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Vistana Star Option likely resorts at 8 months

Discussion in 'Vistana Signature Experiences (formerly Starwood)' started by djohn06, Apr 25, 2018.

  1. djohn06

    djohn06 Guest

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    Hello all,

    I'm new to the Star Options program. In fact, I just sent back paperwork for my resale purchases on SVV (key west). One is for 95,700 every year (paid $1,400). The other 67,100 OY usage. ($200). I don't plan on staying there much as I usual stay on Disney property via DVC or Marriott's via II exchange in Orlando.

    My question is, based on the points I have, how likely would I be able to trade into the Hawaii resorts, St.John and Atlantis at 8 months? I realize 148k gets me in a two bedroom for 7 days in HI, and I'm looking at every other year based on my point totals.

    What seasons are more favorable for trades vs. others? Are there trading limitations if I want to go around typical school seasons (summer, thanksgiving, December and spring break)?

    I would get a 2 bedroom, but a 1 bedroom would work for our family of 4. DVC has taught us to "tighten" our spaces since 2 bedrooms are so expensive in that program.

    Thanks in advance for the replies!
     
  2. Sicnarf

    Sicnarf TUG Member

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    I've owned since 2004 and never had an issue trading into any locations using SOs 8 months out. You may not get the exact week or unit size you want but as long as you have some flexibility you should have no issues reserving. Sometimes you may have to have multiple reservations.
     
    djohn06 likes this.
  3. DeniseM

    DeniseM Moderator

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    The hardest resorts to reserve are Maui, Harborside and WSJ.

    Currently, WSJ is closed for hurricane repairs and it looks like it will re-open in approximately a year. (?)

    The hardest dates to reserve are school holidays.

    At most resorts, the easiest dates to reserve are in the fall.

    At some resorts, you cannot reserve Christmas or New Years, because they were sold as event weeks.
     
    djohn06 likes this.
  4. alexadeparis

    alexadeparis TUG Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    As long as you are not looking for event weeks, and not platinum times, you should be able to get something in your desired location, but probably hard for exact dates or exact unit sizes. I have gotten St John and Harborside each several times on exact dates I needed, but I make it a point to work out what choices I could take in advance with the staroptions I have, which of course will depend on what’s available right then.

    For example, I wanted a 3 bedroom and a 1 bedroom in St John one year, but had to settle for 2 2 bedrooms. Then another year, in Atlantis we had to wait a few days for another unit to open up, so one person had to sleep on a sofa bed until his studio check in date came. Not the end of the world.

    We are planning another trip for next year and I have already done the math on the staroptions to where I can accept 4 studios and a 3 bedroom, or a studio and 3 2 bedrooms, or basically whatever we can get when the window opens. You can usually see how availability is going a few days before by doing a test run. Work out what configurations you can accept with the points you have and have them ALL written down in order of preference and book the largest units first.

    As a generic Example: 3 bedroom 196,900; and 3 studios 37,000 each = 307,900. Or 3 2 bedrooms at 148,100 each = 444,300. In both cases, you have 6 bedrooms, and should have roughly the same amount of heads on beds, but more points needed for the less desired combo of all 2 bedrooms. So if you only have 350,000 Staroptions the second option isn’t even an option. I work out all this on paper well ahead of time. So have a backup plan. Hope this helps.
     
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  5. ThreeLittleBirds

    ThreeLittleBirds TUG Member

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    If you are diligent and don't mind looking often, even spring break and other school break weeks can be booked. We were able to book spring break at WKORV using our vistana points, but at 2 months out instead of 8 months. We booked president's day week last year at 8 months out.
     
  6. lizap

    lizap TUG Member

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    Have not had any trouble booking WSJ or Hawaii resorts at 8 months out. However, we do not travel in the winter, which could present a problem.
     
  7. djohn06

    djohn06 Guest

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    Got it! Thanks for all the wonderful replies. This is great news to hear.
     
  8. dioxide45

    dioxide45 TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Is summer in the Caribbean really that hard? I know that summer in Hawaii is super tough, but what about Bahamas and St John? The Caribbean doesn't seem like a huge summer destination for many. Many people going on summer holidays are going to places like Florida/Orlando, Hawaii or the Carolina's.
     
  9. YYJMSP

    YYJMSP TUG Member

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    The year we went to WSJ in the summer on SO's, we found it relatively difficult getting a booking as compared to other places -- it felt like there were only 1 or 2 units available at midnight 8mos out, and they got snapped up pretty quickly.

    I think it's always harder when you factor in school holidays...
     
  10. alexadeparis

    alexadeparis TUG Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    I would say yes to both, availability is tight.
     
