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Vistana closes WLR, tells us to cancel. I'm refusing. What next?

bobpark56

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Vistana today closed Westin Lagunamar until the end of May. We were booked for a 3 May arrival. They are telling us to cancel and take the standard treatment for refunded StarOptions. I'm refusing. I don't like the forced 120-day window, as I can't fit that into our planning. So...what's likely to happen now?
 

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Hi Bob, when I called to cancel our unit at Nanea a few days before the 60 day window (to get all of points back) they claimed if for any reason (including resort closure) there would be no exceptions to restoring the StarOptions (Or HomeOptions in our case) to ones without restrictions. It's worth asking, but unfortunately I think this is a huge downside of being a timeshare owner. Good luck on this and hope they will do something for you..
 

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If you don't cancel, you will most likely be treated as a no show (even though the resort is closed) and your StarOptions used for the reservation will be gone.
 

bobpark56

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Hi Bob, when I called to cancel our unit at Nanea a few days before the 60 day window (to get all of points back) they claimed if for any reason (including resort closure) there would be no exceptions to restoring the StarOptions (Or HomeOptions in our case) to ones without restrictions. It's worth asking, but unfortunately I think this is a huge downside of being a timeshare owner. Good luck on this and hope they will do something for you..
Well, back in the old days before MCCI bought Vistana, Vistana was much more owner-friendly. We had rented out a Westin St John unit via Vacation Candy, and then the hurricanes struck. VC told us we owed the renter a refund, so we ponied up. The good new was that Vistana refunded all our StarOptions and gave us more than 2 years to use them...with no restrictions such as a 120-day window. MVCI, by way of comparison, did no such thing for its Frenchman's Cove owners. Vistana is now owned by MVCI, and the good guys and gals at Vistana have had their hands tied. It's live by MVCI rules now.
I love the Marriott resorts too, but their vacation club management is ugly.
 

bobpark56

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If you don't cancel, you will most likely be treated as a no show (even though the resort is closed) and your StarOptions used for the reservation will be gone.
How can they treat us as no-shows when the Mexican Government has prohibited us from checking in?
 

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IMO 180 day window for these SOs would be a much better compromise. I do not see how this would create a big availability issue since week owners and SVN exchangers would still have 12-6 months of a normal booking experience. 4 months are not sufficient for a proper travel planning.
 

TravelTime

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Vistana today closed Westin Lagunamar until the end of May. We were booked for a 3 May arrival. They are telling us to cancel and take the standard treatment for refunded StarOptions. I'm refusing. I don't like the forced 120-day window, as I can't fit that into our planning. So...what's likely to happen now?

If they are canceling on you, why don’t they give you a regular refund of StarOptions without restrictions?
 

dioxide45

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If they are canceling on you, why don’t they give you a regular refund of StarOptions without restrictions?
Because that isn't their policy. Unrestricted options can be banked. A lot of people will already be banking 2020 StarOptions. We will likely see lockups on inventory in 2021/2022. By limiting the checkin date to 120, they are still giving them something to use after those with current use year options.
 

canesfan

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Because that isn't their policy. Unrestricted options can be banked. A lot of people will already be banking 2020 StarOptions. We will likely see lockups on inventory in 2021/2022. By limiting the checkin date to 120, they are still giving them something to use after those with current use year options.

Versus those owners who are lucky enough to cancel within 60 days and bank? This is for a select few who get caught in the less than 60 day window, not the entire system. Yet I keep seeing this excuse used constantly. Banking is going to happen this year. You are just penalizing those with reservations in March, April and May who were caught off guard and were within the 60 day window before all of this became obvious. Just my .02


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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I am not saying it is the case here but a lot of those that were renting SVN reservations got caught in this. A four months window is not a enough time to rent even in good times. Not to mention, if everything left within the 4 month window is Orlando, it will be impossible to even break even. It is not impossible Vistana wanted to hurt those first but it is hurting everyone in this situation.

To the OP: May is not hard to book at Laguanamar. Do you think you will have a problem using your SOs at Lagunamar next year to replace the week you are losing now?
 

bobpark56

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I am not saying it is the case here but a lot of those that were renting SVN reservations got caught in this. A four months window is not a enough time to rent even in good times. Not to mention, if everything left within the 4 month window is Orlando, it will be impossible to even break even. It is not impossible Vistana wanted to hurt those first but it is hurting everyone in this situation.

