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Westin Aventuras/Los Cabos Sales Presentation Report

Discussion in 'Vistana Signature Experiences (formerly Starwood)' started by JIMinNC, Jan 28, 2019.

  1. JIMinNC

    JIMinNC TUG Member

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    We just returned from a promotional stay at the Westin Los Cabos with a sales presentation requirement. I thought I would post a bit about what we were told and the "offer" that was presented.

    First off, we did a similar four-night promo package to Westin Los Cabos last February. We did not purchase the bounce-back (I think they're called Explorer packages, is that right?) during last year's sales presentation, so I was a bit surprised when at check out the concierge offered us another four-night package to be used within 18 months. When we began exploring dates this past summer, I noted the fine print said we couldn't take advantage of the offer if we had done a promo stay within 12 months, but the person at the VSE telemarketing call center said that would not be a problem and booked us for a January stay.

    Well, as soon as we met the sales rep last week, and he found out we had just been there 11 months ago, he was surprised and agreed it was a mistake. What we and the sales rep concluded was, since we had added a fifth, cash-paid night onto the end of our 2018 promo stay, the concierge must have failed to connect the dots and probably didn't realize that the cash night we were checking out of was connected to a promo stay.

    Our sales rep appeared to be a seasoned VSE sales person, and I think he realized very early that we were likely not going to buy. I mentioned TUG and that we had bought most of what we own resale, plus the simple fact we were there 11 months before.

    It was interesting that the unit they were showing as part of the presentation was not in the main former hotel building that we were shown last year, but was at the adjoining Baja Point property which affiliated with VSE last year not long after our visit. The unit was VERY nice, with a private hot tub on the balcony. To his credit, though, he did say that Westin inventory in Baja Point was limited, but the likely only way to get in, even as a Westin owner, was to buy into their Aventuras Flex Trust. While he used that to try to pitch the advantages of owing Aventuras, I was impressed he was very up front about the limited inventory and that it wouldn't be that easy to book.

    For us, as Marriott Vacation Club owners, the key question I wanted to hear him respond to was how the acquisition of ILG/Vistana by Marriott Vacations Worldwide might someday allow Marriott owners to access Westin inventory in some way. I explained that Marriott sales people were touting the Westin acquisition as a reason to buy Marriott points. His reply was not unexpected - to paraphrase - "I have no idea why Marriott would say something like that. They will stay separate. The only way for Marriott owners to access Westin Vacation Club will be to buy in Westin Vacation Club. The deeds and the way the programs are set up are too different. If they do come up with some sort of exchange system, it will likely be very limited inventory and well in the future."

    Later, when the sales manager came in to pitch the pricing/incentives, he offered a little more color on the Marriott merger. He did say corporate staff from Marriott Vacations Worldwide had visited recently and were working on ideas to offer some interchangeability between the programs, but that because of the very different structures of the various programs, they would need to be very careful not to alter or impede the usage rights for existing owners within each system. That would probably dictate that there would be significant limitations on any future linkage, with very little inventory making its way into any exchange system.

    Since we made it clear there were only a few places within the VSE system that were not already covered by our Marriott or HGVC ownership, they pitched something we could just use as a "gap filler" when we wanted to go to a VSE location:

    -- EOY 81,000 "VillaOptions" package for $17,415 and MF of $689, with the ability to convert to 126,360 "BONVoY" points.
    -- Incentives were - 150,000 Bonus BONVoY points and the option to purchase up to four 330,000 BONVoY point packages for $2,275 each.

    As soon as that pitch was made and we declined, the sales rep told us he understood it wasn't right for us and saw no reason to keep us any longer and wanted us to get back to our vacation. The "check-out" person then came in and didn't even try to pitch us the standard bounce back (Explorer?) package. We were out in about 75 minutes from when the sales rep first greeted us.

