Timeshare vs. Hotel: What’s The Difference?

Much of the initial appeal of timesharing when it was first devised came from the misunderstanding that people were in fact buying a stake in a property. As the Timeshare Consumer Association would be quick to correct people, timesharing does not involve buying holiday property at all. Rather, and as almost all timeshare ‘investors’ (another misleading term) have learned, timesharing involves purchasing into the lease of a property which permits said ‘investor’ to then make use of the property to which the lease belongs for a period of time each year.

Then, understanding now what a timeshare involves, how exactly do hotel accommodations and timeshares differ? Let us take a look.

Calculating Costs

In the simplest terms, paying for a timeshare involves making a long term commitment. In contrast, when booking a hotel room or suite a person is almost always expecting and so booking to stay for a week to a fortnight. Then, to take for example the average cost of a hotel room in Malaga, Spain (as Spain is the most popular country in which Brits’ choose to holiday), you can expect to pay approximately £53.70 per night. Multiply this by ten as a ten day holiday in Spain was the most popular and frequently opt for holiday taken by Brits in 2015, as reported by The Daily Mail website, and you stand to fork out around the £537 for one standard double hotel room.

The Difference

Meanwhile, timeshares in Malaga, Spain can be purchased for between £3,700 and £4,500 via the Timeshare Hypermarket website. Yes, timeshares have plummeted in price over the past two decades especially. It is important though to understand that while paying for a timeshare is a one off price to then use that property for a week or two usually annually, almost all timeshares involves annual fees which can easily tot up to way more than the cost of booking into a hotel in the same region.

Speaking of Services…and Fees…

Whilst in a hotel you can usually choose what services you would like. For example, you can opt to go self catering (which is most similar to the experience you will have whilst staying in a timeshare), half-board or full board. On top of that you might be offered room services at an extra cost.

Meanwhile, timeshare owners are equally subject usually to paying service charges in the form of annual maintenance fees. Annual maintenance fees are supposed to cover the maintenance of a timeshare property for the duration of the year, and can prove costly.

For some, annual timeshare maintenance fees have proved to run into the thousands, which would mean being tied contractually to paying hundreds if not thousands to holiday in the same place every year, having already parted with around £4,000 for the privelage and little to no resale profit.

Speaking of Services

In fact, in 2014 the amount of timeshare owners living this reality, prompted the The Mirror Newspaper to run a story in which ‘ [they took] a look at the value of timeshare maintenance fees and how they compare with booking holiday accommodation online ’. To get a better idea of whether you are really better off opting for a timeshare or sticking to booking a hotel each year, we suggest you take a look first at the Mirror’s breakdown for yourself.

Location, Location, Location

One of the major factors in whether to purchase a timeshare or book a hotel is your holidaying habits. That is, purchasing into a timeshare means paying for a fixed accommodation in a fixed location. Whilst some do opt to rent out their timeshares or exchange them with other timeshare owners, often this is a means of making the most of having bought into a timeshare which fails to meet an ‘investor’s needs.

Then, because timeshares though the cheapest they have ever been, whether purchasing one is right for you is not just a matter of financial cost; opting to purchase a timeshare costs choice, and is to essentially forfeit the choice to holiday in different locations each year. Further, if you do opt to purchase a timeshare and in time decide to swap or exchange their existing timeshare via a company such as The Timeshare Exchange, expect to incur further annual fees (this time charged by the exchange company itself) to pay for this service.


Lastly, and finally, let’s talk accommodation as this is perhaps the only arena in which a timeshare stands to win the battle (despite perhaps losing the war), and only in terms of size and freedom.

Quite simply, a timeshare will almost always provide a person or family with more space and the freedom to do as they wish whilst holidaying. Almost all timeshares feature two or more bedrooms, feature a fully equipped and private kitchen and your own front door. In that respect a timeshare property is the ideal accommodation for those travelling as part of a family, especially if you happen to be travelling with children as timeshare accommodations most closely resemble a home and so provide a ‘home from home’.

That said, families can and often do stay in hotels, many of which these days cater for families and provide suites as well as rooms that are able to meet all of the average family’s needs, as well as offering extra services which need only be paid for if taken advantage of. Alternatively, families or those wishing to have use of their own private quarters may want to consider looking into booking a serviced apartment.

Serviced apartments are offered across most countries in 2016 and, whilst perhaps one of the lest financially economical options, are such because they provide a genuine home from home accommodation whilst also providing all of the luxuries and benefits enjoyed whilst staying in a hotel.