It’s easy to think that traditional online travel agencies have the vacation market sewn up (at least as far as hotel and resort rooms are concerned), but that’s not always the case. When it comes to timeshare resorts, it’s the owners who hold the power and, if they choose not to relinquish their units to the management companies (Marriott, Starwood, Hilton, etc.), there’s not a lot the management companies can do to supply rooms to the travel agencies. In fact, some of the very best rooms rarely ever make it to the sites through which you’re probably used to booking (Expedia, Orbitz, Booking.com etc.).
Let’s take Marriott’s Aruba Surf Club as an example: This is one of the most in-demand resorts on Aruba and the prime units at the resort are the Ocean Front villas. These units offer fantastic direct views of the beach and the Caribbean Sea that cannot be matched by any other units at the resort.Sunset from an Aruba Surf Club Ocean Front Unit
But have you tried booking one of these units through the traditional sites? If you have, then you’ll know that it’s just about impossible. The fact is that the owners of these units almost never rent them out to the managing agents (Marriott), instead preferring to either use them themselves or rent them out privately through sites like Vacation Smarter. Take a look at this screenshot from a well known online travel site:
This is a typical view of the availability at this resort – try it for yourselves, see if you can find a set of dates where an Ocean Front unit is available, at the Aruba Surf Club, on any of the traditional online booking sites. Let us know if you find any, because we never have!
Contrast this to Vacation Smarter where not only can you rent Ocean Front units but you also get them at prices significantly lower than you’d pay for inferior view units from the traditional online booking sites. This lack of availability isn’t limited to just this resort – go ahead and check any of the premier timeshare beach resorts such as the Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort or Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club and you’ll find that the best units are never available to book through the traditional sites.
If you’re looking for an extra special vacation stay without spending thousands of dollars per night, renting at a high-end timeshare resort makes the most sense. If you want the best, you have to go through the owners directly and, not only will you be getting a better unit/villa for your vacation, you’ll also be saving a lot of money in the process.
Click here to see the first in this series of blogs.
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