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Looking for suggestions: Vistana/Maui vs Marriott/Aruba

Discussion in 'Vistana Signature Experiences (formerly Starwood)' started by Moparman42, Aug 28, 2018.

  1. Moparman42

    Moparman42 Guest

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    I am currently an owner of the Westin Nanea in Maui. I am getting close to purchasing my second timeshare and wondered what this board would have to say about where.

    I am considering picking up a 2BR at WKORV in Maui, as we do so love the island. However, I have been peeking at Aruba (probably Marriott) and other locations as well (MUST be tropical).

    So, tell me where you would purchase and why so I can make some educated steps once I am ready to pull the trigger.

    I would like to stay with a big company that I can *ahem* trust more than the little guys. Mainly looking at Westin and Marriott, but if there is another better option, please educate me.

    Thank you in advance.

    Michael Headrick
     
  2. DeniseM

    DeniseM Moderator

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  3. Moparman42

    Moparman42 Guest

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    1) Is there a vacation destination you wish to visit most of the time or on a regular basis? if so where?

    We love the Hawaiian Islands and Maui, but also love the Caribbean. as long as the sand is soft and sun is out.

    2) Do you want to visit your home resort at least half the time, or do you want to trade more than half the time?

    I would plan to stay at my home resort most of the time.

    3) What are your 5 top trade destinations?

    Not planning on trading. I am buying where I want to be.

    4) How many people do you usually travel with?

    We have 4 kids, so usually 4-8 depending on which ones we take. Sometimes we even get a week alone!!

    5) Can you travel any time, or are you locked into the school schedule?

    anytime

    6) Can you make firm plans 12 or more mos. in advance?

    Absolutely

    7) Can you vacation for a full week at a time?

    Yes we can

    8) What level of accommodations do you prefer on a scale of 1 to 5 stars?

    the more stars the better! This is our time to enjoy life one week at a time.

    9) How much can you afford to spend upfront, without financing?

    looking resale 10-20k. Of course less is better.

    10) How much can you afford to spend every year for a maintenance fee that will come due right after Christmas, and increase each year?

    This is up to the actual resort. If it is worth it, I'll pay it.

    11) Are you a detail oriented planner?

    I am

    12) Do you understand that once you buy a timeshare, it may be very difficult to sell or give away, and you are responsible for all fees, until you do?

    I do. this is for my use, not investment.
     
  4. DeniseM

    DeniseM Moderator

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    I am guessing that it's a lot more expensive to fly to Aruba from the West Coast - have you factored that in?

    Resale 10-20k - I don't believe this will buy an ocean front unit at WKORV. Personally (and I'm an owner there) I would not buy there, unless I was going to buy ocean front, because the maintenance fee is so high.

    Be aware that the Ocean Front deluxe units have an even HIGHER maintenance fee than the Ocean Front Center units:

    OFD: $3,342
    OFC: $2,477
     
  5. Moparman42

    Moparman42 Guest

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    Actually flight costs are about the same (amazing, I know). I've been to WKORV several times now and am actually quite content with the resort view since we don't spend a LOT of time in the room. paying the extra for a view we won't look at kinda seems silly to us. don't get me wrong, I would love it, but is not necessary. Since I am already at Nanea and spend our rare two person trips at the resort and spa, I was tossing around the idea of something else. but would I love Aruba as much as Maui? the people and the culture of Hawaii add a lot to the trip, not just the beach. Since the tuggers have travelled a lot, I thought that some of their opinions and experiences could help me. REALLY leaning towards WKORV, but the caribbean is nice too. the time change is MUCH more drastic heading east, which is a consideration as well. plus flight times.
     
  6. Moparman42

    Moparman42 Guest

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    DeniseM, on a side note. you always seem to respond pretty quick. Do you actually HAVE a life outside TUG? (kidding, of course, I appreciate your input and responses very much.)
     
  7. DeniseM

    DeniseM Moderator

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    I would not buy an Island View becuse you still pay the same high maintenance fee and taxes, for a parking lot view.

    I don't think it's a good value - you can trade in with a Vistana II exchange, or a Staroption exchange, for a fraction of the price, and accomplish the same thing. Since you are flexible about when you travel, that's a much better value for you.

    *If you are committed to buying an island view - buy at WKORV-N, because it has no parking lot views, and the 2 bedrooms have 2 lanais.

    Many people think think these are the best Value Staroption Exchangers:

    * Sheraton Vistana Villages (Bella and Key West phases only) - cheap/free to buy but higher maintenance fees than WKV.

    * Westin Kierland Villas - more to buy, but lower maintenance fees than SVV.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2018
  8. DeniseM

    DeniseM Moderator

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    I work on the computer all day, so I check TUG often - the boss (me) lets me mess around at work as much as I want. ;)
     
  9. Moparman42

    Moparman42 Guest

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    Ok, so if I stick with WKORV, I'll get a view to make the maintenance fees worth it, I get that. Thank you.

    Is there ANY reason to head east with Marriott? or look at the Ka'anapali Marriotts? Or did I start with the best when I bought Westin? I truly enjoy WKORV and Nanea, plus the resort and spa on occasion. trying to go to Maui twice per year and doing well so far. Just wondering if there was something better or comparable.

    Thank you again!
     
  10. DeniseM

    DeniseM Moderator

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    I know zero about Marriott - that's a good question to ask on the Marriott Forum, and I will move this one to the Vistana Forum.
     
