Traded a timeshare week for this property for a break from real life. My fiance and I thoroughly enjoyed it!
Before I go into more details, let me point out a couple of things. With timeshare properties, you do not get housekeeping daily. They normally do a single mid-week cleaning -- this one didn't do a mid-week tidy - so that's a bit of a negative in my mind. it was a surprise as Marriott timeshares usually do this. Generally, there is no room service. If those things are important to you, you want a full service hotel not a timeshare property. Having the right expectations helps when you are looking at a property like this.
That said --- This was a really nice place. We stayed in a 2BR / 2Bath unit. We were on the side / 3rd floor so we could see the ocean at a distance. We had a full kitchen with washer and dryer. It was well equiped and in working order. The furniture didn't seem as worn as most timeshares, although it had it's share of Florida prints (palm trees and flamingoes). The balcony was a nice place to have breakfast and watch the cruise ship coming in. Master bedroom was huge with a large bath and whirlpool. 2nd bedroom had a King bed as well.
Check in was quick. We got in early and they were able to accomodate us. For timeshares, don't expect this. If they are at capacity, it takes the afternoon to clean and prep the rooms. Staff was courteous all over the property and offered up suggestions on local restaurants -- unprovoked.
Property is very nicely landscaped and well maintained. Activity list was nice and there were things for all age groups. It's a few minutes off the main road, but not a big deal. I strongly suggest a car to truly take advantage of the area.
Pools were great with a decent amount of shady spots. Beach has only a couple of entrances from the property (you have to cross the dunes). You will need the gate code to get back in --- no one mentioned this to us, so it was a bit of a pain. Note, this isn't a private beach, so you'll have to rent chairs and umbrellas if you want them. Sand is very soft, so no matter where you are, there isn't an area that's well packed, so if you're into walking the beach, it will be a real workout!
The tiki bar does breakfast and snacks / sandwiches during the day. We didn't try them, but they looked decent. There are several places within driving distance. Definitely try out the new Longboat Johnny's up the street --- they serve breakfast til noon and other good options throughout the day. It's a nice place hang out with the locals and have an adult beverage.
There are lots of places to eat within 10-15 minutes and you are close to a grocery store. It's easy to make this your home away from home! We made this our launching point for exploring the coast, as well as the Palm Beach area. It was nice to be able to visit the hot spots, but to also get away from the rush when you just wanted to chill out. Definitely consider Singer Island!
Keen observations, well done. Marriott Vacation Club is way ahead of the curve with Brand Standards, IMO. As a Marriott vacation owner, its my expectation that the quality of my home resort is matched across the Marriott Vacation Club portfolio.
Brand Standards are only as good as the financials and the statutes that support them. The Florida Condominium Act mandates that owner associations submit an annual budget with a reserve study and a fully-funded reserve account segregated from operating funds.
Typically, a condominium association will fund reserves for common assets like a roof. Marriott Vacation Club goes further to include equipment and furnishings. For example, if a sofa placed into service in 2005 has a life of 5 years and it costs $1100 to replace it in 2010, then its factored into the reserve portion of the maintenance fee.
When you set out to enjoy a timeshare vacation that you've prepaid by way of an annual maintenance fee, the last thing you expect is thread-bare carpet and worn furnishings. A sofa, dining table, carpet and curtains are common assets for the 52 timeshare owners/guests that will occupy a villa over a year.
Although I've owned with Marriott in Florida since 1994, every time I visit a Marriott resort its fresh and like brand new. So the conditions observed at Marriott's Ocean Pointe are what owners can expect at BeachPlace Towers in Fort Lauderdale, Villas at Doral in Miami, Crystal Shores on Marco Island and Cypress Harbor in Orlando.
Supported by Marriott Brand Standards and statutes to back it up, timeshare vacation ownership in Florida thrives. I've traded to enjoy a week in Orlando at the newly-opened Marriott Villas at Lakeshore Reserve that are side-by-side with the JW and Ritz-Carlton.