• The TUGBBS forums are completely free and open to the public and exist as the absolute best place for owners to get help and advice about their timeshares for more than 30 years!

    Join Tens of Thousands of other Owners just like you here to get any and all Timeshare questions answered 24 hours a day!
  • TUG started 30 years ago in October 1993 as a group of regular Timeshare owners just like you!

    Read about our 30th anniversary: Happy 30th Birthday TUG!
  • TUG has a YouTube Channel to produce weekly short informative videos on popular Timeshare topics!

    Free memberships for every 50 subscribers!

    Visit TUG on Youtube!
  • TUG has now saved timeshare owners more than $21,000,000 dollars just by finding us in time to rescind a new Timeshare purchase! A truly incredible milestone!

    Read more here: TUG saves owners more than $21 Million dollars
  • Sign up to get the TUG Newsletter for free!

    60,000+ subscribing owners! A weekly recap of the best Timeshare resort reviews and the most popular topics discussed by owners!
  • Our official "end my sales presentation early" T-shirts are available again! Also come with the option for a free membership extension with purchase to offset the cost!

    All T-shirt options here!
  • A few of the most common links here on the forums for newbies and guests!

Westin Desert Willow - Considering Ownership

go4bal

newbie
Joined
Dec 31, 2015
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Los Angeles
Hello,

My family and I have stayed at the Westin Desert Willow a few times and I am considering purchasing a timeshare resale.

We primarily want to visit in the high season in March - April and would plan to visit a few times a year, for a few days at a time. Since there are only three of us most of the time, we would only need a one bedroom.

I have never owned a timeshare before. I am curious about the Star Options or Points that I could use to book the villa.

Also, how difficult is it to book the villas during March and April?

The main reason to purchase a timeshare at this location would that it potentially could save on cost and have the ability to use at different Westin Villa locations. In the past we have used SPG points and paid nightly.

Any recommendations or suggestions or event advise would be most appreciated.

Thank you in advance.

David
 

DeniseM

Moderator
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Messages
57,957
Reaction score
9,480
Points
1,849
Resorts Owned
WKORV, WKV, 2-SDO, 4-Kauai Beach Villas, Island Park Village (Yellowstone), Hyatt High Sierra, Dolphin's Cove (Anaheim)
If you buy a WDW timeshare on the resale market, you will get a 1 week to use each year at the resort, but no Staroptions or Starpoints.

You will not be able to use the Starwood Vacation Network.

This resort has 3 seasons - you must own a deed in a season, to book that season.

Plat Plus = weeks 1-21, and 50-52
Gold Plus = weeks 22-27, 36-49
Gold = weeks 28-35

Here is the Starwood FAQ to get you started: http://www.tugbbs.com/forums/showthread.php?t=63224

At the very bottom of the FAQ it explains the difference between buying from the developer and on the resale market at a voluntary resort. WDW is a voluntary resort.
 
Last edited:

go4bal

newbie
Joined
Dec 31, 2015
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Los Angeles
Would it be worthwhile buying at a property that has the StarOptions points and then using it at the Villas in Palm Desert?

Is there a specific benefit to owning at the resort in which you want to stay?

David
 

DeniseM

Moderator
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Messages
57,957
Reaction score
9,480
Points
1,849
Resorts Owned
WKORV, WKV, 2-SDO, 4-Kauai Beach Villas, Island Park Village (Yellowstone), Hyatt High Sierra, Dolphin's Cove (Anaheim)
You can get a timeshare at WDW for free.

A timeshare with Staroptions will be more expensive, because it has Staroptions.

At your home resort you can make your reservation at 12 mos. out.

With Staroptions you can't make a reservation until 8 mos. and there is no guarantee that it will be available.

Sent from my BNTV400 using Tapatalk
 

go4bal

newbie
Joined
Dec 31, 2015
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Los Angeles
Is it difficult to use Staroptions at a resort during high season making reservations 8 months out? Is there opportunities to make reservations last minutes or within weeks or months of the reservation date?
 

okwiater

TUG Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2010
Messages
1,705
Reaction score
271
Points
293
Resorts Owned
WKV 2B Plat+ (x2)
WSJ 3B Plat+ (VGV/BV)
WLR 2B Plat+ Oceanside
SMV 2B Plat+
Sheraton Flex (x2)
Is it difficult to use Staroptions at a resort during high season making reservations 8 months out? Is there opportunities to make reservations last minutes or within weeks or months of the reservation date?

It is difficult at the most popular resorts during the most popular weeks, but I'm not sure WDW is that tough. Others may chime in with their experiences, but I usually see plenty of availability there 8 months prior to check-in.

