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Marriott/Vistana overlay

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

  1. mav

    mav TUG Member

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    On another note , has Starwood and Marriott been integrated so that we can add our rewards # to our reservations? In other words, is the conf. # a number that Marriott would recognize?
     
  2. 4Sunsets

    4Sunsets Guest

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    MVC has more properties and more properties that offer this service. If you want to tally, MVC also has many properties w daily cleaning as well, which is included in fees as well.

    Over all, I think of Westin as a subset of MVC. The benefits of Westin over MVC prior to the merger, however? Honestly, don't think there was any.

    Westin was/is a boutique brand with ~12/14 TS. MVC has ~65 (I'm not a bean counter, so approx). Meaning MVC has 5X the properties.

    Only a subset of the MVC are what I would call mid-tier, the rest are what I would consider high-quality comparable to Westins.

    MVC also has luxury (RC and such) which are a higher quality. (Supreme and much higher in quality than any Westin).

    Like I said, I do like the WN in Maui. I think it's a nice location. But I hope Marriott resolves the issues with resort being in or out of the system for various things.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2019
  3. 4Sunsets

    4Sunsets Guest

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    A bit off topic but okay with me. The issue w Mexico is the runaway corruption, the massive issues with the drug war, etc. Not specific to gun violence over all. It's runaway, and widespread. Mexico has issues w quality control (bad alcohol stuff like that) as well, etc

    But I think we can certainly agree to disagree here. Mexico not for me/my fam, but acceptable for you/yours. :wave:
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2019
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  4. WahooWah

    WahooWah Guest

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    I know two people who recently returned from trips to Mexico and they both got sick. One of them was staying at the Montage in Cabo.
     
  5. DannyTS

    DannyTS TUG Member

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    I encourage you to go to tripadviser and check the thousands of reviews about Westin Lagunamar. Read what people who have actually been there think about safety.
     
  6. DannyTS

    DannyTS TUG Member

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    My wife got sick in DC
     
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  7. GregT

    GregT TUG Member TUG Member

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    Marriott: Maui Ocean Club Lahaina Villas (3BRx5), Ko Olina, Shadow Ridge II, Willow Ridge, DC Points HGVC: HHV Lagoon, Flamingo, Sea World, I-Drive, Starwood Bella (x4), SDO, Aulani, Worldmark
    All,

    I try to avoid responding to provocative posts when I believe people are not posting in good faith/collaboratively and I suspect are simply jerking my/our chain. I’ve felt that way about our new contributor 4Sunsets since early on. Heavy on opinion and hearsay and light on data, and written in a manner to provoke controversy. To my new TUG colleague, 4Sunsets, if you’re not a troll, your style (respectfully) feels like one.

    But 4Sunsets raises some interesting points - and forces a conversation that we should consider, however inelegantly it has been presented.

    If we look at TUG ratings, there are 33 Marriott properties rated 8.75 or better (50% of the total portfolio?). There are 8 Vistana properties (50% of the portfolio?) that rate 8.75 or better. Marriott has two properties rated below 8, Vistana didn’t have any.

    But Marriott has many properties rated 9.25 or higher and Vistana doesn’t. That’s what struck me. Why wouldn’t Vistana have more, especially considering the caliber of WPORV/WKORV/WSJ? I would rate them comparably to my beloved MOC.

    Do we not post about our amazing experiences? Is Vistana slipping? Are the Marriott properties really better? Or do the happy owners just post more?

    I continue to think, all Sky is Falling posts aside, that this merger is a win for both parties. I would be really bummed if Wyndham had bought Vistana - owning Worldmark reminds me what a fee-driven/owner unfriendly corporate owner does. I’ve never felt that way about my Marriott’s (or Vistana or HGVC).

    I will still be happy to visit any of the Vistana or Marriott elite properties but I tend to avoid the older Marriott properties, because they lack some of the upscale features I really like (and pay for). Maybe I would feel the same way if I visited the older Vistana properties....

    Sorry for the random thoughts, I appreciate thoughtful commentary and replies. Thank you.

