The McCormacks do not take decisions lightly. When they were discussing a potential fourth child, the conversations were intense. When Kathy decided she’d take her 7-year-old daughter and niece to Paris every year, she stuck to it—for more than a decade. And when it came time to choose between a second home or another travel option, Chris invested months researching ideas and options. “At that point, I was pregnant with my fourth child, and I read an article in Greenwich Times about destination clubs, and Chris, who is in commercial real estate, was interested,” explains Kathy. “He is a meticulous reader and while he was going over the Exclusive Resorts Membership options, he realized, ‘Why wouldn’t we join for 60 days each year?’” So the couple signed up. That was back in 2005.
Since then, while they still grapple with highly contentious issues—including which colleges to tour for their four children—when it comes to vacations, planning an excursion doesn’t add to their stress. For the Greenwich, Connecticut couple, they simply pick up the phone, speak to their Exclusive Resorts Vacation Ambassador about their interests and availability, and hop on a plane for pretty much wherever. “It’s never so much about where we want to go, it’s about what we are interested in,” explains Kathy.
Exclusive Resorts encouraged the couple to take some unexpected holidays, like a train from Paris through London and up to an historic Bovey Castle. “It was unbelievable. Exclusive Resorts pushed us to go on vacations that we would never plan on our own,” Kathy says. “It was like having a friend with an apartment in Berlin who said, ‘Hey, want to go on vacation here?’” Having their own Vacation Ambassador, admits Chris, helps take the pain out of the decision-making process and push his family “to take some insane vacations,” like the one they took to Megeve, France, one summer. “We got the kids water skiing. We drove to Italy and had dinner. We literally went on a fantastic trip to a place in France that I had never heard of—with young children, which is not something I would consider doing without a concierge available to take care of everything should all hell break loose,” says Chris. The family, all avid skiers, recently went back for Christmas.
Chris notes a recent African safari as tops thus far for Exclusive Resorts family memories, while he and Kathy also make a point of spending time at the Club’s two-bedroom luxury villas at Miraval Resort & Spa in Tucson each year. “If I had asked Chris, Hey, you want to go to a spa in Arizona? He’d be like ‘No!’ But it was open when we had time to travel about eight years ago, so we went,” recalls Kathy. Now Chris looks forward to his time at the award-winning wellness resort.
Kathy grew up going to same-same Cape Cod every summer. But after 10-plus years as Exclusive Resorts Members, the McCormacks consider themselves lucky they don’t have the obligations that come with a summer or weekend home. “Some people have second homes and every year they have to go to Newport in summer and Vermont in winter,” she says. “But for us, we love the idea of trying new places.” Costa Rica, Kiawah Island, the Dordognes—for the McCormacks, they are all the family’s second homes, for two months a year.