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Palace Elite Membership, All Inclusive resort

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Oct 24, 2011
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Palace Elite Membership, All Inclusive resort

Hello
I just purchased palace membership at beach palace resort today. I am not sure if I did a right thing.
So benefit for this is that anybody I refer or myself get 20-30% off of the lowest price available online like Expedia, orbitz...etc

So I did math here:

Expedia vacation package to Sun Palace on September 10th for 7 days.

$1580 CAD per person including flight, resort and tax.... that’s $3160 for 2 adults

Using membership:

$1580USD for room for a week for 2 people which is around $2080CAD.
Flight is around $400-450 per person
That’s $2880-3000 ish for 2 adults..
Plus, there is $99USD reservation fee

Catchy part is that I get 1 week free every 2 refers and I get 1 free week that came with the purchase..
Also any hotels they have contract with like Marriotts, Hilton, sheraton...etc I get $642USD for 1 week fixed rate, standard room

Total cost for this was $6100USD...

I still have 3 days to cancel if I want... do you guys think this is worth it?
20 replies
Deal Addict
Jun 15, 2015
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Mississauga, ON
I really like the Palace Resorts so let me start off by saying that. Fantastic hotels- as well as their sister Hard Rock Resorts. They are expanding as well so that's the good news.

The flip side of the coin- I've never heard anything good come out of timeshare (and I know I know "it's not a timeshare though it's an exclusive membership!"). September is low season so comparing pricing for September is not worth it. What about it you want to go over Christmas? Easter? March Break? Depending on where you live what does that cost + the fees associated with your stay.

So it's $6100 USD = roughly 8k CAD
How many years is that for? Are there yearly/monthly fees? What type of room do you get? Do you get a resort credit? Is it based on double occupancy or can you bring kids? How easy/hard is to make reservations? All other things I would consider.
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Oct 24, 2011
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BrunetteGirl wrote: I really like the Palace Resorts so let me start off by saying that. Fantastic hotels- as well as their sister Hard Rock Resorts. They are expanding as well so that's the good news.

The flip side of the coin- I've never heard anything good come out of timeshare (and I know I know "it's not a timeshare though it's an exclusive membership!"). September is low season so comparing pricing for September is not worth it. What about it you want to go over Christmas? Easter? March Break? Depending on where you live what does that cost + the fees associated with your stay.

So it's $6100 USD = roughly 8k CAD
How many years is that for? Are there yearly/monthly fees? What type of room do you get? Do you get a resort credit? Is it based on double occupancy or can you bring kids? How easy/hard is to make reservations? All other things I would consider.
Hi,
Thanks for reply.
This is good for 25 years, it was $610 deposit and $110 ish monthly. I can choose whatever rooms, but if I go with standard room, i or my referred get 20% if we want upgraded ones, then 30%. Kids under 14 can get in for free.

So every 2 refers I get 1 week free, and 1 refer, I get 3 nights free when I go 7 days. (They call it 7+3 lol)

Hotels, I can get it for 642 fixed

For time wise, there is no limitation except for Christmas time.
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Jun 15, 2015
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ggman8988 wrote: Hi,
Thanks for reply.
This is good for 25 years, it was $610 deposit and $110 ish monthly. I can choose whatever rooms, but if I go with standard room, i or my referred get 20% if we want upgraded ones, then 30%. Kids under 14 can get in for free.

So every 2 refers I get 1 week free, and 1 refer, I get 3 nights free when I go 7 days. (They call it 7+3 lol)

Hotels, I can get it for 642 fixed

For time wise, there is no limitation except for Christmas time.
So wait- you have to refer to get free weeks? Or is that just a bonus. Let's pretend you don't refer anyone.

So $110 usd x 12 months a year = $1800 cad per year
^
What does just this get you? How many nights per year? Or is it just access to a discount? I have a hard time believing you can get "any type" of room?

Do you still get the resort credit?
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Oct 24, 2011
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BrunetteGirl wrote: So wait- you have to refer to get free weeks? Or is that just a bonus. Let's pretend you don't refer anyone.

So $110 usd x 12 months a year = $1800 cad per year
^
What does just this get you? How many nights per year? Or is it just access to a discount? I have a hard time believing you can get "any type" of room?

Do you still get the resort credit?
They gave me 1 week free that I can use anytime
Access to any rooms except for presidential. And discount is 20% for standard room and 30% for any other rooms.
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ggman8988 wrote: They gave me 1 week free that I can use anytime
Access to any rooms except for presidential. And discount is 20% for standard room and 30% for any other rooms.
My thing with resort memberships like this- I just find them restrictive overall. 25 years is a long time- what if you don't want to go to Mexico/Caribbean you get sick of it? You want to go Australia? You want to go on a cruise?

