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Wyndham vs. Marriott

klconley

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Can you tell me why you would choose a Wyndham timeshare over marriot. It seems that Wyndham is more flexible, plus has resorts in more places. I do worry about maint. costs rising. Thanks. kelly
 

Cathyb

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Kelly: We own Marriott and Worldmark (not Wyndham directly). Marriott has a higher quality of a resort and usually bigger and fancier outside grounds -- like maybe waterfalls and slides near the pool. Marriott has access to worldwide hotels to use with their Rewards (not sure if Wyndham offers this). We have taken airplane trips with Marriott Rewards to places like Australia and Figi.
 

bnoble

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Wyndham's resorts are generally "nice", but a step down from Marriott's. There are some exceptions, but they are the exception, not the rule---and those exceptions cost a lot more points to book.

Wyndham's MFs are a little high compared to a typical fixed week, but generally a bit lower than most Marriott weeks would run.

Wyndham trades poorly in RCI in general, but you can sometimes get a great score with a blue studio deposit. A good Marriott week in II would do much better overall, and should generate an AC if you're smart in what you buy.

That said, we bought into Wyndham because it's a heck of a value resale, there are a ton of resorts, and we like the flexibility of the points system.

One particularly neat feature is that it is relatively easy to rent points from/to other owners, much as the WorldMark folks do. Until Marriott figures out what it's doing internally, you're stuck with II to travel out of your home resort/season. I like II, but the Wyndham-internal reservation system seems much more convenient to me.

For example, I had no trouble booking a summer Wisconsin 2BR for exactly the dates I wanted at about 10 months in advance of travel. While that's not an impossible exchange in RCI, I would have had to put a request in earlier, and waited around, hoping I'd get a week close to the one I wanted.

Because we have so little invested, if we decide it doesn't work out for us down the road, we'd be okay even taking a total bath on the purchase price. But, so far I'm quite happy with it.
 

kzewill

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Another difference is that Marriott properties are sold as weeks (as opposed to points), and you purchase within a given 'season'. If you choose to purchase a bronze or silver week (off-season) in the Marriott system, you don't have the option to use more points to select a high-season week for your vacation. So if you go the Marriott route, you either have to be willing to pay more for a gold or platinum week to begin with, or accept only off-season trips to that resort. With Wyndham if you want to reserve a high-season week, you just use more points to do so.

Having stated the above, you can sometimes exchange a low-season Marriott week for another high-season property through II (if you use flexchange), but there is a cost for that exchange. With Wyndham you don't incur any exchange cost if you reserve at a Wyndham (whether it's your home resort or another).

It might sound like I'm down on Marriott, but that isn't the case at all. In my view the Marriott properties are among the best available, and have amenities and services that Wyndham can't match, except in their newest and best resorts. So it's a bit of you get what you pay for...
 

Lisa P

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As others have said, Marriott's resorts are a bit more upscale with a higher resale price tag and higher maint fees to match. Both have many resorts in very desirable destinations. Both have many resorts with family-friendly amenities, such as pool slides, mini-golf, activities, etc., and some resorts that are more location- or adult-oriented. However, Marriott is generally full weeks, traded through II whenever you want to vacation anywhere or anytime outside of your owned week. Wyndham FSP points may be used to internally reserve varying (room size/length of stay) vacations at any resort in the entire system - far more flexible. Wyndham FSP points are best used internally year-round, with occasional RCI trades when you don't need prime season. Above all, I'd look at the resort destination maps or lists on the Marriott and Wyndham vacation ownership websites. If you see most of the places on your wish list, go with that system and you'll probably be more satisfied with your ownership.

We sold our Marriott week because we found the maint fees to be too high for us, especially after adding the exchange fee (subject to increases too). Trading to other Marriotts for full weeks through II was too uncertain and we prefer to use cheaper weeks for the uncertainty of trading. We didn't mind losing Marriott preference in trading since we've had such great vacations in so many non-Marriott resorts. But YMMV.

