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Should We Buy Westin Club TS?

beachdora

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1) Is there a vacation destination you wish to visit most of the time or on a regular basis? if so where?
- No! :) We hope to explore far and wide. So flexibility and true availability in varied locations would be key. We heard we should then buy in Mexico (but not where we want to go) for the low cost and MF but not sure if this would give us the flexibility we want. We would not want to get 'stuck' with a week we have no desire to use.

2) Do you want to visit your home resort at least half the time, or do you want to trade more than half the time?
- We would probably want to trade more than half the time

3) What are your 5 top trade destinations?
- Europe/Beachside/Asia. We live in southern Cal and can get to lot of places in the US 'on our own' pretty easily

4) How many people do you usually travel with - total, including yourself?
- 4

5) Can you travel any time, or are you locked into the school schedule?
- We are locked into the school schedule :( will be for the next 8 years or so

6) Can you make firm plans 12 or more mos. in advance?
- Yes. More or less.

7) Can you vacation for a full week at a time?
- Yes. We actually hope to vacation for at least one week at a time

8) What level of accommodations do you prefer on a scale of 1 to 5 stars?
- If we are taking the plunge with TS, it would be to save $$ on taking vacations in guaranteed nice accommodations, without having to spend hours researching different hotels looking for that elusive deal. We are assuming Westin villas would be pretty nice everywhere. Or are we wrong? It would be for our annual 'splurge' vacation. :)
We almost bought while staying at the Westin Maui Villas but a friend who used to have Hilton TS said, DONT DO IT! Or if you do, at least buy resale. Wise man. :)
Not sure what would be a wise deal for a 1bdroom TS on resale.

9) How much can you afford to spend upfront, without financing?
- that depends. we would like to spend less than <20K. And now that we've skimmed the resale market, that number seems absurdly high

10) How much can you afford to spend every year for a maintenance fee that will come due right after Christmas, and increase each year?
- <1000-1500

11) Are you a detail oriented planner?
- I can be when properly motivated! Saving an appreciable sum on guaranteed nice accommodations would definitely motivate me. But I don't enjoy spending ALOT of time on planning. Too many choices out there.

12) Do you understand that once you buy a timeshare, it may be very difficult to sell or give away, and you are responsible for all fees, until you do?
- Yes. Can we just walk away from them? If so, would these possibly pay itself off in several years so we don't at least lose too much money if we do? We don't plan to. We hope we would love and be able to really used the program to meet our needs for years. We actually thought deeding it to our kids would be a boon but it sounds like folks feel this is more actually a burden?
 

vacationtime1

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Two initial thoughts:

1. Don't buy in Mexico. Oversupply there. Trading them is difficult (trading in is not).

2. You will want a two bedroom unit if you will be traveling with two kids.
 

beachdora

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Thank you, Robert! The 2bdroom units seemed almost too much! Seemed too decadent. :) But you are probably right.
At the sales presentation, the rep mentioned 94 villa location choices but we don't see nearly that many on the Westin Club website so bit confused? I don't see any in Europe or Asia.
 

Bill4728

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Westin TS are now owned by Marriott BUT there are a handful of TS that are operated by other TS companies in Westin branded resorts. Like the TS resort in the Westin hotel in Whistler, It is operated by a different TS company. Be sure that isn't what you're thinking of buying. If you want to buy a Westin TS buy the one in Scottsdale. Not cheap but not expensive and can use their points (Staroptions) at any of the Westin & Sheraton TS in the system. Maybe also in the Marriott system once they join together(??)

Starting from nothing I consider a Hilton TS (HGVC) and because they just bought Diamond Resorts (DRI) your likely to be able to visit all the HGVC TS and the DRI resorts too without trading.

Good Luck
 

marmite

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I'm not sure what you had seen, as the Westin and Sheraton timeshare products are under the same company -- are you looking at the Vistana website? They are making it look like the Westin and Sheraton 'clubs' are separate, but they aren't. If you are interested in Vistana, you will need to do some research into which resort you will consider owning, some are considered "Mandatory" (when you buy resale) and allow you to trade within the Vistana resorts using a points system, and some only allow you to book the specific resort you have purchased. I have never found that to be limiting though, as I trade my (Vistana) weeks to anywhere using Interval International.

