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Questions on Canyon Villas [Also DSV-I / JW Access]

Discussion in 'Marriott Vacation Club' started by nanceetom, Feb 7, 2018.

  1. nanceetom

    nanceetom TUG Member

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    We are getting set to request room location at Canyon Villas in Phoenix. We are using Destination points for 8 days and going with our grandsons who are 12, 11 and 9. Looking at the resort map, it looks like buildings 2400,2500 and 2600 are near grilling area and something call Cholla Courtyard that has some lawn area, shuffleboard, etc. Is that a good location or around the main pool area. OR any other recommendations for those familiar with the property.
     
  2. UK Fan

    UK Fan TUG Member

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    We really enjoy being near/around the main pool.
     
  3. ACE1

    ACE1 TUG Member

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    Yes, great location. Main pool and office not far. Kids will enjoy Cholla Court especially in the evening.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  4. BJRSanDiego

    BJRSanDiego TUG Member

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    The two end buildings, 2300 and 2400 are non-lockoff units. But they have two queens in the second bedroom. If you have a lock-off res (like an exchange), I'm not sure if you can get access to those.
    Right now the main pool is not open but it will be in a few days.
    The lizard pool and lizard play area is still under re-construction but is supposed to be complete by end of March.
    The chollas court is nice and quiet. If you take a lower floor it will be easy for your grandchildren to access that area. Several BBQ grills plus a shuffleboard area. Just a short walk to the main pool and short walk to the "spool" - - it is a spa pool that is kept around 95 F or so. Meant for soaking but if your grandchildren play there, someone will call security as it is meant for soaking and IIRC is considered a quiet pool. But the main pool is kept warm, is close by and kids can play to their hearts' content.
    Bring the kids to the Monday night cowboy singer (4pm) and ask Pioneer Pepper for an honorary marshal badge (which he likes to give out). He is absolutely great. Good clean fun, a few chuckles, and enjoyment.
     
  5. jd2601

    jd2601 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    We really enjoy the peacefulness of the Cholla Court. Looking at the lights in the courtyard is very nice. Previous visits the spa pool on the end was heated to 95 and I enjoyed it. When we were there in September it was not heated any different then the main pool. I asked and was told they no longer heat that pool. Hopefully they changed their mind I like a warm pool!
     
  6. jd2601

    jd2601 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    I do wonder if the small pool or spool is only heated dependent on time of year. We were there late September and not heated and was told no longer heated above other pools. Wonder if that was not correct?

    Anyone know how much renovations is happening? I just booked another visit and list dates for pool and also date JW pool is being renovated?
    • Please note – Construction activity at the resort through February 2018 as we enhance the lizard playground, lawn area and main pool deck. Intermittent closures of the main pool are possible.
    • Please note – 2018 JW Marriott pool closure dates - Mar 8-9, 29-31/May 26-27/Jun 16/Jul 3-4, 7-8, 14, 28/Aug 3-4, 11/Sep 1-2
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2018
  7. BJRSanDiego

    BJRSanDiego TUG Member

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    We were there last week and the "spool" was very warm. Perhaps 95 plus degrees. Very close to the temp of many spas.
     
  8. VacationForever

    VacationForever Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    We have been here since Sat, in building 2600. Good location. Not great weather, sky has been grey and it drizzled today. It feels cold and damp. We stayed indoors, other than eating out. We had really wanted to try out Canyon Villas and unfortunately we are disapppointed. We wanted to compare it with Westin Kierland and Desert Springs. I guess we have been spoilt by Desert Springs. Canyon Villas is a very small development, and the lobby area reminds us of Worldmark lobby. Restaurants at Desert Ridge are below par. Again, JW Marriott at Desert Springs is a much classier outfit, with better restaurants.

    We went to the Musical Instruments Museum today. It is very impressive. We probably absorbed 1 percent of all there was to see.

    If we come back in the future we will pick March/April or October and stick with Westin Kierland.
     
