Westin Vacation Ownership

Is Westin Vacation Ownership Worth the Cost?

Sebastian here.

I recently had the opportunity to participate in a presentation for Westin Vacation Ownership. I have been through other timeshare presentations before, and aside from my curiosity about Westin’s version, I thought it would be interesting to give my take in a post. Tawnya also had the opportunity to sit through a WorldMark by Wyndham presentation if you’re interested in her thoughts on that timeshare company.

For those of you who may not be familiar, a timeshare is a property with divided ownership and usage. This means that multiple people own the rights to use the property and are allotted a period of time for use every year.

Timeshares come in many different forms, and I was interested to see how the Westin program worked.

The following describes not only the program, but my experience in the presentation and what you can expect if you ever decide to participate in one.

Westin Vacation Ownership is definitely different than any other timeshare I’ve experienced, but is it worth the cost?

Read on for my thoughts on whether this program is worth it, and who might benefit from it.

What is Westin Vacation Ownership?

Although Westin doesn’t use this word, Vacation Ownership is essentially a timeshare. Furthermore, it is important to know that Westin Vacation Ownership is actually owned and run by Vistana Signature Experiences, who also own and operate the Sheraton Vacation Club.

Vacation Ownership involves a onetime purchase (plus a yearly HOA that could increase each year), after which the Owner receives the benefits for life. The program is also transferable (I believe they said up to 3 generations).

Vacation Owners purchase a package of “options,” then can redeem those options yearly (the year begins January 1st) at the 22 resorts currently in the portfolio. Each Owner has a “home” resort based on where the package is purchased (this also affects the cost, more on that later).

The use of the term options was a bit confusing at first, but I like to think of options as points being as they work essentially the same way.

Thus, depending on the package you buy, you have an allotment of points that you can use throughout the year, similar to redeeming points from your favorite loyalty program for hotel stays.

However, there are several big differences between Westin Vacation Ownership options and redeeming points from a hotel loyalty program.

1) Westin packages are presented in terms of weeks as opposed to nights. Although you can split the week up into two vacations (4 nights + 3 nights, for example), your options package is set up to be redeemed in weeks.

2) Unlike hotel rewards programs that allow you to choose between a variety of room options, Westin Vacation Owners choose between a selection of villas. The basic redemption is for a studio villa, but Owners can also choose to redeem their options for 1-bedroom, 2-bedroom, and even 3-bedroom villas. Each villa has a kitchenette and small living area, plus a balcony or patio depending on the location.

3) As mentioned above, Westin Vacation Owners may only redeem their options at the 22 resorts currently in the portfolio (there is an exchange option to access other destinations but I remember a fee being involved). Although the presenters stated that more hotels would be added to the program in the future, this factor does limit your options. The current portfolio hotels are located in Hawaii, Mexico, California, Colorado, South Carolina, Arizona, and Florida. There are also a few in the Caribbean if I remember correctly.

The lowest package offered is 37,000 options, which will get you a week in a studio villa per year.

However, you may purchase larger option packages that can get you multiple weeks a year or larger accommodations. For instance, the presenter used the example of 148,100 options during the presentation, which would get you up to 4 weeks in studio villas or fewer weeks in larger accommodations (I believe the 3-bedroom villa was 148,100 for the week).

One thing I liked about Westin Vacation Ownership was the flexibility it offered.

Let’s say you had the package with 148,100 options. You could redeem those options in whatever way you liked (villa size) at whatever resorts you wanted to visit. For instance, if you redeemed them for 4 weeks in studio villas, you could visit 4 different resorts in the same year.

Westin Vacation Ownership is also flexible in who redeems the options. If you choose, you could send family or friends on a vacation without you (the owner) being present. Another option is to sell your week(s) for the market-value and pocket the difference.

In both circumstances, you wouldn’t be responsible for any damages to the villa because the responsible party is whoever checks into the villa, not the Owner.

Furthermore, you can share Ownership if you choose and split the cost as well as the option redemption however you decide.

Lastly, another nice aspect is the ability to roll over unused options or to borrow options from the next year. There is a $99 fee to roll over unused points to the next year, while it is free to borrow points from the next year.

The Presentation

Setting the Stage

Now that the basics of the program are out of the way, let’s talk about the presentation.

