Four Seasons Exchange
While Four Seasons owners boast about their exclusive ownership, the exchange process is often the one aspect that is difficult to accomplish within the Residence Club. If you are looking to buy a Four Seasons timeshare, you should know that the idea of exchanging one Four Seasons Residence for another isn't common among owners, therefore creating complications for those who do with to exchange. Many Four Seasons owners purchase their fractional ownership at a resort that they want to continually visit year after year. This makes them unlikely to exchange, leaving less opportunity for other owners who may be interested in exchanging.
The best way to experience various Four Seasons Residences is to rent a Four Seasons timeshare through the secondary market. With a rental, there is no ownership commitment. You are able to rent just as easily as you would with a regular hotel, while reaping all the benefits of the luxurious Four Seasons Residences. It is easy to pick a different destination for your annual, or even bi-annual, getaway. Not to mention, you will save hundreds off the original resort prices.
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Exchange Differences: Fractional Ownership Vs. Timeshare
Four Seasons ownership is referred to as fractional ownership. This means most Four Seasons owners have more than one week—some as many as twelve weeks. Because of this, Four Seasons Residences cannot abide by the same standard of traditional timeshare exchange, making the process more challenging.
Fractionals and timeshares are similar in many ways, but different in others. Some differences include:
- Timeshares generally have 52 owners per unit, whereas fractionals have 4-16 owners per property.
- Timeshare resorts tend to be large, boasting hundreds of units. Fractionals often have less than 50 units, making them more exclusive properties.
- Timeshares are often purchased because of the exchange opportunities they offer. Fractional owners usually think of their vacation residence as a second home and are more loyal to the property, making the exchange option less of a priority upon purchasing.
All in all, both timeshares and fractionals are defined as shared ownership. While it is possible to own just one week at a Four Seasons Residence, the general culture of the Residence Club is that owners are committed to staying at their same property every year for longer than a week at a time.
Residence Club Internal Exchange
The Four Seasons Residence Club offers limited internal exchange options. The difficulty has a lot to do with the booking process, which goes as follows:
- If you are a multi-week owner, you are able to book your vacation time 13 months out, whereas a single week owner can't book until 12 months out. This means the multi-week owners may request a consecutive week reservation in their home Residence at the time of booking, leaving single week owners with significantly less options when it is their turn to reserve.
- 10 months prior to vacation, Club members can use the Club exchange option and request reservations in their owned season at Aviara or Scottsdale, or a lower season at other Four Seasons Residences.
- 6 months prior to usage, Four Seasons Residence Club members may request to exchange in a season that one season higher than the season they currently own.
Internal Exchange Details
It is also important to note that if you purchase a Four Seasons timeshare on the resale market, Four Seasons will not help you exchange.
Four Seasons Residence Club is known for using a "direct" exchange, meaning the owner who is willing to trade his or her specific week, must want the week that you are willing to exchange. With so much variety between seasons and types of ownership (single week, multi-week), it is highly unlikely that the person looking to exchange will want your specific week.
However, between Four Seasons Aviara and Four Seasons Scottsdale, exchanging is relatively simple. Both are affiliated with popular exchange company, Interval International. This makes for not only easy exchange between the two Four Seasons Residences, but being a member of Interval International also opens the doors to hundreds of other resort options around the globe.