  9. BJRSanDiego

    BJRSanDiego TUG Member

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    Desert Springs is one of my home resorts. It is nice. But I think that CV is also nice. I really like all of the free activities that both resorts offer. In fact CV has a few more free adult activities than DSV. In comparison, at Newport coast, you pay $15 to 20 for the beer sampling, tequila sampling, $15 for wine glass etching, etc. NCV needs to get more in tune with owners and guests who don't like to be nickel and dimed. I don't like it when I deposit my DSV unit to exchange into NCV and have to pay for things that I get for free at my home resort.

    When I'm at DSV 1 or 2 (I own both), I seldom go to the JW for the Spa or to eat. When you commented that you weren't impressed with the restaurants at Desert Ridge, were you referring to the nearby Desert Ridge shopping center or the restaurants at the JW.

    Hopefully, you went to the cowboy sing along on Monday night. I always find it to be good fun. Perhaps a little corny but still a lot of fun and is fun for the entire family. He is a great entertainer. Marriott is lucky to get a guy like Pioneer Pepper to perform weekly.

    BTW, there are two art shows in the area. See the concierge. She has free tickets and they are close by. Both are excellent.

    Also, consider going on the hikes that Merissa oversees. I think that the next hike will be on Thursday a.m. Perhaps at Pinnacle Peak.

    I typically don't go to the JW for their restaurants as the quality/value/cost is not what I'm looking for. But the JW and CV are run by two separate companies. So, I can't blame CV for an issue at the JW. The restaurants at Desert Ridge are not fine dining places - - which is consistent with being co-located with a shopping center (including target and Albertsons). There are some nice restaurants in another nearby area called High Street (if that is the correct name). They are more upscale (and pricier). They are perhaps only a 1/4 mile further.

    BTW, If you like Chinese food, try the Jade Palace in North Scottsdale. Perhaps 4-5 miles away. Good food/good service. Also, if you don't like the JW food fare, there are tons of other good places to eat.
     
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  10. VacationForever

    VacationForever Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    We rarely go to resort activities and we did see many free adult activities at CV. I do not recall having a cowboy singalong on the activities guide. We are germaphobes and we have been eeked out with sick people around us. We went to the very small gym twice and each time we were surrounded by people who were coughing, sneezing and blowing their noses. We decided to stop going to the gym here. Our whole experience at the resort has been poor. BTW, there is serious drainage issue in the unit. Water retains in the sink and shower stall. We will call them tomorrow.

    I am comparing the restaurants at the 2 JW Marriotts. JW Marriott's Desert Ridge restaurants are really poor, if I have to give a rating, while the restaurants at JW Marriott's Desert Springs is great.

    We have our favorite restaurant in Scottsdale and that is Eddie V's. We went there on Sat night (our arrival) and booked for tonight (Valentine Day) as well. The last time we were in Scottsdale, we stayed at Westin Kierland and went to Eddie V's 4 times. Pricey but worth very dime of it. The Eddie V's in San Diego (La Jolla) was a let down when we went 3 years ago, after our great experience at the Eddie V's in Scottsdale.

    We received a set of tickets to the art show in Scottsdale from a TUGger and we are heading out today after breakfast at the Original Breakfast House. We have not been to that restaurant before but it has good reviews. We will check out where the other art show is.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018
  11. BJRSanDiego

    BJRSanDiego TUG Member

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    You missed a fun show on Monday. Pioneer Pepper has been playing every Monday night for something like 12 years.

    The two gyms are a bit on the small side. I thought that the weight room was fairly well equipped with high-end machines. I went to the weight room after lunch and the place was deserted. The treadmill room had more activity.

    Next time I'm in Scottsdale, I'll try to remember Eddie V's. Thanks.
     
  12. VacationForever

    VacationForever Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    I just looked up Jade Palace, it has 2 locations. Which one do you recommend? We may just check it out tomorrow.
     
