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Sands of Kahana Question

Discussion in 'US - Hawaii Timesharing' started by jpc763, Nov 5, 2014.

  1. jpc763

    jpc763 TUG Member

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    Hello,

    I traded my Marriott Imperial Palms for a week at Sands of Kahana coming up in 2.5 weeks. :banana:

    This is only my second time trading outside of Marriott and I was wondering if there was a villa preference process that I should be going through. Marriott sends and email 3-4 weeks before checking where you can submit your requests (no obligation). Does Sands of Kahana do the same?

    Any information on the process or suggestions on what to request would be greatly appreciated.

    John
     
  2. Polly Metallic

    Polly Metallic Official TUG Pool Recruiter TUG Member

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    Hopefully someone else will chime in. In my experience of trading over the course of 17 years I have been contacted twice regarding an upcoming exchange and unit preference. On the whole, as an exchanger I figure I get a unit wherever they put me, but I know other people phone resorts ahead to confirm their reservation and request a certain building/floor/view.
     
  3. UWSurfer

    UWSurfer Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Soleil Management runs SOK & and uses it as a base of operations for several other smaller time shares in the area. You can call them, confirm your reservation # and see if they'll put you in unit with a view.

    The buildings sit sort of angled to the ocean and many of the units have some view, in my experience exchangers get the lesser views and lower floors as a mater of practice. There is an entire side which has only "island views" & no ocean views so it doesn't hurt to call nicely and see what you can get.
     
  4. classiclincoln

    classiclincoln TUG Member

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    We exchanged into SOK in Dec. 2012. Our review is in the Marketplace, and I've never been contacted ahead of time asking about a room preference by any of the resorts we've checked into.
     
  5. BJRSanDiego

    BJRSanDiego TUG Member

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    I own at the SOK.

    Unlike Marriott, they will NOT contact you in advance to determine if you have any location preferences. I think that they make most of their unit assignments at check-in. Owners are supposed to have priority over exchangers, who are supposed to have priority over rentals.

    About 2/3rds of the unit have some sort of ocean view.

    Hopefully you have reserved either a 2 or 3 BR, because the 1 BR units are on the 1st and 2nd floor and very few have a view. Also, they tend to be a bit more noisy and lack "flow-through" ventilation.

    It can't hurt to call in advance, but it is uncertain that it will do a whole lot of good. When you check in, ask for an upper floor with an ocean view. If you can't get an ocean view, then perhaps you can at least get an upper floor (mountain view). The upper floors are a bit more quiet.

    When you return, write a review to share your experiences.
     
  6. jpc763

    jpc763 TUG Member

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    We do have a 2BR unit that we got on exchange. I read a lot of the reviews and recently there seems to be a theme of a lot of noise. Are there specific buildings to avoid?

    Thanks, John
     
  7. talkamotta

    talkamotta TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    I owned at SOK and there really isnt any building that is better than another. I have stayed there 5 times and the noise hasnt really bothered me. During the night people will come into thier rooms late at night and talk in the hallway, noises tend to echo. There is no airconditioning so windows are left open.

    Like other posts have said try getting a higher floor.

    You will love SOK, no granite counter tops but units are large and we love it.
     
    Sugarcubesea likes this.
  8. Egret1986

    Egret1986 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    There aren't a lot of options for Maui in RCI. Currently, I am watching units becoming available in RCI Points for SOK. If I'm going to pull the trigger, it's going to be very soon and will be for a two-week stay. This resort seems to either have those that love it or those that hate it. The TUG reviews aren't very good for this resort. My biggest concern is no A/C. We would be traveling during February. When we were on Kauai in June 2015, we stayed for 3 nights at Lawai Beach Resort with no air. It was very difficult to sleep and I was glad we were only there for 3 nights.

    When I was checking availability early this morning, there was a 1BR and a 2BR. There will only be two of us and the number of points required for a 2BR for two weeks will be quite high. However, if it means potentially having a better experience for a two-week stay at this resort, then it's worth the extra points to get a 2BR.

    So, as stated by the poster, I would have a better shot at a higher floor and view if reserving a 2BR vs a 1BR? Or is it just a crap shoot as an exchanger? Air conditioning won't be a major issue since we'll be traveling in February, correct?
     
  9. BJRSanDiego

    BJRSanDiego TUG Member

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    Yes, you would have a better shot getting an ocean view room if you go with a 2 BR.

    Of the 1 BR units, <10% are ocean front, 40% are "ocean view" and 50% have low-floor garden views. For the 2 BR units, about 20% are oceanfront, 55% are ocean-view and a quarter are garden-view. But of the one-quarter that are garden-view, almost half are on higher floors. When you are higher up, you hear less noise from the street and from people coming back to their unit at night. Remember, you are probably going to have your windows and patio doors open and noise will be less of an issue if your are higher up.

    There are four buildings. Bldgs 2 and 3 are the closest to the ocean and most of the units have a nice ocean view. There are 3 that are considered ocean front. All of the 1 BR units are on the first through third floor in these buildings.

    Buildings 3 and 4 are closer to the street. All of the 1 BR units are considered garden view and are either on the 1st or second floor.

    The first floor in each building is above an open parking garage, so the lanai floor is actually about 6-8 feet above grade which gives you some privacy and security.