As with any other presentation in which someone is trying to sell you something, the Westin representatives employ a variety of tactics to show their program in the best light.

The first thing they did was ask me if I had ever participated in a Westin presentation. Once they knew I hadn’t, they began asking some questions to get a sense of how often I travel and how much I spend on travel a year.

The point of these questions was to try and demonstrate the value of the program compared to what I’m currently spending.

My numbers went something like this:

  • Nights traveled per year: roughly 15
  • Cost per night of typical hotel: roughly $120
  • 15 nights x $120 = $1,800 a year spent on hotels

Now, I don’t spend anywhere near that amount on hotels a year (I’ll talk more about this later), but this is an example of the process they use to try and convince you of the value of this program.

Next, the presenter went through all the basic information I described above and answered any questions I had.

All the examples used were based on a 148,100 option package, which I later found out was the middle of the pack in expense. Using a higher-priced package for examples is another tactic to try and demonstrate value and trick the potential buyer, as you are shown a more flexible redemption package long before you know the price.

The Tour

Following the description of benefits and yearly spending demonstration, I was taken on a tour of some example villas.

I was shown both a studio and 2-bedroom villa, and I must say they were impressive. However, I did note that the studio villa was roughly the same size (perhaps slightly bigger) as a typical large hotel room. The difference was that a kitchenette and balcony were included, as well as nicer furniture and decor. In this case, they were mostly selling luxury furnishings and balconies.

The 2-bedroom was much larger and included two bathrooms as well as a much larger kitchenette and island. Again, luxury furnishings were emphasized, but in this case, the space and extra bathroom made it seem more like an upgrade from a traditional nice hotel.

While touring these villas, the presenter did something very interesting. He asked for the 3 places I would most like to visit in the world. I answered him without thinking too much of it, but this would come into play later.

The Closer

After touring the rooms, we returned to the presentation area and I was asked if I had any other questions and my thoughts about purchasing Ownership.

I didn’t, and stated that I would have to know the price of the packages and think about it before making a decision.

This is where Westin employed yet another sales tactic: they bring in a closer.

At this point, my presenter stated that he would grab his manager to answer all my questions. Thus entered a man who turned out to be more like a used car salesman.

This was their closer, who finally revealed the price of the packages, but was able to offer “extra” incentives to try and push you over the edge. Furthermore, these incentives were only available if you bought the package right then.

Although I was able to buy some extra time (an hour) to think about the deal and to decide if it was right for me, I didn’t appreciate the pushy nature of the closer. I essentially had to tell him that if I was given some time to think I would consider it, but if not I was done.

This “these extra incentives are only good if you buy right now” tactic serves to push people into making impulse purchases, while you’re still enamored with the presentation and before you’ve really considered whether it makes sense for you.

Word of advice: if someone pulls this with you, tell them you’re walking for sure if you don’t have more time and I guarantee they’ll give you the time you ask for.

Remember, they want to make the deal, and they’re usually willing to give more if they know your purchase is contingent on something (time, more incentives, etc.).


So, what were the incentives?

The first was lifetime SPG Gold Member status. While I’m not well-versed in loyalty program benefits, I do know that having SPG Gold is a nice perk. Gold status comes with room upgrades, late checkout, welcome gifts, and more.

Although a nice perk, SPG Gold Membership wasn’t nearly enough to push me to buy a package, especially with the future of the program still a bit up in the air with the Marriott merger happening on August 18th.

Another incentive for purchasing during the presentation was a “gift” of 50,000 SPG points. I’m no expert but I do know that SPG points are valuable, and with the upcoming merger each SPG point will be multiplied by 3 for the new membership system. Therefore, that gift of 50,000 will soon turn into 150,000 points that could be redeemed at Starwood, Marriott, or Ritz-Carlton hotels around the world.

Not bad, but the most valuable perk actually came next.

The third major incentive offered was membership in something called the VIP Club. Again, this program was through Vistana Signature Experiences, and was comprised of week-long stays at resorts around the world for a fraction of the cost.

Of course, the cost depended on what part of the world you were looking at, but multiple examples showed week-long stays in villas for between $400 and $800.

This was where my list of desired destinations came in. The closer repeatedly pointed out that I could access stays at resorts in my dream destinations for pennies compared to what they normally cost out of pocket.

