PROS / The club has fewer additional fees than any other reviewed vacation club.
CONS / Marriott does not offer its members many discounts.
VERDICT / Marriott Vacation Club provides several desirable destinations around the world, and the company doesn’t tack on multiple fees. The timeshare you buy into is a real estate purchase and you can will it to your family members.
Marriott is a name known in the hospitality industry because of its hotels, resorts and vacation club. The company offers a variety of vacation ownership options so you can buy a portion of a unit in some of the world’s most sought-after spots. You won’t be tied to that one unit or resort, though, since Marriott Vacation Club has a points program, which allows you to travel to a different place every time you take a vacation. The customer support team and sales staff are courteous and professional and do not regularly employ high-pressure sales tactics. It was an easy choice to reward Marriott with our Top Ten Reviews Gold Award as the best timeshare company.
If you are in the market for a permanent piece of vacation property to call your own, you want to make sure you make the best purchase that will give you the best options possible. The best vacation clubs offer a points program in addition to the week that you purchase. So, when you buy one week at a unit in a resort owned by Marriott, you are making a real estate purchase, which means you own a portion of the deed and you can bequeath that piece of property to whomever you’d like. You can also sell or rent your week, if you cannot take vacation one year. Alternatively, if you cannot take vacation one year, you can bank your points and essentially roll them over to the next year and take a longer or more luxurious vacation when you have the time. Additionally, you can borrow points from the coming year to use this year to extend your vacation or use for another vacation this year, instead.
Marriott is affiliated with Interval International, an exchange group where timeshare owners will offer up their weeks to trade with others in order to vacation in parts of the world where their vacation clubs may not have resorts. Typically, there is a cost involved with becoming a member of the exchange group, but yours is already included in your club dues. Also, any exchange fee is waived.
When you are ready to book your stay, you can call customer support to get help with the reservation and even vacation planning, if you need. Also, Marriott offers you the option of travel insurance from a third party, if you want the extra protection on your vacation – especially if you are traveling internationally. If you book outside of your home resort, you will have to pay an additional fee.
Fees are a part of vacation ownership. Club dues are often compared to homeowner association fees, so the members of the club can set the annual price. The Interval International member fee is included in your annual dues, so if the exchange group’s prices go up, your dues may also. Maintenance fees may increase over the years, but Marriott claims that those fees have only increased 2.5 percent in the 30 years the club has been operating. These fees include property taxes, so if taxes increase, your fees will increase.
Types of Destinations
One of the most important decisions to make when you’re buying a timeshare property is making sure you buy into a resort that’s located in a place you would enjoy and that the vacation club offers many choices for travel. Through Marriott’s travel club, you can stay at hotels and resorts around the world, including Costa Rica, Hawaii, Florida and Europe. In addition to beachfront spots, you can also snag a unit in places like Phoenix, AZ, for golf fans or Vail, CO, for ski bunnies.
As a member of a vacation club, you are often eligible for a myriad of discounts for vacation necessities. Marriott Vacation Club members can get discounts on airfare and hotels. That is the extent of discounts, though. You do have the option to turn a portion of your vacation club points into Marriott points, which you can use for hotel room stays.
When we spoke with the sales team at Marriott Vacation Club, we experienced no pressure to make a decision to purchase immediately. The representative answered each question with full disclosure and agreed to send a blank contract so we could read all of the legalese. Marriott offers phone and email support, and you can speak to an agent on the club’s website through an online message chat window.
The best timeshare resorts give you a multitude of options, such as resorts in Interval International, an exchange group, so you always have a new place to explore when you take your vacation. If you have fewer fees, it’s all the better, so you have more money to spend on recreation, travel and food at your destination. You also get help from Marriott’s vacation ownership assistants with planning your vacation. These are the reasons why we consider Marriott Vacation Club to be the best in the industry.