Stay inspired - Download the latest edition of Endless Vacation magazine.

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12 When you DOWNLOAD RCI MEMBER APP! PG.31

17 Spotlight:

Seoul, South Korea

go to Melbourne

JAN/JUN 2020

PLAY | EAT | SHOP | RELAX | EXPLORE

Canary Islands Discovering

Ready to GO

13 countries with on-spot visa for RCI India members

Pilgrim's Special

Resorts you can retreat to on your pilgrimage


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*RCI Platinum® membership and benefits are subject to terms and conditions. Platinum membership benefits can be withdrawn without prior notice. Please call the RCI member helpline for details. RCI reserves the right to modify/withdraw Platinum membership/Platinum benefits without prior notice. Primary membership will be aligned with the Platinum membership validity with additional fees on prorata basis. RCI Member Helpline Toll-Free (all India): 1.800.419.2131 Website: RCI.com


Summer 2020 CONTENTS FEATURES 06 Discovering Canary Islands Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote and Fuerteventura

PG.32

12

When you go to Melbourne

16

Spotlight: Seoul, South Korea

20

Pilgrim's Special Shirdi, Dharamshala, Dwarka and Rameswaram

RCI Recommends

26 Ready to Go 13 countries that provide on-spot visa for RCI India members

CANADA When colours fall from heaven

Staff Holiday

40

A Holiday to Remember Ooty

Also in this Issue

04

Editor's Note

05

Member Stories

36

Fee Reckoner

43

Ongoing Search

44

New Affiliation ENDLESS VACATION | 3


Editor’s

NOTE

Traveling - it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller. —IBN BATTUTA

2019 started with a dose of adventure for me. For the first time, I experienced the thrill of river rafting in Manali. The stable current of the Beas River makes Manali a safe place to raft for families! Ooty, on the other hand, was all about family time. The legendary Toy Train ride from Ooty to Conoor was an experience we all equally enjoyed. You must try at least once! Wayanad, our newest discovery, was a jungle retreat right in the middle of the Muthanga forest. A walk outside the resort offers chances to spot many wild animals. Ibn Battuta was right, travel does turn us into storytellers, doesn't it? So,where did your 2019 travels take you? If you have interesting stories to share, mail them to us at editor.ev@rci.com and we will publish it on Endless Vacations or our social media pages. In this edition, we bring you unseen gems from our repository of destinations. From the scintillating Seoul to the beautiful Canary Islands and more, we have many stories to inspire you. As you continue to travel, explore and strengthen the bonds of family relationships in this brand-new decade, we look forward to being a part of your happy stories. Bon voyage!

Aruna Jathar

4 | JAN - JUN 2020


Member Testimonials

"The location was brimming with bliss all around and time came to a standstill. The staff was very courteous and the ambiance of the resort was amazing." MAHENDI NAWAZ KURESHI Munnar, Kerala

"We spent a week at the Sheraton Vistana Resort and enjoyed ourselves thoroughly. I loved the beautiful water bodies at the resort nurturing various birds and fish. We also enjoyed the various theme parks. Thank you for a truly memorable stay." PORUS KHAREGHAT Orlando, USA

"The Maldivian islands are mesmerizing. It felt like the plane took us to another dimension altogether. Filitheyo was magical for us not only because of its location, but also because of its people and the experiences that it has to offer. It's the perfect blend of man–made and natural. We were glad to be a part of it all." SANATH KUMAR Filitheyo, Maldives

Member Speak

SEE WHERE RCI MEMBERS ARE TRAVELLING WITH THEIR FAMILIES. ENJOY THE STORIES FROM AROUND THE WORLD.

We reserve the right to edit submissions. Photos are welcome. Please read the complete terms below. Note: By submitting photos or stories to RCI, you represent that you own or have the necessary rights, licenses, and permissions (Without the need for payment to another person or entity) to grant to RCI a license to unlimited use of any part of your submission for any commercial and non-commercial purpose in any media without further payment or compensation to RCI. You agree that RCI may include your first name, hometown and state with your submission. RCI has no obligation to publish any submission.

ENDLESS VACATION | 5


Destination | Canary Islands

6 | JAN - JUN 2020


Canary Islands | Destination

'Let the sun shine' really should be the mantra of the Canary Islands, for they are among the sunniest destinations in Europe. The islands are blessed with year round sunshine due to their enviable location —to the south of Spain and west of northern Africa. There are seven islands, each created by thousands of years of volcanic activity, but four—Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote and Fuerteventura—have become tourist favourites.

