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WKORV reservations -- 365 days out but still 2nd floor?

Mookie

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Question to you owners at WKORV -- in particular, OFD category. We called last year 365 days out at 9am (had to get up at 4am in Hawaii to do it last year) for this week. When we checked in yesterday, they said our call in number was "14". I talked to the SVO rep on site, and explained that I thought that this was mathematically impossible (there are 28 phone reps, so that would have meant that 1/2 were busy taking a reservation for WKORV in the OFD category, as opposed to all the other Westin properties (WKORVN, Mexico, St John, etc. ). Anyway, the SVO rep insisted that this happened. I don't believe it, so I'm wondering what everyone's experience has been.

Perhaps more troubling is that I had requested highest floor, and when they looked someone who called after me was put in a unit higher than me. When I asked why this was, they told me that the resort ranks rooms itself, and a second floor pool view is more desirable than a third floor view that looks north (we booked our entire unit). So, basically, the SVO rep admitted that it was a waste of time (literally) to ask for a high floor. If you want a particular building, you should still request it but otherwise the resort ranks the rooms for you.

I ended my conversation with the SVO rep by telling her that this is the second time, this happened to me, and causes anxiety, disappointment, and distrust with people when they check in. Why not simply let people know their priority number when they check in? They said that there were no plans to change things.

Whew, OK, now that that is off my chest, back to enjoying vacation.
 

Henry M.

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It is hard to know everybody's exact preferences. There is little difference between 2nd and 3rd floor, but some people prefer the action by the pool while others might prefer looking towards WKORV-N. I can't remember how high the palm trees are no, but it is possible that the view on the third floor is more blocked than on the 2nd floor. In this particular case I wouldn't attribute any malice or distrust the system.

I happen to like a particular 1st floor OF unit in bldg 8 at WKORV-N. sure I like 6th floor but prefer this unit over 2nd or 3rd floor. I had a rep tell me once that I had been assigned that unit, but they moved me to a higher floor in bldg 5 to give me a better view of the ocean. She was proud of it and I accepted it, but I was actually pretty disappointed by not having the much larger patio and privacy of the unit I like. You can't please everybody all the time.
 

paluamalia

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Number 2

We are in a one bedroom sixth floor OF in the north. They told us we were the second caller we are only using the one bedroom this week. It's a great view but overlooks the pool and there is a group of very noisy kids.. At least they were yesterday...

It has taken us 6 years to get this unit with this view...we live on the east coast so we call at 9:00....

This year i tried to reserve 2/16/2013. But all OFs were gone in 5 minutes

Aloha and have a great vacation
 

DeniseM

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Remember that Elite Owners that own multiple weeks at the resort have a higher priority for view than Non-Elite single week owners.
 

canesfan

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I can't even tell you how much time my husband wasted during our vacation talking to people about our que priority and room location. When I call I always request a building and floor. Granted, it's just a request, but the reservation number is supposed to help in that equation as well. At the time that our reservation was made what didn't come into play was that I was going to have a broken leg and be on crutches. We didn't even call & try to alter our reservation since I had requested a building near the parking garage & pool, two places that we felt that I could access easily. They couldn't have positioned us anywhere further and when we requested to be moved, it was too bad so sad.

And the kicker - we are 4 star elite. I can't even tell you how frustrated we are with Starwood's customer service. No one at the front desk would help, hotel manager, my husband even insisted we went to the owner's update thinking we could get someone to give us answers there. What a joke.
 

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Sounds like I'm not alone in my frustration. It would be great if they just told you your priority number when you make the reservation. It can't be that difficult. If someone cancels they can send you an email saying you moved up. I wouldn't have been disappointed at all if I knew I was 14 when I called. I guess they don't want to have a transparent system. Mahalo.
 

DavidnRobin

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As the original poster had this specific to WKORV OFD - we own one - and just returned yesterday (Mar10) -- a few facts, thoughts, and IMOs...

Also - WKORV (WPORV) location requests have been discussed here, I even had a conversation with SC (SVP OS) and someone from Marketing about this and other topics a while back. Essentially, high floor request is automatic, and exact room/building locations are no longer taken. SVO sent info on this - this is an obvious issue for them and us. I have seen some very upset people at the front desk - some legit and some based on perceived entitlement. It was because of this SVO set a location request policy for WKORV/N and WPORV.

