I just returned from Hawaii yesterday. I attended an update on vacation clubs and, yes, they are planning a property on the Big Island. However, it will be a conversion of their existing hotel property in Waikoloa. The property is nice, but not exceptional. I believe this is scheduled for completion in around 2 years. Since the rooms there are rather small, it will be interesting to see how they design the conversion.
Just to follow up - in February they confirmed that the Waikoloa Beach Resort will be the site for the Vacation Club. It will be similar to the Ocean Club in Maui where they convert existing rooms with Kitchenettes to Vacation Club Rooms with the plan to expand like they did with Molokai & Lanai Towers.
In San Diego, MVC bought the Declan Suites Hotel. I expect them to gut the original rooms and put in the normal full kitchen suites.
The San Diego Marriott Vacation Club property is currently called Declan Suites San Diego. It shares a downtown city block with the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Music Center (including the 2,231-seat Copley Symphony Hall), and the Symphony Towers office building (34-stories totaling 521,281 square feet). The hotel sits on top of a fortress-like parking structure with 650 spaces.
It remains to be seen how extensively Marriott Vacations Worldwide (VAC) transforms the hotel. Because it's part of an intensely developed city block, it cannot become a resort on spacious landscaped grounds with extensive outdoor areas.
Declan Suites currently has a relatively small heated indoor pool with skylights, and it seems very unlikely that a bigger pool is possible. You can find a photo of the pool and and other features of the hotel here:http://www.declansuitessandiego.com/photo-tour
Declan Suites boasts "over 6,000 square-feet of flexible San Diego Meeting Space with large pre-function space" on its 12th floor. Presumably, that space can be put to different use for Vacation Club guests.
Perhaps there's an opportunity to add an outdoor deck on the roof between the two towers or to peel back part of that roof. Given San Diego's wonderful year-round climate, it would be a shame if that does not happen.
The rooms are all 425-sq.ft. 2-room suites. Currently, they're really just traditional hotel rooms with a wall dividing the bed area from the sofa area. There are no balconies. These "villas" will be smaller than purpose-built Marriott Vacation Club villas, but I hope that VAC will skillfully squeeze in a mini-kitchen and more "home away from home" features.
By the way, VAC's acquisition of the hotel is complete. According to Marriott Vacations Worldwide Reports First Quarter 2015 Financial Results (April 30, 2015):
The company completed its acquisition of an operating hotel located in San Diego, California, for approximately $55 million. The company plans to begin converting the hotel to vacation ownership inventory later this year.
This is disappointing news in my opinion. Being a Hawaii resident, I've watched as more and more hotels are converted into timeshares. While many news outlets say this is a great thing and is giving Hawaii record visitor rates, what they fail to mention are the detrimental effects timeshares have on our economy.
Timeshares require less staff due to the less frequent room cleaning intervals, less need for food service, etc. means as we lose more hotels to timeshare or even condo conversions, we lose more jobs. But there's negative effects for visitors too. Those that don't own a timeshare see tighter room inventories. Tighter inventories means higher room rates, which is readily apparent today's rates.
The Waikoloa Beach Marriott being the only full service Marriott on the Big Island and one of the more reasonably priced options in its class on the island, the news is particularly disturbing to me and one that I hope will not come true.
Not sure if this will shed any light onto the situation, but, the property recently renegotiated its contracts with Local 5:
And was recently acquired by a new owner Waikoloa Beach Marriott bought by Silverwest | Hawaii 24/7