The Sheraton Vistana Resort Thread

Discussion in 'Hotel & Accommodations Reviews' started by bankr63, Jul 28, 2013.

  1. bankr63

    bankr63 DIS Veteran

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    :welcome:to the DISBoards @Certified106 !

    I hope you enjoy your trip come June. Yes, it will be both hot and getting busy as the summer is just starting to ramp up, but nothing compares to Christmas week for crowds, so you should find that a bit better. Vistana makes a great base for exploring everything that Orlando and area has to offer. Disney is just the appetizer to a world of fun in central Florida (okay, a really big appetizer plate that serves 4).

    We're happy to answer any questions that crop up as you get closer to your stay.
     
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  2. Certified106

    Certified106 Earning My Ears

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    Ok I already have a question lol..... We just found out we can purchase an extended week through RCI for $650 so that we could use our trade/purchase a week and make it a 14 day stay.
    Is $650 for an extra 7 days a good price or should we be looking for other ways to extend the stay? I don't mind switching resorts if we have to but I don't like the idea of losing a day to do it.
     
  3. bankr63

    bankr63 DIS Veteran

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    Considering an exchange in RCI will set you back $300 on top of the week you trade, that extra vacation is a great deal. That is only about $350 for the underlying week, which has a maintenance fee in the $1000 range. Generally you can't rent from an owner for less than they paid for the week unless they are desperate, and it is well below what Sheraton charges direct (I have in the past bought a couple of extra nights from Sheraton). Current June rates for 1BR/2BR are $170/200 per night; you can find these discounted through wholesalers, but probably not down to $92/nt.

    Actually, that puts the room in the range of what we pay for a Holiday Inn Express on the drive down to Florida, and you get a whole lot more at Vistana!

    But, do your homework, you might be able to find another good timeshare property down there for a similar price, but as you mention, you'll likely burn a better part of a day swapping locations. The last time we did a resort swap from Silver Lake to Vistana, we were settled in and by the pool by around 2:00 pm, but we were lucky to get into our room early around noon.

    If you do take the extra week, make sure the resort knows (Diamond Lane works for this too) to link the two reservations. As long as you are exchanging the same class of room (ie. not a 1BR and 2BR), they should be able to accommodate you staying in the same villa for the entire stay.
     
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  5. Certified106

    Certified106 Earning My Ears

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    Ok So I have been pricing it like crazy other places and it seems like a good deal!
    The extended stay is also a 2 bedroom sleeps 8/6 in the fountains so maybe we wouldn't even have to switch rooms if we request it through the diamond lanes.

    I looked at cashing in our other timeshare but you were right by the time I do that and then combine points/pay the transfer fee it only ends up saving me $200. At that price point I think I would rather keep the other timeshare to use later at my home resort and purchase the extended stay. We had originally looked at coming back in November but the more my wife and I talk about it we like the idea of doing 14 consecutive days, only paying for airfare once, and the park tickets get exponentially cheaper as you go from a four day pass to a 10 day pass!

    We were talking that with a 10 day pass we may even just hit the parks early in the morning then use fast passes and once the lines get busy go back and swim in the afternoon then go back in the evenings if we feel like it.
     
  6. bankr63

    bankr63 DIS Veteran

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    Sounds like a great plan. Vistana has very good park access, so no problem heading back for an afternoon swim, maybe some dinner, and then head back for evening activities. Depending on how "Disney crazy" you are, you might want to try some of Central Florida's other offerings. Our first few trips were very Disney centered, but as the kids got older Universal became a bigger draw, and there is a lot of other great stuff to do. @Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina is a master at finding all kinds of interesting things to do (check out a couple of her past trip reports), and I would guess that SeaWorld/Discovery Cove is their "special place".
     
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  7. uandmfan

    uandmfan Mouseketeer

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    Hi

    Believe it or not I made it through all 68 pages! We are heading to Orlando on February 10 and staying for a week at the resort. After looking at the map and the buildings with Friday check-ins, I've come to the conclusion that we are only really interested in the Cascades or Lakes. For Cascades, do you think buildings 11 or 8 would have too much noise from the highway? Is this request to narrow to make to Diamond Lane? We need a room with a layout where the master bedroom door is very close to the pull out couch as we will have the kids sleeping there. Many of the other areas have a long wall between the living room and master bedroom.

    Thanks for all this great information!

    Happy Holidays everyone :)
     
  8. bankr63

    bankr63 DIS Veteran

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    Congratulations on your accomplishment! I have read all 68 too; but have had a lot longer to do it! :upsidedow <jk>

    I would be surprised if the noise from 535 would be noticeable at either of those two buildings. There are fountains in the ponds that provide a very peaceful white noise until late evening, and the units have very good sound insulation. I would be leery of facing right onto 535, but there is more setback on these two.

