The Sheraton Vistana Resort Thread (key links on p.1)

madhavok

Mouseketeer
Joined
Aug 6, 2013
I received a 1 bedroom for 4 night stay + (15,000 points or $100 planet Hollywood gc) offer for $269, the fine print has no mention of attending a presentation. Does anyone have experience with such an offer? It seems like a good deal. Also the 1 bedroom sleeps 2 adult, 2 kids. Anyone try to do 2 adult & 3 small kids, do they crack down on this?

Thanks!
 

bankr63

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 3, 2010
I received a 1 bedroom for 4 night stay + (15,000 points or $100 planet Hollywood gc) offer for $269, the fine print has no mention of attending a presentation. Does anyone have experience with such an offer? It seems like a good deal. Also the 1 bedroom sleeps 2 adult, 2 kids. Anyone try to do 2 adult & 3 small kids, do they crack down on this?

Thanks!
All I can say is "look closer". There is no way that isn't being sponsored through the marketing budget, and the only marketing budget is for timeshare sales. $269 is roughly half of what the associated maintenance fees are for that unit, and the $100 gc has to paid for from somewhere. Marriott does not give that kind of benefit away just because they are nice people.

If you want to take advantage (after all, they are paying you about $300 for 3-4 hours of your time, which is what the 1-hour presentation generally takes) ask if they have a 2-BR option available because you are a family of 5. They almost always will be able to accommodate, and a 2BR is MUCH more comfortable than a 1BR for a family. Three kids on the sofa bed in the living room of a tiny villa isn't fun - a lot better than a family of five stuffed in a 200sf. Disney hotel room, but only $50 away from everyone in their own bed.

Is the resort strict about it? Not really if you don't tell them; but then one family member would be unlisted on the reservation. That is probably not advisable with the possibility of measures being taken in the face COVID-19; should something happen you want them to know you are all there. They do not go around counting heads to see how many are in the unit, but I have seen evictions for overloaded units when it is obvious (read groups of partying younger folks).
 


madhavok

Mouseketeer
Joined
Aug 6, 2013
Bankr thank you for the insights!

Here are the details of participation.

This special invitation is presented to you by Sheraton Vacations

ELIGIBILITY
Only the person whose name appears on this invitation may redeem this offer. Offer is not transferable. Your name will be verified with our Guest roster. One offer per family. The following are not eligible for this offer: Groups (two or more affiliated couples traveling together); previous participants in a Sheraton Vacations or Westin Vacations getaway within the past year; all employees and their immediate family members of VistanaTM Signature Experiences, Inc., Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corporation, Marriott International, Inc., and their affiliated entities; and Owners at any Sheraton Vacation Club or Westin Vacation Club resort.

OFFER
Not valid in conjunction with any other promotion. Travel must be completed within 12 months of package purchase date. Stay must be consecutive nights. All currency mentions are U.S. dollars.

Due to the special pricing of this offer, we are unable to offer select Marriott BonvoyTM Elite member benefits. The nights and charges for this offer are not considered an eligible rate or stay under the Marriott BonvoyTM program terms and conditions.

CANCELLATIONS
Cancellations must be made in writing within 15 days of the package purchase date or package purchase price is not refundable. A refund will be issued within 15 days of the receipt of notice of cancellation. Cancellations must be sent to Vacation Cancellations, 9002 San Marco Court, Orlando, FL 32819.

MARRIOTT BONVOY POINTS
If selected, Marriott BonvoyTM Points must be authorized within 24 hours of arrival at the Concierge Desk in the Link@Sheraton. Allow 4-6 weeks for posting of points. Redemption of points is subject to the Marriott Bonvoy program terms and conditions, which are subject to change without notice. Terms and conditions can be viewed at marriottbonvoy.com. Approximate retail value is USD $187.50.

