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Starwood Timeshares: Resale vs Retail

Written by Syed Sarmad of Advantage Vacation. This article will discusses the Starwood (Now Vistana) Timeshare brand and will elaborate on the differences between buying New directly from Starwood/Vistana, 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? What is available to resale buyers?

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!

Here is the procedure to retro Staroptions:

  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.

The Final Word on buying Starwood/Vistana Retail or Resale!

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!

If you have more questions or want to search topics, be sure to register on our Timeshare Online Discussion Forums where tens of thousands of Owners and Experts ask and answer all Timeshare related questions! Registration and participation on the forums is 100% free! Vistana Sheraton Westin Timeshare forum!

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