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Marriott/Vistana overlay

Discussion in 'Vistana Signature Experiences (formerly Starwood)' started by GregT, Feb 20, 2019.

  1. JIMinNC

    JIMinNC TUG Member

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    HGVC at Sea World
    ski_sierra makes a good point, so I will offer one clarification...I believe the maintenance fees collected do actually appear on Marriott Vacations Worldwide's corporate income statement, since there is a large income line item on the 10-K "Cost Reimbursements" ($925 Million in 2018, second only to Sales Revenue), but the key is, that Revenue line is directly and exactly offset by an expense item also called "Cost Reimbursements" ($925 Million also in 2018). The 10-K defines "Cost Reimbursements" as:

    Cost reimbursements include direct and indirect costs that are reimbursed to us by customers under management contracts. All costs, with the exception of taxes assessed by a governmental authority, reimbursed to us by customers are reported on a gross basis. We recognize cost reimbursements when we incur the related reimbursable costs. Cost reimbursements consist of actual expenses with no added margin.

    I interpret these offsetting revenue/expense line items as the Maintenance fees collected on behalf of the HOAs by MVW Corporate and the expenses paid out on behalf of the HOAs. So, while the Management Fee is the only component of maintenance fees that truly flows to the bottom line of MVW, it's probably incorrect on my part to imply that the maintenance fees are totally independent of the MVW income statement - they may be there, but only on a pass-thru basis since MVW handles the collection of fees and disbursements to vendors.

    Here is some additional color on that topic, also from the 10-K:

    We provide day-to-day-management services, including housekeeping services, operation of reservation systems, maintenance and certain accounting and administrative services for property owners’ associations, condominium owners and hotels.

    We generate revenue from fees we earn for managing vacation ownership resorts, clubs, owners’ associations, condominiums and hotels. In our Vacation Ownership segment, these fees are earned regardless of usage or occupancy and are typically based on either a percentage of the budgeted costs to operate the resorts or a fixed fee arrangement (“VO management fee revenues”). ... In addition, we receive reimbursement of costs incurred on behalf of our customers, which consist of actual expenses with no added margin (“cost reimbursements”). Vacation Ownership segment cost reimbursements revenues exclude amounts that we have paid to the property owners’ associations related to maintenance fees for unsold vacation ownership products, as we have concluded that such payments are consideration payable to a customer.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2019
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  2. bizaro86

    bizaro86 TUG Member

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    Higher MF makes it harder to sell new units. The history of timesharing shows this motivation very clearly. In every single developer operated project I'm aware of, fees have increased by materially more than inflation in the first years after sellout. There are a few reasons for this - the MF are generally initially subsidized by the developer to ease sales. There are also tricks to reduce MF initially (commonly used by whole ownership condos as well) such as initially underfunding reserves. I also believe (but cannot prove) that many of the developer controlled management companies begin to take liberties over time with their HOAs (by purchasing supplies and services from related parties, for example).

    The use of a trust changes this dynamic. Because the MVC trust will never sell out, they don't really subsidize it initially. They also have more of an incentive to keep the MF low over time, because the ability to sell more points is vastly more valuable than the ability to raise management revenue. I hadn't thought of it until now, but that is actually a potentially good reason to buy trust points. I suspect they will endeavor to keep the MF low, maybe moreso than other developers. That said, I would say HGVC has the best record for keeping MF reasonable among the hotel developers so far.
     
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  3. 4Sunsets

    4Sunsets Guest

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    Trust points in MVC have always been more expensive than week points comparatively, and with the increases trust points are in many cases substantially more. It's unfortunate, because MVC wants us all to buy into points but they make the points #1 so expensive compared to the weeks previous to points #2 make the MF higher than with weeks points and #3 make it practically impossible to resell your points and get any value back.

    I agree on HGVC, so far it seems at most resorts, HGVC has. There are exceptions, however, where MF is very high.
     
  4. dioxide45

    dioxide45 TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Thanks for pointing this out. That is what I meant to say and missed typed it. I know better.
     