    The whole experience left me with a VERY positive impression of VSE. Both the rep and the manager were low/no pressure and I think they shot straight and, overall, it was may be the best, most honestly-delivered, and most professionally-handled timeshare presentation I have ever been to. Both the sales rep and the manager recognized we were educated timeshare consumers and treated us as such.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2019
  2. Ken555

    Ken555 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Always nice to hear of a positive low pressure timeshare sales experience.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  3. canesfan

    canesfan TUG Member

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    Good to hear. We had one of those few experiences in Maui last year.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  4. CalGalTraveler

    CalGalTraveler TUG Member

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    Thanks for the great update. I am curious to see how the acquisition will unfold so it is nice to see reps being honest and forthright for a change.

    FYI...I see Baja point rooms available for 25% off cash stays for Vistana and MVC owners his winter (peak season) starting at $269 / night on Marriott.com. These look like basic rooms with no whirlpools on the decks so not sure if this room is a step up from the regular TS which seems nice.
     
  5. JIMinNC

    JIMinNC TUG Member

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    Barony Beach Club
    Destination Club Trust
    HGVC:
    HGVC at Sea World
    Baja Point has Hotel Units (probably what you saw online), 1BR Premium (I think that was the unit we were shown), 2BR lock-off, and 3BR lock-off
     
  6. CalGalTraveler

    CalGalTraveler TUG Member

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    There were also 1 bedroom and larger units available on Marriott.com. Is Baja point nicer than the regular TS? They cost more ranging from $320 to more than $1000 a night for a 3 bedroom with the 25% owner discount.
     
  7. JIMinNC

    JIMinNC TUG Member

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    Waiohai Beach Club
    Barony Beach Club
    Destination Club Trust
    HGVC:
    HGVC at Sea World
    The main buildings are closer to the amenities. Baja Point is at the top of a steep hill above the lobby level of the resort and they have golf carts to take people down the hill to the lobby. It is a shorter walk to a walkway that connects to the 9th floor of the towers, where you can walk to elevator access. The 1BR Premium we saw was very nice, but so was the 2BR or 3BR (can't recall which) in the main towers that we saw during the 2018 presentation. Some of those also have whirlpools on the balcony. All things being equal, I would probably choose the main towers if for no other reason that its just an elevator ride or short walk down some steps/ramps to the main pools, restaurants, and other amenities.
     
  8. CarpeDiem65

    CarpeDiem65 TUG Member

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    It's our first time at WLC and it is very nice. We did an Owners update today, primarily to get the free Sunset Sailboat Cruise. I also wanted to know more about the Aventuras pricing. As mentioned at the start of this thread, the salesman was well informed and understood early that we were not likely to buy. He did give us a lot of information which we appreciated.

    They offered the following:
    44,000 Aventuras Options for $17,380 MF $604 or $13.72727 per 1,000 Options
    95,700 Aventuras Options for $37,801 MF $1,313
    There is some discounting of 5 or 15% but I didn't waste time going into those details.
    I thought the options offered were odd (44,000 and 95,700) but it turns out these match a Baja Point Hotel Room Gold + and 1 bed premium Plat + respectively.

    They mentioned the tight inventory, but before I went into the meeting I checked and I could book anything in Baha Point 8 months from today. Baha Point units are beautiful and we will try to get a 1 bed prem next time.

    On the MF side, they stated that the MF rate of $13.72727 is the lowest of the Flex Option Offerings and stated that Westin Flex will be $20 per 1,000 Options when they send out the bills this year. He also mentioned that the Westin Flex is high because of heavy waiting from the Maui and Kauai units that have been put in.

    We are in the Royal Beach Tower (main building) overlooking the pools on the 8th floor in a Studio. When we checked in, the Studio they put us is was a handicapped unit and the configuration is quite different with no eating area and limited counter space. We asked to be moved and didn't get much help until we mentioned it at the beginning of our Owners Update. Magically, we got a call right after the update to say they had found us another Studio 4 rooms down from the room they originally put us in. I booked exactly 8 months out so it is odd they would have put us in a handicapped unit. All has worked out and the Studio really is nice. The place feels really empty. I haven't seen more than 20 people in the main pools and the weather is great.

    Looking forward to returning.
     
  9. blondietink

    blondietink Guest

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    It will be interesting to see if the member fees for the Aventuras Flex will continue to be low because of the resorts in it are at risk for hurricane damage, probably more so than the Hawaii resorts if current weather standards remain.
     
