We’ve stayed at the Kihei resort before also and it’s ok but we really wanted something nicer this time. I’ve read mixed reviews on the Marriot so was a little tentative about staying there. Are you guaranteed an ocean view room when you exchange? Was the kitchen big enough?
Don't expect ocean view. Be very surprised and delighted if you can see the ocean from your room.
If you get a unit that has a full kitchen (MM1), you'll be delighted. It's lovely with Granite and stainless etc... Big enough for what? The grills are the primary method of cooking for us anyway.
Uhmmm......you seem to have a few misconceptions about exchanges. Not being sarcastic or anything, but I'm going to mention some things you may or may not know.....sorry if I talk down--not intentional.
Exchanges are.....well, exactly what they say they are:
An MM1 Marriott's Maui Ocean Club (MOC) Lahaina/Napili Villas 2br/2ba unit......Jan26-Feb2 2019 is just what it says: A two bedroom, two bath unit at the MOC Lahaina/Napili towers on the dates specified. There will be a code associated with the exchange (after you get the confirmation) that describes the specific unit type/view (2 bedroom lock off portion of a 3br, ocean front for example...but in the form of a 4 letter code). Here's the kicker: VIEW is not guaranteed on an exchange. Only the unit description applies. Now, in practice, the nice folks at the MOC might just let you keep your room view category. They have done this for us. But, they could just as easily stick you in the worst island view unit on the property: low floor, nothing but bushes, trees, parking garage etc.... There are NO guarantees...but the size/unit description.
As for the Maui Ocean club (old and new phases): The MOC is a fantastic resort. Is it better than Hyatt or Westin? No. It is similar. Some rooms are better. Some are worse. Some features are better, Some are worse. The 'original phase' MMO code is a converted hotel. A very nice, recently renovated fantastic hotel conversion. A wide variety of unit locations and views etc.... These units do NOT have full kitchens. They have a mini-kitchen and (I think) 2 smaller fridges now; depends on size. (I'd have to look). The new phase (MM1 towers) are purpose-build timeshare units with OV, OF or island/mountain views. The OV/OF units range from breathtaking (upper floors, OF) to very good (MV/OV, lower floors) to not so great (bushes, trees, parking garage). Not horrible mind you....my MV was nice this year. The units are spacious, well appointed and very nice. They are high-use, so there is some wear/tear, but they are frequently updated. MOC is a post-card perfect resort for me.
I am going to make an opinionated statement here: If you are considering 'snubbing' the Marriott Maui Ocean Club, perhaps you should re-consider what you want to exchange for. I certainly understand that you may only want a unit with a full kitchen (which MMO does not have--but does have a common-area gourmet kitchen.....) but the resort and units are very premium and should be a 'great catch' in anybody's book IMO. Again, if you desire a kitchen, then don't select the MMO units. This will seriously limit your exchange options; there are very few Maui 'dedicated timeshare' 3-5* units that hit the exchanges. So, my point: Hyatt, Westin, Marriott (the heavy hitters) will have few availabilities for Whale/Summer time frame if you further eliminate the MMO (no kitchen) units. Further, most studio units have minimal kitchen facilities (Westins have more than most) and are simply...well, a studio. So, if we narrow this search down to 1br or larger....with kitchen... The field just got very narrow.
There are some wonderful resorts on Maui besides the big 3, but these will also have limited availability, may not be directly ocean-front (not the view, the entire resort) and quite a few do not have A/C. Not a huge concern in Jan/Feb, but much more problematic in the warmer months.
So, to sum my opinion/thoughts up:
Your best/most likely exchange (in the higher-end Kaanapali resorts) would be:
- MM1/MMO Marriott Maui Ocean club. You could probably match this in the last 90 days. Probably could get 2bdr. MM1 is much harder to snag on instant exchange. YMMV. You would likely get the assigned view category.....so better opportunity for a decent if partially blocked view. An OGS may or may not match this. Tough exchange you know...
- Westin: There are still some Nanea and other units occasionally dropping. This may dry up. Two bedroom? Maybe. Very tough. Will definitely be parking lot view if you get one.
- Hyatt. Let me know if you get one...it would be the first that I know of; possibly the second, can't remember the story on that one. Bon chance...
- Any other Kaanapali resort: Hit and miss. I typically see about 1 week during the last 4-5 months prior to January-Feb. I do see March-April more frequently... anywhere from 1-4 bedrooms. Some are really nice resorts with great locations and lot's of room. Others may be more rustic or less glamorous, but most would consider a 2 br unit in whale season on exchange (especially at 4000 points inside of 59 days) to be a superb catch.
Hope this helps