Whenever I hear the word Timeshare Presentation, I run away from it as fast as possible because of many horror stories I heard from others who did the Presentation. 

Anyway, curiosity struck me one day when I was on the phone with IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group), and I was offered this getaway 4 days and 3 nights for a non-refundable $199. I can pick Holiday Inn Club Vacations properties anywhere from Orlando, Florida, Las Vegas, Nevada, and Gatlinburg, Tennessee, to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. I have never been to South Carolina state and Myrtle Beach, so I went ahead and signed up for the deal. In return, I will have to attend the 2 hours timeshare presentation, and I will receive $100 cash back and 20,000 IHG points. I value IHG points at 0.5 cents a piece, so 20,000 points come to a $100 value.

My Unpleasant Experience With Holiday Inn Club Vacations Timeshare Deal - A Trip to Myrtle Beach
Holiday Inn Club Vacations South Beach Resort at Myrtle Beach
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    Holiday Inn Club Vacations Offer

    I purchased the Holiday Inn Club Vacations deal for $199 plus taxes, and a timeshare presentation is required. At the end of the Presentation, I will receive the following offers:
    • $100 cash back
    • 20,000 IHG One Rewards points (~$100 value based on my valuation)

    Buyer's Remorse

    Admittedly, I did have buyer's remorse. It's not about being afraid of the timeshare presentation, but the booking process was rather annoying. I almost just gave up the $199 plus taxes that I already paid.

    • Making the room reservation online is impossible, and I must call in to book. 
    • First, I had to book far in advance to ensure rooms were available for the date I wanted.
    • Second, I had to check the flight schedule and make sure the airfare was inexpensive, then I had to make sure I could book the room for the same date that I'll be flying in. 
    • Third, if I want to stay at the Holiday Inn Club Vacations property, I have to pay extra (no thanks!). 
    • Finally, finding the right hotel to stay at was very frustrating because the one I wanted was either unavailable or required more money.

    Tedious Booking Process

    IHG has these hotels in or near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina:
    You cannot book the Holiday Inn Club Vacations timeshare deal online, and you must call to book. The agent wanted to put me at the Staybridge Suites Myrtle Beach - West during the booking process. Good thing I asked which hotel was because that hotel's location is not on the beach at all, not to mention Staybridge Suites hotels are not my favorite IHG brand. I declined that and asked her to look for other hotels. I wanted to stay at the Holiday Inn Club Vacations South Beach Resort in Myrtle Beach, but I had to pay more. In the end, nothing was available. Son of the gun!

    I called back and asked this time for the agent to check Holiday Inn Oceanfront at Surfside Beach. While Surfside Beach is not in Myrtle Beach, we'll have a car, so that should not be an issue, and we really want an oceanfront property. The agent put me on hold while checking to see if they could make a booking for me. She came back with "good news," and I thought that was the end of my nightmare booking this so-called "getaway." After a few days, I called the Holiday Inn Oceanfront at Surfside Beach to confirm my reservation because I read online that some people who got on the deal did not get booked correctly. Well, they were not able to find my reservation. This back and forth checking took over 1 week. I finally made a phone call and inquired about this. The agent called the hotel and was able to confirm my reservation. Guess what, it's NOT the Holiday Inn Oceanfront at Surfside Beach; it's Surfside Beach Oceanfront Hotel, which is not even part of the IHG. I later made a phone call to that hotel, and sure enough, they found my reservation there. 

    Non-IHG: Surfside Beach Resort Hotel

    I know nothing about this Surfside Beach Oceanfront Hotel, and I did not realize that the Holiday Inn Club Vacations agent put me at a hotel that's not part of IHG. 

    Apparently, the agent didn't clarify to me that the hotel isn't part of IHG. I guess she thought I just wanted the Surfside beach location. I felt confused, but in the meantime, I read the TripAdvisor reviews about this hotel and compared it to the Holiday Inn. The Surfside Beach Oceanfront Hotel got much better reviews. The hotel is oceanfront with rooms that have balconies with ocean views. I asked the hotel staff whether the hotel is part of the Holiday Inn, and he said that they are not part of the Holiday Inn. However, when Holiday Inn is overbooked from time to time, they partner with Surfside Beach Oceanfront Hotel to accommodate guests that come for the timeshare presentation. 

    My main concern was if I stayed at the Surfside Beach Oceanfront Hotel property, I could not accrue IHG points. However, because this is considered a package promotion, even if I were to stay at the Holiday Inn one, I won't be able to accrue IHG points anyway.

    Take-Aways For IHG Timeshare Getaway Deal Booking

    • Planning requires way too much time in advance for room and flights.
    • Availability is too difficult to make a reservation. 
    • Possibility of being put in a hotel where the location is not ideal.
    • Possibility of being put in a hotel that is not part of IHG hotel chains.   

    Therefore, if you must take this deal, make sure you are booked for the actual hotel you want. Also, remember that once you make the reservation, you will be waiting for almost, possibly at least one (1) week to get a confirmation email that you are booked! They have free 24 hours cancellation; otherwise, the cancellation fees apply. See below. 

    Fees For IHG Timeshare Getaway Deal

    • The deal is $199 non-refundable and paid upfront; you still need to pay taxes. 
    • Once the reservation is made, any changes/cancellations 4 days or more before the arrival date cost $19.95. Although they may be able to waive this fee for you as a one-time courtesy. YMMV
    • Changes/Cancellation made after 4 days before arrival date, or no show costs $99.
    • Because this is a package deal, stays don't accrue IHG points. 

    Conclusion

    This has not been a pleasant experience trying to book this getaway for 4 days and 3 nights, but it finally comes to an end. 

    Based on the reviews, I hope that by staying at the Surfside Beach Oceanfront Hotel, the stay experience should be better than at the Holiday Inn Oceanfront at Surfside Beach.