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GrnMtnMan
12-02-2011, 12:39 PM
What I can't fully grasp is the value of the hotels within the RCI network.
It's not just the hotels in the network, but the availability at that resort. It's not like you can just summon a room when and where you want it....you need an unknown counterparty to deposit what you want for a week that you want. And there's not many resorts out there that have the same amenities/utility a DVC resort.

A universal truth about timeshares is to buy where you intend to stay. You don't sound like a timeshare candidate (since you want to stay in different places). This is true for a reason that applies both to Disney, Starwood, and exchanging through RCI: you are in a zero-sum game where you are competing with others for the same inventory of available hotel/timeshare room nights.
Lastly, one other question as we are contemplating purchasing. I know nothing (yet) about the Starwood program. Anybody know whether they use flexible points like Disney or do you buy specific weeks? I was on their website and honestly, I'm just confused because I see both. I love Westin and Sheraton hotels so we my wife and I both would love to stay at them when we are on non-Disney vacations which right now I'm weighing heavily. Has anybody seen both sales pitches and chose DVC over starwood for a specific reason? Please share! Thanks!I own a timeshare at Harborside at Atlantis, which is part of Starwood's network.

Yes, Starwood uses a point system, but it's more complicated than DVC. Depending on the resort, you might not be able to use points if you buy on the resale market. And even with points, the most sought after resorts (Harborside and the Westin St. John) rarely have any availability for anybody other than in-season owners, except during Hurricane season.

In my case, I'd rent my peak-season unit out before I'd ever consider going to another Starwood timeshare.

Starwood does have system where you can turn you ownership interval into points in their rewards program, but that's also not a good value. First, in order to do so you have to buy your unit from the developer. Second, it turns 7 nights into something fewer, and you can only do it every other year.

312BillB
12-02-2011, 12:49 PM
I just joined this group (per recommendation of a current DVC member). I went to Disney about a month ago and went to the timeshare sales pitch because I was somewhat interested and they threw a nice $60 gift card to me for attending. I have to say first off, this is the first timeshare presentation I've ever been to that I actually ENJOYED.

They provided some point information including costs, useage charts, maintenance fees, etc. We thought it was a great deal for what you were provided. I inquired about buying into the used market and they were very misleading and stated that you "cannot use towards non-Disney properties, cruises, etc.". I've read enough thanks to my friends and this board that this not entirely accurate; I don't care about the cruises and Adventure collection since I intend to have only 200(ish) points. And I did do some homework to realize that you can still use them through the RCI exchange.

I'm a CPA by trade so I can't help but to crunch the numbers. Buying into the used market truly sounds like a good deal and I'd be happy with what I'd pay per night. What I can't fully grasp is the value of the hotels within the RCI network. I've read several people state they are not a good use of points outside of the Disney network which inherently makes sense. However, when I crunch the numbers that is not necessarily the case. Am I wrong in thinking this? Even if we stay at a RCI hotel during a premium period, so 160 points for a week with the amortized cost per point over 40 years or more @ SSR plus maintenance fees being a total of around $6.24 per point. That 160 point trip is about $1,100 (including $100 transfer fee). That works out to $157 per night. Is the argument that I can could pay a cash price at these resort for roughly the same price, decreased quality over Disney resorts or some other reason? I'm missing something. This is important since we'd probably only do Disney every 3-5 years.