  13. Superchief

    Superchief TUG Member

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    As an owner at Canyon Villas, I've noticed significant increases in our MF's with larger than inflationary increases in activity fee costs. I really don't like the fact that Canyon Villas is providing all of these complimentary activities, especially since most of the guests are likely not owners at the resort. I think the activities should be funded by those who participate (at cost). I don't participate in many activities and don't mind paying a nominal fee when I do. I think management at many resorts provide many complimentary activities to boost their resort ratings, and pass the increased costs to owners who fund them.
     
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  14. BJRSanDiego

    BJRSanDiego TUG Member

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    We went to the one North of the resort just off of Pinnacle Peak road.
     
  15. BJRSanDiego

    BJRSanDiego TUG Member

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    My own resorts (3) are Desert Spring Villas and they also provide a lot of complimentary activities. So, if I exchange into Canyon Villas, I don't expect to have to pay for something free at my own resort(s). Or at least I don't expect to pay a whole lot.

    But, it made me think. Say, 20 people show up for an activity. That is 20 out of perhaps 400 guests. Or 5% of the guests participate. So, if they are giving out free wine and you do the math: 20 people x 4 ounces = 80 ounces or perhaps four $10 bottles of wine. $40. Even if I'm off by 100%, it isn't a big issue. The cost of the Marriott labor is not insignificant. Assume 3 people x $20 an hour x 1 hour (for a wine social) or $60. So a single event may cost $100 or perhaps a bit more. So, suppose Marriott does this every day of the week. $700. Now with 400 guests, that equates to $2 per guest per week.

    Looking at this from another perspective. Assume that there are 10 activities a day (some are pretty trivial like Bingo). Assume that there are 5 full time associates earning perhaps $20 an hour (I don't really know, but I suspect that Marriott doesn't pay a whole lot to many of these people). So that is $4000 a week. Divide that by 400 guest units and that is $10 a week per unit. Again, not a whole lot compared to the $1300 plus annual MF. Again, even if I'm off by 100%, it isn't a startelling amount.

    Also, you need to look at more than the percent increase and look at the cost per owner. For example, if the cost of a 1st class stamp went up by 100%, some would gasp. But that would (for me anyway) amount to maybe $10 a year. So percentage increases may be less important than total costs per owner.

    What rubs me sideways is my resort (DSV) and your resort (Canyon Villas) both are paying for those activities. So are resorts like the Grand Chateau. But some resorts, like Newport Coast, charge $16 for three or four 2-ounce samples of beer (their cost? $2 supplies plus associate labor). They charge $20 for 4 tequila tastings. (their cost? 4 x 3/4 ounce = 3 ounces >> $3 supplies plus labor). So, even if I'm off by 100%, Newport Coast is actually trying to profit from these activities. I think that Marriott is amply rewarded by charging (IIRC?) about 15% of our MF as profit (in addition to covering all of their other costs). So they are making close to $200 per owner unit.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2018
  16. VacationForever

    VacationForever Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Thanks. We pig out so much over the week and in the end skipped eating at this restaurant. It is definitely on our radar if we were go to back to Scottsdale. In the meantime we have decided to stay with the Palm Desert area as it has better weather than Scottsdale in winter and cheaper golf. We had a little bit of a sticker shock when learned that the city adds a 9 percent tax on an already expensive round of golf.
     
  17. VacationForever

    VacationForever Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    We are actually a little unhappy as to how much more MF at DSV I costs over DSV II, and a huge part of that is to pay for JW Marriott Spa access. We just wish the HOA will kill that after the contract period is over. We own 2 weeks at DSV I and have no joy in paying for the spa access. We don't use it at all.
     
  18. BJRSanDiego

    BJRSanDiego TUG Member

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    Yeah, I too think that the DSV MF is out of wack. I checked out the spa once and was underwhelmed. They had nice exercise equipment but the equipment at DSV is fairly nice as well.

    For the substantial difference in cost between DSV1 and DSV2 MF, we should get the privilege of getting a free massage when we're at the JW spa.
     
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  19. MabelP

    MabelP TUG Member

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    What is the difference in Maintenance Fees between the two?
     
