• The TUGBBS forums are completely free and open to the public and exist as the absolute best place for owners to get help and advice about their timeshares for more than 30 years!

    Join Tens of Thousands of other Owners just like you here to get any and all Timeshare questions answered 24 hours a day!
  • TUG started 30 years ago in October 1993 as a group of regular Timeshare owners just like you!

    Read about our 30th anniversary: Happy 30th Birthday TUG!
  • TUG has a YouTube Channel to produce weekly short informative videos on popular Timeshare topics!

    Free memberships for every 50 subscribers!

    Visit TUG on Youtube!
  • TUG has now saved timeshare owners more than $21,000,000 dollars just by finding us in time to rescind a new Timeshare purchase! A truly incredible milestone!

    Read more here: TUG saves owners more than $21 Million dollars
  • Sign up to get the TUG Newsletter for free!

    60,000+ subscribing owners! A weekly recap of the best Timeshare resort reviews and the most popular topics discussed by owners!
  • Our official "end my sales presentation early" T-shirts are available again! Also come with the option for a free membership extension with purchase to offset the cost!

    All T-shirt options here!
  • A few of the most common links here on the forums for newbies and guests!

At WLR Lagunamar now - any questions for the presentation?

abdibile

TUG Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2007
Messages
764
Reaction score
0
Points
376
Location
Germany
I am currently at Westin Lagunamar.

Weather has been cloudy the last few days but wonderful sunshine today.

They are doing some work on the exterior, replaced the last blue tiles and the whole resort is now beige.

They are building some kind of wooden cages under the "wind-holes" in the hotel and paint them. This is a bit noisy and sometimes you can smell paint. But no noise at the beach.

The upper pool is warmer than the lower pool, but I did not freeze in any pool despite swimming in the evening without sun. The ocean is about the temperature of the lower pool, nice to swim.

Our concierge thought it would be great to get our first owners update (never done one with Starwood since I bought SDO resale) and he told me I was only the second person he knew who purchased "online" (=resale). When I told him I do not really want to do a timeshare tour he just said "I can not believe you think it is a timeshare tour! It is just an owners update to educate you about what you already own!". But otherwise he was really nice and helpful.

We agreed to 6,500 points and a discount on the tour. (I actually enjoy doing timeshare tours...). We got the Chichen Itza Deluxe Sky (or whatever) tour for $75 instead of the SVN owners rate of $115. I could hav gotten a cheaper tour online, but had read that the tour sold by Westin is really good. It was really good, comfortable bus, Westin guests got the seats with a real table. Very good tour guides and only one 30 minute stop at a souvenir tourist trap. Lunch was right at 5 star Mayaland Hotel at the archeological site. Food was OK, certainly not 5 star.

Going around town and to Playa del Carmen by bus is really easy and cheap.

Any questions I should ask at our owners update tomorrow?
 

vss

TUG Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2010
Messages
48
Reaction score
1
Points
218
Any advice on restaurants, airport transportation, tours, do's and don'ts, building requests, etc. would be greatly appreciated. Planning to be there on 12/17. Thanks.
 

abdibile

TUG Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2007
Messages
764
Reaction score
0
Points
376
Location
Germany
We took the Westin airport transportation for $35 offered by the concierge in his eMail 1-2weeks before arrival.There have been offers for about the same price online, so I went for the Westin ease.

You have to pay that transfer at the taxi desk right when you arrive. It can not be charged to the room. And they seem to have technical problems accepting foreign credit cards that have a chip additionally to the magnetic info on the back. All my 3 cards did not work.

Excursions booked with the concierge are also separare from the room bill and have to be paid by credit card (mine worked here)

You also can take a bus from the airport if you want to save money. In front of the international terminal you would have to take a free internal airport bus to the domestic terminal and there is a ADO bus station to Cancun downtown where you would have to exit and catch a bus on Tulum Avenue (no bus stops, just wave when you see one) to the hotel zone. This takes more than an hour but would be something like $5-8 per person.

We requested building 1 or 9 right at the ocean but got building 5 which is above the lobby. It has a nice view over the poola rea to the ocean but you hear a lot of nise from the street through the door, especially in the studio as the bedroom is right at the door of the room with no other doors in between.

I would expect buildings 1,2,3,7,8,9 to be less noisy as further away from the street. And the street is really busy in the evenings.

Top floor (8) is not covered by another balcony so would get wet when it rains.

I did not go to the expensive restaurants everyone recommends. There is not much below $30 there.

The food corner right by the lagoon (great sunset!) of La Isla Mall has some nice cheap restaurants like Blue and Taco Grill. You can eat good food for $10-15 there.

The Monday mexican night buffet at the Oceano restaurant onsite was nice for around $30 plus drinks.

We did the Chitchen Itza tour with the "timeshare presentation" discount and it was good. Could probably have gone there cheaper but with less comfortable bus.

We went to Cozumel Island by taxi and returned by ADO bus. Bus was really easy, so the taxi was a waste of money. Take R1 bus to downtown Cancun ADO terminal (8 Peso), ADO bus to Playa del Carmen (116 Peso), then walk to the beach and to your right is the ferry terminal to Cozumel (156 Peso). The island is really nice to walk around in town or to go snorkeling.

