15 May, 2019

Just the timeshare facts, folks.

I’ve been away to my wonderful timeshare about 4 1/2 miles down the street! Lol. In 2010 I bought a fixed week 28 (Mid July) timeshare at the Costa de Oro. Four years ago I added another week, this time week 17 (end of April/beginning of May). Most timeshares in México are “right to use” which means they aren’t deeded property like many of the ones in the USA/Canada are. They also usually have an expiration. Mine is 2022. When I bought, I figured if I didn’t like it I wouldn’t have long to wait until they expired.

My timeshare caveats – 1. Don’t buy from the developer, ALWAYS buy resale. You’ll save yourself thousands of dollars and years of hefty payments. 2. Research BEFORE you buy. Figure out if weeks or points work best for you. 3. Is it part of a bigger group you can easily trade in? 4. Are there hidden fees (some have additional fees every 5 years or so)? 5. Are the maintenance fees due annually, or when you use? Lots of questions to ask, but things are much easier if you join the Timeshare Users Group (tugbbs.com) and ask for help.

Now that I’m down here permanently, I really don’t need the timeshare weeks anymore. Selling them would be next to impossible though (the sellers of the week 17 I ‘bought’ paid ME $200 to take it off their hands), so I figured I’d either let friends use the weeks, do a staycation kind of thing, or bank them on RCI or II (these are companies that, for a fee, will let you exchange your week in one resort with a week at someone else’s resort). Some resorts block you from trading back into your location if you bank the week, so I haven’t tried that route yet. Timeshare’s in México don’t get a lot of trading power either. I would have to bank two or three of my weeks here just to get one in the USA. My annual maintenance fees are really low, so letting friends use them, or just pampering myself for a week are options that don’t hurt the wallet much.

So I offered the week to friends, and without any takers I did the staycation. The Costa de Oro is in the “Gold Zone” here in Mazatlán, which is the hotel/tourist area just North of downtown Mazatlán. It’s not my favorite area because it’s pricey and full of tourists, but I am fond of the Costa de Oro – because my week 28 housekeeper remembers me, as do all of the staff in the bar and restaurant, and some of the security guys. There are also some really good dinner restaurants in the area that I don’t usually visit, and then my favorite lunch place La Cocina de Ana is there too. Nope, not giving directions, they’re too busy as it is!

The Costa de Oro did a little “upgrading” last year. New stove tops in the kitchenette, new televisions, and an additional kitchen hutch with storage and spots for the coffee maker and microwave. These were much needed changes as many of the units had cook tops that would spark at you and/or shock the bejeezus out of you! They also put new tables and chairs in the bar. This year they remodeled the restaurant and added two dinner buffet nights to their offerings! I made it to the standby Sunday breakfast buffet, but not the dinner options.

This year they put me in room 580. My usual room is 480. The difference is that 480 looks out directly into the tops of the palm trees, and 580 has a great view of the ocean and the islands just off the coast. I didn’t complain! I *do* complain if they try to do it to me during my week 28 stay as that’s in room 683 with the excellent view and my amiga (y vecina tambien), Juanita, doing the housekeeping. The rooms ending in 80 are all on the North side of the building next door to The Inn (another timeshare/hotel, but a bit more swanky than the Costa de Oro). The Inn has been doing construction for the last couple of years – didn’t hear any work this time, and their building really does look nice from the street. Since the ’80’ rooms are on the end of the building, there are extra windows that look North. My fun this year were the pigeons with two babies in the planter outside one of the windows! The babies had almost filled out with their adult feathers! I have a feeling this week they’ll be doing their first flights! No photos of them, they didn’t even like me peeking at them 🙂

And as a side note, Lucy (the waitress in the bar) told me that the Costa de Oro has dropped their day use fee for people who want to eat in the restaurant or drink in the bar. A few pesos to use the pool and amenities, but nada to eat or drink. This is how they should have done it in the first place.

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