Typically the availability will diminish as you get closer to check-in. However, there is often a surge of inventory which becomes available 61-90 days prior to check-in because 61 days is the cancellation deadline in order to retain unrestricted use of the StarOptions. I would say last-minute availability is an anomaly and not the norm.
 

DeniseM

Moderator
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Messages
57,957
Reaction score
9,480
Points
1,849
Resorts Owned
WKORV, WKV, 2-SDO, 4-Kauai Beach Villas, Island Park Village (Yellowstone), Hyatt High Sierra, Dolphin's Cove (Anaheim)
Also - Starwood can confiscate any available inventory at 60 days, if they want it.

If you want to visit WDW every year, you can acquire a free timeshare on the resale market, and there is no need for Staroptions.

If you want to visit other Starwood timeshares you need to buy a timeshare with Staroptions and that is a different strategy, and will be more expensive. But not a lot more expensive if you buy in the mandatory phases of Sheraton Vistana Village.

Hiw difficult it is to make Staroption reservations varies widely:

The prime school holidays are usually difficult.

The resorts in Florida are available most of the time, because there is so much availability.

Resorts like Maui, and Harborside can be difficult or impossible, depending on the season. For instance, there is zero availability at Harborside for the summer of 2016.

So before you buy, you really need to know where you want to go and what your travel goals are.

Sent from my BNTV400 using Tapatalk
 
Last edited:

grgs

TUG Review Crew
TUG Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Messages
2,255
Reaction score
168
Points
423
Location
Oceanside, CA
Resorts Owned
WKV, SDO, WLR, So Cal Beach Club
We primarily want to visit in the high season in March - April and would plan to visit a few times a year, for a few days at a time. Since there are only three of us most of the time, we would only need a one bedroom.

I have never owned a timeshare before. I am curious about the Star Options or Points that I could use to book the villa.

Also, how difficult is it to book the villas during March and April?

I just did a spot check on a few dates combos in March/April 2016 and was able to find availability in 1 bedroom units at both WDW & WMH (Westin Mission Hills). Would you be open to WMH in addition to WDW? Also, are you looking to only book the larger one bedroom units? Or, would either one bedroom size work for you? Buying a resale unit with StarOptions would allow you to reserve short stays at WDW (or WMH). The earlier you book (starting at 8 mos. out), the more options you will have.

As Denise points out, a resale unit with SOs may cost more, but will give you greater flexibility.

You may able to pick up a WDW plat plus resale fairly inexpensively, but that won't come with SOs. You would only be able to book week long stays in your season. OTOH, a plat plus resale at WDW, may well not be free. I expect you could get either a gold plus or gold season week for free or close to it, but I'm wouldn't assume that about a plat plus unit without research.

Keep in mind that March/April is high season, and you will need a fair amount of SOs to make reservations. On the plus side, you only need one bedroom units. Can you travel mid-week? If so, that would also bring down the SOs needed.

Here are some reservations that are available now for 2016 (keep in mind that we're only about 3 months out):

WDW

Mar. 4-7 (Fri-Mon), 1 bed prem: 44,250; 1 bed: 36,925
Mar. 7-10 (Mon-Thur), 1 bed: 20,100
Mar. 31-Apr. 3 (Thur-Sun), 1 bed: 36,925
Apr. 12-15 (Tues-Fri), 1 bed prem: 28,350; 1 bed: 23,475

WMH
Mar. 7-11 (Mon-Fri), 1 bed: 30,175

So, depending on your plans, a resale unit at SVV for either 95,700 or 81,000 SOs, would likely allow you to accomplish what you'd like (3 three-day stays at WDW (or WMH) in a one bedroom unit). Of course, if all stays need to be on weekends and/or in the larger one bedroom unit, then 95,700 SOs will not be enough. You can divide the SVV mf & SVN fee by the number of nights you're likely to reserve, and decide whether or not the per night cost is better than what you're spending now. Of course, don't forget to consider your upfront purchase cost (which should'nt be huge).

Best wishes,

Glorian
 
Last edited:

lizap

TUG Member
Joined
May 26, 2013
Messages
1,949
Reaction score
240
Points
173
Location
Louisiana
As you may know, the smaller 1 bedroom at WDW is very nice and relatively large, approximately 600 sf. We're here now in the larger 1 bedroom and love this resort. I think you should be able to get what you want here with SOs at 8 months out during high season.
 

go4bal

newbie
Joined
Dec 31, 2015
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Los Angeles
Thank you everyone for your input.

