Trenython Manor

Started by , April 23, 2007, 20:44:15

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Club La Costa has taken over Trenython Manor in Cornwall; I have a timeshare week in one of the lodges. When I was last there about three years ago the previous owners were building a number of new lodges for sale to one owner for about £250k. Club La Costa has now arbitrarily slapped on a £100 levy on top of the £400 service charge to pay for serious repairs to lodges etc. The previous owners did a similar thing some time back; I received a letter from the then General Manager in November 2004 acknowledging the fact that the increases in service charge had been severe but were necessary to 'maintain the infrastructure and maintain quality', the levy ended with the 2005 payment. Less than two years later the new owners are at it again!

I wrote to Club La Costa at Trenton Manor and got back three pages of waffle, the letter being signed off anonymously 'Member Services'. I immediately wrote back to them demanding answers to the questions I had put to them and a named individual to correspond with, I got a short snotty letter back advising me to look at Management Charges in the Rules of Occupation document this was from a Mrs Alida Dalmazzo who is clearly out of her depth and does not understand the questions put to her.

I live 315 miles away in Sheffield so it is not easy to get down there to have a look at what is going on, any intelligence would be most welcome as would contact with others similarly affected. It would be helpful if the occupation levels of various units were available. I am aware from a conversation I had with someone at Elmers Court last week that the new owners are trying to buy out one or more owners to further the new £5M scheme to build an additional number of luxurious 2 and 3 bedroom chalet style lodges, presumably to sell. If anyone has a copy of the Rules of Occupation at Trenython Manor I would welcome a copy. Does anyone have contact details for the head honcho at Club La Costa?

Sorry about the length of this but there is something seriously wrong here and I am determined not to be fobbed off.


wilsonjenny

I am a CLC member and I have found a letter from the chairman Roy L Peires which has the address as follows:

CLC Resort Developments Limited
33 North Quay
Douglas
Isle of Man
AM1 41B

The only information I can advise is that CLC are marketing this to its members as an upmarket luxurious resort and state they are updating all lodges as well as building new ones as  stated in your post.  

The usual scenario for cases such as this is that when you next stay at this resort, you will be invited to sell your week to CLC and become a member of the CLC points membership club.

CLC have also recently bought Hustyns, also in Cornwall and are presently refurbishing to a higher standard.

Hope this helps.
Jenny

Thanks Jenny, its going to be a long hard slog but I intend to give them a hard time.

The Trustees for Trenython Manor has changed from Hutchinson and Co to First National Trustee Company Limited, International House, Castle Hill, Victoria Road, Douglas, Isle of Man. When I phoned them about a copy of the Rules of Occupation they promised that someone would call me back but they didn't. I emailed them and have now had a message saying that a copy of the said rules are in the post to me.Assuming I receive these if anyone wants a copy let me know.

honesthotelinspector

Club La Costa, a time-share company who have property in the UK and abroad, owns this hotel. We received a letter offering us a 4 night midweek stay for £49 room only. However it meant having a 'presentation' about buying a timeshare. Small price to pay for a very cheap break away we thought, despite the long drive down from the north.

The hotel is situated a couple of miles outside Fowey on the southern coast of Cornwall. There is nothing within walking distance, so it's car or taxi rides to get anywhere. I didn't see one bus while we were there. On arrival the grounds and hotel looked very nice from the outside. The reception area is vast and impressive with huge stairs and balconies. The bar, restaurant, lounges and games areas all adjoin the main reception area. We had one of the best rooms with plenty of room and views over St Austell Bay 'Over there between the land and the sky' as Basil Fawlty once said. The room was showing signs of wear, in particular the bathroom with paint peeling off the walls around the wet areas and was just a bit 'edgy' through lack of recent maintenance. Stair walls scuffed from bags. No problem at our bargain rate, but if you were paying £150 a night you might be a bit hacked off with it. I never understand why hotels do not pay a full time man armed with a tin of magnolia and gloss paint to just go round tidying the place up! Overall it is clean and tidy and well equipped. Beware that some rooms in the main building are reported as being very small indeed, so if booking ask about the exact size and nature of the room. Staff were very friendly and always at hand.

