Hilton Timeshare Presentation Orlando – Was It Worth It?
If you listen to our Podcast in episode 10 I discussed our recent Hilton timeshare presentation in Orlando. I have also written about this deal in the past. I discussed how to get more up front and even that you can even get more after the deal is paid for. Getting the offer is only half the battle and I wanted to share with you what the presentation was like as well. I also wanted to share what is what like doing one with kids and whether or not I would do it again.
Hilton Timeshare Presentation Orlando Details
How Do You Get A Timeshare Offer?
First things first, how do you get one of these offers? The best way to be targeted for a timeshare offer is to be a member of all of the hotel loyalty clubs you can. These memberships are free and you can sign up without staying at any actual hotels.
Most hotel chains have a timeshare company as well and they pluck people from their loyalty account rosters for these presentations. I received this one when I called into Hilton to correct something on a booking I had. I have also received the offers via email and regular mail in the past. Sometimes these companies are set up inside of stores trying to get people to sign up for them. That is how I got one for Vegas from Blue Green Resorts, they were inside Bass Pro Shops. You can even try calling a timeshare company and simply asking for one.
Last of all, if you are paying to stay on a timeshare property (without an offer) they will usually offer you extra perks etc. to sit through a presentation. These offers are usually the least lucrative though since you are already there.
What Is Included With The Package?
Timeshare presentations are a way to get a discounted vacation. The timeshare companies will give you reduced room rates to entice you to come and listen to their sales pitch. It is kind of like stores having sale items they lose money on to get you in the store to buy other things.
So they cover your accommodations for 2-5 nights, depending on the offer. My offer was for 3 nights for an out of pocket cost of $149. I also worked my offer up from no points to 20,000 points and then all the way up to 50,000 points.
The room was going for around $250 a night and the points are worth $225 to me. So that is $975 in value for an out of pocket cost of $149.
Where Is The Presentation – At Our Hotel Or Somewhere Else?
The presentation was at their Park Soleil Hilton Grand Vacations property. It is a very nice looking property but it is unlikely you will be able to secure accommodations there for your stay unless you book way in advance. Otherwise they will list off other Hilton Hotels properties where you can stay instead. What is available will depend on how far out you book and also when you book for.
We ended up staying at the Hilton Orlando right off of International Drive. It was a pretty nice property that had a lot to offer even though it is mainly a convention hotel. The pool area was really nice and the onsite restaurants where pretty good too. Nice plus is I earned points on the restaurant charges unlike with Hyatt. Plus I was able to use my Hilton Aspire resort credit at the hotel too.
Getting To The Presentation
Timeshare companies will cover your room but they won’t cover your flight or drive to the destination city. They will not cover transportation to the presentation either, at least most of the time. That is unless you are already staying on the timeshare property which does happen. Some timeshare offers will include a car rental (like mine for Hyatt in Hawaii) that you could use to get there but most won’t.
We ended up taking an Uber to the location. That was an additional cost of $20-$30 round trip. We gave ourselves some extra time so that we could find the proper area once arriving at the resort.
Grabbing Some Snacks Before “The Show”
Once you get upstairs you enter what feels kind of like a club atmosphere. The place is modern and kind of chic with upbeat dance music blasting away. Your first stop is at some touchscreen monitors to answer questions about your travels. This is a way for your host to get a better feel for what to pitch you on I would assume.
That takes a few minutes and then you enter a waiting room/cafe of sorts. They had hot dogs, chips and fountain drinks for us to snack on. You could grab whatever you want which is nice if your presentation was right around lunch time like ours was.
What Did We Do With The Kids?
After you have some time to eat your Hilton Grand Vacations sales representative will come and meet you for a minute. This is also when they pried our kids away to take them to the kids room. I am sure you can refuse and take them with you to the whole presentation if you choose. This is what people will do with infants or small toddlers. And that could be a way to get out of the presentation in record time too. We decided to let them go to the kids area since they were 5 and 7 and pretty well self sufficient. I kind of wanted to deep dive into the program as well which I will cover in another post next week.
They have two areas in the kids room and both are on the smaller side. The first one is the 10 year old plus room. And they leave them here unattended which I thought was on the younger side to do that. There are video games and TVs etc. You walk through there to the second room that has one attendant inside. I didn’t grab a picture here since there were other kids in there. They have some toys, a coloring table and a movie playing for the kids to stay active. It was smaller than I thought it would be, especially for a kids heavy destination like Orlando.
Getting Warmed Up In The Main Room
After the kids were squared away we were whisked off to the main sales pitch room. This is where the most energetic and likable person gives you a 15-20 minute pitch on the program. There are no questions allowed during this presentation. They will highlight the program and what you can do with it.
