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Old July 18, 2010, 05:52 PM   #1
Cobra1950
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Resorts: Marriott Summittwatch (Xmas & Bronze) Marriott Legends Edge/Baypoint (Platinum)
Explorer Package Revised?

As a Marriot owner (3 weeks) who was invited to do tour of Orlando Sheraton Vistana last year with free nights; declined to buy week but bought Explorer package for $1500 (which included 4 nights at Myrtle Beach and 30,000 points after that tour was taken-took it today); and was offered today after declining to purchase at Myrtle beach another package for $2594 of 4 nights at a Florida Sheraton timeshare and 80,000 points.
Sounded like a good deal from a points standpoint but we declined anyway.
As I am completely unfamiliar with the Sheraton system, but with the Marriott system changes they seem to have fouled up a good brand, so we are looking around. Has anyone been offered a better points purchase incentive deal from Sheraton?
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Old July 18, 2010, 06:05 PM   #2
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I would advise not to buy the ExpPkg unless you plan to buy from SVO - and I would advise not to buy from SVO when resale deals are a much better value (if you decide if you want SVO). IMO.
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Old July 18, 2010, 06:09 PM   #3
DeniseM
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Resorts: Starwood-WKORV, SDO, & SVR, Roark Vacation Club, Kingsbury Crossing, Edinburg Residence, 7 x Kauai Beach Villas
I would never buy another week from the developer - no matter what the incentives were. A Starwood developer week will cost you 60-100% more than a resale, and the developer perks are minimal - they certainly don't justify spending thousands more.

Where you buy in Starwood depends on what you are looking for-

East Coast?
West Coast?
Home Resort only?
Starwood trader? (Mandatory Resort)
II trader? (Voluntary Resort)
How much you can afford to pay in cash upfront?
How much you can afford in a MF? - which can be over $3,000 a week with Starwood!

See the Starwood FAQ at the top of the forum for a good intro. to how Starwood works.

BTW - As a management company, Starwood is no better than Marriott. Since 2002 my maintenance fees have doubled, and a year ago, Starwood colluded with II to control and manipulate II trades and remove benefits from owners. In addition to that, Starwood exerts a lot of control over the BOD's.
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Old July 18, 2010, 10:29 PM   #4
Cobra1950
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Wow, great feedback! Folks here on the Sheraton portion of TUG are even more mad than on the Marriott side. Sounds like a joint effort to upset a customer base
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Old July 19, 2010, 12:17 AM   #5
J&JFamily
 
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Originally Posted by Cobra1950 View Post
Wow, great feedback! Folks here on the Sheraton portion of TUG are even more mad than on the Marriott side. Sounds like a joint effort to upset a customer base
From Starwood owners: If you thought Marriott was poorly run...welcome to Starwood. Just compare the maintenance fees on similar resorts/locations between Marriott and Starwood and you will see why Starwood owners are so upset. We have stayed in Starwood and Marriott resorts in different locations and tend to favor the Starwood resorts (this is purely subjective based on our likes/needs/interests, etc), however, the ridiculous maintenance fees make owning a Starwood timeshare very difficult to justify. Do yourself a favor and REALLY study the Starwood system before deciding to purchase. If you are pursuing a Starwood because you are not happy with the new changes to Marriott, I'm not sure a Starwood timeshare purchase if for you (you might be similarly unhappy with Starwood). That said, do the necessary reseach and decide for yourself. Best of luck.
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Old July 19, 2010, 03:44 AM   #6
jarta
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Cobra1950, ... "Folks here on the Sheraton portion of TUG are even more mad than on the Marriott side."

TUG seems not to be a place for people who really enjoy their timeshares. There are some, but they are in the distict minority. TUG is a place to complain about MF and management. In these economic times, discretionary spending is down and people would rather save money as insurance against a double dip than spend it. So, it's easy to see why complaints are up.