Looking at the destinations you are interested in, I would suggest looking at Marriott as well. They have a few locations in Europe (France & Spain) as well as Asia (Thailand only). If those specific resorts/regions don't appeal to you, you can gain access to many others by trading your week through Interval International. Important things to note for trading in Interval International, is that Vistana and Marriott owners have 'preference' to see and book within their own brand before others can. So if you choose Vistana or Marriott, you are going to have 'first dibs' on weeks that are deposited. The other great thing is that Vistana and Marriott get 'second dibs' (as it were) to the other brand. The trade fee inside Interval also drops to $154 if you are trading within those two brands.

Hyatt has some beautiful beach destinations, and also in Thailand. Hyatt owners seem to be very happy and they have very desirable locations. There is also a points component to owning those weeks, so you can trade within Hyatt or choose to deposit and trade them within Interval International (I believe people often are able to trade for more than a week when depositing into Interval).

There are many on TUG who own where they want to stay, and also people like me who have never stayed where they own. Instead, they use their ownership as a 'vehicle' to trade through Interval International or RCI to other brands and locations in the world. When you start timesharing, you will not think a 2 bedroom is decadent, you may even start to expect it. It is amazing having your kids in another room, keeping to their nap schedule (when they're little) and having their own TV in their room. Using one of the trading companies, upgrading from a one bedroom to two bedroom may only be $100 or less.

The biggest challenge you may find, is working around the school schedule. Everyone wants the summer weeks, spring break and Christmas vacation in the right destination. For this reason alone, some people buy Hilton Head for summer weeks, or a Hawaii Christmas week, or ski weeks to make sure they can go there again and again at that same time.

Good luck with your search, there is plenty to learn but you've come to the right place.
 

beachdora

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I'm not sure what you had seen, as the Westin and Sheraton timeshare products are under the same company -- are you looking at the Vistana website? They are making it look like the Westin and Sheraton 'clubs' are separate, but they aren't. If you are interested in Vistana, you will need to do some research into which resort you will consider owning, some are considered "Mandatory" (when you buy resale) and allow you to trade within the Vistana resorts using a points system, and some only allow you to book the specific resort you have purchased. I have never found that to be limiting though, as I trade my (Vistana) weeks to anywhere using Interval International.

Looking at the destinations you are interested in, I would suggest looking at Marriott as well. They have a few locations in Europe (France & Spain) as well as Asia (Thailand only). If those specific resorts/regions don't appeal to you, you can gain access to many others by trading your week through Interval International. Important things to note for trading in Interval International, is that Vistana and Marriott owners have 'preference' to see and book within their own brand before others can. So if you choose Vistana or Marriott, you are going to have 'first dibs' on weeks that are deposited. The other great thing is that Vistana and Marriott get 'second dibs' (as it were) to the other brand. The trade fee inside Interval also drops to $154 if you are trading within those two brands.

Hyatt has some beautiful beach destinations, and also in Thailand. Hyatt owners seem to be very happy and they have very desirable locations. There is also a points component to owning those weeks, so you can trade within Hyatt or choose to deposit and trade them within Interval International (I believe people often are able to trade for more than a week when depositing into Interval).

There are many on TUG who own where they want to stay, and also people like me who have never stayed where they own. Instead, they use their ownership as a 'vehicle' to trade through Interval International or RCI to other brands and locations in the world. When you start timesharing, you will not think a 2 bedroom is decadent, you may even start to expect it. It is amazing having your kids in another room, keeping to their nap schedule (when they're little) and having their own TV in their room. Using one of the trading companies, upgrading from a one bedroom to two bedroom may only be $100 or less.

The biggest challenge you may find, is working around the school schedule. Everyone wants the summer weeks, spring break and Christmas vacation in the right destination. For this reason alone, some people buy Hilton Head for summer weeks, or a Hawaii Christmas week, or ski weeks to make sure they can go there again and again at that same time.

Good luck with your search, there is plenty to learn but you've come to the right place.
Thank you for the awesome reply! So helpful. I will have to research into Hyatt. We were looking at the Vistana. I did not know about the possible limitations when buying resale. Great to know.
 

beachdora

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Westin TS are now owned by Marriott BUT there are a handful of TS that are operated by other TS companies in Westin branded resorts. Like the TS resort in the Westin hotel in Whistler, It is operated by a different TS company. Be sure that isn't what you're thinking of buying. If you want to buy a Westin TS buy the one in Scottsdale. Not cheap but not expensive and can use their points (Staroptions) at any of the Westin & Sheraton TS in the system. Maybe also in the Marriott system once they join together(??)

Starting from nothing I consider a Hilton TS (HGVC) and because they just bought Diamond Resorts (DRI) your likely to be able to visit all the HGVC TS and the DRI resorts too without trading.

Good Luck
Thank you! Great info to know. So much to look into...!
 
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