I would like to hear about other owners experiences with Marriott vacation club. Do you like the points system?
I am interested in hearing from points owners who have taken tours or other options not including time shares. Considering buying points but can't get info on what options are available and number of points we would need to use.
why use points when you still own in your home base only use your points when you want to go to a other place .
you have the chooise
I am very disappointed with my purchase of destination points. I was promised the sun & the moon by the sales rep. The rep said she would help me with the use of the points "as soon as the escrow closes". Two weeks after the escrow closed she was gone. I was told that I would go to the "front of the line" for my reservation requests because I was platinum, owner, & destination point premier. My "ADVISER" tells me NOW that there is a limited allotment of villas available at my resort but if I accept another location now she would "TRY" to obtain my preferred location. Marriott's motto= There is a sucker born every minute.
Before you buy a Marriott Timeshare, a major consideration is how your experience will be in the long term. Being a Marriott Vacation Club Owner, I chose Marriott because of their properties, and, the consistency of the product. I originally bought two properties in the early 2000's, now defined as a legacy program before they converted to their current points program. The conversion promoted the flexibility of scheduling and expansion or sites to visit. Being happy with the legacy program, I've chose not to convert to the new points system.
Marriott, in order to push more legacy owners toward converting to the new points system has structured various inconveniences into legacy owners weeks that at this point, has pushed me to the point of selling both properties. Example, upon purchasing my Oahu Ko'Olina property, I was assured I would have a top-floor ocean view room. For the first 2-3 vacations, I was able to have what was promoted. Since the conversion to the points systems, I am now relegated to what is left after points members have chosen. In the last three visits, the highest floors available has been a 10th floor room out of 16. Throw in limited availability when scheduling weeks and embedded other inconveniences and it's clear the longer you are a Marriott owner the more you're at a huge disadvantage.
Financially and economically, Marriott spends and obligates itself far less under the new point system which is why the long term owners get, well, screwed. Additionally, other hidden fees like daily parking, resort fees and other charges will add up. And while this may sound like "sour grapes" from someone who is resistant to change, it will only be a matter of time when new owners suffer the same fate when Marriott decides it needs to change it's business model to keep "competitive". Regarding the new points system, one can google this program and find out what debacle it has been. As taught in your basic business class, "Caveat Emptor"
Scam is right! Marriott runs this game and make the rules up as they choose. Who is to say in another 5 years they don't come out with another scheme that makes your points as worthless and impossible to use as your weeks are now. Join the class action law suit that was entered in May 2014!
Where do I find out about the class action lawsuit?
It's important for you to talk to owners before you buy. YOu will not get the "full story" from the Marriott sales people who are paid on commission. First of all, these resorts are often overbuilt. When you buy, there may be 2 or 3 buildings planned. Then all of a sudden, they plan to construct a 4th or 5th building. This over taxes all of the facilities - pool, sitting areas, beach, restaurants, etc. etc. They tell yu that you can sell your week if you don't want to use it, but that is only at Marriott's option. They typically limit this to a few units. At that point your only option if you want to trade a week is to pay an additional fee for Intervals to "swap" resorts, or alternately, trade for points at a value that will be well below the market rate for the unit. You will also have to pay a fee (it's #134 this year) for the trade, reducing the point value further. The other big problem is that the expenses for these resorts are not particularly well managed and as a result, the annual maintenance fees continue to increase (ours have increased 15% in 2 years). Buyer Beware!!
Our annual maintenance fees have almost exactly doubled in the 13 years that we have owned a Platinum and Gold week. Now- At over 1000$ Maintenance Cost, I can book in Oct a 2 bedroom suite at Residence Inn in Phoenix-close to our home based Canyon Villas- for less money! That's without paying 20k for a week timeshare and without any extra fees! If I traded in my Gold timeshare week, which also costs 1000$ maintenance fees, for 75,000 Marriott Reward points, I would have enough points to stay at that Residence Inn a total of 4 nights! Yes it is a Rip! Strongly advise against investing in any Marriott Timeshare!
I have been an owner for about four years now. Honestly I wish that I never bought into it. I guess the idea of it is good. We do like having a two bedroom villa on vacation, which is very convenient for a family of five. There are definate pros. We paid about $20,000 for 2500 points. You are allowed to bank and borrow points. When we first bought in we were given a "free" week as a promotion. We were able to bank our first years points which allowed us to be ahead in our points for the following years. So far we have been to Las Vegas, Myrtle Beach, Aruba and Williambsburg, VA. We have reservations for Frenchmans Cove for next summer. All the resorts are nice. Some more than others. My experience so far has not been overly positive when it has come to dealing with owners services. I always seem to get some run around. Theres never a simple answer. Also, there is a lot of things that they don't tell you when you go through the sales presentation. Too much to write on here. I can tell you that I've been very suprised about what I can not do and what is not allowable. Very frustrating. I happen to be a planner so having to reserve in advance is ok with me. There are some locations that you have to be on the phone as soon as they allow you to reserve to get something. If you don't like or are unable to make reservations a year in advance I wouldnt recomend this. Also be mindful of how many guest you will have in your villa. Not all locations are the same size or accomodate the same number of people. For example the first two bedroom we stayed in was in Myrtle Beach. The villa was huge. We went to Aruba the following summer and was in shock when we entered the villa. Much smaller than Myrtle Beach. So keep that in mind. Amenities are similiar I think at most but can vary. I am currently having an issue with the room they put me in for an upcoming trip to VA. The area they booked me in (even though I was speciafic on how many people I was going to have) wont hold everyone. I need to be on the other side of the resort. When I asked them to please fix it they said I had to speak to owner services. They transfered me and owner services wasnt open yet.
Another thing to keep in mind is the maintenance fees. We pay over a $1000 a year. You pay if you use your points that year or not.
All in all I dont know if this was a good move on my part. I feel like there are not enough Destination locations. Those are the actual Marriott resorts. They are definatley lacking in many areas. It seems like Florida and California have the most options. I would like to see more in different locations. i havent tried the Interval options yet. Honestly I havent had time to figure out how it works. Also the hotels when you look through the book they give you don't look as nice as the Marriott ones.
If you plan on buying in do your homework before going to the sales presentation. If you do decide to buy play hard to get. The more on the fence you are the sweeter they make the pot. They will offer more deals. Drop the price, give more points, offer a free week, gift cards, etc.
The decision to purchase vacation club points can be difficult. The only way to determine if vacation club ownership represents a good value is to perform a financial analysis. This requires comparing costs associated with vacation club ownership with the costs of the alternative - paying retail costs for lodging fees. Before I purchased vacation club points, I created a spreadsheet to determine if there was a financial benefit associated with vacation club ownership. The spreadsheet was so helpful that I decided to create an application so that I could analyze future vacation club purchases. This application is called PointsCruncher and is located here: http://pointscruncher.com. I hope it helps make vacation club ownership decisions a bit easier.