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Margaritaville Rio Mar (Puerto Rico)

toddgetsreal

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Resorts Owned
Palm Aire
Hi Everyone,

My wife and I went to Margaritaville Rio Mar last year and I absolutely loved the resort and the experience. I want to figure out what the best way to go about going back on a regular basis would be.

So, you are likely going to have some specific questions about our ownership that I will get from my wife but I wanted to gloss over the details for starters. In 2015, we bought 110,000 points per year with bonus points the first two years, that was deeded at Palm Aire. I believe we are not club wyndham access. We pay about $80/month and our principle is paid off.

My wife kind of made an impulse buy, even though I tried to talk her out of it. However, I do really enjoy the places we have gone to, and realized that buying more points is the way to go, to maximize our membership. We also have kids likely coming soon on the horizon, or the appeal of bigger hotel rooms is really what hooked her in to begin with.

I plan to buy more point on the resale market, but I want to buy the right kind of points/deeds. I especially want to buy those that make it easier to go back to Margaritaville Rio Mar, which I see us going back to yearly or every two years. What should I be looking to buy, specifically? Those points deeded at Margaritaville? We actually don't mind travelling off peak and traditionally travel in November and February/March. Second favorite place to go is Worldmark Balboa Park in San Diego, if that helps.

Please let me know if you have any specific questions!
 

cbyrne1174

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Tampa, FL
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Club Wyndham, Marriott, DVC
100% resale!!
Hi Everyone,

My wife and I went to Margaritaville Rio Mar last year and I absolutely loved the resort and the experience. I want to figure out what the best way to go about going back on a regular basis would be.

So, you are likely going to have some specific questions about our ownership that I will get from my wife but I wanted to gloss over the details for starters. In 2015, we bought 110,000 points per year with bonus points the first two years, that was deeded at Palm Aire. I believe we are not club wyndham access. We pay about $80/month and our principle is paid off.

My wife kind of made an impulse buy, even though I tried to talk her out of it. However, I do really enjoy the places we have gone to, and realized that buying more points is the way to go, to maximize our membership. We also have kids likely coming soon on the horizon, or the appeal of bigger hotel rooms is really what hooked her in to begin with.

I plan to buy more point on the resale market, but I want to buy the right kind of points/deeds. I especially want to buy those that make it easier to go back to Margaritaville Rio Mar, which I see us going back to yearly or every two years. What should I be looking to buy, specifically? Those points deeded at Margaritaville? We actually don't mind travelling off peak and traditionally travel in November and February/March. Second favorite place to go is Worldmark Balboa Park in San Diego, if that helps.

Please let me know if you have any specific questions!

You're not going to get Margaritaville ARP for cheap. The MF are on the high side. Here is an old listing:

I'd personally just stay in the 1 bedroom deluxe and use my low maintenance fee contracts and book at the 5 month mark. At 5 months, you can easily get all the non presidential units. If you want presidential every year, then get a margaritaville deed. If you only want it once in a while, you can always just rent from a VIP or Margaritaville owner. Margaritaville owners get 13 month ARP, Platinum gets 10 months, Gold gets 8 months and Silver gets 6 months.
 

harveyhaddixfan

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You're not going to get Margaritaville ARP for cheap. The MF are on the high side. Here is an old listing:

I'd personally just stay in the 1 bedroom deluxe and use my low maintenance fee contracts and book at the 5 month mark. At 5 months, you can easily get all the non presidential units. If you want presidential every year, then get a margaritaville deed. If you only want it once in a while, you can always just rent from a VIP or Margaritaville owner. Margaritaville owners get 13 month ARP, Platinum gets 10 months, Gold gets 8 months and Silver gets 6 months.

That’s really not stupid expensive. The MF are probably mid-high, but not terrible.

As far as what to buy, if you can book at the 5 month mark as stated above, look for the cheapest MF you can. Bali Hai, Canterbury, Panama City Beach, National Harbor and a few others are really low. Grand Desert is also a decent one. There was a 168k odd contract at PCB that just sold for $123.50 plus $398 closing.
 

harveyhaddixfan

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Hi Everyone,

My wife and I went to Margaritaville Rio Mar last year and I absolutely loved the resort and the experience. I want to figure out what the best way to go about going back on a regular basis would be.

