Hello Insiders. I need some help from some of you who have experienced the Club Level before to help give me some feedback. My Girlfriend and I are looking to get away late this summer for about five days hopefully and we are talking about Hotel options, Packages, Etc. She knows I'm a Marriott Loyalist and while I don't think she really cares where we stay in terms of brand we have been talking about options and the subject of all-inclusive packages keeps coming up. My question, for those of you who have done the Club Level stays at RC, did you find that having The Club as your hangout provide enough in terms of food, drink, etc., to get you by most of the time you were at the RC? I realize there is a bit of a difference in terms of an all-inclusive hotel package and a RC Club Level Stay, but my thought is even if we spring for some drinks, food, etc., by the the pool or somewhere other than the club, it would still probably be about the same, or in some cases cheaper, (RC Cancun) than some of the all-inclusive packages at some of the Marriott/Renaissance Resorts I've seen around the same time. Also, I am a RC Credit Card holder, so I would be burning one of the Club Upgrade Certificates and also using the $100 resort credit for the stay, which although I know I can't use for alcohol I believe, would off-set any food we buy outside the club. Anyway, any input from those of you who have done both an all-inclusive vacation and an RC Club Level Stay and what are your thoughts about these two and which might be better for us? My Girlfriend and I are both in our mid 30's and are looking for a quieter resort to relax in. We have looked seriously at the RC Cancun later this summer as well as some Indonesian and China RC's as well. Any insight is greatly appreciated!! Thanks!!Ri_inc
I don't think you'd be disappointed in the RC club experience if you are looking for quality and exclusivity over quantity and crowds. I see only two problems: 1) sometimes the RC club upgrades are hard to redeem at certain locations during certain times; and 2) once you experience a RC resort and club access, it will be VERY VERY VERY hard to go back to regular hotels ever again! I speak from experience! Haha. Enjoy!
PS - There are others who'd say RC is a complete waste of money and too stuffy/elitist. I think they are worth it if you are looking for an experience rather than the best possible value.
Thanks for the quick response clebert!! I intend to call the RC Rez line and do some looking into prices in late July/August and see what kind of prices they have attached to a reservation utilizing one of the upgrades as I know they can be dodgy. Neither of us are "big eaters". It isn't uncommon for us to split an appetizer and an entree at a restaurant, which is why I thought the Club Level may very well fit the bill for us the majority of the time we are there. I do want it to be special as neither one of us have gotten away for a vacation of any substance in quite sometime and I think this may fit the bill. My Girlfriend and I would really prefer a RC on the beach so we have looked at the RC Cancun and Fort Lauderdale. Any other suggestions. I also looked at Sanya in China.
I have not stayed at RC Cancun, but I have stayed at RC Ft. Lauderdale a couple of times and really like that property. It used to be a St. Regis, so it's not quite as traditional in décor as most RCs. It's actually very sleek and modern in design which I prefer. There are great views from every room as you'll either get the inter-coastal waterway or the ocean, or both if you are on one of the rooms on the side of the hotel. Even if you are doing club level, you might try Via Luna which is the on-site restaurant. It is very good and has a really beautiful view of the ocean and a lovely outdoor terrace. The hotel is right on the Ft. Lauderdale strip area, so there is a very urban vibe with lots of nightlife and traffic (pedestrians, bikes, cars, etc.). We were there last fall during the boat show and also during Dine Out Lauderdale so it was a busy time, and the hotel itself was really an oasis away from the hustle and bustle. Even though the Ft. Lauderdale strip area itself isn't as exclusive an area as Naples or Miami Beach, this hotel attracts a very upscale crowd. When we were there, the hotel entrance was lined with Bentleys, Rolls-Royces, Ferraris, etc. The beach is across the street from US Highway 1 which runs right along the beach, but there is an above-ground walkway accessible only to RC guests, so you don't have to go down to the street level and worry about traffic. For the life of me, I can't remember if they have beachside food and drink service at this particular RC. They do have beach chairs/umbrellas/towels in a RC-only area of the beach, and there is a beach attendant there to help you. There are tons of shops, bars, and restaurants within walking distance, and the Galleria is also very close by. It has high-end department stores and the typical mall-type shops. Restaurants nearby vary from fast food all the way to 5-star cuisine. This RC is more compact and urban than the expansive beach resort type hotels that aren't in urban areas, so that is a drawback if you're looking for the secluded tropical island type of experience. Because it's a high-rise and faces east, the beach and pool tend to get shaded by the building's shadow in late afternoon (or at least they do in the fall - not sure about other times of the year). If you do want a beautiful warm beach and a lovely hotel in a city setting, this place is wonderful. The airport is very close by and is easy to get in and out of. I would go back!
We've also stayed at RC Amelia Island and RC Naples (the one on the beach), both in Florida. Both are lovely expansive beach resorts and less urban than Ft. Lauderdale and more traditional in design/décor.
I have not been there, but I have heard many people say that the RC on Grand Cayman is heaven on earth. So that might be worth checking out!
If you value quality, décor and service you may be better of with the RC Club. If you are not a big eater you would see the all inclusive option as a waste. I am the type of person who goes to a buffet and could only handle two small plates max. I would have rather received a better meal for the money I just paid. I think that concept is similar to your situation. You aren't going to use the full benefits of the all inclusive resort so you might as well experience the luxury of a RC