For certain travelers, there’s a particular magic around returning to the same place year after year. You get that feeling of returning home without actually committing to buying a second home. We’re referring, of course, to timeshares — condo-style vacation accommodations that are shared by multiple owners throughout the year.
Marriott Vacation Club is the main timeshare brand of the Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corporation and is composed of over 70 resorts located in key vacation destinations throughout the Caribbean, Europe, Southeast Asia, Australia, and the U.S.
Accommodations at each property typically range from studio suites to 3-bedroom units. However, while these properties are designed with timeshare owners in mind, you don’t need to be 1 in order to book a reservation and take advantage of their ultra-spacious digs.
Whether you buy into membership or simply want to enjoy a hotel and its features as a regular guest, here’s what you can expect from a stay at a Marriott Vacation Club property.
Table of contents
- Everything You Need to Know About Marriott Vacation Club
- American Express and Chase Marriott Bonvoy Credit Cards
- The 10 Most Popular Marriott Vacation Club Locations
- Marriott Vacation Club Pulse, San Diego (San Diego, CA)
- Marriott’s Grande Vista (Orlando, FL)
- Marriott’s Grand Chateau (Las Vegas, NV)
- Marriott’s OceanWatch Villas at Grande Dunes (Myrtle Beach, SC)
- Marriott’s Crystal Shores (Marco Island, FL)
- Marriott Vacation Club Pulse, New York City
- Marriott’s Ko Olina Beach Club (Oahu, HI)
- Marriott’s Grande Ocean (Hilton Head, SC)
- Marriott’s Frenchman’s Cove (St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands)
- Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club – Molokai, Maui & Lanai Towers (Maui, HI)
- Final Thoughts
Table of Contents
- Everything You Need to Know About Marriott Vacation Club
- American Express and Chase Marriott Bonvoy Credit Cards
- The 10 Most Popular Marriott Vacation Club Locations
- 1. Marriott Vacation Club Pulse, San Diego (San Diego, CA)
- 2. Marriott’s Grande Vista (Orlando, FL)
- 3. Marriott’s Grand Chateau (Las Vegas, NV)
- 4. Marriott’s OceanWatch Villas at Grande Dunes (Myrtle Beach, SC)
- 5. Marriott’s Crystal Shores (Marco Island, FL)
- 6. Marriott Vacation Club Pulse, New York City
- 7. Marriott’s Ko Olina Beach Club (Oahu, HI)
- 8. Marriott’s Grande Ocean (Hilton Head, SC)
- 9. Marriott’s Frenchman’s Cove (St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands)
- 10. Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club – Molokai, Maui & Lanai Towers (Maui, HI)
- Final Thoughts
Everything You Need to Know About Marriott Vacation Club
Marriott Vacation Club resorts are just that — vacation destinations designed to serve your long getaway needs. As mentioned above, while Club properties can be booked for single overnight stays, their setups are based around the timeshare model, with amenities aimed at long-term visits.
Rooms are typically larger than what you’d find in a standard hotel, on-site restaurants are limited, and many guests are Marriott Vacation Club members who stay for a week or more. Although couples will find plenty to enjoy at these properties, the added space makes Marriott Vacation Club an especially popular choice for families and groups.
Because Marriott Vacation Club properties cater to repeat and long-term timeshare guests, regular paying travelers often have to contend with decreased room availability, especially during peak travel windows.
Marriott Vacation Club Destinations Program
Timeshare ownership can be purchased through the Marriott Vacation Club Destinations Program, which works a little differently from timeshares you might be used to.
Instead of owning the rights to a specific unit or travel window, members receive an annual allotment of Vacation Club points that can be redeemed for stays at any Marriott Vacation Club resort or hotel. This makes the program perfect for those who plan to take a vacation every year but don’t want to commit to a single destination or room.
A member’s annual points allotment is replenished every year and can be added to at any time. Got a big trip in the works? Members also have the option of carrying over unused points from a previous year as well as borrowing from the following year in order to amass the amount they need.
In addition to overnight stays at Marriott Vacation Club resorts, timeshare owners are able to convert their Vacation Club points into Marriott Bonvoy points, which can be used towards a number of unique travel experiences like cruises and guided tours (as well as at over 6,900 Marriott-branded hotels and affiliated resorts) via the Marriott Vacation Club Destinations Exchange Program.
However, it’s important to note that it doesn’t work the other way around. In other words, Marriott Bonvoy points cannot be converted into Vacation Club points. So while you can use your Marriott Bonvoy points to stay at a Marriott Vacation Club property, you can only so do as a regular paying guest — not as a timeshare owner.
Décor varies by location but, in general, guest rooms at Marriott Vacation Club properties are designed for long-term use — be it a long weekend or a week-long vacation.
