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FWIW, in my completely subjective opinion, I also think WMH is "cheaper" in that it's a a bunch of 2-story buildings with stairs (no elevators). WKV has a smaller amount of land but has larger buildings with elevators - and I think the Kierland hotel is much nicer than Mission Hills, as well.
Of course, Rancho Mirage is not Scottsdale (and vice versa!).
Another thing to think about, with the OP being from Canada and all, is the cost of airfare. Flying into and out of Palm Springs airport is expensive, even for us folks here in the good ol' US of A. The cheapest airport with relatively easy driving access to Rancho Mirage is in Ontario, California, which is about a 70 minute drive to WHM.
A good 30 minutes of that 70 minute drive from ONT to WMH is in good, ol' outskirts of LA, freeway driving (where it is apparently against the law to signal lane changes, let anyone in, or drive at approximately the same speed as anyone else.)
Phoenix has heavy traffic too at times, but it just seems so much more civilized than LA traffic, and WKV is way closer to PHX than WMH is to ONT.
Also, with the Westin Desert Willow coming online in Palm Desert, WMH risks becoming the weak sister in that area (like SDO is to WKV in Scottsdale, and SMV will be to WRV in Avon).
In summary, both resorts (WMH and WKV) are very nice, but the airfare/freeway traffic issue and having access to the lazy river at that adjacent Westin Kierland hotel swings my vote to WKV.
Oh yeah, the waterslide at WMH's main timeshare pool is way, way, way better than the slide at WKV or that meandering essentially slope-free thing they call a slide at the Westin Kierland hotel. So if you are into waterslides, WMH's is the way to go. Then again, if you are into waterslides, Harborside beats 'em all, hands down.
I think WKV's villas are much nicer than WMH. They are newer and remind me a lot of the quality of WKORV. The grounds are nicer at WKV and I agree that the hotel is also nicer -- I love the lazy river! And being a bigger city, Scottsdale has a lot more to do in town and also for day trips. I also agree that it's nice that the Phoenix airport is so close to WKV. We once flew into the Palm Springs airport to go to WMH, but that is usually expensive.
I love WMH. That's all I can say. WKV is $20,000 for platinum. WMH is $7000. This thread is making the 5* WMH sounds like a piece of doo doo. It is a gorgeous resort with an awesome spa, spectacular pool and a great children's program, which is hard to find in the desert where most folks go to retire/play golf. Please go see both resorts for yourself! It is not as "new and shiny" as WKV but come on people! Get a grip. It is beautiful! So is Kierland, don't get me wrong. But old and run down is NOT the way I would describe this property at all.
I haven't been to WMH. I have been to WKV. And it is massive. It's also set in the middle of Scottsdale, so there are plenty of restaurants and shopping nearby. Of course, with the urban setting comes cars. Lots of them. The villas are very, very nice, and roomier than most.
Personally, I like smaller, more intimate places. What WMH lacks in pizzazz, it may make up for in charm. So I wouldn't brush it off. It's a strong trader in II for a reason. Of course, the big downside is that you don't get SVN membership. However, given that you can get into both HRA and WKORV via II and new developments are stalled, that's becoming less and less of a selling point, IMO.
Thank you for the input. I was recently at the WKV and was quite impressed. I appreciate the access issue, as being relatively close to the airport is in fact a major detail to consider when you cross the country ( I am from the east coast of Canada ) and travel with 3 young boys !
If you're letting the flight issue get you down, I'd like to point out that for Canadians, Palm Springs Airport (PSP) is actually really easy to get to. With daily direct flights from Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver, you can get there at approximately the same cost as getting to Phoenix (often less) by flying Westjet.
I saw your last post mentioned you're from the east, but you should be able to get to one stop flights to PSP connecting in Calgary on Westjet.
(Who almost always flies Air Canada but would fly Westjet to Palm Springs because its direct and cheaper.)