The bar was OK, a general lack of choice, no real ales but OK if you like bottled beer. Not cheap at £3.10 for any beer bottle or draft and £5 for a large wine, £3.50 standard. However these prices would probably compare favourably with most hotels. The restaurant is very smart and well laid out. The menu looked nice, but again not cheap. £10 for fish and chips! When the meals arrived the portions were small, OK if you were having starter (£6) and sweet (£5) but unless you are made of cash, you couldn't afford to do that very often. On another night I ordered sausage and mash, again £10 which was extremely over salted that I had to leave some of the small portion which is very unlike me. Apart from the free breakfast (below) we didn't eat in here again choosing to go outside to local pubs and cafes. The breakfast is a buffet style help yourself job of good quality and costs a reasonable £8.50 pp. There was nothing obvious to suggest there was any reduction for children, so families beware a big bill.

The grounds are nice and well kept, but it has a small public patio area in front of the building and gardens and then rough countryside which extended down into a valley in front of the hotel. Very pretty but you are restricted as to what you can do around the hotel. The pool area again was looking a bit tatty and in need of some TLC. Having said that, it was clean and warm. A pokey and cold changing room was a shock when exiting the pool area.

General atmosphere around the hotel was a bit sterile with no music, just a TV playing in the side room from the bar. There a few bits of entertainment, mainly for kids arranged early evening. The hotel has a children's club room fully staffed which had TV's and computers and games etc, very small but functional. We didnt have kids with us, but if you did this might prove useful.

A major gripe however was the noise coming from the adjoining bedroom. The walls are not sound proofed and we could hear every noise from next door (don't ask!). On our first night I had to get out of bed and knock the door next door and ask the chap to turn the TV down! The bathrooms have been built inside rooms in studwork inner rooms, again with insufficient noise insulation. The room had a 32" Sony flat screen with DVD player. Tea and coffee makings included. A bottle of wine was waiting when we arrived which was a nice touch. Another real problem was the serious lack of storage for clothes. One small wardrobe with two drawers which housed the tea makings as well plus 2 small bedside cabinets. No hooks for coats, so the room was very difficult to keep tidy.

Overall the hotel was quite acceptable, although it is in need of a good tidy up to bring it anywhere the near the claimed 4 star rating. It would appear that most guests in the main building were there for the introductory stay and mandatory presentation. There were also others staying in the detached wood framed lodges in the grounds.

SALES PITCH! BEWARE

The following relates to the sales pitch, so please read if this applies to you either here or at Hustyns, the sister CLC resort on the north coast of Cornwall. First of all lets make it clear that CLC are a successful international company and as a rule do not scam or con money out of people. If they did they would have been prosecuted long ago. What is an issue is the method of selling their product, which I have found to be less than impressive to say the least.

The sales pitch was the downside of the stay unfortunately, but we knew it would be. The so called 'presentation' which was booked for us in the morning slot (the best one to have-then at least you can go out to recover afterwards!). We were collected from our room and taken for a free breakfast (thanks very much and quite tasty) and the salesman who I wont name and shame on the internet as it wouldn't be fair, started to warm us up with the normal pre sales pitch irrelevant chat. All I will say is that if you meet someone who tells you he worked for 16 years as a chef before joining CLC and has a picture of him with Anthony Worrell Thompson purposely propped up for all to see in his open brief case, you will know who it was. He seemed a likable chap, perhaps a 'bit of a lad' however a bit nervous.

His first point was to say that this hotel was the worst one they have and need of a refurb -well at least he started off being honest, however he went on..because it was a listed building they are prevented from doing so.. even a lick of paint...come on! Following this we were taken down to the presentation suite where there were other victims sat in the two's on individual tables being spoken to by Club La Costa sales reps. I knew what was coming as I have experienced this before. He said that he was under no pressure to sell us anything (I nearly choked on my Latte laughing! - what salesman do you know that is not under pressure to sell?) as he suggested 'these holidays sell themselves'. He carried on with his comedy act by saying that the accommodation does not make money! Their income comes only from the bar and restaurant! What? They were empty all the time I was there! He said they were very cheap in order to look after the members. £10 for below average fish and chips?? Where does he come from?

We were asked a load of questions about our expectations of what a great holiday should be and then we had to go through their trademark all important 'holiday survey' filled out. He was very disorganised with no form to fill in and for the first time of many had to call over the first manager to bring one over.

