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CN Mar132010 GLJ

March 13, 2010

GLJ's Grand Luxxe I Review

Question From Viewers: Are There Butlers At The Grand Luxxe?

There is no butler as such but there is a concierge on each floor (though the desk isn't always staffed but it is most of time) and there is also a concierge in the main lobby.

The floor concierge delivers coffee each morning either on a pre-arranged schedule or on demand.

They do offer to send in a chef (I assume from one of the restaurants) to cook in your suite if you want and of course there is the usual room service available. I think you can also get someone to do your laundry and dishes.

I did get my internet service upped to 1Mb but it's probably because of the emails that I sent around but I would encourage other GL owners in residence to do the same so that all parties get the message promptly and do something about it.

Will keep you posted.

Gordon

March 12, 2010

GLJ's Grand Luxxe I Review

My wife and I have been staying at the GL1 Tower for the last week and will be here for another week. We note that they are controlling the occupancy during the soft opening with about 50% occupancy at the beginning and now up to about 60% and will likely reach 100% by the Grand Opening on April 24. There are new checkin and some transfers of GL owners who have been at the GM. The lobby of GL1 is very large with many service desks and we assume that it will be the reception area for GL1,2 and 3. There are very large public spaces in the main lobby including a lobby bar with nightly music (clarinet, violin, piano) where the gentle music flows up the atrium and is quite pleasant. There is a large open space in the lobby opposite the bar that will likely be a restaurant since there is a roughed in kitchen behind it with doors to the outside and a terrace out there - but right now the space is open though finished and decorated but not furnished.

The amenities in GL1 are really quite amazing with an apparent staff ratio of 4 to every guest. There are a few disappointments in the rooms - for example, there is only a microwave in the main kitchen and NOT a convection/microwave as in the model. The lockout in the villa model has a coffee maker in the living room area but not in the finished suites. Both the main kitchen and the lockout have nespesso machines where they will sell you a coffee puck for 30 pesos which is a waste of money and appliance since morning coffee is provided at no extra cost by the concierge on each floor.

Internet speeds are poor - 384k combined up/down and the sales folks and customer service are aware of this inconsistency and are working on it. There is a third party internet supplier on site and you can push them to get a download speed of 1 Mb but we have all been promised 2 Mb and hopefully that will be fixed by April 24. It's not hard or expensive for them to increase bandwidth in this day and age when internet is far more important than than telephones. Especially with the high MF that we are paying.

No gym or spa yet but supposedly will be in GL2 which is capped off and even though they say occupancy in Nov/10, it will more likely be Jan/11 (+/-). They started excavating GL3 yesterday to be known as the Punta Grand Luxxe because it is being built on the point between GL1 and the ocean and will be 6 stories at the highest and stepping down so as not to block the view from GL1 and GL2.

The pool is finished with half heated and half natural temperature. They have a nice bar menu and snack bar restaurant at the pool called Blue Fish open till 6pm. Looks like the pool area will service GL1-3 given the size and location.

On the sales and marketing side, yes they are trying to get all owners (Gl, GM,GB etc) to upgrade and move away from the registered week / vacation fair week concept with the existing 5yr reno fee and 25 yr renewal fee and replace it with the "legacy program" that has "member weeks" with a life of 10 years (and no extension or conversion rights in the basic contract though you may be able to negotiate that)and no reno fees at 5 years; AND residence weeks that are good for 100 years with a fee payable every 10 years at .5 times the then MF. There is an upgrade fee to move from registered weeks/VF weeks to member weeks/residence weeks and they sometimes throw in some extra member weeks depending on what you negotiate. They are also offering a 12 month reservation program though it is not clear if this is part of the legacy program or a sister program similar to profile A (new program is called profile A++) but the February and March restrictions still apply.

I did upgrade to legacy because the numbers worked for me by eliminating the 5 yr/25 year fees in my original contract and getting other benefits, but everyone has to make their own decision. And yes they will undoubtedly have a new trinket to sell me next year but that's the current lay of the land from what I can tell.

Happy to discuss this on an individual basis offline and that can be arranged through Bob and Mary Ann and I will be at GL1 till March 19.

Gordon

Thank you for your review, GLJ....

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