    Best,

    Greg
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2019
  8. 4Sunsets

    4Sunsets Guest

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    Greg partially agreed w me :cheer:

    :wave:
     
  9. DannyTS

    DannyTS TUG Member

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    Integration or not, I think you have the right to never visit any Westin resorts if you do not want to . What I find interesting is that you just bough HGVC, you claim, as an addition to the Marriott resorts you own. No weeds in that network, just the Westins?
     
  10. CalGalTraveler

    CalGalTraveler TUG Member

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    The worst timeshare stay we have ever had was at Marriott Ko Olina.

    We were on a promotional stay.

    * even though we had requested early check in our room was not ready - but even worse, after sending us to the pool to wait, the room was not ready past checkin time by more than 3 hours.

    * They told us they would text us when room was ready. They never texted us. We have never had this happen with Hilton.

    *After we waited in the long checkin line to check on the status twice, they finally gave us the room at about 7pm. No explanation about the delay. No apology.

    * when we got to the room the carpet was soaking as if someone had gotten sick on the carpet and they had to shampoo. The room smelled musty.

    * Our room had several cockroaches. The staff did not respond for more than 2 hours to the problem.

    * This was one of the worst rooms on the bottom floor of NAIA overlooking the parking lot.

    * when we asked to be moved, all they could offer was one of the ground floor rooms behind the slide - noisy and dark. A worse room.

    * we then were notified that the entire floor has to be fumigated so we had to evacuate twice. Once for our room only and then for a day for the entire floor. This was a serious inconvenience. This was peak summer. Why didnt they take care of this prior to the busy season? Again no apologies or empathy.

    * the staff seemed lackadaisical, unempowered and uninterested in solving our problem. Like going through the motions.

    * The lanai and table were filthy and we had to clean

    * the furnishings were meh

    * after all of this the sales rep during the preso had the audacity to state, "You got a great rate on your room." We paid $800 for 3 nights - hardly a killer deal given all the crap and not being able to use the room for half of it. Not a great way to put us in the mood to buy.

    Lastly Ko Olina is on the flight path to HNL so planes constantly flying over the resort. Detracts from tropical paradise feel.

    I never bothered to file a Tug review but my rating would pull down the average.

    With that said, the pools and lagoon were lovely. Would only go back if we could have a higher floor OV room and they have built the Atlantis resort next door.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2019
  11. GregT

    GregT TUG Member TUG Member

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    That is a very very interesting observation -- makes me wonder how often a bad experience is not posted on a property. Ko Olina is notorious for having low floor bad rooms -- similar to Building 4 at WKORV or the parking lot views at Waiohai. Ko Olina also has a wonky angle so there are some really bad Ocean View rooms (and some amazing Mountain View rooms).

    Contrast that with WKORV/N where I don't think there are any bad rooms (but maybe there are and I just haven't seen them yet).

    Interesting stuff -- sorry to hear about your Ko Olina experience -- it really is a wonderful property and I hope you give it a second chance (especially since I speculate that you will be able to trade in with StarOptions.......)!

    Best,

    Greg
     
  12. Ken555

    Ken555 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    FWIW, I don’t post reviews for every resort I visit. In fact, I have only posted a small percentage of all the resorts I have visited. This might be worthy of a separate thread, and perhaps we can suggest ways to make it easier and more convenient to post reviews in order to encourage more involvement, etc.

    Bad rooms can be defined many different ways. The previous post has several issues...in my opinion, the worst is that it was not clean as expected and had several interruptions for additional cleaning. View is routinely considered of high importance, but I would suggest it’s not as important as cleanliness and quality of materials, and I think we generally assume that to be a given so focus on the subjective, such as view.

    WKORV-N certainly has bad views, and I’ve had them. But they may not be bad for everyone. And they are always compared to the possible parking lot view at WKORV in building 4 (while each of the few times I’ve stayed in building 4 I have had good views). WKORV also has low level 1-bed units (not part of a LO) that have almost zero view, or a view of the trash. I believe David posted pics from one of these units some years ago.

    There are other aspects that make a unit or a resort bad. It’s been mentioned earlier several times that Nanea is a nice resort. I had numerous issues with it, including having to be moved not because of a bad room or poor view, but the incessant irritation and annoyance of the shuttle van beeping that can be heard even within the unit with the windows closed and air conditioning on.

