Review: Kohala Coast Hawaii - Read the Review

Destination Hotel and Resort

Private membership clubs - well spent extravagance

Destination resorts are upscale resort retreats that are sought out all over the world by clients that can easily afford a second home, but who don't want the baggage that comes with property ownership.

These properties are usually worth between $2.5 and $5 million and are situated in the most exclusive and desirable locations around the world. Destination clubs, also referred to as 'private membership clubs', offer hassle-free, lavish vacations, with all the comfort and convenience of a full-scale home, without taxes or maintenance to worry about.

For most private membership clubs, the quality of the experience is of first and foremost priority. These properties can come in the form of large family homes, castles, condos, hotel suites, or even converted monasteries. Essentially, you choose the membership plan that would work best with your schedule. For example, you could sign up for 2 months or 2 weeks of vacation time at a destination resort.

To enter into the universe of destination resorts, you must pay a membership fee that starts in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. This fee is often fully or partly refundable if you ever decide to withdraw. In addition, you must pay annual dues that can range as wide as $10,000 to $65,000, depending on where you stay. The annual dues are required and grant you access to all the specific club's properties around the world. There is also sometimes a daily fee required of around about $600 for full-usage of the highly exclusive grounds and state-of-the-art facilities. There are usually a variety of membership types available depending on the number of days you have to travel and you can pay on a per night basis if you end up having more time than originally anticipated to enjoy your vacation.

For those not quite prepared to go the full nine yards, there are certain resorts that offer a more 'affordable' version of the deluxe, top-end alternative. For these properties, expect a membership fee of approximately $85,000, with annual fees running around $6,500. The concept is the same, but instead of a 4,000 foot home, you may agree that 2,000 feet is enough space for you. Before you spend your money look at all of your options like fractional ownerships and even timeshare options.

Still, the allure of destination resorts is typically based on extravagance, which is just getting wilder and more extreme. Certain clubs offer private jet service, fully crewed private yachts, personal staff to meet clients' needs day and night, including a personal chef and 5-star concierge service.