Author Archives: Troy

How To Be A Satisfied Timeshare Owner

A timeshare is a form of vacation or holiday ownership. The original definition or style of timeshare (and the one most people probably think of when they hear that word) involves buying the right to vacation for a set period (usually one week), every year, at a specific resort. For many years now, timesharing has become a popular way to take a vacation. Still, a lot of travellers don’t know a lot about how it works, or indeed are aware of how timeshare products have evolved over time to now include more diverse options that open up a lot more variety and destinations.

When you own a single vacation or holiday home, you have dominion over a physical property. You can use it anytime and every time you want. Holiday home ownership comes with responsibility though. You obviously are committed to pay for the full value of the property including year-round maintenance costs plus rates and taxes, water and electricity charges and body-corporate fees (if a strata property). Having a timeshare is different from this arrangement in many ways.

In its original form, a timeshare essentially offers you an allotted amount of “time” wherein you can use your resort’s accommodation. For example, if you choose to own a 3-bedroom timeshare at a Queensland resort for the first week of January every year, your vacation accommodations are guaranteed at that time, every year. If you are a frequent traveller or vacationer, timesharing might benefit you because you get the perks of a high-end vacation home without having to spend for all of its upkeep.

Of course, over the years, timeshare has evolved. There are now timeshare ‘vacation clubs’ that work by providing a set amount of ‘points’ annually that can be used to stay at a broader network of accommodation owned or linked to that club, as opposed to offering a set week to be taken in just one location.  Some clubs have 20+ properties in their own network, which provides a lot of variety.

A lot of timeshare ownership programs now offer the option for timeshare exchange too. An exchange allows you to go on vacation at a different resort, in a different location beyond your own timeshare property or Vacation Club network. This way, you are not tied down to selecting the same vacation spots every year.

There are a lot of unsatisfied timeshare owners. If you listen to their complaints you will find out that the dissatisfaction stems from not knowing what timeshare is, not understanding what different kinds of timeshare options are out there, or grasping how their specific timeshare works. Timeshare is a significant purchase that you shouldn’t go into with your eyes closed. Equip yourself with knowledge before you sign on the dotted line and you will be a satisfied owner of a timeshare that suits your personal lifestyle needs.


Frequently Asked Questions by Timeshare Buyers


How is timeshare different from a hotel?

In most instances, Member accommodation within a timeshare resort generally offers more space and amenities as compared to a traditional publicly sold hotels, depending on the operator you go with. Often a hotel room is a studio-sized area that has a bed, then there’s a small bathroom and nothing else. With timeshare, you are more likely to get an actual apartment or a condominium-style unit with a choice of several bedrooms, bathrooms, a full kitchen, dining area and a living room. Amenities are also offered in most timeshare resorts – recreational, sporting and social activities both for kids and adults. Many resorts also offer swimming pools, golf courses, tennis courts, horseback riding, skiing and others all on site.

What are the different types of timeshares?

It’s important to understand the different ways timeshare work. Timeshare ownerships are either deeded or leased for a specified period.

  • Deeded – A deeded timeshare is like a regular real estate purchase. After you buy a deeded timeshare, you own it. You may sell, rent out or will your timeshare to your heirs. A deeded timeshare is a perpetual contract; there is no expiration date.
  • Leased – A leased timeshare gives you the right to use a property for a specific week or weeks for a definite period, usually 20 to 99 years. The right to use the property expires at the end of the leased period.
  • Licensed timeshare – A licensed timeshare requires you go join a “vacation club”. Members of the vacation club receive points that they can use to purchase holidays at a choice of several resorts. (This, for example, is the category that Accor Vacation Club sits within.)

What are timeshare use periods?

When doing your research, it good to understand some basic timeshare terminology, especially in regards to stay options. Depending on the type of timeshare product you might be interested in, you may come across these terms:

  • Fixed week – A fixed week timeshare allows you to use the unit for that specific week. Fixed week typically starts on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday.
  • Floating week – A floating week timeshare allows you to use the unit anytime during the year based on availability.
  • Flex time – A flex time timeshare is similar with floating week. Flex time refers to a season though wherein you can use your timeshare – winter flex or spring flex

Can I afford to buy a timeshare?

