From holidays in the Mediterranean to the Florida sunshine and far beyond, RCI has been providing exchange holidays for almost 40 years. But now RCI members can use their weeks and points to take exchange holidays with a number of other well-known travel brands such as James Villa Holidays.
Exchange holidays with the villa company, part of the Wyndham Worldwide hospitality group – the RCI parent company – have proved a popular exclusive benefit of membership for RCI members, such as Ivan and Elizabeth Gould.
The couple from Yeovil, in Somerset, have been RCI Weeks members since 1983, so have a lot of experience of travelling with the holiday exchange company. During their 30 years of membership they have visited 33 countries, and Ivan is quite clear that without their membership they would not have been able to see as much of the world. He said: “RCI membership has enabled us to travel more widely and to quality accommodation. RCI membership also encourages you to travel and exchange making more of the world available to you.”
On holiday with James Villas
In October this year, Ivan and Elizabeth exchanged their week for a sunshine break at a James Villa property in Cyprus. Ivan said: “We used our RCI membership to stay at a lovely James Villa, the Rafaella. And although this was our fourth time in Cyprus, it was the first stay at a James Villa.
“Two years ago in Corfu we stayed in a nice villa, but it just didn’t compare to Villa Rafaella. However, thanks to RCI emailing to advise that we could exchange into a James Villa, we took advantage of the opportunity and I’m glad we did. It’s a great benefit to have as an RCI member and as RCI recently improved its website it has made our holiday searches easier too.”
Ivan recalls the highlights of their stay at Villa Rafaella as being its peaceful setting amid a plantation of citrus and banana trees, located about 15 kilometres from Paphos and two kilometres from the beach. Ivan added: “The villa was much larger than we needed for just the two of us, but it was nice to have all that space. There were six bedrooms in all and it could easily sleep 12 people.
“It had first class facilities, great quality furniture and decor and its own swimming pool. It was very clean, well-maintained and represented great value. There were even cots and high chairs for families with children.”
The couple were advised by James Villas before their trip that they would need a car, however Ivan and Elizabeth were happy to find a well-stocked local supermarket and some traditional tavernas were just a short drive away.
“We really enjoyed our time there and appreciated the quality of the accommodation – we’d definitely stay in a James Villa again.
“RCI offers very good quality accommodation, particularly in the US, and 95% of our experiences have been very good. In fact it is over 20 years since we found accommodation we were not happy with, and now with access to James Villa properties as part of our membership we have even more quality and choice.”