Seasons at Clowance

Started by neil1702, August 12, 2006, 08:53:39

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neil1702

I've just had an email from my holiday company, Seasons Holidays, saying that they've just acquired Clowance Country club in Cornwall.
Just wondering if the Clowance members knew about this and, if so, how they fit into the Seasons membership? Welcome to Seasons, by the way[:)]
Any comments from others?


Cotswolder

Hi Neil,

I have just had the same information.
Not sure how this will fit with Seasons or the Clowance owners. They probably new nothing about it !!
My thoughts are my own. Please do not use them without my permission.

Regards,
Cotswolder

pat_celine

quote:
Originally posted by neil1702

I've just had an email from my holiday company, Seasons Holidays, saying that they've just acquired Clowance Country club in Cornwall.
Just wondering if the Clowance members knew about this and, if so, how they fit into the Seasons membership? Welcome to Seasons, by the way[:)]
Any comments from others?


pat_celine

quote:
Originally posted by neil1702

I've just had an email from my holiday company, Seasons Holidays, saying that they've just acquired Clowance Country club in Cornwall.
Just wondering if the Clowance members knew about this and, if so, how they fit into the Seasons membership? Welcome to Seasons, by the way[:)]
Any comments from others?


We have just returned from Clowance, as owners we were told about the aquisition by one of the entertainment staff. Apparently it came as a shock to everyone concerned. At our request We met a member of seasons staff - Steve Davies who was on site to train Clowance staff on the 'Seasons' concept. He wanted us to give up our Clowance fixed week 32 for Seasons membership.He was very persuasive about the benefits but I am not so sure. What do other people think? I would worry that we would not be able to get our week even if we requested one year in advance. Seasons cannot have any weeks at Clowance to offer unless other Clowance owners switch to the  Seasons system

Cotswolder

Hi Pat,

I am an owner at Laugharne Park in South Wales. We were "taken over" by Seasons in 1997. Since then they have tried to get me to change to the Seasons system. This I will NOT do.

If you have a fixed week that you use and like, especially as yours is in the school holiday period, the only 100% way to ensure you will get that week is to keep ownership of it.

IMHO I would not change to the Seasons way.
My thoughts are my own. Please do not use them without my permission.

Regards,
Cotswolder

neiltilley

this is interesting. my suppossition is- i for one would want to keep my week if it is one that i use annually or that i just chuck into exchange it- it would service my needs with no unnecessary costs and should change nothing for me... if i was to upgrade though, would the cost be necessary or viable? how much would it cost to buy into the season system, given that you would be depositing your already paid for week? i would suggest any cost would be unreasonable unless you check out what resorts are available to you within the season system, test that you could book something you like and only then consider your new product if you do actually want to travel anywhere else. I THINK SOME SEASONS CURRENT MEMBERS SHOULD POST THEIR THOUGHTS ON THE SEASONS SYSTEM TO ASSIST YOU WORRIED CLOWANCE GUYS-i'm sure many of you are thinking hard! i would say though any seasons members who have one post or registered this week,,, then take no notice of their advise- get the oldies not the newbies (jesus- i'm a cynical old moaner)

lucky

As an owner I wasnt aware of the acquisition. Have never been a points or floating week fan and believe a fixed week is best, at least for our requirements at present. We wouldnt give up our fixed week.

Tina

neil1702

[/quote]
We have just returned from Clowance, as owners we were told about the aquisition by one of the entertainment staff. Apparently it came as a shock to everyone concerned. At our request We met a member of seasons staff - Steve Davies who was on site to train Clowance staff on the 'Seasons' concept. He wanted us to give up our Clowance fixed week 32 for Seasons membership.He was very persuasive about the benefits but I am not so sure. What do other people think? I would worry that we would not be able to get our week even if we requested one year in advance. Seasons cannot have any weeks at Clowance to offer unless other Clowance owners switch to the  Seasons system
[/quote]

We find the Seasons concept works very well for us, but saying that we have never had a fixed week. We own a floating peak/red week that we can use at Seasons resorts at any time other than the school summer holidays. This would imply to me that if you are to come into the Seasons fold you should be given, at no extra cost, a high peak floating week so that you can still holiday in the school holidays. Of course this would not guarantee you a week at Clowance, but I would be very surprised if you couldn't book it at the start of the new year once you've paid your maintenance fee.
The thing I love about Seasons is being able to exchange into Interval. This is how we get away in the school holidays. Obviously there is the additional cost: membership of Interval plus the exchange fee (£95 for Europe).
Another benefit of Seasons membership are the short breaks (3-night weekend or 4-night midweek). Having booked one of these for a friend recently and found out how much they would have paid, they are pretty good value. We used these to visit most of the home resorts.
Without knowing exactly what you were offered it's difficult to comment but if you want to ask me anything about Seasons (system, resorts or anything else) I will gladly give my opinion, but please remember that it's just my opinion.

Cheers,

Neil

neil1702

quote:
Originally posted by lucky

As an owner I wasnt aware of the acquisition. Have never been a points or floating week fan and believe a fixed week is best, at least for our requirements at present. We wouldnt give up our fixed week.