T

he reasons are clear—long sunny days, delightful sandy beaches and coves, an abundance of things to see and do, and great nightlife. The islands are also renowned for offering excellent golf facilities and some of the best dive spots in the world. They also have a host of more unusual activities including enjoying a meal cooked in the heart of a volcano, hiking lava tubes, star gazing and swimming in natural rock pools. But each island has an individual character, so why visit just one, when you can see them all? ENDLESS VACATION | 7


Destination | Canary Islands

Clockwise from left: Tenerife Island, Mount Teide cable car, wind surfing in El Médano and La Laguna street view

Tenerife

T

enerife is the star of the group—the largest island with something for everyone— nature lovers, partygoers, hikers, culture aficionados, and children. At 3,718 metres, Mount Teide dominates the landscape. Located within the Teide National Park, 8 | JAN - JUN 2020

this is the tallest peak in Spain. Mount Teide is a treasure trove of natural attractions, pine forests give way to a strangely lunarlike landscape, and the summit is often covered in snow. Prior permission must be obtained to ascent to Teide. You can also explore Mount Teide by cable car. For more action, head to the south of Tenerife. Here you will find one of the local residents' favourite beaches: El Médano, a beach of golden sand, shallow

waters and moderate waves. It is a hugely popular spot for wind and kitesurfing due to constant winds, which gives the town a real buzz in the evening after a day spent on the beach. Don't miss Tenerife’s former capital La Laguna where brightly coloured centuries’ old buildings hide delightful patios and a captivating history. Then you can swirl in superb seafood and excellent wines in picturesque towns like Garachico and La Orotava.


Canary Islands | Destination

Gran Canaria

G

ran Canaria meanwhile blends its rugged landscape with golden sand dunes and pretty little harbour side towns. Kissed by the warm winds of Africa, the island of Gran Canaria is as welcoming as it is wonderfully varied. This island is often described as a miniature continent as its landscape is so diverse, from the celebrated rugged ravines of its interior to extensive white sandy beaches along its shoreline. Capital Las Palmas is noted for its stylish colonial architecture, brightly painted buildings, history and culture, with the town’s old quarter Vegueta declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1990. It is surrounded by magnificent scenery and has two beautiful beaches, Playa de las Canteras and Playa de las Alcaravaneras. Las Palmas is also a good place for shopping, as there are a number of high-end stores and boutiques, as well as lovely side streets laden with cosy cafés. For something a little different, try Palmitos Park with its exotic mix of pretty gardens, flamingos, dolphins, meerkats, orangutans and even a komodo dragon.

Clockwise from top: Scenic mountain road in Gran Canaria, Vegueta and Las Palmas

ENDLESS VACATION | 9


Destination | Canary Islands

Lanzarote

Left: Interior of the Mirador del Rio by César Manrique, Lanzarote, Right: View of Atlantic Ocean and La Graciosa Island from El Mirador del Rio.

10 | JAN - JUN 2020

T

hen there’s Lanzarote—if an island ever portrayed the relationship between artist and muse it would be Lanzarote. Its evocative and extraordinary landscape was given creative store in the works of artist and sculptor, César Manrique—the island’s strange beauty informing his unique post-modern style. There are many shining examples of how Manrique used Lanzarote’s natural environment to create outstanding attractions such as the breathtaking Mirador del Río in the north of the

island. At the Manrique restaurant inside the park, you can have dinner cooked by the fiery 600°C heat of the volcano below your feet. Lanzarote is the only island in the world designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve—and Timanfaya National Park is its defining moment. The volcanoes, which last erupted here from 1730 to 1736, have reshaped the island and transformed its people and culture. For a total change of pace, take a ferry to the beautiful unspoilt island of Isla Graciosa.


Canary Islands | Destination

Fuerteventura

F

uerteventura’s white sands beckon even the most discerning of beach lovers. The second largest of the Canary Islands famous for its 150 km long stretch of stunning beaches and picturesque villages.

Just half an hour north of the international airport is Corralejo, one of the island’s largest resort towns and the perfect place from which to explore the Corralejo Dunes National Park. At the island’s southern end is Morro Jable, a town famed for seafood restaurants and a picturesque lighthouse. Cotillo is perhaps the most picturesque village on the entire island. Stroll the old harbour, which is still used by fisherman, and admire the original windmills. As the locals

admit, Fuerteventura is the best island for foodies. Located just one mile off the north coast of Fuerteventura is the tranquil nature reserve of Lobos Island. Lobos offers opportunities to see rare and endangered birdlife, species of vegetation unique to the island, walking trails and peaceful beaches. Among the islands’ little known treasures are excellent food and drink—particularly the awardwinning wines they produce. It is also known for its fresh produce and tropical fruits like papaya, pineapple and avocado. The islands local cheese, queso Majorero is also a must-try. Cabra, or goat, is another favourite here, either roasted or stewed, served with wrinkled potatoes.

STAY Lobos Island

RCI® HAS AFFILIATED RESORTS ACROSS CANARY ISLANDS

Weather:

Getting around:

With temperatures averaging 18 degrees from December to March, and around 25 degrees at its hottest in August, the Canary Islands prove to be an ever-popular escape all year round for a sunny break.

