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68%
4.12 

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Club Mahindra - An Honest Review!
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Nov 27, 2014 03:31 PM 245474 Views
(Updated Sep 06, 2015 01:37 PM)

Room Quality:

Guest Services:

Food and Presentation:

Ambience:

Activities:

1.CM Membership: It is a 25 years holiday membership.For becoming a member, one has to pay a 1-time-non-refundable membership fee & yearly maintenance charges & in-return CM provides only accommodation with lots n lots of rules & restrictions attached to it.Once a person becomes a member, he/she is entitled to get 7 pts/days every year for next 25 years & the member can utilize these 7pts/days for staying in any of CM 40+ resorts across India & Abroad(at additional cost).One cannot exit the membership easily after purchasing it & CM does not entertain nor involve in buy back or reselling the membership.


2.Cost of CM membership depends on season & type of accommodation.


A.Seasons:


BLUE= Off-season.Available for booking few days in months of Feb, June, July & Sep


WHITE= Between off-season & Peak season.Available for booking few days in months of Jan, Feb, Mar, June, Aug, Nov & Dec


RED= Peak season.Available for booking few days in months of Jan, Mar, Apr, May, Oct, Nov, Dec & during long weekend holidays.


PURPLE= Top season like new year & other important holidays.Available for booking few days in months of May & Dec


B.Type of accommodation:


STU - Studio= 300-350 sq feet(Max 3 Adults)


1-BR - 1-Bed room= 550-650 sq feet(Max 4 Adults)


2-BR - 2-Bed room= 750-850 sq feet(Max 6 Adults)


4 seasons x 3 types of accommodation= 12 types of membership


C.Cost of Membership as on Apr 2015 is given below:


PURPLE:


2-BR= Rs 17.21 Lakhs


1-BR= Rs 9.99 Lakhs


STU= Rs 7.77 Lakhs


RED:


2-BR= Rs 11.43 Lakhs


1-BR= Rs 6.65 Lakhs


STU= Rs 4.99 Lakhs


WHITE:


2-BR= Rs 6.79 Lakhs


1-BR= Rs 4.43 Lakhs


STU= Rs 3.33 Lakhs


BLUE:


2-BR= Rs 5.08 Lakhs


1-BR= Rs 2.93 Lakhs


STU= Rs 2.22 Lakhs


3.Yearly maintenance called ASF(Annual Subscription Fees) has to b paid by members.This increases year on year by nearly 8% & at this rate ASF will b more than double in next 8-9 years


Studio ASF: In 2014=12593, In 2013= Rs11600, In 2012= Rs10748, In 2011= Rs9681, In 2010=8994 etc.


ASF as on April 2015:


2-BR= Rs 25638


1-BR= Rs 18261


STU= Rs 12996


Note:Reason for only 3% increase in 2015 instead of regular 8% is bcoz CM is struggling to get new members


4.Season & Points Rule:


Season Rule:


A BLUE member can book rooms: In BLUE season between 1 to 120 days in advance, in WHITE season between 1 to 15 days in advance & in RED season between 1 to 7 days in advance but CANNOT book rooms in PURPLE season.


A WHITE member can book rooms: In BLUE & WHITE season between 1 to 120 days in advance, in RED season between 1 to 15 days in advance & in PURPLE season between 1 to 7 days in advance


A RED member can book rooms: In BLUE, WHITE & RED season between 1 to 120 days in advance & in PURPLE season between 1 to 15 days in advance


A PURPLE member can book rooms: In BLUE, WHITE, RED & PURPLE season between 1 to 120 days in advance


Note:Normally, 99% of the times, rooms r NOT available in 30 days notice


Points Rule - Few examples:


BLUE STU 7 points= 7N/8D STU or 5N/6D 1-BR in BLUE season


BLUE STU 7 pts= 5N/6D STU or 3N/4D 1-BR in WHITE season


WHITE STU 7 pts= 10N/11D STU or 7N/8D 1-BR or 4N/5D 2-BR in BLUE season


WHITE STU 7 pts= 7N/8D STU or 5N/6D 1-BR in WHITE season


WHITE STU 7 pts= 5N/6D STU or 3N/4D 1-BR in RED season


RED STU 7 pts= 14N/15D STU or 10N/11D 1-BR or 6N/7D 2-BR in BLUE season


RED STU 7 pts= 10N/11D STU or 7N/8D 1-BR or 4N/5D 2-BR in WHITE season


RED STU 7 pts= 7N/8D STU or 5N/6D 1-BR in RED season


Note: A similar kind of calculation will apply for 1BR & 2BR


5.No of Rooms Booking Rule:


BLUE STU member can book: a max of 1 room in BLUE or WHITE season(max 4 adults allowed)


WHITE STU member can book: a max of 1 room in WHITE or RED season(max 4 adults allowed) & a max of 4 rooms in BLUE season(max 16 adults allowed)


RED STU member can book: a max of 1 room in Red or PURPLE season(max 4 adults allowed) & a max of 4 rooms in BLUE or WHITE season(max 16 adults allowed)


PURPLE STU member can book: a max of 1 room in PURPLE season(max 4 adults allowed) & a max of 4 rooms in BLUE, WHITE or RED season(max 16 Adults allowed)


Similar RULE will apply for 1-BR & 2-BR Apartments.


6.Most of the activities inside the resort r chargeable & charges r VERY HIGH


7.CM resort videosonly does marketing of FAKE members speaking than actually showing how the resort looks like


8.There is no clarity & no transparency on number of member base - Season & Apartment wise.There is NO right to information for members at CM.Meaning CM will never give anything in writing, they convince the member verbally only.Hence I say, NO RTI.


9.No transparency of inventory availability at the time of booking:Ex:When booking a Bus or Air ticket, we get to see how many seats are still available. But in CM, they keep members in DARK & does not show how many rooms r available.By using this tactic, CM sells many rooms to non-member through travel agents


10.Quality of Rooms & Resorts v/s Cost:CM claims their resorts r 5 star only to fool the prospective customers.They r probably the only 5 star property in this world who does not have jacuzzi/bathtub in bathroom instead they give a bucket & a mug. At Max, CM Membership = Luxury of 2-3-4 star properties at 5 star prices


11.CM's Member Relations Team:


They r a bunch of well trained professional who r designed to say sorry/thank u only & who will NEVER resolve your issues, instead, they wil try to convince or confuse u wit their rules & regulations.In fact, CM has NEVER resolved any of my complaints in last 5 years.Their feedback team has called me multiple times & given me verbal assurance (read as liars)but they have NEVER resolved any of my complaints till date.CM will never commit on a date & time when the member queries will b resolved. All rules r tailor made favoring CM only & rules r getting tougher & tougher for members as & when years r passing by.If a particular rule is favoring members this year, then it is not guaranteed that it will b present next year.Rules r modified by CM every year favoring CM Only.There is NO exit policy in this membership.Once u take their membership, u r trapped for 25 years


12.At every stage, CM will try their best to extract money from members wherever possible & u will experience this only after becoming a member.They have different kinds of marketing strategies to squeeze money from trapped members & the most common one is: If u go on vacation, their in-house sales team will b behind u asking u to go for an upgrade.i.e., If u r Blue member, they will pester u to go for white, red & purple.Similarly, if u r STU member, they will pester u to go for 1-BR, 2-BR etc.This shows how desperate they r & always looking for prey


13.Food & Beverages:


Here comes the CATCH, where members are literally whipped with NO mercy.CM Resorts are built in remote locations which indirectly forces u to take food in their restaurants which is very XPENSIVE


Rates as on Apr 2015


Buffet Charges Per Person inclusive of taxes:


Breakfast= Rs550


Lunch= Rs825


Dinner= Rs950


2 Meal Buffet Package Per Person inclusive of taxes:


In 2010, it was Rs400 for adults


In 2015, it is Rs1284 for adults & Rs642 for kids


3 Meal Buffet Package Per Person inclusive of taxes:


In 2010, it was Rs600 for adults


[In 2011=Rs900, In 2012= Rs1100, In 2013=Rs1300 & In 2014=Rs1600]