The way it works is this; The salesman adds up the cost of your normal annual holiday costs and then converts this into a monthly amount. He then tries to convince you that joining their club would work out cheaper than what you already pay out (still listening at this stage) The sales psychology used is talking fast and writing diagrams and key words on a blank piece of paper to re enforce what he is suggesting that you might like. The only problem for us is that poor old Chef was not very good at what he was doing. He was trying to cram so much information into his act that he completely lost himself and certainly totally confused us within about 15 minutes. His pitch was not structured well and quite unprofessional. Don't get me wrong, I liked this bloke, but from the start I knew this was going to be hard work.

What he was saying didn't seem to make any sense and I thought I understood the concept of timeshare holidays before meeting him! His figures simply didn't add up with him including the costs of flights into our existing expenditure but handily leaving them off the CLC club side of the comparison. I'm not sure if he took us for idiots, but when challenged he just kept saying 'ah yes you will see! See what? - we never did. He somehow worked out that after a few years we would be in profit and holidays would no longer cost us very much at all! Not true.

Then he throws the Thomson brochure out and picks out holidays similar to what you have said you might like doing eg your 'dream holiday' and then prices them up. Incorrectly in his case, as he was pointing to the 7 days price, multiplying by the number of people and then doubling it!! To make it sound a lot of money when in reality the cost of 14 days is hardly any more than 7 days, as we all know. This was just downright deceiving. Did he think that we didn't notice what he was doing, even at the speed he was talking? He then pushed the great value extra short breaks that we could book at bargain prices whenever we wanted. Yes, only after no doubt forking out a huge joining fee, which of course I wasn't allowed to know how much at that point. He avoided that very question, saying only his manager can tell you at the end! It was all very laughable, but I imagine that some poor souls actually get taken in by all this nonsense, thankfully we did not. Why couldn't he tell us up front what this was going to cost and then try to positively justify the outlay? If you walk into any shop for instance to buy a sofa or a car, the price is there to see, then Mr Nice sales person comes over and talks you into buying it! Why cant this be the same?

Half way through the tour we were taken across to see one of the lodges in the grounds, which were nice it has to be said, but they damn well should be at what they wanted off us for the right to be able to try to book one for a holiday! Then we were shown a video where Jenny Bond (Royal Correspondent) was introducing Club La Costa, very cheesy and told you absolutely nothing other than the interviewed MD of CLC is very smug indeed. Chef said that she joined CLC and was very keen to do the video to spread the good news...yeah right.

When we finally got manager no 2, Mr Big over to the table after nearly 3 hours to tell us how much, we found out that joining would cost.....
Again he couldn't just tell us!!. He had to write everything down on blank paper with lines and boxes, until finally getting to the crux and wrote down £11,995 and swivelled it round, probably expecting us to say 'wow, is that all? I don't think he liked my reaction. Yes that's 12k just to join Club La Costa!. On top there is a mere £415 annual maintenance fee (so they must intend to paint the walls then), This figure I know has almost doubled in 5 years! Then when you book a holiday you only have 1 week for your 12k, so if you want 2 weeks - most of us do don't we,? you will have to buy another extra week at anything from £150 to £500 each time, depending on where you want to go. On top you have your normal flights and travel expences etc. If you want to go anywhere other than a CLC resort you will have to swap your week through the RCI 'space bank', which costs £119 or £159 for 7 or 14 days. Although still confused we were getting the picture loud and clear that joining Club La Costa was going to cost an arm and a leg.

We were then told about their special trial offer. Chef had hinted that this 'final twist' as he put it and would be too good to be true. I could hardly contain myself. We could pay 'just under £4,000' and try out CLC to see if we liked it. Having already explained that firstly I was signing nothing that day and was not in any position to part with that kind of money, Mr Big then went off on his credit loan figures diagram trying to say they would be doing us a favour if we borrowed this money as a deposit which gave us 6 weeks accommodation which we could use against the initial 12k joining fee if we wanted to join proper. The manager left when he finally realised they were not getting our cheque.

It all ended a bit messy with poor old Chef attempting to get a commitment and us telling him in no uncertain terms that we need time to think about lashing out the price of a decent conservatory on a scrap of paper with handwritten numbers. He was getting a bit agitated (funny I thought he wasn't under any pressure) 'We must have a decision today' he said. 'You would be an idiot to walk away from this deal'! he said. Really, why is that?. If the product is so good and sells itself, why will they only sell it using the hard sell pitch when you are on site? You don't ever see these advertised anywhere else do you? It's obvious why not. You wouldn't pick the phone up.

