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Ranking the Top Timeshare Systems

TUG Talker

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The last two times I completed an on-line survey I received a telephone call from Hyatt Corp the next day. I actually was shocked that not only was there a response but it was from a human. During the conversation the person gave me some great tips on using the system.

Also, it's kind of fun to bait them with that question of new resorts. I know where some of the new properties are planned so I always add those to the list. Some day they might call and discuss my wishes !
There's very little here on the Hyatt system. I've read the FAQ here (http://www.tugbbs.com/forums/showthread.php?t=24754) but it's dated 2005...

From what I've seen they seem somewhat ski oriented in the west, w/more eastern beach spots.

Where's an up-to-date owner-written summary of their program?
 

pcgirl54

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I own a Marriott fixed week-There are many Marriott locations where I want to go and I mostly trade internally to HHI.

Although I do not know a lot about the other points systems I do have an opinion about their resorts. They do not have the variety Marriott does. I do not like the fact that someone who paid 20-30K or more has a hard time reserving a week. Too many complaints from owners so I hesitate to buy a Marriott HH Os/OF week. Not all Marriotts front desks at checkin are friendly some are fair.

Starwood-stayed at Harborside and next year Westin Ka'anapali. Nice decor and I would love to try a few others like Mission Hills and St John.

Hilton- many are managed not owned. Considered buying on Marco and join pts. Like the SW Florida locations but I am concerned about buying in hurricane locations. Marco Island reps were laid back and no pressure. A real delight.

Hyatt-toured Coconut Plantation. WOW! Incredible customer service from the sales rep.Decor was the best I have seen and it beats Marriott. Did not like that I would have to take a shuttle to the boat ramp and then take the boat to the island. There are only 13 locations and many are in ski areas plus a few in Key West but that is not where I want to go. I would be interested if they expanded. Carmel location is hard to get but that is where I would want to go.

I did not know if you buy Hyatt resale you cannot do hotel stays. I did like the way you could use points in low season for little cost but I do not know the cons of this system.

We prefer beach vacations and would like to visit Bermuda.
 

benjaminb13

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Ive stayed in all four resorts

1) Hyatt- most charming -quality resorts- great flexibility- (Havent heard of even one Hyatt owner being dissatisfied) They could use more resorts
2) HGVC- quality- flexible-ponts -state of the art- Like most HGVC owned resorts- the HGVC Waikola resort is truly beautiful- HGVC needs to expand its Horizons and start building in more locations- They have 3 basic sites- Florida-Hawaii-Las vegas----- The rest are affiliates- Of course - club intrawest-(I stayed in Palm Desert) is very high quality- I hear Marbrisa will be incredible- Some of the other manged resorts arent as nice.eg: Bay Club
HGVC still trades with RCI- making it very difficult to exchange with another hotel based resort.
3) Marriott- Ive stayed in waiohai- nice I love Kauai- (but not nearly as nice asHGVC Waikola REsort), and Marriott Newport beach ---- very nice and classy- I have been thinking about ownership but I hear too many complaints re reservations exchanges etc.
4)Starwood- bad experience at Sheraton Vistana Resort- too dated-I hear other resorts are beautiful - but the restrictions (mandatory and voluntary resorts) really affect the value
 

mesamirage

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Who's Now? Ranking Top 4 Hotel-Based Ownerships

Here is a new update, I can't update the front page any longer so I will update in the thread from time to time.

The rankings are great, but I think the comments from TUGGERs is the best part, it gives us all some perspective on the BIG 4 should we be considering another purchase (Hey name a TUGGER who isn't ALWAYS looking for another purchase, we are addicts!)

Rankings
1st place vote gets 4 points/2nd 3 points/3rd 2 points/4th 1 point

Hyatt 40 points!
7 1st place
2 2nd place
1 3rd place
4 4th place

Hilton 39 points
4 1st place
4 2nd place
5 3rd place
1 4th place

Starwood 34 points
6 1st place votes
1 2nd place
2 3rd place
3 4th place

Marriott 31 points
3 1st place
5 2nd place
2 3rd place
 

Kagehitokiri

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i used to tell people starwood was the best, but now im not so sure about the outlook, especially for elite benefits..

hilton seems to be the cheapest.

marriott is still week based.

hyatt seems to have the most "valuable?" points, in the sense that the highest-value week can get you the highest number of lowest-value weeks, compared to other hotel TS. although i didnt look at cost/value.

re hilton - i traded in with RCI last August, but when I was at Sunterra Powhatan in March, they claimed it was no longer possible.
 
