Doing RCI Directory research when looking to do a timeshare exchange is required if you want to get the best resorts. Yet, most members do not take advantage of all of the great information found in the RCI directory.
An RCI member asked the question below on Trip Advisor about a recommendation for a resort in Bali, Indonesia. While I always use Trip Advisor when researching my exchange request, the RCI Directory has the best information when you know what to look for.
“I and my wife are planning to go for 5-6 nights for New years to Bali. We are RCI members but not sure which RCI resort to pick in Bali. Please also advise whether we should stay in Seminiyak or Ubud area. What we are looking forward to is private villa with pool and amazing service.
Looking for recommendations.”
At the time there were only 2 answers but neither really answered his question. Nonetheless, I’ve found Trip Advisor a great resource when researching my timeshare vacations. I use it in combination with the RCI directory and member reviews to make my decisions.
I’ve found that the people who vacation at an RCI or Interval International resort that aren’t timeshare members are a bit more critical in their ratings or timeshares. This is probably because they are expecting a hotel experience with daily maid service and room service. I take that into account when evaluating a Trip Advisor rating.
Timeshare owners are typically willing to give up those creature comforts to enjoy larger accommodations with a kitchen and know what to expect. I consider their ratings more accurate. That being said, evaluating ratings by both Trip Advisor and the member reviews in the RCI directory gives me the most information.
Many timeshare members rely solely on RCI’s resort awards when determining which timeshare resorts they request. RCI has four tiers of resorts designated by 3 symbols. From high to low, the symbols are Gold Crown, Silver Crown, Hospitality, and the rest, which have no symbol.
RCI members also rank resorts by means of comment cards filled out after their vacation. Members rank the resort between 1 and 5 stars on check in and check out, cleanliness of the room, service, activities on site and nearby and many other things. RCI compiles them and displays the number of stars and number of reviews next to the resort’s listing in the RCI directory.
Circled in red in the upper left corner is the Gold Crown symbol, the highest ranking RCI gives. Many members look for this first and automatically include it on their request. What stands out to me, however, is there are no reviews by members that have stayed there. If there were, there would be a row of stars and a number of how many reviews they have in the second red ellipse. I would do more RCI Directory research before I’d include this in my request.
The Living Asia Resort & Spa looks pretty good at first with the Silver Crown and the 5 stars. Much of the time there is not a lot of difference between a Gold Crown and Silver Crown resort. I’ve stayed at many. The problem, however, is there’s only 1 review. Being a skeptic, I might suspect that the glowing recommendation was given by someone affiliated with the resort. (Legal Disclaimer: I am not saying this happened at this resort.) I’d continue my research before adding this resort to my search.
This resort listing could jump out at a member that isn’t familiar with RCI’s resort rating symbols only seeing the 5 stars. In fact, it’s at the bottom for quality as ranked by RCI and there is only 1 member rating. There is no possibility I’d consider this resort as a candidate for my vacation.
Here’s is a great candidate! Silver Crown with 4 Stars and 28 reviews. When reading the reviews, they range from the newest to the oldest so you can see how the resort has held up over the years. The newest review was January 20, 2017, and was a solid 4 Stars. The oldest review was in 2008. The 28 reviews were about equally distributed between 3 and 5 Stars. The common complaint from those giving 3 Stars was the long distance to Kuta. The 5 Star reviewers liked the isolation.
You can see how much valuable information you can quickly find when doing RCI Directory research correctly. Let’s look at one more.
Clearly, the Risata Bali Resort & Spa has a lot going for it. It has 26 reviews, 4 1/2 Stars, and 26 reviews. I would read through the reviews and see if it is in the location I’d want to be and include it in my request. Even though the Medwei Bay Retreat was a Silver Crown I wouldn’t hesitate to accept an exchange there because of the reviews.
There are 64 RCI resorts in Bali so I would include a few more in my RCI Directory research because I can quickly see which would be my candidates. I would then check my list of resorts on Trip Advisor for my final determination.
Now that you see how much information is at your fingertips in the RCI directory, and how easy it is, you need to make sure you take all of the steps needed to get a good exchange.
A couple of great, FREE resources for you are The Timeshare Exchange Checklist and How to Exchange a Timeshare: The Definitive Guide. Get them now and enjoy your timeshare exchange.