From what I am reading from the posts above, if I just buy a resale at WDW or WMH, I would have to use 1 week at a time for stays and only at the resort of the timeshare. This would likely be a fairly low cost and would just add the maint fees. Could I split up days- use 4 nights and then 3 nights later? Could I use each 1 bedroom lock offs during different times?

If I was to buy a resale that included Staroptions I would have more options to stay at different locations and could stay at a few nights at a time if I like. The cost of this option is higher.

It appears if I buy at a resort with Staroptions should I look at a resort with the lowest maint fees with the highest amount of Staroptions. Would the type of timeshare Gold or Platinum matter if I have Staroptions added (other than the amount of points). In other words if I buy a gold timeshare with starpoints can i book during platinum season - and maybe just take a 1 bedroom?

Does that make sense?

Thanks again.

David
 
Last edited:

clotheshorse

TUG Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2014
Messages
200
Reaction score
15
Points
128
Location
Southern California
Resorts Owned
Vistana (VV x 2), Hyatt KW, Hilton (3x), Tahiti Village
As you may know, the smaller 1 bedroom at WDW is very nice and relatively large, approximately 600 sf. We're here now in the larger 1 bedroom and love this resort. I think you should be able to get what you want here with SOs at 8 months out during high season.

I'm arriving tomorrow and staying in an one bedroom premium. I'm looking forward to the stay as I usually stay at WMH.
 

DavidnRobin

TUG Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2005
Messages
11,822
Reaction score
2,237
Points
698
Location
San Francisco Bay Area
Resorts Owned
WKORV OFD (Maui)
WPORV (Kauai)
WSJ-VGV (St. John)
WKV (Scottsdale)
The resale cost of a SVN Mandatory resort (one that comes with SOs upon resale) are much higher - especially relative to SVN Voluntary that have little value.

If buying SVN Mandatory Plat vs. Gold - consider Plat there is value that is not realized in these discussions. I own 2 resale WKV Plat 1Bd large (81K SO each) that have paid for themselves - and still can be sold for what I paid on resale market.

IMO YMMV
 

DeniseM

Moderator
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Messages
57,957
Reaction score
9,480
Points
1,849
Resorts Owned
WKORV, WKV, 2-SDO, 4-Kauai Beach Villas, Island Park Village (Yellowstone), Hyatt High Sierra, Dolphin's Cove (Anaheim)
Thank you everyone for your input.

From what I am reading from the posts above, if I just buy a resale at WDW or WMH, I would have to use 1 week at a time for stays and only at the resort of the timeshare. This would likely be a fairly low cost and would just add the maint fees. Could I split up days- use 4 nights and then 3 nights later?

No - you have to make reservations of 7 nights.

Could I use each 1 bedroom lock offs during different times?

Yes

Would the type of timeshare Gold or Platinum matter if I have Staroptions added (other than the amount of points). In other words if I buy a gold timeshare with starpoints can i book during platinum season - and maybe just take a 1 bedroom?

It makes a great deal of difference, because if you buy Gold season, instead of Plat season, you pay the SAME maintenance fee, but you get far fewer Staroptions. So Gold deeds are often a poor value.
 
Last edited:

DeniseM

Moderator
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Messages
57,957
Reaction score
9,480
Points
1,849
Resorts Owned
WKORV, WKV, 2-SDO, 4-Kauai Beach Villas, Island Park Village (Yellowstone), Hyatt High Sierra, Dolphin's Cove (Anaheim)
The resale cost of a SVN Mandatory resort (one that comes with SOs upon resale) are much higher - especially relative to SVN Voluntary that have little value.

With one exception - you can often get high season mandatory deeds at Sheraton Vistana Villages for free or nearly free:

* Vistana Villages (Bella and Key West phases only)
 
Last edited:

grgs

TUG Review Crew
TUG Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Messages
2,255
Reaction score
168
Points
423
Location
Oceanside, CA
Resorts Owned
WKV, SDO, WLR, So Cal Beach Club
The resale cost of a SVN Mandatory resort (one that comes with SOs upon resale) are much higher - especially relative to SVN Voluntary that have little value.

Generally, what David says above is true. However, I think your proposed purchase decision may be an exception. I would not be surprised if a resale (voluntary) plat plus week at WDW or WMH actually costs more than than a resale mandatory week at SVV (see Denise's comment below). You might be able to find a plat plus week at WDW or WMH for little to no cost, but you could be waiting a while.

With one exception - you can often get high season mandatory deeds at Sheraton Vistana Villages for free or nearly free:

* Vistana Villages (Bella and Key West phases only)
 
Top