Our 1500 points allowed us to return to Napa every other year. At that time we had not availed ourselves of any of the other properties our membership owned, but we were very happy visiting Napa. This was our third year of membership and our second visit to Napa. We again booked a studio apartment but got another building. The room was identical and the view similar.
The Concierge invited us to a member update offering $100.00 plus a handsome wine tasting package at far more wineries than we could possibly visit; we accepted and had an appointment the next day at 10:00 Am, little did we know!
There was a small single story office on the property grounds where the meeting was to take place. We arrived at the designated time along with a group of other people. The staff offered coffee and water with light refreshments. I'm starting to see the similarity between this place and the one we first visited in San Francisco (goose bumps on my arms) as we are ushered in to the inner sanctum.
Dana and I along with several other couples were introduced as already being members and whisked off to meet our customer representatives. The first phase of the process was to show us what a one bedroom condo looks like. If you remember from part two I mentioned when we entered our room from the main hallway we entered into a foyer; well that other door was the one bedroom condos.
Oh My! Can you spell luxury. I will post pictures a little later to better detail what the larger condos entailed. Upon entering there is a hallway with a laundry closet that opens into a full kitchen with everything needed to prepare a gourmet meal. Next came a massive dining table capable of comfortably seating eight, then a full living room with big screen TV and a gas fireplace. The bedroom was large with a Jacuzzi tub (big enough for two), a dressing area by the tub with a door that led into a bathroom that was as big as some hotel rooms we have stayed in. I believe my jaw hit the floor when I saw the shower, rain head with optional body spraying heads at several levels and big enough to dance in. A second door led back into the hallway.
At this point I knew we were in trouble, our rep took us back to the office and we began the negotiations. The first thing I noticed was there was very little pressure. He was well aware that we owned a meager 1500 points. His first suggestion was that to do it right around 7500 points was needed and that just for us we could have them for around $6.00 a point. Let's see that's 7500 - 1500 * $6.00 = $36,000.00. Dana and I saw that beautiful one bedroom condo slipping away into the California sunset. I told him there was no way we could afford that price tag.
Here is where I learned that there was some wiggle room in the pricing. Not like our first encounter with the sales people where the amount per point seemed fixed these prices had some flexibility. We haggled down to around $5.00 a point when the talks stalled. Dana and I were ready to get out and continue our vacation so we thanked him for his time and headed for the door. No one tackled us on the way out; must be a perk of being an owner. For the rest of our week we discussed how we could afford the points to allow us to stay in one of those sweet one bedroom condos.
As our vacation drew to a close we were determined to find a way to see us in that one bedroom. Next up, “Discovering the secondary market”.