They also try to suggest that as a member you can make money by recommending others to come on cheap trips where they will get the same sales pitch, however 'we must cap you at earning £6,000 a year as some people were making a living out of it'!! By now I was chewing the inside of my face attempting to keep a straight face. Did he really think we would fall for that one?

As we got up to leave Chef said in a whispered voice 'if you come back, haggle with the manager as they usually drop the price'. The final straw is being told that you can't go until you have been 'signed out' by another one of the nice smiling managers.

This was a poor sales pitch, which went on far too long. Even if we had a salesman who really knew what he was doing, we would never have gone for this. Where was the professional price structure brochure which might have assured me that the company are ethical and transparent and also that couple on the next table were being told the same price? Scribbles on bits paper does not cut it I'm afraid. From start to finish I felt that they were attempting to have me over. I liken this to a double glazing salesman or a 'Kirby' Hoover sales pitch where they will only sell their overpriced vacuum cleaners after a demo in your home and you must decide on the day and usually only after phone calls to managers to try to lower the ridiculous price tag. You don't ever see those advertised for sale either. Why? because you would never buy one after weighing up the alternatives.

The CLC figures didn't add up to me. Yes the time-share accommodation is nice and yes you will no doubt get well kitted out rooms, lodges and villas, in nice resorts, but you will end up paying for it, plus more. I cannot see how this can save you money as they try to suggest. It should never be described as an 'investment' either, as again they tell you it is. It will never gain value and will surely depreciate like a new Fiat as it rolls out of the showroom! Just look at those currently trying to sell their timeshares for peanuts on the internet. The additional fees, which you have no control over, will almost certainly go up beyond normal inflation. Everybody I know that bought timeshares when they were in fashion, have all got rid at a big loss.

My advice is to take the offer of a cheap break and enjoy it. I would certainly do it again. However be very careful of the hard sell and do not commit to anything on the day. Leave your cheque book at home and don't sign anything at the presentation. The web is full of people who did and are very unhappy about it and now trying to get out of it. Even you want to buy into this, do not do it at the presentation. Go away and think about in the cold light of day and then go back and get that price down in the comfort of Mr Big's office when you are in charge.

I'm sure there are some people who feel happy with timeshare ownership, however I cannot see how being tied into such a big financial commitment could ever save you money when you take into account the ongoing and continually rising additional fees.
For CLC to suggest that this is money saving opportunity is not on, as you wont. TV's Martin Lewis of Money Saving Expert is of the same view. He says 'Don't touch it with a barge pole'

As we left the hotel after the presentation, so did Mr Big in his 57 plate Lexus with his mobile strapped to his ear. Ah, so that's what the maintenance fee is spent on!


Disclaimer- this is my view only and is based purely on my own experience

marjory carlisle

But of course as everyone on here knows - Diamond Resorts International is much different.

Can't you see that?

Doggy50k

Marjory

Was that some sort of dig?

1.  This thread has nothing to do with Diamond, so please stay on topic.

2.  I presume that you refer to the fact that we are giving Diamond an opportunity to prove themselves better than their predecessors and others in the trade?

Timesharetalk was at the forefront of bringing to light the wrongdoings of S.unterra, as yet Diamond have done nothing wrong (that we are aware of).

If you are a diamond member with what you perceive to be a grievance, please feel free to post on the Diamond forums.

"You know; the very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They don't alter their views to fit the facts. They alter the facts to fit their views. Which can be uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the facts that needs altering."

paulas

Are there any Trenython weeks members here that have had their buy back offer with their 2009 maintenance invoice. The offer is £100 regardless of size or week which is pretty poor on something that cost £3000 a few years ago, just because the offer to transfer to CLC is so expensive, weeks owners have ended up being a nuisance that clc want to get rid of. i rang and asked about the offer on the table to transfer to the two clc vacation clubs and no one seemed to really know much or how it would work with RCI points. Is anyone else going through this frustrating experience?

Paula

daviday

Look at the prices that timeshares are fetching on e-bay, I'd be inclined to regard 100 pounds as EXTREMELY generous for an out of season week.