GIFT CARD
If selected, gift card must be picked up within 24 hours of arrival at the Concierge Desk in the Link@Sheraton. Retail value of gift card is face value and redeemable for dinning at Planet Hollywood® Restaurant & Bar at the Planet Hollywood ObservatoryTM in Disney SpringsTMWest Side. Gift card is not redeemable for cash and is not transferable.

ACCOMMODATIONS
Accommodations are for a maximum of two adults and up to two children under the age of 18 at Sheraton Vistana Villages in a one-bedroom villa. Do not purchase airfare until your arrival dates are confirmed. Reservations must be made at least 30 days in advance. Due to the nature of this offer, room reservations are limited and on a space-available basis. Holiday and special event periods are excluded from this offer but may be available at a premium rate. After scheduling room reservations, an email confirmation will be sent to you and must be presented at check-in. Purchase price must be paid using a major credit card, which is also required at check-in. A $29 fee will apply to any changes in or cancellation of a reservation made more than 72 hours after travel dates have been reserved. A $99 fee will apply to any changes in or cancellation of a reservation less than 60 days prior to the arrival date. Cancellation of a reservation within 30 days of arrival date and no-shows will forfeit package and package price. You may incur other incidental fees that are not included in your package cost, such as telephone charges, transportation, meals, tickets, taxes, tips, housekeeping and other charges of a personal nature, if you request these services. Retail value is based on high-season rates.

Resort amenities subject to change. Furnishings may vary.

As to Disney artwork, logos and properties: ©2020 Disney.

Westin Sheraton Vacation Services, Inc. ("WSVS") is registered with the state of Florida as a Seller of Travel. Registration #ST35697. WSVS is a subsidiary of Vistana, which uses Sheraton, Westin and their logos under license from a subsidiary of Marriott, and is an authorized partner of the Marriott Bonvoy program. WSVS is not owned or operated by Marriott. Vistana is solely responsible for its advertising, marketing, privacy and data collection practices.
 
  • bankr63

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 3, 2010
    There has to be more to the communication than this, how did they convey that you could get a gift card OR the Bonvoy points? They are very sneaky about how they bury the requirement. I don't see the standard required legal boilerplate about timeshare here either, so it could be legit, or they could be hiding it at the bottom of an image or other spot.
    Westin Sheraton Vacation Services, Inc. ("WSVS") is registered with the state of Florida as a Seller of Travel. Registration #ST35697. WSVS is a subsidiary of Vistana, which uses Sheraton, Westin and their logos under license from a subsidiary of Marriott, and is an authorized partner of the Marriott Bonvoy program. WSVS is not owned or operated by Marriott. Vistana is solely responsible for its advertising, marketing, privacy and data collection practices.
    This made me pause a bit. I work in health where privacy and consent are very important. If WSVS is solely responsible for its own privacy and data collection practices, what is Marriott (presumably where they got your name) doing sharing their customer base information with them? The more I see Marriott involved in the operations, the less I like.
     

    PinkiexLi

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 28, 2013
    The only advice I would add to this for @PinkiexLi would be to not arrive TOO late however. Should you decide to hit the parks and arrive late evening, you may find that you do not get the unit you originally wanted. The reasoning here is that "issues" arise as the day goes on. Maintenance issues or special requests may come up as the day goes on, and this causes some rejigging of the assignments and since you have not yet arrived, your preferred unit may get reassigned to guest who is there and waiting.

    Case in point, our last visit to the resort. We were swapping back into the resort via RCI, and did not contact the resort to request anything specific. DW and I are happy to accept a run-of-the resort assignment when we are not on our own week as it allows up to experience the different sections. However, when we arrived (pretty late ourselves I might add after a long drive down from Eastern Ontario), we found we had been assigned a lower in Courts. I casually asked if we could be moved to an Upper as that is what we actually owned. Well I guess we had not been tagged as owners as the staff bent over backwards to make that shift happen. Based on the amount of terminal tapping that occurred I am pretty sure that a couple of other assignments got 'rebalanced' to make our request happen. Funniest part is that we were placed in the unit right beside our own unit, but the floorplan is reversed. It was a week of nearly walking into walls as we kept turning left (or right) when we should have turned right (or left).
    I sent an email to Kayla about what time to check in and got this response

    It’s a pleasure to assist. You are able to come pre-register at any time on the day your reservation begins. Usually if there are comments, reservations are left undisturbed. I’ll note your second preference for the Fountains but we won’t know where we have you going until the morning of check-in due to the nature of the resort.