I have to admit, I was wooed by this incentive. The idea of staying a week in a resort almost anywhere in the world for less than $1,000 was extremely enticing.

But at what cost?

The Cost

Of course, the cost of Westin Vacation Ownership was only given AFTER the presentation, tour, and incentives were shown.

And it’s pretty steep.

The presenter told the closer that the package that probably best fits my needs/desires would be for 44,000 options a year. This package would probably get me a week and a half in a studio villa, or a week in a 1-bedroom.

I can’t recall the precise amount for each option we discussed because they won’t let you take the materials with you, but the cost of the 44,000 option package was a little over $15,000, plus a yearly HOA fee of around $800.

That was way too pricey for my blood, so I asked what the lowest-priced package was.

Turns out, it isn’t much better.

The lowest package they offer is for 37,000 options a year, which would put you back a little over $13,000 plus a one-time $800 fee PLUS a yearly HOA of a little over $600.

Essentially, this package costs over $14,000 plus over $600 a year. Furthermore, the HOA can go up (and will likely go up) over time based on the cost of living increases.

Even better?

They’ll finance the package for you…at 12% interest!

At this point I did some quick math to see what my yearly costs would be. Who knows, it may be worth it over the long haul.

$14,000 package / 20 years = $700 a year + HOA of $600 = $1,300 a year

Spreading the cost out over 20 years results in at least $1,300 (it was actually over $1,400 but I can’t remember the exact figures) in hotel costs a year for one week in a studio villa.

That number doesn’t include flights, food, or activities.

Armed with this math, I knew that the value of the package wasn’t there for me. However, I did briefly contemplate purchasing the package, selling my week every year at market value, and utilizing the VIP Club benefit to travel where I wanted.

However, with an hour to think about it I ultimately decided that the costs outweighed the benefits and politely declined.

One Last Hook

Of course, Westin had one more trick of their sleeve when I declined their invitation for Ownership.

This time, another closer was introduced in the guise of asking questions about the presentation and my treatment. Although she did ask me questions about the presentation and whether or not I felt pressured (of course I did), her ultimate purpose was to try and rope me in with a less expensive offer.

I was presented with a 5 day/4-night stay in a studio villa in Cancun, plus 6,000 SPG points, and a price freeze on the Vacation Ownership package I had been presented with for 18 months, all for around $1,700 and a $200 processing fee.

So, a 4-night stay in a villa for $1,900.

This time I was given more time to think, but I immediately declined this offer. I had already decided that Westin Vacation Ownership wasn’t for me, and I knew that I could stay in Cancun for far less than $1,900 if I choose to vacation there.

Just because someone offers you an expensive item on sale doesn’t mean you’re saving money.

Is It Worth It?

The short answer? It depends.

It depends on your typical cost of accommodations, as well as the type of accommodations you like to stay in.

For me, the majority of my vacations are visiting family, for which my accommodations don’t cost a dime. For those where I do stay in a hotel, I either utilize loyalty program points, or find more frugal options.

Despite what Westin wanted me to believe, I never spend $1,800 a year on hotels.

Now, the VIP Club benefit would have been nice, but I would have had to invest a lot of time and effort into selling my week every year to help offset the costs of the program. Not to mention the $14,000 hit up front.

Plus, buying into Vacation Ownership would have made me feel obligated to use my benefits, meaning I would be vacationing outside of family trips more often than I typically do, and spending more out of pocket for accommodations (even if they are only a fraction of the cost).

Yes, staying for weeks in a villa would be nice, but am I really saving anything? For me, Westin Vacation Ownership just didn’t make sense.

But, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a good deal for some people.

Let’s say you have a family of four, and you typically vacation a couple times a year and pay out of pocket for hotels. If you’re spending thousands a year on hotel stays anyway, then Westin Vacation Ownership may be a great option for you.

Similarly, if you typically like to stay at nicer hotels and resorts (Westin, Sheraton, Ritz-Carlton, Hilton, etc.), and usually pay out of pocket, then Vacation Ownership will likely put you ahead.

However, be careful of the trap of comparing hotel expenses to total expenses. Westin would like to compare apples to oranges, saying that you’re “saving money” because the yearly price of Ownership is less than you may typically spend on vacations. But remember that Ownership only covers the cost of hotels, not flights or other expenses.