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duke

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1. Starwood - Elite Program recognizes value of multi-week owners (get SPG Platinum for hotels) - only TS with Elite program, Great hotel points exchange program, Best Hotels around the world, Timeshares in Maui and Kauai are first class. Easy to exchange with internal system (outside of school vacations), High Maint fees, not happy with devaluation or upgrade change policy.

2. Hyatt - Easy exchange and reservation system, Outstanding locations. Reasonable Maint Fees.

3. Hilton - ?

4. Marriott - Some very poor timeshares (Maui is a converted hotel in need of upgrade, hallways are ugly, facility open spaces and shops are dark and lonely), Lower Maint fees are a plus.
 

Henry M.

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I'll echo duke:

1.) Starwood - has the locations I want to go to (Hawaii, Caribbean), great hotels in international destinations, valuable hotel conversion compared to other programs (good if you spend hotel points wisely). Top tier elite membership in hotel program for 5 Star Elite has resulted in many suite upgrades for me (Hawaii, Disney World, Europe)

2.) Hyatt - great resorts but limited locations. I'll buy in as soon as they have more locations.


3.) & 4.) Marriott and Hilton. Can't comment too much on these because I am not very familiar with their programs. I'd give a little edge to Marriott for number of locations, but many seem to like Hilton better.
 

ricoba

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I vote for Hilton for #1, because it's what we own and like. The resorts are great, the new tiered resorts are going to be pretty amazing from what I see, the program is very flexible, we can get top trades in RCI, the downside is the lack of unique locations and that RCI doesn't have another hotel system.

#2, I have stayed at Marriott's and think the quality/amenities/rooms etc were very very good, plus they have lots and lots of locations.

I don't know about #3 & #4 since I have never been to Hyatt or Starwood, but Hyatt seems to be the program I would consider looking at if we were to purchase a new ts.

just my 2 cents.:)
 

tomandrobin

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I have been holding off on my votes, especially since I had not been to all the different Hotel based timeshares.

But here it goes..........

#1 Starwood....I do like the flexibility of the Staroptions. They have the locations we want St. John, Atlantis, Hawaii, Arizona. They have nice fall back resorts in case we don't want or can't go to any of the "prime" resorts. The are adding new resorts in the right locations.

#Marriott....I am giving them the nod here only because of the number of resorts and loctions. I don't like that there is no internal trading system. I don't like that multiple week owners can bump, lock-out single week owners by giving them extra time to reserve peak weeks.

#3 Hyatt....Only been to one resort, was not impressed. System look good, easy to use and understand. Need more locations besides the main three.

#4 Hilton...I just don't like that Paris girl!
 

JudyS

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Where would Fairfield fit in here, or is it not considered Hotel based?
I agree with Jya-Ning here. Fairfield is not really a hotel-based timeshare; they are a "regular" (non-hotel) timeshare chain that has recently added on a hotel brand's name.

For hotel-based timeshares, I own only DVC, and like it very much. But it mostly is only worthwhile if you go to Disney a lot.
 

taffy19

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I agree with Jya-Ning here. Fairfield is not really a hotel-based timeshare; they are a "regular" (non-hotel) timeshare chain that has recently added on a hotel brand's name.

For hotel-based timeshares, I own only DVC, and like it very much. But it mostly is only worthwhile if you go to Disney a lot.
I wonder if they bought or associated themselves to or with the Wyndham name so they can compete with the the Hyatt's, Marriott's or Westin's too?

What do you think?
 

ricoba

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I wonder if they bought or associated themselves to or with the Wyndham name so they can compete with the the Hyatt's, Marriott's or Westin's too?

What do you think?
I have sort of wondered that too. But to me Wyndham is a kind of nondescript brand. It's not like the other four that have a wide name recognition in the general public. Was Wyndham a name made up by Cendant? What's their history, where did they come from?

I can't even tell you where there is a Wyndham here in LA. Other than the fact that the Bel-Age was a Wyndham now it's becoming The London.

