We recently stayed at the Hyatt Place Los Cabos in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico (review coming shortly). On the second day of our stay, we met a couple at our hotel pool who said they had just gone on a timeshare tour of the Zoëtry Casa del Mar Los Cabos hotel, and that they received a ticket to go on a sunset dinner cruise as their gift. My ears perked up. The thought of attending a timeshare tour of a Cabo property had not previously crossed my mind but I was particularly interested especially since the Zoëtry hotels, part of the AMR Collection, recently joined World of Hyatt. The couple told us that they had scheduled the tour via the gentleman who sits in the lobby at the Hyatt Place selling or promoting Cabo events and tours. I quickly made my way out to the lobby and signed us up for the next morning’s tour! I should have asked for details on the possible gifts (he had a book containing a list of the compensations available) but I really wanted the SunRider Sunset Dinner Cruise so we quickly settled on that (along with a bottle of tequila).
At 10 a.m. the next morning, we were picked up from our hotel by taxi.
Upon arrival, we were greeted by a number of people, and brought into an office. We were told that they’d want to see our IDs and a credit card (just to see that we had a current credit card – not for any payment). This part was very short – just a meet and greet.
We were introduced to a young woman who’s name began with an A. A escorted us to a restaurant area near the beach for our complementary breakfast. On the way, we passed through the grounds of the hotel. The property is absolutely beautiful. However, the place seemed more serene and oddly more quiet than I had envisioned of an all-inclusive Cabo resort. (I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing).
We arrived at the beachfront dining area. A joined us for breakfast. She asked us about how much we spent on vacations, but other than that, seemed to speak with us about everything except the reason we were there.
Breakfast was mediocre at best. When we finished, A suggested that we leave a few dollars on the table as a tip for the servers.
A then took us back towards the main building. We sat with her at a round table and she proceeded to tell us a little about the timeshare ownership offered by Globequest Travel Club, part of AMR Collection. The presentation was confusing – as A drew magic marker circles on the laminated sheet. There were a number of Cabo properties owned by one entity (including the airport, Vidante, Secrets, Dreams, Hilton and Zoëtry), but if you bought a share, you could go anywhere in the world. I was repeatedly told that the plan was not a timeshare, but rather a private residence or vacation club (but if it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then . . . ).
Although A (and later B and C), tried to tell us how economical their membership was, I repeatedly said that they had failed to show me how I would be better off buying into their program instead of using the traditional hotel model for my stays at these hotels.
One thing A did not discuss was the price. That was for the next person, a personable gentleman, whom I’ll call B, who sat down with us and started throwing out numbers and special offers (i.e., (a) if you buy now, you get 2 weeks per year, rather than 1 week, and (b) if you want to only use one week per year, we’ll pay you $3,000 for the use of your second week).
On our way to our third meeting (with C), we walked through this room where a few other meetings were taking place.
At this point, A took us to a third area. On the way, I said that I was surprised that we had not been shown any of the residences in question. After all, I would think that would be one of the first things a potential purchaser would be shown. I was even more surprised when A blurted to me If I show you an apartment, will that change your mind to purchase today? I said that I needed to think about it and might be interested in the future, but would not be purchasing today. She did not show me any residences.
At the final seating area, we met C, who took care of the exit matters – he asked me to fill out an exit survey, and then gave us the voucher for our sunset cruise and a bottle of tequila, and called a taxi for us.
I honestly had no idea that so many all-inclusive properties were owned in this manner. In review, the employees we met were all very pleasant and their presentations, although confusing, were not particularly hard or pushy. A was sweet, but inexperienced, only working there for a few weeks, and I think she got baffled when asked questions outside the script of what she’d been taught.