Units range from studios to multi-bedroom villas and feel more like mini residences than actual hotel rooms. Whether you book a room for a twosome or a family of 5, most accommodations come ready with a kitchen or kitchenette, separate living area, a small or large dining area, and, in bigger units, multiple bathrooms.
Marriott Vacation Club Pulse Properties
Unlike the typical beachside set-up of many Marriott Vacation Club resorts, Pulse — a subset of the brand — is comprised of hotels located within major cities that are designed for shorter-term stays.
These properties are much more sleek and cosmopolitan in style, include standard rooms (that lack kitchenettes) in addition to regular condo-style units, and often forgo key amenities (full-service restaurants and pools, for example) in exchange for an unbeatable downtown city location near major sights.
At press time, there were 6 Pulse properties in the Marriott Vacation Club portfolio. You’ll find them in Boston, Miami, New York City, San Diego, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.
American Express and Chase Marriott Bonvoy Credit Cards
It’s important to stress this fact: you cannot redeem or earn Marriott Bonvoy points at a Marriott Vacation Club hotel as a timeshare owner. That said, you can still cash in points for a regular overnight stay.
To that end, Marriott Bonvoy offers 4 co-branded credit cards that make it easy to rack up the points you need in order to redeem award nights at these properties.
Recommended Marriott Bonvoy Cards
|Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card - Earn 75,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Get automatic silver elite status each account anniversary year; and a free night award (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after account anniversary. Plus, earn 6X points per $1 at over 7,000 participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels, and 2X points per $1 on all other purchases. Annual Fee is $95.|
|Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card - Earn 30,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. Earn 3X points per $1 at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels, earn 2X on other travel purchases, then 1x on all other purchases. A solid card for Marriott loyalists looking for a no-annual-fee card offering Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status.|
|Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card - Limited Time Offer! Earn 125,000 bonus points! Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Plus, earn an additional 25,000 bonus points after your first anniversary of Card Membership. Offer Expires 1/13/2021. |
Earn 6x per $1 at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels plus 3x at U.S. restaurants and flights booked directly with airlines. Annual fee is $450. Terms Apply. For rates and fees of the Bonvoy Brilliant card, click here.
|Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card - earn 100,000 bonus points when you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. A solid card for business owners who will get complimentary Marriott Bonvoy silver elite status. Annual fee is $125. Terms Apply. For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Business Card, click here.|
The 10 Most Popular Marriott Vacation Club Locations
Of the 70 or so hotels that make up Marriott Vacation Club’s portfolio, people tend to search for — and stay at — these 10 locations more than any other. Let’s check them out!
1. Marriott Vacation Club Pulse, San Diego (San Diego, CA)
By far the most well-searched hotel in the Marriott Vacation Club portfolio is its high-rise in downtown San Diego — 1 of 6 Pulse properties across the U.S. defined by their chic urban design aesthetics and downtown city settings.
As with all Pulse locations, these condo-style accommodations put guests in the thick of it all. In this case, the trendy Gaslamp Quarter and scenic Balboa Park (home to the San Diego Zoo) are just a 15-minute walk away.
Rooms are stylish, comfortable, and well-equipped for multi-day visits with a kitchenette and separate living area. However, because guests anticipate spending most of their visit off-property, on-site amenities are limited to an up-to-date fitness center and SHAKE Bar & Lounge — a solid American restaurant for those times when you just want a low-key meal at home.
Cash room rates at this property hover around $200 for a standard room, while award redemptions average between 40,000 and 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night.
2. Marriott’s Grande Vista (Orlando, FL)
Whether you plan on spending most of your visit on the property or off of it, there’s no denying that Marriott’s Grande Vista has everything families could want for an extended Orlando vacation.
The 160-acre resort complex houses a whopping 1,616 rooms that run the gamut from standard kings to 3-bedroom villas that can house up to 12 overnight guests. All units come with a sleeper sofa, kitchenette, and a screened-in furnished patio or balcony; villas feature the added benefits of a full kitchen, washer and dryer, and a whirlpool tub in the bathroom.
The location is stellar — 5 minutes from SeaWorld and 20 minutes from Walt Disney World Resort — but you might never feel the need to leave. In addition to a full-service spa, fitness center, and handful of restaurants, guests have access to a 9-hole golf course and practice facility (where experts give lessons), game room, indoor playground, and 4 outdoor pools.
At the nearby lake, you can even rent paddle boats and fishing gear, play volleyball on the beach, or utilize the Boathouse’s billiards and ping-pong tables. The marketplace is convenient for stocking up on groceries.