    I'm planning on dropping my luggage off at the resort when we arrive around 9am. Has anyone pre-registered before their check in time and did you get the unit you wanted?
     

    VinnyNYC

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 17, 2004
    I haven't posted on here in years. My 18 yr daughter, 16 yr old son and my wife want to go back to Orlando. We haven't been in 4 years. Stayed at the SVR many times when they kids were little. What are the best sections to stay now? Any major improvements? Any info would be great.
     

    bankr63

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 3, 2010
    @VinnyNYC were you at SVR 4 years ago, or much earlier "when kids were little"?

    Assuming that it was when the kids were little, say 10 years ago, then yes, there have been significant changes to the resort in that time. The entire resort had a multi-year refurbishment that completed in 2012/3. If you recall the units being kind of Miami vice/beachy colors, then you stayed before the refurb. If you remember cool beige and granite tones, then you stayed after the refurb. Every villa in the resort was redone "down to the studs", and maintenance has been exemplary since then.

    Since you have stayed in the past, you may already have a favorite section. There really is no "best" section for everyone; all guests have their favorites for particular reasons. I would say with later teens now you might enjoy staying closer to the Spas Super Pool. With no shallow end, and a volleyball net across the pool, and a DJ spinning tunes at times, it is more popular with the teen set. A good place to see/be seen. I know my (now) 20 somethings liked it back in the day. DW and I would camp out at a quieter pool nearby.

    I am partial to the older sections on the South side of the resort as the villas are generally larger (and that's where we own), our other major contributor here @Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina prefers the North side and the Fountains section. Read along a bit here and you will probably get a flavor of what each section's pros and cons are.
     
  • VinnyNYC

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 17, 2004
    Thanks for the reply. The last time we stayed at SVR was 2008. I believe we stayed in the Lakes. Any options would be greatly appreciated. Why did RCI take away the Gold Crown status?
     

    bankr63

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 3, 2010
    Thanks for the reply. The last time we stayed at SVR was 2008. I believe we stayed in the Lakes. Any options would be greatly appreciated. Why did RCI take away the Gold Crown status?
    It is hard to say for certain why the grade dropped. The move happened just before the Marriott purchase when Vistana was (even more) heavily aligned with (i.e. owned by) the same group that owns II. It could be simply corporate positioning. Asking RCI to say a Sheraton is top status is like asking Apple to say that Dell makes great laptops. I would note that SVR maintains its Premier Resort status in II. That's theory number one.

    RCI maintains that the ratings are based on resort feedback received after guest exchanges and on site inspections. Considering that SVR was Gold status before the refurbishment makes it hard to believe it has fallen so far since the refurbishment. It is not because of a lack of amenities, as no amenities have closed, and indeed some new features have been added (more dining, escape room, weekly shows). I can't see how any resort inspections have failed to meet standard, and i have not seen a general decrease in quality of TripAdvisor reviews (RCI no longer maintains subscriber reviews). So theory 2 about reduced quality, I just don't see it.

    Personally, we try to always exchange into Gold Crown properties with RCI, and I will say that most (all?) of those we have stayed at have still failed to hold a candle to SVR. Our other ownership in Orlando (Silver Lake) has recently regained RCI Gold Crown status, but it is no SVR. Our fall stay at Silver Crown rated Lake Placid Club Lodges was fun, but it is a tired old resort and is in no way a peer to SVR that shares this level.