We were in 3529 this time (building 3, south facing over park), in 6 years of annually visits. We have been in each Building three times. We prefer B2 - mainly due to elevator right outside the OF villas going down to the workout room and exit close to BBQs (we are lazy...).

We like facing south (sun, Black Rock) - so South corner in B2 is our favorite. I have been on 6th, 5th, and 4th floors - never stayed on north side facing WKORVN. We like overlooking the pool vs the park.
btw, not for the OFD as it is mainly facing the ocean, but I would imagine facing the pirate pool and play area would be a drag for people w/o kids with them - it would be for us.

The 4th floor 2429 has a Palm right in the front of the lanai. Luckily the OFD has a huge lanai, but I found it distracting. It is true IMO, that there seem to be less tree blockage on floors 1-2 than 3-4, and essentially none on floors 5-6. In some ways, I like 5 better than 6 - as the overhang on 6 blocks the sky somewhat (this is picky). Of course my biggest worry is if we are going to have smokers below us - we have been lucky so far, but like last week's sucky weather, I figure our luck will change someday. It seemed like there was more smoking last week, but maybe just because it was more crowded than our previous visits in low season. Certainly lots of butts in the sand... sadly.

back to the OP topic... There is no Friday Checkin for OFD (I assume this is true for OFC) - this means that the villas need to be split btw Sat and Sun checkins. We have had reports that these are split around 2/3 (24 Total OFDs with 15-16 Sat, 8-9 Sun) - this is speculation, but makes sense based on observations of cleaning staff and activity. Plus, they need to deal with splitting the lock off - and this can have a ripple effect.

Weirdly, there was no one in the adjacent studio LO (Sun-Thur) - they were cleaning when we arrived Mar3 and when we're leaving Mar10.

So between the Checkin on Sat/Sun only, splitting or not of the LOs by Owners, having an owner split the LO on adjacent weeks or non-adjacent weeks - you can imagine how complicated it can get. Add in that SVO owns some of these, and there are probably fixed week/villa owners (at least in high season) - and it gets more complicated to accommodate everyone who wants floors 5-6 as there are only 8 of them, and they need to get split btw Sat/Sun.

Of course, an on-line reservation system may help to alleviate some of these issues.

There are less trees outside than in years past - especially those ones with the nasty thorns - so less blockage over all. Again, it seems like floors 1-2 look below the foliage on the palms and trees - with 3-4 having more blockage.

I agree there can be anxiety on where you may end up - although it is all good in a relative-sense since the OFDs are great villas - we absolutely love the panoramic view and understand why the MFs are higher per sqft. Seeing the whales right off the beach was fabulous, but comes with more crowding. For those that have read this far - we used W5Star's advice have reserved the studio first, and had the reservationist reserve the 1Bd for the following week. (shhhh) It seemed to workout since I didn't get connected right away (actually got disconnected) when I called in at 6am a year ago and 1Bds were gone (you can figure out the rest...)

I am always amazed how little the lanais seem to get used - we are on ours a lot of the time when at the villa. BTW - they took the lounge chairs off of the OFs and replaced with a table and chairs. While nice to eat outside, we miss the lounge chairs. I almost went and grabbed one from the pool area, but my better half gave me that 'look'. The Dlx villas in B4 still had lounge chairs.
 
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DavidnRobin

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Remember that Elite Owners that own multiple weeks at the resort have a higher priority for view than Non-Elite single week owners.

Where did this info come from? This would imply that there is a pecking order - 5*, 4*, 3* and then non-Elite for location - and therefore certainly an official sales-pitch which I have never heard (but has been insinuated by a salesperson - unsubstantiated...)

I am not sure this is true - where does it say this?
 

DeniseM

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Where did this info come from? This would imply that there is a pecking order - 5*, 4*, 3* and then non-Elite for location - and therefore certainly an official sales-pitch which I have never heard (but has been insinuated by a salesperson - unsubstantiated...)

I am not sure this is true - where does it say this?

