You may view the video below or read the entire transcript of Westin Sheraton Vistana Timeshares Explained located below the video.
Hello, my name is Syed Sarmad and I’m the Principal Broker for Advantage Vacation. We are a real estate company specializing in the resales of name brand timeshares which include Hilton, Hyatt, Disney, Marriott, Sheraton, Westin and Vistana. We’ve been in business for nearly 30 years and have an office in the Lahaina Cannery Mall, Lahaina, Maui.
The information I will share with you today is about the Sheraton Vistana/Westin vacation programs and the difference in buying from the developer versus buying on the timeshare resale market.
Vistana has four types of vacation ownership programs:
Ownership number one is at a specific resort with exchange benefits and then there are three “point based” programs. I will first differentiate between the vacation ownership program and then the three point based programs.
Vacation Ownership Program
The vacation ownership program is where ownership is conveyed in one week intervals in a specific size unit, a view category if applicable (such as oceanfront, oceanview, island view – as is the case at the Westin Maui timeshares) and then a season such as platinum, gold, silver where applicable, in a specific resort.
Owners have the priority in making reservations 12 to 8 months in advance at their home resort. Owners who have purchased this type of a vacation ownership program from the developer can utilize StarOptions associated with their timeshare at any other Vistana Signature resort up to 8 months in advance or convert into StarPoints or Starwood Preferred Guest Program or exchange through Interval International. They can also bank or borrow their StarOptions. There are currently 27 resorts in the Vistana Signature network.
To view the Starwood StarOption chart, click on: Starwood StarOption Chart
Or click on the image below:
There are three points based programs that Vistana currently has:
There are 6 resorts in the Sheraton Flex program:
Sheraton Broadway Plantation, Myrtle Beach, SC
Sheraton Vistana Resort and Vistana Villages, Orlando, FL
Vistana Beach Club, Jensen Beach, FL
Sheraton Steamboat Springs, Steamboat Springs, CO
Sheraton Desert Oasis, Scottsdale, AZ
The Westin Aventuras are Mexico based resorts:
Los Cabos, Cabo San Lucas
Two currently in their resorts in Cancun
There are 7 resorts in the Westin Flex program:
Westin Ka anapali Ocean Resort Villas, Maui, Hawaii
Westin Ka anapali Ocean Resort Villas North, Maui, Hawaii
Westin Princeville, Kauai, Hawaii
Westin Kierland Villas, Scottsdale, AZ
Westin Mission Hills, Rancho Mirage, CA
Westin Desert Willow, Palm Desert, CA
Westin Riverfront Villas, Avon, CO
The Flex system is a point based program giving owners the Home Resort preference period of making reservations up to 12 months in advance in multiple locations.
For example, the Westin Flex program owners will have the right to make reservations in any one of the seven resorts up to 12 months in advance. Purchases made from the Developer have the option of reserving at any other Vistana Signature resort up to 8 months in advance or bank un-used StarOptions or borrow StarOptions or exchange through Interval International or convert into Starwood Preferred Guest or what’s called SPG points.
Flex owners cannot make reservations into any oceanfront units at the Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas South and North or any Event Weeks at either of these two resorts – Kaanapali South or Kaanapali North.
The Flex timeshare is a mandatory membership in a trust with voting rights and assessments. A special warranty deed is issued. The annual maintenance fees are computed on the number of home options purchased, multiplied by the maintenance fee cost per point. Retail purchases also pay an annual club fee.
It is important to note that all the resorts currently in the Sheraton Flex and Westin Flex programs have had sales programs in the past where purchasers bought timeshare interests in one week intervals. So where do these programs get their inventory? The Inventory currently in these Flex programs was acquired through owners upgrading their ownership, through the Developer buying back inventory under their “right of first refusal” option (where applicable), or through foreclosures.
There are two classifications of resorts in the Westin or Vistana program. This pertains specifically to what benefits transfer to a timeshare resale buyer, in other words – what benefits they receive when they purchase a timeshare resale and what benefits do not transfer on a resale.
There are Mandatory and Voluntary Resorts.
Owners who have purchased a resale in a Mandatory Resort have 12 to 8 month Home Resort preference reservation rights, they receive StarOption benefits which entitle them to internally utilize their StarOptions at any other of the Vistana Signature resorts up to 8 months in advance and receive Interval International exchange benefits. Resale owners can also bank and borrow their StarOptions. Resale buyers do not get SPG benefits.
Owners who purchase in a Voluntary Resort do not receive StarOption benefits. They can elect to enroll into Interval International to make external exchanges. StarPoint benefits also do not transfer on voluntary resort resales.
There are six Mandatory Resorts where StarOption benefits transfer to a resale purchaser – they are the Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas and Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas North (both of which are in Maui), Westin Kierland Villas in Scottsdale, Arizona, the Sheraton Key West and Bella phases in Orlando, Florida, Harborside at Atlantis, the Westin St. John Hillside Phase, USVI.
The Sheraton Flex, Westin Aventuras and Westin Flex programs come under the classification of voluntary resorts which means StarOption and StarPoint benefits do not transfer to a timeshare resale buyer. The resale buyer will have the same rights to reserve at any one of the resorts in those groups of up to 12 months in advance or enroll into Interval International to make any external exchange.
In other words, they can make reservations just as if they had purchased from a Developer in their network of resorts. For example: a Westin Flex resale buyer can make reservations up to 12 months in advance at any one of the seven resorts or as the Sheraton Flex member at any one of the six resorts or as the Westin Aventura member at Los Cabos and Cancun.
Currently, they cannot make exchanges into StarOptions. Resale purchasers do not get StarOptions. All exchanges will have to take place through Interval International at the resale purchasers option. StarPoint benefits do not transfer.
I hope this information has been beneficial to you. Thank you!
Syed Sarmad, Principal Broker for Advantage Vacation