We are planning to go to Tulum by ADO public bus. Tage the R1 from the hotel zone to ADO terminal in Downtown Cancun and there is an ADO bus to Tulum. I do not see too much value in booking a tour to Tulum.

I am not sure yet if I want to go to any of the water/adventure parks like Xel-Ha, Xcaret or Xplore. Admission alone is between $80 and $120 (includiong a meal or all inclusive for some parks) plus the organized tours are about $30 more for the bus service. You could go there by ADO bus too for about $15.
 

bryanphunter

TUG Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2005
Messages
155
Reaction score
16
Points
379
Location
Barnum, MN
Resorts Owned
Sheraton Desert Oasis
Westin Kierland Villa
Kauai Beach Villa
I am currently at Westin Lagunamar.

Our concierge thought it would be great to get our first owners update (never done one with Starwood since I bought SDO resale) and he told me I was only the second person he knew who purchased "online" (=resale). When I told him I do not really want to do a timeshare tour he just said "I can not believe you think it is a timeshare tour! It is just an owners update to educate you about what you already own!". But otherwise he was really nice and helpful.

Any questions I should ask at our owners update tomorrow?

I was at Lagunamar this summer (2BR exchange with II using my 1BR SDO!). We were offered discount excursions for going to the owner's update.

It may be "just an update", but it still turns into a timeshare presentation. They want you to purchase more, which I politely declined. They will push the explorer package once they know you won't purchase.

The biggest gripe I had is the salesman tried to belittle us by saying over and over, since your not "REAL" owner (My two SDO's were bought off ebay for under $100), you should consider purchasing. Despite.... not being real owners in his eyes, we were treated great the whole time and loved our week there. Hey, we got the cute Starwood owner's bags on check-in just like EVERY other owner!
 

vss

TUG Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2010
Messages
48
Reaction score
1
Points
218
abdibile, thanks a lot. A lot of valuable info. Enjoy the rest of your trip!
 

abdibile

TUG Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2007
Messages
764
Reaction score
0
Points
376
Location
Germany
The owners update was really relaxed.

They had printouts from all my ownerships including all the Vistana units I have sold last year.

Some questions regarding our usual travel (big timeshare units in Europe :) Oh, Starwood only has small hotel rooms in Europe??? :ignore: ).

Lots of photos of St Regis hotels, probably 80% of the time was used for talking about the great hotels you can use with Starpoints.

The offer was a WLR high season studio giving 67,000 Star Options for $21,900 and $500 annual MF to retro my odd year 1-52 SDO 2BR lockoff. Plus 80.000 Starpoints incentive. This is probably the best deal if I would want to retro. They never tried to push a gold season 2 BR or an explorer package.

The closer came in, told what would suit me best for two minutes. I only had to say "no" and that I am quite happy with what I can get from II. She just said: "You should not own Starwood for trading in II as Starwood is too expensive for that. Any cheap timeshare would do" and she left after less than three minutes.

Overall about 70 minutes of smalltalk to a very nice lady and looking at beautiful pictures of mainly St Regis Hotels :). Unfortunately the one I would like to go to (Mardavall on mallorca, Spain) is Cat 8.

What I learned: The great Sheraton Salobre Golf on the Canary Islands is only Cat 3 (I would have expected it to be Cat 5 or 6!) and La Europa just down the street from the Westin sells cheap alcohol.

I would definitely do it again.
 

krj9999

TUG Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2007
Messages
1,113
Reaction score
184
Points
423
Location
Maryland
I'm arriving at WLR tomorrow, but will defer on owner's update. Thanks for the intel.
 

mkfisher

TUG Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2008
Messages
69
Reaction score
0
Points
6
Location
Philadelphia
Just back from Lagunamar over Thanksgiving

Outstanding weather and a really great stay overall. Lots of convo over the paint job--- too plain jane vs. the vibrant old. Careful what you ask for...now you look like all the rest etc. Many staff claimed they reacted to the hundred that complained vs. the 1000 that loved it. Either way- complainers won out and we have all paid for the change out and enjoyed the references along the way like "drunken drag queen decorators" etc.

Never felt crowded over the holiday week, though the usual gaming with pool chairs was in full effect. The beach and swimming were great even though red flagged most days. The sandbars really make it manageable with the kids. The water temp was outstanding...and yes- even in the pools. One thing we should have brought were tablets for the dishwasher--- the cleaning staff kept trying to push us to use liquid dishsoap---:wall:

Thanksgiving dinner was a rough translation at Lagunamar--the cranberry sauce was about the only item that made the cut- the rest was a wide array of poorly translated turkey day favorities- like salsbury turkey medallions- mercy...and you never could find a dessert that didn't taste like it was fresh out of an easy bake oven....dried squares of styrophome---cafeteria like quality. The rest of the week was a worthwhile trade off though for a Thanksgiving week. Hardwiring was a musty to pick up all my NFL games from my slingbox.
There was a major screwup with reservations made 60 days out with the concierge for the Thai restaurant across the street- they were using a new system like "open table" that blew up on them. The Director of marketing stepped in and did the right thing and fed my family of 5 at Lagunamar steak night on the house.

