The latest trend in vacation homes or second homes is the resort condo hotel. According to NAR, investment homes accounted for a quarter of all home purchases in 2004, and vacation home purchases an additional 13 percent. Condo Hotels first started appearing in places like Miami Beach and Ft. Lauderdale. They have increased tremendously in popularity and can now be found in places like Belize and Dubai.

As the owner of a condo hotel unit, you can keep your condo hotel as long as you’d like. Use it as a get-away-from-it-all vacation home if desired, all the while building equity for when you want to sell it. Marketed as a condominium located in a resort hotel, these private residences offer a practical way to own a vacation home, and offset some of the costs when you’re not there.

If you’re seriously considering buying a second home or vacation home consider a condo hotel. Condo-Hotels Statistics show that the market for homes with rental income potential is nearly twice the size of the market for vacation homes that are seldom rented. The typical condo hotel produces higher levels of income than the traditional vacation home (and less headaches), making it all the more appealing to buyers.

Here’s how it works. You purchase a condominium in price ranges from as low as $400,000 to well over $2 million that is located in a resort hotel. After purchasing it, you tell the hotel when you intend to stay in your condo and they reserve those dates for you. When you are not there, your condo goes into a rental program, managed by the hotel, and is rented out as a hotel room.

The beauty of this type of arrangement is that you get a beautiful condominium in a luxury resort, but don’t have to worry about maintenance and upkeep when you’re not there. Another plus is because the hotel is renting out your condo, your vacation home becomes an investment property. Because hotel employees handle marketing and promotion, you don’t have to, and you get the added benefit of having your condo marketed as part of a well-known and respected luxury hotel. Imagine the marketing power behind names such as Ritz-Carlton and Trump! Having your vacation condo promoted under a name like that gives you tremendous exposure.

The condo hotel buyer sees the benefit of owning a vacation property that also has the potential to produce income for them and build equity long term. This is one of the biggest appeals of condo-hotels because the rental income can offset some of the costs of owning a vacation property. With the advantages they offer over time shares, it’s easy to see why so many people looking for a vacation property investment they can also enjoy, when they want to, are now looking at condo-hotels.


These hotels are landscaped and furnished with so much imagination that just touring these hotels can be a vacation activity in itself. There are spas, restaurants, shopping and nightspots.

Another popular option is the fractional property. The original fractional format was started to formalize the sharing of a single family home within a destination resort area like Aspen or Telluride. Traditional fractions now involve condominiums and townhouses as well as single family homes. These fractional properties are usually sold in one-fourth interests, also termed Quarter-shares. Quarter-share owners receive one week of use each month for a total of 13 weeks per year. Variations of the Traditional Fractional include: Fifth-shares with a total of 10 weeks per year and an assignment of use every fifth week, and; Sixth-shares with 8 weeks of use per year and allocation of time every sixth week.

Within each traditional fractional format, the weeks are assigned through a rotational calendar to distribute the most desirable times of the seasons in a fair and equitable manner. The owner may either use or give away their weeks, or they can place their unused time in a rental program and split the revenue with the property manager after costs. Quality of the residence and furnishings is in the 3 to 4-star ranges. Service levels are at the 3-star level, if they are included in the program offering.

Either type of property is an excellent choice for a vacation home. So, when looking into buying a second home, check out these types of property as an option.

the article was written by Mary Hanna