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HELP - VISTANA new user looking to retro!

Discussion in 'Vistana Signature Experiences (formerly Starwood)' started by spdraser21, Mar 8, 2019.

  1. spdraser21

    spdraser21 Guest

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    Hey All - I'm new to the forum and looking to get some expert advice. Just started reading up on retro deals and realizing why its been so hard for me to get the resorts I want when I wanted them due to all of these elite members - so naturally I want to be one now :)

    I own odd years at Westin Princeville, and have offers from Vistana to buy that back and get me into an every year Westin or Sheraton flex program (but I know that will kill my resale value). With that, I get the opportunity to retro up to two more properties to get my options value up to get elite status.

    Whats the best way for way to try to structure the deal as I'm losing my actual home resort and deeded options (and I'm being told I cant do the retro work until I spend $20k), but looking to significant upgrade my membership and try to manage my maintenance fees. thank you!!

    PS ~ We will typically use a Vistana resort 1 to 2x per year and then also stay in hotels by converting
     
  2. vacationtime1

    vacationtime1 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Why do you want elite status? Will you get $20K+ of benefit from it? Consider that the merger of Marriott/Vistana timeshares may wreak havoc on the current benefits -- or may make those same benefits available to all at a modest price (as Marriott did for resale owners when it started the Destinations Club). Also, consider that converting timeshare weeks into hotel points is not cost/effective.

    That said, the conventional wisdom here is that a true platinum two bedroom SDO week (weeks 1-21 & 51-52, NOT a week 1-52) is the way to go. It is relatively cheap and will yield 148100 StarOptions upon requalification.

    If your goal is to be able to reserve different Vistana resorts, why not just buy a resale mandatory unit at Kierland or Vistana Villages?
     
  3. spdraser21

    spdraser21 Guest

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    thanks for the reply Robert! I'd say the elite piece is great since you get priority waitlist for your options, as well as conversion bonuses. Since Im in an every other year, will likely cost me ~ $40k, but then can get two weeks on aftermarket to retro back into options as well, getting me to the 359,000 options per year. I was hoping there could be a way to do it for way less than $40k...but Im not sure I fully understand everything yet as Im new to this whole concept. I just know what I own, how much we use it and also how tough it is to book anything other than Princeville with only an 8 month window (especially now that my kids are in school and we're stuck with vacation weeks). Keep the great advice coming!

    also - can you explaina biot more on what this statement means? "That said, the conventional wisdom here is that a true platinum two bedroom SDO week (weeks 1-21 & 51-52, NOT a week 1-52) is the way to go. It is relatively cheap and will yield 148100 StarOptions upon requalification." thanks!!
     
  4. Ken555

    Ken555 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Elite benefits are not as practically valuable as you seem to think. Converting to hotel points is also almost always a loss compared to other ways of obtaining those same hotel nights.

    Take your time, do not rush, there is no reason to hurry regardless what the sales staff tells you, and make an informed decision. It’s considerably easier to buy than sell, and you know that you would never recoup your developer purchase price. Congrats on finding TUG!


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  5. duke

    duke TUG Member

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    1. Elite benefits are ONLY valuable at 5*. (if you aren't getting there don't do it)
    2. Conversion to Marriott Bonvoy points certainly are valuable with an annual Sheraton Mountain Vista 2br L/O at 5* Elite (10% bump) 95,000 SPG points x 1.1 (5*Elite) x 3 + 313,500 MaryRot Bonvoy Points for $1,400.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2019
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  6. DavidnRobin

    DavidnRobin TUG Member

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    WPORV (Kauai)
    WSJ-VGV (St. John)
    WKV (Scottsdale)
    Welcome to the VSE board.
    Make sure you look at acronym sticky as it saves time typing.

    Overall, there are obvious ‘Lessoned Learned’ situations here - originally extending back to buying EOY WPORV from SVO . Do not throw good money after bad.
    Still applies here...

    Listen to those well respected Tuggers (one who started the Retro thread and started many down this tangled web - including me...) trying to nicely talk you down.

    I paid 25K for ours back in 2007 while at WKV, and did a retro (3*) and same day explorer package ending up with 225K SPs. (There is a long thread somewhere in the SVO annuals...) - quite funny to look back upon.
    Yet... many great vacations since then.
    Was it worth it from a financial standpoint? Mostly No - as many Tuggers warned me, but optimized my value as I could (and continue to).

    Using Retros to get to 5* was a good idea (for some) at one time. Thanks to @duke - many got to 5* (PFL) cheaply - especially before SVO increased the number needed for 5*.
    Now? Only those with tons of disposable cash, and even then questionable. Perhaps already at 4* and can get 5* for $20K - maybe...

    IMO - I would not pay $20+ extra to trade your EOY WPORV. I would write it off as one of those lessons learned.

    Why not continue to use it EOY? Or use the SOs to exchange into VSE resorts? Converting WPORV to BV points (New Acronym Alert!) is an especially poor value as the MFs are too high (even with bonus).

    We love our EOY WPORV stays and tag it onto our WKORV stays. We don’t like the studio side - so use it to tag onto our 1Bd side for 6 nites in a 1Bd using SO exchange.
    Works great, and all of our stays at WPORV have been in superb villas. But, I am on it at exactly 12 months and 8 months. Location is important to us (me).

    Get your BV points by other methods.
    Looking to spend $20K within VSE? Buy more resale (Mandatory) like WKV or SVV.
    IMO

    Good Luck - good for you finding your way here. Too many don’t.




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  7. duke

    duke TUG Member

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    Love you man...
     
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