Opportunities to take vacations come by only a few times a year so it’s important to enjoy these moments as they pass. The rule of thumb is to book hotel rooms every time we go out of town; sometimes so much so that these hotels become our second home.

So let’s consider an alternative: purchasing a vacation home at our favorite city or province. And when considering a vacation home, you might hear the terms “timeshare” and “condotels” flying around. But what exactly is the difference, and more importantly, which of the two is the better investment?

Timeshares are properties that you can use for a specific period of time. The rights to use these properties are shared by other timeshare owners and each have a schedule for when they can use the unit. The allotted period for each timeowner varies according to the property owners’ policies but on the average, a week or two is allotted per unit co-owner.

Condotels or condo hotels are a different story. These are properties you own exclusively. However, these rights are subject to the condo hotel’s fair use policy. For example, some condotel owners can use their units for only 30 days in a year, or maybe 25 days in a row. When the units are not in use, they are offered to the public as hotel suites – or as development company Coronado Island Realty calls it, “performing assets.”

Both properties are sold fully furnished but in terms of amenities, they’re singing different tunes. Timeshare owners are responsible for their own upkeep during their stay while condotel owners have the services of a usual hotel at their disposal.

So which is it?

Both property options have their perks. Price-wise, timeshares have lower rates because you purchase the week or two in a year that you’ll use the unit. With condotels, the rates are a bit pricey because you not only avail of the exclusive right to use the unit whenever you want for as long as you want, you also get the benefits and luxuries of staying at a hotel without the hassle of checking in. You can even opt to have your condo hotel unit available for rent as a hotel suite when you don’t use it. What’s more, you can benefit from when you’re unit is rented and split the generated revenue with the management.

For the budget-conscious, timeshares sound like a better investment. As online realty magazine New England Condominium puts it, timeshares’ value proposition comes from its use since you pay only for the weeks you use it – but that’s not to say that condotels should be totally cut from your radar. If you’re itching to experience luxury of a vacation that rids you of stress and responsibility, condotels offer the services you’re looking for. You can just sit back and relax, period.

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