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Help - Westin Kaanapali Buying Advice Needed

bogwarrior

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I am so confused :crash: . Read a lot and love this forum but have never looked at timeshares. We did the tour of the Westin Ka'anapali North yesterday and love it. Managed to get away from the embarrassing used car salesman :mad: to do some research and now feel that maybe we should buy resale but I am not certain of the disadvantages.

Would love if someone can confirm or clarify the following:

1. If you buy this location resale it looks like the "mandatory" thing means you CAN swap it for use at teh other approximatly 12 SVO locations.
2. If you buy resale then you do NOT get the option to convert your ownership to SPG points so you can stay at any Starwood hotel every second year.
3. On one resale site I see people advertising their two bed lock out with maintenance costs of only $900 or $1000 when yesterday they were telling me that annual maintenance is $1900 ??

Our circumstances are we will probably only come back here every five or six years but would like to stay in St John, Mexico, South Carolina, Vail etc etc. We LOVED the idea of being able to get SPG points for any startwood hotel but not prepared to pay 30k for that option !!!!!

Any advice on what we should do GREATLY appreciated.

Thank You SO much. :) :wave:
 

Syed

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You can request internal exchanges into other SVO resorts, as an owner at Westin Ka'anapali, which is a Mandatory resort.
The conversion of Staroptions to Starpoints is not available to resale owners.
Annual fees for a two bedroom every other ownership is about $900. Since you dont anticaptate coming back often, consider the Island Villa units,or even another Starwood resort, such as the Westin Kierland. It is a Mandatory resort and the 2 bedroom annual fees are around $1200.
 
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DeniseM

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Welcome to TUG! :hi:

Since this is a Starwood hotel, I moved your post to that board. Check out the Starwood FAQ at the top of the page for lots of info. about Starwood.
 
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DeniseM

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Our circumstances are we will probably only come back here every five or six years but would like to stay in St John, Mexico, South Carolina, Vail etc etc. We LOVED the idea of being able to get SPG points for any startwood hotel but not prepared to pay 30k for that option !!!!!
If you only want to go to Maui every 5 or 6 years, then it doesn't make sense to buy in Hawaii where you will pay top dollar. I would buy at the Westin Kiernan Villas. You can still get the same number of Staroptions for exchanges, but the upfront cost will be less than half as much as the WKORV and the maintenance fee is a little lower too.

WKORV-N $1,768 MF - Staroptions 148,100

WKORV: $1,599 MF - Staroptions 148,100

WKV: $1,207 MF - Staroptions 148,100

See the ebay Sales Data Base link in Owner Resources at the top of the page for current prices for these resorts.

BTW - you only get 80K Starpoints if you convert your week to Starpoints, so it's not a very good exchange value for such an expensive resort - I'd never do it.

And Westin St. John is a very difficult exchange - possible, but not easy.
 
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DavidnRobin

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You can request internal exchanges into other SVO resorts, as an owner at Westin Ka'anapali, which is a Mandatory resort.
The SPG program is not available to resale owners.
Annual fees for a two bedroom every other ownership is about $900. Since you dont anticaptate coming back often, consider the Island Villa units,or even another Starwood resort, such as the Westin Kierland. It is a Mandatory resort and the 2 bedroom annual fees are around $1200.
Hi Syed - Robin and I will be coming to WKORV (OF Deluxe unit we bought from you) for our 3rd visit in a few weeks.

The SPG program is available to all (inside and outside of SVO) - for example - you can get an AMEX SPG card and attain StarPoints using this card. What is not available to resale owners is the ability to convert StarOptions to StarPoints - which is of questionable value for the premium one pays for in buying from the Developer (SVO-Starwood) versus resale.

IMO - buy resale.
also IMO - buy WKV (Kierland) if you can travel during lower peak times, and wish to use the SVN network, AND do not necessarily need to stay at WKORV for every vacation.

Be careful about advertised MFs - they can be misleading - there is a ~$100 SVN fee for Mandatory resorts that is separate from the MF. The MFs for SVO resorts are listed on this forum - in the Owners Resources section at the top of this forum.
 
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LisaRex

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I agree that if you only want to visit Hawaii every 5-6 years, you should probably buy an Every Other Year platinum 2 bdrm villa at WKV. The only advantages you get buying at the WKORV is the ability to secure a certain view and the ability to book 12 months out. With so much inventory at WKORV, and more possibly in the future, you can trade into Hawaii very easily these days. So no sense paying the $1700+ MFs unless you want to go there a lot and are worried about your view/week.

With your 148,100 StarOptions, you can get into a 2 bdrm during platinum season at any other resort in the network.

