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Starwood Timeshare: Retail or Resale?
This article attempts to educate owners on the differences in buying a Starwood Timeshare Retail, or on the Resale market!

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Starwood Timeshares: Resale vs Retail
Written by Syed Sarmad of Advantage Vacation

This article will discusses the Starwood Timeshare brand and will elaborate on the differences between buying New directly from Starwood, or buying from an existing owner on the resale market.  

StarOptions? StarPoints?  Whats the difference?

  • StarOptions entitle you to a timeshare vacation at Starwood Vacation Resorts, this is essentially the trading currency within the Starwood Timeshare Program.
  • StarPoints are used to stay in Starwood brand hotels, purchase airline tickets, car rentals etc, these can be obtained by converting unused StarOptions into StarPoints.

Mandatory vs Voluntary?  Im confused!

There are two types of resorts in the SVO system, Mandatory and Voluntary.  The main difference between the two is that in Mandatory resorts, the StarOption benefits DO transfer with a resale transaction, while in Voluntary Resorts, these benefits do NOT transfer with resales.

There are 6 Mandatory Starwood Resorts:
  • The Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas
  • The Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas North
  • The Westin Kierland Villas
  • Harborside Resort at Atlantis (Phase 1 and 2)
  • The Westin St. John Resort Villas (Hillside and Bay Vista)
  • Sheraton Vistana Villages (Bella and Key West phases)

There are 15 Voluntary Starwood Resorts

  • The Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas
  • The Westin Lagunamar Ocean Resort
  • The Westin Desert Willow Villas
  • The Westin Mission Hills Resort & Villas
  • The Westin Riverfront Mountain Villas
  • Sheraton Mountain Vista
  • Lakeside Terrace
  • Sheraton Steamboat Resort Villas
  • Sheraton Desert Oasis
  • Villas of Cave Creek
  • Sheraton Broadway Plantation
  • Sheraton Vistana Resort (Falls, Spas, Courts, Palms, Springs, Fountains I, Fountains II, Lakes and Cascades)
  • Sheraton Vistana Villages (Amelia and St. Augustine)
  • Sheraton PGA Vacation Resort

*Voluntary Resort Owners: You are entitled to book up to 12 months in advance at the resort and if you wish to make an exchange you would have to enroll into Interval International or another exchange network.

Is there any way to get those benefits with Voluntary Resorts?

StarPoint benefits do not transfer on any resale unless your transaction is “Retroed”

When you purchase a resale week it is possible to have your resale weeks “retroed” which gives you all the same benefits of StarOptions, StarPoints, Interval International membership benefits and your resale purchase will apply toward Elite Status.  This however requires you to purchase a week directly from a Starwood Resort at new retail prices!


Following is the procedure:

  1.  After you have made a resale purchase you must then have it recorded by SVO. 
  2. After the resale you purchased has been recorded by SVO, contact a salesperson at the resort where you want to purchase from the developer.  Make sure the sales agent confirms when you purchase a week direct from the developer they will “retro” your specific resale week with all the benefits of StarOptions, StarPoints and applying toward Status.   Do not sign the contract without getting this agreement in writing.


*You must purchase a week new from the developer to have your resale week "retroed"

*You can reserve up to 12 months in advance at your home resort in the size and view type you own. ALL reservations are date and time stamped. Room assignments are based on when you made the reservations, not how you made the purchase.

We hope this article helps you with your Starwood Vacation Timeshare purchase, be it Resale or Retail, you should be able to make an educated decision and know exactly what you are getting!

Feel free to stop by our Timeshare Community Forums if you want to ask specific questions, with more than 65,000 other Timeshare owners and experts, no question goes unanswered!


Why become a TUG member?

There is an extended TUG resort reviews database here on this web site available only to TUG members. There are over 4000 resorts covered by this database now and growing weekly. The reviews also include pictures of the resorts, general resort information and a list of owners' email addresses who are willing to answer additional questions regarding the resorts not covered by the detailed reviews.   This is a quick way to see how our members rate the resorts which they have actually stayed at. It has become a valuable source of information to use when planning for exchanges.


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page updated May 2013  by B Rogers - Send email regarding this page to tug@tug2.net