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Timeshares – they are a changing

If you have read about timeshare and think you know all about it, think again. Timeshare resort developers have been listening to what their owners have been telling them they like about their timeshare ownerships. And what they think could be done better.

The feedback from owners was clear – timeshare had to change. After several years of investment in research and product development, many timeshare resort developers, such as the Portuguese-based Pestana Vacation Club, have launched new, flexible short-term ownerships that provide the very best of the timeshare experience to today’s purchaser, packaged exactly the way they want it.

Accessible and affordable luxury

Pestana Alvor shows how timeshare ownership has changed

Many of us dream of having a lush second home hideaway as an escape from everyday hustle and bustle. With a timeshare ownership you will have a home away from home, but with some very special features which add a real ‘wow’ factor, such as azure swimming pools, balconies or terraces with fabulous views, on-resort restaurants, bars, spa treatments, wellness centres, and world-class hospitality and service, in a prime location.

The purchase of timeshare accommodation brings the dream within the reach of many who may not be able to afford a second home in, for example, the sun-drenched Algarve, in Portugal. And then, many timeshare buyers can afford an outright holiday home purchase. But they opt for shared holiday ownership as a value option that, combined with membership of an exchange holiday company, such as RCI, gives them access to a huge selection of holiday homes across the world. RCI presently has almost 4,500 resorts affiliated to its unrivalled exchange network for its members to explore and enjoy.

From the ultimate in luxury of fractional property ownership and membership of The Registry Collection luxury exchange programme, to a high-quality timeshare with RCI membership, there are price points to suit every pocket.

Gone are the days when you had to commit to a 30-year or lifetime timeshare lease, tying yourself into a financial commitment that you couldn’t get out of when your circumstances change. RCI affiliate, the Pestana Group, is one of a growing number of resort developers launching new trial products designed with the contemporary buyer in mind – those who want a shorter term commitment and greater flexibility.

Pool at Pestana Promenade Resort

Check out your options

Portugal’s leading hotel, tourism and leisure group, Pestana, operates 48 hotels. It also has 37 Pousadas – historic properties, such as castles, monasteries and forts, which are jointly owned by the government and Pestana, with Pestana managing them.

Pestana Village Garden Resort is just 15 minutes from Funchal

For 29 years the group has been operating timeshare holidays and has worked with RCI to give Pestana’s 25,000 members the opportunity to exchange their timeshares, to holiday in RCI-affiliated resorts around the world. Pestana Vacation Club has affiliated 12 resorts in the Algarve and Madeira to RCI’s exchange holiday programme. It allows RCI members to swap time in their home resorts around the world for a Pestana resort stay. It also gives Pestana Vacation Club owners access to a world of holiday choice using RCI membership in conjunction with their Pestana ownership.

In 2011, Pestana Vacation Club (PVC) reinvented its timeshare ownership with the launch of Pestana OPTIONS, a points-based holiday product that provides buyers with 10 years of holidays – exchanging their PVC Credits to holiday either at the many resorts owned by Pestana, or around the world using RCI membership.

Maintenance fee payment has always been a contentious issue for timeshare owners. But not anymore for Pestana OPTIONS owners, as the product does not have a fixed maintenance fee. Users pay a daily ‘hotel fee’ – but only for the days they actually stay at a PVC hotel or resort. Payment is made on check-in and they are minimal amounts for a stay in what are exceptional holiday properties.

Pestana Village Garden Resort is a traditional Madeiran property with spacious apartments, themed restaurants, pretty gardens and pools

Peter Booth, Pestana Group MD, explains: “Ten years is not going to present any problems around resale, as you will use that in your lifetime and we also allow our owners to accelerate usage so they don’t have to use it every year – but can use all of their Credits in the first year or two if they want to.”

Many Pestana timeshares are now coming back onto the market for sale and the company plans to refurbish the properties and accommodation to ensure they are fresh, modern and of the high quality that has become synonymous with the Pestana brand. “We’re not a real estate developer selling timeshare,” added Booth. “We’re hoteliers who understand hospitality, together with the importance of the service levels our customers expect. That’s how we developed a timeshare product that is different and which delivers everything our members told us they wanted.”

Balcony at Pestana Promenade resort

To find out more about Pestana Vacation Club and your timeshare ownership options click here.

Want to learn more about how you can holiday in style with RCI? Visit, email [email protected] or call 0845 608 6338 to save £75 on a two-year RCI membership, plus get a 50% discount off your first RCI exchange holiday.


LiveShareTravel's mix of luxury travel and shared ownership news, destination features, travel deals and offers, focus on ways of liberating luxury for smart travellers. The LiveShareTravel team is partial to sexy boutique hotels, cool five star hotels at three star prices, decadent spa days and chocolate.

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