In 2015, it is Rs1792 for adults & Rs896 for kids


For PROOF, U can call Varca/Coorg resort & confirm urself


So, if 2 adults & 2 kids stay in their resort and eat their buffet, then food cost itself= 2 x 1792+ 2 x 896= Rs 5376 per day


Ala carte In-Room Dining:


1 portion of idli vada=Rs150+50(RoomService)+22.5%(taxes)=Rs245


1 portion of boiled egg/omelette(4 eggs)= Rs150+50(RoomService)+22.5%(taxes)=Rs245


1 Tea/Coffee or A glass of milk for baby= Rs71+ 50(RoomService)+22.5%(taxes)=Rs148


For PROOF, I have attached the photo of room service menu at the top.Please go through it & it shows the exact cost that I have mentioned here


Ala carte at restaurants:


The Ala carte prices in their restaurant are 30% MORE when compared to in-room dining menu.The manager at the restaurant acknowledges this and encourages the guest to use in-room dining instead of having it in restaurant.


Note: Breakfast is NOT complimentary & it is chargeable.Taxes on food is around 22.5%.Room service will cost additional Rs50 per order.


Food Price at CM = Bed + Breakfast in any 3-4 star Hotel/Resort


Please b assured the food prices will drill a deep hole in ur pocket & it will definitely challenge ur wallet.The above information is about 2010 to 2015.Now imagine what will b the cost of food in next 4-5 years & thereon till next 25 years.WE, as CM Members are not here to stay for a single night & pay for whatever CM charges.We are here for next 25 years as members & paying for expensive food for 25 years is NOT A JOKE!


14.At CM restaurants:


Employee salaries(Chefs, Managers, captains & waiters at restaurant), Electricity & Water charges r taken care in ASF


Real estate space to restaurants r given free


Restaurant interiors & furniture r done through membership fees


Common sense question to CM: When the above 3 big overheads r taken care in membership fees & ASF, why the HELL u r charging so much for the food?It looks like, they r maintaining & running all the resorts only through food bills & taking members helplessness for granted


15.Member base v/s Room Ratio & Booking system:


Member base v/s Room Ratio:7 days per Member= 1 week stay per member. 1.83L members/52 weeks= 3520 rooms required.Q.How many rooms does CM have - Max 3500? Lets say during long weekend holidays, only 3.5K members can book & avail holidays.What about remaining 1.79L members? Watchout:This situation will arise during many long weekend holidays leading to UNHAPPY members.


Booking system:Booking a room is like a RAT RACE, it is on first come first serve basis as explained above.One should book well in advance for a confirmed booking.


For WEEKDAY stay: Member should book at least 30-45 days in-advance


For WEEKEND stay: Member should book at least 3-4 months in-advance


16.There is NO transparency on wait list number when booking a room in case of non-availability.Example:If u book a train ticket & if ticket is not confirmed, railway reservation team wil give u a wait list number.Something like WL01, WL10 or WL100.If wait list number is between 01 to 10, It gives u confidence & hope of getting it confirmed on day of travel coz chances of cancellation is high.A train ticket which cost anywhere between Rs10 to Rs6k gives a wait list number because they r transparent & customer centric.But in CM membership, they keep members in DARK.They will never tell what the wait list number is & instead they give some idiotic wait list REFERENCE number which I call as member fooling number.Though we have paid this huge amount in lakhs of rupees, there is NO transparency like what we see in railway reservation system


17.Opening 2-3 resorts in same location is a BIG blunder by CM.Those r: 3 in South Goa, 2 in Coorg, 2 in Ooty, 2 in Munnar, 2 in Kodai etc.CM could have added new resort in North Goa instead of South Goa.Similarly, they could have added the new Virajpet property elsewhere in Karnataka etc.These simple decision making things shows "LACK of Good thought process" by CM Management.