If you are considering buying a timeshare, it is vital to take an honest look at your finances to see what you can afford. First, determine how much you can pay out for the initial purchase price. Most timeshare companies will offer financing, and this can help you delay the up-front cost. Be aware that it’s common for timeshares to require an annual maintenance fee of up to $1,000 or more too (for maintenance, running costs and regular refurbishment). It is good to consider how these costs weigh up against what you might already be spending on annual holidays now and in the future to determine the value and benefits for you personally.

How does timeshare exchange work?

If you own a leased timeshare, a big advantage might be having the flexibility to exchange your week. You can join a timeshare exchange company and trade your week with other timeshare owners. This flexibility allows you to use your home resort every year, if you want to, or trade for any of the affiliated resorts throughout the world. Some timeshare resorts have an internal exchange program while others use an external company. These external companies require an additional membership fee that you can either renew or cancel every year.


About Accor Vacation Club

Accor Vacation Club is a licensed timeshare offering of AccorHotels. Members get an allocation of Premier Points annually and they can use this for holidays or short breaks. They can enjoy top-quality accommodation across Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia.

A membership in Accor Vacation Club is great if you’re the type of vacationer who plans your holiday in advance and likes the security knowing the type of accommodation you will get. Let’s say your work allows you two weeks of vacation per year that you can pre-schedule. Possibly, a membership with Accor Vacation Club would make a good investment to pre-plan your holiday time in advance. You get pre-paid accommodation that allows you to spread out with friends and family in generously-sized properties, with the flexibility to use the properties facilities to self-cater during your stay.

Here are the top 5 Accor Vacation Club properties that members rave about:

  1. The Sebel Sydney Manly Beach – Your gateway to golden sand, snorkelling and surfing, The Sebel Sydney Manly Beach has a breathtaking waterfront setting. Members can enjoy a variety of fully-furnished accommodations, from studios to one and two-bedroom apartments that boast convenient kitchenettes. Guests can also choose from an ocean view, superior and standard rooms that all have air condition, private bathrooms, LCD TVs and balconies.
  2. The Sebel Melbourne Flinders Lane – Members who love the sophisticated city vibe of Melbourne have good things to say about The Sebel Melbourne Flinders Lane.  Smack bang in the fashion and foodie district of Melbourne, this boutique hotel has 56 exquisitely-furnished apartments that have big bedrooms, living areas and kitchenettes. Just a short stroll to theatres, museums, sporting venues and eateries, urban-loving vacationers surely enjoy The Sebel Melbourne Flinders Lane.
  3. Grand Mercure Puka Park Resort – One of the most popular destinations included in the Accor Vacation Club portfolio, Grand Mercure Puka Park Resort is loved for the luxurious seclusion it provides. Think stylish apartments, and the laid-back ambiance of a mountain lodge.
  4. Grand Mercure Basildene Manor – Accor Vacation Club members love the old-world charm and modern comforts of Basildene Manor. This is the preferred destination for wine lovers not least of all because of its enviable location in the wine region of Margaret River. Needless to say, this rustic manor house and its landscaped gardens is ideal for tourists interested in exploring the area, and is near to great wineries, cafes and restaurants.
  5. The Sebel Pinnacle Valley – An exciting year-round destination, The Sebel Pinnacle Valley offers stylish and modern apartments in the stunning Victorian High Country. Just 30 minutes away from the Mt Buller ski slopes, Accor Vacation Club members can choose from a wide selection of outdoor activities like snow skiing, bushwalking, horseback riding and golf, depending on the time of year.


The information in this article is not personal financial advice and has been prepared without taking into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person.  Before making a decision to purchase or upgrade a membership in the Accor Vacation Club, you should consider the PDS dated 19 April 2018, issued by A.P.V.C. Ltd AFSL 245515 and available at or by contacting A.P.V.C. Ltd on 1800 70 81 90.


Our Week in Queenstown – NZ

Our week in Queenstown


DAY  1
Jet lagged but luckily the staff at St. Moritz were happy to assist with a slightly early check in. We caught up on a few hours of sleep then went for a walk downtown (just around the corner from the hotel). The Kiwis certainly know how to do tourism well! This place is nice and clean and caters for young families as well as Gen X/Y back packers and us middle aged types! Even little things like water coolers designed to re-fill water bottles. We had a nice “pub meal” at “Ivy and Lola’s”, overlooking the wharf area.