Make sure you’re only comparing hotel costs, or factoring in the total cost of your trips, when considering Westin Vacation Ownership.

Another trap to watch out for is the “sale” mindset. Westin Vacation Ownership allows you to stay in villas for less than their normal cost, but if you don’t normally spend $1,300+ a year on hotels then you are being upsold.

If you really want to get a taste of the luxury brands every so often, I would recommend earning hotel points and staying for free over Vacation Ownership.

One last point of emphasis is that the prices I’m detailing in this post are for purchasing Vacation Ownership with the home resort being in Mexico. The price of the packages changes drastically depending on the location in which you sign up, as well as the HOA fees.

Tawnya has a friend who is a Westin Vacation Owner that purchased their package in Palm Desert and paid $10k more for the same number of options.

Long story short, if you are going to buy into Westin Vacation Ownership, consider doing it in Mexico.

Moral of the Story

Westin Vacation Ownership is a timeshare option through Vistana Signature Experiences that allows you to stay in villas at various Westin properties around the U.S., Caribbean, and Mexico.

Despite their best efforts to disguise it, the Westin presentation is ultimately a sales pitch that tries to trick you with clever math and point-based systems, and is looking to prey on impulse decision-making.

This isn’t to say that Westin Vacation Ownership isn’t a good idea for some people, it’s just you need to spend some time doing your own math and really evaluate whether it’s right for you before taking the leap.

If you’re someone who regularly spends several thousand dollars out of pocket on hotels every year, Vacation Ownership may be right for you.

If you are someone who vacations at Westin locations around the world, it may be right for you.

Furthermore, if you’re someone who regularly stays at more expensive hotels and pays out of pocket, Vacation Ownership may be right for you.

However, if you spend nowhere near the yearly cost of Ownership on hotels then this program isn’t for you.

No matter which category you fall into, remember that Vacation Ownership only covers the cost of your room. Make sure to consider the costs of airfare and other expenses, as these could easily double your vacation budget.

Finally, if you do decide you want to look into Westin Vacation Ownership, you may want to consider doing it in Mexico, which seems to have the best price on packages and the lowest HOA.

Whatever you ultimately decide, if you’re ever approached about a Westin presentation at least you now know what to expect.

Talk about Money Saved!


29 thoughts on “Is Westin Vacation Ownership Worth the Cost?”

  1. Great review, Sebastian. I’m not surprised at the costs of the Westin packages. We stayed in a Westin in St. Martin ten years ago. They are one of the most expensive out there. It was fantastic, but we could have done it for much less.

    We get invitations to these kinds of things all the time. I know how they work. I know about high-pressure sales practices. I was one of those types of salespeople back in the day.

    They work, as you say, on people who are emotional, impulse buyers. the tag team approach is classic. And the incentive offers can be enticing. The internet equivalent of that is in the sales funnels prevalent nowadays. But today and I’ll throw in these five bonuses.

    1. The sales tactics are the reason why I wanted to write this post. Westin offers great properties, but they are more expensive than what most can afford/typically spend. Westin Vacation Ownership may be great for many people, but I wanted to give as accurate and comprehensive an overview as I could so that people are prepared for the presentation and tactics should they ever decide to do one.

  2. Great job of presenting a balanced review. I just got out of timeshare ownership after about 20 years (not with Westin, but with a similar type of organization). While initially it had a lot of value for me, as time went on, it became more burdensome. One thing you didn’t mention was taxes, so I’m not sure if they apply here, but I had to pay taxes on my timeshare in addition to the HOA fees and any exchanges. Of course all of these went up over the years. Airfares went up, too. Also, with my network of resorts, it was often difficult to book the more popular resorts unless you did it years in advance. Finally, some people are under the mistaken notion that it is an investment, but unless you are hustling to sell each week, that timeshare becomes worthless the minute after you purchase it. I would advise anyone considering buying into a timeshare to first consider rentals (as you said you could sell your weeks) and if you are 100% sold on buying, try the after market. There are a multitude of owners trying to get out of their timeshares, and many are willing to part with them for little to nothing just to be rid of the burden of HOA fees and taxes.

    1. Great points Gary, especially about buying on the secondary market. If you haven’t already, you should write a post about your experiences with your timeshare.