Perhaps now with the new branding of Fairfield, they may achieve more name recognition, but I don't think that has happened yet.
 

taffy19

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I have sort of wondered that too. But to me Wyndham is a kind of nondescript brand. It's not like the other four that have a wide name recognition in the general public. Was Wyndham a name made up by Cendant? What's their history, where did they come from?

I can't even tell you where there is a Wyndham here in LA. Other than the fact that the Bel-Age was a Wyndham now it's becoming The London.

Perhaps now with the new branding of Fairfield, they may achieve more name recognition, but I don't think that has happened yet.
Only time will tell if they will succeed or not. :)

Here is a new update, I can't update the front page any longer so I will update in the thread from time to time.
The rankings are great, but I think the comments from TUGGERs is the best part, it gives us all some perspective on the BIG 4 should we be considering another purchase (Hey name a TUGGER who isn't ALWAYS looking for another purchase, we are addicts!)

Rankings
1st place vote gets 4 points/2nd 3 points/3rd 2 points/4th 1 point

Hyatt 40 points!
7 1st place
2 2nd place
1 3rd place
4 4th place

Hilton 39 points
4 1st place
4 2nd place
5 3rd place
1 4th place

Starwood 34 points
6 1st place votes
1 2nd place
2 3rd place
3 4th place

Marriott 31 points
3 1st place
5 2nd place
2 3rd place
If I had to vote today, I would also vote for the Hyatt brand of all the well-known hotel brands that are here today. I love the Hyatt location at Lake Tahoe in NV and the Carmel location in CA too and the new locations where they are planning to go to next; plus the fact that internal exchanges are calculated in point values rather than in week to week exchanges. What can be fairer than that as it gives everyone in the system a chance to go to the best location one day if they save up their points? Also, you can exchange through the Hyatt system internally without having to use an external exchange company.

I agree with Cal that the Marriott has a very poor reservation system today if you own a single floating week only because you have to get out of your bed before 6 AM and be on the phone at 6 AM sharp with an atomic clock in front of you on the west coast or at 3 AM in Hawaii to make your reservations exactly one year out to stay at your own resort that you paid a lot of money for unless you bought a re-sale week. We went through this three years on a row without success so we had to call back three weeks on a row to finally get a week at our home resort in our own season. All the weeks were gone by the time we got a person on the phone. We loved our timeshare in the desert but we hated the reservation system so much that we finally decided to trade it in for a fixed week and fixed unit in Maui. I know that we will like it a lot better because our week of March 2009 is already listed in our account on our vacation club web page and all we have to decide is what to do with it if we didn't want to stay there. We heard that the NCVs have the same problems too and even worse yet because their platinum season is way too long. I hope that their new internal system will be a lot better than what they have today.

If I were in the market again today, I would seriously consider buying into a vacation club and not own anything anymore. You stop paying your membership fees and you are free of all obligations right there and then just like with any other club you belong to but you have hopefully enjoyed some of the most incredible vacations while you were a member of that club and it would have cost you the equivalent or a lot more if you had rented similar accommodations privately so you got your monies worth. Some of these membership fees only go up in value over time like some of the golf course clubs or yacht clubs have done too. I see more people wanting to go this way in the future or just rent the weeks from the timeshare owners who have paid the money to own at their timeshare or fractional ownership resorts at these hotel brands we are all familiar with today. These owners are renting to the public because they get more money back this way than trying to get an equal exchange through an independent exchange company because these exchanges are not available because the owners at similar resorts rather rent their week out too. When the exchange fees keep rising the way they are, people will find other ways to get what they want.

On the other hand, I see less perks being offered with the original purchase contract at new resorts so these perks will not be passed on to the re-sale buyer automatically. These perks will have to be bought again from the developer at extra fees, if they even let you do this. Don't kid yourself because the developers are watching this trend already and they will do anything to stop the re-sale market from growing faster than it is already with the Internet. All the developers have to do is finding a better way to market their merchandise to the general public so the gap will no longer be that great between wholesale and retail prices. That would be ideal for everyone concerned who wants to own a timeshare condo in the future.
 

JimC

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Agree with others who indicated that much depends on where you want to go and how you want to vacation. For the list offered -- and noting that these are all good brands -- here are my votes:

#1 Marriott: Consistently high quality product and service, large resort base, good resale value if bought at first offering from developer or resale. Hurt somewhat by less flexible floating week system, high fees and no internal trade system.