Unfortunately, there are some downsides. Daily housekeeping costs extra and there is no shuttle service to nearby amusement parks (a perk often offered by hotels in the area). Likely because of these details, overnight stays remain relatively affordable. Expect to redeem between 30,000 and 40,000 Marriott Bonvoy points for an award stay or pay around $210 per night for a standard room.
3. Marriott’s Grand Chateau (Las Vegas, NV)
Despite being just a 5-minute walk from the Strip, Marriott’s Grand Chateau — a high-rise timeshare directly across the street from Planet Hollywood — forgoes the typical Vegas glitz for a much homier vibe, making it great for groups and families seeking a no-fuss sleep close to main attractions.
The lobby features crystal chandeliers and wood-paneled walls; upstairs, 3 wings house 643 guest rooms and suites that maximize comfort. Every room category includes a kitchenette and sitting area, while suites allow more space for a dining area, washer and dryer, and a separate master bedroom.
Although the property lacks a casino, spa, and full-service restaurant (there’s a 24-hour marketplace for all your grocery and snacking needs), you’ll still find a few nice amenities including a fitness center, a lobby bar, a top-floor cocktail lounge with stellar city views, and a rooftop pool — 1 of 2 pools at the hotel.
Other perks we love: valet parking is free and there’s no resort fee.
Award nights can be redeemed from 30,000 to 40,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night. Cash rates average about $250 for a standard room.
4. Marriott’s OceanWatch Villas at Grande Dunes (Myrtle Beach, SC)
The golden sands of Myrtle Beach set a breezy backdrop for Marriott’s OceanWatch Villas at Grande Dunes, which seems aptly named, considering many of its 374 rooms look out over the water.
Whether you’re here as part of the timeshare program or just enjoying a quick getaway along South Carolina’s coast, this condo-style property offers ample space to relax. Every unit is a 2-bedroom villa that features a full kitchen, 2 bathrooms, and a balcony. The majority of the 5 resort buildings sit right on the sand and the grounds feature no less than 5 pools when you tire of the ocean.
In addition to a kids club and playground, there are facilities for basketball, shuffleboard, volleyball, table tennis, and bocce ball, as well as 2 restaurants, a pool bar, a fitness center, and free self-parking. Myrtle Beach’s main hub is roughly 10 miles away.
Expect to redeem between 40,000 and 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points for an award night here. Otherwise, units average about $400 per night — though you’ll often find rates much higher or lower depending on seasonality.
Hot Tip: For those craving a massage, guests of Marriott’s OceanWatch at Grande Dunes have access to the spa at Marriott Myrtle Beach Hotel nearby.
5. Marriott’s Crystal Shores (Marco Island, FL)
Both Naples and Everglades National Park are within striking distance of Marco Island, a sun-soaked barrier isle on Florida’s southwest shoreline facing the Gulf of Mexico. If you’re planning on spending time in either, Marriott’s Crystal Shores is a great place to base yourself.
The 219-room beachfront resort is modern and comfortable, offering 2- and 3-bedroom villas that feature full kitchens, separate living and dining rooms, washer/dryers, and furnished balconies. Families especially love the kid-friendly amenities that include 3 outdoor pools (one of which features a waterslide) and, of course, direct access to Marco Island Beach.
Both Stilts Beachside Bar and Grill and Pizza Cucina are nice, casual options, whether you visit for lunch or dinner. Otherwise, Naples’ dining scene is a 40-minute drive away.
Award night redemptions range from 50,000 to 70,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. Cash rates hover around $660 per night.
It doesn’t get more central than the Marriott Vacation Club Pulse, New York City, which sits just 3 blocks away from Bryant Park in the heart of Midtown. From here, you’ll be within walking distance of some of Manhattan‘s most iconic sights including Times Square, the Empire State Building, the New York Public Library, and luxury shopping along Fifth Avenue.
Still, there are a few reasons why you’d want to hang back at the property. Guest rooms are sleek and stylish with mahogany furniture, a pull-out sofa bed, and city views. The place to be is the rooftop bar, Top of the Strand, which serves creative cocktails and whose outdoor terrace looks straight out at the Empire State Building. There’s also a fitness center.
Award night redemptions range between 40,000 and 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points, while standard rooms average about $190.
7. Marriott’s Ko Olina Beach Club (Oahu, HI)
It may not have Disney’s stamp of approval like Aulani does next door, but you’ll still be able to enjoy the same Hawaiian paradise (at a comparatively lower rate) when you stay at Marriott’s Ko Olina Beach Club, located inside a quiet gated community on Oahu‘s southwest shore.
Families love the space you get here thanks to 1- to 3-bedroom villas equipped with kitchens, washer/dryers, separate living and dining areas, sleeper sofas, and often multiple bathrooms. Whether you get a patio or balcony depends on the floor, and views are either of the ocean or mountains.
