After checking into our “cave” at the Westin Kierland Villas we went to the conciege desk to make sure we would be receiving our 7,000 Starpoints. Here are the links to my two previous post about our deal at the Westin Kierland villas and the pain and pleasure of our villa fifty shades of grey. We were not required to go on a timeshare, I mean vacation ownership tour. But I was tempted with the promise of 6,500 more Starwood points for listening to the presentation. Their schedule was flexible, so I convinced my husband to do the 90 minute tour. It started with us looking at beautiful large photographs of many of our favorite Starwood properties including the Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas and the Westin in Times Square.
When we arrived for our tour we were given a Westin Kierland Villas tote bag and a certificate for 50% off the rack rates for a 1-5 night stay with an expiration date of April 30, 2013. Next we were taken to see the models of the villas at the resort. We were teased with the one bedroom unit with a large kitchen, fireplace and most important natural light in the living area with the beautiful view.
The bedroom had a very large walk in shower. Then we saw the adjacent cave unit and we were reminded that we did not receive the upgraded pleasure unit for the $349 price we paid for our 4 nights and 5 day stay. After looking at both units we explained to our guide that we were really interested in Starwood points. She told us that one of the great benefits of Starwood vacation ownership was lifetime gold status with Starwood. I tried to explain to her that I was already a Starwood Platinum member and would have life time Gold status by the end of the year, but that seemed to go right over her head.
She explained about the cost of purchasing a unit and how the lock off works. I tried to tell her that cave dwelling just was not for me and my family. It sounded like we were back to the pain and pleasure theme again.
Then she had her supervisor come in and encourage us to buy using temptation tactics. If we purchased vacation ownership today, we would be permitted to purchase Starwood points at a significant discount. Now he was really teasing me! Starwood points at a significant discount? How many and what do they cost?
We were offered up to 6 sets of 80,000 Starwood points for $1,550 each. Starwood points purchased on the SPG website cost $35 per 1,000 or $2,800 for 80,000 points. For $9,300 we would get 480,000 Starwood points. The trips we could take with all of those points, so tempting! The problem was we had to buy an every other year one bedroom timeshare for $10,900 plus $595 for closing costs and pay the maintenance fees either every year or every other year (not sure). This purchase price also came with another tease 70,000 free Starwood points. Yes, I was tempted to see my Starwood balance grow by more than a half million points, but vacation ownership at that price was not a good financial decision for my family.
Then we were tempted again with their last and final offer. Pay them $1,745 interest free for 14 months and we would be able to return to the cave again for another 4 nights and 5 days plus we would get 50,000 Starwood points that expire in 5 years. The problem was waiting to get the points until after the next presentation, but not a bad deal if you enjoy vacationing in a cave.
Next we took the free shuttle to the hotel. The hotel is located across the street from two adjacent shopping centers, Scottsdale Quarter and Kierland Commons, with many restaurants and stores. The shuttle provides free transportation 24 a day.
In the hotel lobby was a delicious display of about 20 temping deserts. They ranged in price from $2-$10 each. We were asked if we wanted to eat in the lobby or have our desert boxed to take back to our room villa. I resisted the temptation of these wonderful looking deserts and my son ordered a strawberry cheesecake to go. In the Heavenly Bed that night I had wonderful dreams about traveling using all the Starwood points I was tempted with earlier in the day.
If we return to the Westin Kierland, I believe we will stay at the hotel next time. It is closer to the spa, 900 foot lazy river pool and the shops and restaurants. A villa does have its advantages, but for a few days a hotel room works just fine for us.
The 13,500 promised Starwood points posted to my account as soon as I arrived at home.