We love our Wyndham points because reserving exactly what we want (different resorts, room sizes and lengths of stay each time) is easier, more certain at 10 months out and the costs are lower. We live in the southeast and we like it that so many Wyndham resorts are within a day's drive and that they usually have an indoor pool - great with kids, when weather is not great for outdoor swimming, and not that common in timesharing. If you'd reserve a lot of short stays with Wyndham or if you change your plans a lot, there can be added fees and they can stack up. For how we use it, we rarely pay added fees. Marriott has some added fees too, like for locking off a unit or using points. Much depends on how you would use the timeshare, what you want vs. what others enjoy.

There are options for using either Wyndham (PlusPartners) or Marriott (Rewards) to book hotel stays, airfare, rental cars or cruises with points, if you have this particular option with your ownership. Not every ownership with either company has this. However, alternative methods of getting a nice hotel stay, decent airfare, cheap rental car or discount cruises are usually a better value than using timeshare points of any kind, IMO. If you wanted to do this, you really have to learn how to work the individual system and accept those limitations. It's just an option when your points would otherwise go unused. HTH.
 

klconley

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Maint. Fees

Ok, so I'm seeing that maint. fees are highter with Marriott too, which is an issue. How do I go about making sure I buy a Wyndham timeshare where I can be somewhat sure fees won't double? I mean, if you buy and every five years maint. fees go up $200 or $300, in 30 years you'd have something that is not affordable at all and have to give it away. I'm I exaggerating. I'm hearing so much about rising fees. Any comments? Thanks. Kelly
 

mfan

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Ok, so I'm seeing that maint. fees are highter with Marriott too, which is an issue. How do I go about making sure I buy a Wyndham timeshare where I can be somewhat sure fees won't double? I mean, if you buy and every five years maint. fees go up $200 or $300, in 30 years you'd have something that is not affordable at all and have to give it away. I'm I exaggerating. I'm hearing so much about rising fees. Any comments? Thanks. Kelly
Since you're so concerned about maintenance fee growth, you might want to consider Worldmark, which has a point system similar to Wyndham. WM MF is capped at 2% growth each year thru its bylaws. I can't tell where you're located, so not sure if WM is a good fit for you. WM resorts are mostly on the west coast, whereas Wyndham has more in the East.
 

Robert D

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We've stayed in both Worldmark (Depoe Bay in Oregon) and Marriott (Grand Vista in Orlando and Timber Lodge in Tahoe) and IMHO, Marriott is at least two notches upscale from WM. I assume Wyndham is similar to WM but don't know. I think Depoe Bay is one of WM's better resorts. I'd also say that the Starwoods we've stayed at (Vistana Villages in Orlando and Desert Oasis in Scottsdale) are a lot nicer than WM and very close to Marriott. No question that Marriott is a lot nicer than WM but it cost more too. But the upfront cost of WM is not cheap and in fact more than Starwood voluntary resorts like Desert Oasis, but less than most Marriotts.
 

bnoble

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WM MF is capped at 2% growth each year thru its bylaws
I have to admit, I've never been a fan of capped MF increases. What happens during an inflationary period, when costs rise faster than the cap rate?

I prefer having an owner-controlled board that can set fees prudently, with the ownes' interests at heart. All of my ownerships (including my Wyndham points deed) have such boards. They are not perfect, but they do a decent job on balance.
 

bogeygolf

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I think it all boils down to what flexibility you want and what quality. In terms of location, I would say that about half the locations that wyndham has, marriott also has (myrtle beach, atlantic city, williamsburg, lake tahoe, palm spring, orlando, hawaii, florida coast, etc). Marriott is less flexible but better quality. Wyndham is more flexible and cheaper up front cost but not as nice. With marriott if you know how to work the system (trading&depositing and getting AC with II) you can get 3 weeks from a platinum 2bd room lockoff unit every year. With wyndham you can't do this however you don't have to take a full week with wyndham so its more flexible.

In terms on MF, I think that the quality you get with a marriott more than justifies the MF. In fact, I think that most Marriott MF(most are at or less than 1k per year) are less than a comparable 231K pts mf in Wyndham, IMHO. To get to a similiar quality of Marriott you have to use at least 231,000 wyndhanm pts for a 2bd room in peak/high season. However with Marriott you have to pay a $99 exch fee everytime you exchange through II with wyndham there is no fee for exchanges.
 