After indulging at the 2 restaurants and poolside bar, burn off those mai tais at 1 of the 3 lagoon-style pools or during complimentary classes at the fitness center. Alternatively, continue your R&R with a massage at the spa, a nap by the beach, or a dip in 1 of the hotel’s multiple hot tubs. The weekly Polynesian luau dinner is a nice touch and a must-do during any Hawaiian vacation.
Award night redemptions range from 40,000 to 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points while cash rates hover around $375 per night.
Hot Tip: Keep a lookout for the property’s collection of gas grills — free for guests to host their own beachside barbecue.
8. Marriott’s Grande Ocean (Hilton Head, SC)
“Tranquility” is a byword for Marriott’s Grande Ocean on Hilton Head Island, a timeshare resort that sits on a quiet, lush stretch of waterfront real estate known as Forest Beach where it’s only a quick walk to the sand.
Families and couples love how much room they’ll have to roam. The 2-bedroom villas comfortably sleep 6 (all come with a furnished balcony, separate living and dining room, and full kitchen) while the expansive grounds are home to 5 pool areas, a whirlpool spa, a fitness center, and spots to play shuffleboard, bocce ball, ping pong, tennis, and mini-golf.
In addition to a seasonal pool bar, there’s an American restaurant that hosts weekly dinner events as well as grills around the property for guests to use. Those with energy to burn should consider renting a bike from the front desk and exploring the local nature trails.
If you’re not a timeshare holder, you can redeem anywhere from 40,000 to 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points for an overnight award stay. Alternatively, units average about $420 per night.
9. Marriott’s Frenchman’s Cove (St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands)
No wonder so many people buy into ownership at Marriott’s Frenchman’s Cove. This stunning hillside resort faces a picture-perfect beach on St. Thomas — one of the dreamiest of the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Life here is extra spacious, where even the smallest units are able to accommodate up to 8 guests. Guests choose between 2- and 3-bedroom villas, which are as bright and tropical as their breezy surroundings and come with separate dining and living areas, a kitchen, and a furnished patio or balcony overlooking Pacquereau Bay.
Elsewhere on the property, there’s an infinity pool with a waterslide overlooking the ocean, a fitness center for maintaining that beach bod, an on-site barber and beauty salon, and a poolside restaurant (in addition to multiple grab-and-go markets) — not to mention even more restaurants at Marriott’s Frenchman’s Reef, which shares its property and amenities with Cove guests.
Between the location and villa-style accommodations, the price to stay here is high. Thankfully, there is no added resort fee. Villa rates hover around $770 per night for a 2-bedroom unit while award redemptions range between 50,000 and 70,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night.
Hot Tip: Free hotel parking makes it easy to plan a day trip to Charlotte Amalie, the U.S. Virgin Islands’ historic capital city located 10 minutes up the coast.
10. Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club – Molokai, Maui & Lanai Towers (Maui, HI)
You’ll be facing one of Maui’s best beaches — Ka’anapali — when you stay at Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club, though a swoon-worthy setting is not all you’ll find here.
The grounds feature no less than 3 pool areas featuring waterslides and a climbable “shipwreck,” making this spot a big hit with families and groups that don’t mind the number of kids.
Units range from studios to 2-bedroom suites with a kitchenette and furnished balcony overlooking the ocean or the grounds, though suites have more space for a dishwasher, separate bedrooms, and multiple bathrooms.
Although there’s only 1 full-service restaurant on-site, the Starbucks outpost is a nice feature, as are the 2 poolside bars that serve appetizers, tropical cocktails, and stunning sunset views. Makai Tiki is particularly popular for its live Hawaiian music and nightly hula performances. There’s also a small but solid day spa.
From here, it’s just a 5-minute walk to Whalers Village — an outdoor mall home to a handful of boutique shops and restaurants. Daily parking incurs a daily $20 fee ($22 for valet parking).
Award stays range from 50,000 to 70,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night. Cash rates average about $460.
Staying at a Marriott Vacation Club hotel is not for everyone. The large, often multi-bedroom units might prove unnecessarily big for singles or couples, while limited facilities force visitors to be mostly self-sufficient. Even timeshare loyalists may not appreciate the program’s points-based model, which prevents members from securing a set unit or week indefinitely.
That said, the program offers incredible flexibility for travelers who want a timeshare experience but also have the ability to enjoy different resorts and destinations year after year.
Marriott Vacation Club hotels are also perfect for groups or families who need more space than a traditional hotel room but don’t want to book (or waste points on) a second, potentially unconnected room.
If you’re looking to spread out and stay awhile, Marriott Vacation Club offers compelling options in sought-after vacation destinations around the world — Aruba, Hawaii, Florida, Las Vegas — for your next getaway.