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There is a brand new Westin Resort in Maui!

Some of you might already know this, but it was totally news to me until I received a Westin Vacations offer in the mail earlier this month. The offer is for a stay at the brand new Westin Nanea Ocean Villas on Maui’s famous Ka’anapali beach. The new Westin Maui resort, looking beautiful on its website, sits on 16 acres of beach-front properties and contains 390 villas ranging from one to three bedrooms, all equipped with kitchen and dining area. Basically, it is a timeshare property and mostly likely be sold as such.

img_0060All major hotel chains – Marriott, Hilton, IHG, Hyatt, and Starwood (now part of Marriott), have their own vacation ownership business, aka timeshare ownership. Owning a timeshare week can be costly not only upfront (purchase price) but also on a yearly basis due to high annual maintenance fees, especially for popular destinations like Hawaii. But often times resorts send out vacation offers to lure people to visit, and those offers can represent substantial savings, especially for a family! These type of offers usually require attending a 90-minute presentation, and depending how forceful the resort is on this rule, you may or may not be able to escape from it.

Using timeshares for family travel isn’t a topic discussed much in the travel community. After all, it is not free compared to redeeming points for hotel stays, and it might cost more than AirBnB alternatives. Travel with Grant recently wrote about the offer he took advantage of, and Miles to Memories also talked about similar deals for Maui. Dan received a great offer from Hyatt this past summer. I have gotten plenty offers from Westin and Sheraton in the past, but never was I able to take advantage of any. A friend of mine took advantage of similar offers for Kauai and Maui the past two years and absolutely loved it.

An Westin Maui Vacation Offer

img_0059The offer I received for Westin Nanea Ocean Resort is a typical one from Westin/Sheraton Vacations:

  • $898 for six-day-five-night stay in a one-bedroom villa that sleeps 2 adults and 2 kids. (The cash price varies based on the property offered.)
  • An Avis mid-size rental car for the duration of the stay, but up to $185 in value. (If you rent a car for longer than 6 days, you simply pay the difference. The car must be booked directly with Avis using a special link provided by Westin.)
  • 5,000 SPG points or $75 certificate towards resort dining, activities and spa at the resort.

I already have summer 2017 planned for my family and we will be spending two weeks in Hawaii – 8 nights on Maui and 7 nights in Kauai! For Maui, I have 5 nights booked at the Westin Maui for 48,000 points prior to the 2016 category change (it now costs 80,000 points for 5 nights). I quickly did some math:

  • For rental car i will save $185.
  • The 5,000 SPG points are easily worth $100 to me as I normally redeem the points for over 2 cent per point.
  • $10 nightly parking fee at Westin Nanea, compared to $30 daily resort fee at the Westin Maui. That’s another $100 saving in total.

Subtracting the above savings from the package price, the one-bedroom unit really just cost $513 for the entire five nights. At this incredible price, I rather pay cash for the stay and keep the 48,000 SPG points that I used for Westin Maui. I decided to call up the 800 number and luckily they had one unit left for the exact date I wanted, so I bought the package on the spot! The package does require attending a 90-minute presentation, which I am hoping to escape as my friend didn’t attend the presentations during her stays. Even if I cannot escape, I have absolutely no intention of buying a timeshare. I have stayed at plenty timeshare in Mexico and in the U.S. to know how the game is played.

I am thrilled that I am finally able to take advantage of a Westin Vacation offer. Grand opening for this new resort is scheduled for July 2017 with soft opening in May. I am going to keep my Westin Maui reservation since I have until early June to cancel without penalty. I just don’t want to be caught if the resort delays its opening, like what Grand Hyatt Baha Mar did in 2015 which nearly ruined my family’s first trip to the Bahamas. (It delayed grand opening twice before filing for bankruptcy.)

Have you taken advantage of a similar vacation offer? If so, what was your experience like?

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