Timeshares, when looked at purely from the economic side, are almost unanimously bad investments. From an economic standpoint, no vacation is really a good economic investment. Generally, with Starwood, you spend large amounts of money to go to a place that is as nice or nicer than where you live. When people figure out the pure economics, the enjoyment of vacationing at timeshares diminishes and the obsessing about "lost" money takes over. Such is life these days. ... eom
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Old July 19, 2010, 08:04 AM   #7
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Starwood built some beautiful timeshares. However, they lured buyers in with reasonable MFs and then, the second they sold out, starting jacking up the MFs. My resort's MFs have doubled in 5 years. Now many of us are paying in MFs what it costs to rent, so there is no incentive to buy. Resale prices have plummeted.

Unlike Marriott, Starwood does not "skim" off a majority of its owners, where they give you fewer points to trade out than want to trade in. However, if you have sufficient points (aka StarOptions) to trade to the top 2 resorts (Westin St. John and Harborside in Atlantis), they are rarely available during prime season, so having sufficient points is a moot point. I've been calling since May to try to trade into WSJ and I've finally given up and will try to rent my unit this year.

Since the economy crashed, Starwood (like everyone else)quit building new resorts. We have a very limited number of resorts we can trade to, many of which are in the same location (e.g. Colorado, Orlando, and Maui). The disparity in MFs and demand between resorts is significant, which leads to a great imbalance in the system. Everyone wants to trade INTO the top 3 resorts (Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas in Maui being the third) but few of those owners want to trade out because there are few "equivalent" resorts to go. (The good news is that more owners are bypassing Starwood altogether and simply direct exchanging.) Those who want to trade into Hawaii have found that's it's far more economical to buy a cheaper Starwood TS and use II to trade into the same resort for far less $$ than they owners have to pay each year.

Many of us have lost faith in Starwood because they are out of touch with their owners. They promised an online reservation system years ago, yet we're still stuck calling to a central reservation center. They cancel benefits of owning and call them "enhancements." They give press releases announcing great new resorts, then cancel those projects without even bothering to tell their owners. They pass along MF increases that outpace inflation. They control the HOAs by hand-picking their successors for many of the resorts so that owners have no voice. They do little to manage delinquencies and simply pass along the shortfall to the remaining paying owners, for which the paying owners get zero benefit. And they do all that they can do to kill resale value, including creating a duel system where resale owners cannot join the "club" so custmers have a difficult time unloading their TSs.

Nope, sorry, as much as I love the resorts, I'd never advise anyone buy into the system that is so completely one-sided in favor of the developer.

Funny thing is that I used to recommend that people check out the Marriott system.

Last edited by LisaRex; July 19, 2010 at 08:07 AM.
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Old July 19, 2010, 09:34 AM   #8
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"I've been calling since May to try to trade into WSJ and I've finally given up ..."

Funny, I have called exactly at 9:00 am at 8 months out and have been able to make 3 weekly reservations at St. John (BV) - all of which I had to give back because my circumstances kept changing (an out-of-town wedding popping up and my wife deciding we should visit friends in LA).

When I turned in my last consecutive weeks about a month ago, I posted the availability on TUG. Sorry you didn't see it.

But, you have had to call promptly at 9:00 am to get anything. ... eom
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Old July 19, 2010, 11:16 AM   #9
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I disagree - IMO - many on TUG do enjoy their timeshares (we certainly do - and write trips reports/posts reflecting this - as do others) - but we are not lemmings...

just because one is vocal about sub-optimal SVO management/practices - doesn't mean they do not enjoy their TS vacations.
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Old July 19, 2010, 11:59 AM   #10
jarta
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There is nothing to disagree about. I didn't say nobody. What I said is: "There are some, but they are in the distict minority."

You love and write about WSJ each time you go there.

I will leave it to others to count up the numbers of the positive and negative posts about timesharing here on TUG. ... eom
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Old July 19, 2010, 01:45 PM   #11
DanCali
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TUG seems not to be a place for people who really enjoy their timeshares. There are some, but they are in the distict minority.
Actually there is a distinct difference on the Marriott board pre- and post-June 20, the day their points program launched.

Before June 20 owners on that board were mostly full of praise towards Marriott and were pretty much holding hands and singing Kumbaya. Now, not as much...
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