  3. Thanks for laying this out! Time shares never seemed like a good idea to me. My husband and I have the means and vacation time to take advantage, but sometimes life gets in the way and a vacation like this simply isn’t in the cards one or more years. I’ve also heard that it’s difficult to stay at other resorts outside of the one you bought into. This may be good for some people, but it’s good to go in with both eyes open.

  4. Outstanding article. I have a question – I went through the presentation in Cancun Mexico – almost exactly as described. Said no – largely because I’ve never been an impulse buyer and truthfully wanted to understand the nuances better. My question is – hypothetically based on the research if I decide it’s a good deal, can a deal be struck while I’m back home…given my money would still be “green” to them…or is there no opportunity/advantage to calling them back. I still think the cons outweigh the pros for me – but I’ve not really seen any discussion on whether you can call them back and whether they still will push you…thanks!

    1. Short answer, we don’t know. However, we would imagine that they’d be willing to strike some sort of deal because they do want to make the sale. If you are thinking of looking for a timeshare, it was brought to our attention after we published the article that you can often find these timeshares on the secondary market at a discounted cost. We would recommend checking that out before you call Westin.

  5. wow!! just came back from one and you are spot on. We declined but they offered the sweetener of returning for 5 days 4 nights for $895, with a $99 non refundable fee. It also includes 100,000 points. I figure the $1000 is worth the 100,000 points so we will go back and listen to another 1.5 hour talk.

    1. Glad we could help. Sounds like you got a pretty good deal out of it. Timeshare presentations are a pain, but sometimes you can take advantage of good deals without having to commit to the actual timeshare.

  6. Great Post! I just returned from a Westin Presentation and my wife wanted it so bad, but I stayed strong for both of us. The best part of ownership is the VIP experiences like you mentioned, however, the merger with Marriott may change all this. The sales person knew I was a frugal shopper, so his pitch was the VIP program. He accidentally let it slip during the presentation that it maybe discontinued after the merger based upon rumors among his peers. Therefore the best part may be gone after the vacation club merger is complete. Good call on holding out!

    1. Good point! I did the presentation before the program merger happened and I remember asking them how that would affect things. Of course, they assured me it wouldn’t but I was pretty suspicious. It wasn’t going to work out for me anyway so it was a no brainer to pass. Glad you enjoyed the post!

      1. As a salesperson for Westin. I feel the need to clairify a few misconceptions stated in your article.
        First this is the Westin. We dont pressure trick or mislrad you in order to ‘ get the deal’ I am a caring honest hard working American who loves being able to help familys do things tjey probably wouldnt do. That is spending time you take for grantrd with your loved ones and childern that only want to see dad playing laughing and taking the time once in a while to just be with time. The times you do are pricless. What do you remember most about your childhood? The vacations your parents took you n ur brothers why? Because they finally spent some time with you. Thays priceless. You cant put a dollar amount on those memories can you?
        Addressing the tricky sales tactics you claim we do.. First your the one accepting the nice Villa with all the bells and whistles for less than 50.00 per nite sacrificing 90 min of your precious vacation time instead of paying 100.00 for a hotel room with no obligation. So whos scamming who? This is my livelyhood if you dont think its for you then dont take us up on our offer unless your truly interested. Our closers arent closers they are family men or woman who simply are qualified by the department of real estate to disclose the prices. On that same note the department of real estate regulates everything we say or do. We offer the inventives because we want you to go vacation. The dept of real estate says if we register the inventives we cant tell you today only to then let someone else “think about it” that would be fraud. So no you cant just go back in a week later and buy it with the incentives Well you can buy it anytime but with no inventives. No one ever buys it for the incentives amyway. I also must add that not one person in our company has the power to trick you with our “sales tactics to make you buy anything you dont want or need. Millions of intelligent profesdional people who love to travel and will pay for the certainity to stay in nicer larger villas if you dont like redorts you normally cant afford then dont go.
        Addressing the resale market.. Good luvk finding a rrputable co. You can trust besides Marriott amd Eestin have 1st right of refusal and when i sold resales evrtyone wanted Westin or Marriott every one i put in escrow was bought back by Marriott or Westin. So unless its a low seadon with low demand chances are youll never get red or platinum old marriott or westin yin weeks. Its not the cheapist either.
        Since the merger excting things are happenning. You mentioned we only have 22 resorts we have 23 and it would take you only 22 years to go to each property. Next if 7500 hotels arent enuf choices then what more would you like? 3200 resorts to exchange into? Not enuf variety?
        Everyone acts like were ripping you off… When you gladly pay for a 350 sq ft hotel room for 150.00 per night add resort fees add parking fees add taxes now your paying 10 bucks more yes times 7-10 nights total cost in one year is alot more than a maintaince fee and the fact you dont care if you lose all that money. Im not saying ud ever make money but its more than you will by renting. And the very worst part is you saved money because your staying in much nicer villas than you could without us. And you are forced to spend quality time with your family. What a bummer. . i love vacationship ownership for what it does for people who love to enjoy life. You only live once.
        If you have any other questions or concerns id be happy to help set the record straight. Marriott Vacation ( inclufrd Westin Sheraton vistana and Interval International) is the largest vacation ownership on this planet. Your going to either rent from us or buy from us either way your still spending your money with us renting or owning.