    Asking for the two specific buildings might be a bit too tight, but if you mean just asking for Lakes/Cascades that is fine if they have units that match your reservation. I would still ask for the two buildings if that is what you want specifically - never any harm in asking, and if they can't deliver exactly what you want, they will try to get you close.

    Happy Holidays to you too, and to everyone else here on DIS :santa:
     
  9. skier_pete

    skier_pete DIsney-holics Anon

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    Hey all!

    We are booked through RCI Points exchange into a week at SVR - we actually own a different (non-Disney) timeshare in Orlando but have never actually stayed there. We are actually using it as a home-base for a mostly Universal resort trip, but we do have some non-park Disney plans as well. (And actually an evening at MK with the DVC members only event - YAY!) I realize this resort is much closer to WDW than Universal, but availability near Universal is spotty at best.

    So - I read through the first 5 or so pages of the thread to get a feel - thanks to those that posted all the pictures! We have stayed in timeshares before so I am pretty sure we have a good idea what to expect from the resort.

    So - a few questions:
    - What is the CURRENT WI-FI situation. I noticed in the first few pages it mentioned only 1 device allowed at a time, and very slow speeds. I sort of expect the slow speeds, but would love to know if we can connect multiple devices. Our DD 13 is a device addict, and would be bummed if she can't get decent service. As far as I'm concerned I don't really care if she does have service or not, but would simply like to give her the heads up what to expect. If slow, we can bring DVDs to sort of temper the use (or lack thereof) of the internet.

    - Does anyone have experience with the drive from the resort to Universal? When I google it, the distance shown is 9.1 miles and about 15 minutes on I-4. But, just wondering what the realistic time is...especially if we are heading over at say 7:30 - 8:00 AM to make it for park opening at 9 AM. We are staying presidents week, but only plan on going during the midweek days - so wondering how early morning rush hour could affect us...

    That's it for right now! Thanks everyone for the great thread! I tend to take a bunch of pictures, so I'll try and post a few when we return.
     
  10. bankr63

    bankr63 DIS Veteran

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    The free wi-fi allows up to 6 devices (IIRC), which has been enough for us. We travel with two teens so there are lots of laptops, smart phones, tablets, etc, but we manage to negotiate so everyone has the connection they need. Speed is generally pretty good for basic surfing, restaurant reservations, checking email etc. It is pretty slow for streaming video though. Connectivity can be a bit variable in some areas as I have heard, personally never had a problem in any of our villas. But considering how hard it can be to get coverage everywhere in a resort that covers several acres, I can understand pockets of poor signal.

    You can opt for the paid premium wireless service with more connections and faster speeds; this is a whole second network that was installed about 3 years ago with more modern equipment. I have not tried the premium network as the basic free one works fine for us. Actually I noticed service on the old network much improved after the new one was installed; I would attribute that to a whole lot of the traffic switching to the new bands and uncongesting the old. My best advice here would be to try the free network for the first day, and if you are frustrated, pay the upgrade.

    We have driven to Universal quite a few times. Traffic can be pretty variable, some days you sail up I-4, some days you crawl, all depends on where the daily crashes have happened. I do find morning rush takes a bit of time to build, so the drive to the park is generally better than the drive back in the afternoon. Sometimes I'll take the back route down Turkey Lake to Darryl Carter Pkwy to avoid I-4 completely on the way home. So yeah, basically hedging my bets here; I-4 is great in the morning, unless it is horrible... (btw - if it is horrible, just remind yourself that you are going to be 15 minutes late for one of the most fun days of your year; everyone else is going to be 15 minutes late for work and get chewed out by the boss. It's all relative.)

    Have a great trip. Love to see any pictures posted here.

    Happy Christmas to everyone reading along. :santa:
     
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  11. skier_pete

    skier_pete DIsney-holics Anon

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    @bankr63 - Thanks for the advice. Only DD will be upset with the lack of streaming video service. I think the rest of us will probably be fine. 6 devices should be enough.

    I guess the traffic comment is appropriate for everywhere - "commute is fine unless it is not". :crazy2: I think our first day over there we will be coming up pretty early. We need to pick up our APs, and then activate them, and then come back out and pick up an discounted pass for my MIL - so I was planning on us getting on the road by 7:30 AM the first day. We'll see how the traffic affects us that day before deciding when we travel the next two days.
     
  12. tbee

    tbee Earning My Ears

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    Question for one of the experts. Is there a piano for guest use at the resort? My dd will be performing 7 days after our return
     
  13. bankr63

    bankr63 DIS Veteran

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    Not that I recall seeing anywhere, but there might be one available in one of the meeting lounges. They do have a couple of different guest shows as activities, but I don't know if piano would play a part. I would say your best bet would be to contact the resort front desk directly and ask.

    Any chance you can bring a portable keyboard along for practising in the villa? Maybe a problem if flying, but could be done easily enough if driving.
     
