Interval International Gives 2013 Award to Grande Bay Resort and Residence Club in St. John

Interval International, a prominent worldwide provider of vacation services, recently presented The Grande Bay Resort and Residence Club, a vacation ownership property in St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands, with the Interval International Premier Boutique Resort® award for 2013.

The annual award recognizes resorts that provide outstanding vacation experiences with excellent accommodations in desirable locations.

“Grande Bay features a unique setting just steps from all of the attractions of downtown Cruz Bay and offers luxurious accommodations in one of the most exclusive Caribbean destinations,” explained Neil Kolton, Interval’s director of resort sales and service for the Caribbean.

“We’re delighted to recognize the property and its wonderful team with this well-deserved award.” Kolton said.

“Our success is a testament to the hard work of our management and staff who dedicate themselves to continually providing unforgettable vacations for our valued owners and guests,” said Paul Helson, general manager of The Grande Bay Resort and Residence Club, and a 35-year veteran of the hospitality industry.

Tucked into a hillside, the Mediterranean-style property offers panoramic views of neighboring St. Thomas to the west and the British Virgin Islands 15 miles to the east.

The resort features one-, two-, and three-bedroom villas, ranging in size from 550 to1,680 square feet. Spacious interiors feature living areas surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows and balconies, elegant wood furnishings, fully equipped kitchens, and state-of-the-art electronics.

On-site amenities include a heated pool, hot tub, fitness center, wireless Internet access, and underground parking.

Members and guests also can take advantage of pre-arrival grocery shopping, complimentary pick-up from the ferry terminal, twice-weekly housekeeping, and a full-time concierge that can arrange a variety of excursions.

Visitors Go Green and Join RCI ‘Green Fingers’ Food Recycling Initiative

RCI, the global leader in vacation exchange and part of the Wyndham Worldwide family of brands, today announced that visitors can simultaneously help the environment and support local charities through a new creative green initiative introduced by RCI.

The RCI program, branded Green Fingers, encourages visiting guests to deposit unwanted, non-perishable food upon departure for donation to local charities.

RCI has teamed up with Mariner Shores Resort and Nepean Country Club and Day Spa to pilot this food recycling program.

The two-pronged project aims at encouraging guests to have minimal impact on the local environment while directly benefiting charities such as The Salvation Army, Second Bite and St. Vincent de Paul.

“Our research indicates that holiday makers, particularly those staying in self-contained resorts, have a tendency to overbuy food, which leads to wastage at the end of their break,” said Gary Fog, business development manager, RCI Pacific.

“Therefore, our pilot program is about working with existing industry partners highlighting our commitment to the environment and the greater community,” Fog said.

Green Fingers is complete with promotional posters, an information letter about the program placed in each resort’s compendium and a number of large ‘Green Fingers’ donation bins located at various collection points at the participating resorts.

“As leaders in the holiday exchange industry, RCI and its affiliate resort partners play a pivotal role in sustaining our environment. This program inspires our resort guests to have a positive impact on the environment while assisting charities,” Fog continued.

Brent Schafer, general manager for Mariner Shores, a participating resort, has been very happy with the response so far: “Many of our guests have enjoyed being able to donate and have praised us on this initiative,” said Schafer.

 “People are much more aware of their green footprint these days and they like to make an overall difference. We get all sorts of donations from packets of chips, biscuits and canned food, through to diapers and baby wipes – basically anything that is unopened and non-perishable is accepted,” explained Schafer.

The RCI Green Fingers initiative encompasses the overall RCI Go Green program with plans to introduce the program globally. For more information regarding RCI Green Fingers or RCI Go Green program contact Gary Fog at

Bluegreen Vacations Named “Official Vacation Ownership Provider” for Choice Hotels International

Bluegreen Corporation has announced that its wholly-owned subsidiaries, Bluegreen Vacations and Bluegreen Resorts Management, Inc., have entered into multi-year strategic alliance agreements with Choice Hotels International, Inc., which, among other things, name Bluegreen Vacations the “Official Vacation Ownership Provider of Choice Hotels.”

One of the largest and most successful lodging companies in the world, Choice Hotels currently franchises approximately 6,200 hotels, representing more than 495,000 rooms, in the United States and more than 30 countries and territories.

