Exposing the 5 Worst Mexico Timeshare Companies


Mexico timeshare: aerial view of the beaches in Mexico

From the picturesque beach resorts of Cabo San Lucas to the dynamic nightlife of Mexico City, timeshare companies throughout Mexico entice tourists with offers of free stays, tours, and various other perks to lure them into attending their sales pitches. 


The allure often fades as buyers grapple with confusing contracts that fall short of the glossy promises made. Frustration mounts as many encounter unforeseen fees, constrained booking options, and unmet expectations, prompting a reevaluation of their purchase. 


Here, we delve into five of the most criticized Mexico timeshare companies, shedding light on the array of challenges and disappointments they’ve caused for owners of timeshares. But don’t worry, if you’ve already bought from one of these companies, you’re not stuck. We’ll explain how Centerstone Group can help.


What Are the 5 Worst Mexican Timeshare Companies?

It’s easy to see the allure of Mexico’s vacation spots, and if you dream of owning a little piece of paradise, you might be tempted to sign a timeshare contract. Before you do, check out this list of the worst Mexican timeshare companies and why you might want to think twice.


1. Vidanta/Mayan

Vidanta’s salespeople target consumers in touristy areas of vacation destinations like Los Cabos, Riviera Maya, and Acapulco, luring them with freebies like tequila and four-wheeler tours in exchange for attending their timeshare presentations. One couple, approached in Puerto Vallarta, was even offered free tickets to Vidanta’s theme park as an incentive for learning about their timeshare opportunities.


Once these potential customers arrive at the presentations, they are shown the lavish Vidanta timeshare properties and are subjected to intense, high-pressure sales pitches. Similar to practices observed with some American timeshare companies and vacation clubs, Vidanta employs tactics that involve prolonging presentations for extended periods, creating a scenario where attendees feel they cannot leave without agreeing to a timeshare purchase. 


Often, when individuals resist signing up, the promised incentives like complimentary airfare and room credits are either revoked, substantially reduced, or outright denied. 


According to the Better Business Bureau, there have also been reports of Vidanta requesting credit card access upfront under the guise of showing terms for a timeshare contract, only for consumers to discover charges had already been made for a timeshare agreement they had not consented to, raising major concerns about transparency and consent in their sales tactics.


2. Royal Resorts

Royal Resorts’ approach of allowing timeshare ownership for a predetermined duration — 30 or 50 years based on the age of the resort — with a promise of profit distribution from future sales may sound appealing. However, this plan has led to a lot of skepticism from owners, who are feeling let down because things haven’t panned out as promised, leaving them unsure about what’s going to happen with their money.


The company’s method of calculating profit shares, based on the initial cost of the timeshare rather than the possible Mexico timeshare resale value, and the ability to pass on these so-called “residuals” upon resale, has been confusing to many. The closure of locations, such as the Royal Islander, has also left many owners voicing their concerns on platforms like Tripadvisor. They report feeling neglected and doubtful about ever receiving the residuals promised to them.


3. El Cid

Similar to other timeshare companies in Mexico, El Cid often lures customers with unsolicited offers, such as cab rides to the airport, in exchange for attending a timeshare presentation that is supposed to last only an hour and a half. However, these presentations frequently extend into several hours, with salespeople employing high-pressure tactics to persuade attendees to sign contracts, making extravagant promises to entice them to commit.


In one instance, a customer who — convinced by the promise of profitable timeshare rental opportunities — signed up for a $16,000 timeshare. When the customer attempted to cancel the contract within an hour of signing, they were informed that they would forfeit their deposit, a direct contradiction to Mexico‘s five-day no-penalty cancellation law.


4. Melia

Beautiful sunset by the beach

Melia’s timeshare offerings have come under scrutiny for misleading practices, with customers voicing concerns over the gap between the company’s sales pitches and their actual timeshare-owning experience.


Reports indicate that timeshare points, sold with the promise of rolling over to the following year if unused, actually expire and come with strict usage limitations. These include restrictions for specific Mexican timeshare resorts and dates or requiring transfer to Melia’s partners, like Melia Rewards or RCI.


Plus, despite promises of access to a broad selection of high-quality hotels comparable to Melia’s standards, timeshare owners find that securing stays at equivalent hotels through the RCI network demands far more points than initially promised.


Melia’s presence spans Mexico, with all-inclusive resorts in trending tourist destinations like Playa del Carmen, Cancun, and Cozumel. It also extends to international getaways, offering access to locations in the Caribbean, South America, and Europe. 


However, the reality for some customers, such as one account on Tripadvisor, contrasts sharply with Melia’s assurances. Promised up to five nights in European hotels via Melia Rewards, the actual conversion of the customer’s timeshare points fell short, at times sufficing for only a single night’s stay. 


Further exacerbating the situation, Melia’s pledge of an online tool for self-service vacation browsing and booking has not materialized, leaving customers to navigate their plans through time-consuming calls with customer service.


5. Villa Group

Many consumers on Better Business Bureau report that the Villa Group markets its timeshares with the promise of fee-free vacation bookings, yet customers have encountered the opposite. This is particularly true when using Interval International—a touted benefit of membership — that invariably incurs additional costs. 


The scams don’t stop there. Finding available bookings through Villa Group often feels like searching for a needle in a haystack, and when you do manage to find something, advance fees surface, undermining the promised advantages of timeshare ownership. This pattern of hidden costs and elusive availability reveals that the enticing offers of upgrades and exclusive benefits are merely strategies to further profit from clients, unbeknownst to them.


Understanding the Legal Landscape of Mexico Timeshares

If you’re considering exiting your timeshare contract in Mexico, understand that as a U.S. citizen investing in a timeshare, you engage in a legal arrangement markedly different from fractional real estate purchases in your own country. 


A crucial aspect of this arrangement is that you are not subject to foreclosure for your timeshare. But this doesn’t mean there are no consequences for missing payments. Mexican timeshare resorts will aggressively chase down unpaid bills, which can badly hurt your credit score for a long time.


Mexican timeshares have a five-day cancellation window for timeshare contracts. But since achieving a successful timeshare rescission can be difficult due to language barriers and resorts’ non-compliance, seeking professional guidance is highly advisable. While Mexico‘s consumer protection agency offers limited assistance, the complexities of securing refunds or legal victories can be daunting due to the agency’s limited authority.


Instead, work with Centerstone Group, a U.S.-based company that specializes in timeshare exit strategies and has experience navigating the Mexican timeshare legal system. We have a 100% success rate to date.


Be Careful When It Comes to Mexico Timeshare Resorts 

City of Guanajuato in Mexico

Companies like Vidanta, Royal Resorts, El Cid, Melia, and the Villa Group have attracted criticism for their timeshare practices, often leaving consumers feeling deceived and trapped in unwanted contracts. The frustration only grows when owners face hidden fees, limited booking options, and denied benefits. 


The alluring promises of oceanfront rooms, pristine white sand beaches, and Pacific snorkeling adventures frequently end in disappointment, as owners face the stark reality of being misled by timeshare fraudsters. This serves as a warning to potential buyers. But what if you’ve already signed a contract?


To successfully escape a Mexican timeshare, it’s essential to grasp the local consumer protection laws and learn the effective way to navigate the Mexican timeshare legal process. Given the complexities involved, securing expert guidance is imperative.


Fortunately, Centerstone Group can help. With a 4.76-out-of-5 stars and an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, Centerstone Group possesses proven expertise working in the Mexican legal timeshare system. We can offer invaluable support to timeshare owners looking to liberate themselves from a Mexico timeshare.


Contact us today for a free consultation.


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