Cathyb

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Robert: Upfront costs for Worldmark, I am hearing, on Ebay is .65-.75 making a 10,000 credit purchase quite reasonable that way.
 

lprstn

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The Marriotts I've stayed at have more amenities (its like having the best of a hotel and the best of TS all in one). Also the Marriotts retain their resale prices better than Wyndam. So Marriott's can be considered a better financial investment..but that darn ROFL can tic you off. However, the price is a bit high and owning a week a bit restrictive for the way we travel. So, Wyndam with the great price, decent resorts, and lots of internal resorts to exchange to is a win win for me...especially when purchased resale.
 

bnoble

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With marriott if you know how to work the system (trading&depositing and getting AC with II) you can get 3 weeks from a platinum 2bd room lockoff unit every year. With wyndham you can't do this
This is not quite true. Wyndham allows you to deposit pionts to RCI. While none of those deposits will ever be better than mediocre traders, there is not a ton of difference between some smaller and larger deposits. 70K seems to be the sweet spot these days in terms of price/performance. If you are looking for over-deposited, last-minute, or extremely-advance travel, you can use deposits as small as 28K.

Again, these 70K deposits are unlikely to get you summer coastal, but you can get some nice weeks with them at an effective cost of $500/week.
 

acesneights

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Or nearly as nice weeks for $300/week. Including Hawaii at 45 or more likely 14 days.

Watch for bulk spacebanks and Internal Exchanges.

Stan
 

lprstn

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Hey, maybe I don't expect much but I have gotten great trades using 28K and 70K weeks. I can honestly say I've been happy with my trading using my Wyndam weeks, and if I can't get it through trading, I don't pay any extra to book freely within the over 60 resorts within the Wyndam internal system. So its been a win win for us.
 

bnoble

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I've gotten some nice 28K/70K trades as well. They are great for Orlando, Branson, and sometimes even places like Gatlinburg or certain summer Wisconsin resorts. They don't pull anywhere near what my (non-Wyndham) fixed week does, but they are also cheaper, so they have their merits.

For example, I set my Mom up with three February weeks at Summer Bay (1BRs w/full kitchens) for about $1000. That mini-snowbird trip is a nice Mother's Day gift, and close to Last Call prices without having to wait to the last minute.
 

Robert D

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Cathy, the 10K points example you gave equates to an upfront cost of $6,500 - $7,500. I don't think I'm wrong in saying you can buy any Starwood voluntary resort such as Desert Oasis, Myrtle Beach, Vistan Resort, some of the Westins, etc. for a small fraction of this. We own two every year weeks that float 1-52 in a 1BR at Desert Oasis that we paid less than $1,000 for, including closing costs. M&T are about $580/yr. 2BR lockoffs are more but you can get them for $2.5K - $4K. I assume a 10K WM contract generally equates to a 2BR in peak season. You can't trade the Starwood volunatry resorts internally and have to use II or do as I do and rent them in years you don't use them and just rent the resorts you want to go to. Desert Oasis (as are most Starwoods) is nicer than most all WM's from what I can tell, but I've only seen a few WM's. High costs are in the eye of the beholder, but I consider $7,500 an expensive TS. My view is that a TS is a depreciating asset and there's a premium to keeping the upfront cost down.
 

klconley

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Cap on MF

BNoble. What did you mean when you said, you were concered about inflation rising higher than the cap on those TS with caps? Thanks. Kelly
 

Cathyb

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RobertD: IMHO, Starwood is too hard to get what you want -- Harborside, Maui and St. John are nearly off limits to SW owners who own elsewhere and want hard-to-get weeks. I haven't given II my Rancho Mirage week but what I have read here, II gets to pick the week in spite of what you give them.