  5. ski_sierra

    ski_sierra TUG Member

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    @GregT @JIMinNC @dioxide45 @bizaro86 Thanks for indulging me. I realize that my questions were off topic for this thread. I might start a different thread for more questions.
     
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  6. CalGalTraveler

    CalGalTraveler TUG Member

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    Just a data point. We are at HGVC Elara this weekend which is across the street from the MVC Grand Chateau. Although we are only here 4 nights with no midweek clean, they told us that we can call for towel changes and garbage pick up daily if desired with no extra fee. We requested today and they delivered within 15 minutes and came into the room to collect garbage which IMO is more upscale than having to leave outside door or putting in a trash dumpster yourself. MF here runs several hundred dollars lower than Grand Chateau

    We stayed at Grand Chateau in March. Very nice and offered family activities. Elara doesn't have activities. Would rather pay for housekeeping/towel and trash than activities because this is Vegas with plenty to do. :)
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2019
  7. DannyTS

    DannyTS TUG Member

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    According to Marriott, these are the Vistana "weeds": 4 category 7, 11 category 6 and only 4 category 5 resorts.

    The question is: would the Marriott owners be better off if , theoretically speaking, Vistana was owned by HGVC instead? I think that we all know the answer.


    upload_2019-6-7_8-17-55.png
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2019
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  8. mjm1

    mjm1 TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Thanks for sharing the list. What category is Harborside at Atlantis? I couldn’t find it on Marriott.com.

    Is Marriott is saying theses are “weeds” or is someone on TUG saying that from their own perspective. Either way I would disagree.

    Best regards.

    Mike
     
  9. DannyTS

    DannyTS TUG Member

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    it was a comment made previously by 4Sunsets on Tug, see the top of my previous comment.
     
  10. SteelerGal

    SteelerGal TUG Member

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    Interesting that Maui dropped 10k.
     
  11. tschwa2

    tschwa2 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Harborside is not part of Marriott hotels as far as I can tell. You can book the other sections of Atlantis through Marriott.com and it is considered autograph collection but Harborside is not part of that.
     
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  12. controller1

    controller1 TUG Member

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    A reminder that Marriott does not attach Category numbers to the properties based on quality (such as a AAA or Michelin rating) but instead the categories are assigned based on the popularity of award reservations for the property.
     
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  13. bizaro86

    bizaro86 TUG Member

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    Are you sure that's how it works? When Starwood was independent, categories were set based on ADR (average daily rate). I would guess marriott does something similar, because they have to pay the hotel's for the rooms, and "popularity" will be less important to the hotel owners than money.
     
  14. dioxide45

    dioxide45 TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    The way that @controller1 mentioned is how Marriott allocated categories prior to their merger with Starwood. Do they still do it that way now after the merger? I am not sure.
     
  15. controller1

    controller1 TUG Member

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    According to the company reps on FlyerTalk, Marriott still utilizes award utilization for determining a property's Award Category.
     
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  16. bizaro86

    bizaro86 TUG Member

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    Interesting. That is very different than how Starwood did it. It seems to me that should result in hotels in business cities being systemically underpriced compared to resort properties where more people will want to redeem.
     
  17. controller1

    controller1 TUG Member

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    Yes, it is very different than using ADR.
     
  18. bobpark56

    bobpark56 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    To each his own. We have 4 Westin/Starwood ownerships and one Marriott ownership. We stay in our Westin ownerships (Lagunamar & St John), we trade our Marriott ownership, usually into another Marriott. We have been doing this for more than 10 years and have yet to see a discernible difference in unit or resort quality. Indeed, we have yet to trade one of our Westin ownerships for a Marriott unit. So I beg to differ with your view of Westin/Vistana.
     
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  19. vacationtime1

    vacationtime1 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    +1

    We own five Westins and two Marriotts. I see no overall difference in quality between the Westins we have stayed at (Ka'anapali, Kierland, Princeville, Lakeside Terrace (Vail), Nanea, Cancun) vs. the Marriotts we have visited (Newport Coast, Maui, Wailokoa, Waiohai, Kauai Beach Club, Timberlodge). We prefer the decor at the Westins, but that is not a deal point. For that matter, the two Hyatts we have visited (Tahoe and Carmel) are also of the same high caliber.

