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Testimonial: Hawaii on a budget with the Marriott Vacation Club

To the point Attending a Marriott timeshare presentation allowed me to spend 5 nights in Maui in a 4-star hotel for only $1250. Here are the details.

The trip took place in the summer of 2022. The prices mentioned in the article have therefore probably changed since then, and are merely indicative.

Maui is a dream destination, and despite the many options available to get there at low cost thanks to Aeroplan points, once there the various accommodation options are very expensive. What if I told you that you could spend 5 nights in a 4-star hotel worth over $4,000 for just $1,250? Yes, it’s possible with Marriott’s timeshare program. The only constraint: attend a timeshare meeting.

What is timeshare?

Better known as Timesharing, Marriott’s timeshare rental involves buying points – mind you, we’re not talking about the Marriott Bonvoy points you earn with your credit cards here -redeemable for stays at Marriott Vacation club hotels. There is also an annual maintenance fee.

Please note that I don’t advise you to buy a subscription to a timeshare, on the contrary. According to my calculations, this is not an advantageous option at all. However, there is a simple way to save on your stay at these hotels.

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5 nights in a 4-star hotel for 999 USD

In an effort to sell subscriptions to its timeshare rentals, Marriott is offering trial promotions at its Marriott Vacation Club hotels. However, certain requirements must be met:

  • Have an annual family income of over $100,000 (no proof of income was requested).
  • Attend a 90-minute timeshare meeting during your stay.
  • If you are married or have a partner, both members of the couple must attend the meeting.

That’s all there is to it. If you meet these conditions, a simple call to Marriott Vacation Club allows you to purchase a promotional offer. Several options are available, including 5 nights in Hawaii for US$999. Several hotels are available on different islands of Hawaii. I chose the Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club – Lahaina & Napili Towers because it had dates available that matched flight options from Montreal redeemable in Aeroplan points.

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You don’t have to reserve your dates the same day you buy your package. In fact, you have up to 12 months after purchasing the offer to take advantage of it. Since available dates are limited, this gives you the opportunity to call and do your flight research before booking. Nor do you have to pay the full package price immediately. A deposit of 199 USD is required and the balance is payable 60 days before your trip.

The timeshare presentation

The date and time of the presentation will be communicated to you at the time of booking. This never takes place on the day of your arrival or departure. I advise you to make an appointment early in the morning to avoid cutting one of your vacation days in half.

The salesperson will ask you a lot of questions about your travel habits in order to try and sell you a subscription. You’ll be given a tour of brand-new rooms that look nothing like the room you’re staying in. When you return from the visit, the salesperson leaves you alone and comes back to you with an initial price proposal. The more you refuse, the lower the rate. The presentation is likely to last more than 90 minutes, so let the salesperson know that you have a reservation for an activity and must leave by a set time at the latest.

ENCORE package

It would be easy to say a resounding “no” to all the seller’s offers and arguments in order to get out of the meeting as quickly as possible. On the other hand, if you do, you’ll be missing out on an opportunity to stay a second time at a low-cost Marriott Vacation Club.

In fact, if you demonstrate to the salesperson that you’re not ready to buy because you’re not convinced that the product is right for you, but that it might be of interest to you, you’ll receive a proposal to buy an ENCORE package. With a 99 USD deposit, you can reserve a package for future vacations, to be used within the next 12 months, at the Marriott Vacation Club hotel of your choice. Rates vary according to hotel and date chosen. You’ll also receive 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy points or a $300 Visa gift card, depending on your choice, which you’ll receive after attending another 90-minute presentation on your next vacation.

I personally chose, for 999 USD, 4 nights in a two-bedroom suite at Marriott’s Frenchman’s Cove on St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands. Counting the Marriott Bonvoy points I’ll receive in the equation, this stay comes to less than 750 CAD for 4 nights in a destination that’s usually expensive. What’s more, the two-bedroom suite allows me to travel with friends, thus splitting the cost of the room.

Marriott is not the only hotel chain to offer this type of promotion. Étienne was able to experience the Hilton Grand Vacations at Seaworld for just 167 USD thanks to a similar promotion. You can read about his stay here :

Bottom Line

Despite the long, unpleasant time spent at the timeshare rental presentation, I find the purchase of this package well worth it for the savings on lodging in an expensive destination like Hawaii. But above all, don’t forget to refuse the subscription because it’s really not worth it.

Please note: a stay at a Marriott Vacation club unfortunately does not earn elite nights counting towards a Marriott status. You’ll also miss out on Marriott status recognition, as well as complimentary breakfast for Platinum, Titanium and Ambassador members. However, you earn Marriott Bonvoy points on room charges.

Promotional offers are constantly changing and you may receive a different offer than the one I received. Some offers even include car rental! Do your calculations, but these offers are usually all very attractive.

Hawaï MVC

Discover other testimonials from members of our community on the trips they have been able to make thanks to points :

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Maude Bélanger
I'm Maude, entrepreneur, mum, foodie and frequent traveller. Being on the road an average of 3 months a year, I have become an expert in various reward programs in order to travel even more at a lower cost. Luxury, backpacking, all-inclusive, cruise, roadtrip, I don't have a favourite trip, I experience everything. Thanks to Milesopedia, I will share with you my tips and tricks, my favourites, my travel itineraries and much more!

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