Given that your in Canada and tour operators heavily market this resort I don't see the need to "buy into one" (aka pay them monthly). Airfare realistically is $450 on the low end to $500-$650 on average. Then you have to pay your bag fees/airport transfers/reservation fees which you mentioned is $99. With an ITC package you don't have to worry those little extras. A week in a standard room at a palace resort in Mexico could be bad for anywhere from $1600 or so in low season - $3000+ for peak times like Christmas/NYE (all incl taxes as a package with air). Kids only pay airfare. So use that as your guide as you know when you travel/what you are willing to spend.

My whole thing would be the commitment aspect of the same place every year but that's up to you to decide. I personally have returned to Palace (on personal trips) several times but being able to make a choice is important (like right now with Mexico seaweed issues- we loveee Mexico but decided to go elsewhere for a short weekend Anniversary trip we have coming up).

Is this your first time at a Palace Resort? I assume you can stay at any of them with the membership. Moon Palace although a great place has a terrible horrible beach (and don't believe they are going to "fix" it because it's just the way it is). I like Sun Palace & Playacar Palace best (Beach Palace is just okay IMHO). They have the new Moon Palace in jamaica which is nice but overall their Mexican Resorts are superior. Can you stay at the Hard Rocks too (all the Hard Rocks were Palace resorts once upon a time)
Last edited by BrunetteGirl on Jul 18th, 2018 8:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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ggman8988 wrote: They gave me 1 week free that I can use anytime
Access to any rooms except for presidential. And discount is 20% for standard room and 30% for any other rooms.
In general, such things (timeshare-like) work for user only if you really use it
constantly and constantly spend more and more money.
In several years you will be tired of it. All you vacations have to be around
this staff. Your interest can change, you start diving or skiing, or biking
or your travel companion girlfriend become your wife with 3 kids...

Anyway... Cheers!
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Your price of $6100 is a mediocre deal. I've heard ranges of $3000-$9000 when I was there 2 years ago. Overall it's a terrible deal.

Here's why: you pay the basic membership fee of $6100 + pay for 25 weeks at $1580/week for a total of $45,600 over 25 years. You're locked into the palace resorts in the Cancun area. The rate per week 2 years ago was $1000/week. Air fare is never guaranteed to be $400 return but the sales agents like to use that number. What you pay for the membership is irrelevant to the resort because they pay 40% of it to the agent as commission.

Read your contracts for extra fees like food & beverage fees, resort fees and other hidden fees. Many people have reported that the extra fees make it cheaper to book through any agency.

At least you didn't buy the diamond membership for $25000+ 250 weeks of accommodations. I don't know how people can spend 10 weeks/year there. No, none of my friends have stayed there and probably never will. That's why the referral part is worthless.
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No, Hard Rock is not included but they'll sell you a membership for only $3000+ 20 weeks of accommodations since you're a sucker... Err... Palace member.
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rf134a wrote: Your price of $6100 is a mediocre deal. I've heard ranges of $3000-$9000 when I was there 2 years ago. Overall it's a terrible deal.

Here's why: you pay the basic membership fee of $6100 + pay for 25 weeks at $1580/week for a total of $45,600 over 25 years. You're locked into the palace resorts in the Cancun area. The rate per week 2 years ago was $1000/week. Air fare is never guaranteed to be $400 return but the sales agents like to use that number. What you pay for the membership is irrelevant to the resort because they pay 40% of it to the agent as commission.

Read your contracts for extra fees like food & beverage fees, resort fees and other hidden fees. Many people have reported that the extra fees make it cheaper to book through any agency.

At least you didn't buy the diamond membership for $25000+ 250 weeks of accommodations. I don't know how people can spend 10 weeks/year there. No, none of my friends have stayed there and probably never will. That's why the referral part is worthless.
Thanks for review,
I got 30weeks not 25... haha
Yeah I wish the total amount was lower, I went over contract like 10 times... didn’t see hidden fee just yet.

My friends and I will go to cancun this year and will get 2 free rooms, next year we are thinking GrandMoon at Jamaica.... that’s already 4 rooms free...

Yes 30 weeks, and yes expensive.... but I haven’t figure why people think this is scam.. just yet
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Jul 24, 2003
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ggman8988 wrote: but I haven’t figure why people think this is scam.. just yet
i have no knowledge of this whatsoever. but from what i gather other people are saying, it’s not necessary a scam, but weighing between the price you pay (or another way to look at it, the amount of bargain you will recieve), and the lack of flexibility & long time of commitment, the value is just isn’t there, given packaged vacation deals comes up all the time.

at most, it sounds to me the deal may be save u a few hundred bucks a year but u would be stuck with this brand for two and a half decades plus the financial commitment.
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Jun 15, 2015
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ggman8988 wrote: Thanks for review,
I got 30weeks not 25... haha
Yeah I wish the total amount was lower, I went over contract like 10 times... didn’t see hidden fee just yet.

My friends and I will go to cancun this year and will get 2 free rooms, next year we are thinking GrandMoon at Jamaica.... that’s already 4 rooms free...