Lastly, one other question as we are contemplating purchasing. I know nothing (yet) about the Starwood program. Anybody know whether they use flexible points like Disney or do you buy specific weeks? I was on their website and honestly, I'm just confused because I see both. I love Westin and Sheraton hotels so we my wife and I both would love to stay at them when we are on non-Disney vacations which right now I'm weighing heavily. Has anybody seen both sales pitches and chose DVC over starwood for a specific reason? Please share! Thanks!

drag n' fly
12-02-2011, 12:59 PM
We were DVC owners and sold and switched to Starwood. The quality and selection of the resorts are incredible with Starwood.
As for the points question.
There are mandatory and non mandatory resorts. The mandatory resorts come with staroptions which are points that can be used at any Starwood ts resort. You can also convert to points for flights, car rentals, cruises etc and can be less value (kind of like using dvc points for a cruise). You can also bank for up to 2 years. The non mandatory resorts come with no staroptions and can be used personally, rented, or traded on II for another property. You have Starwood to Starwood priority for your properties. Not very detailed if you want more info pm me. We have never regretted our decision. Never buy from the developer buy resale and pay your 15 bucks and join TUG time share forum.:goodvibes

GrnMtnMan
12-02-2011, 01:12 PM
We have never regretted our decision. Never buy from the developer buy resale and pay your 15 bucks and join TUG time share forum.:goodvibes
The only regret I have about my Harborside purchase is buying from the developer...I didn't know any better at the time. And ditto to joining TUG

disneydenisel
12-03-2011, 01:21 AM
We own a few timeshares....DVC, Starwood and Hyatt. We bought into those systems because we wanted to own at certain resorts and stay at those resorts.

We absolutely LOVE :love: the ease of booking DVC resorts with our points, but we also use them exclusively at our home resorts. I would not consider using RCI because if I have specific dates for my travel, it's tough to plan ahead for airfare, etc., if I have to rely on a trade. I would rent my points out and use any proceeds to rent a hotel or another timeshare if I wanted to go somewhere else besides Disney.

We love our Starwood (Maui) home resort and would never consider trading it internally via the Starwood Vacation Network or via Interval International for any other resort due to the high maintenance fees. Sadly, we paid retail so it hurts to think about the resale value, but we have enjoyed nine wonderful vacations to Maui so the memories are supposed to be "priceless :)."

We love our Hyatt points, too, but need are finding that we don't use that one as often. However, the resorts are within driving distance so that is a plus.

I think that your best bet is to buy where you want to stay, and then rent it out to go somewhere else when you aren't using it. That's what we do and it works out perfectly for us!

Doug7856
12-03-2011, 06:02 AM
I just joined this group (per recommendation of a current DVC member). I went to Disney about a month ago and went to the timeshare sales pitch because I was somewhat interested and they threw a nice $60 gift card to me for attending. I have to say first off, this is the first timeshare presentation I've ever been to that I actually ENJOYED.

They provided some point information including costs, useage charts, maintenance fees, etc. We thought it was a great deal for what you were provided. I inquired about buying into the used market and they were very misleading and stated that you "cannot use towards non-Disney properties, cruises, etc.". I've read enough thanks to my friends and this board that this not entirely accurate; I don't care about the cruises and Adventure collection since I intend to have only 200(ish) points. And I did do some homework to realize that you can still use them through the RCI exchange.

I'm a CPA by trade so I can't help but to crunch the numbers. Buying into the used market truly sounds like a good deal and I'd be happy with what I'd pay per night. What I can't fully grasp is the value of the hotels within the RCI network. I've read several people state they are not a good use of points outside of the Disney network which inherently makes sense. However, when I crunch the numbers that is not necessarily the case. Am I wrong in thinking this? Even if we stay at a RCI hotel during a premium period, so 160 points for a week with the amortized cost per point over 40 years or more @ SSR plus maintenance fees being a total of around $6.24 per point. That 160 point trip is about $1,100 (including $100 transfer fee). That works out to $157 per night. Is the argument that I can could pay a cash price at these resort for roughly the same price, decreased quality over Disney resorts or some other reason? I'm missing something. This is important since we'd probably only do Disney every 3-5 years.

Lastly, one other question as we are contemplating purchasing. I know nothing (yet) about the Starwood program. Anybody know whether they use flexible points like Disney or do you buy specific weeks? I was on their website and honestly, I'm just confused because I see both. I love Westin and Sheraton hotels so we my wife and I both would love to stay at them when we are on non-Disney vacations which right now I'm weighing heavily. Has anybody seen both sales pitches and chose DVC over starwood for a specific reason? Please share! Thanks!