    I suspect every resort has a bad room or ten. My recent review of SKR is an example of what can go wrong in other ways.

    Even so, I think it’s absurd to consider Westin subpar to Marriott resorts. I’ve stayed at nice and poor Marriotts, and they are nice or poor for different reasons.

    I’ve stayed at many Marriotts in exchange, and none have provided even a mid-week tidy cleaning, though it seems some Marriotts do or perhaps only do for owners (why is there such a lack of conformity at Marriott?).

    Years ago I stayed at the oldest Marriott timeshare in Orlando and while it was maintained, it was not only old but appeared old...old structure, old bathrooms, not as current as even the oldest Vistana resort etc. Perhaps they thought they didn’t need to do more since, after all, it’s Orlando. Hopefully they’ve renovated since I was there.

    I’ve stayed at most of the Palm Springs area Marriotts and while I would not hesitate to return, they were not excellent. They, and the Canyon Villas in Phoenix, seem to share a similar nice, but not great, building quality. I’m not talking about style, which obviously is very subjective, but actual building material quality. Each time I’ve stayed at Canyon Villas I thought the structures would not last. Why is Kierland, Mission Hills, and even SDO better in this regard? It’s not that they couldn’t do better, but they didn’t. I suspect it’s just a way to save cost. On a very minor point, I also thought the same at every Marriott I visited in regards to kitchen appliances and equipment. It’s not that Westin is so much better, but it is noticeably different as compared to Marriott.

    When I evaluated which network to purchase, I recall thinking at first that I wanted Marriott since they had a larger network of resorts and the hotels, which was all I knew, I considered mostly similar to Westin/Sheraton. After spending time at several resorts, talking to sales and owners, and reading TUG, I quickly learned that Westin, in essence, was everything Marriott but a little bit better. For example, many resorts have a full small 1-bed with laundry vs a hotel room (which Marriott incorrectly calls a studio) as the lock off unit. I have no hesitation staying in a studio in Hawaii at Westin when traveling with only one other, yet I would be unhappy in a hotel room for a week at a Marriott.

    I think the best Marriott timeshare I’ve stayed at is Custom House in Boston. I’ve been there twice, and look forward to visiting again. But it’s an atypical Marriott timeshare, only has 1-bed units, no kitchen (a small sink, a microwave, and a dorm room refrigerator), and though I had to take two elevators to get to the laundry I did not think that detracted from the resort as I would in almost any other setting. It’s definitely unique, and yet it’s a Marriott.

    As for other Marriotts, I think the best I’ve stayed at that would be more representative of the network would be Timber Lodge.

    I’m also quite critical of Vistana resorts, as I think we all should be. Just read my recent review of SKR for an example. We want all these resorts to be better.

    Regardless, comparing Marriott to Westin or Sheraton in terms of which is better for the company seems somewhat foolish to me. This topic was created by a troll to create discord and when confronted finally started including some, but very few, details as to justify the reasons for her strong, and in my opinion baseless, opinion. I think we do ourselves a disservice by trying to make Marriott or Westin worse in our view, when we should instead focus on specific resorts, how they failed and what options may be available to make our next visit better.

    I have reservations at ~10 different Marriott hotel chains in the next year that I would not have had pre merger. I expect I’ll like some and be unhappy with others. I’m also hopeful to visit other Marriott timeshares, and I won’t let my opinion that they are likely to be inferior in any way as compared to Westin stop me from having a good time.





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  13. dioxide45

    dioxide45 TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    @TUGBrian had a thread in the About the Rest of TUG forum on this very subject.

    https://tugbbs.com/forums/index.php...eview-of-your-last-timeshare-vacation.280674/
     
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  14. GregT

    GregT TUG Member TUG Member

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    Ken, this is a really good post -- very thoughtful, constructive and honest. I agree with your comments on Canyon Villas and Shadow Ridge -- both appear to be mass produced timeshares where I wake up and --boom -- there are 000's of units with little creativity (Canyon Villas is actually smaller, but feels the same). Some of the Orlando properties have the same feel -- just huge timeshares, and they are what they are. I've not been to Kierland and will look forward to visiting it.