  11. b2bailey

    b2bailey TUG Member

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    I am going to address your question regarding Aruba. Let me start by saying that I know some people LOVE it Big Time. That was not the case for me. I stayed one week in town at the Renaissance, and one week at Marriott Surf, so feel I had a fairly good overview. I have no need to return. Have also been to St. Thomas and Grand Cayman. If I was to make another trip to Caribbean it would be to Cayman. However, I have been to various spots in Hawaii 10 times in 20 years. I also enjoy Mexico.
     
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  12. DeniseM

    DeniseM Moderator

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    I have never been to Aruba, but from the info I have read, it's more of a desert island than tropical - is that correct?
     
  13. bizaro86

    bizaro86 TUG Member

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    Will you ever take 2 week vacations?

    If so I would buy Nanea resale so you could book a 2 week stay and not switch rooms.

    If one bedroom availability is important to you, I think WKORV ocean view is probably the best bet, as you could lock off and just use the studio or 1 bedroom for couples trips. Nanea has few one bedroom units, so 1 bedroom availability has been reported to be an issue.
     
  14. emuyshondt

    emuyshondt TUG Member

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    I love tropical destinations. I like various islands throughout the Caribbean, but after a week or 10 days, I’m ready to go home. Hawaii is different. My family and I are always sad to leave, even after 3 weeks there. I could live there permanently.

    We have been going to WKORV yearly since it opened around 2003, sometimes more than once a year. We bought before the foundation was poured. I like the location better than at Whaler’s Village, where the Marriott and Hyatt timeshares are, but that is strictly personal preference. There’s more activity near the Marriott, and bigger crowds, which is attractive to many.

    I believe in buying where I want to go repeatedly, and that means Hawaii. I do have a week EOY on St. John that we bought in a moment of weakness, but going there every few years does work for us. Still, I prefer to own in HI, and rent out my unit when I want to go elsewhere. For us, it works out much better than exchanging. Nowadays, I prefer to find a VRBO/HomeAway/AirBnB at any location around the world than be tied to timeshares that are usually not as nice as the Westins and Marriotts. The timeshares have limited locations too.

    As far as WKORV, I really like the lock-off feature as compared to Nanea. That allows me to stay 2 weeks there for the price of one maintenance fee. I own at both WKORV and WKORV-N. I like both. I’d go for the best deal I could find. I’d consider IV at North but would buy at least OV at South. The 1BR is a little larger South, but the non-OF studios don’t have a balcony, like North does. South gives you better access to a sandy beach (no coral) south of the park. North is closer to Nanea and Duke’s, and for walking to the supermarket. You can’t go wrong with either property.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2018
  15. Seaport104

    Seaport104 TUG Member

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    yes, exactly that. A desert island. Lots of people love it there but don't expect lush landscape or any scenic landscape for that matter outside of gorgeous Caribbean water and skies. My step son had this idea in this head that Aruba was this lush tropical island and he was shocked when we landed LOL

    I must admit when I first went to Aruba I was disappointed in the drive from the airport to the Marriott. Not very scenic and I was probably was expecting something more tropical but somehow the island just grew on me and I come back every year. Aruba seems to be you either really love it or once is enough type of deal.
     
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  16. byeloe

    byeloe TUG Member

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    I'll chime in. I have not been to Maui, but I have been to Aruba and Grand Cayman twice each, and Cancun many times. The beaches in Aruba are imo the best. If not for the high cost of airfare(in peak season )I would go to Aruba every year

    Since you can travel anytime, I would pickup a WKV mandatory and use the options to go back to Maui if you desire. Way more cost effective. As well you could rent out either of your Nanea or WKV units and then find a rental for yourself in Aruba.
     
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  17. VacationForever

    VacationForever Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    The one question is have you been to Aruba? If you have not, then you should not buy in Aruba. Go visit a Marriott property in Aruba first and then decide from there.
     
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  18. Tucsonadventurer

    Tucsonadventurer TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    hyatt Kaanapali is IMO better than Westin or Marriott. If you are considering Aruba it might be nice to do a trade there first to make sure you like it enough.
     
  19. VacationForever

    VacationForever Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    I prefer the Marriott property in Maui to Westin's. YMMV
     
  20. Ken555

    Ken555 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    IMO, I don't understand the appeal of Aruba. I've been there and didn't really enjoy it... That said I have friends and family (especially from the east coast) who absolutely love it. Contrast that with Maui, where I would be comfortable for months at a time.

    I also encourage you to visit Aruba before buying. It's extremely easy to buy and quite difficult to sell, so be sure before purchase.

    I also wouldn't buy Maui due to the government's onerous and negative approach to timeshare owners. But that's me. I'd rather own in the network and trade in with SOs.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  21. DeniseM

    DeniseM Moderator

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    It's lovely, but I think resales are much higher than the OP's $10-20K budget.
     
  22. djohn06

    djohn06 TUG Member

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    I've never had a bad meal in Aruba. Also, they are not in the hurricane zone.

    Some people prefer the desert feel. You can see lush topical on many Caribbean islands.
     
  23. dsmrp

    dsmrp TUG Member

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    I found Virgin St John and Grand Cayman to have vegetation and forests a bit sparser and drier than Hawaii. So Aruba is much more scrub-bier? with few trees? Maybe more palms? and succulent bushes?
     
  24. topdog

    topdog TUG Member

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    Yes, a very dry island. The ocean water and constant trade winds are great.
     
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  25. carpie99

    carpie99 TUG Member

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    The only thing disappointing to me about Hawaii is the risk of weather. We went in late April and were disappointed in the amount of cloudy skies. When we go on vacation we don't want to be wearing sweatshirts at the pool at 2 in the afternoon.

    There is something to be said for desert/ocean environments. We went to Cabo last October and there wasn't a cloud in the sky for 9 straight days. It was amazing.
     

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