January 10, 2017

My Unpleasant Experience With Holiday Inn Club Vacations Timeshare Deal - A Trip to Myrtle Beach


When I used to see “Timeshare Presentation”, I ran away from it because of many horror stories I heard from others that did the presentation. Anyway, curiosity strikes me one day when I was on the phone with IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) and I was offered this getaway 4 days and 3 nights for a non-refundable $199. I can pick anywhere that Holiday Inn Club Vacations are located at from Orlando, Las Vegas, Gatlinburg Tennessee, to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. I have never been to South Carolina state and Myrtle Beach, so I went ahead and signed up for the deal. In return, I will have to attend the 2 hours timeshare presentation. At the end of it, I’ll receive $100 cash back and 20,000 IHG points. I value IHG points 5 cents a piece, so that 20,000 points come to $100 value.

Buyer’s Remorse

Admittedly, I did have the buyer’s remorse. It’s not so much about being afraid of the timeshare presentation, but the booking process was rather annoying. I almost just gave up the $199 that I already paid.

First, I had to book far in advance to make sure there’ll be rooms available for the date that I want. Second, I had to check the flights schedule and made sure the airfare was cheap, then I had to make sure I could book the room for the same date that I’ll be flying in. Third, if I want to stay at the Holiday Inn Club Vacations property, I have to pay extra (no thanks!). Finally, finding the right hotel to stay at was very frustrating because the one I wanted was either not available or required more money.

The Tedious Booking Process

IHG has these hotels in or near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina:
Holiday Inn Club Vacations: South Beach Resort
Holiday Inn Express: Myrtle Beach-Broadway@The Bch
Staybridge Suites: Myrtle Beach - West
Holiday Inn: Oceanfront @ Surfside Beach
Holiday Inn Express & Suites: Murrell'S Inlet (Myrtle Beach)
Holiday Inn Express & Suites: N. Myrtle Beach-Little River.

During booking process, the agent wanted to put me at the Staybridge Suites, good thing I asked which hotel because that hotel’s location is not on the beach at all, not to mention Staybridge Suites hotels are not that great. I declined that and asked her to look for the other hotels. I wanted to stay at the Holiday Inn Club Vacations - South Beach resort one, but I have to pay more. In the end, nothing was available. Son of the gun!

I called back and asked this time for the agent to check Holiday Inn Oceanfront at Surfside Beach. The agent put me on hold while checking to see if they can make booking for me. She came back with good news and I thought that’s the end of my nightmare booking this so called “getaway.” After a few days, I called the Holiday Inn Oceanfront Surfside to confirm my reservation because I read review online that some people that got on the deal did not get booked correctly. Well, they were not able to find me. This back and forth checking took over 1 week. Finally, today I made a phone call and inquired about this, the agent called the hotel and was able to confirm my reservation. Guess what, it’s NOT Holiday Inn Oceanfront Surfside, it’s Surfside Beach Oceanfront Hotel. I later made a phone call to that hotel and sure enough they found my reservation.

Non-IHG: Surfside Beach Resort Hotel

I know nothing about this Surfside Beach Oceanfront Hotel. I did not realize that Holiday Inn Club Vacations put me at the hotel that’s not part of IHG. Apparently, the agent didn't make it clear to me that the hotel isn't part of IHG. I guess she thought I just wanted Surfside beach location. I felt confused, but in the meantime I read the reviews about this resort hotel and compared it to the Holiday Inn one. According to the TripAdvisor, the Surfside Beach Oceanfront Hotel got much better reviews. The hotel is oceanfront with rooms that have balcony with side view of the ocean. I asked the hotel staff whether the hotel is part of the Holiday Inn, he said that they are not part of Holiday Inn; however, from time to time when Holiday Inn is overbooked, they partner with Surfside Beach Oceanfront Hotel to accommodate guests that come for the timeshare presentation. My main concern was if I stay at this property, I cannot accrue IHG points. However, because this is considered a package promotion, so even if I were to stay at the Holiday Inn one, I won't be able to accrue IHG points anyway.

