The Sheraton Vistana Resort Thread

Discussion in 'Hotel & Accommodations Reviews' started by bankr63, Jul 28, 2013.

  1. Familytradition

    Familytradition Earning My Ears

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    Hi Guys, first off, let me say to bankr63 I have pretty much read all 68 pages and the info you have provided has been a tremendous help. You're a big reason why we're booked for SVR in May.
    But the reason for my post is I'm a little confused. Are you saying that if we book at this resort or other high end resorts like Bonnet Creek for example more than once every 4 years we're "breaking" the rules? My uncle owns a timeshare at Orange Lake and we have booked through RCI and stayed at Bonnet Creek 7 years in a row LOL ... were we doing something wrong ? We wouldn't use any of his weeks we just used his login info and booked cash weeks and paid for them out of our own pocket. I'm hoping that if we like SVR as much as I think we will I'd like to book it again next year :smooth:
     
  2. skier_pete

    skier_pete DIsney-holics Anon

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    I booked through RCI and my info all has that "Can only book once every 4 yrs. Violations will be canceled" - so I would assume that if you tried to book there again next year using the same account - you simply wouldn't be allowed to, or shortly after you booked it would be reverted back to your account. I don't know Bonnet Creek's rules - perhaps they don't have any sort of rule like this. I don't think it is a "high end" rule - but more specific to specific resorts.
     
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  4. bankr63

    bankr63 DIS Veteran

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    Pete is right on. Yes, they can cancel your reservation if it is found that you have been in the last 4 years. If you are booking in the same exchange system (RCI or II for example) then the system should catch the issue up front. However, if you book RCI one year and II another year, then you run a risk of being cancelled once discovered by the resort.

    No, Bonnet Creek does not have a "1 in" rule. Vistana has only recently reinstated this rule; it has not been in effect for quite some time, but I understand they have had it in the past. And @Familytradition they tend to do this to curtail the folks like you who go every year in a row - primarily a sales tactic. Another chain that regularly enforces a "1 in x rule is Vidanta (Grand Mayan, Grand Luxxe resorts in Mexico.) Manhattan Club in New York is another Vistana property with the rule. It is also regularly enforced at resorts in the North East like Smuggler's Notch or Lake Placid Club. Some of these are favorites of ours, so we watch the dates carefully.

    Note that Disney also plays forms of this game; they used to ban trading in from owners of other Orlando resorts, so up until the rule was loosened a couple of years ago I was barred from ever booking DVC because of my Vistana Resort ownership.

    Being a glass half-full kind of person, I see this as a bonus as it keeps us trying new resorts in some of our favorite destinations. Orlando has some really nice resorts. If you are blocked out of Vistana Resort, I might suggest trading into Vistana Villages, or one of the Marriott Palms resorts, or any of the Hilton Grand Vacation Club locations. They are all top tier resorts with great amenities. Vistana's loss may be their gain. Of course Bonnet Creek is another option; I have never stayed there but have stayed at several other Wyndham resorts and generally place them a notch below the top tier.

    One final thought. Vistana Resort actually has two resort numbers in both II and RCI. I have been able to take advantage of this and "double up" at Smuggler's Notch because they also have two resort ID's for different parts of the resort. I was prepared to argue that I had no idea they were the same resort if questioned, but actually had no problem checking in the second time at Smugg's. Maybe a bit of a risk, and I can't guarantee it would work, but anyone determined enough could try this tactic as well.
     
  5. Familytradition

    Familytradition Earning My Ears

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    I think the difference is that we're not "trading weeks" or "buying points". We use RCI merely as a tool to find rooms that are being rented through RCI and we're paying cash. We're also paying a $95.00 "Guest Certificate" charge since the rooms we rent are not owned by my uncle. RCI is well aware of how many times we've been because they display a history of our vacation stays. Before staying 7 years at Bonnet Creek we stayed 4 years in a row at Orange Lake. I think this merely applies to people who own and are looking to trade. Not make cash purchases. Thoughts ?
     