So, you are likely going to have some specific questions about our ownership that I will get from my wife but I wanted to gloss over the details for starters. In 2015, we bought 110,000 points per year with bonus points the first two years, that was deeded at Palm Aire. I believe we are not club wyndham access. We pay about $80/month and our principle is paid off.

My wife kind of made an impulse buy, even though I tried to talk her out of it. However, I do really enjoy the places we have gone to, and realized that buying more points is the way to go, to maximize our membership. We also have kids likely coming soon on the horizon, or the appeal of bigger hotel rooms is really what hooked her in to begin with.

I plan to buy more point on the resale market, but I want to buy the right kind of points/deeds. I especially want to buy those that make it easier to go back to Margaritaville Rio Mar, which I see us going back to yearly or every two years. What should I be looking to buy, specifically? Those points deeded at Margaritaville? We actually don't mind travelling off peak and traditionally travel in November and February/March. Second favorite place to go is Worldmark Balboa Park in San Diego, if that helps.

Please let me know if you have any specific questions!

What’s the food situation like there? Are there restaurants or do you have to leave the property to eat? A friend wants to go there but we’re not sure if we’d need a car or not.
 

cbyrne1174

TUG Member
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Tampa, FL
Resorts Owned
Club Wyndham, Marriott, DVC
100% resale!!
What’s the food situation like there? Are there restaurants or do you have to leave the property to eat? A friend wants to go there but we’re not sure if we’d need a car or not.

It's attached to a Wyndham Grand (4 star hotel) so yes there is plenty to eat, but expensive. Here are the menus for all the dining:
 

cbyrne1174

TUG Member
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Tampa, FL
Resorts Owned
Club Wyndham, Marriott, DVC
100% resale!!
That’s really not stupid expensive. The MF are probably mid-high, but not terrible.

As far as what to buy, if you can book at the 5 month mark as stated above, look for the cheapest MF you can. Bali Hai, Canterbury, Panama City Beach, National Harbor and a few others are really low. Grand Desert is also a decent one. There was a 168k odd contract at PCB that just sold for $123.50 plus $398 closing.

I guess expensive is relative. I mainly use my ownership to stay in FL when it's discounted 35% off during the high and value season. I use my (mainly) Grand Desert resale points to book a studio or 1 bedroom. I always drive to my destination and use the local Aldi's for food. I will fill up a big box of food and drinks for $80-100 for the whole week for the 3 of us and bring home what I don't eat in a freezer bag I bring with me.
 

Eric B

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Vacation Village, Wyndham, WorldMark, Vistana, Vidanta, Flora Farms, HGVC Max, and some independents
Hi Everyone,

My wife and I went to Margaritaville Rio Mar last year and I absolutely loved the resort and the experience. I want to figure out what the best way to go about going back on a regular basis would be.

So, you are likely going to have some specific questions about our ownership that I will get from my wife but I wanted to gloss over the details for starters. In 2015, we bought 110,000 points per year with bonus points the first two years, that was deeded at Palm Aire. I believe we are not club wyndham access. We pay about $80/month and our principle is paid off.

My wife kind of made an impulse buy, even though I tried to talk her out of it. However, I do really enjoy the places we have gone to, and realized that buying more points is the way to go, to maximize our membership. We also have kids likely coming soon on the horizon, or the appeal of bigger hotel rooms is really what hooked her in to begin with.

I plan to buy more point on the resale market, but I want to buy the right kind of points/deeds. I especially want to buy those that make it easier to go back to Margaritaville Rio Mar, which I see us going back to yearly or every two years. What should I be looking to buy, specifically? Those points deeded at Margaritaville? We actually don't mind travelling off peak and traditionally travel in November and February/March. Second favorite place to go is Worldmark Balboa Park in San Diego, if that helps.