BEV19GRY

DO NOT SELL OUT FOR £100.  CLC WILL BE BUYING FULL OWNERSHIP OF A LODGE FOR £5,200.  WOULDN'T YOU LIKE A HOME FOR £5,200

IF WE ARE PAYING HIGHER MAINTENANCE TO SUBSIDISE CLC OWNED WEEKS WE ARE ENTITLED TO MORE OWNERSHIP AT £100 PER WEEK PURCHASE ALSO.

PLEASE FIND BELOW E-MAIL FORWARDED TO CLC

Reference my telephone call to Trenython Manor and Club La Costa in Spain today.  Further to your advice I forward e-mail herewith for you to pass onto Philip K Bickmore, Club Secretary, Club La Costa.

On receiving my maintanance charge bill today I was disappointed with the following:-

1.  Received 23.12.09 for payment by the 1.01.10 (much earlier than previous bills)

2.  Increase in excess of the allowed yearly %

3,  Owners now subsidising Club La Costa weeks

4.  Club La Costa purchasing weeks for £100.   Below market value and then not paying maintenance on the unrented lodges.

5.  I have received no marketing of lodges available for rental next year.  On telephoning Trenython Manor and CLC in Spain I was unable to receive information when I could rent a lodge next year.  This is not "tremendous effort on their part to attract people to the lodges through both rental and marketing programmes" as stated in your letter.

6.  Through your poor marketing you have lost a possible revenue of income on your free weeks. As a potential rental customer I was unable to rent a lodge for next year.

Please forward by return a list of the available weeks for rental next year.  I am paying to maintain these and therefore myself and other owners should have the option to use them.

I would also like the accounts of the income received on these lodges.

Beverley Grice

Carolinian

quote:
Originally posted by paulas

Are there any Trenython weeks members here that have had their buy back offer with their 2009 maintenance invoice. The offer is £100 regardless of size or week which is pretty poor on something that cost £3000 a few years ago, just because the offer to transfer to CLC is so expensive, weeks owners have ended up being a nuisance that clc want to get rid of. i rang and asked about the offer on the table to transfer to the two clc vacation clubs and no one seemed to really know much or how it would work with RCI points. Is anyone else going through this frustrating experience?

Paula




Trying to run off Weeks members is a really sleazy tactic for a developer.
 

BEV19GRY

I don't understand how CLC can purchase weeks for £100 and then state that they cannot pay any maintenance fee on these weeks because they are unable to rent them.  If we owners didn't use our weeks we would still be liable to pay our maintenance fees.

Owners should only be liable for 1/52 of the costs for each week owned.  CLC are being negligent in their own liabilities and therefore if we members are paying additional maintenance fees we now own an additional proportion of each lodge.

paulas

We didn't accept the £100 as by the time they got round to processing it it was too late to withdraw from the RCI points system for another 12 months. We have now received our maintenance for 2010 and it has gone up by £200. The offer to buy back for £100 still stands. We now reach a point where we cannot afford to pay the £700 they are asking in maintenance. They states that there was 936 members and now this is less than 150 so the maintenance has to be split between those who are left, despite the fact that the other lodges still exist and CLC are putting people in them free of charge to sell them their holiday club idea.  Would love to be in touch with other members and find out what you are doing.

Thanks

sparkie

Same as above, we had already committed our weeks to RCI before the offer was made and so CLC wouldn't buy the week, the maint fee this year is £700, how they think they can justify that is beyond me, I haven't heard anymore regarding the meetings they were having with a couple of owners on the committee, are they still happening, does anyone actually know what the legal standing is if you just give them the week back and refuse to pay the fees?? Also I just had a cold call from Alicorp Tours stating that he was acting on behalf of clients looking to purchase weeks, I asked if we were expected to pay any money and the response was 'NO' although that may come later, has anyone else heard or had a call from these people??

paulas

I was approached by Seasons Holidays last year and they looked at taking our week off of us if we went into their scheme but then declined it as CLC wanted £1500 in transfer fees. The thing is I can get a decent holiday for £700 or a nice private villa and when the maintenance costs start to be more expensive than a normal holiday it's really not worth it and the vacation club they are offering have extortionate maintenance charges. Some friends of our signs up for their £4,000 trial and they have not been able to book a holiday for the destination or int he time period they wanted so have ended up losing it. I am sure there has got to be some kind of guidelines here as to what they can do but to say that the remaining members have to pay the maintenance is increasing the fees by more than i beleive they are allowed to.

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