Q: In Goa/Coorg/Munnar/Kodai/Ooty, they have 2-3 resorts in same location.Does CM want it's members to visit same location multiple times just because they have 2-3 resorts there?


A: Yes - This is what will happen in reality.If u want to go on short outing with family, u will tend to go to same location again & again just because u have bought the room nights for next 25 years.The locations/destinations r limited.


18.Non-Availability For Members = Availability For Non-Members!


This is another important point where CM is selling rooms to non-members through various travel websites/agents at much lesser prices per room night which includes FREE breakfast.A particular resort would b sold out for members 45 days in advance but I have seen those inventories available for sale for non-members through travel websites/agents.


A. Checkout Arpit's review.He has caught CM red-handed selling rooms to non-members & CM bluntly denying the booking RIGHTS to members.This act shows their booking system is very well manipulated & benefiting only CM.He is HELPLESS & cannot do anything about it. Please do see the smart-eye-wash response from CM at http://www.mouthshut.com/review/Club-Mahindra-Holidays-review-qtnoloqqos


B. PROOF of CM selling rooms to non-members on many online travel websites: goibibo.com/offers/club-mahindra/, makemytrip.com/hotels/club_mahindra.html, travelguru.com/india-hotels/chain-hotels/club-mahindra-hotels.html


C. PROOF of CM's Europe resorts available for non-members holidayclubresorts.com/en/resorts/


Q.What is the use of being members & to follow all the rules, when NON-Members have easy access to all CM resorts for DAMN cheap price?


19.Days/Points Expiry Rule:


Every year, once the member pays the yearly maintenance charges(ASF), his/her account gets added with 7 days/pts.At any point of time, a member can carry forward 21 pts only.For some reason, if a member is unable to utilize his days/pts for 3 consecutive years(3 years x 7 pts= 21 pts), then the 4th year pts does NOT get accumulated into the account BUT the member still needs to pay the 4th year's ASF.This rule is unjustified & biased favoring CM only.What this rule means is, the member has to pay for pts/days that he is not entitled to use.U can refer the below point 20 to know how much amount the member might lose from his wallet for every pts/days expired in this membership


20.Season wise room night cost calculation as on Apr 2015 from my point of view:


The Calculation is simple: Bank Interest on cost of membership(A)+ Depreciation amount(B)+ yearly Maintenance, which increases 8-9% year on year(C)+Luxury Tax(D) divided by 7pts/nights


A. Bank Interest(8%) on cost of Membership Fees:


BLUE STU - If u keep 2.2L in bank FD at 8% interest per year, u get Rs 17600


WHITE STU - If u keep 3.3L in bank FD at 8% interest per year, u get Rs 26400


RED STU - If u keep 5L in bank FD at 8% interest per year, u get Rs 40000


PURPLE STU - If u keep 7.7L in bank FD at 8% interest per year, u get Rs 61600


B. Depreciation Amount:


Membership fees for BLUE STU divided by 25 yrs= 2.2L/25yrs= 8800 per year


Membership fees for WHITE STU divided by 25 yrs= 3.3L/25yrs= 13200 per year


Membership fees for RED STU divided by 25 yrs= 5L/25yrs= 20000 per year


Membership fees for PURPLE STU divided by 25 yrs= 8L/25yrs= 32000 per year


C. Yearly Maintenance called ASF which is Rs12996.This amount increases year on year by 8-9%


D. Luxury Tax: Most of CM Resorts charges this amount xtra. Rs200 x 7nights= Rs1400. For PROOF, U can call Varca Resort & confirm urself


For BLUE STU: Add 17600(A)+ 8800(B)+ 12996(C)+1400(D)= Rs 40796/7 days=   Rs5828 per-night-cost-Blue-Studio


For WHITE STU: Add 26400(A)+ 13200(B)+ 12996(C)+1400(D)= Rs 53996/7 days= Rs7713 per-night-cost-White-Studio


For RED STU: Add 40000(A)+ 20000(B)+ 12996(C)+1400(D)= Rs 74396/7 days= Rs10628 per-night-cost-Red-Studio


For PURPLE STU: Add 61600(A)+ 32000(B)+ 12996(C)+1400(D)= Rs 107996/7 days= Rs15428 per-night-cost-Purple-Studio


This is the ACTUAL amount that u r directly/indirectly paying for each night stay in STU Apt at CM resort without complimentary breakfast.One has to definitely think: Is it worth paying so much money upfront & to book 2-3 months in-advance, when u can get a similar or better quality hotel/resort for much lesser price in short notice. Note: In similar way pls calculate for 1BR & 2BR.