Edited: The following information is not correct! Sorry for my error! "If you buy resale, you cannot exchange into RCI with DVC. Buying DVC resale limits you to just DVC. This could change at any time, for example DVC could limit you to just the resort you purchase."

WebmasterDoc
12-03-2011, 07:01 AM
If you buy resale, you cannot exchange into RCI with DVC. Buying DVC resale limits you to just DVC. This could change at any time, for example DVC could limit you to just the resort you purchase.

Resale purchasers may still use their points for RCI exchanges.

"Members who purchase from anyone other than Disney Vacation Development, Inc., on or after March 21, 2011, will not be eligible to use those Vacation Points to make reservations within the Concierge Collection, the Disney Collection or the Adventurer Collection. Those Vacation Points will instead be valid only for reservations at Disney Vacation Club resorts, as well as for RCIŽ exchanges, Club Cordial and Club Intrawest."

Doug7856
12-03-2011, 07:26 AM
Resale purchasers may still use their points for RCI exchanges.

"Members who purchase from anyone other than Disney Vacation Development, Inc., on or after March 21, 2011, will not be eligible to use those Vacation Points to make reservations within the Concierge Collection, the Disney Collection or the Adventurer Collection. Those Vacation Points will instead be valid only for reservations at Disney Vacation Club resorts, as well as for RCIŽ exchanges, Club Cordial and Club Intrawest."

Thanks WebmasterDoc for correcting my misinformation!

tomandrobin
12-04-2011, 02:18 PM
Lastly, one other question as we are contemplating purchasing. I know nothing (yet) about the Starwood program. Anybody know whether they use flexible points like Disney or do you buy specific weeks? I was on their website and honestly, I'm just confused because I see both. I love Westin and Sheraton hotels so we my wife and I both would love to stay at them when we are on non-Disney vacations which right now I'm weighing heavily. Has anybody seen both sales pitches and chose DVC over starwood for a specific reason? Please share! Thanks!

I own both DVC and Starwood. I love them both and use them both extensively.

Starwood is a bit more complicated, especially if buy a resale unit.

You need to first determine your travel needs. If you buy Starwood, their timeshare and hotels are two different entities. Sames goes for Marriott, Hilton, etc. We own at Westin St John and Harborside cause that is where we want to vacation, and trading into them is very difficult. DVC owners complain about getting BCV in July....They should try getting Harborside or St John that same week....ha.

If you have specific questions, ask. I have five Starwood properties and know the system pretty good.

deerislemaine
12-06-2011, 11:20 PM
Starwood is a bit more complicated, especially if buy a resale unit.

If you have specific questions, ask. I have five Starwood properties and know the system pretty good.

I'm interested in the Starwood properties. We're DVC members and only use our points for Disney properties. We're very happy with our purchase.

I am also a Platinum level member of Starwood, and I do a lot of business travel. I thus get upgrades to suites fairly often, and my family enjoys to join me on a few trips a year. Is there any advantage to buying a Starwood timeshare if you're a platinum member. E.g., at the normal hotels I get a welcome amenity and an upgrade to a suite if it's available. I also accumulate a lot of SPG points each year-- can you use those points together with the timeshare points?

Thanks for your advice.

GrnMtnMan
12-07-2011, 08:05 AM
Is there any advantage to buying a Starwood timeshare if you're a platinum member. E.g., at the normal hotels I get a welcome amenity and an upgrade to a suite if it's available. I also accumulate a lot of SPG points each year-- can you use those points together with the timeshare points?
Starwood Vacation Ownership (SVO) has it's own status system based on the number of timeshares you own with them. An they give Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) Gold status to owners who purchased directly from SVO. And you can convert your timeshare use week to SPG points every year instead of every other.

But I don't think there's any advantage to buying SVO if you have high SPG status....you certainly won't be granted elite SVO status because of your SPG level.