  6. skier_pete

    skier_pete DIsney-holics Anon

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    The e-mail I have also says "1 in 4 year rule effective 9/1/12 for both 0450 and V450. Only once at EITHER every 4 years."

    0450 and V450 are the 2 Vistana Resort #s on RCI (V450 is for Fountains Villas, while looks like 0450 is for the rest) - to me the "Either" implies that you can't "double up" as you say, or at least if you get caught they will cancel your reservation.

    But I agree with your other comment- there are a ton of timeshare resorts in the Orlando area. Why risk having your reservation canceled, just try another one.

    OK - I get what you are saying - you are using the RCI process that allows you to buy a week for cash. I honestly am not an expert so I can't tell you how that affect the 1 in 4 rule. (And understand that the 1 in 4 rule doesn't occur at most resorts.) It may very well NOT apply in that case. I would suggest that you (or your uncle) call and ask RCI.

    Sorry - this may be slightly off topic - but did DIsney really loosen this up? The timeshare we actually own is in Orlando - and we are blocked from even SEEING the DVC resorts on the RCI website....unless this is a very recent change.
     
  7. bankr63

    bankr63 DIS Veteran

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    Only guessing here, as @skier_pete suggests, call RCI to confirm. My guess would be that they may not look at previous stays when booking an Extra Vacation, but probably do. The stock that goes into those Extra Vacation offerings is generally surplus rooms in quiet periods that is deposited with the exchange system. At first glance, I would think that the resort would rather have a room filled with a repeat paying guest than have it go empty. OTOH, I'm not sure who is actually making the money in this case. It may be that the money is staying with RCI and not going on to the resort, in which case it is probably cheaper for the resort to leave the room empty as the maintenance fees on that room have already been paid and they don't have to perform housekeeping or maintenance on that unit during the week.
    Timeshares are an odd beast as everyone is trying to maximise profitability. Since a unit is paid for by the owner every year regardless of use, it is different from a hotel where paying guests are required in rooms to pay the hotel's bills. For a resort this means that they want the sale and your annual maintenance fees, but would probably prefer that you not use it. For the exchange companies, they want your deposit, and they want to maximise usage as they make fat fees for every exchange booking (for many of my bookings, the booking fees are higher than the value of the maintenance fees for the underlying trade). BUT the exchange companies actually sell some stock to the general public for MORE than the booking fees (both II and RCI have associated companies that book timeshares for the general public), so too many exchanges is not all good. Finally if the inventory is still not moving, they offer up Extra Vacations or Skyauctions to eke out a little bit more profit.
    If you truly want to know more about the mysteries of timeshare operation and ownership, it is worth spending some time on the Timeshare User Group familiarising yourself with the murky business of timeshares.
     
  8. bankr63

    bankr63 DIS Veteran

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    So Vistana has recognised the loophole and plugged it. Oh well, can't play that card.

    That is a good question about the block. I had read (on TUG) that the block was gone as of about 3 years ago, but I have never tested as I don't have a lot of desire to stay onsite. It is hard to confirm because DVC almost never comes up in RCI anyway. We own Orlando only as well, and I can certainly see all the DVC resorts in the RCI directory, but none show any availability. Is this because it is blocking my view of availability or because there is no availability?

    What little DVC inventory gets released into RCI generally gets snapped up by members with ongoing searches for those resorts; those who want Disney will usually start an OGS about a year in advance. I would expect that available inventory actually coming up in a general search would be a very rare occurrence.
     
  9. skier_pete

    skier_pete DIsney-holics Anon

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    It doesn't really matter to me as I own DVC anyways - and I bought the 2nd timeshare (which happens to be in Orlando) to normally use elsewhere. This is our first time staying in Orlando off property in 17 years.
     
