Have you ever been offered a free 3-day hotel stay with a $200.00 future hotel voucher at Hilton? The only catch is you must watch a Hilton Grand Vacations timeshare presentation.
Additionally, you will need to pay $200.00 in advance although the money will be reimbursed after you attend.
So, would you go? Yay or Nay? You can choose between Las Vegas or Orlando, Florida.
While it sounds like a great family vacation opportunity, evaluate whether or not it really is ideal for your situation. Here’s our experience.
A Quick Decision
Truthfully, we didn’t know much about it. When we called Hilton to book a hotel room, we were given the offer and told we had to decide immediately.
On a whim, we decided to go for it. Why not? We get 3 free nights at a Hilton hotel and $200.00 for a future stay at a Hilton hotel of our choice. All this just to watch a timeshare presentation? yes, please!
Before the Presentation
After driving 10 hours to Orlando, Florida, we found our partner hotel, not the Double Tree or Embassy Suites we had envisioned. It was a dingy, not so clean looking partner hotel, but who can complain? It’s free! Right?
The following day, we drove to the Parc Soleil by Hilton Grand Vacations where they hold the presentations. That’s an incredible hotel by the way and nothing like what we stayed in.
Once you enter the hotel, you take an elevator up to the presentation floor and wait until you are divided into groups. Each group is placed into a room with about 20 people each.
Before you enter your presentation room, there’s a kids room in the hallway. You can drop your kids off and let them play or watch a movie. The room isn’t suitable for little babies or toddlers though, as there is no one to watch them.
There’s also beverages and snacks for you in the hallway such as coffee, juice, coke, hotdogs, cookies, chips and some fruit.
During the Presentation
Once you enter the timeshare presentation, as you sit and wait for it to begin, the presenter comes around and welcomes you. She shakes everyone’s hands and finds out where you are from.
You watch a video and hear a short presentation soon after.
Our presenter spoke smoothly and could appeal to many audiences. She had a touching and emotional plea which makes you think “timeshares can be a good thing. I mean, she’s right. Vacationing with family is building memories and life is short! What if I get cancer too!? It would be nice to dream about going somewhere – anywhere!”
After the presentation, you are assigned an agent who sits down with you to go over the cost of timeshare packages. Later, you are brought to see the rooms you could stay at if you were to purchase a package. You know, just to dream a little …
I believe this part stresses people out the most. I was nervous too. Who would be our sales representative? Would they be aggressive and pushy? You can’t just walk out. If you do, you won’t get reimbursed for your hotel or the free voucher!
Some people have had bad experiences, but not us. In fact, we wondered, is that it?
Not So Scary After All
The agent we had was very laid back and quite nice, although he seemed tired. Probably tired of all the people who go to these presentations for the free vacation and voucher without ever purchasing a timeshare.
In fact, one of his first questions was how we felt about the presentation and the idea of timeshares? I had to be honest and knowing that we weren’t potential clients, he was done. Although he did go over a few things, he knew we weren’t buying. We waited for his manager to sign us off, which took forever, but it was all over about 3 hours later.
Reimbursement and Voucher
Once we were cleared to leave, we headed downstairs to the lobby, where we were given a voucher for $200 for 1 Hilton hotel of our choice. We chose Embassy Suites.
What they don’t tell you is that you must use it within 6 months of the presentation. Once you stay at a hotel, you have to pay the difference if it’s higher than the $200 voucher and you must send it in for reimbursement.
That’s how it was for us at least and we still haven’t used it. I’m certain it expires this weekend.
The Hilton Grand Vacations presentation on timeshares may or may not be worth your time. It really depends.
If you are interested in timeshares and could use a free vacation, this might be a great opportunity to take advantage of a deal. You might spend a few hours on a Sunday at the presentation, but not much more.
However, if you are certain you don’t want a timeshare (no matter what) and you have an inflexible schedule, you might not want to partake. It will be a waste of time for you and the people involved.
Also, if you paid the $200 to go, but don’t show up, you must forfeit the money.
I am glad we went because it was a learning experience, but I wouldn’t go again unless I was serious about timeshares.
Have you ever been offered a deal to attend a timeshare presentation? What was your experience like? Did you think it was a scam?