I got it from former Starwood employee James1975NY, who I believe managed the Resv. office, and my own personal experience with Elite Owners, who routinely get upgraded to OF with Staroption exchanges.

Starwood still "surprises and delights," Elite Owners. ;)
 
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YYJMSP

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I got it from former Starwood employee James1975NY, who I believe managed the Resv. office, and my own personal experience with Elite Owners, who routinely get upgraded to OF with Staroption exchanges.

Starwood still "surprises and delights," Elite Owners. ;)

While this may be true, it directly contradicts what was explained in the Spring 2011 newsletter that goes on for a full page on the process.

It specifically said, many times:

While you are guaranteed the villa category and view type you purchased, you are not entitled or guaranteed specific villas or locations, regardless of Elite status.
 

DeniseM

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The key words are, "you are not entitled or guaranteed specific villas or locations, regardless of Elite status."

When Starwood originally trotted out Elite Status, they promised automatic upgrades for Elite Owners - then they discovered, they couldn't pull it off.

Then, they revised the program and now they "surprise and delight," Elite Owners with view upgrades when possible. (actual Starwood words)

So, no, it's not guaranteed - but yes, it still happens when possible.
 

jarta

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"When Starwood originally trotted out Elite Status, they promised automatic upgrades for Elite Owners - then they discovered, they couldn't pull it off."

How do you pull off an upgrade of a reservation for a 2-br when the largest unit at a resort is a 2-br?

What use is an upgrade to a 2-br from a 1-br reservation when 2 adults show up for the reservation thinking they will both be sleeping in the same room?

The upgrade "benefit" was ended in 2007, 5 years ago. Nobody who purchased after May of 2007 has expected an Elite upgrade. It was removed because the average occupancy at timeshare resorts had increased to 90%. It was also replaced with 4 new Elite benefits (only the first 2 actually have utility, IMO):

"There’s no better way to celebrate the three-year anniversary of the Starwood Vacation Network(SM) Elite program than by enhancing your membership benefits. Our goal is to consistently exceed your expectations, and this year is no exception.

After a thorough evaluation of the privileges associated with Starwood Vacation Network Elite membership and our ability to successfully satisfy member requests, we have added three new benefits and modified existing benefits. As a result, the Avis® Preferred Membership, Special Financing and Villa Upgrade benefits have been replaced. The Villa Upgrade benefit was replaced due to a 90-percent occupancy rate at our vacation ownership resorts that prevented us from fulfilling on this upgrade. However, we are confident that the following new benefits will enhance your vacation experiences even further.

New Extended Starpoints Conversion Period
Instead of the current extended Starwood Preferred Guest® Starpoints® Conversion Period of May 31, Starwood Vacation Network Elite Four- and Five-Star members will now have until October 1—an additional four months—to decide whether or not to convert your Use Weeks to Starpoints for use at more than 850 Starwood hotels and resorts worldwide. That gives you the ability to convert year-round. Please note that this new benefit will be available to you beginning with the conversion period for the 2008 Use Year.

Earn a 10-percent Premium on Starpoints Conversion
Beginning with the 2008 Use Year, Starwood Vacation Network Elite Four- and Five-Star members will receive an additional 10-percent premium when converting to Starpoints. For example: If the conversion value of your Use Week is 100,000 Starpoints, you will receive 110,000 Starpoints at the time of conversion.

Earn more Starpoints through Signature Escapes
Starwood Vacation Network Elite members can earn bonus Starpoints for booking an adventure vacation, escorted tour or cruise vacation by visiting mystarcentral.com and selecting Signature EscapesSM, your online travel center. Four-Star members will now earn a total of 4,000 Starpoints for each vacation booked on Signature Escapes, and Five-Star members will earn a total of 5,000 Starpoints for each vacation booked. Please note that this new benefit does not apply to Signature Events.

Starwood Vacation Network Elite Member Travel Services
Whether it’s a family gathering, a romantic getaway or an extravagant vacation beyond your imagining, this exclusive service offers unsurpassed service, customized travel planning and exclusive itineraries to bring you the most extraordinary travel experiences in the world. Within the next seven to ten business days, you will receive a benefits packet by U.S. Postal Mail outlining these enhancements to the Starwood Vacation Network Elite program.

