Our hostess Yumi Ishida met us promptly at 1PM for our tour of the timeshare in Phuket. She is a very well spoken Japanese transplant with 8 years in Thailand. Yumi ( pronounced You Me) is fluent in Japanese and English and admits to being 50% fluent in Thai. That gets her the local prices when shopping.
Yumi explained that the Phuket property is the first one completed of the Asian Pacific group which consists of 22 properties including one in Hawaii and believe it or not, one in Las Vegas, NV????
After our “get to know one another” 20 minutes we headed by golf cart to the very nicely done 2 bedroom two bath units in the new section of the timeshare development. The original section, adjacent to the hotel, is 100% sold out and the next phase is about 1/4 mile down the road. The units are bright, airy and well appointed. The ground floor units have a small pool and the upper floors have a covered patio.
Pricing is on a points basis with 47 years remaining on the lease. The most popular time for Americans, and the nicest weather is November to March. Yumi compared it to Hawaii weather during that time frame.
Prices for Platinum time ( all but major holidays) are $35,700 per week for the 34,000 Club Points you would receive. The same unit in Hawaii would sell for $52,500 and net you about 50,000 points per year.
As with all timeshare deals, the maintenance fees seem high to me, but they do cover everything including utilities and replacement of furniture. The Thai unit annual fees would be $918 and the Hawaii fees would be $1350. So there is benefit to buying here if timeshare is your gig.
The most attractive feature of the points program here is the Flexchange option of using your points for stays within 59 days or less. It is actually possible to get three weeks vacation at various resorts for the $918 annual fee here at the Phuket property.
My big complaint about timeshare has always been the resell market being so much lower than the developer price. According to Yumi, there is no resale market here as the units and concept are so new. Only time will tell how that evolves, but if you are in the market for new now, Yumi would be a good one to speak to about the property here in Phuket.
I will receive my 25,000 Marriott points in several weeks. There was no high pressure involved whatsoever as they have a nice product and realize that the concept is not for everyone. In fact, it was the first timeshare presentation that I have been to where I was not turned over to a closer for a second try to get me to buy. That feature of the tour was greatly appreciated and speaks highly of Yumi as a representative of Marriott properties.
If you have an interest in timeshare in Phuket, Yumi would be a nice and knowledgeable agent to speak with.
Rick Ingersoll is one of the world’s experts on frugal travel and flying free and the author of The Frugal Travel Guy Handbook. A retired mortgage banker from Traverse City, Michigan, he has retired to Hilton Head Island,... All Articles
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