Condo Hotels Becoming an Established Lodging Trend

A relatively new lodging/real estate trend, condo hotels offer similar facilities to timeshares.

I realize that people coming to this blog are mainly interested in timeshares- not condos, not hotels. But what about condo hotels?

Condo hotels are a lot like timeshares because they offer similar properties with similar amenities. The differences lie largely in the increments of time in which each property is used by a guest/owner, and the payment scheme for each. In this regard, condo hotels can share the same traits as high-end fractional properties, as condo hotel property can be secured for larger blocks of time than most timeshares. In fairness, the cost associated with spending the summer in one of these properties may be prohibitive for everyone except the very wealthy. Both condo hotels and fractionals are marketed to newly-affluent “web 2.0” professionals; technical types who have made their fortunes in today’s booming high-tech industries.

Both timeshares and condo hotels typically offer spacious “condo-style” accommodations, often encompassing suites of several rooms. As with timeshares, you’ll probably encounter appliances like washer/dryer units and dishwashers.

Condo hotel enthusiasts say that condo hotels offer a cost-effective alternative to hotel and timeshare accommodations. I disagree, only because lodging rates are largely location-based, and subject to demand. In other words, in a built-up, high-demand resort area, hotel rates can jump unexpectedly, especially if an area is subject to seasonal fluctuations in demand/cost. This means that, in the same location, you could end up paying much more for nightly accommodations than you would if you owned a timeshare there.

However, sometimes the reverse is true. Habitual timeshare renters (like me) would be wise to keep an eye out for seasonal price changes. Sometimes a condo hotel might be the best option price-wise, but finding a timeshare rental for a good price can leave more money in your pocket, free to be spent on area attractions, sumptuous dining, or other vacation activities. It’s a good idea to shop around for the best price on accommodations, but again, these prices are subject to change as they are not “locked in” (one advantage that “traditional” timeshare has over these new lodging concepts).

If you’re looking for more information on condo hotels, one website you should check out is the National Association of Condo Hotel Owners (NACHO). One of the goals of this organization, composed of condo hotel owners and developers, is to establish standards for ethical conduct among the promoters and developers of condo hotel properties. Good stuff!