Please let me know if you have any specific questions!
You're not going to get Margaritaville ARP for cheap. The MF are on the high side. Here is an old listing:

I'd personally just stay in the 1 bedroom deluxe and use my low maintenance fee contracts and book at the 5 month mark. At 5 months, you can easily get all the non presidential units. If you want presidential every year, then get a margaritaville deed. If you only want it once in a while, you can always just rent from a VIP or Margaritaville owner. Margaritaville owners get 13 month ARP, Platinum gets 10 months, Gold gets 8 months and Silver gets 6 months.
That’s really not stupid expensive. The MF are probably mid-high, but not terrible.

As far as what to buy, if you can book at the 5 month mark as stated above, look for the cheapest MF you can. Bali Hai, Canterbury, Panama City Beach, National Harbor and a few others are really low. Grand Desert is also a decent one. There was a 168k odd contract at PCB that just sold for $123.50 plus $398 closing.

Good advice from @cbyrne1174 and @harveyhaddixfan. MF at Rio Mar are a bit over $6.10 per 1,000 points and around the same at Margaritaville St Thomas, which puts it on the high side. There's another Margaritaville at Desert Blue that could get you earlier access as part of the Margaritaville club, but I'm not sure what the MFs are there - Desert Blue is on the lower side outside of Margaritaville, so that might be best if you actually need the ARP. By comparison, Bali Hai MFs are $3.77 per 1,000 points; either would also have the program fee of $0.64 (minimum annual $180) for Club Wyndham Plus since you already own a retail contract, so a studio ocean view in November would cost you 140,000 points or ~$943.60 using Rio Mar points or $617.40 using Bali Hai points. In February/March it would be ~$1,273.86 using Rio Mar points or $833.49. Neither is stupid expensive compared to other Caribbean resorts, but it winds up being a $300 or $400 difference each time you go based on what you do now. Payback on a low MF resale contract isn't very long if you use it wisely and can be more beneficial than retail VIP.

My experience at watching the Caribbean availability has been that Rio Mar isn't that tough to get, but I'm VIPG and have the longer window for availability. As you already have access and buying resale elsewhere wouldn't change your availability, you'd be best off looking now to see if the 5-month window would meet your needs.
 

GRapuser

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Resorts Owned
Bali Hai Villas, Glacier Canyon, Club Wyndham Access
The unknown in these suggestions is how long non-VIP owners will be able to book at the 5 month mark. This was a change after the hurricanes hit PR and occupancy was extremely low. While staying at Rio Mar in February I was told that bookings were increasing and the plan was to end the 5 month bookings for non-VIP's by the end of March. Of course, this was told by a salesperson, so it is dubious, but the pandemic hit in March, so we will never know. It is likely that at some point non-VIP and non-Margaritaville owners will not be able to book Rio Mar, so that should be part of the consideration.
 

HitchHiker71

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The First State
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Outer Banks Beach Club I (PIC Plus)
Colonies at Williamsburg (PIC Plus)
CWA VIP Gold (718k EY)
National Harbor Resale (689k)
The unknown in these suggestions is how long non-VIP owners will be able to book at the 5 month mark. This was a change after the hurricanes hit PR and occupancy was extremely low. While staying at Rio Mar in February I was told that bookings were increasing and the plan was to end the 5 month bookings for non-VIP's by the end of March. Of course, this was told by a salesperson, so it is dubious, but the pandemic hit in March, so we will never know. It is likely that at some point non-VIP and non-Margaritaville owners will not be able to book Rio Mar, so that should be part of the consideration.

I was told the same at a sales meeting at the St. Thomas MVC last May if it helps at all - that the non-VIP bookings would be gone by year end 2019 - and that even VIP bookings would be subject to additional limits sometime in 2020. Guess that didn't happen. :) I suspect with the pandemic afoot - any/all changes will be delayed. I remain suspect that any such changes will come to pass though - as I understand that without non-MVC owners - the occupancy rates are still way too low to maintain revenue targets.
 

cbyrne1174

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100% resale!!
Well a lot MVC owners will use their points at non-MVC properties so they need peoplee to trade into the MCV locations. They are also building an extra 300 units in Orlando at the Margaritaville resort. A few years after it's built, it will be hard to fill all year long as well since island H2O admision won't be included with your stay as an owner like the Wilderness resorts. Orlando has way too much inventory half the year, but they need excess inventory for peak times.
 

harveyhaddixfan

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It's attached to a Wyndham Grand (4 star hotel) so yes there is plenty to eat, but expensive. Here are the menus for all the dining:

Any idea how expensive? There’s no pricing on the menus. I’ve been looking at Caribbean all inclusives in RCI and it’s like a min $3k for 3 adults and 1 child for a week. Do you get a car?
 

cbyrne1174

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100% resale!!
Any idea how expensive? There’s no pricing on the menus. I’ve been looking at Caribbean all inclusives in RCI and it’s like a min $3k for 3 adults and 1 child for a week. Do you get a car?

