Even if you’re not familiar with Hilton Grand Vacations (HGV), you’ve probably at least heard of Hilton Hotels. Hilton is one of the most popular hotel chains in the world, rivaling the likes of Marriott and Hyatt. It should be no surprise that Hilton has continued its success into the world of vacation ownership. Based in Orlando, Florida, Hilton Grand Vacations Inc. was created to be a developer of timeshare resorts throughout the world. They now have U.S. properties in places like New York City and the Las Vegas Strip in Nevada. They also have international locations in Mexico and Japan.
With so much domestic and international ground covered, HGV has certainly become one of the most successful timeshare developers in the industry. But does that mean they are a good company? Let’s dive into the world of HGV by examining how their points system works, what their relationship is with Hilton Worldwide Holdings, and whether investing in a timeshare with them is worth it.
Hilton Grand Vacations is known as one of the most flexible timeshare companies because while they do assign customers a fixed week, they also give Hilton Grand Vacations Club members an annual or biannual allotment of points to book vacations with. There are three types of points with the HGV Club: club points, bonus points, and Hilton Honors points.
The amount of points each member receives is based on the week they own, the size of the unit, and the resort they own at. For example, a club member with a two-bedroom suite that has easy access to the beach in Hawaii will probably own more points than a member with a one-bedroom timeshare in the height of a humid South Carolina summer.
HGV is big on the idea that no vacation should be the same, encouraging their customers to explore new destinations every year. Though members purchase their timeshare at a home resort, there’s no reason why they need to return to the same location. Instead, they can book a stay at a different Hilton Grand Vacations resort with an equitable amount of points to their home resort. And if they want to travel to a resort with a higher point level, customers can bank unused points from previous years or borrow from a future year’s allotment.
The Hilton company at large, whose official name is Hilton Worldwide Holdings, is a monumental hospitality corporation that has branched off into many different brands including Hilton Hotels and Hilton Grand Vacations. Though Hilton Grand Vacations was once under the larger umbrella of Hilton Worldwide Holdings, they are now two totally different publicly traded entities. Hilton Grand Vacations (NYSE:HGV) works under a licensing agreement with Hilton Worldwide (NYSE:HLT) that allows them to continue to use the Hilton name.
Club members may have the ability to use their points for booking stays at Hilton Hotels. However, members shouldn’t just go up to the front desk of a Hilton Hotel and expect the concierge to book a room with their points. Anytime vacation lodging is reserved at either an HGV resort or Hilton Hotel, it must be done months before your check-in date. Unfortunately, the exchange rate from Hilton Grand Vacations to Hilton Hotels Honors program is not favorable. Customers will likely only get a one- to five-night hotel stay in exchange for their timeshare week.
HGV was a wholly owned subsidiary of Hilton Worldwide Holdings until it became a publicly traded company in 2017. So even though its name is closely tied to Hilton Worldwide Holdings, Hilton Grand Vacations operates on its own — and very successfully at that. HGV has over 50 properties in five countries and territories. But just because Hilton Grand Vacations has covered a lot of ground and made a name for itself doesn’t mean that it’s one of the ethical timeshare companies. Because if you know anything about timeshare developers, it’s that they don’t make loads of money by being honest with their customers.
You’d think with all the perks and possibilities HGV offers their club members that customers are always satisfied with their timeshare. But you’d be wrong. With a score of 1.13 out of 5, Hilton Grand Vacations has overwhelmingly poor customer reviews on their Better Business Bureau profile. Their complaints vary from lengthy sales pitches to deceptive messages about timeshare value to drastically rising maintenance fees. Let’s get into why many Hilton Grand Vacations members regret their timeshare purchases and wish they’d never signed in the first place.
A common thread throughout many of HGV‘s customer complaints is their long-winded sales process. As with many other timeshare companies, Hilton Grand Vacations usually gets people to come to their timeshare sales pitches by offering them free stays at one of their hotels. They’ll advertise the sales meeting as a one-hour-long process that usually comes with additional perks, like a free breakfast or a $200 hotel credit.
Once they get people into the meetings, they’ll often trap them for hours. One reviewer even said they were cornered into a six-hour pitch that HGV wouldn’t release them from until they made a decision to purchase the timeshare. After being pressured to sign a gigantic stack of paperwork and leaving the meeting exhausted, the customer became regretful and attempted to proceed with a timeshare rescission.
HGV told them they couldn’t proceed with a rescission because it was past the three-day rescission period. The customer later found out that their state law allowed them 10 days cancellation, a period of time they were still within when they reached out to rescind their timeshare contract.
Perhaps the most prevalent message in Hilton Grand Vacations’ BBB reviews is that the company’s maintenance fees shoot up annually, a factor that HGV salespeople deceptively fail to discuss with potential buyers.
Many reviewers also say that HGV salespeople will insist that timeshares are a good real estate investment that increase in value over the years. But after years of owning a timeshare, many club members reported spending thousands of dollars on a timeshare they barely used due to extreme lack of resort availability within the points program. Additionally, timeshare property values are notorious for decreasing in value, with many Hilton Grand Vacations resales selling for barely anything on websites like eBay, if they can find a willing party to take over the large timeshare maintenance fees.
After learning all this, does owning a timeshare with Hilton Grand Vacations still sound worth it? We hope your answer is no. But what if you’ve already fallen victim to the traps that so many HGV customers have found themselves in. You attended an excessively long sales pitch in exchange for a free hotel stay. Then, once you actually started your timeshare contract, you realized how hard it was to book vacation stays and how much maintenance fees rise each year. But now, Hilton Grand Vacations is telling you there’s no way out of your contract.
If you feel hopelessly trapped in an inconvenient timeshare you no longer want, Centerstone Group may be your rescue boat. Centerstone Group is a full-service advocacy group that helps clients seek release from their timeshare contracts.
As one of the best-rated, quickest, and most affordable timeshare exit companies in the industry, Centerstone Group’s team of experienced relief experts may be able to help you navigate release from your timeshare contract. If you’ve been a victim of fraud, high-pressure sales tactics, or misrepresentation during the timeshare sales process, contact Centerstone Group today for a free consultation.