Monday, December 19, 2011 by
My trip to Hilton Head was wonderful. I took two friends that had retired from teaching. That's why we went in September after school had started. The weather was super the whole week. We toured the island by car, swam in the ocean and the resort pool, and enjoyed the great restaurants there. We also went to nearby Beaufort and took a delightful horse-and-carriage ride through the historic area. Another day we went to Savannah for a day of touring that city.
All in all we all had a very special time and plan to return in a couple of years. Thanks RCI for a really great exchange!
- Barbara D. from Chesapeake, VA
Wednesday, December 21, 2011 by
I grew up traveling with RCI, however, my husband's family did not. I would tell him how nice our units were, and how nice having a full kitchen, living room, and bedrooms were in the RCI affiliated resorts. He didn't understand why I really preferred traveling through RCI until my parents gifted us their exchange so that my husband and I could travel with our new family. Our first trip as a family was to Hilton Head and the rest as they say, is history. RCI upgraded us to a luxurious, brand new 3 bedroom unit. The resort was extremely nice and had lots of great amenities for our 20 month old daughter. The staff was always kind and very helpful. My husband finally understood why I loved RCI so much, and has never questioned why we would travel any other way again!
- Lori H. from Lexington, KY
Monday, December 19, 2011 by
Back in 1989 we went to the Island Club Resort on an exchange from Lakewood Resort in the Missouri Ozarks. RCI was wonderful and the exchange was so easy. On that trip we fell in love with Hilton Head and the Island Club Resort so much that we became owners a few short years later. RCI has always been such a blessing to our family. We have been able to take many wonderful trips using our exchanges with RCI. Our children have been able to share in our experiences. Hilton Head might not be Mexico or even Europe, but to our family it is this side of heaven.
- Jen S. from St. Louis, MO
Monday, November 7, 2011 by
Planning a vacation to an off beat destination is always very difficult, simply because there are so many of them! There is always enough information, both solicited and otherwise, available on more popular holiday destinations, so the excitement of visiting a place where few have travelled to, and being able to explore it, was one of the highlights of my recent Exchange Holiday to Malta.
If you are looking for a relaxed nothing-to-do holiday, this is NOT the destination. There is so much to see and do in Malta that a week seemed too short. For those who love historical monuments and archaeological sites, a holiday in Malta would be an absolute dream.
The Maltese archipelago is comprised of three islands located in the middle of the deep blue Mediterranean Sea, south of Italy and slightly north of the African continent. The largest of the islands is called Malta, with Valletta as its capital city. These islands are a haven for scuba divers. The scene below the water is serene and peaceful, and the underwater marine life is stunningly breathtaking, to say the least.
Our resort was located in Sliema—one of Malta’s main seaside tourist locations. Once a small village, Sliema buzzes with tourists now. St Julian’s and Paceville were just a few minutes walk, and the bus stop across the street meant that Valletta was just a bus ride away! All the units at the resort overlook the stunning Mediterranean Sea, with a lovely balcony to laze on and enjoy the ancient skyline of Valletta across the sea.
Nightlife in Malta consists mainly of a wide array of clubs and bars in the St. Julian’s area, or Paceville as the locals call it. There’s something for everyone: trance clubs, R&B and hiphop joints, salsa bars and alternative/rock bars. The clubs are all concentrated in the centre of Paceville, and the area spills over with party lovers on weekends. Besides the clubs, you’ll also find other kinds of entertainment in Paceville, including Malta’s largest cinema, a bowling alley, and sports bars.
After a relaxingly hectic week in Malta, I reluctantly packed my bags to head back to Bangalore, hoping to go back there once again—but knowing fully well that there were many more places that RCI has in store for me to explore, experience and enjoy!
We’ve gathered a great mix of stories and photos from RCI subscribing members who have traveled to India or who are from India. Please be sure to come back and take a look!