You have to go back to the foundation of what a timeshare is to understand: you're buying a small condo along with 52 other people. You have no right to a bigger and better condo (that some other group of people own) because you have a lot of reward points with an organization (SPG) that has really no direct connection to the condo you own.

That being said, it might be possible to cobble together a longer trip by making an SVO reservation and an SPG one for the same type of unit. Complicated, but maybe possible.

And you would not be able to do this at Harborside at Atlantis because it is not part of the Starwood hotel system...its unique among Starwood timeshare resorts.

P.S. Elite status in SVO dosen't get you a better unit....mostly minor things (https://www.mystarcentral.com/elite/chart.html), like later check-out and a dedicated reservation phone-line. The one not-so-minor perk is that only elites can wait-list for an unavailable unit while also holding a reservation.

deerislemaine
12-10-2011, 08:21 PM
But I don't think there's any advantage to buying SVO if you have high SPG status....you certainly won't be granted elite SVO status because of your SPG level.

You have to go back to the foundation of what a timeshare is to understand: you're buying a small condo along with 52 other people. You have no right to a bigger and better condo (that some other group of people own) because you have a lot of reward points with an organization (SPG) that has really no direct connection to the condo you own.
.

Thanks. This was/is extremely helpful for me. Sorry that I took me a few days to reply and say thanks. I have traveling on work. It sounds like SVO isn't right for me at this point-- the Platinum status usually gets my family an upgrade to a suite or something similar, and I typically get a lot of SPG points in a year anyway. Your explanation was much more informative than what I was able to find online.

Thanks again.

lilpooh108
12-10-2011, 09:13 PM
I own both DVC and Starwood. I love them both and use them both extensively.

Starwood is a bit more complicated, especially if buy a resale unit.

You need to first determine your travel needs. If you buy Starwood, their timeshare and hotels are two different entities. Sames goes for Marriott, Hilton, etc. We own at Westin St John and Harborside cause that is where we want to vacation, and trading into them is very difficult. DVC owners complain about getting BCV in July....They should try getting Harborside or St John that same week....ha.

If you have specific questions, ask. I have five Starwood properties and know the system pretty good.

I do have some questions...hopefully you can answer them :goodvibes

1) We have been interested in the Westin Kanaapali resort resale. What are the limitations imposed on resale purchasers of Starwood timeshare properties?

2) My understanding is that Westin Kanaapali is a "mandatory" staroptions resort--is this correct? And if so, what does this mean?

3) Is it possible to trade the Westin Kanaapali resort purchased via the resale market for any other Starwood timeshare properties? If so, is it a weeks deposit system or a points-based system? If it is point-based, what are the costs to use the point based system (other than MFs)?

Thanks!

GrnMtnMan
12-12-2011, 08:29 AM
I do have some questions...hopefully you can answer them :goodvibes

1) We have been interested in the Westin Kanaapali resort resale. What are the limitations imposed on resale purchasers of Starwood timeshare properties?

2) My understanding is that Westin Kanaapali is a "mandatory" staroptions resort--is this correct? And if so, what does this mean?

3) Is it possible to trade the Westin Kanaapali resort purchased via the resale market for any other Starwood timeshare properties? If so, is it a weeks deposit system or a points-based system? If it is point-based, what are the costs to use the point based system (other than MFs)?

Thanks!
1) The number one resale limitation is the mandatory vs voluntary thing. At mandatory resorts, the right to use other resorts in the Starwood Vacation Network (SVN) transfers to resale buyers. In voluntary, it does not transfer. I think the other resale limit is you can't convert you unit into Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) hotel points. This is no biggie, as it's a bad use of your ownership. And I think they don't grant you SPG Gold status, which they do for developer bought units.

2) I don't know which resorts are in which category...the Starwood TUG boards (http://www.tugbbs.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=51) are very helpful and someone will quickly know the answer.

