I weighed the JW Marriott vs. Orlando World Center and although I liked some of the amenities of OWC, it just seemed a tad too large. However, during booking I was able to reserve a Villa at the Sabal Palms (which of course I can cancel but wanted to lock up for now while deliberating) for roughly the same points usage as a room at the JW so I wanted to get people's impressions on that comparison - considering I can use the amenities of the OWC but get a larger and more secluded room this seemed the best option...my thoughts were these:
1) I have two young ones (3 and 1) so having a separate room would be awesome for us, relaxation-wise.
2) I can still use the amenities of the OWC which seem pretty cool for kids
3) From what I was told, there is no "resort fee" like there is on the JW and OWC, and parking is free, so that is a $40-$50 per day difference
4) In addition, since there is no free breakfast at JW or OWC, we can make up some more funds by cooking in the kitchen
What I am unclear on is how the service levels differ on the two properties. Is there something, experience-wise, that the JW offers that I won't get here that I might not be considering? What are the MVC properties like as a general rule? Are there on-site activities? Any input or compare/contrast information that I might not find from the site would be much appreciated.
The Vacation Club properties are great for families because of the kitchen. This property is a nice one. Vacation Clubs don't have resort fees like the Marriott resorts (and some bigger Marriott's) do. That's because the vacation club owners pay for upkeep and maintenance, not Marriott.
I'm not sure what you mean by using the amenities at the OWC. I'm pretty sure that if you want to do something at the OWC there will be a charge for that service or amenity used since you're not a guest there....if usage is allowed. I would suggest a direct check with OWC to find out about any usage allowed and, if so, what charges for usage.
From the site:
Access to world-class amenities at the neighboring Orlando World Center Marriott Resort & Convention Center, including*:
Also, other reviews have talked about walking over to the OWC and how much their kids loved the pool there, etc etc...so I got the impression that you essentially function as an OWC guest in a way.
'Access' is the key word...paid or complimentary access? I can see no issue with the restaurants but the other stuff? I bet it's paid access when not an on-site OWC guest. I think I'd call to be sure to avoid disappointment. If it's paid access the charge might be more than paying the resort fee while staying there. Be sure to check Parking cost also if not included with the resort fee. Sabal parking is free.
Please let us know what you find out!
Best of luck with the stay swax and I hope all works out and all is to your expectations.
But....the Sabal Palms doesn't run or operate the Orlando World Center Marriott. The management at the OWC does. I would simply suggest you make a simple call to the OWC Marriott and ask a simple question.....does my stay at Sabal Palms entitle me to use the facilities at your resort? Simple. To the point. Not info from somebody who doesn't work or set policy or standards at the OWC telling me what goes on. Right from the horses mouth.
I know what I'd do...especially with all the tightening of the screws Marriott has done during this year of 2013.
Enjoy the visit.
My wife and I along with our 11 month old love the JW - the pool is unbeatable, simply amazing. The vacation club property located next door is the Marriott Lakeshore reserve. They have studio, 1 bedroom, 2 bedroom and 3 bedroom villas. If you stay there you can use all of the amenities of the JW and Ritz (except for special events - Labor Day, etc).
The Orlando World Center Marriott is not on this property. The OWC Marriott recently completed a major renovation according to the website though.
I agree that a separate room is nice with the kids. I have Platinum Elite status and have been able to get suite upgrades if they are available. Also with Platinum we get free self parking.
chrispa - Lakeshore reserve didn't have availabilty for the nights that I need (I am using points for this BTW). The Sabal Palms is basically the same relationship to OWC as the Lakeshore is to the JW.
Anyone know what the possibility of an upgrade is in the JW when using points?
I have used points elsewhere and been upgraded. It depends.
I stayed at the Sable Palms last year and found it to be old and had not been renovated for a long time. I prefer new and fresh and didn't get that feel there. You do have more room and can cook and do laundry however it is not the same as staying at a hotel. It is a hike to the hotel however they have a shuttle that is free.
Although I have never stayed at Sabal Palms, the impression I got was that it is an aging property. The JW Marriott Grande Lakes is at the very top of my list of Marriott properties around the world. The lobby is stunning, the service is amazing and the pool simply cannot be beat. I love staying here with my family. To us it is world not having a room of our own. Granted, you are going to pay for parking here and food will cost you more. Last time we stayed here, the kids didn't even want to leave to go to Disney - that tells you something!
Hmm yeah David, that's really the trade off - save the $ and have a separate room (which is a big deal with a 3 and 1-year old that aren't the soundest of sleepers - it basically means that we have to sit in a quiet, dark room from 9 PM on which is pretty lame) or go with the less extravagant property. I was hoping the SP would be best of both worlds since I have access to the OWC but it seems that the property is significantly less impressive. Any other ideas that I'm not considering? Obviously if there was a way to lock in an upgrade now that would be the perfect solution but chancing it kinda worries me, I never seem to get upgrades when I need them.
I stayed there last year and Royal Palms was in the process of renovating some units, however, I was put in an old one and it was really bad. I would suggest that you call each and ask when last renovated and what was done. These are timeshares and run by a board. Years ago, Sable Palms had no work done for many years because they wanted to keep their dues down. All three of the ones in the WC complex are around 35 years old.
I stayed in Cypress Harbor the last 2 years and it was nice but does not have the hotel.
I am a timeshare owner at Royal Palms and several other MVC resorts. Although Royal Palms and Sabal Palms are older resorts, they have been updated and well maintained overall. Consider a timeshare stay to be similar to renting a condo with access to a world class resort. You will have 2BR, full kitchen, nice screened in porch, washer/dryer, and all of the cooking utensils and dishes you need. You probably will not have daily maid service (not sure about reward stay), but can request extra towels and toiletries. The Palms have their own pool and workout facilities, but have total access to the World Center pool, healthclub (large), and other facilities. You can charge things to your room and receive MR points for these charges. Parking is included and there is a free shuttle from Sabal Palms to the WC. This property is also much closer to Disney than the JW, which is a great feature if you want to go back to your villa to rest or get a break from long lines and crowds at Disney parks.
We bought our first timeshare at Royal Palms when our kids were young, and have been spoiled since. If you want your own space, save on food/ beverages, and stay in a more quiet area then I highly recommend Sabal Palms. For additional information, I suggest checking the Timeshare User group forum. Several long-term MVC owners provide very good reviews for Sabal Palms. Although it is slightly older than Royal and Imperial Palms, many prefer it because its rooms are larger and it is closer to MWC. Unless you prefer the amenities of a hotel, I think your family would better enjoy Sabal Palms. I think you will definitely get more sleep, which can be critical for the days at Disney.