21.No of Guest Booking Rule:


CM builds resorts with membership fees & maintains them through members maintenance fees(ASF).CM restricts the members with a maximum of 4 guest bookings in a calendar year BUT at the same time, CM sells thousands of rooms with hundreds of bookings through various online travel websites for non-members for cheaper price & guess what, members who have paid lakhs of rupees have NO rights to question this! One should b aware of & should know who is actually benefiting with this rule & who r not.Also, If a member is not able to utilize his/her holidays for 3 consecutive year & if he/she wants to gift holidays to relatives & friends then, this rule restricts them.If u actually think deep into this point, u will realize that the chances of losing money is high on this already paid holidays/room nights, in case days/pts expires


22.Minimum duration of stay rule:


For Blue, a min of 2N/3D booking is mandatory


For White, a min of 2N/3D booking is mandatory


For Red, a min of 3N/4D booking is mandatory


The flexibility to book 1 or 2 nights in Red or other season is not permitted.Example: If u go on a tour to Kerala in Red season & plan to stay at Kumarakom, Thekkady & Munnar, then u need to stay 3 nights at each place which causes inconvenience to members & CM does NOT care about this. What CM says is, u can book 3 nights in Red season & u can stay 2 nights, meaning pay for 3 nights but stay for 2 nights.Whereas non-members can book 1N/2D in any season but NOT the members


23.CM add-ons:


Let me tell u briefly about add-ons to CM membership.There is something called as RCI & DAE.RCI & DAE do not own any resorts but they r like an organization or a centralized unit where all d timeshare companies such as CM, sterling & many others, have a tie-up with them.After becoming a CM member, u will get a free 2-year look-in period & u can utilize other resorts via RCI & DAE at additional cost.After the free look-in period, one can extend the RCI membership by paying additional membership charges.RCI & DAE do have their own set of rules that one should follow.I m not going to discuss RCI & DAE here coz that itself is another large topic


24.Lessons for prospective members:


CM will show u the luxury of a VOLVO Bus & sell u a Business class Air Ticket.U will never realize until u start ur journey & by the time u realize, it will b too late.All the rules r defined in favor of CM only.There is absolutely NO VALUE for money in this membership.This is a WIN-LOSE deal, where the winner is CM & the losers r the members.After paying the huge membership fee & ever-increasing yearly ASF, CM expects it's members to spend a lot of money inside their property on Food & Activities. Bottomline is they just want ur money, everything is exorbitantly priced & greedy to earn by squeezing members! My Suggestion: Itz better to stay away from all these mess & enjoy ur vacation PEACEFULLY-At ur will, ur destination, ur time, ur pricing & ur choice of resort.Never fall in the trap to these memberships.It's just waste of time & loss of hard earned money.Beware! CM sales people r very smart & notorious liars.Never get trapped to their words.Stay away & learn to say NO


Dear Fellow Readers, Reason for writing this big review is, I do not want anybody else to get trapped & cheated by this company like they did to me.It is my humble request to rate this review, if you found it helpful & u can also post your thoughts in comment section below.Thank U!


Pls read below comments as well


JAGO GRAHAK JAGO.


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Brand Response

Dear Sir,
We would like to connect with you regarding the concerns you've highlighted. Please share your contact details at is.gd/CMListening for our team to get in touch with you.
Warm Regards,

Club Mahindra Team

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By: ClubMahindra | Nov 27, 2014  03:50 PM Comments 8

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