Good luck!
 

bogwarrior

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We cannot thank you all enough for your wonderful advice. I feel you have saved us a lot of money and buyers remorse when we found out all of this in hindsight.

Still have a lot to learn about how all this works but will be looking at buying WKV resale per your advice.

One last question is whether or not it would be better to buy Hawaii in case you want to swap out through the II network. We were looking at buying two weeks and might try swapping out one week some years to stay outside the 12 or so resorts in the network (which is why we liked the SPG points but appreciate the heads up about poor exchange rate). If we owned WKORV rather than WKV would it not be easier to get better swaps through II ??

I will try to return the favor over the years to others. This is a great forum.
 

vacationtime1

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If we owned WKORV rather than WKV would it not be easier to get better swaps through II ??
Possibly, not necessarily, and an a substantial financial cost.

There is a major problem with II exchanges using Starwood mandatory properties. The SVN agreement gives Starwood the right to deposit properties other than what you own into II when you ask for an II exchange; Starwood can theoretically deposit a summer, desert week instead of your ocean front Hawaii property. You therefore don't get the trading power you may expect.

Hawaii costs in two ways. First, WKORV and other Hawaii properties are priced by view: ocean front vs. ocean view vs. island/garden view. You pay far more (like 2 or 3 times as much) for ocean front vs. island view at WKORV. Maintenance fees are the same. But if you exchange (either internally via StarOptions or externally via II), you get zero incremental benefit for swapping a ocean front unit rather than a island view.

Second, Hawaii has higher maintenance fees. For example, WKORV is about $1,500 per year for a 2 bd annual vs. $1,100 at Kierland (+ $109 annual SVN fee for either as each is a mandatory property). Each has the same 148,100 StarOptions for internal exchanges.

If you intend to go to your Hawaii property most of the time and are willing to pay extra for the view, that is what you should buy (my Hawaii property is ocean view). But if you are planning to exchange frequently using StarOptions and you will be satisfied with an island view when you do visit Hawaii, you would save considerable money by buying Kierland and swapping into WKORV using those StarOptions.

If your major goal is II exchanges, you should consider buying a less expensive property overall.
 
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SDKath

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The above post is key. Mandatory resorts like Kierland and WKORV have Starwood controlling your II deposit. They don't even have to give you a deposit at that resort -- they can pick any resort and any week!!! :eek:

My $500 eBay Vistana Falls week deposited during a high demand time sees everything everyone else sees. My MFs are $750 and I have traded into Hawaii and Kierland with it with no problems!

So I would definitely not purchase WKORV with the intent to trade in II. Buy something super cheap (under $1000) at SDO, PGA, SBP or SVR and get good deposits -- the key to II trading. Any resort will trade poorly if you get a low demand week to deposit!

Katherine
 

DavidnRobin

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you will need to ask the SVO II experts... it has to do with cost/MFs as compared to what you can get for a exchange and SVO control

I do not need my life as complicated - SVO home resort, SVN and renting works well. For us - WKV (Plat only) offers the best value (cost, low MFs, location, SVN exchanging, rentability, value upon resale) . The WKORV OF Dlx was a present to ourselves - it is a great unit at a great resort (and like you - found TUG and rescinded a WKORVN and saved $$$$). WSJ was pure location, and WPORV (from SVO)... well... that was it's own thread (half-price, EOYodd, requal, 3*, lots of SPs... sc)

good luck
 
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DavidnRobin

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The above post is key. Mandatory resorts like Kierland and WKORV have Starwood controlling your II deposit. They don't even have to give you a deposit at that resort -- they can pick any resort and any week!!! :eek:
I never understood why this is important - why does the person giving the deposit to II care? - this is why II is beyond me

why would anyone ever buy WKORV OF to deposit into II (or SVN for that matter)?
 
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jerseygirl

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I never understood why this is important - why does the person giving the deposit to II care? - this is why II is beyond me
Because II uses a combination of trading power and quality to determine which resorts you can trade into.

The quality part is easy -- Starwood resorts have a high quality rating (although not the highest, from what I can tell) and II will block a Starwood owner from seeing poor quality resorts. As an example, most timeshare resorts in Europe have mediocre quality ratings. Therefore, a Starwood week is not a good choice for those who are buying to trade into Europe. Alternatively, I own a red hot week at a nice, but not luxurious, beachfront resort. It's quality rating is mediocre and I can see European resorts with it. II blocks me from trading into Four Seasons and Hyatt (highest qaulity rating) with it, but not from trading into Starwood with it. Depending on where one wants to travel, it sometimes pays to own a variety of "quality."

