When you bought your Club Caribe membership, you were most probably blown away by the stunning Cancun location, impressive accommodations and first class restaurants and services available at your home resort. What you perhaps didn’t realize is that you were investing in a vision, an ever-evolving vacation experience that would mold itself to your vacation preferences.
Read an exclusive interview with one of the men who helped create your slice of paradise, Robert Kistner, President of Club Caribe.
What was the inspiration behind developing Club Caribe?
The inspiration behind Club Caribe was Cancun; there was a high level of desire expressed by our member base, and we listened to that. The reason we are in Cancun is that it was the next logical place for us to go as a group, to create an opportunity for our members to experience Cancun. We felt that it was the perfect place for us to deliver a high quality vacation experience, and that’s why we went there.
Secondly, we have a strong belief that the future of vacation ownership is in creating high quality products in incredible locations – we are dedicated to high quality products, high quality experiences and high quality services. Thirdly, the extensive personal travels of the developer, Fernando Gonzalez Corona and his family.
What makes Club Caribe so special?
What makes us different from other vacation ownership products is our dedication to excellent quality vacation experiences. However, we are also very fortunate to have a developer who travels extensively, and is passionate about vacation experiences, who wants to bring back those experiences and apply them in his projects. I think we have been pretty successful in converting a lot of his world-traveler experiences into what we offer with Club membership. Our latest project, Hotel Mousai at the Garza Blanca resort in Puerto Vallarta is a great example of this; it’s a whole other level of hotel, reaching out to deliver to an important segment of members who want the lavish, contemporary, lifestyle experience that Mousai offers. And I think it blends well within the total concept of our club provision; it is a great mix for our members.
Can you describe how the project has grown and evolved?
The main area where we have evolved is in servicing. The service level has grown and we are taking steps to keep growing in this area. We want every member to feel as if they are coming home, every member to feel special; we want every member to have a feeling of fulfillment. And I think that we are moving in that area. The level of the product is certainly a cut above anything else we have done before; and we are committed to that. We won’t go back. Everything we build in the future will be of a very high quality. We aim to create the proper spaces where people feel they can fully relax. You know, if people come with their families, that there is enough space for them all, so that everyone in the family can enjoy themselves and have privacy as well.
How has vacation ownership changed since your first experiences in the business back in the 80s?
The product in general has changed in accordance with the demographics of the people that are investing in vacation ownership. I think that vacation ownership is moving in a positive direction. You have got more and more people that value their vacation time. We believe that the future is great if you have the right vision, which we believe is delivering a high quality vacation experience to our members. I think that is the future.
Anybody who sets out to deliver a “cheap vacation” is going to fail; that’s not what people want. People want a high quality vacation experience. People want to guarantee the experience they are going to have. Vacation time is a luxury, it is something that people put more and more value on. They want to make sure they are getting the highest possible value for the time they invest, independently of the dollars they invest, but the time they invest in their vacation. So our job is to continually enhance and improve that experience by delivery high quality to our members. And that’s what happened here.
Why do you think vacation ownership is still so attractive today?
Due to its ability to change and adapt to what people want. And its all about experience. We expect more from our vacations. Time is a constant. We want to get the biggest bang for our buck for our vacation time, both in time and expense. Our challenge is to fulfill that need, and the better we fulfill it, the happier our members are and the more successful we are.
What is your vision for Club Caribe for the future?
We have purchased a property in the Playa del Carmen area and we are now in the planning stages for the next exciting development, taking into consideration members’ comments, our vision for the future and the evolution of vacation patterns. Our vision for Club Caribe is that it continues to expand with more and more high quality products in top destinations in Mexico.
Everything we do is based on what our members are telling us. We are constantly listening to feedback from our members. We have a lot of contact. One of the unique features of vacation ownership is that there is a high touch relationship with your member base. We are in constant contact, so you get a lot of feedback in comparison to the traditional hotel business.
What message do you have for members for 2015?
I’d like them to know that we are committed to the uniqueness of our vacation model, which is a partnership between our members and us. We respect that partnership very highly and we encourage feedback from members. We constantly look for ways to welcome our members on vacation so that we can continue to grow with more and more enhanced services.
We are going to continue to grow and look for unique destinations and unique properties that will allow us to bring more and more enhanced services. We rely on members’ feedback as we take each step along the way. We want to know what they are thinking and feeling, so that we can deliver to their needs.