  10. vandort

    vandort Mouseketeer

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    I am hoping that those of you on this thread can provide me with a little insight on an email that I received from Sheraton Vistana Villages. That note from Sheraton Vacations is an offer for a 4 night 5 day stay at the resort for $299 and 5ooo starpoints or a $100 Planet Hollywood gift card. It says that this offer is by invitation only and space is limited. If the person is selected for the starpoints, they must go the concierge desk. It doesn't say so in the note, but I assume that this is a timeshare invitation. Is this correct? Have any of you book this offer? What were the expectations of you? Any thoughts here would be appreciated. I would love to stay here, but I don't really want to attend a high sales pitch for a time share.
     
  11. bankr63

    bankr63 DIS Veteran

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    I would read the offer carefully. Somewhere in very tiny print it will probably say something to the effect of "this offer is intended to solicit timeshare sales." If it is not directly in the offer, they may be a disclaimer that conditions apply and a link to go to to find out more.

    In general these half week inexpensive offers are pretty much always to solicit sales. I have received these offers in the past, and they have always been solicitations. Not that it is a horrible thing. You just need to weigh the benefit against what you are spending. The obligation is usually to attend a two hour presentation once in your four days. The sales staff at Vistana are relatively professional; yes they can be very persuasive, but it's really not that hard to just say no; this isn't a Mexican timeshare presentation where they ply you with tequila and wear you down for hours until you say yes. Especially easy to say no if you consider that what they are selling can be purchased for pennies on the dollar on the open market. So the question comes down to what is two hours of vacation time worth to you? Book it if the price is right.
     
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  12. vandort

    vandort Mouseketeer

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    Thank you!
     
  13. MLG4MSU

    MLG4MSU Earning My Ears

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    Wow, what a thread. I am sure my question is answered somewhere in the earlier pages, but I haven't had a chance yet to go thru it all. We just booked a 7 night stay thru a vacation package from Costco. Staying Friday - Friday at end of March thru early April. 2 adults and 3 kids (11,11 and 14). I requested double beds for the second room, but don't really care if I get them or not. What building/area would you recommend as the best with best views? My wife prefers newer the better. Also, is there a way to make a specific building request, or is that something I do at check-in (if I call them a few days before will they listen?). Thanks!
     
  14. bankr63

    bankr63 DIS Veteran

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    Welcome to our thread!

    With a Friday check in your are pretty much guaranteed two doubles in the second bedroom as the two sections with singles are Saturday and Sunday checkin. There is a chance you get a 2BR lockoff unit in Lakes or Cascades which would have a king in each bedroom, but in my experience, these units aren't often rented out as a 2BR (they make more money as 2* 1BR units).

    I'll reiterate that I don't generally recommend sections; almost all buildings have great views out at least one side. There are a few spots here where I mention buildings that I would avoid, primarily for noise. "Newer" is fairly subjective as well. If by "newer" she means the newer higher rise, high occupancy buildings with elevators, then you would be looking for Lakes or Cascades. If "newer" means more recently renovated, then the older sections are actually more updated than the newer sections. The entire resort got a full down to the studs renovation a few years back and the last section completed was the oldest section, Courts.

    My personal favorite for Friday checkin is the Spas section. Big units in 2 or 3 storey villa buildings (4-6 villas per small building), lots of space, quiet, good parking and central. The one negative here is no elevators, so ask for ground floor if a flight or two will be an issue. If the taller buildings and more your style, Lakes or Cascades (around 36 villas per building) would be it; Friday buildings in those 2 sections are all pretty good.

    Requests can be made by Diamond Lane request about 2 weeks before arrival. See the link on page one. I don't recommend requesting specific buildings, rather tell the resort what is important to you (top floor or ground, near pool or quiet and away from pool), maybe give a preferred section, and let them match from available inventory. In giving a very specific request, especially with the smaller buildings, you run the risk that all owners will be there your week and a unit will not be available. Owners have first priority on their owned units/weeks in many of the sections.
     