  20. SueDonJ

    SueDonJ Moderator

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    This 2011 TUG thread has some good info: Desert Springs Villas 1- Spa benefit returns! Hopefully an owner will post the current exact amount that should be a line-item on the MF's Operating Budget.

    Post #12 in that thread quotes the official 2011 notice. Owners should note that there was a 5-year renewal of the contract in 2017 and another upcoming in 2022, so if you want to share your thoughts about the value/cost of this benefit you have some time to put your thoughts together and send them to the resort board and/or General Manager.
     
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  21. VacationForever

    VacationForever Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    I really have never seen a breakdown of the MF for my DSV I ownership. This is what I see in my statement:
    2018 Master Operating $68.66
    2018 Master Reserve $42.32
    2018 Operating Fee $933.83
    2018 Replacement Reserve $513.16

    2018 DSV I MF excluding property tax (billed separately) is $1557.97

    2018 DSV II MF excluding property tax (billed separately) is $1381.83

    Difference between DSV I and DSV II is $176.14

    DSV I property tax is another $100 or so.

    Part of the difference is that DSV I room sq footage is much larger than DSV II. DSV I has a couple of fireplaces, the studio has a separate walk in shower and bathtub. The other part is payment for spa access Mon-Fri. I have never seen a breakdown of numbers for their annual HOA BOD meeting, maybe I missed it in the mail but I have owned it for about 6 years. This is unlike Vistana, where I get detailed breakdown of each item in mail each year for. It is just that I have my suspicion that the a significant part of the difference is due to the Spa access but SueDonJ's link tells me that difference is about $65 per year.
     
  22. SueDonJ

    SueDonJ Moderator

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    That link makes clear that the License Fee is a certain compounding dollar amount but I wonder if that's the total fee to Owners? If there isn't also a Usage Fee component? I don't know but it wouldn't surprise me.

    The MF's info you're sharing looks like it's coming directly from your invoice. You should also be able to access the detailed Operating Budget that's a part of your MF's package. Sign in to owners.marriottvacationclub.com, click on the "Maintenance Fee/Club Dues" link in the column on the right, click the "Make Payment" button, click on the "View ebilling Invoices & Inserts" link on the right, then click on the "View Insert" link on the "2018 Operating Budget" line. (Note if there are multiple owners then each will have a separate account and sign-in, and the MF's packages are posted to only one of them.)
     
  23. VacationForever

    VacationForever Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Thank you! Found the item: $72.36 week for JW Marriott spa access. Now I need to figure out who to send my displeasure for this to.
     
  24. SueDonJ

    SueDonJ Moderator

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    Sign in, click on "Education & Owner Resources" above the picture, click on "Owners Association" in the box on the left, scroll down to what should be a "Marriott's Desert Springs Villas I" box on that page and click the "view" link to the right of "Contact Your Board of Directors / Board of Directors List" at the bottom of the box. Scroll to the end of that pdf for the email contact info. In my experience anything sent to your BOD using that email address is automatically sent to the Resort Manager as well, but just in case you can put a note in your email that you want him/her to see it.

    If you don't see this in your account you can call Owner Services and ask for the email address for your resort's BOD. All of the resort BOD's now use unique @vacationclub.com email addresses (rather than releasing the personal email addresses of each Board Member which is what they used to do.)
     
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  25. VacationForever

    VacationForever Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    I did this... but there is no email address for DSV I BOD. The MGV one has an email address at the bottom of the names.

    This is what shows:

    DESERT SPRINGS VILLAS TIMESHARE ASSOCIATION Board of Directors

    Name Office Held Term
    Robert F. Gallagher President 2017-2020
    Joseph Lawrence Vice-President 2017-2020
    Thomas Cook Secretary/Treasurer 2017-2020
    Paul Backowski Director 2015-2018
    Shelley J. Chamberlain Director 2015-2018

    NO email address. :mad:

    I just sent an email under MVC site to request for the email addresses.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2018

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