The Islands attractions are far too spread out to explore on foot. Cars are available to get around quickly and efficiently. To hop islands, planes are reliable and are at the same price as ferries. If you prefer a relaxed pace, take a ferry ride offered by inter-island services. ENDLESS VACATION | 11


W

W

hen you go to

elbourne

On visiting Australia’s coolest city, discover its surprises, hidden treasures and unexpected finds.

12 | JAN - JUN 2020


Melbourne | Destination

M

elbourne is located in Southern Australia’s state of Victoria. Often ranked as one of the top livable cities in the world, Melbourne attracts hordes of visitors from across the world. From its rooftop restaurants to chic designer boutiques and historical landmarks, there is something new to discover in Melbourne around every corner. Start your exploration from the Federal Square (known locally as Fed Square) on foot or hop on a tram. Fed Square is the iconic spot in Melbourne and home to major cultural, culinary and artistic events. To get an overview of Melbourne city, head to Eureka Tower located opposite Yarra River, in Southbank. From the viewing deck on the 88th floor, get a 360˚ view of the city. Prices cost approx. 22 AUD Head to the National Gallery of Victoria for your fix of art and installations. The two galleries, only a short walk apart, have a huge collection of permanent artwork. The entry is free. But not all art can be found here; the laneways is one of the world’s largest street art display competing with that of Berlin and New York.

Federal Square

Panoramic view of the docklands waterfront area of Melbourne at night

Flinders Lane

Food adventure

Australians call downtown the central business district, and Melbourne’s CBD is an exhilarating place to eat. Flinders Lane is the place for good food. Make a list of the food you want to try while travelling around in Australia, and try sampling foods from different cuisines. If you are gastronomically adventurous, try various dishes made of crocodile, kangaroo and emu meat.

ENDLESS VACATION | 13


Destination | Melbourne

Australian burger

The popular Degraves Street in Melbourne CBD. A laneway full of cafe, restaurants, shops, and tourists.

The Pavlova (meringue, topped with whipped cream and fruits) and Lamingtons (traditional Australian cakes) are two pastries that you must try—both are mouth-wateringly tasty. If you end up at a sporting venue, make sure you try hot meat pies—the Australian fast food of choice. Don’t miss tasting the Australian burger—it is completely different from any burger you have ever tried before and will blow your socks off.

Coffee Culture

Melbourne is the coffee capital of Australia, and some Melburnians would say the world. Thousands of baristas in thousands of cafés across the city pride themselves on the quality of their roasts, beans, milk ratios and all the rest, and Melbourne does not tolerate bad coffee. An extra hint: if you've never had one, try a flat white. A latte without the foam, it's an Australian original invention.

14 | JAN - JUN 2020


Melbourne | Destination

Nature Trails

In case you wish to get away from Melbourne, a day trip on the Great Ocean Road is highly recommended. This coastal drive will definitely leave you amazed by its sheer beauty. On this path, you get to see several sights—the 12 apostles, waterfalls and surf breaks—that will take your breath

away. Surf, scuba dive, and go kayaking in this region, and indulge your taste buds with the fine dining and wine from restaurants along the way as well. Numurkah, located about 251 km from Melbourne is another of Australia’s hidden treasures, surrounded by wineries and farms

and a lot of history. Being the centre of a thriving agricultural area, Numurkah is a food lovers’ paradise. Wander around the town’s lakes, creeks and wetlands, throw in a line, or you can simply enjoy a round of golf, bowls or tennis in the sunshine.

Sunrise view of the Great Ocean Road walkway

Getting around: Trams are one of the distinctive features and best way to explore the character of Melbourne. The major cities have public transport that you can use to get around the city with ease.

Tip

Did you know that on average, Melbourne is coolest in July and warmest in February? It is not too early to start planning your 2020 vacation! Not yet ready to travel? Visit RCI.com to see all the available vacations for the month you want to travel. You can filter by Check-in Date Range and by Check-in Month.**

STAY RCI® HAS AFFILIATED RESORTS ACROSS AUSTRALIA

ENDLESS VACATION | 15


Destination | Seoul

Spotlight:

SEOUL Young, vibrant and chic, Seoul is South Korea's heartbeat. Come, discover this action-packed city.

Lotte World Tower and Mall

16 | JAN - JUN 2020


Seoul | Destination

As the capital of South

Korea, the city of Seoul is a fascinating mix of

history, modern culture, skyscrapers, Buddhist

temples, and exceptional

shopping. Seoul's history dates back to more than

two thousand years ago, offering many ancient

Gyeongbokgung Palace Bukchon Hanok Village

sites to visit such as the Gyeongbokgung and

Changdeokgung Palaces,

as well as traditional areas like Bukchon Hanok

village, Insa-dong and Gwangjang market.

ENDLESS VACATION | 17


Destination | Seoul

Seoul’s Incheon International Airport has been consecutively ranked as the world’s best airport thanks to its excellent service, efficiency, and top-class amenities. It’s a destination in itself with plenty of activities to do from shopping to dining to museum visits and more.