  15. dioxide45

    dioxide45 DIS Veteran

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    Not even pennies on the dollar. Someone is GIVING AWAY a fixed week 12, which is a good Spring Break week, for FREE over on TUG. The buyer just has to pay transfer costs. Vistana resort really only has value in its use, these can be rented so cheap that sometimes owning doesn't always make sense given the annual fees associated with owning.
     
  16. LynnTH

    LynnTH DIS Veteran

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    Has anyone rented here from Vacation Strategy? Got a price for a 2 Bedroom (July 8-15) for $940. Seems like a great price. Just waiting on some answers as to whether this is for units that hold 6 or 8 and if we are able to request a location or if it is in a fixed location.

    This is an extra trip for DS's graduation and before he goes to college. Got airfare booked on SW Points and also have a $300 travel credit from my credit card - going to use that on the room. Not doing Disney this time. Kids have been there many times and are a bit Disney'd out. (and this is going to be a more budget trip). Was debating about renting a house either in Orlando or in Cocoa Beach/Daytona but I think there will be more things for the kids to do at the resort . Will be Me, DH, DS18, DD16 and DS's girlfriend 18. May go to the beach for day and may go to Universal or Sea World. We have 10 day Waterpark & More passes left from older tickets that don't expire so may do a Disney Waterpark, will just have to buy DS's girlfriend a ticket. Mostly just relax and hang out. This place keeps getting great reviews so thought we would try it out.
     
  17. dlsanchez

    dlsanchez Mouseketeer

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    We have a 2br booked for april 22-29 through Interval. It is a paid stay using a guest certificate. However, our flight does not arrive until 12:30 am on the 23rd. Will I have any issues checking in at 1:30 am?
     
  18. bankr63

    bankr63 DIS Veteran

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    No problem at all. We have arrived after midnight, and the front desk was well staffed. At that time of the morning, we had 3 very helpful staff ushering us through the check-in process. They may have all been just a wee bit bored... The desk is open round the clock, and well staffed at least on the weekends when the majority of check-ins occur.
     
  19. LynnTH

    LynnTH DIS Veteran

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    Ok. So Vacation Strategy just got back to me on my quote. It is for a 2 bedroom that sleeps six. (not 8). We are checking in on a Saturday. So, can I assume that would be Courts? If so, that seems like a pretty decent area - looks like it is close to all the main stuff is that correct?
     
  20. bankr63

    bankr63 DIS Veteran

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    That is probably correct, although there is a lot of confusion about what a "sleeps" number represents. In Hotels they don't generally include pull outs in the sleeps number, in timeshares they generally do. In timeshares, they quote 2 numbers, a "sleeps in privacy" and "maximum" number. So if the 6 is the sleeps privately number, that could still be anywhere in the resort. Most 2BR sleep 8/6 at Vistana - 6 in privacy (usually in beds), but 8 total with the pull out in the living room. A Courts lower is a 6/4 and a Courts upper lists as a 8/6 configuration so if 6 was the absolute maximum you are probably in Courts.

    Also note that often Vistana Resort says 6 by default most of the time now so that they can assign you anywhere in the resort, even to a larger 2BR. About five(?) years ago you could reserve specific sections on the Sheraton website (for paid vacations, not exchange), then they took the names away and you kind of had to guess what section you were booking based on the arcane differences in the 7 different 2BR unit descriptions, then about 2 years ago, they just listed one unit size for the entire resort; the lowest common denominator sleeps 6 with king and 2 single beds. All that is to say, "it's complicated" and after all this time, I still don't quite get how they decide what the room capacity numbers are or where they place people.

    But if you do get a Courts unit, you are absolutely correct. The best points for Courts are that it is nice and central with easy access to the main amenities, and that it is fairly quiet as it is away from both the external roadways and the busier internal roadways.
     
  21. laplabs

    laplabs Earning My Ears

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    So we're looking at sections of Vistana and trying to decide which one to request. Looking for quiet near a good pool. It's through Skyauction and it's a 2 bedroom that sleeps 8. Opinions?
     

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