To the OP: May is not hard to book at Laguanamar. Do you think you will have a problem using your SOs at Lagunamar next year to replace the week you are losing now?
Not if it's a may week (13 nights, actually). I would take that offer.
 

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Not if it's a may week (13 nights, actually). I would take that offer.
would you be OK with a 6 months window instead of 4? I am curious because I do not think Vistana would go to 8 months, it would create too many inventory problems especially since nobody knows how long this is going to last.
 
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TravelTime

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Because that isn't their policy. Unrestricted options can be banked. A lot of people will already be banking 2020 StarOptions. We will likely see lockups on inventory in 2021/2022. By limiting the checkin date to 120, they are still giving them something to use after those with current use year options.

Let’s use this as an example to make sure I understand. If I had made a reservation one year ago for June 1st, let’s say, and I canceled 60 days before, then I would get my SOs back unrestricted the same as before. But if I cancel with less than 60 days, I get them back as restricted SOs with a 120 day window due to coronavirus. Is this correct so far? However, if Vistana cancels, I get them back as restricted options with a 120 day use window, even though I did not cancel?
 

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Let’s use this as an example to make sure I understand. If I had made a reservation one year ago for June 1st, let’s say, and I canceled 60 days before, then I would get my SOs back unrestricted the same as before. But if I cancel with less than 60 days, I get them back as restricted SOs with a 120 day window due to coronavirus. Is this correct so far? However, if Vistana cancels, I get them back as restricted options with a 120 day use window, even though I did not cancel?

I think you summarized it correctly
 

dioxide45

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Let’s use this as an example to make sure I understand. If I had made a reservation one year ago for June 1st, let’s say, and I canceled 60 days before, then I would get my SOs back unrestricted the same as before. But if I cancel with less than 60 days, I get them back as restricted SOs with a 120 day window due to coronavirus. Is this correct so far? However, if Vistana cancels, I get them back as restricted options with a 120 day use window, even though I did not cancel?
That is the policy. I am not saying it is right or wrong, but they are being pretty consistent with it, regardless of who cancels. The impact on future inventory is the same, regardless of who cancels.
 

bizaro86

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would you be OK with a 6 months window instead of 4? I am curious because I do not think Vistana would go to 8 months, it would create too many inventory problems especially since nobody knows how long this is going to last.

How would you propose to reach someone at vistana with authority to negotiate that?
 

JIMinNC

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Well, back in the old days before MCCI bought Vistana, Vistana was much more owner-friendly. We had rented out a Westin St John unit via Vacation Candy, and then the hurricanes struck. VC told us we owed the renter a refund, so we ponied up. The good new was that Vistana refunded all our StarOptions and gave us more than 2 years to use them...with no restrictions such as a 120-day window. MVCI, by way of comparison, did no such thing for its Frenchman's Cove owners. Vistana is now owned by MVCI, and the good guys and gals at Vistana have had their hands tied. It's live by MVCI rules now.
I love the Marriott resorts too, but their vacation club management is ugly.

I'm not a Vistana owner, but thinking about how all timeshare systems work, comparing what they were able to do for St John bookings after the hurricanes and the current situation is not the same. With the hurricanes, there were only a few locations impacted, so they may have felt there would be enough slack in the overall system over two years, that the cancelled reservations could be covered without risking having too many points chasing too little availability. The current situation on the other hand, impacts their entire system, so if you push a whole bunch of 2020 StarOptions into 2021 on an unrestricted basis, there likely won't be enough slack in the system to allow people to book what they own. By limiting to 120 days, they at least allow the 2021 points to get priority for people who use those points before 120 days out.

You are right this is clearly a policy that Marriott Vacations Worldwide is instituting across their brands, but it may be rooted in necessity and the way I look at it, can't be compared to the more limited hurricane situation.
 

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How would you propose to reach someone at vistana with authority to negotiate that?
I think the owners can email board relationship dept. But the issue for now is that I am not sure owners would be happy with anything short of full rights for all the points in question and that is probably not going to happen.

I am also curious if the owners that did not have to cancel reservations would be OK with a 6 month window for the restricted points. Personally, I am OK with that.
 