3) If the resort is mandatory, then you can use your week in the SVN system. It's a points system with booking preference windows. Not sure if there's any fee associated with that, but it's nominal if there is one. The caveat is that the two most desired resorts in SVN (Harborside at Atlantis and the Westin St. John) rarely have any availability for SVN trades outside of hurricane season.

lilpooh108
12-13-2011, 09:29 PM
1) The number one resale limitation is the mandatory vs voluntary thing. At mandatory resorts, the right to use other resorts in the Starwood Vacation Network (SVN) transfers to resale buyers. In voluntary, it does not transfer. I think the other resale limit is you can't convert you unit into Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) hotel points. This is no biggie, as it's a bad use of your ownership. And I think they don't grant you SPG Gold status, which they do for developer bought units.

2) I don't know which resorts are in which category...the Starwood TUG boards (http://www.tugbbs.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=51) are very helpful and someone will quickly know the answer.

3) If the resort is mandatory, then you can use your week in the SVN system. It's a points system with booking preference windows. Not sure if there's any fee associated with that, but it's nominal if there is one. The caveat is that the two most desired resorts in SVN (Harborside at Atlantis and the Westin St. John) rarely have any availability for SVN trades outside of hurricane season.

Thanks for your response. I spent my free time the last two days on the TUG boards educating myself on the Starwood program. Wow...it makes me really appreciate DVC!

Apparently, SVN requires a mandatory fee if you buy a mandatory resort, which adds another $130 to the MFs each year. If you buy a voluntary resort, then the only way to exchange is to (for example) participate in II, which is $89/yr + and exchange fee of $139 on top of MFs. In short, there are additional charges which I wouldn't be willing to pay.

While I hate the $95 exchange fee DVC makes us pay to book outside of the resorts, at least when I'm paying it I know what I'm getting (w/the exception of depositing into RCI). I'm just not comfortable w/paying SVN fees or alternatively, II fees w/no guarantee that I can get anything close to what I *want*. EEK.

GrnMtnMan
12-14-2011, 07:45 AM
Apparently, SVN requires a mandatory fee if you buy a mandatory resort, which adds another $130 to the MFs each year. If you buy a voluntary resort, then the only way to exchange is to (for example) participate in II, which is $89/yr + and exchange fee of $139 on top of MFs. In short, there are additional charges which I wouldn't be willing to pay.

While I hate the $95 exchange fee DVC makes us pay to book outside of the resorts, at least when I'm paying it I know what I'm getting (w/the exception of depositing into RCI). I'm just not comfortable w/paying SVN fees or alternatively, II fees w/no guarantee that I can get anything close to what I *want*. EEK.If these fees sound too much for you, than Starwood is probably not for you. MFs in SVO are pretty high beacuse quite a few of the resorts are Westin branded, so cutting back on the luxuries is not really an option. My MFs at Harborside are over $1,400, and I have the smallest unit type! (MFs at Harborside include 'park admission' at Atlantis but still...they're high).

I think one of the resorts in Arizona is considered a have a valuable points to MF ratio...but you'd still be without a guarantee of being able to get what you want.

tomandrobin
12-14-2011, 09:03 AM
If these fees sound too much for you, than Starwood is probably not for you. MFs in SVO are pretty high beacuse quite a few of the resorts are Westin branded, so cutting back on the luxuries is not really an option. My MFs at Harborside are over $1,400, and I have the smallest unit type! (MFs at Harborside include 'park admission' at Atlantis but still...they're high).

I think one of the resorts in Arizona is considered a have a valuable points to MF ratio...but you'd still be without a guarantee of being able to get what you want.

My maintenance fee for my 3 bedroom at Harborside is over $3100 per year now and that does not include the SVN fee - that added to my Arizona week.

I own two of those Arizona weeks.....The resort is called Westin Kierland. The Kierland resort is (in my opinion) the best resale SVN unit in the Starwood system. It has the best of everything.....Mandatory, high staroptions, decent MF, high II trade value.