“Cruising through the azure waters of the Caribbean” is one of the many once in a lifetime vacation opportunities owners can choose from!
Marriott has always been miles ahead in timeshare vacation trends but with recent modifications to the traditional timeshare product, vacationing just got a whole lot more exciting!
Media personnel from all over the region were taken on a tour of the Marriott’s Lakeshore Reserve as part of the recently held Shared Ownership Investment Conference in Orlando, Florida. The Shared Ownership Investment Conference is produced and sponsored annually by Interval International, a prominent worldwide provider of vacation services. The STAR was on hand as reporters got a first-hand look at the extensive and truly luxurious Marriott property.
“Marriott’s Lakeshore Reserve was opened in June 2010 as part of Marriott Vacation Club, a global leader in vacation ownership and brand of Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corporation. Located on the pristine grounds of Grande Lakes Orlando the resort was the first-ever Marriott Vacation Club property to be co-located with a JW Marriott and The Ritz-Carlton.”
“While we primarily sell a timeshare product, we also offer nightly rentals available to the general public via Marriott.com. Making a villa rental reservation is just like booking a hotel room, which is very nice,” explained Marriott Vacation Club’s Public Relations Director James Woelbern as he gave intricate detail of every part of Lakeshore Reserve.
As we took in the exclusive feel of the immaculately done property, Woelbern fielded questions expertly. The STAR wanted to know what some of the advantages were to buying ownership verses continuing to vacation as usual.
“You’re buying vacations for a lifetime,” Woelbern explained. “While timeshare is not considered a financial investment but rather an investment of an Owner’s leisure time the upside to Ownership is that you are pre-paying for a lifetime of vacation experiences which can be passed down from generation to generation.”
“Our owners love the variety of vacation experiences they can choose from,” he continued. “There’s an annualreservations window where they have to book their vacations, then they can look forward to a great time together.Owners have the choice to take their deed and pass it down to their kids or grand kids who can then enjoy annual vacation experiences. They also have the flexibility to share their current week(s) or points owned with family and friends.”
The possibilities are endless. The new way to vacation may be all about buying the number of points you need to vacation just the way you desire (like Marriott’s recently implemented point system).
“Our original program involved purchasing a week or more of time at a home resort, during a specified season and in a particular room type. With our new points program Owners have increased flexibility to use their points for a much broader selection of vacation experiences. They can check in to our resorts seven days a week, and stay from just one night to a week or more. For example, Owners can use their points for a short stay in Orlando, then head down to one of our resorts in The Palm Beaches, and based on how many points they have, maybe take a cruise or another vacation experience all in the same year. Points can be used at our entire portfolio of 54 resorts worldwide in addition to vacation experiences from cruises to guided tours and many other options. We serve 416,000 owners who enjoy a variety of different vacation experiences.”
Woelbern spoke of a whole new dimension to the Marriott’s program called the Explorer Collection where owners can use their points toward incredible cruises and loads of exciting travel opportunities.
“Our Ocean Explorer collection offers upscale cruise experiences around the world through the major cruise lines,” he went on. “Our points Owners benefit from staterooms with a water view located on higher levels and accommodations and experiences can be tailored to the desires of our Owners. Many of our Owners may have stayed at a resort and prefer to use their points on a cruise experience. If they have unused points they may also choose to spend a couple nights at one of our resorts or one of our City Explorer locations. Through our points program vacation options have grown tremendously and that’s been very attractive for our owners.”
“When we launched the Marriott Vacation Club Destinations points program, we made sure our weeks based owners had the opportunity to take the week(s) they owned and enroll them into our points program so they can enjoy their week ownership or points usage annually,” he elaborated. “We gave them a number of points valued to their weeks and now they have a choice every year to use their week(s) as they always have, or they can decide to use points towards a variety of incredible vacation experiences such as cruises, safaris and tours of popular destinations such as Tuscany, the Great Wall of China and even a month long Australian tour experience —there’s just incredible flexibility.”
Notably, “cruising through the azure waters of the Caribbean” is one of the many once in a lifetime vacation opportunities owners can choose from!
“We’re now able to send our owners to amazing places beyond our great resort experiences and continue to add new experiences. The points program and its offerings are very exciting and our owners love the fact that they can utilize the points based currency to go on vacation and choose the type of vacation they wish to take. That’s a big highlight of our program. It’s so much more than what you’re seeing around you here at this resort, which is beautiful.”
And rightly so. The first phase of the property emerged with 85 villas (out of 340 proposed villas upon build-out) to the magnificent 500-acre Grande Lakes campus, “evoking the timeless beauty of the Mediterranean with a blend of Italian and tropical influences.”
Marriott Vacation Club proposes to be all about striving to “meet and exceed owner and guest expectations” and during the September touring of Marriott’s Lakeshore Reserve they proved just that with not only the impressive structures all around, but genuine hospitality.
The amenities are endless and the benefits of being part of the Marriott Vacation Club can’t be ignored, and we definitely think it’s something worth finding out more about on