  14. raytheyounger

    raytheyounger Earning My Ears

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    I just purchased a week in September through SkyAuction (looking forward to my first stay). I am not a timeshare owner. In the confirmation email, there is a line that states: "On in X Rules Applies - You may only stay at this resort group once every 4 years." It appears that this question was asked previously (http://disboards.com/threads/the-sheraton-vistana-resort-thread.3148502/page-47#post-54047165), but a definite answer was not given.

    Does anyone know if the 1 in 4 rule applies to SkyAuction purchases by a non-owner?
     
  15. bankr63

    bankr63 DIS Veteran

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    Hi Ray,

    Yes, this most certainly applies to non-owners (it actually does not apply to owners at the resort, they can stay as often as they wish) and certainly to SkyAuction sales or they would not show it in the terms and conditions. Actually the rule is aimed specifically at non-owners. Any resort system under active sales prefers to bring in fresh prospects, so they (Sheraton) will restrict their unsold/unbooked inventory (which is what gets sold on SkyAuction) for new guests who have not been pitched in the past 4 years. Note: I am not saying that there is any obligation to attend any sales presentation, just that they prefer to get guest turnover to keep sales prospects high. It is still just as easy as ever to "just say no" to sales presentations.

    If you really like the resort and want to go again, there are ways around the rule. By renting directly from an owner at the resort on a site like redweek or TUG, the resort cannot refuse you as it is within the owner's right to rent their week to whomever they choose.
     
  16. raytheyounger

    raytheyounger Earning My Ears

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    Thanks for the explanation. Previous explanations I had read implied that the rule was for owners at different resorts doing an exchange (confirmation email read "1 in 4 is for 1 for 1 exchanges"). Do you know if this type of rule applies to all SkyAuction listings?

    I'm a little disappointed that this rule was not explained in the listing. I first discovered it when I received my confirmation email. Had I known this up front, I may not have bid. I still feel that I am getting a good deal for the week, but it leaves a bad taste to receive information like this only after I have bid and paid. Maybe it is my fault for not knowing about this beforehand. However, this would help explain why it was such a good deal.

    Thanks again. I'm looking forward to staying here (even if it is just once :-))
     
  17. skier_pete

    skier_pete DIsney-holics Anon

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    I am not sure why this is an issue against renting here. It just means that you can't rent there AGAIN for 4 years...it doesn't affect this rental at all. To me, a property that tries to limit outside rentals is a good thing - it means a larger % of the people there are probably owners - which means there is more "investment" by the people staying there to keep the property up, meaning it won't be as trashed as some timeshares can get.
     
  18. bankr63

    bankr63 DIS Veteran

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    It is often the higher end/more exclusive resorts that implement "1 in x" rules. I wouldn't blame the resort for this, it is pretty prominently displayed on the exchange systems; they require you to review and accept any resort conditions before completing a transaction. Having never bid on SA, I can only surmise that this is a failing of SkyAuction if they didn't disclose in advance, and that it probably is the same for all of the auctions on there. But if the terms are on your SA confirmation, then I would say that they are binding.

    Note that if you paid anything under $1000.00 for a week, you are getting a pretty good deal and should feel happy. These rarely go for less than what owners pay in maintenance fees, except for sites like SA where excess stock gets sold off. As I said, if you come away feeling you want to go there again, there are ways around the restriction. Just remember this thread and we can walk you through it.
     
  19. raytheyounger

    raytheyounger Earning My Ears

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    Let me try to clarify.

    As I stated before, I got a good deal, and I am looking forward to staying there. I'm definitely not complaining about that.

    I also do not have an issue with the rule. If a resort wants to limit renting by non-owners, that is their prerogative and seems reasonable (especially at they price they were offering).

    My main concern is that the information was not communicated in the original listing. It was only communicated after confirmation. I do not know if this is an issue with the resort or with SkyAuction. In my research about the rule, I found previous SkyAuction listings that specified this rule as part of the listing. I'm not sure if the resort or SkyAuction decided to remove this language from subsequent listings. It just had a slight 'used-car salesman' feel to it to find out after confirmation. I'll probably try to contact both to find out. Again, this is probably more a case of my inexperience with timeshares than anything else. Knowing that this is a possible restriction will be helpful when bidding in the future.

    Thanks again for your help.
     
  20. Jennasis

    Jennasis DIS life goes on

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    This 1-in-4 thing doesn't apply to cash stays does it? We booked directly through SVR with a Mousesavers discount code for a 4 day/3 night stay last month. Definitely plan to go back if there is another similar discount in the future.
     
  21. bankr63

    bankr63 DIS Veteran

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    There do not appear to be any such restrictions on hotel type bookings, at least directly through Sheraton. I would expect that these restrictions would only relate to the timeshare side of the business, which is the vast majority of the stays at Vistana Resort.
     

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