Traveller’s tip for the day:
1 scoop of ice cream from the parlour near the wharf is more than enough.  2 scoops was just plain greedy!

DAY  2
Day trip to Milford Sound via coach. The coach driver played a pre-recorded audio file which provided a great back ground to the history of the area and the scenery and wildlife. Incredible scenery both en-route and cruising around the Sound. The tunnel through the mountain would be a must see to anyone that appreciates incredible engineering feats. We didn’t notice any food outlets there so we were glad that we had paid the extra $15 each for the lunch pack. Another couple and ourselves were separated from the rest of our coach group as we were booked on another boat which resulted in us being accidently left behind by the driver. The staff at Milford Sound were quick to rectify the situation and we were allocated to another coach to get back to Queenstown. Long day getting back around 7:30pm. We sampled the pizza at Lombardis. Excellent.

Traveller’s tip for the day:
In hindsight, hiring a car and making our own way to Milford Sound may have been the better option – pro’s and con’s.

DAY  3
Did the cheap ($35ea.) cruise around Lake Wakatipu. Wayne, (the captain) was friendly, humorous and knowledgeable. Good value for money.

We then walked up the hill to the Kiwi Bird Park. The mobile audio system was excellent. We hadn’t seen anything like it previously. The family that established the park are very passionate about conservation.

Next to the Bird Park entrance is the Gondola that took us up to the Skyline restaurant where we celebrated our anniversary with a scrumptious buffet meal overlooking Queenstown and the lake.

Traveller’s tip for the day: 
Make sure you get to the Bird Park in time for the feeding (may be the only way you can see the nocturnal Kiwis) as well as the conservation show.

DAY  4
Decided to hire a car...and drove to Arrowtown, Wanaka and Cromwell. Again, like driving to Milford Sound, the scenery was incredible. Just be prepared for steep winding roads as you pass through various mountains. Went Kayaking on Lake Wanaka – should have dressed more appropriately for that experience.

Traveller’s tip for the day: 
If you do this trip, allow yourself more time to check out all the wineries before they close in the late afternoon.

Time to check out the adrenalin pumping activities – starting with the Jet Boat ride on the Stopover River. Then I did the canyon swing while Tina watched on in terror. The people that work at these places really make it a memorable experience. We did the mandatory Saturday night queue for a couple of FergBurgers! Definitely very yummy; but if we didn’t have vouchers to use up we would not have worried about waiting 30 minutes in the queue then another 20 minutes for the order to be ready.

Traveller’s tip for the day:
If you are going to do more than one of the jet boats, canyon swing, bungy, rafting, etc… buy a combo ticket and save money.

DAY  6
Early start to get picked up for the white water rafting. A lot of preparation work getting geared up with untold layers of waterproof clothing, helmet and life jacket but all worked out in the end. Even the bus ride down into the canyon is an adventure in itself. All worth the effort as well as the chance to meet people from all corners of the world.

We spent Sunday night travelling on the classic TSS Earnslaw on Lake Wakatipu and had a scrumptious BBQ buffet at a Sheep station homestead (Walter Peak). After the meal we saw a sheep dog and shearing demonstration. To top the night off, on the homeward trip, song books were distributed for those who wanted to sit around the piano.

Traveller’s tip for the day: 
Do a weather forecast when you first get to Queenstown, then plan your activities based on that. Low cloud cover can affect how much of the scenery you see but recent rainfall means all the waterfalls are even more spectacular.

DAY  7
The cold front (from Antarctica) that had been forecast arrived with gusto as we were blanketed with snow. As we are from Western Australia, this was a unique experience for us and a pretty cool way to spend the last day of our holiday. We decided to have a 1 hour hot spa experience where you can remove part of the roof (like a retractable garage door) and gaze over the now snow covered mountains of Queenstown. Magic stuff!

THINGS we didn’t get a chance to do because we ran out of time and/or money………

  • Eco tours on flying foxes;
    • Wine tours,
    • Emerald caves near Te Anau;
    • Walking trails;
    • 4WD buggy tours;
    • Star gazing from the top
    of the gondola ride;
    • Parasailing;
    • Luge ride

.….. the list goes on!