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  11. djohn06

    djohn06 Guest

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    So midnight is when the good stuff comes in. Good to know!
     
  12. bobpark56

    bobpark56 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Summer months in the Caribbean tend to have hurricanes. Many folks do not like hurricanes. Hence there is usually availability from July-Sept/Oct. (Aruba & Curaçao may be exceptions, as hurricanes are rare there.)
     
  13. DeniseM

    DeniseM Moderator

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    Clarification: It's midnight when the reservation window opens. The reservations are already there, and you can see them with the villa finder, but you can't reserve them with Staroptions until midnight eastern, at 8 months before check-in.
     
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  14. heckp

    heckp TUG Member

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    Just wondering if September will be hard to book Maui using SOs. It will be my first time to use our SOs hoping to get 2BR
     
  15. DavidnRobin

    DavidnRobin TUG Member

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    I booked a 1Bd at WKORV for the 2nd week of Sept using SOs w/o problem, but I book my reservations exactly when window opens.
     
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  16. dsmrp

    dsmrp TUG Member

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    I just looked at 8 mo availability for Harborside in February, and see several sizes of units available.
    Comparatively, nothing for any Hawaii resorts for same date range.
    I thought winter months was high season weather-wise for Bahamas, with summer being hotter and rainier?
    Guess it'll be more in demand next week for Prez day week.
     
  17. dioxide45

    dioxide45 TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    The weather isn't the best in Bahamas in January and February. Like South Florida. Often in the past, Vistana would bulk bank Harbourside January weeks in to II.
     
  18. controller1

    controller1 TUG Member

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    I would not anticipate much in Hawaii in February since that is prime whale watching season. Many owners will exercise their ability to book at the 12-month mark. I did see some studios available in February for five-day stays at both WKORV and WKORV-North.
     
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  19. dsmrp

    dsmrp TUG Member

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    Thanks good to know. Next February/March is tempting, but probably will aim for November/December 2019. Shouldn't have much problem reserving for then. It's hard for me to plan for 2019. Lately after I schedule something, my brother suggests a cruise trip with my elderly mother which conflicts with my plans :ponder:
     
  20. Sea Six

    Sea Six TUG Member

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    Lots of people head south for the winter to avoid the snow and cold air. My main attractions at Harborside are the pools and beaches. I would not go there in February because the water will be too cold for me. I live in south Florida and the water is in the 60's during February. Nassau might be a little warmer than that, but not warm enough for me - and their pools are not heated.
     
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  21. dsmrp

    dsmrp TUG Member

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    Thanks all who responded about Bahamas in February having cold ocean temps.
    I think I'll look towards late August/Sept into October. The water should be warmer during these months.

    I'm pretty leery of hurricane season Sept-November, but DH said don't worry about it :ponder:
    Who knows? the weather has been a little weird lately...no telling what next year will be like.
     
  22. alwysonvac

    alwysonvac TUG Lifetime Member

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    February weather was fine. The pools were heated but we didn't go in the ocean.

    Older threads
    - https://tugbbs.com/forums/index.php?threads/harborside-in-january.210582/
    - https://tugbbs.com/forums/index.php?threads/are-the-pools-at-atlantis-heated-in-october.154763/

    Here's Nassau Weather for February in previous years - https://www.wunderground.com/histor...reqdb.zip=00000&reqdb.magic=1&reqdb.wmo=78073

    The following charts are from Weather and Climate - https://weather-and-climate.com/ave...emperature-Sunshine-fahrenheit,Nassau,Bahamas

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  23. djohn06

    djohn06 Guest

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    Thanks for everyone's help.

    My 95,700 SVV unit went through a couple week ago. 4 days later after linking in my vistana account, I booked a 1 bedroom at WKORV. Took me 3 tries to score a Feb 1 bedroom at midnight, but I was finally able to grab one. The first time I hesitated and missed it not knowing where the second link would appear on the page. The second time I fell asleep at 11:45 pm ET and woke up at 12:15 am. The third time I grabbed as soon as the window opened.

    As for my 67,100 SVV, I will use it once or twice and then transfer to my nephew. He expressed excitement about having one.

    Lastly, I have a 1 bedroom platinum week at Kierland under contract too. I'm too excited to get 81k star options with the lowest resale maintenance fees in Vistana. Looking forward to having a place in AZ too.
     
  24. dsmrp

    dsmrp TUG Member

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    Thx alwysonvac!! Great charts, I only originally looked at air temp ones. We'll want to try the snorkeling. May looks like best compromise overall but have 1st world travel conflicts :), so early fall is next best.
     

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