2 great day trip suggestions- Isla Mujeres-- just grab a bus to the public ferry and then rent a golf cart and explore for the day. Lots of fun and adventure for the family--baby sea turtles very cool. Selvecia zipline and extreme adventure day was also a big hit with the family.

We stayed an extra 2 days at the Westin Spa down the street to save 50% on airfare--- boy, is that place tired and undeserving of the Westin name. 20 year old Conrad Cancun converted to a Westin and looks every bit of 20 years. United was a nightmare as well- from grossly overbooked flights, to prematurely giving our seats away--- we ended up with a 3 day adventure home. Sure they put us up in hotels in Cancun (Omni) and in Houston...but the 3 day circus was inexcusable.

Great overall and proud to be an owner there. We even tried our first owners update for the holiday bonus of $125. pretty harmless and used the time to better understand the new banking program. We were hoping to use the $s against the photo shoot program they offer there until we found out that they were not affiliated with Lagunamar even though they are stationed at the towel center. -cash only at $10 for the digital original.--still worth it. The final interesting piece of the owners update was their explanation of the new equity program. eg roughly taking their calculation of equity in what you paid for the property and the difference in some valuation today to roll toward a new purchase. say WKORV 45k purchase- they say today is at 20K and give you 25k toward a new purchase. After the hokey number game ended, they claimed our platinum EOY 2BR lo wouldn't qualify for the program anyway as it wouldn't make financial sense for them. Either way, they claimed it was a new program to level out inventory etc. Hope some of this was helpful...... now I'm back to trying to use star options from WKORV to get into Harborside this July / Aug--- you know my pain...any tricks?
 

C30NY

TUG Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2010
Messages
457
Reaction score
2
Points
228
Location
Upstate New York
If you havent already, be sure to complain to United. They have always done me right when it came to errors or problems on their end.

Thanks for the update and info...and glad you enjoyed the stay!
 
Last edited:

tomandrobin

TUG Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2006
Messages
4,115
Reaction score
120
Points
448
Location
Bel Air, Maryland
Two resort reviews for the price of one.....nice.

We are going to Lagunamar next Thanksgiving, so these posts are very informative.

Note to self....avoid the Westin Thanksgiving dinner.
 

clsmit

Tug Review Crew: Rookie
TUG Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2008
Messages
1,256
Reaction score
6
Points
248
Location
Solon, OH (for love not the weather)
Resorts Owned
WSJ, HRA, WKORV, WMH, SBP, WLR
Unfortunately the one I would like to go to (Mardavall on mallorca, Spain) is Cat 8.

We were there a year and a half ago. It's a small St Regis (at least compared to Dana Point in California). My kids really liked it. I thought it was pretty and intimate. It's not on the beach so you need to drive to get to the beach. The pool is very nice, though. It was a fun place to watch the World Cup Spain v. Germany match. (sorry!) (And it's only Cat 7. :) )

For Lagunamar, we like getting food from Soriana or WalMart to eat and grill. It's a nice relaxing place to stay.
 

jdiepm

newbie
Joined
Dec 7, 2011
Messages
48
Reaction score
0
Points
66
Location
Illinois
Thanks for the reviews, i will be travelling there sometime next year, my in-laws have a timeshare there and Harborside, and we got suckered into a discounted stay 5nights for around $400, im pretty sure we'll have to sit through a presentation. Was wondering if for the deal i HAVE to go to the presentation or can i simply not answer my phone or show up?? Not so familiar with timeshare etiquette yet
 

gtm2011

TUG Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2011
Messages
133
Reaction score
0
Points
226
Location
TX
I am not sure about etiquette but did your deal say you had to attend or not? We took advantage of one of these deals a few years back and they said we didn’t have to attend, but if we didn’t attend we wouldn’t get invited back under any other offers. Needless to say, we attended but did not purchase and we haven’t been invited back either (probably since we didn’t buy). So I am not for sure if it really matters or not. I have heard some of the other special offers require you to attend as part of the deal, but ours was completely optional. I didn’t know anything about SVO at the time.
 
Last edited:

jdiepm

newbie
Joined
Dec 7, 2011
Messages
48
Reaction score
0
Points
66
Location
Illinois
I am not sure about etiquette but did your deal say you had to attend or not? We took advantage of one of these deals a few years back and they said we didn’t have to attend, but if we didn’t attend we wouldn’t get invited back under any other offers. Needless to say, we attended but did not purchase and we haven’t been invited back either (probably since we didn’t buy). So I am not for sure if it really matters or not. I have heard some of the other special offers require you to attend as part of the deal, but ours was completely optional. I didn’t know anything about SVO at the time.

what is SVO?
 

jdiepm

newbie
Joined
Dec 7, 2011
Messages
48
Reaction score
0
Points
66
Location
Illinois
Duh Starwood Vacation Ownership....hopefully thats my only dumb moment for the day
 
Top