Astoria Vacation and Leisure Club
Then a week after the said event, I already forgot about the raffle until somebody from Club Astoria Plaza called me, informing me that I won a complimentary gift certificate accommodation from Astoria Vacation and Leisure Club Inc. Aside from this, the caller told me that I am also entitled for a buffet dinner for two (2) at Cafe Astoria. What a great excitement! The dinner will be served prior to claiming my prize, and afterwhich, there will be a short presentation about Club Astoria itself and the accommodation package that I won. I became skeptic with the answer so I asked the caller if there's a catch with that presentation, then he assured me that I have no obligation of any sort to "buy-out" any of the things that they're going to present or offer. Although still doubting, my excitement about the "3D2N free accommodation" took me over, so I gave it a nod and booked the appointment date of claiming the gift certificate.
A few days before the scheduled appointment with Club Astoria, I was able to grasp some information from one of my officemate who was also previously offered the same thing. My officemate told me that it was a holiday vacation ownership, or a timeshare from Club Astoria and its affiliates spanning worldwide. Although, she rejected the offer since the membership that was offered to her was beyond her budget during that time. Upon knowing her story, I realized that the "raffle" that was held was not really legit, but might just be a strategy to gather information about people whom they could contact and offer whatever their product or service is. So I guess I'm not the only one who "won" the said 3D/2N free accommodation.
Cutting the story short, right after the complimentary dinner at Club Astoria in Ortigas held last November 25, 2010 at around 8:30 PM, it was time for them to feed us with their promotional speeches and presentation. The Agent/Consultant - Bob, was friendly and accommodating, and also skillful in his field of persuasion. I was "detained" - figuratively speaking - for a few hours while listening and brainstorming with the consultant about the holiday ownership. The member benefits, ammenities, and advantage of owning a holiday timeshare was explained, and we were also showed how the suites looks like. It was a very comfy and cozy two bedroom, condo-type unit of family suite that can accomodate up to six (6) person.
I rejected the membership offer as true to my officemate's testimonial, the cost was way beyond my budget even if the membership dues are to be paid in 48 installment months. The agent presented to me four (4) membership options, differing on the suite-type, the number of rooms available per unit, and the number of person the unit can accommodate. The basic member-benefits for any of those four membership type includes: thirty (30) years membership to Club Astoria; 1 week accommodation per year to any of it's affiliate hotels/vacation clubs local and worldwide; and membership to Resort Condominiums International (RCI) - your ticket to worldwide special holiday/vacation discounts exclusive only to members.
The fourth membership type that was offered was the one that appealed to me the most since it costs around approximately 70% lower than the first three. Balancing the future costs of hotel accommodation, given that I already have my own family and a child (or let's say I'll have two kids already by the time that we can already enjoy the membership benefits at Club Astoria), for the span of thirty (30) membership years, Club Astoria's holiday vacation ownership will be a thrift investment for future get-aways - unless me and my wife (and kids) could agree to settle for simple back-packing trips.
Although, I admit that part of the decision that made me grab their final offer was also due to the high-pressure environment that has built-up already during the more than four (4) hours of time that I gave to entertain their presentation and persuasions. Really, they wouldn't give me time to think about it even for one more day, claiming that they no longer give chance to anyone once the presentation is over and after we stepped out of Club Astoria's building, duh! I have other ramblings about their way of selling, marketing, presenting, or whatever they could call it. But for now, I'll hold it back as I've seen that the business is legit - only their ethics in doing the business isn't acceptable.
About the complimentary gift certificate, we enjoyed it during our family's Panglao Island Bohol Adventure last April 16 - 18, 2011 at the Bohol Beach Club (Club Astoria's affiliate hotel).
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