Top to bottom: Changdeokgung Palace, View of Starfield Library in Starfield COEX Mall and Gwangjang Market, a popular place for Korean street food.

Seoul has something for everyone especially for those wanting to keep up with major fashion brands, music, shopping and cutting edge technology. Each year, the entertainment districts of Myeongdong, Apgujeong and the COEX Mall draw huge numbers of visitors. At 555 metres, the Lotte World Tower and Mall is a mega shopping and entertainment precinct for those looking for duty-free and luxury goods. Seoul's Jungang Market boasts over 1,000 vendors and in case you're feeling hungry, there's a wealth of food vendors selling vegetables, rice cakes, bread and meats of all kinds. To escape the hustle and bustle, try a relaxing bike ride. Bike paths are found all around the Han River and you can get some exercise and take in great views of the river. If it's romance you're after, go for a stroll

18 | JAN - JUN 2020

along one of Seoul's most stunning paths, the Deoksugung's Stone Wall Path. Revitalise your spirit in one of Seoul's famous saunas called Jjimjilbangs. These popular relaxation centres have become very fashionable with young and old including families and couples. Getting around: Getting around Seoul's major attractions is easy. You can use a T-money card to pay for taxis or for transferring between buses and subway lines. There's a myriad of double-decker buses and for approx. $10, you can hop on and off at any of the major attractions.

STAY RCI® HAS AFFILIATED RESORTS ACROSS SOUTH KOREA


Nature. Up close and personal.

Experience unspoilt nature of Uttarakhand in the lap of luxury. Set on the edge of India’s oldest national park, Karma Sitabani resort is a mesmerising retreat that transcends you to another world. The world-class amenities, the restaurant serving irresistible Kumaon delicacies and the host of activities at the resort offer a nature getaway unlike any other. Being situated close to the Corbett Tiger Reserve, this is a perfect getaway for both; an adventure of a lifetime as well as blissful surrender to mother nature.

To book your holiday, call your RCI Guide now at: 1.800.419.2131

GOA | KERALA | JAIPUR | HIMACHAL PRADESH | UTTARAKHAND


Pilgrim's Special

Pilgrim's Special

I

f you wish to extend your pilgrimage trip and turn it into a journey of relaxation and discovery, do it with RCI. Explore Shirdi, Dharamshala, Rameshwaram and Dwarka, staying at one of RCI’s affiliated resorts. Let your travels turn out to be an absolute bliss.

20 | JAN - JUN 2020


Pilgrim's Special

Shirdi Shirdi, a popular religious destination in the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra, is the birthplace of Sai Baba. Millions visit the temple every week making it one of India’s busiest pilgrimage sites. While there, check in to Sterling Shirdi to experience a luxurious stay. The resort even provides regular shuttles to and from the temple that makes the commute easy, especially for the elderly. Aurangabad is the nearest airport to Shirdi–125 km RCI Affiliated Resort: D905 Sterling Shirdi

ENDLESS VACATION | 21


Pilgrim's Special

Dharamshala

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22 | JAN - JUN 2020


Pilgrim's Special

Rameswaram Rameswaram is one of South India’s popular pilgrimage sites located on the beautiful Pamban Island off the Coromandel Coast of Tamil Nadu. The Ramanathaswamy Temple, constructed by various rulers from the 12th century, is the most popular pilgrimage site here. The magnificently carved temple pillars are worth checking out. Daiwik Hotel, a short walk away from the temple, offers an ideal retreat on your pilgrimage. Madurai is the nearest airport to Rameshwaram–178 km RCI Affiliated Resort: D563 Daiwik Hotels

Dwarka Dwarka is an ancient city in the northwestern state of Gujarat. Situated on the right bank of Gomti River, Dwarka is majorly known for temples, most popular being the Dwarkadhish Temple. Its proximity to NH8 enables visitors easy access to all that this lively city has on offer. The resorts in Dwarka are set to provide a comfortable stay for pilgrims and tourists alike. Jamnagar is the closest airport to Dwarka–132 km RCI Affiliated Resorts: DK30 Times Club DK28 Club Mahindra Dwarka

ENDLESS VACATION | 23


Share your vacation memories. Now get your vacation stories featured on Endless Vacation magazine. Simply send in your story, with lots of exciting pictures, and your interesting holiday experiences will be shared with the RCI community! Email us at: editor.ev@rci.com

24 | JAN - JUN 2020


Follow us on Instagram Post exciting landscape, food, architecture photographs or share unique local stories by tagging us @rciindiavacations and you stand a chance to be featured on our Instagram wall. The best entries will also get exciting gifts.

Scan the QR code to follow us on Instagram ENDLESS VACATION | 25


Ready To GO

RCI recommends | Ready to Go

26 | JAN - JUN 2020

13 countries with on-spot visa for RCI India members

How relieving is it to just pack your bags and hop onto a plane for an international holiday without having to spend your time and money on trips to embassies? The happiness is unmatched. So here is the list of countries where you get on spot visas.