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bizaro86

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You are right this is clearly a policy that Marriott Vacations Worldwide is instituting across their brands, but it may be rooted in necessity and the way I look at it, can't be compared to the more limited hurricane situation.

I think its worth noting that MVW had the least customer friendly response to the hurricanes.

Now it has the least customer friendly response to covid, and the brand it bought used to be more customer friendly than it is.

Worldmark and Holiday Inn have both given owners back unrestricted points from covid cancellations, even at the last minute where there would normally be penalties.

I think the fact that MVW brands are consistently the least accommodating during hard times is worth noting.
 

DannyTS

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I just received an email from Westin Lagunamar that says exactly that.
I am surprised you received the email from Lagunamar instead of Vistana.
 

JIMinNC

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I think its worth noting that MVW had the least customer friendly response to the hurricanes.

Now it has the least customer friendly response to covid, and the brand it bought used to be more customer friendly than it is.

Worldmark and Holiday Inn have both given owners back unrestricted points from covid cancellations, even at the last minute where there would normally be penalties.

I think the fact that MVW brands are consistently the least accommodating during hard times is worth noting.

I don't disagree about the MVW hurricane response since we were impacted by that response in Hilton Head with Hurricane Irma in 2017. We had an II booking canceled and our space given to displaced MVC owners from HHI resorts that were closed, according to info received at the time. My point was simply the hurricane situations and what is going on now aren't apples-to-apples situations - one was geographically localized, the other universal.

I know nothing about the Worldmark and Holiday Inn systems, so don't know how their system structure might give them more inventory flexibility or if they are just kicking the can down the road and will deal with the folks who can't use their points due to no inventory next year. If every week/point is backed up by a specific interval somewhere I don't see how you can just allow a huge chunk of owners to move a bunch of points into a future year without significant downstream repercussions. Maybe they have a way, but it's above my pay grade.
 

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. . . My point was simply the hurricane situations and what is going on now aren't apples-to-apples situations - one was geographically localized, the other universal.

. . . If every week/point is backed up by a specific interval somewhere I don't see how you can just allow a huge chunk of owners to move a bunch of points into a future year without significant downstream repercussions.

And those two points I believe are either lost or ignored by the throngs of people complaining about the cancellation policies being implemented with the StarOption 120-day use restriction. Both the 120-day, instead of 60-day, and extended expiration are relaxed policies but Vistana is not receiving any credit for those. If Vistana allowed reinstatement of the StarOptions/Weeks with no restrictions it would negatively impact other owners who did not cancel within 60 days of the reservation.

Yes, I know I am in the minority in my opinion. And I'm sure there will be negative replies to this post. I do not plan on arguing this point. I'm just making the point.
 

Ken555

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And those two points I believe are either lost or ignored by the throngs of people complaining about the cancellation policies being implemented with the StarOption 120-day use restriction. Both the 120-day, instead of 60-day, and extended expiration are relaxed policies but Vistana is not receiving any credit for those. If Vistana allowed reinstatement of the StarOptions/Weeks with no restrictions it would negatively impact other owners who did not cancel within 60 days of the reservation.

Yes, I know I am in the minority in my opinion. And I'm sure there will be negative replies to this post. I do not plan on arguing this point. I'm just making the point.

I agree. I believe it’s also worth mentioning that timeshares, unlike hotels, are a deeded vacation time use agreement and if circumstances outside your control negatively impact your ability to use your time, you would in many scenarios simply lose that time altogether. If you had a second vacation property you would continue to pay expenses for it during this time even though you couldn’t visit, rent it, etc.

At this point, I would be wary of any reservations for end of June, July and even beyond and if anyone here has one I suggest considering canceling before the >60 day window ends resulting in restricted options if you cancel closer to departure. For example, I have no confidence in Hawaii loosening their 14 day self quarantine restrictions soon, but that’s just my opinion. If anyone risks it by keeping a reservation, at any resort, I would think VSN would be within their rights to reverse the temporary policy and go back to restricted options with a 60 day window even with an extended expiration date. I agree with those who worry that there will be too much demand for availability as it is, and while I wouldn’t want anyone to suffer more because of this pandemic, there is only so much inventory and it’s inevitable that some will suffer more than others.
 
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