Accor Vacation Club Testimonails

Members of Accor Vacation Club from the inception of the Club

We have been members of Accor Vacation Club from the inception

As Members of Accor Vacation Club, Pam and Cliff were happy to tell us about their experiences since joining the Club back in the year 2000. Below they review what brought them to become a part of the Accor Vacation Club and what their Membership has meant to them.
Here is what they had to say:

We have been members of Accor Vacation Club from the inception of the Club and we thought it might be prudent to bring you up to date with what our experiences have been over the past 9 years or so.

Firstly, when we joined, we were building our accounting practice from scratch and never really had time or money for decent holidays. Accor Vacation Club not only showed us an opportunity to reward ourselves on a regular basis but also made it affordable to purchase the package with a very attractive payment scheme. We began with Bronze but as we became more profitable in the business and also once we had the bug for great holidays, we have progressively increased our level of membership to Platinum 6.

We now regularly take holidays, a few times a year in fact, mostly within Australia and New Zealand and have used Interval International as well a few times. The last time was a magnificent European trip which also included a week in Paris and a week in Italy, both weeks were booked using Club Points via Interval International.

We are at present booked for a week in Melbourne (Flinders Lane) in July (our 25th wedding anniversary) and hopefully either a week in the Hunter Valley or Queenstown NZ in October.

Next year, we are taking my sister to Italy and will definitely be booking our Italian leg with Interval. We hope to do a cruise one day, but the only thing stopping us is “time”.

It was the best thing we did all those years ago, when we popped out to Twin Waters for a 90 minute Information Session and signed up on the spot.

Lastly, we find using the Club Member’s site on the internet, very easy and it’s great because you can access it 24/7, even if it’s just to do a bit of “dreaming”. A very handy tool for forward planning. The standard of the Club properties is excellent and we regularly recommend them to our friends for their holidays.

Thank you and your team again for making our holiday choices sooooo easy. It’s great.

Kind regards
May 2010

Accor Vacation Club Mmeber Testimonials

A Truly inspiring story from our Members

A truly inspiring story from our Accor Vacation Club Members

May we introduce ourselves? We are Frank and Audrey Browne and have been Members of the Accor Vacation Club since May 2003. If you are contemplating becoming a Member or have just joined, may we welcome you and strongly recommend the club as we have never looked back since becoming Members.

Our initiation into the Club was from a friendly telemarketer, (whom I don’t usually have time for), offering two nights accommodation for attending a presentation. Being a shift worker and my wife a Brisbane commuter we said no as the dates and times were unsuitable. Two weeks later we received a call from the same lady but with alternative dates and times. We said yes to a Saturday appointment and went with the idea that it would not hurt to listen. The rest is history. No hard pressure sales pitch, all our questions answered and done in a friendly environment. Since becoming Members we have stayed in the following Club Apartments;



THE SEBEL DARLING HARBOUR THE PINNACLE – Darling Harbour, Sydney, NSW (Twice). At the Darling Harbour Apartments’ we were fortunate enough to talk to some prospective Members and answer some of their questions to put their minds at ease. This was a real buzz for us to help promote our Club.

Through Interval International we used our points to secure weeks at;

WHISTLER- British Columbia. CANADA

BANFF National Park- Alberta CANADA

DISNEY WORLD RESORT – Orlando Florida USA (a gift to our son who is now a Member himself)

We are now waiting confirmation for a week’s accommodation at the LAKES DISTRICT in England for next year.

Through the Cruise Centre (Accor Vacation Club Cruises) we enjoyed a 7 night Alaskan Cruise. Absolutely wonderful.

We started as Bronze Members but on our first anniversary were offered to upgrade to Silver and have never had a bad experience with the club in the 7 years. Looking to the future we hope to have a week at Grand Mercure Oakridge Resort in WANAKA – NZ in 2012.

The key to getting the holiday of you dreams and use the ‘least amount of points’ is to plan, book early and avoid peak periods. In the last 6 months, the Club has taken a giant leap forward by introducing online accommodation booking, Flight Centre and of course the Super Savers just to name a few for the use of the Club Members.

So why not achieve your VACATIONS OF A LIFETIME, Instead of dreaming about them.


Happy Holidaying
June 2010

Foundation Members at Accor Vacation Club

Foundation Members at Accor Vacation Club

Dear Accor Vacation Club team,

This is the best investment in our future, that we have ever made!