Be ready for lots of Hawaii, Maldives and Bora Bora pics. They will also ask you questions over and over again that get you to say YES! Sales 101, they want you to get used to saying yes. That is the only purpose of this 15-20 minute presentation.
Finally Sitting Down With Your Sales Team Member
After this concludes your sales team member will grab you and take you to a private cubicle. Here you will get a brief overview of the program and what it can do for you. They ask you how much money you spend on vacations each year and then calculate it over 30 years and show you a massive number. And they show you how much cheaper it could be by “owning” instead of “renting”.
Specifics are not really discussed at this point but rather they show you places they have rentals in and how much it would cost to book a normal hotel there. They also talk about the ways you can use their points and their partnerships. I will discuss that more in my next article.
After that they will take you up to walk through the rooms. They show you a one, two and three bedroom room. All of the rooms are pretty nice and perfect for family travel.
Once the quick tour is completed you go back to your cubical and the numbers guy sits in on the meeting with your sales rep.
The Hard Pitch Begins
You now are having a two on two conversation. The sales guy who is likable and the numbers guy who is there “to make your travel dreams come true”. They go back to that huge travel budget figure and say let’s see if we can save you money.
You then discuss your travel patterns, travel goals and how much money you would like to spend. They will choose a package that fits best into those parameters. The sales staff shows you the yearly dues and say, see this will save you money! They leave out the fees and the upfront purchase price of course and try to get you to focus on that yearly fee. To be fair the salesperson did tell me about all of the smaller fees but they never really add them up for you. They want it to seem like it is only $50 or $100 here or there but the $1,500 yearly fee is what we want to focus on. It is kind of like misdirection.
Sticking Firm to No!
This is where you say thanks but no thanks. They will ask you what the issue is and how do you not see this is a great deal. At this point we asked for some time to talk it over. I wanted to actually crunch the numbers. The sales team wants an emotional decision but be sure to add everything up. I added up the purchase price, the reservation fee, the yearly HOA fee and the yearly dues. When all of those were put together over a 30 year period the numbers looked quite different. And that is what I told them when they came back.
They said people have a want or a need when you come here. The sales team knew I traveled with points and said I didn’t need the cheap trip. I informed them that $900+ of travel for $149 is ALWAYS something I will be all for. So he followed up that by asking me what was the want I had that had me show up. I said I wanted to write about the process for the website. That is when the pitch ended pretty quickly. My ace in the hole I guess 😂.
The Last Hurrah Sales Pitch
Before you can leave they have a superior come in for one last closing pitch. They knew we had a trip upcoming to Hawaii and offered us a chance to try “owning” before making a purchase. We could get a 5 night stay (maybe it was 6) for around $1700. Which for Hawaii is not a bad deal if you are paying cash. I told them our hotels were already booked for no cost though and she quickly left. That pitch lasted all of 3 minutes.
Finally Collecting The Kids
All in all we were in the building for two and half hours. Probably right around two hours in the actual sales pitch. I believe we were the last to leave and we were for sure the last to grab our kids. Part of that is because I was very interested in learning about the program. We could have cut it much shorter if I had been firm with the no from the beginning and said I am here just for the freebies.
We said our awkward goodbyes and walked down to collect the kids. Remember that you agree to a 90-120 minute presentation so once it hits 120 minutes you can leave without repercussions. Set a timer on your phone if you want as a reminder.
We had to go downstairs and sign a sheet in order to get my points before we left. I was told it could take 4-6 weeks and I still don’t have the points two weeks later. So don’t plan on using them right away if you do a presentation.
My Quick Hilton Grand Vacations Program Overview & Thoughts
I found the program to be one of the better timeshare programs out there. There is extreme flexibility and a lot of options. But unless you are staying at the best locations every single year you will not come out ahead.
If you wanted to buy it as a gift to your kids when you pass away (it is transferable) that could make sense. They said all of the pricing is locked in on the payment side and the points redemption side. Travel will only get more expensive in the long run so it is kind of like inflation proofing your travel. But it came with too many risks for me to take it seriously. I will talk more about that in the next piece.
Was The Hilton Timeshare Presentation Orlando Worth It?
For us it was easily worth it. We received right around $750 in net value for 3 hours of our time including the round trip drive. We even got a free lunch out of it! For others who don’t do well in high pressure situations they may think otherwise. Although I will say that the Hilton people were very professional and the pressure was pretty low overall.
I will definitely do it again in the future. I continue to get a ton of offers from all different timeshare companies so the opportunity is out there. The way I look at it is that this a way to extend my points and still get reduced cost vacations. And even if you have kids in tow there are multiple ways to make it work. Don’t let them stop you from taking advantage of these.
Share your thoughts on timeshare presentations and whether or not they are worth it below.