#2 Hilton: Flexible points system and consistent high service. Hurt by smaller resort base and inconsistent product quality (last item based on my experience with their hotels).

#3 Starwood: Only familiar with hotel system where my experience is that it is a solid option and reliable brand; but nothing sets them apart from the competition

#4 Hyatt: Only familiar with the hotel system and never really liked them all that much -- consistent problems with queues for elevators mar a solid brand.

As others have added DVC to their comments I will add them as well. DVC has consistently top quality product and service, great flexible point system, deeded RTU program, high resale values, one call for any reservations/trades, but small resort base -- ideal for Disney vacations with nice options for beach property in Vero Beach and Hilton Head, no direct access to II and expensive program. I would list them tied with Marriott for different reasons.
 

tomandrobin

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I too would add that DVC would be my top choice, if that was an option. The only two complaints I have with them is number of resorts and high MF's. However, they have consistantly retained their value, even increased over time. Not many timeshares can make that claim. Of course, that will change one day, but when...nobody knows.
 

ArtsieAng

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I own Marriott's and Sheraton's so I will only comment on those two.

1) Marriott.....for the number of resorts, and their locations. Also, I like the fact that I can book a week, and deposit it on-line into II, without being hassled.

2) It can be difficult getting a decent week to deposit into II. Unlike Marriott, Sheraton space banks, and does not like giving out good weeks for deposit into II. They can go as far as trying to give you a week out of your season, or even a different resort.

Also, at present, they don't have as many locations. I do however like their resorts. Which is why I bought in the first place.
 
S

Steamboat Bill

If I were in the market again today, I would seriously consider buying into a vacation club and not own anything anymore. You stop paying your membership fees and you are free of all obligations right there and then just like with any other club you belong to but you have hopefully enjoyed some of the most incredible vacations while you were a member of that club and it would have cost you the equivalent or a lot more if you had rented similar accommodations privately so you got your monies worth.
What vacation club do you like?
 

Fredm

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I have been holding off on my votes, especially since I had not been to all the different Hotel based timeshares.

But here it goes..........

#1 Starwood....I do like the flexibility of the Staroptions. They have the locations we want St. John, Atlantis, Hawaii, Arizona. They have nice fall back resorts in case we don't want or can't go to any of the "prime" resorts. The are adding new resorts in the right locations.

#Marriott....I am giving them the nod here only because of the number of resorts and loctions. I don't like that there is no internal trading system. I don't like that multiple week owners can bump, lock-out single week owners by giving them extra time to reserve peak weeks.

#3 Hyatt....Only been to one resort, was not impressed. System look good, easy to use and understand. Need more locations besides the main three.

#4 Hilton...I just don't like that Paris girl!
Marriott DOES have an internal trading program. They simply use I.I. as the internal exchange mechanism. In fact, it is likely the most successful internal exchange program among the hotel companies. While Starwood allows a 3 day trade exclusive to Starwood owners, Marriott provides for a 24 day exchange exclusive. Starwood only permits Options trading at 8 months. Marriott trade requests can be made anytime.

RE: multiple week owners "bumping" single share owners, not true. Multiple week owners may reserve 13 months out for consecutive week reservations only. The later cancellation of any one week nullifies the entire multiple week reservation. Marriott releases 50% of inventory for this purpose. The remaining 50% is withheld for single share owners at 12 months.

So,it is not a cut and dry comparison. Starwood Options are very democratic. Options are Options. The Marriott system recognizes comparable value. The best trades go to the best deposits. Depends on what side of the stick one is on.

Finally, Marriott owners have absolute control over their reservations. Once made they may be deposited directly without interference, or substitution. If you own a Hawaii resort, the reservation week is what is deposited. And, I.I. offers an additional bonus week for the pleasure. Indeed, I.I. offers an AC for most Marriott deposits.
This extends to the Request First option. Marriott owners routinely exercise the RF. When combined with the 24 day exclusive on other Marriott deposits, Marriott owners routinely enjoy trades to other Marriott resorts without having to surrender their valued reservation before confirming the trade.

I am not disparaging the Starwood system, just getting the comparative facts on the table.

Fred
 
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