I currently own a timeshare at Marriott's Desert Srpings Villas in Palm Desert and we really enjoy our time there every year. So, from that standpoint, it is worth it.
Marriott Rewards Members really do not benefit from owning a timeshare. Nights spent at the timeshare do not count toward Rewards nights. We can trade in our week for 125,000 every other year for a fee of about $125, I think it is.
The typical timeshare sales pitch (not just Marriott's) will include several fallacies: (1) It's an investment and will increase in value. Not true. Timeshares are very hard to sell. (2) It's a "free" vacation every year. Right now, my annual maintenance fees at Desert Srpings are close to $1,000, so that's about $142 a night for a 7 night stay. (3) You can exchange your week for stays at great, exotic places. Unless you are extremely flexible with your schedule and where you want to go, exchanging weeks is a challenge. And, it's not free either.
If you ignore the above three sales fallacies and are looking for a nice place to get away each year, then Marriott's Timeshares are pretty hard to beat. The facilities are usually in great shape, the locations are great and the investment is worth it - not necessarily monetarily, but in terms of enjoyment.
I have been thinkabout a Marriott timeshare in Maui or Oahu as Marriott has nice ones at both those locations.
Hope that helps.
New construction prices of Marriott timeshares are pricey, and you'll never get your money out of it. Most people that buy new, lose 50-80% of the value if they sell in 5 years.
I bought a used Marriott timeshare on Hilton Head for $13k during peak summer season, and love it.
I've noticed the maintenance fees have jumped up over the last two years, but I love the value for the same week in June every year!
I agree with the previous poster that its NOT an monetary investment. We totally enjoy our timeshare at Marriott Canyon Villas in Phoenix, Arizona. We dont have kids so we split our timeshare 2BR time share and take 2 vacations a year. 1 in our home resort in Phoenix. The other we exchange into another Marriott resort. Exchanges cost money because an exchange company manages the exchange. There are charges here and there. However we believe that vacationing in a Marriott Timeshare is one of the best ways to vacation in my opinion.
Marriott Reward Members do NOT get stay credits during their timeshare stays. So dont expect to earn 7 nights every time you use your time share.
Heads up, owners. Marriott changed the policy on June 30, 2008. See Nights at Marriott Vacation Club Earn Credit Too!
http://www.marriottrewardsinsiders.marriott.com/topic/Insiders/Frustration-New-Rewards/14000001696&#msg13000005761 Is timeshare worth it? Absolutely. For me timeshare is about:
Affordable Family Vacations
I attended 3-day conventions in Orlando in 1982 and 1994 and my company hosted events at Marriott's Orlando World Center. The experience was so memorable, I decided to bring my family to the resort for a week vacation using rewards points in 1995. Marriott had already constructed 2 timeshare resorts at the World Center, Sabal Palms and Royal Palms and offered ownership in a new 3 bedroom property, Imperial Palm Villas. When the family stepped into a villa, it was simply magical and transforming. All this for our family vacation for how much? At that time, a pool-side 2 bedroom suite at the Orlando World Center was $159 a night; and for less than $1000 we could own our own spacious villa for a week, use the pool and all of the amenities at the World Center, earn points at the hotel restaurants and drive a mere 2.5 miles to Disney World. Plus, there was flexibility. In addition, we could exchange for another resort or Marriott points. Since we redeemed points for the 7 nights at the World Center, we were already familiar with the value. Marriott made it affordable for us to own a family vacation.
High Quality Guest Experience
We enjoyed our week so much that we purchased a second in 1998. This enabled us to experience two memorable weeks in Hawaii. We discovered the same standards of excellence and level of quality whenever we stayed with Marriott - all under the affordability of vacation ownership.
The economics of quality is important. Aside from the purchase amount, there are annual mainenance fees. These fees are used to preserve the value and quality of vacation ownership. The villas like any deeded form of property have to be managed, upgraded and refurbished. Marriott implements brand standards to ensure that quality at your home resort equals what you will experience when you exchange with another Marriott resort. The annual maintenance fee has 3 components, operations, tax and reserves. When Katrina hit, the insurance companies jacked up premiums across the country. The resorts in seismic and storm prone areas were hit very hard. This not only elevated the rates of hotel rooms, but the cost to operate timeshares. Factor in the added costs of energy, labor and so on. At $1100 per week for a 3 bedroom villa now, the high level of quality is worth it and still affordable compared to the rack rates at a hotel of comparable quality.
Timeshare has enabled Marriott to create a community of vacation owners who take pride in their home resorts ensuring that the high level of quality is maintained year after year. The level of excellence one expects can be experienced whenever you go with Marriott.
