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Discussion in 'Timeshares' started by iloveawardtravel, Feb 18, 2011.
OGG-LAX-JFK-ZRH. Overnight in LAX.
As 8500 mile trips go. Thanks.
Forgot to mention that we traded into the Jung Frau region at cristmas time in Switzerland.
My wife had never had a white christmas.
We were located in a car free village, Murren, across the valley from Wengen. Home to rudi
Although the journey for the several miles the crow flies between Wengen & Muirren took a couple hours. Train, tram, cogwheel. At night after dinner the return journed involved cogwheel, bus, cablecar, cablecar.
Sounds like fun. We will be in Zermatt, another car free village. Access by train.
We did Zermatt on a different trip. Got there on the Glacier Express after connecting in Chur from Davos.
Love the Marriott resorts too. I have had successes trading a Marriott week through Interval International for a week at another Marriott resort; we use II often. We like the Marriott TS at Ko Olina on Oahu and the Marriott Kauai Resort (the converted hotel), in Hawaii.
I would guess that the starwood program is probably different from Hilton and Marriott.
Eventually when the forum gets enough traffic we probably will have threads specific to each. Probably even get a
Disney timeshare thread.
We too have occasionally traded through II for other Marriott properties but not others in Hawaii. We had considered the Ko Olina resort but, at the time, it was pretty remote with not much around it. One thing we enjoy when visiting Maui are the upscale restaurants. We hit a different one every night and it didn't appear that there was much in the Ko Olina area except for the Marriott itself. Perhaps that has changed.
We're not huge Kauai fans but we haven't been there for 20 years so maybe it's time for another visit.
Like others have said, timeshares are not an investment in the traditional use of that word. However, owning HGVC points has been an investment in my well-being. I bought my first one because it forces me to take vacations (which, for someone who is self-employed, is often difficult to do) and allows me to do so affordably. Although my 5,000 points are in Orlando (where the maintenance fees are cheaper), I use them for two weeks in Hawaii and still have 1+ weeks leftover--all for less than $1,000/year. I couldn't afford to vacation like this in hotels, and I've more than gotten back the initial cost. So if I gave it away, I'm out nothing.
Like most owners who are familiar with the resale market, I think buying from the developer is a waste of money, no matter how many bonus points/incentives the salesman throws at you. I bought a 1 bedroom, 2 baths, oceanfront timeshare on Kauai for $1 on ebay with this year's week thrown in for free.
However, timeshares are not something you want to get involved in without prior study. A lot of them deserve the bad rep timeshares have in general and can't be given away. I highly recommend reading threads and asking questions at tugbbs.com; it's the Milepoint BB for timeshare users.
Excellent post IMO!
And in particular I like your comment above.
Very interesting thread, I'd like to hear some Starwood people chime in with their experiences.
I own 2 timeshares. Orlando is a 2-br condo for 1 week a year. Nieces, nephews and thier familes use it as an affordable way to take kids to DIsney parks.
My HGVC is NYC and based on points that are easily converted to HHonors points and used worldwide.
I consider neither to be an investment as much as pre-paid hotel rooms. The cost averages to what I would pay for hotels anyway. Orlando mtnce/tax is alot less than what someone would pay for a week, and I bought from secondary source so paid what I considered to be reasonable price.
I love my DVC because of the following:
1. I love both Disneyland (close by) and Walt Disney World.
2. Biggest advantage, I can take half of my DVC points and easily rent them out for double the MF to get the rest of my stays free.
3. Stays can be at any time and any duration based upon availability.
4. Staying on-site at both locations allows for afternoon breaks and extra Magical Hours.
5. Free transportation and luggage delivery to and from WDW and Orlando airport.
6. Free transportation throughout WDW including buses, monorail, boats and trams.
7. I bought re-sale at reasonable prices.
I love my WM because of the following:
1. I bought re-sale at a very cheap price.
2. Biggest advantage: WM is a great trader because of its properties in the Pacific NW and Hawaii.
3. If you learn how to take advantage of trading using RCI & Interval Int'l you can get some great trades.
Once you get used to staying at large t/s accommodations with full kitchens for family vacations, it is hard to be satisfied with most hotel stays.
Owning a timeshare almost forces you to take vacations each year (which in my case is a good thing).
Good point although I'm retired and on vacation 24/7/365.
But it does get us over to Hawaii a few times a year and that's not all together a bad thing.
Forgot to mention another major benefit of t/s ownership is the exclusive booking windows at most home resorts and the ability to easily cancel at no charge up to one month before the reservation.
For example: With my Worldmark points, I can book a 2 BR t/s in Maui, Hawaii at 13 months out.
I can then place a search on Interval International, RCI or with other timeshare exchange companies for even better accommodations in Maui. If the search finds a better place then I book there and cancel my Worldmark reservation.
Or if a phenominal hotel or vacation package comes available, I can take advantage of that.
However, bottom line is I have peace of mind knowing that I have a confirmed booking in Maui during the week of my choice. This allows me to book cheap award travel at the 330 day window.