  10. bizaro86

    bizaro86 TUG Member

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    Labor costs are materially less in Mexico than in Hawaii though, and resorts use huge amounts of people.
     
  11. DannyTS

    DannyTS TUG Member

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    @blondietink I am less worried about hurricane damage at Westin Lagunamar Cancun and Westin Los Cabos because both buildings are large concrete structures. In addition to that, in 2013 Lagunamar installed a special fabric that should protect it in case of a hurricane. I assume they have done the same at the other Mexico resorts. I just do not see the insurance going through the roof for that reason.

    https://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/10/prweb11220240.htm
     
  12. dioxide45

    dioxide45 TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    The Westin Los Cabos was closed for a while because of Hurricane Odile. After the repairs it emerged as a timeshare property. Did they make significant improvements to the structure there to prevent a repeat?
     
  13. DannyTS

    DannyTS TUG Member

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    the structure was intact, it seems that the windows did not withstand the wind but they can be protected with that fabric. I do not know if they installed the protection system in Los Cabos there but it would be malpractice if they didn't

    upload_2019-9-13_19-3-15.png
     
  14. CarpeDiem65

    CarpeDiem65 TUG Member

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    Not my area of expertise, but it looks like a very solid bldg. I do notice that the sliding doors to the lanai have a wide supporting flange where the doors meet the middle when closed. This would definitely add strength against strong winds. I have not noticed this at other properties.
     
  15. DannyTS

    DannyTS TUG Member

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    I think the resorts in Cabo are generally very well built, this was published a month after the hurricane and most hotels were open. I assume at Westin there was a combination of the damage and plans they probably had already in place to convert to a timeshare. Again, I hope they are going to be better prepared next time.

    https://www.cabovillas.com/blog/hurricane-odile-impacts-los-cabos-mexico/


    Resort Updates
    Official re-opening estimates and resorts reopened to date:

    • Bahia Hotel – OPEN
    • Barcelo Grand Faro – OPEN
    • BelAir Resort and Spa Los Cabos – OPEN
    • Cabo Villas Beach Resort – OPEN
    • The Resort at Pedregal – OPEN
    • Casa del Mar Golf Resort & Spa – November 15, 2015
    • Casa Dorada Los Cabos – OPEN
    • Casa Natalia – OPEN
    • Dreams Los Cabos -OPEN
    • El Ganzo – November 1, 2015
    • Esperanza, An Auberge Resort – OPEN
    • Fiesta Americana Los Cabos – OPEN
    • Grand Solmar – OPEN
    • Guaycura – OPEN
    • Hacienda Beach Club – OPEN
    • Hacienda Encantada – OPEN
    • Hilton Los Cabos – OPEN
    • Hyatt Ziva – August 15, 2015
    • Las Ventanas – OPEN
    • Marina Fiesta – OPEN
    • Marquis Los Cabos – OPEN
    • ME Cabo – December 15, 2015
    • Melia Cabo Real – Will be reopening as Paradisus Cabo Real tentatively June 2017
    • One&Only Palmilla – OPEN
    • Playa Grande – OPEN
    • Pueblo Bonito Los Cabos – OPEN
    • Pueblo Bonito Rose – OPEN
    • Pueblo Bonito Pacifica – OPEN
    • Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach – OPEN
    • Riu Palace – OPEN
    • Riu Santa Fe – OPEN
    • Royal Solaris – OPEN
    • Sandos Finisterra – OPEN
    • Secrets Puerto Los Cabos – OPEN
    • Sheraton Hacienda del Mar – OPEN
    • Solmar Resort – OPEN
    • Villa del Arco – OPEN
    • Villa del Palmar – OPEN
    • Villa La Estancia – OPEN
    • Westin – January 2017
    • Wyndham – OPEN
     
  16. CarpeDiem65

    CarpeDiem65 TUG Member

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    Anybody know if Hurricane Lorena did any damage at WLC?
     
  17. controller1

    controller1 TUG Member

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    Screen Shot 2019-09-21 at 10.16.20 AM.png
     

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