There are so many fantastic benefits available to RCI members, to enhance their holiday experience, and some of them are also available for sharing with their family and friends. Guest Certificates are a great way to gift your loved ones with a week or two away. A holiday might just be the perfect Christmas gift for someone you know...
Margaret and Charles Burnell purchased their timeshare in 1989 and joined RCI to take advantage of the RCI Holiday Exchange programme. Over the last 30 years, they have enjoyed fabulous exchanges all over the world, discovering places they never thought of visiting before.
Margaret explains that there are so many destinations that really stand out for her, but Florida created many special memories for the couple.
“One of the most memorable destinations for us was our first trip to Florida in 1991. We travelled to a number of different resorts, really making the most of our trip and taking in the sights of the Sunshine State. We first stayed at Orange Lake Resort in Orlando (8896). It was beautifully furnished with spacious apartments that overlooked a lovely lake.
“From there we drove to Daytona Beach and stayed at Ocean East Resort (0462) located right on the beach. Even all these years later I can remember the activity programme that was arranged for the children which kept them fully occupied. They loved taking part in competitions and the prize giving at the end. It was brilliant!
“Following that, we crossed the State to the west coast of Florida and stayed at the Treasure Island Beach Club (0778). It was in a lovely beachfront location, close to many restaurants and amenities. We enjoyed spending time exploring the lovely craft shops of Treasure Island.”
Giving a holiday as a gift
The couple haven’t kept the perks of being RCI members to themselves, but instead have shared their experiences using RCI Guest Certificates and found it to be a great benefit.
“We have used Late Deals, RCI Extra Holidays and Guest Certificates to allow our friends and family to enjoy great Exchange Holidays. The process is easy in that once a resort has been chosen on RCI.com, you just click on the icon to add a Guest Certificate. An email is then sent to us and to the recipient of the exchange. So simple!”
Margaret recently gifted her cousin Dale Walker with a Guest Certificate so she, her husband Gilmour, and brother-in-law John, could all enjoy a relaxing week away on the Costa del Sol.
Happy to receive her holiday, Dale said: “Using the RCI Guest Certificate, we had a fabulous holiday at the Crown Resorts at Club Calahonda (1878) in the Costa del Sol in September 2017."
As soon as the party arrived at the resort, Dale was impressed with the high level of service and friendly staff.
“We arrived at the resort at around 21:00 and were delighted to find the reception open, with a very pleasant and helpful receptionist. She explained in great detail about the resort facilities and also informed us of a courtesy bus that was available if we wished to visit any of the other Crown resorts in the area,” she said.
Dale and her family were very pleased with the size of the apartment in comparison to that of a standard holiday hotel room, as it was a perfect size for a family holidaying together."
She explained: “Our two-bedroom apartment was located on the second floor and was spotlessly clean with an excellent view from the balcony. The apartment had a lounge and kitchen area which was great for relaxing and cooking in when we didn’t fancy going out to eat."
As for the holiday, she had a wonderful time. “The apartment was ideally located for taking a short taxi or bus ride into the brilliant town of Fuengirola or the famous Marbella in the other direction, so there was plenty of choice for when we wanted to get out and about to explore.
“We decided to use the courtesy bus to visit Crown Resorts at Club Marbella in Calahonda (2404) and spent a very pleasant morning sunbathing at the pool there. We also had a lovely lunch using complimentary discount vouchers we received from our own resort, which was a very nice touch.”
There were plenty of places near their apartment to grab a bite to eat and a drink or two when the group decided to venture out of the resort.
“The beach was just a short walk downhill from our apartment with an excellent boardwalk which ran all the way along to the pretty village of La Cala de Mijas. There are so many bars and restaurants along the way that we took advantage of stopping for long, leisurely lunches before taking the local bus back to the resort.”
Although the holiday wasn’t for an extra special occasion, there was a rather wonderful memory that Dale has taken away with her. “I found out one of my cousins was holidaying at Fuengirola while we were there, so we arranged to meet up the very next day. I hadn't seen her for 22 years, as she lives in London, so it was an opportunity for a catch up that we couldn’t miss!
"It was their first time visiting the Costa del Sol, so thanks to our previous holidays in the area, we knew the best places to go. We decided to return to La Cala de Mijas to have a wander around the shops and take in the beautiful sights. All of us spent a lovely day catching up and dining out together. It was as though we just took up where we left off all those years ago. We loved it.”
Dale and Gilmour have stayed in timeshare resorts with friends before, and would definitely recommend using the RCI Guest Certificate option in the future to take advantage of all the space and privacy timeshare offers a larger holidaying family group.
RCI Guest Certificates cost £43 and can be purchased by RCI members on RCI.com when making an RCI booking.
If you would like to visit any of the destinations highlighted, or see where else your RCI membership could take you, click on the RCI Resort Directory below to search for your home-from-home accommodation.
If you own timeshare but are not a member of RCI, you could become part of our holiday exchange community today. Click on the Join RCI button below to sign up in just a few simple steps.
If you need some more inspiration for booking your next RCI exchange, visit our Holiday Ideas page to see some more fantastic destinations.