Yes 30 weeks, and yes expensive.... but I haven’t figure why people think this is scam.. just yet
Scam is a strong word. You are paying for something and get something so that's not a scam. I cringe when that word is thrown around (especially in travel) when the majority of the time it's due to not understanding the fine print or lack of research.

Restrictions? Hidden fees? Value? That's the element that has to be weighed and can be based on a personal choice and this "membership" may not be for everyone.

I will tell you honestly I've never heard anything good come out of anyone buying a timeshare/membership on their trip (and lots of fabuolous resort chains have them). My husband and I used to really enjoy the Karisma Resorts (El Dorado) in Mexico. I think we stayed there 20 times in a span of 5-6 years. We once met a couple who were members who raved about it and we sat through the timeshare presentation. Within 2 hours the price changed several times and ofcourse being a contracter for resorts I knew what I would be paying there. The couple we met were from Florida so there 1.5 hour flight to Cancun made more sense. Out last trip there was in 2015 and there was a huge decline in the resort quality and we have never returned. Had we been "locked in" this would be a problem for us.

Just food for throught - be on top of it if you do decide to cancel as I've heard a lot of problems with that "grace period". Coming back and obtaining legal council to sue these memberships will be costly and difficult as the legal system in Mexico is a headache.
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Jul 21, 2005
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I bought into something similar, Privilege Club, at Bahia Principe, and I don't think it's really worth it. There is no actual money savings at the end of the day, but you do get some benefits that you wouldn't otherwise, but on the flip side, it does kind of restrict you to where you can go, as I much rather use my benefits than to go explore elsewhere, so that's always the negative. We are in like year 6 of our membership which is good for 30 years, and we do use it every year for our yearly Mexico/Dominican/Jamaica whatever trips, although they have some resorts in Spain as well that we plan on going sometime as well. So end of day, it's better benefits but money savings there is none, or very little.

For example, with Privilege Club we get the following things:
- unlimited a la carte restaurants
- use of special Privilage club Club carts to get around
- Unlimited access to anywhere on any resort, in the case where there are multiple resorts within the same complex, like in Mexico for example, can go to any restaurant in the whole 5 hotel resort, so we usually go to the super fancy buffets at the most expensive Don Pablo Collection resorts, despite staying at a more normal resort, as it's cheaper to stay there but still get the full benefits.
- Private beach for Privilege Club members, great as you don't really have to fight for a spot on the beach
- Premium alcohol at Privilege Club beach, not just the cheap stuff
- Privilege lounge is great, unlimited international calls + internet, always snacks and food there, personalized service with concierge.

So overall, there is some benefits for us at least and we do feel like royalty when there, but it's also not necessary and we could have just as good a time without all those extras, and the cost is roughly the same when you could the initial fee divided by 30 weeks. I wouldn't do it again simply because I don't really want to go to same place multiple times, but on the flip side, we get so familiar with a place it's like home away from home, and we just relax for the whole week or two every year, it's a nice change from our yearly 3-week long intense travel trips to Brazil last year for example, or Russia for the world cup this year, completely different and relaxing.

If you don't immediately see the value, and can pull out, I would.
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Looks like it's been covered that it's not a scan but a poor value.

Don't forget that the hot resort and area can change as well. Acapulco was the hot spot until the 80s. Then it became Cancun. Now it's the Riviera Maya. According to my Mexican friend, Huatulco is trying really hard to attract the family market. We all change and may have a need for a different chain as our family and personal circumstances change.
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Newbie
Dec 29, 2018
1 posts
We just bought into it and are considering canceling it. Where do you find terms that will allow you to rescind within 3 days?
Newbie
Dec 30, 2018
1 posts
How long does one have to cancel the membership if they just signed up? I’m still at the resort and would like to do so immediately.
Newbie
Jun 9, 2019
1 posts
As a Diamond Member, still happy with the investment after 7 years, the cost/benefit is never going to be a great deal. It's either a fair deal or you got taken. It all comes down to how much you like the resorts, what benefits you get and whether they live up to their contract, and how they make you feel when you are there. I'll get more than 3/4 of the investment back easy with the value of the pre-paid weeks purchased. The rest is the value of being confident you will be treated like a king when you are there and having the time/family/friends to use the resorts system over a longer period of time when you pay a discounted price. Can you spend less money for more vacations in the same places without being a member? Of course. But, if you like feeling like you have a lot of extra places where you feel at home where you will always be happy and treated well--and that means something to you--it's worth considering.
Newbie
Mar 2, 2020
1 posts
Realize it's been over 2 years but curious to find out what did you end up doing with your membership? Also, do you get 1 week per year for the USD110/month you pay? Did they offer you an option to
take something less than 10 years? We just returned from our trip and had chatted with few members and curious to learn a bit more.
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No, time shares are almost always a losing proposition. Unless you like being locked into a specific resort/chain, it's cheaper to book through regular channels. Mot of the package costs are flights, so it doesn't make sense for most Canadians.
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