Tina


Not sure I would give up a fixed week in the school holidays either but it would depend on what was being offered wouldn't it?

Simoncc

As another non Seasons owner I wouldn't give up a fixed summer holiday week for a floating system no matter what the promises made.

Cotswolder, have Seasons quoted you a cost to switch into their system? This would give Clowance owners an idea of what to expect.

Another point, Clowance is an RCI Points resort I wonder what will happen to their membership of this sytem now that Seasons have taken over?
 

pat_celine

quote:
Originally posted by Simoncc

As another non Seasons owner I wouldn't give up a fixed summer holiday week for a floating system no matter what the promises made.

Cotswolder, have Seasons quoted you a cost to switch into their system? This would give Clowance owners an idea of what to expect.

Another point, Clowance is an RCI Points resort I wonder what will happen to their membership of this sytem now that Seasons have taken over?


Steve Davies implied that there would be no charge to switch to Seasons, there is a problem for some Clowance owners as they were persuaded to change from a fixed week to points (for a fee) and will now possibly have to change again Clowance is an II resort and RCI but will only be II in the future. I do not know how this will affect RCI members who have paid subscriptions. Personally it does not affect us as we belong to RCI South Africa. As owners at Sun City we get free RCI SA membership so have not bothered to pay RCI UK fees. According to the Seasons brochure anyone with a peak red week (we have week 32 at Clowance)wanting to go to Sun City for example could exchange into any Sun City week. I know this would be impossible as SA peak times particularly the $2,000,000 golf week in Nov/Dec and SA Christmas holidays are like gold dust. Also anyone wanting to exchange to Cape Town might find it very difficult. I just do not believe what Steve Davies says regarding exchanging. We have been told that our levies will be £100 cheaper if we switch to Seasons, I don't see why we should have to pay any more than Seasons owners when if we keep our fixed week we would apparantly get less benefits i.e. no short breaks or exchanges within the system
Pat

neil1702

quote:
Originally posted by pat_celine

quote:
Originally posted by Simoncc

As another non Seasons owner I wouldn't give up a fixed summer holiday week for a floating system no matter what the promises made.

Cotswolder, have Seasons quoted you a cost to switch into their system? This would give Clowance owners an idea of what to expect.

Another point, Clowance is an RCI Points resort I wonder what will happen to their membership of this sytem now that Seasons have taken over?


Steve Davies implied that there would be no charge to switch to Seasons, there is a problem for some Clowance owners as they were persuaded to change from a fixed week to points (for a fee) and will now possibly have to change again Clowance is an II resort and RCI but will only be II in the future. I do not know how this will affect RCI members who have paid subscriptions. Personally it does not affect us as we belong to RCI South Africa. As owners at Sun City we get free RCI SA membership so have not bothered to pay RCI UK fees. According to the Seasons brochure anyone with a peak red week (we have week 32 at Clowance)wanting to go to Sun City for example could exchange into any Sun City week. I know this would be impossible as SA peak times particularly the $2,000,000 golf week in Nov/Dec and SA Christmas holidays are like gold dust. Also anyone wanting to exchange to Cape Town might find it very difficult. I just do not believe what Steve Davies says regarding exchanging. We have been told that our levies will be £100 cheaper if we switch to Seasons, I don't see why we should have to pay any more than Seasons owners when if we keep our fixed week we would apparantly get less benefits i.e. no short breaks or exchanges within the system
Pat


The brochure will say that anyone COULD exchange into any Sun City week, but as with all exchange companies (RCI, II, Seasons affiliates etc) it all comes down to availability. Mind you, if what I'm told is correct, the fact that you have a high peak week at a UK resort gives you a high trading power.
As I said before, if looking to change to Seasons, make sure your week is the high peak i.e. includes summer holidays

finchcolin

We've been with Seasons for about 10 years, having joined with one Red week then taken out a second Red week the following year. Both weeks are floating time. This suits us as we don't have any regular time when we take holidays.

I would estimate we have managed to get the weeks and location we wanted about 50% of the time over the 10 years, but have always managed either to get another location within Seasons for the required weeks, or the required location for different weeks. I recently tried to book Whitbarrow in the Lake District and got the week I wanted in October.

We have found the mid-week and weekend breaks mentioned above very useful and good value.

Seasons have expanded considerably over the 10 years we have been involved, generally by purchasing existing resorts but also buy building new appartments on existing resorts. I think this is why we managed to get the required week at Whitbarrow, which had been a difficult resort to get into before recent expansion.

Seasons were with RCI when I joined, but switched to II when RCI started to push points. Seasons advised owners not to switch to points. Any outstanding RCI membershp was honoured. We have used II very successfully for exchanages, and also taken advantage of the affiliated resorts where you an exchange for less than through II. We had two weeks in Phoenix for £80 three years back.

We have been happy with Seasons. Like all companies they are always looking for opportunities to make money. You just have to consider what they are offering, think about whether or not you would benefit  and how it might effect you in the longer term, then decide if it's what you want.

