There is absolutely no question that there are many, many outstanding resorts within the RCI system. When you take a timeshare vacation, your opinion of the resort is probably based on many different aspects of your resort experience.
For example, you may have thoroughly enjoyed the activities at your resort, and thus, that particular resort stands out in your mind as being one of the nicest ones. Or the resort that you visit may have great amenities—swimming pools, hot tubs, basketball courts, walking paths, etc. Because you frequently used and enjoyed the amenities, you might label the resort as one of your favorites.
This article deals with the best timeshare resorts that we have stayed at, but we will not deal with activities or amenities. We’ll save those aspects for later posts. This article will deal solely with the actual units that we stayed in. Obviously, the “best resorts” will have fantastic units, fantastic amenities, fantastic activities, fantastic staff, etc.—the whole package. But this post will talk about amazing rooms or units that we enjoyed so much, we didn’t want to leave! In fact, the operative phrase was, “I could live here!”
Ram’s Horn, Estes Park, CO Hands down, this unit wins the prize for superlative décor! Quality furnishings are everywhere within the 2-story unit. The theme is kind of a Mountain/Native American/Western one, and even the bedspreads and furniture reflect this. Complete with fireplace and outdoor deck, some units are duplexes, some are stand-alones. They sleep 6-8, with full kitchen. The only downside is that there is no laundry within the unit, but there is one located by the activities room and it is free. Rocky Mountain National Park is in the backyard. You could not find a cozier, more welcoming, cabin-like atmosphere than this!
Wyndham Kona Hawaiian Village, Kailua-Kona, HI Located on the Big Island, these units look like traditional Hawaiian thatched huts, with an upper and lower unit in each hut. But the “huts” are air-conditioned, and extremely comfortable. Actually, the entire place reflects the 1950’s retro Hawaiian look, and has sacred burial grounds within the resort. The décor even travels to the bathroom, where a bamboo shower door and clawfoot tub (with Jacuzzi) greet you. The 2 bedrooms and sleeper sofa can accommodate 6 guests and the large kitchen features a breakfast bar. The highlight of the unit is the very large and beautiful lanai, complete with dining room table and chairs. Tropical foliage is abundant, and offers a tranquil and pleasant ambiance so that you can rest up for exploring paradise!
The Rushes, Bailey’s Harbor (Door County) WI If you ever have a chance to trade into this resort, do it! This place features cozy duplex homes set on Kangaroo Lake. Downstairs is a living room with fireplace, kitchen and dining area, guest bedroom and a full bath with laundry. Upstairs is a HUGE master bedroom, balcony, and a full bath. There is a large deck off the dining room with a gas grill, and a one-car garage with door opener. The décor is beautiful, featuring local artwork. The lake is only footsteps away, unless you have a woodsy view, which is also beautiful.
Door County is amazing during the summer months, but many of the stores and businesses are closed during the winter. We’ve been lucky to pull a couple of June trades, but things don’t really start happening until July or August.
Disney’s Kidiani Animal Kingdom Village (Buena Vista, FL) This resort convinced us to buy a Disney timeshare—they just seem to do everything right! Here, you can take a trip into African culture without ever leaving Florida. Is it perfect? No. But we felt so much more culturally aware for having stayed here. Many criticize the resort for being somewhat dark inside—it is—but they do a darn good job of convincing you that you are in an African tribal village with the lit torches and African artifacts and artwork.
The lobby is amazing, and the hallways are covered with African proverbs. The onsite restaurant, Boma, serves delicious African dishes. Students from Africa, who are here on work/study programs, appear frequently in their native dress. They sometimes do presentations for guests, or just answer questions. And the animals on the safari outside are just too fantastic to describe. When we sat on our balcony, we were virtually 30 feet away from giraffes, elands, zebras and ostriches, to name just a few. Our one bedroom unit had 2 baths—what a novel concept!
You can actually sleep 5 with a king bed, sleeper sofa and sleeper chair. The furnishings are gorgeous—the kind you are tempted to take home. (Notice, I said “tempted.”) The king bedspread was phenomenal—a thick, downy comforter in a Kente cloth pattern that I figured must have cost at least $350! There was even a fold-up crib and high chair in the unit. The furniture and carpeting were African-inspired, and even the Jacuzzi in the bathroom/laundry area had classy African tiles. The carpeting in the hallways looked African, and if you looked closely you could see a Mickey now and then. He certainly deserves a lot of credit for developing this wonderful resort!
Wyndham Flagstaff, Flagstaff,
AZ This jewel of a resort is the closest one to the Grand Canyon, which alone is a great reason to stay there. It is much higher in elevation than Phoenix or Sedona, and thus it is not your typically warm Arizona town. In fact, many who live in Arizona go there to escape the terrible summer temperatures. Anyway, Wyndham Flagstaff has many different styles of units, and we will only discuss the type that we stayed in. It is a 2+ bedroom that sleeps 8-10. The plus part is an upstairs loft that would be great for kids, but unfortunately there is no bathroom up there. However, the main floor has 2 full baths, a huge kitchen and dining area, large living room with fireplace, laundry, and 2 bedrooms.
But the best part is outside, because you have a large deck with your own, private hot tub! And most of these units have an absolutely spectacular view of Humphrey Mountain!
Regal Vistas at Massanutten, Massanutten, VA We recently wrote a post about this resort, and rather than repeating it, you can access a video tour right here. The resort is very similar to The Rushes, with side-by-side duplexes, only these units are in a regular-looking, gated community. You’d never know these were timeshares!
The Miners’ Club (Raintree), Park City, Utah Somehow, we managed to acquire a 4 bedroom unit at this resort. And yes, there were only 2 of us. Usually we like getting a 2 bedroom, because then we have 2 baths, but we were feeling pretty guilty about 4 bedrooms and 4 baths. We called ahead, and asked if they had a nice 2-bedroom that we could occupy instead, thinking that maybe they could let a larger family use the 4 bedroom unit. They said that it was okay, this was a great unit, and we should just enjoy it—so we did!
Like some of the previous resorts, the décor was spectacular. This was a townhouse type unit (up and down) with the main floor housing the master bedroom (with fireplace) and a second bedroom. There were 2 baths, living room with fireplace, dining area and kitchen. You could enter a balcony through the sliding glass door in the living room, where you could sit in the evening and watch torch lights come on next door at the Ritz Carlton. There was also a small deck. Upstairs there were 2 additional bedrooms, all beautifully decorated, and 2 baths. There was also a “family room” type area outside of the bedrooms.We pretty much got lost in this place, and we almost never went upstairs!
What a gorgeous unit this would be for a family of, say, eight! We’ll probably never have as nice and big a place again, unless we get one of those cool villas on Disney property. All of these timeshares provided amazing accommodations, and we strongly suggest that if you have an opportunity to trade into one, you do so.
However, a lot more goes into the making of an excellent timeshare than creating nice places to eat and sleep. Most of these mentioned were also excellent in other ways—amenities, activities, and friendly and helpful staff. (Notice, I said “most.”) The important thing is to always check out the reviews because what matters most to you as far as a quality timeshare may be very different from someone else’s likes and dislikes. Generally speaking, we have found the TUG reviews to be much more comprehensive than the RCI ones, but also more critical—but personally, I’d rather have more information than not enough.
If you have a favorite timeshare, please share it with us! Stay tuned for future posts about some of the best RCI timeshares!