Tuesday, October 25, 2011 by
The first year we belonged to RCI we were able to exchange our two weeks in NC for two weeks in Japan. Our son was attending Sophia U. for his junior year in college and at a home stay in Tokyo. We'd never even been out of the country. What an eye opener! From the chewy octopus wrapped in dough sold on the street to the stringy fermented beans served with raw egg for breakfast, our taste buds were stimulated. In Kyoto, our pronunciation of RYO (ree-oh), like our high school Spanish, was met with blank looks by our cab driver, so how could we get to RYOanji, the famous contemplative garden? Or our RYOkan, the Japanese Inn that bridged us until our resort accommodations became available? We experienced illiteracy, as few signs were in English letters in 1991, but the experience was more than memorable and a convincing introduction to RCI.
- Harry S. from Aiken, SC
Monday, October 24, 2011 by
Since my wife and I have been with RCI we've had the greatest vacations. We exchanged once for a two bedroom unit in Phuket, Thailand. We've had a chance to stay at wonderful resorts in Mexico and have been able to send family and friends to great locations as well. We just love RCI!!! Joining RCI has been life changing!!
- Michael M. from Pittsburg, CA
Tuesday, October 18, 2011 by
Our family usually vacations with our good friends. Our first trip to Mexico, was at a spot of their choice. We decided to go back in 2007, using our RCI deposited time. The wife was very hesitant about staying at a "timeshare resort" as her past experience was poor. However, we stayed at the Mayan Palace on the Riviera Maya. Well, safe to say, she was very impressed and no longer worried about the timeshare horror stories. Our friends were also on hand for our 2009 Cancun visit to the Moon Palace Golf and Spa, which was also an exchange through RCI. I do not think we will be able to go anywhere now without them. Thanks RCI, and our friends thank you too.
- Lee J. from Redding, CA
Monday, October 17, 2011 by
In May 2008, my husband, daughter and son went to the Grand Mayan at Riviera Maya. We had coordinated our trip with my brother-in-law and his wife and daughter who also exchanged a room for their timeshare week. The Grand Mayan had large rooms for ourselves and our adult children to share. There was plenty to do at the resort. We explored the Riviera Maya activities, and even enjoyed some spa treatments. The highlight was celebrating our son's 21st birthday...The most difficult part of the trip was navigating the Mexican highways. I'm just glad that my brother-in-law did all the driving instead of my husband. I also came to understand what a terrible backseat driver I am. Both couples came away from that trip appreciating our own spouses. We had a great time and enjoyed the pampering of a luxury resort. Now to plan another trip...
- Jane K. from Denver, CO
Friday, November 11, 2011 by
We got a room for a week through an exchange with RCI. It was a four hour drive from Chandigarh and away from the hustle bustle of Shimla and next to the Bishop Cotton School and the police headquarters.
Since it was off season, we got a good room (no. 602 on the 3rd floor). The rooms are huge and the furniture, fixtures and fittings in the entire hotel are from China. The bed is almost 9 feet wide (so I was quite blessed not to hear my spouse snoring…but had to really shift to snuggle up). Bathrooms are also very modern and the shower has a massage spout console to ease you after the long walks…
The food is expensive so we rarely ate at the resort. For breakfast we had carried theplas and other stuff and they have a coffee maker. But there aren't many options for food nearby. A good trek uphill takes you to the Ashiana restaurant which is spooky but the food was good and a good value for money. Besides that, you need a vehicle to find restaurants. The bus stand is just downhill at Kalini Chowk which takes you to the Mall.
In the mall you can enjoy a good filter coffee at the India Coffee House…or enjoy the momos (dumplings) and burgers from Krishna Bakery. We stayed for 6 nights and enjoyed all of them. The staff is very helpful and courteous. And though the hotel is cocooned between tall deodar trees, the rooms are spacious.
We took a cab one day and went to Tattapani where the newly opened Hotel Hot Spring Therme and Spa pumps sulphuric water into their small pool and two private pools.