In addition to these new benefits and service, you can learn more about your membership privileges by participating in our upcoming Starwood Vacation Network Elite webinar on Tuesday July 31, 2007 at 3 p.m. Eastern time. This webinar will focus on your new and existing Starwood Vacation Network Elite benefits to help you get the most value from them when vacationing. You will receive a separate invitation to join us for this informative session in the coming weeks.

We look forward to enhancing your Starwood Vacation Network Elite member experiences. If you have any questions regarding your new or existing benefits, please contact your Starwood Vacation Network Elite Special Servicing Team at 888.SVN.ELITE (888.786.3548)."

http://www.tugbbs.com/forums/showthread.php?t=48154
 

DeniseM

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"When Starwood originally trotted out Elite Status, they promised automatic upgrades for Elite Owners - then they discovered, they couldn't pull it off."

How do you pull off an upgrade of a reservation for a 2-br when the largest unit at a resort is a 2-br?

Good question, it was one of Starwood's all time worst bone-head moves.

BUT - view upgrades are still alive and well. Elite owners can and do get Ocean View and Ocean Front units, even on Staroption Exchanges. I haven't kept any Stats on it, but my guess is that it happens at least 80% of the time. I should track it - it would be interesting to know. BTW - when the guest checks in, Starwood uses those very words, "we are upgrading you to an ocean view villa."
 
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DavidnRobin

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I got it from former Starwood employee James1975NY, who I believe managed the Resv. office, and my own personal experience with Elite Owners, who routinely get upgraded to OF with Staroption exchanges.

Starwood still "surprises and delights," Elite Owners. ;)

In response to my post you wrote... "Remember that Elite Owners that own multiple weeks at the resort have a higher priority for view than Non-Elite single week owners."

I am confused - I thought the matter under was Elite members getting higher floor location when all else is equal - and not an Elite getting upgraded? ( of course there are upgrades)

For example - a 5* Elite getting a higher floor even though a 3* Owner called in sooner. You saying an SVN 5* exchanger - would get a higher floor than a non-Elite WKORV Owner. Did James say this? In the case of the OFD (as to the OP ) I have spoken to many people above me -being the friendly chatty type - and I have never come across this in 6 years.

Elites getting upgrades (upon availability) is tangent to Elite status to better locations when all else is equal. The matter at hand is whether when both owners during 8-12 months out reserve - that location priority goes to the higher Elite. You claiming this happens? I am saying that it still goes to the call priority - and that circumstances with location (esp with OF) have to do with issues as I stated above, and not Elite status.
 
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DeniseM

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Dave - I will try to find his post on the subject for the exact details.
 

VacationForever

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I remember reading it a while ago..

Priorities/Pecking Order:
Multiple week owner at the same resort
Single week at the same resort
5* Elite using SO
4* Elite using SO
3* Elite using SO
No * SVN using SO
II trader
 

DavidnRobin

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I remember reading it a while ago..

Priorities/Pecking Order:
Multiple week owner at the same resort
Single week at the same resort
5* Elite using SO
4* Elite using SO
3* Elite using SO
No * SVN using SO
II trader

The discussion was around calling priority - this is saying that a multiple week owner calling at 8 months plus 1day gets a better location than a single week owner that called at 12 months - really? Where is this stated - this would be a great sales ploy during the Owners Update... Buy more weeks or you may end up on the 1st floor...
 

PamMo

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The discussion was around calling priority - this is saying that a multiple week owner calling at 8 months plus 1day gets a better location than a single week owner that called at 12 months - really? Where is this stated - this would be a great sales ploy during the Owners Update... Buy more weeks or you may end up on the 1st floor...

I'm confused. So, do multi-week and Elite owners trump the time/date stamp? Since we're talking about Maui here - we just had a run of 2013 weeks booked solid within minutes of the SVN lines opening up. When does elite/multiple week ownership priority come into play for villa assignments?
 

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Last month we stayed at WKORV. I just did a regular call at 9am EST. When I checked in, I was assigned room 2527/9 (I think this was the number- building 2 5th floor facing blackrock). I was told that I was the 5th person that had called and that the room I got on the 5th floor because 4 others had called before me. In this single case, I can confirm that my 5* status did me no good in getting to the 6th floor.
 