Since we joined the Accor Premier Vacation Club as foundation members, we have had a holiday every year! Relaxing in a luxury apartment, is a great way to escape the stresses of work.

We have stayed at many of the Club Properties, some more than once, and have booked several Interval International stays as Gifts for friends, as well as ourselves.

Our last holiday took us to Perth, Western Australia, where we chose to spend a week at the Accor Vacation Club apartments at The Vines, in the Upper Swan Valley. We enjoyed everything about our stay at The Vines, including seeing the kangaroos from our balcony, feeding and frolicking near the golf course. But I especially loved feeling like a kid again, while riding on a Segway Twilight Tour. If you have ever wanted to try a Segway experience, I can assure you that you are never too old to do it.

Of course we saw many sights that Perth has to offer, like the Kings Park. We visited the old gaol and walked along the art-deco streets of Freemantle. We enjoyed fresh seafood at a pier restaurant, and watched the sunset at Cottesloe Beach.

This year we are looking forward to spending 10 nights at the Turtle Beach Resort on the Gold Coast. My husband loves seeing all the classic cars and hot rods at the Cooly Rocks On Festival, at Coolangatta in June.

I enjoy planning our holidays and always try to book well in advance. I am enclosing some photos of my husband and I, having fun riding on the Segways.

Dec 2014 - Carol & Stuart M.

See you at The Sebel Palm Cove

See You at The Sebel Palm Cove!

We have been Accor Vacation Club members since 2007.

We have found the club very helpful in choosing our holiday destinations around Australia.

Attending the workshops have been very informative in the way of choosing holiday destinations and travelling in the off peak season and saving points too, so we can have more holidays now, and we can take our whole family too!

The Member Services Team  are fantastic in helping you out if you have any questions, or are  not sure before you make a booking .

When we first joined ACCOR we took holidays in High season costing around 4000 points now we travel in the Value season costing 1800 points but by  attending  the member services workshop  on a regular basis we now have a better understanding of what the club offers, and to get to most benefit out of our club.  The workshop also informs us of new properties and explains what features they have and also explained the hard and soft refurbishments they are doing at any one time.  It was also interesting to learn of the product disclosure statement which tells you of the latest additions to property room allocations.

See You at The Sebel Palm Cove!

Peter and Lynette Last

See you at The Sebel Palm Cove!

Recent Stay at The Sebel Bowral Heritage Park

Recent Stay at The Sebel Bowral Heritage Park

Hi there,

I just logged onto the website and wanted to leave some positive feedback on our recent stay at The Sebel Bowral Heritage Park however I can’t find where to leave the feedback.

I called Reception a few days before to say we would be late arrivals and they made arrangements for me to pick up a key from the locked safe.  This process worked very well.  The apartment was clean, had been recently refurbished and was very welcoming with everything that one could need easy to hand.

The receptionist the next morning was also pleasant and helpful.  Also on checkout I had a friend who lives in the area coming to meet me for lunch and I wanted to show her the apartment.  The Manager couldn’t have been more helpful in allowing me more time to have a coffee with her in the unit and show her around.

I just thought that often people complain and don’t take the time to praise so wanted to pass on the above.  The location is beautiful and I can recommend both the apartments and area to other Members to enjoy.



The Sebel Bowral Heritage Park - Accor Vacation Club

2017 Star Rating for Grand Mercure Basildene Manor, Accor Vacation Club

2017 Star Rating for Grand Mercure Basildene Manor

Grand Mercure Basildene Manor, Accor Vacation Club Apartments has been listed on Star Ratings Australia’s Gold List of Australian Accommodation, making it one of the best accommodation providers in the country.

Local Grand Mercure Basildene Manor has been listed on Star Ratings Australia’s Gold List of Australian Accommodation, making it one of the best accommodation providers in the country.

Basildene Manor has achieved a National rating of #10 for the Best overall guest experience.

A rating of #1 for the state of West Australia in the category of Best overall guest experience.

Basildene was built in 1912 and the Willmott family resided at the homestead until the late 1970’s. Today, Basildene still stands proud and guests from al over the world are drawn to its charms and a sense of history from a bygone era.

The Gold List of Australian Accommodation compiles reviews of Star Rated properties from hundreds of websites including Expedia, Facebook, and Google to find the best accommodation as rated by travellers.