They had a good deal for a full meal from soup to dessert plus use of their very clean and modern spa.
Also since it had just snowed we went to Narkanda which was magical…unlike the crowded Kufri. On the way back, we had a meal (mushroom peas and egg curry) from the Himachal Pradesh Tourism Hotel (The Apple Blossom, Fagu) and it was superb. They have an unobstructed 180 degree view of the Himalayas and decent rooms for a day stay.
No trip is complete in Shimla without seeing the Wildflower Hall. We went for a meal there which was good and ate in an open area facing the mountains. They also showed us their awesome open air infinity pool with a Jacuzzi facing the Himalayas. The meal at Cecil was also good, their apple crumble is divine…
- Shimla from India
Monday, October 10, 2011 by
During October 2008, we went on an RCI exchange vacation to the Grand Mayan in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico. It turned out to be the best vacation exchange we ever took. It was the most beautiful timeshare resort we had ever seen and their lazy river around the resort was the longest we ever had been on. We did end up buying a timeshare at the Grand Mayan.
- Margy L. from Lady Lake, FL
Wednesday, October 5, 2011 by
Our first international exchange was to Mitterfels, Germany. This was also our first overseas vacation, so we were eager to experience as much local "culture" as possible. Imagine our delight to find that a motorcycle club was staying at our resort that weekend and there was a Beerfest, complete with Oompah band and giant pretzels and singing! A perfect introduction to Bavarian hospitality.
- Bonnie B. from Daytona Beach, FL
Tuesday, October 4, 2011 by
In the early 90's we had a German exchange student named Marion who lived with us for 8 months. We wanted so much to visit her in Germany. We submitted a request for Oberstaufen, Germany and got it. We spent a week with another couple and their son at this resort in Germany. What a great time we had. We were able to spend time with Marion in Munich and Augsburg while our friends got to stay in Oberstaufen. We too had Marion come and stay a few nights with us. We went swimming, visited the village, shopped and ate German food. What a great time we had. We met people from all over the world while we were there. Oh, the conversations you can have in a swimming pool.
Our whole vacation was 22 days in Europe with this wonderful week in Germany. I recommend it to anyone who wants a German vacation. The first morning we were there, Marion brought us German breads and pastries. She introduced us to Nutella--my son loves it now. We also had meats and cheeses. Much different food than we were used to eating for breakfast in the States. We also got to visit some castles, drove around Munich and went to Lugano which is a lake on the border of Germany, Switzerland, and France. (I think) Most people there spoke several languages. We also drove through the Bavarian countryside. Wow! It is beautiful there. The castles were unique and interesting. Another exciting experience was driving on the autobahn. Wow! Do they go fast. The cars are very high powered and I know we were driving 132 kph at one glance. The roads are amazing--so solid and no bumps. It was an experience.
Anyone who wants a great exchange experience to Europe, this one is a must. Good luck and enjoy every minute! We certainly did.
- Marjean W. from Pocatello, ID
Monday, September 26, 2011 by
We exchanged a week at the Iron Blosam Lodge in Snowbird, Utah for a week at a resort in Cozumel. The week preceded a conference and was during hurricane season. We had a penthouse suite overlooking the water. We saw iguanas on the property, played golf across the street, practiced our Spanish, took a taxi to town for shopping. The Mayan people would stop their work when we passed and greet us, "Hola, Buenos Dias". Our vacation was wonderful.
- David T. from Salt Lake City, UT
Wednesday, September 21, 2011 by
My family exchanges for a ski week in Canada every year and we are never disappointed! Every resort we've gone to (yes, every one) has been a wonderful experience; high quality resort, friendly fellow-vacationers and very helpful RCI staff. We'll sometimes get the exact week/location we want, sometimes try someplace new and it's always a trip to remember.