The trading power part is not as easy. If Starwood deposits a mud week in Colorado, a winter week in Myrtle Beach, or any off peak week in Orlando, you're stuck with high quality/low trading power -- the worst combination. Even though you would technically be eligible for the 3-day Starwood preference, it only works in flexchange (last 59 days), which is not when Starwood typically makes bulk deposits. A peak summer week at Broadway Plantation or a March week at Desert Oasis/Kierland will see anything, but the off season weeks will see very little, or a 2-BR might see an efficiency, etc.

That's why it's important for an owner to control the deposit -- to make certain a "good" week is booked and deposited. This is allowed with non-network weeks (although until recently Starwood made it very difficult), but not allowed with network weeks.

why would anyone ever buy WKORV OF to deposit into II (or SVN for that matter)?
No one in their right mind would do this. Same for any high dollar resort.
 

LisaRex

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If I were to buy a TS now, I'd buy WKORV resale again, only because I plan to go to Hawaii most years and I wanted ocean front. I paid a premium ($20-30k) for that view but far less than what we would have paid to the developer for a lesser view. We knew it was a frivolous purchase, we could afford it, and we have no regrets.

If I wanted to go to the Big 3 Starwood properties (Maui, Harborside, and St. John), I'd buy a platinum 2 bdrm in WKV and pay the lowest MFs I could find and still get 148,100 SOs. That will get me a 2 bdrm in any property during platinum season. The only caveat is that if you want St. John or Harborside, you have to be a planner and call exactly 8 months out. Being willing to travel during shoulder seasons helps.

If I wanted to get into Hawaii with the lowest out-of-pocket, and I was willing to go during shoulder season (spring or fall), I'd buy Westin Mission Hills resale and deposit it into II. Then I'd keep my eyes peeled on these boards for WKORV sightings during my 3 day Starwood priority window. Harborside is also occasionally available on II (I think) but they don't come around very often. I'm not sure if WSJ ever makes it to II. I've heard of really great exchanges with WMH, not to mention it seems like a great resort all on its own.
 

jmhillrph

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<One last question is whether or not it would be better to buy Hawaii in case you want to swap out through the II network. We were looking at buying two weeks and might try swapping out one week some years to stay outside the 12 or so resorts in the network (which is why we liked the SPG points but appreciate the heads up about poor exchange rate). If we owned WKORV rather than WKV would it not be easier to get better swaps through II ??>


Anecdotally, for what it's worth-- tomorrow we will finish up a week at WKORV-N (obtained via II trade of our 1br WKV gold lockoff); tomorrow we will move over to WKORV (obtained via the other 1 br portion of our WKV week). We've had opportunity but passed on Harborside and Lagunamar. If you have flexibility with travel times, Starwood's bulk deposits are not uncommon. We've also used our WKV to trade into DVC properties (BCV, WLV, and SSR) and Marriott HHI properties.
 

adanac1

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bulk deposits by resorts

I am sorry but I am missing something. I hear everyone is seeing bulk deposits to various resorts. Where would I see these deposits? Do I need to deposit a week into II before I can see these weeks or can I make a request through II?
This is our first year of using this system because we bought resale and were able to get into Harborside and Orlando for Christmas this year.
The hard work starts this year when we have to use either II or SVO network.
I would like to find out what we can exchange for. The easy part is using SVO but wanting to test drive the II, is it possible?

Thanks in advance
 

tomandrobin

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I am sorry but I am missing something. I hear everyone is seeing bulk deposits to various resorts. Where would I see these deposits? Do I need to deposit a week into II before I can see these weeks or can I make a request through II?
This is our first year of using this system because we bought resale and were able to get into Harborside and Orlando for Christmas this year.
The hard work starts this year when we have to use either II or SVO network.
I would like to find out what we can exchange for. The easy part is using SVO but wanting to test drive the II, is it possible?

Thanks in advance
You can search II with your Vistana ownership.

If you join TUG, you can access the sightings board.
 

adanac1

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how do we access the "sighting " board?

I am not sure why it is still showing me a s a guest, I am a member. How do I access the sighting board?
Thank you
 

DeniseM

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I am not sure why it is still showing me a s a guest, I am a member. How do I access the sighting board?
Thank you
When you join TUG you get an email with a special password in it to use to change your status from guest to member. Once you've changed your status, you will see the Distress/Sightings Board directly below the TUG Lounge.

1. Click on User CP in the blue bar.
2. Click on Edit BBS Member Code - on the left.
3. Put the password in the box at the bottom of the page.
4. Click save.
 
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