Why I (Mostly) Ignore Daily Getaways (and Why I Put MOSTLY in Parentheses)

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Daily Getaways

Daily Getaways 2015

I was asked by a reader why I’m not writing more about Daily Getaways and whether or not I can recommend anything besides the Alamo coupon (of which I did write, btw).

Speaking of which (email writing), could you PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE ask your questions here on this blog in the comments? I’ll let you in on a little secret, OK? I don’t check my email nearly as often as I check the comments on this blog. Is that too much to ask? I want to see your comments and questions HERE! My Analytics tells me that this blog is visited by a reasonable number of people who are not my friends and family (well, let’s say 2.5 daily). So please don’t be afraid to talk to me, ask questions, or, god forbid, offer your critique. Just help me create an illusion that I’m not talking to myself. It’s unhealthy.

And let me assure you again: your questions, suggestions, or comments do not have to do anything with the subject of a particular post. For example, feel free to ask me how to use Northwest’s WorldPerks in the comments to this post, if you are so inclined.

The subject matter doesn’t matter, OK? 

Anyway, the answer to Jon’s question is that I don’t write about the Daily Getaways, because I can’t recommend much. Most are just meh! Without any additional AMEX savings, like in the previous years, the Daily Getaways has turned into a lame, boring, predictable, and overhyped marketing campaign, where travel providers give away small discounts on future services in exchange for your today’s dollars! Forget bargains. There are almost no deals that I would qualify as good ones.

Having said that, the Alamo $25 for $50 coupon was pretty good. If it weren’t limited to the US, I would try to get on it. But I’m not sure when I would need a car rental in the US next time, so I let it pass me by. Still, congrats to everyone who got one, it was a decent deal.

Yesterday’s IHG deal? Well, you can easily get IHG points for $0.07 whenever you want, by booking a hotel, then canceling it. So paying $565 today in order to get $135 discount for future reservations? I don’t know! It’s not a terrible deal, I guess, but, nothing to write home about, either.

March 25: Club Carlson 100,000 miles for $450. I’ll skip this one, too. I love the program, but they sell their points at $0.70 anyway. $0.45 per point is not a terrible value to redeem for low category hotels, especially if you have this 2 for 1 nights benefit. But ask yourself this: would you apply for the Club Carlson card with a 100K-miles bonus and $450 annual fee? No? Then this is not a deal.

And here is why I put “mostly in the parentheses

On March 26, Dimond Property Worldwide will sell you 5-night-stay certificates for $525 at one of their 68 resorts worldwide.

Daily Getaways  -- 5 Night Stay at a Diamond Property Worldwide

Daily Getaways — 5 Night Stay at a Diamond Property Worldwide

Now, everyone who knows me, also knows that I hate paying for travel. This is no secret. With almost 2 millions miles and points under my belt, why would I need to spend cash? Well, there is a good reason why. Because when it’s cheap, it’s silly not too. I don’t know yet if I’ll take this deal, but I am considering it.

Diamond Property Worldwide is a timeshare joint. I do not avoid timeshare joints — that would be ridiculous. Every year in the last three years, I have been coming to a timeshare joint for an all-inclusive vacation at a grand price of 12$-14$-19$ a night.

I read the DPW’s fine print and didn’t find anything about having to attend a timeshare presentation. Then I read some Trip Advisor reviews, and lo and behold, sure some of these resorts did try to push it on their guests. Saying no with a smile has never been an issue to me, so I don’t care.

I do care about value, though. If I’m paying nonrefundable $525 for a future speculative trip, which may eventually fall through, I don’t want good value. I want great value for taking the risk.

The problem with this offer to me is there are not many interesting properties, and there are some serious restrictions, at least in T&C. There are quite a few rural European locations, which doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing, it’s just I don’t know anything about these places. However, there are a few obvious and undeniable gems.

Here is the full list of the eligible properties.

The T&C language I don’t like

  • All sales are final and no refunds or substitutions will be provided after the transaction is complete.
  • This certificate is non-transferable.
  • Reservations are subject to availability.
  • Diamond Resorts reserves the right to select alternative accommodations, such as hotel, motel or condominium.
  • Certificate may be subject to high season, holiday and other blackout periods depending on destination.

It can be just legal talk, but I don’t appreciate when a hotel can exclude any dates they want. I mean “other blackout periods”? What does help me feel more at ease, though, is that I haven’t found any prior complaints.  

The T&C language I do like

Certificate entitles the bearer to a six day, five consecutive night stay in a 1-bedroom accommodation, at one of 68 participating Diamond Resorts International® properties. Double occupancy.

What can be better than a free suite upgrade. Me likey!

The T&C language I do like, but wary about

  • Certificate is valid for accommodations and the room tax associated with reservation. It does not include airfare, food, beverages, taxes, port fees, gratuities, transportation to and from airport, service charges or other incidental charges.

Could they have renamed mandatory gratuities or/and resort fees into service charges? 

Full Terms and Conditions

OK, so what are the gems?

Crescent Resort on South Beach is located at 1420 Ocean Drive in Miami Beach. It’s a killing address for a $125 one-bedroom suite, especially if the resort fee is included, but even if not…

5 Night Stay at a Diamond Property Worldwide: Crescent Resort On South Beach

Daily Getaways — 5 Night Stay at a Diamond Property Worldwide: Crescent Resort On South Beach

Ka’anapali Beach Club is on Maui and has mostly positive reviews.

Daily Getaways -- 5 Night Stay at a Diamond Property Worldwide: Ka'anapali Beach Hotel

Daily Getaways — 5 Night Stay at a Diamond Property Worldwide: Ka’anapali Beach Hotel on Maui

Cabo Azul Resort is in San Jose Del Cabo, Mexico at the southernmost tip of Baja California. I have never heard about this property, but the reviews are absolutely amazing. The rooms are 1,200 ft and have a large Jacuzzi.  And at these prices, it’d better be a true destination resort. The resort, however, is currently closed. It was damaged by a hurricane in 2014 and is going to reopen sometime in the fall.

Daily Getaways -- 5 Night Stay at a Diamond Property Worldwide: Cabo Azul Resort

Daily Getaways — 5 Night Stay at a Diamond Property Worldwide: Cabo Azul Resort

So, enough about this Diamond sale. There is a really big thing coming: Hilton HHonors sale on the 27th…

Nah! Just kidding.

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[…] no. San Jose del Cabo is at the bottom of Baja California (curiously I did a post with some tidbits about Cabo a couple of days ago). I would have to take a long connecting flight from the East Coast, and I would have to burn some […]

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