Starwood Information Center
Starwood is one of the best vacation ownership networks out there, but there are many complexities and significant details that prospective timeshare resale buyers should be aware of.
We've put together this Starwood Information Center to provide buyers, sellers, and renters alike with information on everything from membership levels to resort classification.
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About the Starwood Vacation Network
The Starwood Vacation Network (SVN) is a shared ownership program with an internal exchange system, allowing qualified owners to use StarOptions to book stays within the network. StarOptions are SVN timeshare points which are assigned according to unit size, location, and quality of the resort.
With SVN, you can use your StarOptions points to vacation with more variety. While you can certainly make reservations at your home resort, points enable you to explore other vacation possibilities at other Starwood properties, be it at a Sheraton, a Westin, or a St. Regis.
How to Join SVN
Most Starwood timeshare resales do not come with StarOptions. However, if you purchase at one of Starwood's five Mandatory resorts, StarOptions will automatically transfer to you. Starwood Mandatory resorts include:
- Harborside Resort at Atlantis
- Sheraton Vistana Villages (Bella and Key West Phases)
- Westin St. John (Virgin Grand - Hillside)
- Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas
- Westin Kierland Villas
If you purchase a Mandatory resort resale, you will receive a certain number of StarOptions that you can use each year. This will enable you to exchange your week anywhere within the Starwood Vacation Network. To learn more about StarOptions and exchanging, see our Starwood Points and Exchanges page.
If your timeshare resale purchase is not one of the resorts listed above, it is a Voluntary resort. This means you will not be immediately eligible to exchange within the Starwood Vacation Network. You can, however, still exchange your unit with a membership from Interval International.
Starwood Vacation Network Seasons
Every SVN ownership is assigned a season, which allows owners to book during popular times of the year. The better the season, the more StarOptions the unit is worth. Seasons differ depending on the resort and its destination—for example, spring may be a low season for resorts close to ski slopes, but it could still be in high demand for many tropical locations. Reserving a unit during a high season will require a higher point allotment, while low season vacation can be a good way to budget points to carry over to the next year. While the number of available seasons may also vary between resorts, the five basic seasons in Starwood timeshare include:
These weeks are considered the most desirable. They include weeks which are referred to as Event weeks, which include major holidays such as Christmas and New Year's as well as local celebrations. Platinum Plus weeks also include the most popular weeks at the highest quality resorts. For example, every week at the Hawaiian resort Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort is a Platinum Plus week.
These weeks are highly desirable, but often do not include Event weeks.
These weeks tend to be floating weeks for a resort which otherwise ranges from Platinum to Silver.
These weeks denote a week within a season that has a mid-level popularity.
These weeks denote a week within a season that has a low popularity. Some vacationers find these weeks most desirable for their lower costs and quiet atmosphere at the resort.
Starwood Vacation Network Weeks
Most Starwood timeshares are deeded. This means that after your purchase, it is yours to keep or sell as you choose. Your week may be a fixed week, meaning that the week stays the same every year, or a floating week, which allows you flexibility for choosing a week within a specific season.
There are also a few resorts, including Westin Lagunamar, which have Right to Use contracts. This means that you are leasing the property every year, typically for between 20 and 99 years, depending on your contract.