If I were to visit PR, I would just rent a car so I could eat and explore San Juan instead of eating at the overpriced resort. If you are going to spend the money to fly all the way to PR, why not rent a car and eat the local food? Resorts are always overpriced compared to their surroundings. I live an hour from Disney, but almost never eat there for that very reason.
 

Braindead

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Any idea how expensive? There’s no pricing on the menus. I’ve been looking at Caribbean all inclusives in RCI and it’s like a min $3k for 3 adults and 1 child for a week. Do you get a car?
We thoroughly enjoy the PR Margaritaville. It’s the number 1 Wyndham resort in my opinion.
Pizza or food at 5oclock somewhere bar and Tiki Hut are not expensive.
We don’t rent a car for the entire stay due to the length of our trips.
I recommend renting a car at the resort [Enterprise I think] for 2-3 days to get groceries and sightseeing. We used uber for the grocery store also for under $20 round trip. You really only need a car for sightseeing in my opinion. Parking is like $20 a day so Uber is handy
3 bedrooms are very tough to get, there’s very few of them only 8 if I remember correctly. There are no 2 bedroom units at PR Margaritaville
 

toddgetsreal

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Palm Aire
Any idea how expensive? There’s no pricing on the menus. I’ve been looking at Caribbean all inclusives in RCI and it’s like a min $3k for 3 adults and 1 child for a week. Do you get a car?

At the restaurants themselves, it was a little over priced, but nothing crazy. However, the food was great, like some of the best food at a resort I've ever had. The ribs, especially. That being said, most of the time, we ordered from the bars outside and the food was great and cheap. Some of the best nachos I've ever had, cheap, and huge. Drinks are reasonable from the bar.

We also went to the closest super market and loaded up on food and drinks, and would just bring them out into the resort, and no one ever said anything. I was making these huge vodka soda's and would take them to the beach, and go back and refill. We rented a car for two days at the end and it was ridiculously cheap, like $20/day. Otherwise, we'd take UBER's to the supermarket a load up groceries.
 

toddgetsreal

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That’s really not stupid expensive. The MF are probably mid-high, but not terrible.

As far as what to buy, if you can book at the 5 month mark as stated above, look for the cheapest MF you can. Bali Hai, Canterbury, Panama City Beach, National Harbor and a few others are really low. Grand Desert is also a decent one. There was a 168k odd contract at PCB that just sold for $123.50 plus $398 closing.

I'm surprised National Harbor is that cheap, I liked it there, and love the MGM nearby. That sounds like it should be at the top of my list. Thanks for the great advice!
 

harveyhaddixfan

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I'm surprised National Harbor is that cheap, I liked it there, and love the MGM nearby. That sounds like it should be at the top of my list. Thanks for the great advice!

Maintenance fees at some resorts like BH, PCB, NH are cheaper because it takes so many points to book. Bali Hai might be $1200-1300 for a deeded week, but it’s 300k points so it gets the cost per thousand down. Where say Grand Desert might only take 154k points and it’s closer to $5 per thousand. NH is the same way, it’s much more “expensive” points wise to stay there vs Alexandria.
 

bendadin

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Someone of FB was getting rid of a Rio Mar for $1500 (plus closing I believe.)

At one point sales told me that they are not allowed to trade Margaritaville properties back in which is a HUGE red flag for me.
 

HitchHiker71

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Maintenance fees at some resorts like BH, PCB, NH are cheaper because it takes so many points to book. Bali Hai might be $1200-1300 for a deeded week, but it’s 300k points so it gets the cost per thousand down. Where say Grand Desert might only take 154k points and it’s closer to $5 per thousand. NH is the same way, it’s much more “expensive” points wise to stay there vs Alexandria.

