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Westin St. John--possible to get in through II exchange?

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Jul 7th, 2004, 05:38 PM
  #1
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Westin St. John--possible to get in through II exchange?

To II(Interval International) members: Were you able to make an exchange at the Westin St. John? It's the only resort available through II on St. John.---We were not able to get an exchange near Port Douglas, Australia, a year ago because they only had one resort available in that area further north called the Novotel Palm Cove. We have a two bedroom exchange at Hilton Head, red time, and requested the exchange a year ahead. Was disappointing since we wanted to be further north of Cairns for better access to the reef and the rain forest,etc. I fear there may be no hope for getting in the Westin St. John, also. Really want to be on St. John more than St. Thomas or Tortola for the exchange. Can you give me hope? If so, was your exchange comparable to ours? Thanks for listening. Hope to hear from you.
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Jul 7th, 2004, 06:51 PM
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I tried today in fact, to make an exchange to St John, the person I spoke to said that it is the MOST difficult of all of their properties to get into due to the very limited number of rooms. He said to just keep calling and asking (they also have a waiting list, they will call you if an opening comes up and I think you can give them several dates to keep in mind). Good luck, I hope I get in there in the future too!!
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Jul 8th, 2004, 12:58 PM
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Thank you for your input. Guess we'll give it a try anyway.---Any other suggestions or experiences with II and the Westin out there? Has anyone gotten into the Westin through an exchange?
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Jul 8th, 2004, 02:15 PM
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I am an II member as an Hyatt Vacation Club owner. Hyatt members get priority over regular II members because Hyatt bought a part of the company several years ago. I have a top-rated property to exchange (Hyatt Hacienda Del Mar in Puerto Rico). I have not had difficulty getting exchanges in Aruba, Marco Island, Florida and Mexico. I have had difficulty getting other locations in the Caribbean (even off-season) but mostly because I can't wait until two months out, when a lot of the II matches are made. Last year tried to get Westin St. John, St. James Club in Antigua, Atlantis or St. Thomas for a week in November and gave up four months out and booked a cruise. If you have the flexibility to put in for "any week" and can wait until two months out you may have better luck. P.S. I love Hilton Head!
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Jul 8th, 2004, 04:32 PM
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Eileen, nice to hear your views on II exchanges. I sometimes think we need a whole separate message board for members to grunt their disappointments, although it's still a great deal if you make use of the exchanges and the points you acquire through different club plans. Would you believe we've never been to Hilton Head and have owned the two bedroom condo there for seven years(I think). Bought it over the phone through resale, but with all the amenities,plus some bonus points. My husband is an avid golfer. We'll get there some day.
We gave up on the only condo exchange in Port Douglas, Australia, a couple months before wanting to go, too. But we had given them a slew of dates throughout a four month period---but only one resort so that makes it tough, I guess. We'll try for St. John by giving them lots of dates throughout the next 12-14 months and calling and bugging them, too. We really want to be on St. John. I sometimes wonder if II really has that hierachy plan of best condo/first to exchange, AND if they REALLY use it, especially on something like ST. John. Oh,well. ---I know Aruba, Florida, and Mexico are not difficult to get exchanges. But then you can also go there on get aways for 199. for an effeciency for the week. I keep thinking I would rather spend the 199. for those places and use my exchange eslewhere.
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Jul 8th, 2004, 05:39 PM
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And all the hassles of struggling to find a rare space at an available time at a less than perfect resort is worth how much money? I still don't get the timeshare thing.
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Jul 9th, 2004, 12:54 PM
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As a birthday present, one of my friends gave me a week of her time sharing condo with Interval, to exchange for a 2 bedroom where ever I wanted to go. I was on the Internet every day for several months, a few times a day, to see where they had an opening. I have one child in school and finding a week anywhere during his scheduled holidays was impossible. I also had a difficult time finding an exchange for a two bedroom. Every property that was availabile, where I was intrested in the location, had very mixed reviews. I finally settled on a location in Grand Cayman because we really wanted to go there. I'll have to take my son out of school for a week and have my hand slapped. The property has gone from getting mixed reviews to negative reviews. I would never buy a timesharing condo!!!
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Jul 9th, 2004, 01:06 PM
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Eileen, I'd like to know where you stay in Hilton Head if you wouldn't mind telling me. Since this is not the correct forum, would you e-mail me. We are going in October and don't have a place to stay as yet. [email protected]. Thanks
 
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Jul 10th, 2004, 09:22 AM
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Owa, just in case Eileen doesn't get on the message board again, I might say that it sounds like she might have gone to Hilton Head on an exchange through II. --------I won't continue with the timeshare discussion after this, but I do want to say that every timeshare can be quite different: the cost, the season(preferred=high), the point system if there is one, etc. If you look into everything involved and get a great deal(expecially through resale), a timeshare can save you thousands of dollars in travel and you can enjoy a lot of wonderful vacation spots around the world. I don't understand Cindgail's exchange because you usually put in a request for one or more places you'd like to vacation and they notify you when they recieve an availability. You're never constantly on the phone. Of course, flexibility helps. I'll put in a request for the Westin on St. John and also for Tortola. Better chance of getting into the one on Tortola. Through the Marriott Vacation Club plan we'll then stay a second week at the Marriott on St. Thomas(free through points acquired) and we'll fly round trip from Colorado free through club pts. acquired. --The end. Now let's have fun in the tropics.
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Jul 12th, 2004, 09:32 AM
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Hi, we did not stay at an exchange on Hilton Head although there are many lovely properties there through Interval. We stayed at the Sea Cloisters, a beautiful condo right on the beach. We liked the first floor locations because they had large balconies with stairs directly down to the beach. At the risk of "re-igniting" the timeshare debate, just wanted to respond to rwilliams' comment. I think you should never buy a timeshare just to exchange it, you should buy a high-quality property with plans to spend time there at least some of the time. And that's what we did and it serves its purpose--a way for us to get a 2 bedroom condo in a nice resort at a reasonable price so we can take our kids places without spending thousands on accommodations. Ours cost $10,000 and has already paid for itself in the five years since we purchased, even taking into account the maintenance fee. I think where the industry gets a bad rap is when people buy substandard properties with the idea of exchanging them and finding the can't get any exchanges. I wouldn't rely solely on a timeshare as the only vacation option, it works for us because we take about 3 vacations a year and can stay at the luxury resorts we like when we don't use the timeshare trade. Taking the kids to the Embassy Vacation Resort in Maui on a trade in a few weeks, of course it won't be Four Seasons quality but since the "real cost" to us is only about $500 for the whole week, we don't expect it to be. There, I out my two cents in on timeshares.
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