    I also rarely post a rating and I should. I absolutely loved WPORV and WKORV/N -- fabulous properties. HRA was amazing, but the property showed the wear and tear -- just like Marriott Aruba Ocean Club did -- I remember posting on this somewhere and wondering if this was a Caribbean thing.

    We will see -- but thanks again for your post and your candor.

    A curiosity -- if an Overlay was introduced similar to what we have speculated (either enroll your Vistana week and get Marriott points, OR get a fixed number of Marriott Points in exchange for your StarOptions), how many Vistana owners would want to enroll?

    I know there's many unknowns, but assume that you can get almost like for like -- (Marriott did invent skimming after all) -- perhaps you can get 4,250 Marriott DC Points for your 148,100 StarOptions? That's enough for a 2BR in Aruba or St. Thomas (but not enough for a 2BR in Hawaii).

    Would you enroll your week in the Marriott system, and decide each year whether you wanted to keep it as a Starwood week (or elect the Marriott points)?

    Best,

    Greg
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2019
  15. Ken555

    Ken555 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Thanks.

    I see absolutely no reason to pay to convert my weeks into something else, unless there is a definitive advantage. The only metric I use is the number of nights per year I obtain for each week. If I can get the same, or more, by converting then I would be tempted. But really...I’m very happy with Westin and really don’t see any reason to do anything with my 148k week. My two SDOs, on the other hand, I use as traders so if I can add them to the network and, again, get the same or more nights (14, since I always deposit each 1-bed separately) I would be tempted.

    Oh, and if it was an expensive conversion I’ll just start laughing. I’m doing just fine with II and VSN and unless that’s going to change, no reason to spend any $$$.


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  16. GregT

    GregT TUG Member TUG Member

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    Ken,

    I think the primary advantage will be your ability to rent Marriott points -- I know I wish I could rent StarOptions, but I can't. Granted, availability is a crapshoot, but it would be cool to have 81,000 StarOptions and then rent 148,100 from another owner, and then rent a matching 2BR (or have 67K StarOptions, and then rent 14K to book a 1BR). Starwood doesn't allow rentals but Marriott does. It's perhaps my favorite thing about the Marriott system.

    I will be curious when an overlay is rolled out. I'm speculating that initial rollout is XX,XXX Staroptions is worth X,XXX Marriott points. It will be cool if I can rent X,XXX Marriott points, and then book a Starwood week (subject to availability).

    Which is the rub....availability. I expect Marriott will respect the 8 month rule, meaning we will still be looking for what what is available from a StarOptions perspective. It will be better if Vistana owners are enticed to enroll their weeks and make them available allowing reservations earlier than 8 months -- from the enrolled weeks only. Inventory availability remains an interesting challenge for this system. Thanks again for your thoughts.

    Best,

    Greg
     
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  17. Ken555

    Ken555 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    As we have posted for years, there are many ways this could develop. I’m not really interested in spending too much time on this until we know what they do, which is why I didn’t contribute much earlier in this thread. However, on the surface renting doesn’t appeal to me though I’m always open to consider options. Keep in mind I’m one of those who have been quite happy with my StarOptions. In the last few years I’ve been using my 148k week to get ~21-23 nights each year in studio or 1-bed units, and using my SDO weeks to exchange with II or SFX (SFX hasn’t really been good for me so far and is much more time intensive than II since successful transactions require phone calls, so I’m not sure I’m going to do it again). As I’ve posted over the years, if I wanted more time at the Vistana timeshares I’d likely just buy another WKV 148k week but so far one of those weeks has been the right amount for me.

    My main concern about renting is cost, and there’s no doubt that Marriott would need to make something for the ability to rent and I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a cost on each transaction as well. What are the current fees for renting Marriott points, how easy is it for you to acquire those rental points, and what is your per night MF/rental cost for those reservations?


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  18. GregT

    GregT TUG Member TUG Member

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    Ken,

    Current I rent points to/from other owners for about $0.60 per point. Marriott doesn’t charge anything for the transfer itself, it is (currently) a free service. A St Thomas 2BR is 4,125 points in prime season so I can rent points from another owner for $2,400 and then reserve the week.

    You’ve certainly made the most of your StarOptions, I like the 20-23 nights from your existing ownership.

    We will see - but thanks for your comments.