NH is more expensive points-wise, but its also a much larger resort with more inventory - so we find it's easier to book within the VIP discount window at NH vs OTA. OTA is hard to get inventory in the discount window since it's a smaller resort - which makes it more expensive for us points-wise since we usually have to book outside the discount window to get into OTA.
 

spackler

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Anyone know the difference between a Studio and a Studio Deluxe here? Besides the size difference, the Wyndham website isn't all that helpful.
 

GRapuser

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The studio deluxe is just a bit bigger. The one that I had was a corner room. I couldn't tell if there were any other differences.
 

HitchHiker71

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National Harbor Resale (689k)
I believe the major difference between the studio deluxe and the studio Presidentials is the inclusion of washer/dryers in the Presidential units. We stayed in a Studio Presidential last May and it was nice having a washer/dryer in the unit since we were there for almost 10 days. Food for thought. :)
 
Last edited:

Silverdollar

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Hi Everyone,

My wife and I went to Margaritaville Rio Mar last year and I absolutely loved the resort and the experience. I want to figure out what the best way to go about going back on a regular basis would be.

So, you are likely going to have some specific questions about our ownership that I will get from my wife but I wanted to gloss over the details for starters. In 2015, we bought 110,000 points per year with bonus points the first two years, that was deeded at Palm Aire. I believe we are not club wyndham access. We pay about $80/month and our principle is paid off.

My wife kind of made an impulse buy, even though I tried to talk her out of it. However, I do really enjoy the places we have gone to, and realized that buying more points is the way to go, to maximize our membership. We also have kids likely coming soon on the horizon, or the appeal of bigger hotel rooms is really what hooked her in to begin with.

I plan to buy more point on the resale market, but I want to buy the right kind of points/deeds. I especially want to buy those that make it easier to go back to Margaritaville Rio Mar, which I see us going back to yearly or every two years. What should I be looking to buy, specifically? Those points deeded at Margaritaville? We actually don't mind travelling off peak and traditionally travel in November and February/March. Second favorite place to go is Worldmark Balboa Park in San Diego, if that helps.

Please let me know if you have any specific questions!
I don't know when you were thinking about going back to Rio Mar, but thought the following might be helpful for you, or anyone, wanting to travel to Puerto Rico in the near future:

Coronavirus (COVID-19) travel restrictions in Puerto Rico – updated 18 June, 2020
Puerto Rico will reopen to inbound tourism from 15 July. The Puerto Rico National Guard has introduced additional screening measures at the island's main airport, and all inbound travelers, regardless of whether or not they are showing symptoms, may be required to self-quarantine for 14 days on arrival.

From 16 June, a curfew is in place from 10pm to 5am until 30 June.

Restaurants have reopened to allow 50% capacity, recreational activities on beaches and in some nature reserves is allowed, but group gatherings are limited to only those from the same household.

Travelers must follow locally enforced measures on hygiene and personal safety. Face masks are mandatory in public, and floor plans have been adjusted inside public places to make room for social distancing.
 

OutSkiing

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Does anyone know about the sentence in the Margaritaville reservation timeline chart that says ‘Up to 50 percent of unreserved standard Margaritaville Vacation Club inventory may be held back for the exclusive access of Margaritaville Vacation Club by Wyndham owners starting 10 months from the check-in date. ‘

Here is a link to the page: https://clubwyndham.wyndhamdestinat.../margaritaville-vacation-club-by-wyndham.html

A Wyndham salesperson was pointing out that this is similar to the Presidential Reserve inventory hold (the words ‘may’ and ‘up to’ weaken it and of course the salesperson’s lips were moving which further weakens it). The idea is if you are MVC owner you will see inventory available all the way up to your travel date. That would mean if you are VIP you could take your VIP discount. But would your non MVC points qualify for a discounted reservation at 60 days out?

Bob
 

Eric B

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My guess on how it would be managed is that they start out at 50% and allow it to decline as eligible folks book those.
 

njjetskier

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Hi Everyone,

Would you know if it is possible to get into the Margaritaville Rio Mar in late August/early September on a regular basis with Club Wyndham Access points? Thanks!
 
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