... after staying at both within the past two years, I would go back to Ocean Pointe before going back to Oceana Palms. ...To me, the Pointe feels like a resort.
We own at Oceana Palms & agree 100% with your assessment.
From an owner perspective, Palms is a resort that never became what Marriott said it would become. Oceana Palms is probably the one resort most affected by the change to the points system in terms of how the demographics & the execution drastically changes the character of the resort. Multiple week owners who own at Palms & other resorts are more likely to notice this.
Oceana Palm's appeal is easy to explain. Everyone has a view from up high & the apartments themselves are a step above the usual Marriott TS property. So yes, folks will walk away raving about the views and the sleek rooms & expansive balconies. For most, this is sufficient to overlook the "missing ingredients" that Oceana Palms has discarded now that it becomes the lynchpin resort for selling the points program.
Management is aware of the disdain felt by some owners, but truthfully there is little that can be done now that Marriott flips to a points program which requires recruiting legions of new DC guests & packing them in for preview stays, both at Oceana Palms & Ocean Pointe. Marriott utilizes these Oceana Palms views to whet the juices of preview guests & convince them to jump into the DC points pool.
The result is that most folks fail to realize that the real pool deck is compact & crowded, & windy on some days. Preview folks are on short stays & others will indeed be impressed by the high views the first visit or two. Reflections bar is peopled during the day ( partly by preview folks spending their Marriott dollars ) but usually empty by 7PM & lacking the spontaneity of Ocean Pointe's bar. Those extended happy hours aren't goodwill, it's Marriott trying to get people to come down to the bar.
No argument that most guests will love the views & those preview folks who purchase DC points will be stoked to return ( if they have enough DC points to pull it off ) . But discerning owners who know the game will sooner or later realize that Palms is a resort that lost its heart & soul when the point system supplants HOA owners ( we Palms owners represent less that 30% of the inventory as the Trust rules the roost here ). There's a window of high demand weeks where owners predominate the resort. Otherwise owners are adrift lost at sea.
What do we do with our own Oceana Palms weeks? We set aside one week every other year for an owner stay because we own ocean front & we too enjoy the views. But honestly speaking, we are beach people who watch the waves all day so our daily progression is beach /apartment/ 2 Drunken Goats. We accept that Palms lacks the cohesive energy of Ocean Pointe & we enjoy the beach & ocean. No surprise that a pool person like fasttr
more readily notices Palm's deficiencies.
Otherwise we convert our weeks into points & most stay at Ocean Pointe because it has a heart and a soul and feels like the resort Palms never became. Are we "dissatisfied" owners? Not exactly. Our enrolled Palms weeks are powerful tools that we leverage into more nights & other Marriott resorts. We too are playing the game. Better to call us "disaffected" Marriott owners who can hold their nose & still find their niche.
Does any of this matter to the OP? No, not at all
. The OP is going to have a nice stay with a nice view. Just don't fall for the DC points shell game.