1. Bolivia.

One of the most underrated and secluded travel destinations in the world, Bolivia has to offer a spread of surreal landscapes, fun-filled festivals, unique cultures, bustling markets, vibrant cities, and adrenaline-pumping activities. Uyuni Salt Flat is the star attraction here.


Ready to Gol | RCI recommends

2. British Virgin Islands.

Beauty personified, the British Virgin Islands comprises more than 60 islands scattered like diamonds between the North Atlantic and the Caribbean Sea. These islands are world-renowned for their excellent yachting and sailing, dive sites, and dazzling beaches.

3. Cape Verde. Cape Verde is an archipelago

consisting of ten volcanic islands in mid-Atlantic off the African coast. Deserted beaches, amazing fish and seafood, outstanding mountain landscapes and the warm hospitality of Cape Verdean people, make it the perfect year-round vacation destination.

4. Ecuador.

Ecuador has rich cultural and historical attractions. From exquisite churches of Quito to the adventurous whitewater rafting down the river Amazon, visitors to the nation that straddles the earth’s equator will come away with great travel memories.

ENDLESS VACATION | 27


RCI recommends | Ready to Go

5. El Salvador.

With over two decades of civil war as background, travel enthusiasts are rapidly discovering the attractions El Salvador offers. The capital city, San Salvador will surprise you with its relaxed pace and lifestyle, despite its mammoth size.

7. Fiji Islands.

6. Ethiopia.

Ethiopia a cross between a backpacker's ultimate holiday and a history buff’s Mecca. Make no mistake as it is not merely a holiday destination. Ethiopia will move you, inspire you, and will be a journey that you’ll never forget.

A quintessential South Pacific paradise, Fiji is popular for its friendly people and heavenly tropical islands. Get a taste of island life by island hopping. The picture-postcard Islands of Yasawa, Mamanuca, and Taveuni are perfect to soak up Fiji's natural beauty.

28 | JAN - JUN 2020


Ready to Gol | RCI recommends

8. Indonesia. A collection of islands that holds untold treasures in its diversity of landscapes,

cultures, and cities is the Indonesian archipelago. Indonesia will never fail to mesmerize you with its beauty. Bali is undeniably the most popular vacation spot here.

9. Jamaica. Often called the 'birthplace of

reggae,' Jamaica is the treasure house of natural jewels and a colorful African vibe. Negril Beach is one of its most beautiful stretches of white sand and aqua sea. Come to explore a different face of the world in Jamaica.

10. Kenya. Kenya’s the only place on the

planet that conjures such a spirit of romance and adventure. Taking in the country’s abundant wildlife tops the list. Maasai Mara National Reserve is one unmissable experience famous for providing excellent predator sightings.

ENDLESS VACATION | 29


RCI recommends | Ready to Go

11. Maldives.

Endowed with incredible beauty and splendor of nature, Maldives comprises 1200 islands and 26 atolls. This island country is a great temptation for tourists across the globe for its exotic islands and emerald blue sea and dazzling beaches.

12. Thailand. A jewel of Southeast Asia,

Thailand is often called the Land of Smiles. Striking the right balance between concrete development and retaining the beauty of nature, Thailand is ready to give you the once-in-alifetime travel experience.

13. Trinidad and Tobago. Trinidad and Tobago are like two twins (islands) with stark opposite

personalities located southeast of West Indies. Trinidad is the more pristine part featuring mangrove swamps and rainforests. In contrast, Tobago offers beaches, ideal for diving enthusiasts and nature lovers. We wish you an international holiday of your dreams

30 | JAN - JUN 2020


Search for your dream vacation with the RCI Member App. Booking made easy.

QUICK SECURE ACCESS Quick and secure access to your RCI Weeks® account using your devices’ finger print through touch ID technology.

SEARCH We’ve made it easier to search on the app using the TYPE AHEAD and ENHANCED CALENDAR options.

EXCHANGE Access all your RCI Weeks Exchange options at the touch of a finger.

BOOK We’ve made it convenient and secure to book your next getaway on your mobile device.

Available on iOS and Android

Scan to download the RCI Member App now

ENDLESS VACATION | 31


Member Story | Canada

When colours fall from heaven The sublime magic of enchanting Canadian autumn.

A travelogue by RCI member, Dr. Suleman Merchant.

32 | JAN - JUN 2020


Canadal | Member Story

Algonquin Park

I

f you’d like to see a miracle, watch the miracle of autumn colours, aka fall colours, as leaves of all deciduous trees fall off. It is the season of the year that God seemed to have put there just for the beauty of it; a second spring, when every leaf is a flower. The astonishing variety of colours in the foliage will leave you spellbound. Although this is a worldwide phenomenon, arguably the best place to watch this bewitching show is in eastern Canada.

