Located in Calabria, on the “toe” of Italy’s “boot,” the resort is set on a promontory overlooking the Tyrrhenian coast. The timeshare units are part of a larger complex that includes a 68-room hotel and 160 apartments. The Hotel Club Residence La Castellana offers guests a wide variety of on-site amenities, including three large swimming pools, tennis courts, volleyball, there are three restaurants, two bars, a gym, a spa and shopping bazaar. Only a half-mile away, the resort has a privately equipped beach offering a choice of water sports, a restaurant with bar, swimming pool, and live entertainment at the seaside amphitheatre. Calabria is known for its temperate climate and rocky coasts studded with beautiful beaches and natural landscape. The region is rich with churches, monasteries, castles, and palaces where age-old traditions still survive. The nearby town of Belvedere is dominated by an ancient Aragonese castle and is home to two yachting marinas.
The five-star resort, which is a popular choice with timeshare owners (LaQuinta at LaManga Club and Club Calida at LaManga), was voted the top resort by readers of Today Golfer magazine for the second consecutive year. The resort received an impressive 45 per cent of the vote, which was 32 per cent more than its nearest challenger. The resort, which opened in 1972, boasts three 18-hole championship golf courses, as well as other sports and leisure facilities and numerous bars and restaurants.
The Las Vegas-based Diamond Resorts International has recently completed its acquisition of Aegean Blue Holdings and its five resorts in the Greek Isles. Diamond Resorts, which has 220 resorts and almost 1.4 million members, adds 7,400 owners to its total with this purchase. The acquisition, whose price wasn’t disclosed, was financed by Guggenheim Partners. That group, which manages more than $125 billion in assets, was the lead investor in the purchase of the Los Angeles Dodgers earlier this year. Aegean Blue has five resorts in Greece with four in Crete and one in Rhodes. They include the Village Heights Golf Resort in Hersonissos, Crete; Sun Beach Holiday Club in Ialyssos, Rhodes; Leoniki Residence in Rethymnon, Crete; the Grand Leoniki in Rethymnon, Crete; and the Village Holiday Club in Koutouloufari, Crete.
Dial an Exchange is already one of the largest timeshare exchange and vacation services companies in the world with offices in Australia, South Africa, China, India, Thailand, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. Now with the opening of a new Dial An Exchange office in Italy, the timeshare exchange is better able to serve the European timeshare community.The new timeshare exchange office is to be located in Verona and will be managed by two timeshare professionals. The company expanded into Italy because it believes the European timeshare market is significantly under-serviced by most vacation exchange providers.
Timbers Resorts has opened Hotel Castello di Casole in Tuscany, Italy. The Hotel Castello di Casole is a former 10th century castle turned 41-suite boutique hotel and is located on a 4,200-acre private estate located in Tuscany and close to the Siena, Chianti and Montalcino wine regions. Hotel Castello di Casole offers guests rustic Tuscan elegance in a setting featuring over 100 acres of vineyards and olive groves, a model game reserve, a state-of-the-art wellness center and some of the region’s finest cuisine. Fourteen of the suites offer large private gardens and terraces with floor to ceiling windows overlooking acres of vineyards and lemon and olive trees. The resort includes fine dining, wine tasting, a 5400 square foot spa, and an 18th century chapel.
The Spanish government has passed the European Timeshare Directive into national law. Passed by most European countries in 2011, this law compels all Spanish timeshare companies to be in compliance. Spain is the most popular timeshare market in Europe and is where almost half of all European owners have chosen to buy. Among other initiatives, the Spanish timeshare directive standardizes the following: a 14-day cooling off period (a rescission period for the timeshare buyer), a ban on deposits, contracts of more than one year are within the legislation, contracts must be provided in the language of the purchaser, and detailed information of the product must be provided. While these initiatives cannot be changed by individual member countries, the governments of each country can add to the directive for guidelines regarding their country.
ARDA and RDO are working together- The American Resort Development Association (ARDA) and the European Resort Development Organization (RDO) have recently announced a new marketing alliance. The agreement encourages sharing of industry information among U.S. and European timeshare developer members and global travelers. ARDA welcomes a new cooperative working alliance with its European-based sister organization, RDO, following approval by both Boards of Directors. Each association retains its own identity, but collectively, the associations seek to cooperate on issues of common concern in order to advance the growth of the timeshare industry worldwide, the interests of their members, and the consumers they serve. “In today’s global environment, timeshare is a growing portal to the world for vacationers, and establishing a better exchange of information with RDO will bring value to our members who have resorts worldwide and to owners who are increasingly looking to destinations abroad for their timeshare vacations,” said Howard Nussbaum, president and CEO of ARDA.
Vale d’Oliveiras Quinta Resort and Spa is now an Interval International property. The mixed-used resort is located in Carvoeiro, a whitewashed village in the western part of the sun-drenched Algarve on the southern tip of Portugal, one of Europe’s favorite vacation destinations and renowned for its rocky coastline, beautiful beaches, golf, and nightlife. Set in a valley of olive trees with a panoramic view of the surrounding hills and adjoining golf course, this property has 22 acres of landscaped gardens laced with walking paths within its gated grounds. On-site amenities include two outdoor swimming pools, a health club with a heated indoor pool, Jacuzzi, sauna and gymnasium, and tennis courts. The resort’s world-class spa offers a wide range of massage and beauty treatments.
Hyatt announces its first property in Austria. Hyatt Hotels has recently announced plans to sign an agreement to manage the Park Hyatt Vienna. Set to be located in the heart of the city’s famous First District, the Park Hyatt Vienna will be built within a historic building, opening its doors in 2013 to bring the trademark Park Hyatt luxury touch to the city. It hopes to become a central part of one of Europe’s key business and cultural destinations. The Park Hyatt Vienna joins a total of 13 other hotels in development worldwide and, upon opening, will become the seventh Hyatt hotel in Europe and its first property in Austria. .
Interval International welcomes Hotel Savoy on Madeira. The timeshare exchange company has affiliated Hotel Savoy on the Portuguese island of Madeira and it will include 246 timeshare apartments upon completion in 2014. All of the Hotel Savoy timeshare apartments will be air-conditioned, offer Internet access, and have ocean-facing balconies or terraces. One-bedroom apartments will have separate lounge and dining areas, a full kitchen and master bedroom with en-suite bathroom and walk-in closet. The two and three-bedroom lock-off apartments will be ideally suited to holidays with friends or family sleeping up to six and eight guests respectively. Studio units will have a kitchenette and a spacious lounge area.