    It could also be because service is (IMO) suffering a bit since the Marriott takeover and that is being reflected in comment cards. Just check out TUG to see how upset owners are about Marriott's response to COVID-19 compared to Sheraton's response to prior disasters requiring resort closures. I do think that perhaps Marriott is trying to put the Sheraton line down a notch to elevate the Marriott branded properties. This is (again IMO) a mistake as they could just accentuate the different cultures. Back when I traveled for business, I chose Sheraton over Marriott because I didn't like the stiff shirt collar, raised tea pinkie mentality of Marriott; Sheraton was a much homier atmosphere. Theory 3 is reduced service, and yes, I can see that with Marriott.

    So at the end of the day, I guess I would say that I really have no idea why, but I am highly suspicious of the move.

    If you stayed in Lakes, then you were in one of the two newer sections of the resort (the other being Cascades). The pluses of these larger buildings are that they have elevators to the rooms, and they offer 1BR units (only these 2 sections have the 1BR). The negative is that the density of guests is much higher, and parking is in a larger surface lot. You may have a bit of a walk to your villa, especially if returning late from the parks. That does seem to be what most people like however as these seem to be the busier sections (or maybe they seem to be busier because of the people density?)

    Contrast that to our villa in Courts. We park at the door. It is one flight up to our unit (we are an upper) where we have what is essentially a 2 story, 2BR townhome with an additional sleeping loft. I know @Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina loves her upper units in Fountains with the great skylights into the living area, and doesn't mind climbing the 2 flights up to her unit to get that. It all really comes down to what you want, and what you feel says "luxury villa" to you. If you, like so many of us now, have some time on your hands, I would go back to the beginning and, skipping over the daily back and forth, look for some of the longer posts with reviews and discussions about the styles of the various sections. See what rings true to you.

    One last thought. One of our favorite trips with the kids when they were of the age of yours we stayed in Spas section, and were only a couple of buildings away from the Super Pool. I think that was one of their favorite trips as they were allowed to come and go as they pleased, and it was a quick walk to the pool to hang out. I even let them have signing privilege to the room so they cold get pops and snacks if they wanted. I think they really liked the freedom that gave them on our resort days. I think that was also the last time that both kids were able to join us for a vacation, so perhaps I am looking at it more fondly than they do?
     
  • bankr63

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 3, 2010
    About 1/4 of the 1BR units do NOT have an oven. All of the large/premium 1BR units at SVR do have a regular range, and the smaller 1BR units in Cascades do as well (but it is an apartment size range). The small 1BR units in Lakes have a cooktop only (NO range/oven). Request a villa in Cascades if this is a requirement for you.
     

    MarBee

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 4, 2015
    Planning on staying but hoping to not have to rent a car. Are there any shuttle services? If not, has anyone had any issues ubering?
     

    bankr63

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 3, 2010
    Planning on staying but hoping to not have to rent a car. Are there any shuttle services? If not, has anyone had any issues ubering?
    Yes, there are shuttles. To see a schedule, follow the link in post #2 of this thread. If you are staying on a timeshare stay, there is a charge per rider. Those who book as a hotel stay (generally through Marriott or a Travel Agent) can ride for free. BUT the scheduled rides are not very convenient. Note that if you are a family the cost of the shuttle will pretty quickly outstrip the cost of parking at Disney, and cars are very inexpensive in Central Florida most of the time.

    Ubering is a very cost effective way of getting around if you don't want to rent a car. Generally prices are pretty good, but surge pricing will often go into effect at park closing. As I understand it you will need to meet your Uber at the welcome center or security gate, but you can admit the driver on your return trip and be dropped off at the door.
     