Algonquin Park in Ontario

There is nothing more spectacular or romantic than the dramatic changes autumn brings to the forests of Eastern Canada; in particular the area in and around the Algonquin Park in Ontario that’s made up of dense forests, thousands of lakes and rivers. The intensity and pervasiveness of autumn colours are stunning here.

Algonquin Park is barely a 4-hour drive from Toronto. For viewing the fall colours, timing is crucial. Autumn, or fall, as it is better known, begins earliest up north, at a higher altitude and progressively moves southwards. Since colours tend to change earlier in higher elevation, Algonquin has amongst the most astonishing fall colours one can ever imagine.

Best time to visit: Mid-September to mid-October. When the maple trees are at their best— red, orange, etc. The yellow aspens, tamaracks, as well as the red oaks reach their peak in the middle or end of October. ENDLESS VACATION | 33


Member Story | Canada

If fall is delayed, you can travel higher north. In case you missed it in the Algonquin region, catch it down south around Niagara Falls. Winston Churchill once remarked that, “The Niagara Parkway in Fall is the prettiest Sunday Drive in the world”. I wonder what he would have said if he had the privilege of watching fall colours in the Algonquin region? He probably would have migrated to Canada! If you are on the western side of Canada in the Banff area, it must be remembered that the reds will be missing; only yellows will be seen in the wild. Fall occurs around a month

earlier in Banff. Travel a bit west on Route 1 from Lake Louise (Banff National Park) and head along the Icefields Parkway towards Lake Peyto and Bow Lake; or better still head towards Revelstoke, British Columbia to get a better glimpse of fall colours. Stanley Horowitz had said, “ Winter is an etching, spring a watercolour, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all”. Autumn, the year’s last, loveliest smile beckons you before the harsh winter overwhelms everything and it shows us how beautiful it is to let things go. Hasta la proxima!

STAY RCI® HAS AFFILIATED RESORTS ACROSS CANADA

Lake Louise

34 | JAN - JUN 2020


Follow us around the world Follow RCI’s social media pages. Check out the various new vacation destinations, exciting contests, offers and other tips and news updates from the world of RCI.

facebook.com/rciindiavacations DOWNLOAD RCI MEMBER APP Available for iOS and Android

ENDLESS VACATION | 35


Fee Reckoner

FEE RECKONER A handy guide to the updated rates of RCI services.

FULL WEEK EXCHANGE Domestic Exchange

r8,474

International–Short Haul

r10,169

International–Long Haul

r22,626

Cruise Exchange#

r14,194

SPLIT WEEK EXCHANGE Domestic Exchange

r8,474

International–Short Haul

r10,169

Book online for guaranteed discount^ RCI.com

GUEST CERTIFICATE Up to 2 days to check-in date*

r3,728

Provided by third party

#

Extra VacationsSM: Fee varies according to destination, season, date of travel, occupancy of the unit and the resort’s RCI rating. Ideally to qualify for and to avail Extra Vacations, ensure that a current year or future year week is deposited with RCI. Add–On Member Pack: You can get an additional RCI Membership Pack for your co–member for a nominal fee. Call RCI member helpline for more details.

36 | JAN - JUN 2020


PLATINUM RENEWAL FEE 1 year

r3,898

2 years

r6,694

3 years r9,406 4 years r11,906 5 years r13,813

DEPOSIT RESTORE Restore fee

r2,414

DEPOSIT EXTENSION 3 months

r1,525

6 months

r3,092

DEPOSIT COMBINING FEE 12 months r3,050 24 months

r4,618

TRADING POWER PROTECTION FEE** Within 30 days r2,382 30+ days r4,707

RENEWAL FEE 1 year r6,991 2 years r10,720 3 years r13,516 5 years r18,177

CANCELLATION POLICY EXCHANGE CANCELLATION 30 days before check-in* r3,728 BONUS/GETAWAY SPECIALS CANCELLATION (% OF BONUS FEE FORFEITED) 61 days before check-in* 31-60 days before check-in* 0-30 days before check-in*