On the other hand, we have had next to no problem getting Depoe Bay and Fiji (very popular Worldmarks) by careful planning. I'm also told that RCI considers Worldmark a very strong deposit -- again haven't used that choice yet. Agree the quality is lacking, but we find the flexibility very useful with our other 7 weeks of various timeshares. :)
 

Robert D

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Good point, Cathy, about Starwood not being the best when you go to deposit to II. I've never deposited a week or done a trade with any of my 5 TS weeks, so it hasn't been a factor with me. The flip side is that Starwood keeps the peak weeks for its owners and it's much easier to reserve the highest demand weeks at your home resort. I've never had a problem getting any week at either Desert Oasis or Vistana Resort, including week 52, and prime spring break weeks. I also own a week at Marriott Timber Lodge (just bought it last year) and quickly learned that this is not the case with Marriott, where you have to reserve the prime weeks exactly one year in advance or might not get them. So, the trading aspect is a two edge sword. What I've done instead of trading Starwood is reserve a prime spring break week or week 52 and then rent it and use the proceeds to rent a week at another resort that we wanted to use. It's worked good for us. The resorts like Harborside and WSJ are not voluntary resorts and cost a lot more upfront and in ongoing M&T, and not covered by my comments. Probably not realistic to expect to buy a $1,000 TS and then be able to trade it for a peak week at a Harborside or WSJ where the week would cost $20K. But I think we can rent a week at most any of the WM resorts at a reasonable price and not have to shell out $6K upfront, which will probably be worth a lot less as time goes on.
 

bnoble

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Caps: if costs rise faster than the cap allows for fee increases, the resort must either drop services or run at a deficit, hoping to make it up in later years.

Most caps have some notion of cost-of-living built into them, but they are usually based on a broader index. There may be reasons why local considerations trump that. For example, storm damange, etc.

In the limit, this could significantly degrade the quality of the resort, devaluing ownership.

Owning a timeshare is like owning a house---you may be hit with costs that you can't forsee due to any number of reasons. If you want assurances about costs, rent, don't own.
 

lawtechie

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I agree with Robert D. I just purchased a one bedroom at Sheraton Desert Oasis for $1000 that included the recording and deed. An already reserved week for March 14th, 2009 came with it. We won't be trading this one much since we'll use it to get out of the snow in winter.
 

pianodinosaur

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We have stayed at the Fairfield Long Warf Resort in Newport, RI, and at the WoldMark in Steamboat Springs, Co. Both facilities were very nice. We had a good time. They were not luxurious, but were clean and well maintained. We basically feel pretty good about trading into Wyndham facilities. So if cost and flexibility are an issue, then Wyndham would be a good choice in my opinion.
 

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wyndham vs marriott

Imo, hands down Marriott is much nicer. BUT, wyn resales are a fraction of Marriott resales, the wyn point system is very flexible, and the maint fees are less.
If you want to go to Hilton Head every summer and stay in an upscale resort, buy Marriott. If you want to trade into some great inventory like 4-5 star resorts in the Carib. buy marriott. If staying at a resort with valet parking, concierge and porters is important buy Marriott.

However, if you like tojump around to different U.S. locations, ie Myrtle Beach(really only avail off season), Orlando most weeks of the year, Smoky Mount, Las Vegas, Williamsburg, D.C. (again oft limited avail.), Branson, and many other touristy locations, Buy Wyn. If you like to get a great value for your dollar, esp with resale points buy Wyn. If you like to take several shorter trips, esp to the areas listed, buy Wyn.

If you buy a Marriott platinum week at HH or Myr expect to pay 20k resale. Marriott does a good job of keeping the prices high buy having right of first refusal (ROFR). However, you could get a 300k package, deeded at Myr. with Wyn for probably 8k.. If you just want Wyn "points" pick a cheap resale/cheap mf prop, maybe Williamsburg, if this is your option shop around and balance the cheap resale/mf plan.

Good luck
Thomas, NC
 

famy27

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If you want the best of both worlds, I suggest buying into Wyndham, but picking a resort that trades through II. This way, you get the cheap buy-in and flexibility of Wyndham, with access to Marriott, Hyatt, Westin (even Four Seasons) properties. If you are very flexible as to when you can take vacations, you can use a 28,000 point deposit into II to pull a great property like a two-bedroom at Marriott Frenchman's Cove. There is one sitting in II as I type.
 
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