintenance fees are somewhat high— about $900.00 for our points, per year. We can usually use the points to get two weeks of vacation time a year, so when you look at it that way, the fees are not really that high.
You can also, like most large timeshare systems, use your points for airline travel, cruise travel, etc. We have not done any of these and don’t think that is a good use of your points. HGVC has the usual time table for booking into resorts: 12 months out for your home resort, 9 months for all other Club resorts and a 30-day window where you can stay for points or cash.
We think you should purchase the most points in a unit that you can afford as the maintenance fees in the Hilton system are based on the unit, not on a per point calculation. Thus, for a 3 bedroom in red time (about 9200 points), you would pay the same maintenance fees as for a studio in blue time (about 3600 points).
Hilton Grand Vacation Club is associated with the RCI trading system. You can move your points into RCI and book some two years out with over 4000 additional resorts available to you. It is easy to trade into the RCI system using the following Hilton points to trade: 4800 points for red time in a 2 bedroom, 3400 points for red time in a 1 bedroom and 2400 points for a studio. These points vary if you book in white time, blue time, or do nightly stays.
The current resale price for Hilton Grand Vacation Club is running $1.00 to $1.50 per point. There are various resale sites on the internet, as well as eBay. We have heard good things about resales from Seth Nock with http://www.myresortnetwork.com/.
When you buy from the developer, they are running about $4.00 per point, depending on the resort, with some bonus Hilton Honor points thrown in. There seems to be little advantage to warrant buying from the developer. They do have an elite status that you get if own 1400 points, all bought from the developer, not resale. You do get a few perks with the elite status, but it’s not worth it in our opinion.
We have enjoyed our Hilton Grand Vacation Club timeshare over the years and look forward to many more great Hilton vacations. If you have questions, let us know, and we will try to help.