30% 50% 100%

RCI Deposit RestoreSM RCI Weeks Members who deposit a Week less than 271 days before the start date of such Week may receive a lower Deposit Trading Power for such Week in accordance with Trading Power Adjustment Schedule. The RCI Deposit Restore product allows RCI Weeks Members to deposit a Week less than 271 days before the start date of such Week (but at least 15 days prior to the start date of such Week) and receive the full Deposit Trading Power for such Week by purchasing the optional RCI Deposit Restore at the time of deposit. RCI Weeks Members whose Weeks are deposited by their resort and who wish to avail themselves of this option must purchase the RCI Deposit Restore product before the end of the next Business Day after receiving notice that the Week has been deposited by the resort into the member’s RCI account. RCI Deposit Restore product is not made available to all members. Please contact RCI member helpline for more details and for other terms & conditions. EXCHANGE CANCELLATION POLICY: There will be no refund if cancellations are made less than 30 days before the check-in date* | However, if the cancellation is made at least two working days before the check-in date*, the deposit week utilised can be used for future vacation confirmations, as long as it is within the validity period, and the RCI membership has not expired | The Trading Power of the deposit will be recalculated from the date of cancellation, unless the member has availed Trading Power Protection. EXTRA VACATIONS CANCELLATION POLICY: If you cancel at least 61 days prior to the check-in date*, you will be entitled to a refund of 70% of the fee | Cancellations made from 31 to 60 days before the check-in date* will be entitled to a refund of 50% of the fee | There will be no refund for cancellations made less than 31 days before the check-in date*. All fees/offers/benefits/promotions mentioned above and in this magazine are subject to change without prior notice. Fees mentioned are exclusive of taxes. Applicable taxes will be charged extra as per government regulations. Call RCI Member Helpline for details and check for latest updates at the time of availing any service. *Check-in date: as mentioned in your RCI Confirmation Voucher. Visit RCI.com to avail our special online fees. **Trading Power Protection (TPRO) can be purchased up to 14 days prior to confirmed start dates. Call the RCI member helpline for details. #“RCI does not make any representations regarding any of the services provided by cruise lines. Information about such cruise lines services is based on information obtained from the applicable providers. RCI is not responsible for, and shall have no liability for any inaccurate, incomplete or misleading information regarding services that are not provided directly by RCI.” ^Terms & Conditions apply. For the latest information on fees and applicability, call the RCI Member Helpline: Toll Free (All India): 1.800.419.2131 Bangalore: +91 80-4184 9100, +91 80-6691 5555 Email: indiarci@rci.com Website: RCI.com

ENDLESS VACATION | 37


HOLIDAYS THAT ARE CUT OUT FOR YOU

A week’s holiday hard to come by? Cut it out! Really, just split the week. With Split Week Exchange, you can enjoy more holiday breaks to different destinations throughout the year. You can now exchange your Split week for 2 short holidays (3 to 4 nights each) or more*. With all the freedom in your hands, wide variety of destinations and resorts, glorious food, gorgeous beaches, your short breaks is just a click away.

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Split Week suggestions

Kodaikanal

Shimla

Ooty

Munnar

Manali

Wayanad

Advantage Take 2 short holidays instead of just 1 You need not take them consecutively Greater flexibility and an additional holiday option

ENDLESS VACATION | 39


Staff Holiday | Ooty

A HOLIDAY TO REMEMBER

A story by Lini Jose, RCI Customer Experience Manager, about her recent vacation to Ooty with family and friends.

40 | JAN - JUN 2020


Ooty | Staff Holiday

E

very year, a few of my close friends with our families make sure we go on a holiday. We prefer drivable destinations close enough to get away from our busy schedules, as well as one that falls right along the school holidays.

THE JOYS OF VACATION PLANNING For this year’s trip, we considered hill stations close to Bangalore— Madikeri in Coorg, Wayanad, Munnar, Ooty, and Kodaikanal— each one beautiful in its own special way. Though we had many options, being a group of fourteen, we wondered about availability. But to our pleasant surprise, Ooty Elk Hill Resort had four single bedrooms to accommodate us all. Receiving

our booking vouchers, we waited eagerly for the big holiday.

THE JOURNEY A drive from Bangalore to Ooty is a joy no matter how many times you’ve been on that route. But this time around, instead of driving, we decided to hire a bus just for the fun of being together. Group songs, silly jokes, and chitchat on life and work kept us occupied for most of the journey. But as the journey progressed

past Mysore and Gundlupet, the conversations slowly quietened, making way for the breathtaking scenery that unfolded beyond the bus windows. The last stretch, especially the climb from Guddalur to Ooty, offers the most spectacular views. As you traverse the dense pine forest, the sun gets hidden behind the tall evergreen trees, only to appear at certain intervals, as if engaging you in a game of hide and seek. ENDLESS VACATION | 41


Staff Holidayn | Ooty maintained grounds. The resort property has a vast spread of exquisitely landscaped gardens dotted with beautiful flowerbeds providing a splendid backdrop for memorable family photographs.

ADIOS OOTY Since childhood, we have heard about Ooty, the hill station where honeymooners and filmmakers flock to, in search of pleasant weather, mist and lush green mountains. Endowed with a cool climate, Ooty is an ideal place to while away time close to nature, especially for the city-weary.

STAY BY THE HILLSIDE We checked into our resort in October 2019, a time when Ooty gets drenched in the monsoon showers. Tucked away from Ooty's bustle, the resort is located on a beautiful hilltop overlooking the town. The bedroom windows open out on to an expansive manicured garden offering a mesmerizing sight. On some mornings, we were treated with the sight of ducks and common coots enjoying the early morning drizzle in the hillside. The property has a central open area where bonfire is organised on request and based

on number of occupants. We spent our evenings there, which provided the perfect setting for much merry-making. The huge windows at the resort’s common areas, as well as most rooms, offer views of the entire valley. One could simply sit there and admire the hills all day long!