    Some of the Sheratons on the east coast may be laggards, but based on the low number of destination points required to reserve them, the older Marriotts at Hilton Head and Orlando must also suffer by comparison.

    Marriott is a good system, but it is not in a class by itself -- not even close.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2019
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  20. Henry M.

    Henry M. TUG Member

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    I also like the Westins. I traded with an owner at the Marriott Waiohai, and enjoyed it, but din't find it better than the Westin Princeville. The Poipu location is nice, but the property itself is just comparable, not better, for my taste. It is also the only place where I've ever had something stolen at the beach.

    I own at WKORV and WKORVN, and enjoy those locations better than being on Ka'anapali Beach proper, due to the amount of people there. When I bought my first WKORV pre-construction, I considered Marriott, but at the time they only had the hotel conversion units which weren't even close to the Westin. I also like the reef in front of the Westin property. The new Marriott towers are a similar category, and so is the Hyatt. I considered a Hyatt unit, but didn't like the fixed week concept, with no lock-off. I can't always go on a fixed week. I also own at the Westin in St. John, and prefer that island over St. Thomas. I've been to Palm Springs and Kierland too, and really liked the properties there too. Lagunamar is a very nice property too. I have not visited any Orlando locations.

    The only thing I like about the Marriott system is the couple of European locations, but I haven't exchanged into them yet. I like the Hyatt locations and properties, but the fixed weeks are an issue for me.

    Overall, I think all three brands are pretty nice. I've staked my choice on Westins, but could see staying at the other brands. However, I don't see how Westin could be viewed as any lower quality than Marriott or Hyatt.

    Lately, I've been renting my units and going the VRBO route when I want to go elsewhere. Maui ownership is easy to rent for more than the maintenance fees, and VRBO/HomeAway gives me many more options at locations that don't have timeshares, like many European cities. Maui is still my favorite place, though, with Westin locations at the top of my list.
     
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  21. GregT

    GregT TUG Member TUG Member

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    All,

    I think 4Sunsets is just jerking our chain. It’s an odd series of posts, I’m just happy with my Marriotts and my Vistanas (and my HGVCs)! All are good properties and happy to visit any of them.

    Best,

    Greg
     
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  22. 4Sunsets

    4Sunsets Guest

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    Westin's haven't really impressed me or any in my family. That said, not a one of us is happy with Marriott at all since the merger. Especially the nonsense related to Suite Nights. It's so wonderful (sarcasm) to be LTP/LTT for a decade and now have to jump through hoops to get benefits we used to get w/o having to jump through hoops. Marriott ruined the whole system by basically making everyone platinum and then deciding that to get upgrades to suites we now have to once again stay XYZ number of nights a year. Not to mention all the other perks taken away. Most of my family (and everyone I know) is switching their loyalty to Hilton. Diamond status is $450 a year w tons of perks on the Aspire card and we don't have to jump through hoops and cast wishes to the heavens.
     
  23. CalGalTraveler

    CalGalTraveler TUG Member

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    It seems like Marriott is always finding ways to Bonvoy its customers. Although Hilton is not perfect, they seem to do a better job trying to keep their customers satisfied and are not always devaluing at every opportunity nor doing something on the condition that the customer must spend more money.

    I have to call in a room award cancellation today and am nervous that all my points return to my Marriott account. Never have that concern with Hilton.
     
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  24. Ken555

    Ken555 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    I’ve canceled and changed multiple Marriott reservations using points since the beginning of this year and it immediately credits correctly to my account, which is not what I could say about Starwood.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  25. Ken555

    Ken555 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Are your complaints about the hotels (as your post seems to indicate now) or the timeshare resorts? Obviously, and as discussed ad nauseam, the system has been diluted.

    I certainly can’t agree with you re the timeshares...Westin is consistently better than Marriott in almost every respect. As previously mentioned in another post, Marriott’s do not have consistent standards throughout all resorts which is not true with Westin. And, of course, there are feature differences, such as the studio/small 1-bed being full service with kitchen and laundry vs a hotel room with Marriott.

    In any case, you should visit those resorts that appeal to you. Have fun!


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