Hey guys, hope everyone is doing well. Really excited to randomly find MRI as I am a multi-year platinum member always looking for the best way to maximize use of my points for family travel. I have one child (18 months) and my wife and I love to travel. We just got back from the Marriott Ocean Club in Aruba where were got really lucky to book a flight + hotel package to take advantage of gaining airline miles as well. The purpose of my question (and my apologies if this is posted in the wrong location on the website) is that I would like to hear from other insiders as to the best waterfront/oceanfront warm weather properties in North America/Caribbean where we can look to continue using our points.
WE absolutely loved the Marriott Vacation Clubs in Aruba and would go back in a second, but from what I can tell it must have been a complete act of God that I was able to use points because when I search now for the same locations there are literally no available weeks for use looking out as far as you can book. I certainly understand those being timeshares that it would be difficult/if not impossible to find times when you would be able to use your points at vacation clubs. So, I'd love to hear from others of places they were able to fairly easily use points for a stay at a nice property that is on the water AND has a kitchen in the room. I would definitely consider a Residence Inn as well as Marriottt Vacation Clubs as well.
It's tough to travel with our young son for a week and only have a standard hotel room. Thank you all for viewing my question and I truly appreciate any and all advice. Our travel dates are flexible since he is not in school yet so feel free to chime in with any ideas!
So ... many ... options ....
IAHFLYR and others rave about Marco Island.... is Scrub Island off the map? lots of insiders rave about that too...
Let me make one suggestion that won't necessarily pop up on your list, but consider Virginia Beach (in the summer, only). We think it's a nice family spot.
Thanks for the suggestion! Would love to do Scrub Island but not sure kitchens are available in rooms. May have to wait and plan that for just me and the wife. I was actually looking at Marco Island as we have never been there.
Anyone ever have luck at using points to book a week at the Crystal Shores Vacation Club there? The kitchen in unit once again is the draw for us at this.
Thanks again for all suggestions!!
I am always a big fan of Marco Island. There are no kitchens in the room but they do all have mini-fridges. One of the pools also has a splash area just for little kids. The gulf beach is also very calm and safe for small children.
You can also check out Singer Island. All of the rooms have full kitchens and since it's not a MVCI property you can usually find rooms for points. Both are Cat 9 properties but they are well worth it.
Thanks for the reply natural_log! Would really like to check out Marco Island at some point. I have actually been to Singer Island many times with family that own a condo and love it there.
OK editing my first reply... Genius idea here natural_log! I have been going to Singer Island for 15+ years and never had any idea that 3800 ocean was a Marriott Property. In the past I have continued to look for room at the MVCI properties. Thank you sooo much for your post!
Getting great ideas from all you wonderful people!!! Thank you again.
Grand Cayman Marriott- We took our 3 year old there and it was perfect for us as a family. Great restaurants to walk to and very kid friendly! Some reviews Ihad read suggested the beach was small but again we found it to be perfect for our family. Good Luck on your travels!!!
malstott45, we did MVCI Ko Olina with the kids when they were fairly young. We stopped in LA for a night, then flew from LAX-HNL which is not a bad flight, and the kids did fine. We came back on a daytime flight instead of a red-eye. Ko Olina is perfect for kids.
We have also done, and would recommend:
MVCI Crystal Shores (Marco Island) - fantastic, but hard to get into and only 2BR so takes a lot of points. They are doubling the size, so when the expansion is complete, may be better availability.
MVCI St. Kitts - also excellent but only 2BR - not as hard to get into.
MVCI Aruba Surf Club - sounds like you've done this already.
MCVI BeachPlace Towers (Ft. Lauderdale) - urban setting, and beach is across the street, but very reasonable cost and lots to do in the area.