I have not received any information from Seasons on Clowance Country Club, and there is nothing on their website. Perhaps I will find out more in October.

Colin

We've also been Seasons members for a number of years and have been VERY pleased with  their expansion. It has allowed us to visit many affiliated resorts - Thailand,South Africa,America,Austria,Italy - with the smallest of exchange fees and luckily,available when requested. With so many resorts now available through Seasons membership,we'd never be able to visit them all! Then of course there's II and Dial an Exchange offering many many more.
Looking forward to booking Clowance too as it's been high on our wish list.

As a Clownace owner, I recently [June 2006] transferred my two weeks into the RCI point system.  There was no mention by the Clowance sales person of Seasons acquiring the resort or, indeed, of any impending changes to the ownership of the resort.  This does not particularly surprise me because Clowance has always treated its owners disdainfully.

I now have three weeks ownership at Clowance all in RCI points, so does this mean I cannot extract my Clowance week(s) from the system for my own use?  If I cannot, then surely RCI is in breach of their contract as this clearly states I can withdraw my week(s) at the start of any year providing I supply the required amount of notice.

I am furious that Clowance has not consulted with its owners regarding this acquisition.  I have never heard of 'Seasons' and I fear the resort will now suffer as a result of this transaction.  For all their faults, the Clowance management did maintain a high standard at the resort; will Season maintain the same high standard or is it to become a beer & bingo resort?!  I fear the worse.

pat_celine

As Clowance owners we were probably the first to hear of the takeover. I actually saw Frank Chapman at the resort and was then told by Paul Symons the evening entertainer about Seasons. On Friday 11 August we asked Michelle Kirk (Clowance Manager) what was going on. Apparently none of the staff knew anything about it and they were totally in the dark as to how it would affect owners. Steve Davies from Seasons was on site so we arranged a meeting. From what we could gather Owners of fixed weeks could remain as they are (but pay the dearer Clowance maintenance fees)I understand that people who converted to points with RICA could convert to Seasons - he implied with no charge but I do not know what will happen about the money you might have paid to be members of RCI as the resort will now only be Interval International. We met two Sales staff who were going that afternoon to Seasons@Burn Park for training. According to Paul Symonds other sales staff at Clowance were being made redundant. Seasons propose to build another 34 units and some villas to sell and leaseback. I have been searching the web for more information and found this web site with the press release from Seasons Holidays. http://www.thetimesharebeat.com/2006/aug/0811-04t.htm  
Seasons contact is - Seasons Group Marketing Director Leslie McCann on 01727 899959 or 07771611811 or
lesliemccann@seasonsholidays.com
Anyone with more information as to how this will affect owners please let us know

[?]
Returned yesterday from a weeks holiday at Clowance.  We were contacted within an hour of our arrival by our allocated Rep and told the news and attended the usual Sunday morning briefing where Michelle (resort manager) introduced the Seasons people on site words were they were pleased about the change, body language said different.  As we were there with our 5 grandchildren and didn't want to spoil there holiday we didn't take up the offer for a meeting with someone from Seasons, but the existing staff seem to know very little.  Overheard some conversation with some staff who do not appear to be very happy at all, the Seasons management style would appear to be very different (i.e. do what we say and don't have any opinions of your own).
Initial thoughts:
a) Clowance is a special place with its own ambience which is what attracted us to be owners there.  Seasons appear to want to put "camp holiday" type entertainment on in the restaurant/lounge area.  No thanks!
b) Although the estate is large at 97 acres another 34 lodges + 8 apartments would make the much smaller area available for development very crowded in my view.  Some development had already started before the takeover - 4 lodges are currently nearing external completion.
c) Swimming pool already crowded at peak times - another 200+ people on site would not be sustainable unless they expanded it.
d) Look forward to hearing what the Owners Club Committee have to say about it all.


JuliaR

We have been Clowance owners for almost 20 years and the first we knew of the takover was when Seasons - not Clowance - mailed a newsletter to us.  We are very concerned as RCI points owners what the implications will be for our membership.  We are happy with the points system which has allowed us much more flexibility in our holidays.  The fact Seasons are building a lot more accommodation is also concerning as one of the good points about Clowance are its extensive, impressive grounds which up to now the accommodation hasn't overwhelmed.  We are going to the Clowance AGM on 1 October armed with questions........

JuliaR

Attended a lively Clowance Owners Club AGM today.  Seasons' MD and an RCI rep were also there.  Many concerns were expressed as you can imagine.  Seasons' sales staff came in for a lot of criticism and interestingly they have in the last couple of days been "re-educated" by their bosses apparently!  Lots of reassurances given by both Seasons and RCI so for the time being we are giving them the benefit of the doubt and will wait and see the impact over the next year (and we are staying with RCI).

Simoncc

Julia, thanks for the update. As an RCI Points owner who was looking to exchange into Clowance in 2008 I'm interested in hearing that weeks should still be available!

Have Seasons/RCI indicated that those owners who keep their fixed weeks will retain the option of remaining RCI members indefinitely - similar to those owners who didn't cede into the Sunterra/GVC UK points system?
 

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