    I think that the biggest drawback for ME with a 1 BR, is that it is not possible to get a "flow-through" breeze. That is a breeze that goes from one end of the unit to the other end. Well, if you leave the door open you can get a flow through breeze, but I wouldn't feel safe doing that at night or when I'm out of the unit. So, I personally would not want to stay in a 1-BR. When you consider the cost of airfare, meals and other expenses, perhaps the extra points for a 2 BR (where you can open screened windows or patio doors at both ends of the unit) will make for a more comfortable vacation.

    The high temperature in February range from about 78-82. "Usually" there is a nice cooling tradewind. The Kahana area is known for being a windier area. But it is possible to have a warm humid Kona wind condition. That is when you would wish that you had reserved the 2 BR unit with flow-through ventilation.
     
  10. Egret1986

    Egret1986 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Thank you for your helpful post. The view, for me, is less important than being in a quieter location with the opportunity to catch a "nice cooling tradewind".

    I agree that the cost for the additional points for the 2BR in order to potentially score a better accommodation experience would be worth it.

    A couple of weeks ago, we stayed in a 3BR when all we needed was a 1BR. I, personally, would never again want to stay in any of the 1BR units at this resort since they are all part of a lock-out. The interior walls are paper thin and it makes for a very poor vacation experience. It was worth the extra cost, which was relatively minimal.
     
  11. BJRSanDiego

    BJRSanDiego TUG Member

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    The Sands is made of concrete construction so you are unlikely to hear much from your next door neighbors or the people above or below you. But there is a center "courtyard" where sounds travel. And you may hear delivery trucks or traffic in the morning. But I think that you'll probably enjoy the Sands (2 BR is nice and is huge !).

    After you check in, check on the activities. They are always kind of fun. There is a hamburger social on (perhaps) Thursday. Plus an icecream social another day. And Tai Chi another morning. You need to sign up the day before. Also the Monday/Thursday (????) activities meeting is fun and you have a chance to sign up for an activity at a discount.
     
  12. Egret1986

    Egret1986 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Thank you for the extra info. We don't usually do resort activities. However, we were in Cancun for the first time in January. We decided to participate in some of the resort activities and we actually had a blast. The activities and staff made it an exceptional vacation stay. I look forward to participating in more resort activities in the future. :thumbup:
     
  13. talkamotta

    talkamotta TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Im an owner. When I book the unit at the beginning I know what kind of a view Im going to get. If Im going to deposit it, which I do rarely I tell them Im going to deposit it so the trader wont get the preferred units but if I didnt say anything I would think they would get the unit that was given to me. We are supposed to get priority but you need to book well in advance to get ocean front. They say we are supposed to get ocean view, ocean front and garden view in succession but as an owner I dont agree. Our maintenance fees are high and I think someone trader could get one of the units at a much lower cost than what I pay. However getting oceanview with a 2 bedroom is fairly common. The only time I got a garden view was when I upgraded to a 3 bedroom because a week less than a year in advance the 2 bedrooms had already been reserved. The garden view I got was really a garbage dump view with the street and all the noise that goes with it. Not happy. The garbage truck comes at 6 am or earlier but so do the roosters on Kauai. Things start earlier in Hawaii. All in all I love SOK, the units are large and generally maintained. The area is great. I great way to enjoy Maui.
     
  14. Egret1986

    Egret1986 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    As an owner at any resort, especially at those resorts with higher than average maintenance fees, I would expect owners to get "extra" perks (ie best units over exchangers).

    I feel very lucky to have gotten this exchange for the dates that coincided with a great route to and from Maui with airline rewards. It is during peak season. It's at a resort that most would agree is a very nice resort. It's a huge unit (3BR)! Wowza! Why am I still nervous about this exchange? :doh:

    Much of it has to do with the size of the unit. I had hoped for a 2BR (due to a better chance of getting a better location). I was fortunate I was able to jump on an exchange for my dates shortly after midnight. Two options came up, a 1BR and a 3BR. I went with the 3BR even though it will only be two of us traveling.

    No air conditioning has certainly been a concern. I've been less concerned about that since making the exchange and it being in February.

    I don't require oceanfront or even an ocean view; but I would be very disappointed to get a "garbage dump view". I would so readily give up this 3BR for a smaller unit down to a 1BR if I would be afforded a decent floor and location. The descriptions of units with these types of views come up a lot in reviews, as do the sounds of garbage trucks during the wee hours. I can much more tolerate roosters in the early a.m. vs garbage trucks.

    As anyone knows, flying to and staying in Maui for a 13-day trip will be quite expensive. I keep looking for other exchange options for my dates.

    If we ultimately have to keep this exchange and we get that horrible location and view, then we'll make the best of it. We'll make some tasty lemonade with those lemons. :p We'll be in Maui in a huge unit during prime season using great airline tickets to get there.

    We've already hit a homerun! :hi:
     
    slip likes this.
  15. Sugarcubesea

    Sugarcubesea TUG Member

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    I love SOK and my kids prefered it to WKORV-N because we had the 3 bedroom unit and we all loved how large they are. We had the 6th floor and had a great ocean view room. I would not hesitate going back to SOK. My only negative was the no AC and we had 3 days that were very hot with no tradewinds...
     
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