It includes six categories of accommodation: hotels, hosted accommodation, self-catering, motels, caravan-holiday parks and serviced apartments, which are listed nationally as well as by state, capital city and region to allow travellers to find the best accommodation, anywhere in the country.

The team at Basildene Manor are thrilled to be named on Star Ratings Australia’s Gold List of Australian Accommodation. We feel proud to represent the Accor Vacation Club and to be able to look after such a beautiful property. It is an absolute pleasure looking after all of our guests. Quoting a recent guest review “Wow what a lovely place to stay!! It was like visiting an extremely rich Aunties house!” she puts everyone’s feelings about the house in one sentence.

Michael Reed, CEO, of Star Ratings Australia comments, “What makes the Gold List unique is that Star Ratings Australia doesn’t just look at traveller ratings on one website but collects data from multiple sources. The Gold List showcases Australia’s Star Rated properties that provide an exceptional guest experience.”

“Australian travellers can trust that anyone featured in the Gold List will almost always exceed their expectations,” Michael Reed adds.

To view the full Gold List please visit: – ENDS –

For more information please contact:

Name: – Jenny Iannarelli – Manager Grand Mercure Basildene Manor


Phone: – 08 9757 3140

About Star Ratings Australia:
Star Ratings Australia is the leading independent accommodation accreditation scheme in Australia. The scheme uses ‘star’ symbols which are a licensed trademark and are an internationally recognised symbol for quality accommodation standards that are used in more than 70 countries worldwide.

How Gold List Winners are Selected
The winners are chosen using ReviewPro, a global leader in guest intelligence. ReviewPro uses its propriety software and sophisticated algorithms to search the most relevant online travel agents, review sites and social media platforms to deliver real-time updates. A Travellers’ Rating established in Partnership with William Angliss Institute then forms the basis for these awards.

A Travellers’ Rating is a score out of ten that reflects the quality of the accommodation experience according to past guests and aggregates consumer ratings and reviews from more than 100 websites in 45 different languages.

For more information, please visit:

feelings about the house in one sentence.

2017 Star Rating for Grand Mercure Basildene Manor

Member Event: Manly July 2016

Re this Brilliant!! Accor Vacation Club event at Manly on 2nd July.


I wish to convey my most sincere appreciation for the generosity extended to all of us members on election day at Manly.

The workshop gave everyone a good overview of all the benefits.

The staff – especially the event hostesses were welcoming friendly and helpful throughout – even provided me with a complimentary brewed coffee from the cafe at the outset.

The party was fabulous – very tasty food selections (no need for dinner thankyou)

And the 5-piece band was of exceptional quality – wow!

Great venue, location and ambience

I stayed at the Sebel, and was a bit sad at missing the Novotel buffet breakfast, but my eggs mushrooms tomatoes and sourdough breakfast from the ala carte menu were cooked to perfection – best ever brekkie.

Felt like I was a VIP in a luxury boutique hotel when I was given a free upgrade to an oceanview suite because of my accorplus membership.

Then felt like an absolute princess when I entered the room and found an absolutely beautiful collection of complimentary gift items awaiting me – overawed by all the generosity, and since I was in need of a boost it was an absolute treat!!


Thankyou SOOOO much!!!


From Neidra J.


  1. I habitually review my stays and meals at ACCOR establishments on trip advisor, and give glowing reviews to my friends. I have done one on the Sebel at Manly if you would like to check it out.

Member Workshop: Canberra June 2015

Novotel Canberra – Saturday 6th June

Silvana and I attended your recent workshops, one in Canberra and the most recent one at Novotel Brighton Beach, Sydney. I suppose, over the 13years of our membership, we’ve attended, maybe, 5 or 6 of them. We are still learning and today we received a welcome call from Linda who was able to answer all the questions we had, that stemmed, from both these workshops. Steve is a very entertaining speaker and he taught us a lot.

Please, we must congratulate you and your team for such a wonderful afternoon and evening on Saturday. The band was excellent, we did our thing on the dance floor,  Sam made us all laugh, the catering staff looked after us all and how, on earth’s name did it happen – we won the door prize of the 5 night Agift holiday. it was unbelievable.

It was lovely to meet some of our club representatives over those two days. You’re a happy infectious team and you can be well satisfied on a job well done.

Much appreciated and warmest regards,

Silvan and Jim O.