The agreements between Bluegreen and Choice:

  • will allow Bluegreen Vacations to leverage Choice’s brands and customer relationships to expand its vacation ownership offerings; 
  • will brand 21 Bluegreen Vacation Club® resorts as part of the Choice Hotels AscendTM Hotel Collection. Launched in fall 2008, Ascend Hotel Collection is a network of historic, boutique and unique hotels that offer guests an authentic, local experience. Today, Ascend Hotel Collection offers upscale independent hotels in the United States, Canada, Scandinavia and Latin America; 
  • all Bluegreen Vacations’ owners will be eligible to access discounted rates at all 6,200 Choice hotels, subject to availability. 

Choice’s popular brands, which include Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Sleep Inn, Clarion, Cambria Suites, MainStay Suites, Suburban Extended Stay Hotel, Econo Lodge and Rodeway Inn brands, as well as its Ascend Hotel Collection membership program, range from limited-service to full-service and from economy to upscale, offering business and leisure travelers an array of high-value, high-quality options.

Bluegreen believes that the agreements will provide it with the opportunity to introduce Bluegreen Vacations’ offerings to Choice Hotels’ expansive consumer base.

“We look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship with Choice Hotels,” Bluegreen President and CEO John M. Maloney, Jr. said.

 “While we certainly believe that we will benefit from the marketing opportunities, we are also excited by the other aspects of our alliance with Choice Hotels. We expect that this arrangement will add value for our current owners and will be very attractive to prospective owners based on the credibility of the Choice Hotel brands and the appeal of our expanded product offerings,” said Maloney.

Steve Joyce, President and CEO of Choice Hotels International said, “Bluegreen Vacations’ experience and marketing innovation in the timeshare industry is unparalleled and they have created great ownership packages in premier destinations that appeal to 170,000 loyal Bluegreen Vacation Club owners.”

“Choice Hotels International looks forward to working with Bluegreen Vacations to leverage our diverse range of brands, our Choice Privileges® loyalty program and the strength of our marketing channels. We look forward to a long and strong relationship with Bluegreen Vacations,” Joyce said.

RCI Unveils Chinese Language Website for Exchange Members

RCI, the global leader in vacation exchange, recently launched a fully-transactional website in simplified Chinese available to its exchange members. suits the needs of members and affiliates with 13 language options that include English, Spanish, Italian, Greek, French, Portuguese, Dutch and, now, simplified Chinese.

“At RCI, we are dedicated to serving our subscribing members who reside all over the world and our affiliated resorts found in approximately 100 countries,” said Gordon Gurnik, president, RCI.

“We created this version of our website to better serve our Chinese members, making the vacation exchange process even easier.”

Members who would prefer to view the exchange company’s website in simplified Chinese can log in at, where they will be able to view the resort directory, search and book exchange vacations, manage their accounts, book Extra Vacation Getaways, renew and upgrade their memberships and much more.

The enhanced functionality available on the site includes the ability to view recommendations based on past searches, save favorites, and view special offers through the Exchange Search Filter. Members who book their exchange vacation online will also have the opportunity to save on exchange fees.

“With the high adoption of internet usage in China, we understood that making available in simplified Chinese would potentially bring great value to our Chinese members,” said Adrian Lee, managing director, RCI Asia.

“We believe that both members and resort affiliates will be pleased with the options now available to them online in their preferred language.”

“Chinese members will gain more professional and comprehensive service with this website, which will help improve members’ online exchange experience,” said Zhou Zhong, chairman of Huanmei International Vacation Club, an RCI affiliate.

“Together with RCI we will provide the best service possible to members.”

To view the site in your preferred language, visit and choose from the many language options available in the drop-down menu in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.

About RCI 
RCI is the worldwide leader in vacation exchange with over 4,000 affiliated resorts in approximately 100 countries. RCI pioneered the concept of vacation exchange in 1974, offering members increased flexibility and versatility with their vacation ownership experience.

Today, through RCI Weeks, the traditional week-for-week exchange system, and RCI Points, the industry’s first global points-based exchange system, RCI provides flexible vacation options to its approximately 3.7 million RCI subscribing members each year. RCI is part of the Wyndham Worldwide family of brands.