Ken555

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Last month we stayed at WKORV. I just did a regular call at 9am EST. When I checked in, I was assigned room 2527/9 (I think this was the number- building 2 5th floor facing blackrock). I was told that I was the 5th person that had called and that the room I got on the 5th floor because 4 others had called before me. In this single case, I can confirm that my 5* status did me no good in getting to the 6th floor.

The first four could also have been 5*...
 

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And couldn't they also have been multiple week owners at WKORV who lined up several of their weeks in the queue and never called at 9:00 am? Just asking. Don't know the answer.

Also, if a person with a lower time stamp cancels, does everyone move up a number? Don't know the answer to that one either.

My point is this. All a home resort owner is promised by a deed is a use of an unspecified unit with a specific view category at WKORV - if one is available when the call gets through. Only what's on the deed is legally enforceable. However, I'm sure Starwood tries to accommodate everyone's preference for home resort reservations in time-stamp order. But all this arguing about exact time stamp "entitlement" to a specfic floor and room seems rather immature.

I was invited to Room 3529 for drinks last week. (I had called at 8 months from arrival and got Room 3602.) The view from that OF Deluxe large 1-br facing BlackRock was spectacular. Parsing whether the view toward BlackRock, for example, is better from 2528-9 or 3528-29 because one has a view over the pool and one has a view over the park or one has a closer elevator is a waste of time, IMO. Time to grow up!

The priority list posted here above was given for non-home resort reservations made within 8 months of arrival where, IMO, the time stamp system no longer applies for a very practical reason - because it gets far too complicated to administer at a large resort. ... eom
 

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I think this thread has gotten mixed up, with some talking about reserving in the owner preference period (12-8 months) and others talking about the Star Options period (8-0 months).

Elite status may make a difference when you reserve a unit in the 8-0 month window. Look at that just as if you had made the reservation as a hotel. If they can upgrade you, they will.

But Elite status does not make a difference when you reserve a unit in the 12-8 owner preference time frame. That is based solely on availability for your view category and your precedence is based on time stamp.

Greg
 

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The first four could also have been 5*...

And couldn't they also have been multiple week owners at WKORV who lined up several of their weeks in the queue and never called at 9:00 am? Just asking. Don't know the answer.

I actually asked when I checked in and I was surprised both that the employee could see the information and that she was willing to share it with me. I was able to verify no 5* ahead of me and one multi-week owner.

I could not find out if someone had used the book studio or 1BR a week earlier and then cancel after getting the 2nd week's reservation trick. I guess she did not have access to that information.
 

Westin5Star

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I was invited to Room 3529 for drinks last week. (I had called at 8 months from arrival and got Room 3602.) The view from that OF Deluxe large 1-br facing BlackRock was spectacular. Parsing whether the view toward BlackRock, for example, is better from 2528-9 or 3528-29 because one has a view over the pool and one has a view over the park or one has a closer elevator is a waste of time, IMO. Time to grow up!

I don't consider stating a preference of being near the gym elevator or facing Black Rock and the pool to be childish, petty, or whatever your thoughts were for someone to need to grow up. Even though I did not state it, I agree with the previous poster who had both of these preferences and they do make my vacations slightly more enjoyable.

I often read this board to get other people's ideas on what they like or dislike. I have gained so much useful information over the years by considering other's preferences. I don't think that comments like, "Time to grow up!" are beneficial to this board; IMO they can only cause problems.
 

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5*, ... "I don't consider stating a preference of being near the gym elevator or facing Black Rock and the pool to be childish, petty, or whatever your thoughts were for someone to need to grow up."

It's not the stating of a preference or the discussion of the advantages of a particular view or building or room; it's the constant bitching because, for example, "I asked for the best view and I only got an OF on floor 2 that faced one way and someone else got an OF on floor 3 that faced another way."

BTW, what type of problems do you think expressing my opinion will cause for this board? I find all the carping about view and floor and angle at which the whales can be viewed at WKORV to be immature; you don't. To each his own. ... eom
 
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