Building Rewards Points
Marriott changed policy on June 30, 2008. See Nights at Marriott Vacation Club Earn Credit Too! If you stay at a standalone resort (no hotel on property) you earn the credit for the nights which count towards the next Marriott Rewards level. If you own a resort or exchange where there is a full service Marriott hotel on property (there are several) like the Marriott Orlando World Center, you can build points. Dining venues like Solaris, Hawks Landing and Tuscany at the World Center, their full service spa, pro golf shop and poolside marketplace offer opportunities to enjoy and bill to your villa. On occasion we need to check-in a day early or stay additional days. If there is availability, owners can stay the additional nights at the Marriott Owner Rate and earn standard and bonus points for all revenue spent.
As Marriott builds, timeshare resorts alongside full service hotels appears to be a very successful combination. Grand Lakes Reserve in Orlando is a good example. Currently in pre-construction, Grand Lakes Reserve will be adjacent to the JW Marriott and the Ritz Carlton. Marriott's Grande Vista on International Drive in Orlando, and Marriott's Grand Chateau in Las Vegas are examples of standalone timeshare resorts where points can be earned by renting nights at a villa.
There are more ways to build points with or without revenue. Attending a 90 minute timeshare presentation fetches 15,000 points. Referring a friend who buys a timeshare is worth 40,000 points. Purchasing an additional week fetches incentive points which can top 100,000 or more depending upon the location and season. At the higher end, purchasing a week can earn 200,000 + points. When purchasing additional weeks, make sure to ask about the self-referral which fetches 40,000 points!
Pros & Cons
One of the pros is that Marriott timeshare is deeded property. If willed then all usage options are transferred and a surviving spouse receives the Marriott Rewards points. One of the cons is that points earned prior to the owner's death cannot be transferred to the owner's children.
As mentioned earlier, another pro that favors purchasing with Marriott is the rigorous management oversight upgrading each resort to brand standards. Marriott keeps raising the bar which is a pro. Naturally, sticker shock can be a con.
If you love your home resort and occupy year after year, another big pro is the privilege to be nominated and elected to the condominium owners association. The COA drives management on behalf of owner interests. Some owners only trade for points year after year and want to keep maintenance costs at a minimum. Villas have to be refurbished periodically and that requires proactive owners who plan and build a reserve fund for desired improvements.
I do know of resorts where the percentage of owners trading for points is high posing a struggle for the loyal owners who return every year. This con can be avoided by asking prior to purchase. If one of the selling points is that you can trade for points every year - probe more deeply to understand what percentage of owners elect that option. You can also ask to see the operating, tax and reserve budget which form the basis of the annual maintenance fee.
If you are contemplating purchase to take advantage of pre-construction pricing, it may be more difficult. Hopefully, someone more experienced might jump in?
"Nights spent at the timeshare do not count toward Rewards nights."
Slight clarification. If your stay at a MVCI timeshare resort that participates in Marriott Rewards* and your stay is your owner week or on exchange through Interval International, the number of nights are counted towards qualifying for Elite status under Marriott Rewards. The policy changed June 30, 2008. To receive the night credit, simply present your Marriott Rewards ID at check-in.
Regards points, only Platinum Elite receive a 500 points as an Arrival Gift. However, eligible revenue billed to your villa earns 10 points per $US. This includes dining, spa and golf services at the full service hotel that are billed to your villa. Silver, Gold and Platinum Elite will also receive an Elite bonus of 20%, 30% and 50% respectively on base points. For more see Marriott Rewards Membership Benefits. (Login required). Not all Marriott Vacation Clubs have a full service hotel on-property, but certainly Palm Desert does.
* The Marriott Vacation Clubs at Streamside at Vail including Evergreen, Douglas and Birch do NOT currently participate in Marriott Rewards. There may be others, check at marriott.com or vacationclub.com
Actually, owner nights spent at your home resort or on a Marriott Vacation Club resort through an exchange with Interval International are counted towards qualifying for Marriott Rewards Elite status. If you consult with MVCI owner services, they will confirm that the policy changed June 30, 2008. This change was done very quietly, there was no memo or notification from owner services or Marriott Rewards.
Since your 2BR timeshare allows you to lock-off and get two weeks for the cost of one, you should receive credit for all the nights stayed after June 30 2008 towards qualifying for Elite status. Keep in mind that your timeshare is ~deeded~ time so even if you depart early from your villa or resort on exchange, you will be credited for each night shown on your reservation(s).
I am a multiple week owner and just completed an II exchange at Desert Springs Villas I and Desert Springs Villas II and all the nights stayed have been credited towards Elite status. Earlier in the year, I stayed at my home resort in Orlando and departed earlier in favor of exploring Florida's Suncoast using points at the Residence Inn Treasure Island (which is like staying at a villa). Since my reservation at the home resort is deeded time, an early departure did not matter. I received credit for all 7 nights.
Nights redeemed using MR points obtained by 'trade for points' option do not count towards qualifying for Elite status.