But, do they provide (daily, or twice daily - especially at beach locations) housekeeping services?
That's basically (and the lack of room service) what turned me off years ago.
I run my own business, and a household (just shy of 5000 sq/ft) with three kids (9-13-16); while the SO travels 75% of the time around the world. I am also a 'bit' of a neat freak.
When I'm on vacation, I don't want to be preparing brekkie, afternoon snacks, or cleaning up bathrooms/making beds. Also, there really has to be a lounge/bar just an elevator ride away.
A vacation to me is 'full-service' --- so, I'm wondering have Timeshares 'matured' to include the 'full-service' concept?
I agree and that bothers me more than a bit as well.
If you want daily maid service you need to pony up for it. Which we do on a limited basis.
We usually sign up for full clean twice while we're at our home location and take care of the daily housekeeping ourselves.
But paying a gazillion dollars for the units plus another bazillion dollars for yearly maintenance fees makes me wonder why I should have to empty the trash on a daily basis?
We have owned Timeshare for 11 years now. We own 3 Marriott weeks; and Disney Vacation Club points. We bought Timeshare once we had kids, because then you need separate bedrooms, washing machines, and full-size fridges. Our first Marriott was in Marbella, Spain, bought from Marriott; our other Marriotts are Orlando (Cypress Harbour, and Harbour Lake) - bought in the resale market. In DVC we have Old Key West points, bought in the resale market; and Bay Lake Tower, bought from Disney. Anyone considering buying into Timeshare should join the Timeshare Users Group (www.tug2.net) which is an independent body of Timeshare owners. There is a wealth of sound knowledge and advice there.
In a nutshell we find that the maintenance fee is the equivalent of 4-nights hire (in week terms), and the remaining 3-nights are covered by the upfront premium you pay when purchasing them. For obvious reasons you want to minimise the size of this premium - which is best achieved by buying in the resale market. And basically factor in depreciating the purchase cost over a reasonable period of time.
Very definitely, different people have different needs/desires for vacation properties. We like to rent timeshares or stay in condos for the following reasons:
1. We react differently to major jetlag. When we have a time change of four or more hours, one of us will wake up significantly before the other. If we are in a hotel, this is difficult, as we have only one room. If we have multiple rooms, the one who is up early can get up, go into the other room, turn the lights on, and do things.
2. You say you don't want to be preparing breakfast. Most timeshares/condo hotels have a restaurant where you can get breakfast if you choose to do so, so that isn't really a reason for avoiding timeshares. We like something light for breakfast - usually coffee and bagels - and we like it at different times (see #1). We get tired of eating three meals a day in restaurants for a week, but obviously you don't.
3. As far as housekeeping is concerned, with a hotel you pay for it whether you want it or not. With a timeshare, you get a choice - if you want it, you get it and pay for it, if you don't want it you don't have to pay for it.
But, as I said in the beginning, no vacation option is best suited for every traveler. The best thing is to know yourself and what you want, and do that.
Definitely agree with the points above.
In my travel party of two, we love our timeshares because:
1. Anything over 3 days and we absolutely need our own space, televisions, places to take naps, quiet time etc.
2. On vacation we almost always eat out but rarely finish our meals so "doggie bags" are the order of the day so refrigerators and microwaves are very much appreciated as the leftovers are often our lunch the next day.
3. We usually bring our own DVDs and popcorn so a DVD player and microwave are needed.
4. We usually enjoy our in room jacuzzis.
5. We love the convenience of a washer/dryer, though not always used, it comes in handy at some locations especially beach resorts.
6. We maybe unusual but we do not like daily housekeeping and most of the time just ask/tip the maids for a replenishment of towels and dump our own trash in their bins. It might be a false sense of security but the less we allow strangers into our accommodations the safer we feel.
Our t/s has maid service 6 days per week leaving only Sunday unattended.
Marriott is nickeling and diming us to death on a lot of issues lately and this is just one. We pay well over $5K a year in maintenance fees for 3 units and nothing, except our unit, comes with that any more. Trash removal, maid service, parking, fresh towels or sheets, etc., etc, etc....all extra.
That is ridiculous with the maintenance fees so high. Our fees are at $900/year which is fair I think for the quality of the resort. While they have tried to start lessening member perks, we are a pretty vocal group so things are still status quo.
As already pointed out a timeshare is not for you. I know years ago many who bought timeshares in HGVC only to be able to exchange for HHonors as they only wanted hotel stays for the same reason as you. Unfortunately for them HHonors raised the "cost" for hotel rooms and HGVC did not raise the exchange rate for HGVC pts to HHonors pts.
BTW if I lived in 5000 sq ft with two teenagers they would be doing the lion's share for the cleanup or somebody else would be doing it. I washed the nightly dishes while a minor and my children did the same. They had it easier as my parent's did not own an electrical dishwasher - they only owned me and my sister.
posted from the Ho'okipa Owners Lounge @ Grand Waikikian