    Picabo

    "Hi, my name is Picabo & I'm a Disboard-o-holic!!"
    Joined
    Aug 31, 2007
    Hello! We haven't been to Sheraton Vistana in 4-5 years. When we stayed before we were in Fountains II section but found it a hassel to drive to the Cascades pool all the time. Back then, it seemed like that was the "main pool". Our kids are a bit older now (teens) and we'd like to be close to a great pool (they want a big pool that's hopefully deeper than 4-5 feet). We'd also like to be in a decent walking distance to the activity club (hoping it'll be open by then). And lastly, we'd like the bonus of having the whirlpool tub in the master BATHROOM not in the middle of the bedroom. (Too cold and drafty out there. No idea why they do it that way.) What section do you think we'd be best off in? THANKS so much!!
     

    bankr63

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 3, 2010
    Hello! We haven't been to Sheraton Vistana in 4-5 years. When we stayed before we were in Fountains II section but found it a hassel to drive to the Cascades pool all the time. Back then, it seemed like that was the "main pool". Our kids are a bit older now (teens) and we'd like to be close to a great pool (they want a big pool that's hopefully deeper than 4-5 feet). We'd also like to be in a decent walking distance to the activity club (hoping it'll be open by then). And lastly, we'd like the bonus of having the whirlpool tub in the master BATHROOM not in the middle of the bedroom. (Too cold and drafty out there. No idea why they do it that way.) What section do you think we'd be best off in? THANKS so much!!
    So to get the specifics you are looking for (south side villa, jetted tub in bathroom, not bedroom) you would be looking at Spas, Springs or Palms. That is the order of our preference, Spas is a nice centrally located section. For the other sections, Cascades, Lakes and Fountains II all have the tub in the bedroom. Fountains I has it in the bathroom, and is easier for the two north side pools.
    For the kids, Cascades would still be a pretty good pool, but the teen crowd seems to gravitate more to the Spas Super Pool which has no shallow end. Spas section would have great access to both pools.
     

    MarBee

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 4, 2015
    Has anyone had groceries delivered to the resort? We are going in November and was thinking a delivery might be easier than heading to the store ourselves.
     

    bankr63

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 3, 2010
    Hi @MarBee ,

    We have not personally, but there are few posts here about it. Just use the search function on the thread.

    A couple of notes. I would plan to get the groceries after you arrive rather than before. The resort does have a package handling fee that may apply if the groceries arrive before you. As it is also a secure gated resort, you will probably need to meet the delivery at the gate the escort them through.

    If your needs are simple, the resort offers a prestock service from its own marketplace. The prices are higher than at the chain grocery stores, and sizes are generally smaller (after all, you're only there for a week, so no big ketchup bottles). The do have a pretty comprehensive line of groceries, wines and beers. If you are just planning a couple of meals at the resort, this can be a good option, but the prices will probably hurt too much if you plan to eat in a lot.

    Groceries are pretty easy to access from the resort. There are two Publix (Regency Village or Sunrise City Plaza) each about 2 miles away as the crow flies. Sunrise is a very new store, but Regency Village is a very nice location too. There are also options for WalMart, Target, or Winn-Dixie nearby. We generally drive a bit further to the WalMart on Turkey Lake Rd over the nearer one on 535; seems a little more 'civilized' to us.
     

    MarBee

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 4, 2015
    Hi @MarBee ,

    We have not personally, but there are few posts here about it. Just use the search function on the thread.

    A couple of notes. I would plan to get the groceries after you arrive rather than before. The resort does have a package handling fee that may apply if the groceries arrive before you. As it is also a secure gated resort, you will probably need to meet the delivery at the gate the escort them through.

    If your needs are simple, the resort offers a prestock service from its own marketplace. The prices are higher than at the chain grocery stores, and sizes are generally smaller (after all, you're only there for a week, so no big ketchup bottles). The do have a pretty comprehensive line of groceries, wines and beers. If you are just planning a couple of meals at the resort, this can be a good option, but the prices will probably hurt too much if you plan to eat in a lot.

    Groceries are pretty easy to access from the resort. There are two Publix (Regency Village or Sunrise City Plaza) each about 2 miles away as the crow flies. Sunrise is a very new store, but Regency Village is a very nice location too. There are also options for WalMart, Target, or Winn-Dixie nearby. We generally drive a bit further to the WalMart on Turkey Lake Rd over the nearer one on 535; seems a little more 'civilized' to us.
    Thank you so much for this! I really appreciate your thorough response!
     



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