On the last morning before bidding goodbye, we tucked into a sumptuous breakfast at the resort and headed back to Bangalore after three days of fun and relaxation. Our holiday turned out exactly as we expected, a memorable weekend holiday in the hills. We could not have asked for more. Hope to see you going uphill soon to visit the Queen of Hills. As always, Ooty will live up to its expectations.

Our children had a great time at the children’s park, either on the swings in the play area or just running around the wellLini recommends… Charring Cross is the epicentre for food and shopping in Ooty. We picked up the Ooty specials ‘Varkis’ and homemade chocolates for our friends and colleagues. Do check out the range of flavoured tea packaged for daily use or as gifts, available at most of the stores there.

42 | JAN - JUN 2020


Let RCI find your dream holiday. With

ngoing Search. Know exactly what you want or have a perfect holiday in mind? If yes, then Ongoing Search is the perfect holiday search option for you! Ongoing Search is like putting yourself on a waitlist for your holiday. You simply enter your desired holiday criteria and RCI searches for you 24/7, notifying you once a resort match is found. It’s a simple, hassle–free way to look for the holiday of your dreams! *

Benefits of an Ongoing Search: Save time and avoid hassles: When you open an Ongoing Search, RCI does the work for you. We search 24/7 for your exchange holiday, based on the criteria you enter. There’s no need to keep going back to check for your requested holiday. RCI will notify you as soon as a match is found!

Get prioritised access to member deposited inventory: When you open an Ongoing Search, you get prioritised access to member deposited inventory, giving you a better chance of finding the holiday you want. It's like a waiting list for your holiday!

ENDLESS VACATION | 43


New Affiliation

LA IM H S

RA NI KH ET

TAG RESORTS

AR G NA M RA

With Tag Resorts, RCI now brings you three new destinations to explore. Ranikhet | Shimla | Ramnagar Tag Resorts Queen's Meadows is one of the top-notch eco-luxury resort in the mesmerizing land of Ranikhet. Surrounded by majestic Himalayan ranges, it is a place where you can find solitude and peace. The Oakwood Hamlet resort in Shimla features a mix of village-style (wattle and daub) mud cottages, bamboo huts and striking open dining

Tag Resorts Queen's Meadows

44 | JAN - JUN 2020

DR82

overlooking the valley. Apart from a classy stay, the resort is a suitable place for adventure seekers. The Banyan Retreat is one of the best and luxurious resorts in Ramnagar that offers a brilliant wildlife experience. Surrounded by the majestic Himalayan range, the resort offers you to relax, rejuvenate and reconnect with yourself.

Tag Resorts Oakwood Hamlet

DR83

Tag Resort The Banyan Retreat

DR84


Online, it’s always offer time. Get 10% off* on all your transactions on RCI.com Experience RCI's NEW and improved website Read Reviews | Check Ratings | Compare Resorts | Browse Photos

*RCI reserves the right to modify/withdraw the Online Offer without prior notice.

ENDLESS VACATION | 45


New Affiliated Resort Resorts

Chat your doubts away With RCI’s new Live Chat feature Trouble logging into RCI.com? How much does a Platinum membership cost? Need help booking a vacation to the Maldives? Or maybe, you just want to know more about vacation exchange. Whatever your doubts and questions maybe, with the new Live Chat feature on RCI.com, consider it all sorted. Real-time assistance

Quick response time

How to Live Chat Click on the Live Chat icon on RCI.com homepage » Enter your personal details » Begin chat

46 | JAN - JUN 2020


Don't let your holiday dreams fade away Renew your RCI membership with one of these great offers!

15%* OFF

10%* OFF

5%* OFF

12 months before expiry

6 to 11 months before expiry

3 to 5 months before expiry

Why Renew? Unrivalled choice Access the LARGEST network of timeshare resorts all over the world

Unique flexibility Spend more time in the places you love with RCI's flexible exchange programme

Highest quality Rest assured that all RCI affiliated resorts are quality measured by members

RENEW TODAY. Visit RCI.com or call us on 1800 419 2131 *Terms and conditions apply.


EXCHANGE VACATIONS, STARTING AT JUST

r8,474INR* PER WEEK

RCI Member Helpline Toll Free (All India): 1.800.419.2131 RCI India Pvt. Ltd. Pine Valley, First Level, Embassy Golf Links Business Park, Off Intermediate Ring Road, Bangalore 560 071. Tel: 080 41849100/66915555 | Fax: 080 25237813 | Email: indiarci@rci.com | Website: RCI.com | CIN: U29246KA1995PTC017334 *Terms and conditions apply. Check with your RCI guide for availability and applicability. The price mentioned above is for a domestic exchange holiday.