    Best,

    Greg
     
  19. Ken555

    Ken555 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Just checked my records...this year it’s 25 nights. Last year was similar. Historically I was at about 18-22, but my usage shifted and now am able to get more. I like that flexibility.

    FWIW, I wouldn’t normally pay $2400 for a 2-bed unit for one week. I wouldn’t be going to Hawaii as often as I do if I didn’t have the low per night costs from my WKV week. Since 2005 (when I bought my first timeshare week) I have not rented a week at a timeshare outside of II getaway weeks or TUG last minute opportunities. I’ve helped friends and family with weeks at various timeshares, and I think the most one paid was more than $2400 but it was a 3-bed Maui week. This program isn’t made for me, and I’m not their target market.

    However, there are times when I might avail myself of the ability to rent my StarOptions. For instance, next year my schedule is already packed with trips, and none of them currently use my SOs. I’ve been giving some thought to banking next years SO (which I only did once before, and it was convenient). If I had the ability to rent my SOs for $2400 (assuming my 148k SOs is roughly equivalent to the points needed for a 2-bed unit in St Thomas, using your example) then I would definitely consider that instead. So yes, I am interested...but not in renting points myself, but rather in renting my points to others.

    Thanks for the example.


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  20. CalGalTraveler

    CalGalTraveler TUG Member

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    I agree with @Ken555. The point of my Ko Olina post was that there can be poor experiences at every major hotel branded timeshare (Marriott, Vistana, HGVC). The opposite is also true. So painting one is better than the other the other is irrelevant. Overall I see them all as equivalent with variations in experience between properties and within properties.

    I could probably go back to Ko Olina with an OV and have a great time (however the staff's "I don't care" attitude will be the same at this resort, but the experience may be completely different at MOC.) Perhaps I am jaded in comparing but when I visit HGVC West 57 NYC and Lagoon Tower/Grand Waikikian, the staff makes us feels welcome like we are coming home (and we are not owners at Lagoon Tower).
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019
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  21. grgs

    grgs TUG Member

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    It would depend on the cost and terms. If the cost is similar to what was offered to Marriott owners in 2010, then I think I would be interested. It's always nice to have options, and I can see staying outside of the Vistana network from time to time. I also recall how upset many Marriott owners were by the skim, but it seems to me that most who elected to pay the fee and enroll their weeks have been satisfied. I recall threads from Marriott owners who enrolled and didn't think they would ever convert to DC, but something would come up and converting ended up being a useful option. This post from Doug is an example:

    https://tugbbs.com/forums/index.php?threads/to-enroll-or-not-your-thoughts.168738/#post-1275877

    The deal breaker for me would be if they want the deeds to my weeks. It's hard for me to envision a scenario where I'd be willing to give them up. Especially Kierland.

    Glorian
     
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  22. bizaro86

    bizaro86 TUG Member

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    I only own voluntary Vistana weeks, and would definitely enroll them in MVC if offered the opportunity to do so at some reasonable price (say $2500 for both?), if the points allotment was at leaat in the ballpark. Vistana tends to want $20k in new purchases to enroll in SVN, which is a non starter for me.

    If I owned a WKV I wouldn't pay more than $0, because I doubt the resulting usage would be more advantageous than staroptions, and WKV is already very rentable.
     
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  23. DannyTS

    DannyTS TUG Member

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    You are right, nobody wants to give them the deeds. I think that if they offer mass enrollment it may not be practical either if they have to deal with tens of thousands of deed transfers at the same time. A simple enrollment on the other hand does not require a lot of work, just to add details that they already have to the MVC system AND process the payments for the enrollment fees.
     
  24. dioxide45

    dioxide45 TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    I don't expect them to require one to turn over their deeds in order to enroll. If they offer some type of enrollment, it will be like they did with the Marriott DC program. You don't sign over your deeds and you just elect points from one year to the next. I would expect an enrollment offer to be very attractive to those that own voluntary resale resorts. Perhaps not as much for those that own Mandatory or direct developer purchases.
     
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  25. DannyTS

    DannyTS TUG Member

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    I am a bit surprised by your position that they may offer a better deal to the resale voluntary resorts, I would have thought it may be the other way around.
     

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