How Exclusive Resorts is redefining the luxury travel experience
Written by Jordan Lane Gilmore
“I need a vacation from my vacation.”
In the results-driven, productivity-focused society that we live in, taking time off to detach from work and relax can be a daunting thought. And even in the instances where it does happen, planning a vacation, especially with a family, can feel like an entire job on its own. It’s exhausting.
A 2016 Harvard Business Review article on “How to Break Your Addiction to Work” noted how work is generally considered “morally worthy” in society—it can be very rewarding but it can also become harmful to relationships, health, and productivity. The pressure to succeed or even remain relevant in a fast-paced digital age often drives people to think that they must always be on their A-game. Without drawing clear boundaries around work and play, the default for many ambitious individuals is the “on-call” mode. So detaching from work can be a legitimate challenge, and is further amplified by the organization and planning that is required to arrange a vacation to get away from it all.
This is why special travel access and memberships exist. The utility of Exclusive Resorts, for example, stands out in optimizing valuable time. While a concierge may guarantee some access and special services, Exclusive Resorts are in a league of their own. Launched in 2002, Exclusive Resorts is a non-equity member’s club for high net-worth individuals, providing access to 400+ private luxury residences and curated excursions around the globe. They pride themselves in providing an effortless, exotic travel experience for those looking for a little help to detach and relax. For an initiation fee and annual dues, this ultra-luxury club takes care of it all by assigning you a dedicated travel ambassador, personalized and on-site concierge service, and access to a diverse range of experiences that can be taken advantage of at each location.
The question that Exclusive poses for its target audience is: why invest in one small vacation property when you can have access to hundreds of luxury residences around the world (complete with one-of-a-kind experiences) instead? As the culture of the “sharing economy” gradually penetrates an increasing amount of marketplaces, a generation (if not more) of breadwinners is emphasizing a value in time and experiences over possession and physical assets. The smart investor is now looking to spread or diversify that investment of time across different experiences.
Managing the experience of a new destination is no small feat. Assuring that the experience is authentic while avoiding any of the pitfalls of a new landscape is something usually only a local (immersed) partner can provide. But this is what makes Exclusive so special. Members are able to toggle back-and-forth between their interests in any location, choosing to immerse themselves in remote, peaceful isolation in a tropical rainforest on one day, and venturing into town to experience the local market on the next—all based off the expert recommendations provided by the company.
For example, look at Exclusive’s properties in Mexico’s Real del Mar. Unlike a timeshare, the resort has resources readily on-hand, but also ensures privacy and seclusion, resulting in an experience where the services provided feel practically invisible (when you want them to be) thanks to the management’s respect for uninterrupted downtime. And it’s this oath to quality time that makes the Real del Mar experience most certainly one worth remembering. Vista views (from an outdoor infinity bath) that resemble Grecian coastlines paired with sandy beaches and lush forest air—the perfect ingredients in a recipe for relaxation. If members have only a few days to spare, Exclusive Resorts can expedite the unwinding process further with luxurious spa-like conditions for the entire stay, complete with a personal guide and driver, private masseuse, private chef, or a private cruise to a nearby island.
And then, of course, like all of the club’s locations, Real del Mar is a place where you can begin checking off your bucket list. Chartering a day-sail, whale watching, horseback riding, scuba diving, surfing, hang-gliding, and more—a boundless suite of options are provided if you’re willing to disconnect and embrace the opportunity to create memories. And these activities are just some of the experiences provided at one of their many locations. Whether a river cruise deep into the tropics of East Asia, an all-access VIP experience at Wimbledon, a coastal ride through the islands of New Zealand, an Airstream-to-Go trip through the Wild West of the United States, or a trek alongside the penguins of Antarctica, Exclusive provides all sorts of packages that you can sign up for and then customize. Once new members get a window into these experiences, they won’t be working to optimize their little time off—they’ll be optimizing their work time in order to get more time off!