        1. I’d a Westin owner In Maui since before the resort was built, and have been reasonably happy with my decision to buy. But I was just there last week and went for an update. The person we initially spoke with was quite pleasant but when he called in a closer, despite us being very clear we were not buying anything more, we were confronted with a woman who was so high pressured and aggressive we were physically uncomfortable. When someone is as aggressive and overbearing as this woman was, it’s easy to believe she’s trying to take advantage of you, scam you. If you need to scare or trick someone in to buying something, it’s not worth buying. Beware. This was unfortunate because, as I said, I’m pretty happy with my ownership experience. But this woman shook me up. And it’s behavior like hers that give Westin Ownership a dubious reputation.

        2. Susan is a nice low pressure salesperson but others in the office were a bit more aggressive. Do not like incentives that are gone if I fail to impulse buy. This is big money.

  7. Great review and very accurate! Just went to a Westin presentation in Maui, it is nice, but definitely not for investment! The presentation was little low pressure as we told them right away we been these before and only would buy if priced right 🙂 People should think of it as buying a car. It’s never an investment, it’s buying something you will enjoy used, but loses value as soon as you drive off the lot! Still its a nice luxury car…

  8. Great overview! We just returned from Cancun where we bought our second (and final) vacation ownership piece. We now own a week every year. The Marriott program (with the purchase of Starwood complete) in my view truly adds value to their product. The number of places you can go is now in the thousands. But you hit on something that is SUPER IMPORTANT for people to understand! The prices of these time shares is based on your home resort (where you purchase), but the usage of them is fairly consistent across the Marriott properties. So, a week in Mexico is the same number of points as a week in Hawaii (there are exceptions, of course…and time of year matters). So if you do buy, buy in the cheapest place you can…and that is Mexico! Then, use your options (points) at the truly extravagant and expensive locations. That is how you’ll get your best value. For us, part of the value of ownership is forcing us to go on vacation. We’re workaholics and have a history of “forgetting” to take some time away. Ownership provides a steep financial penalty for not using it…so we will!

    1. Just returned to room after presentation at Westin Lagunamar Cancun. 90 minute presentation turned into 3 hours (plus 1 hour break=4 hours of my day). Read this article during my one hour to think about it and this article was so so helpful. The process written out is spot on. Prices and incentives are similar now. I am not a fan of the tag team approach because no matter how many times they say “no pressure ” there is still alot of turning your words around to fit their argument. Here is the clincher … if you are considering the investment ask for time off to think and when you go back say no. Then they send in the guy “to ask you questions about your presentation ” and he will offer you an amazing deal (in my case another 4 night stay to use within 18 months plus 150,000 convoy points) for $2000 at 0% interest) – so hold out for the deal! But I have to say that guy was a jerk. When I mentioned it had been way past 90 minutes he essentially said that was not their fault (implying it was my own fault) and when I told him my reasons for decling were personal he seemed put off that I didn’t want to share. As soon as he figured out I was not budging he became super rude.
      Thank you for this article- it was incredibly helpful

  9. Great review. My advice is buy from the resale market. There are many sites that allow owners to resell their timeshares. The cost is about 20% of what’s quoted in the presentation. For example the 148100 Every year option in Maui is about $64k at the presentation, but you can get them in the resale market for about $14-$17k. One thing is make sure the timeshare deed allows transfer on a participatory basis. Marriott and Westin have changed rules on some resorts where buyers on the resale market can ONLY use at that resort not all resorts. Participatory deeds allow for resale buyers to use points at any resort.