Wrapping Up

This has not been a pleasant experience trying to book this getaway 4 days 3 nights, but it finally comes to an end. I am hoping that by staying at the Surfside Beach Resort Hotel, the experience should be better than the Holiday Inn at Surfside based on the reviews.

My Take Aways For IHG Timeshare Getaway Deal:

  • Planning requires way too much in advanced both for room and flights if there's a need to travel to the destination. 
  • Availability is too difficult for making reservation. 
  • Possibility of being put in a hotel that the location is not ideal.
  • Possibility of being put in a hotel that is not part of IHG hotel chains.   
If you must go on this deal, make sure you are booked for the exact hotel that you want. Also, keep in mind that once you make the reservation, you will be waiting for almost, possibly at least, 1 week to get a confirmation email that you are booked! They have free 24 hours cancellation; otherwise, the following fees apply.

Fees For IHG Timeshare Getaway Deal:

  • The deal is $199 non-refundable that’s paid upfront. You still need to pay for taxes. 
  • Once the reservation is made, any changes/cancellation 4 days or more prior to arrival date costs $19.95. Although they may be able to waive this fee for you as one time ceoutesy. YMMV. 
  • Changes/Cancellation made after 4 days prior to arrival date or no show costs $99.
  • Because this is a package deal, stays don't accrue IHG points. 
Check out more articles on South Carolina

We are back from the Timeshare Presentation, here are the reviews:

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  1. Did you take this trip? I ask because I wanted to know if the 20,000 points you received were elite qualifying points.

    1. Renee, not yet. It'll be in October. I will sure update you about that. That'd nice if it is and I can get Spire status with IHG!

  2. Please let me know about your experience. I have just paid for this promotion but have not booked anything yet. The person I spoke with in Florida who took my credit card information, led me to believe I was paying in Canadian currency for $249.00, but my credit card was billed for just over 300.00 CAD. Obviously, this promotion was in USD. Regardless, I might still consider going OR I'll cut my losses.

    1. Liz, I’m going to attended timeshare presentation tomorrow and I’ll write it up about my experience but probably after I return from my trip though. However, the hotel that I picked is a nice ocean front hotel and I’m happy with the location. The property isn’t part of the Holiday Inn. You are right, it’s a good excuse for me to come to South Carolina and the beach here is beautiful.

  3. Thanks, your information is well-written and informative. I will check back and I'll search for this blogspot on FB.

  4. I haven't booked anything yet. I've been searching the internet for the reviews of Holiday Inn and their timeshare presentation. Some people were not happy about this at all. I phoned at 1-888-number and spoke to a Travel Coordinator. The first person in Florida who took my credit card information did not mention anything about a timeshare presentation, but said I was given this special offer as a VIP guest. So, your blogs are giving me hope that this is not a scam! The travel coordinator, provided the names of about 5 different hotels, which are partnering hotels, to stay at. I'm almost positive that the hotel you stayed in is one of them, which looks nice, so I will book it for next spring outside of their prime-time dates. Another one they named is the Landmark which has terrible reviews. Did you fly to the airport and rent a car? How far away were you from the presentation and how did you get there? So far, I have printed out and read their terms and conditions. How was the presentation? I hope the rebates can be converted to Canadian $. I didn't expect this to be so complicated!

    1. Hi Liz, yes we flew in the airport and rented the car as I wanted to explore South Carolina state little bit. The presentation took place at their Holiday Inn Club Vacation in Myrtle Beach, which is about 15-20 minutes drive from Surfside Beach. The timeshare deal is not a scam but we personally declined it as we don’t think it’s a great deal at all after the presentation. I’ll write my review on the presentation sometime next week so you and others know what to expect.

  5. In may 2017, i purchased a timeshare deal with Holiday Inn Club vacation in Las Vegas for 4 days and 3 nights for $199. We stayed at the Tuscany Resort in Nov 2017, it was a nice resort. I was lucky that the date I showed up to the time share presentation, they overbook my session , so i didn't have to stay. They refund my $199 in cash and i also got a $100 voucher for my future stay at Holiday in. Good deal!

  6. That's definitely lucky! Glad you got your money back and got to stay at the resort in Vegas.