One problem with vacation property is that unless you’re retired or have an extremely flexible working situation, that cottage in the Hamptons or ski chalet in Aspen may start to collect dust while you’re consumed with the time constraints that go along with work and family. Until we wise up and figure out how to vacation like the Europeans (and have a workweek like the French), leisure time becomes more precious for those of us on this side of the pond.
This was one of the realizations that the founders of Exclusive Resorts came to in 2002 while vacationing in Hawaii. Brothers Brad and Brent Handler and their families had outgrown the typical hotel suite. And Brad, who was in the market for a vacation home, wasn’t sure where he wanted to settle. Brent, on the other hand, was considering putting his second home on the market because his family wasn’t using it enough. And that’s when the idea for Exclusive Resorts was born.
The concept combines the best of luxury hotel amenities with luxury residences around the world. To me that’s one of the keys-the properties are around the world. “No honey, I can’t do Tuscany again this year. Too many of our neighbors. How about Great Exuma?”
Maybe when you’re not boating, skiing is your thing. Why not indulge in residences in some of the world’s best ski resorts at Lake Tahoe, Beaver Creek, Telluride, Jackson Hole, Deer Valley, and one of my favorites, Whistler in British Columbia?
They also have properties in metropolitan areas like New York, San Francisco, London and Paris. And the beach properties include some of the most special hideaways in the world, such as Little Dix Bay, Los Cabos and Hawaii’s Kohala Coast.
The median value of each residence is over $2.5 million and members pay a one-time membership fee that is 80 percent refundable on resignation. Annual usage plan dues will vary depending upon the number of days you choose to purchase each year. By limiting the amount of memberships, Exclusive Resorts can offer its members anytime, anywhere access.
If you thought that this was just a pumped-up time-share program, you would be mistaken. In addition to showcase residences, the company offers concierge-like services including pre-arrival grocery shopping, private chefs and arranging reservations for golfing, skiing or spa visits. Better yet, if you want to avoid taking your shoes off for the umpteenth time and stripping down in front of long security lines, members can take advantage of Exclusive’s partnership with Marquis Jets.
In addition to the 200 residences currently in its portfolio, the company is adding new homes each month and claims between $22 and $38 million in membership deposits are being added each month on average. No wonder Steve Case, founder of AOL, is now a significant investor in the company.
Exclusive Resorts, (800) 447-8988; www.exclusiveresorts.com.