- Russell M. from New Hyde Park, NY
Friday, September 16, 2011 by
This was the most wonderful trip through RCI. The resort was beautiful, more than friendly, and the food spectacular. This was an exchange vacation trip. The resort was magnificient. Weather a plus. Name of the resort: Club Caribbean in St. Ann's, Jamaica.
- Dolores F. from Charleston, SC
Thursday, September 15, 2011 by
I wanted to surprise my new bride with a glorious 2 week trip to the Caribbean islands of Jamaica and the Bahamas. How was I going to do this without having the money for such a huge trip? I turned to RCI for an exchange of my property to facilitate this undertaking. For a fraction of the money it would cost to rent a hotel or resort room in those tropical locales, I was able to trade for a relatively small fee and obtain top notch accommodations and a private romantic getaway that my bride loved! We made friends with a cab driver in Jamaica who showed us around "his" island including a stop to visit his daughter in elementary school - not a typical touristy thing to do...it was much more indicative of the local culture and we loved it. When in Nassau during the second week, we found a deserted stretch of gorgeous beach and made it our own...Great opportunity and romantic adventure provided by expertise of exchange experts at RCI - thank you!
- Mitch K. from Camarillo, CA
Thursday, September 8, 2011 by
My husband and I have always exchanged the week we own at the lakes in Iowa. One of our favorite places to go is Breezy Point, Mn. We bring our small fishing boat with us and this year (we are heading up north on Friday) we are bringing our golf clubs as we took up the game of golf. We also bring our bikes to ride the Paul Bunyan bike trail. I would say this is our 10th time going there. We know all the places to go for the meat raffles and bingo. Also, the restaurants to go to. One year, we invited my sister and brother-in-law to come with us and we had a very good time. I like going in the fall for the fall color too. The trees are so pretty and it is a slower time of the year to just relax. I like the resort we are staying at because they do have planned activities. One year, we painted bird houses and we display them in the summertime. It reminds me of Breezy Point and the wonderful memories we have there. There is always something to do. That's why we continue to go back there. I'm looking forward to going "Up North."
- Susan B. from Le Mars, IA
Wednesday, September 7, 2011 by
My favorite trip through RCI is the one I'm on right now. I am relaxing in a beautiful unit at Smugglers' Notch Resort in Vermont...The leaves changing into their fall colors of orange, bronze, brilliant yellows and vibrant reds are a breathtaking site to behold. My husband and I are alone and enjoying the sights, sounds and tastes of Vermont. We have hiked through mountain trails, eaten our fill of lobster bisque, pick-it-yourself raspberries and toured the amazing Shelbourne museum in Shelbourne. We are addicted to leaf peeping that only an October vacation in Vermont can cure. Our RCI exchange made this an affordable and memorable vacation.
- Lisa R. from Sopchoppy, FL
Thursday, September 1, 2011 by
My family lives close to Disneyland in California, so we never were very interested in visiting Walt Disney World in Florida. But the kids suggested it as a family vacation idea, and we started to look into lodging options. We exchanged our week and stayed at the Orange Lake West Village in Kissimmee. It was beautiful. The condo was fully equipped with two bedrooms, two baths and a full kitchen. They had a gorgeous pool area with several swimming pools, slides and a lazy river to float around. It was super-close to all the attractions of Orlando: Disney's Animal Kingdom, Universal Studios and Sea World, to name a few. We concentrated on the theme parks that we don't have here in Southern California, like Epcot, Sea World's Aquatica and Universal's Islands of Adventure. We had a great time and would definitely go back-- but only if we stay at a luxurious RCI affiliated resort.
- Jeanine B. from Temecula, CA
Friday, August 19, 2011 by
My husband and I took a trip to the Windjammer Landing Villa in St. Lucia with a points exchange. It was such a beautiful resort. The views from our villa were incredible and we felt like we were the only people staying at our resort...it was so peaceful and quiet. I hope to be able to go back again soon. We just relaxed and enjoyed the resort and our beautiful villa. That is what I call a real vacation!
- Roger H. from Marlborough, MA