This post gives some basic information on Zest Breaks- a new holiday concept launched by MHRIL (A Mahindra Group company which promotes Club Mahindra)
Quick Jump: Pricing SeasonsDisclaimer
While I had advised people not to go for Club Mahindra membership in one of my earlier posts [read that here], I’m not offering any verdict on Zest as of now in this post. I’m only giving the related information. Decide as you wish.
Basic differences between Club Mahindra and Zest Breaks
Target customers: Above age group of 35-40 who tend to take well planned and longer holidays with less frequency
Membership Term: 25 Years, 7 days an year
Number of Properties (as of now, as per my knowledge): 16+
Targets young executives in age group of 25-35 years who want to take short breaks or impulsive holidays.
10 Years, 6 days per year.
Number of Resorts as of now: 3+ (Ooty, Kodai and Yercaud (Yercaud is a tie up property))
Key differentiators between Club Mahindra and Zest Breaks:
1. While CM has its rooms classified into 3 types-Studio Aps, 1 and 2 BR (more details here) , Zest shall have all resorts with Studio Aps. This implies the following: Less headaches while selecting rooms/checking availability etc.
2. CM classifies seasons as Pink, Red, White and Blue (full details on CM seasons here),with Zest it is Verve (Most popular seasons, 42/365 days), Buzz (Regular seasons, 179/365 days) and Pep (least popular seasons, 144/365 days)
3. While CM is building properties at popular tourist places/hill stations all over India, Zest aims to build resorts at places which are a drivable distance from a metro, so that members can reach the resort by few hours of drive (or overnight journey max): Travel expense and time will be less.
4. When members take long holidays (say 6-7 days) occupancy will be high and others may not get a chance. With Zest members are likely to take short breaks-say 2-3 days) meaning availability will be relatively higher.
5. Club Mahindra currently has an overflowing membership disproportionate to the capacity at its resorts. Zest being new, can afford to give better attention to its members. (Assumption is that Zest has dedicated properties which are not shared with CM or other partners, along with dedicated staff for customer care etc-this factor is not verified. Infact a comment I got in my Club Mahindra article says Zest is sharing properties with Club Mahindra in Ooty and Kodai-If Mahindra is selling Old wine in new bottle then it might be better to stay away-be sure to read this comment) (Thanks Nitin for that comment)
6. Per day expense appears to be little cheaper at Zest compared to Club Mahindra. [Go to Club Mahindra pricing]
7. Club Mahindra resorts focus mainly on internal activities-swimming pool, indoor games etc while Zest focuses more on outdoor activities-trekking, night safari, cycling etc (as available, at extra cost)
Pricing of Zest
Refer price chart below for Total Cost of Zest Holidays (Accommodation + maintenance only, Food, outdoor activities, Transportation etc extra)
Membership (Valid for 10 years at 6 days per year) price varies from Rs 69000 to 129000 (depending on season) Plus Annual Service Fee of Rs. 3200 to Rs. 2400 (Plus 12.36% service tax extra) per annum (depending on season again). In other words, total cost ranges between Rs. 91,170 (Pep season, full payment in advance) to INR 1,94,598 (Verve season, 36 months EMI). Per day it will be Rs 1519 to 3243, inclusive of taxes. (You may also keep a provision of Rs 1200 per person per day for Food (approx amount) and another Rs. 1000 per person for outdoor activities (trekking, night safari, cycling etc-prices vary depending on activity)
Also note: ASF may increase in future. Loss of interest not considered.
How much it costs for non members?
Non member pricing differs from location to location, depends on if it is a weekday or weekend as well as on season. Current non member prices range between INR 3750 (week days, Club suit, non popular seasons) to Rs 6250 (Luxury Suite, weekend on popular season) per room per day including complementary breakfast (22 hours to be precise-Check in at 1200 hours, checkout at 1000 hours). This is nearly 2 times what a member would pay. Also note that there’s no concept of Club Suite and Luxury Suite for members. I’m not sure what is extra in luxury suit [Info sourced from Zest Ooty Pricing]
While it appears to be economical to take Zest membership, please be informed that all drawbacks Club Mahindra’s life membership has got continues in Zest. Some of the key factors you should be aware :
0. Of the 6 days of holiday per year, only 2 days can be on weekends, rest you need to avail during week days only.
1. No cancellation of membership allowed once you commit.
2. No commitment from Zest on availability of resorts-Once member base increases disproportionate to resort capacity getting a booking when you want will be a challenge.
3. Zest salesmen too indulge in making false promises [Read this comment to know more]
4. No compensation policy whatsoever if there’s a difference in what you got and what you were promised.
5. Since resorts are not exclusively for members, chances are that a member may get to hear 'no availability' while non member gets the booking easily.
If you’re staying in north India I suggest waiting some more time before joining Zest. They have only 3 resorts as of now (all in TamilNadu state) and will take some time before more properties get added. Flying down all the way for a small break may not make economical sense.
As I said in the beginning of the post, I am neither recommending Zest, nor discouraging you from becoming member. This is a new concept and we need to wait and see how it picks up. Not much member feedback is available as of now so no first hand experience accounts. While we can hope for good after sales service from Zest it will be premature to assume it will be excellent or predict it will be very bad. Zest is yet to build its member base so if you’re signing up right now, you shouldn’t be having a problem of non availability of resorts. As long as Zest can give confirmed booking within short notice (say one week or so) this should be a good deal for those who take short breaks every few months. But then, concept of timeshare has its own drawbacks (listed in an earlier paragraph) hence reach a decision after weighing pros and cons.
Zest season classifications:
Refer images below to know what all days fall under each season.
1. Verve (Peak Season)
Update: There was an allegation in this comment that I have been hired by Country Club to write this review, mainly because I’ve not written anything on Country Club. I hereby clarify that not a single post on this blog is sponsored by anyone. I may take some time to study Country Club’s business model and identify its pros and cons. As of now, those willing to know about Country Club may check some consumer review websites for a feedback on Country Club.
Disclaimer: Go to TOP
All information shared through this post represent the information available with the author at the time of composing the post. Pricing, facilities and other factors may change over a period of time. Readers may please check with Zest for latest pricing and other updates.
Personal opinion only. Please use your discretion and/or take second opinion if required.
Zest Official WebSite Club Mahindra Official Site My review on Club Mahindra Why fixed week is better than floating week
If you’re a Zest member please drop a comment about your experience.