    If you do this, the deal looks much different economically.

  10. Great review and spot on based on my November 2019 pitch at Westin in Cabo. I could easily afford but the value just wasn’t there. Current cost is $14k for 67,000 option every other year! Resale market seems the way to go based on prior posts.

  11. Thanks for this post, your account mirrors mine. I attended a pitch in Cabo, October 2019, and was given hotel vouchers worth $75 for my time. The sales person was a young super tall gorgeous girl who focused on our common life experiences. I loved the villa I was shown and the incentives. Though I would normally not spend so much on hotel stays, I felt that buying in would force me to travel while pampering myself, a sort of self-care. When I balked at making a big-ticket impulsive purchase, I was met with well crafted logical arguments. Yet, I stood my ground. When it was clear that no arguments would twist my arm, the salesperson morphed into cold winter. By the time the last sales person came in to talk to me, I believe he was introduced as someone from “marketing”, I was so shaken by the first woman’s attitude shift that I just wanted to be gone. I loved my stay in Cabo and I’ve considered the timeshare offer since my return home. I sum up the offer thusly: paying upfront for discounts on beautiful accommodations and a lot of butt kissing from the staff. I bet I could access beauty and “love” for free.

  12. Douglas J Reinhart

    Check out what you get with the Costco or Sam’s travel offerings at similar locations. Sometimes it is the same location as the timeshares.
    We found room for one week, round trip air, deluxe dinner each night, $1000 voucher for things to do on site, and a number of other perks included for the price of a year’s ownership in a one week timeshare in the same location. With Costco purchases, you are not limited to any one site, and there is no long term debt obligation. We have attended many of these timeshare presentations, and the author is spot on. We have never purchased a timeshare but have known plenty of people that suffer buyers remorse after they did. There are hundreds of thousands of people trying to sell their timeshares on the resale market. that alone should be an enormous red flag, unless you enjoy throwing your money away. The return on investment is one of the absolute worst you can find.

  13. Great review and on spot. I booked a room and was staying at Sheraton Vistana in Orlando this week. On check in I was offered 25,000 Bonvoy points to go through the presentation which I accepted. The process was exactly how you and all responders have detailed it here. I went in with an open mind – and to be very honest was close to taking the entry level package to gain access to the Interval Getaways (the low cost weekly rentals). The only reason I did not was – as many have shared here – they were insisting on a decision on the spot – and I would have liked access to the site to validate for myself what vacation options were available- to where for what cost. I will say that with the exception of the person who met me after to offer the price lock / additional visit – the primary person who helped me and her manager we’re definitely professional. I would wonder on closing if this industry would have more luck if they alllowed for proper decision making and offered true transparency on pricing. Thanks again for the great review and thanks to those as well for your great comments.

    1. Thank you Scott! We’ve recently added some timeshare hacking articles to the site that you might be interested in. In particular, one of our contributors shares how you can buy timeshares off the resale market and save a ton of money. I’m even considering getting into a timeshare if I can get a product like Westin at such a discount. Here’s the article if you’re interested: https://www.moneysavedmoneyearned.com/timeshare/.

  14. A couple of thoughts:
    A) presentation is as described. All of them are paid by commission and there is pressure to sell. They are SALES people.
    B) only buy somewhere that you like. Do not buy one with the expectation that you can meet your desires via Interval or RCI. They are nice to have and can expand your opportunities but the offerings can be limiting
    C) MF’s will go up. And so will the price of hotels.
    D) Use it every year. Just commit to it. Don’s let points go to waste.
    E) It will take about 7-10 years to break even vs paying for comparable hotels. We have owned for 20+ years and have gone and stayed in places that I would never pay retail for. For us, it has worked.
    F) The resale market is a good deal. But you will not usually be allowed to take part in all of the perks offered. And that may be ok.
    G) finally, if you do buy, remember that there is a recession period (usually7-10 days). Go home. Do your research and then make a final decision. I have rescinded a few times after leaving the emotional setting of the presentation.

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