Last month, I had the pleasure of experiencing my first destination vacation club stay with Inspirato with American Express. My husband and I got to tag an extra day onto our trip to Turks and Caicos to stay at one of Inspirato’s villas on the island. Our 1 night stay was complimentary in exchange for me reviewing the process and the property but of course my opinions are always my own. This was our first stay with a destination vacation club but I certainly hope it wasn’t our last because it was FANTASTIC.
What IS Inspirato with American Express?
Inspirato with American Express is a private club for luxury travelers who value high-end service, privileged access and exceptional experiences. Members enjoy exquisite vacation residences in some of the world’s most sought-after destinations and the luxury of certainty when they travel with the club.
We stayed in an Inspirato with American Express villa which was a 3 bedroom 3.5 bath 2,600 square foot luxury property overlooking the ocean. The villa was situated in a tower within the posh The Somerset resort. It was like stepping into another world. A world of grandeur and splendor that we don’t get to experience typically. Yet it also felt like home. We could relax, spread out and have every comfort that we have at home…and more. Inspirato with American Express combines the comfort of private vacation homes with the unparalleled luxury of a five-star resort. I’ll tell you much more about the villa in a future post, but I want to tell you first about the reasons why a destination vacation club might work for you (especially for family travel). There is a price to have this luxury of course, but it is not as expensive as you may think. And if you are contemplating buying a vacation home or a time share, Inspirato with American Express might actually save you money.
Five Reasons to Join a Destination Vacation Club
1. Space. The Inspirato villa we stayed in (named the Windward) was 2,600 square feet and officially slept 6 though I think the whole preschool could have fit in there. This trip was only my husband and I, but if we had the kids this kind of space would be crucial. All parents need some “me time” on vacation after spending the day with the kids. Being able to unwind with a luxurious Jacuzzi bath or veg out while watching Sunday Night Football on the world’s biggest TV is just the way to do it. Having access to a spacious villa makes sure everyone gets a vacation. The average size of an Inspirato villa is over 4,000 square feet. Space like that just isn’t always available at typical hotels.
2. Unparalleled service. You could spend the weeks leading up to your vacation researching things to do, setting up excursions, finding out where everything is located, booking tickets, doing the monetary conversions and everything else that goes into a family vacation, or you could just let the professionals do it. With Inspirato, they have dedicated personal vacation advisers as well as on-site destination concierges that handle everything from planning itineraries to booking tickets to arranging for transportation. They also will grocery shop for you prior to your arrival and have the refrigerator and cabinets stocked when you walk in. And since the destination concierge lives near the vacation destination, they have all the insider knowledge to make sure you’re not paying too much or working with unreliable or untrustworthy operators. And they speak the language of the destination country which is critical when traveling abroad. They even meet you on site and give you an in-country cell phone so you can reach them for anything. I actually called our concierge to ask how to use the TV. She had the class not to laugh at me.
3. Family travel friendly. Since destination vacation club properties typically come with so much square footage, it makes it that much easier to bring the grandparents, an uncle or two, or “just” your 4 kids along with you. Everyone gets their own space, but you can come together to hang out in the living room, or more likely, the kitchen. With a destination vacation club membership you can eliminate some of the excuses that come up when trying to plan a multi-generational get together. They make it easy! Inspirato with American Express has 235 properties all around the world, with many within the continental United States. There are several within driving distance of me so I wouldn’t always have to don a passport to enjoy these opulent villas. Christmas at a destination vacation club property like the Inspirato property in Sea Island, Georgia seems like a much nicer idea then bunking up at Grandma’s house, don’t you think?
4. No worries. The Inspirato staff takes care of everything. Their Inspirato Signature Service is included for all members and makes sure the trip is easy and hassle-free. If something needs to be fixed or checked, they do it. It’s not like owning a second home where all the chores fall to you. There is daily maid service included in every vacation home, and chefs and nannies can be arranged if needed as well. The stressful part of vacations is taken away from you. No need to worry that the home doesn’t look like it did in the photos, or getting scammed by unscrupulous people on the vacation home rental sites. You can be assured that everything is going to be what you would expect from a Five-Star resort. Inspirato believes that great vacations don’t happen by chance. They are planned that way.
5. Variety. Inspirato with American Express has vacation homes and villas in 83 destinations all over the world so members aren’t tied to the same place every year. From Lake Como, Italy to Paris, France to grand properties in family-friendly cities like Orlando, Scottsdale and Chicago, members can take advantage of all the privileges of staying at an Inspirato property, as opposed to doing all the leg work themselves and trying to book hotel rooms that are up to their standards (and fit the whole family). Inspirato is able to offer a level of consistent excellence often unavailable through online villa rental providers. They typically invest an average of $50,000 in upgrades to ensure that the villa is consistent with their exacting expectations. And they fully manage and control each Signature Residence 365 days a year, as each unit is only available to members and their guests and are never rented out to the general public.
Inspirato with American Express offers a $750+ million portfolio of more than 240 Signature Residences worldwide. Their nearly 7,500 members (including celebrities like Gabby Reese) take advantage of them. There is no cap on how many days a member can buy or complex booking rules to follow. There is a cost involved to join a destination vacation club though, but Inspirato with American Express is one of the more affordable ones. Members pay a member initiation fee (which ranges from $4,500 to $24,500) and an annual membership fee (ranges from $2,500 to $3,500). They then have the opportunity to book these opulent properties, worth on average over $3 million each, at prices that compare to a decent suite at a chain hotel. Inspirato also offers a “Jaunt” service where they release limited properties for booking at rates as low as $295/night. That could mean a massive 6 bedroom home…for only $295/night!