Our First Marriott Timeshare Stay: A Fantastic Beachplace Towers 2021 Vacation

While we have been timeshare owners for 15 years and vacation in resort condos multiple times a year, we’ve never stayed in a Marriott Timeshare before! Without writing an entire book about the timeshare world, it’s because we don’t have access to Marriott Timeshare resorts with the exchange company that we use, RCI. Marriott Vacation Club Resorts are available only through another timeshare exchange company that our Vail Resorts timeshare isn’t affiliated with, Interval international.  

Cliff Notes: there’s some church and state in this world! But even with this division, we still feel the world is our oyster with our timeshare and RCI Membership. There are 5,300 timeshare resorts, and we are having a blast going on fantastic vacations to the ones in RCI’s network.

So Why Did We Stay at a Marriott Timeshare?

So exactly how did we end up staying at Marriott BeachPlace Towers in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for a family event? Well, I’m a big fan of timeshare traveling! To me, it’s all the best conveniences of a condo rental plus the amenities and cleanliness protocols of a large upscale hotel brand.

So when we were planning an intergenerational trip to Fort Lauderdale for a family event, I knew that staying in a timeshare would be my preference. We planned this trip kinda last minute, so I wasn’t able to get an exchange into any of the RCI affiliated resorts in Fort Lauderdale during the peak summer travel season. 

Courtesy Unsplash

When I looked at what timeshares were near the event and on the beach, Marriott Vacation Club BeachPlace Towers became my first pick. Since I couldn’t get an exchange, I rented a two-bedroom condo unit from another timeshare owner via Redweek.

Usually, I suggest timeshare rentals to save money on resort accommodations as renting from a timeshare owner can save you 25% to 75% off booking from the hotel or travel deal site. Well, in this instance, this Marriott Vacation Club resort was completely sold out during the week of our family event, so renting from another timeshare owner was my only way to get a room at this place! And no, I didn’t have to attend a timeshare presentation as a renter! (I know that is a common concern)

Marriott Timeshare: What Exactly is That?

If you’re feeling confused with the words Marriott and Timeshare next to each other, let me take a step back and give you a very brief summary.  Cliff Notes: If you’ve been at a Marriott, but your room was a condo unit, then you’ve been in a Marriott Timeshare. You probably just didn’t know it because anyone can book these units on Marriott’s websites and other travel booking sites. 

Courtesy RedWeek – Marriott Vacation Club Maui Ocean Club – Lahaina Villas

In 1984 Marriott added timeshare resorts to their business. They were the first large hotel brand to join the timeshare world. Today, Marriott Vacation Club has 60 upscale Marriott Ownership resorts with more than 13,000 units in the U.S., Caribbean, Central America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. If you’ve seen the name Marriott Vacation Club Pulse on a building, that’s their timeshare property brand in cities such as New York, San Diego, Miami, and D.C.

A Marriott Timeshare Ownership: How Does it Work?

While there are whole sites and forums devoted to the details about owning a Marriott Timeshare, it boils down to this. If you join the other 700,000 Marriot Vacation Club members by purchasing a membership, you have a specific week to vacation or an annual allotment of points to use a year to make reservations at their properties based on the size of your membership purchase. A large majority of Marriott Timeshare owners today are in the “points” program both as a function of how Marriott has decided to run the timeshare portion of their business and people’s vacation lifestyle preferences.

Courtesy RedWeek – Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club

Most travelers today don’t want to vacation in the same place every year for 20 years, so the timeshare industry is now offering a flexible product: points. You can decide how to spend this currency to make resort reservations at one of Marriott Vacation Club Destinations around the world. Some of the ways to spend your points at Marriott Timeshare Resorts include:

  • a whole lot of long weekends
  • multiple stays during the week which require fewer points
  • stretching your points by staying in the smallest unit size available
  • splurging on a 2 or 3 bedroom unit for your whole family
  • combining multiple years’ worth of points to travel destinations like Hawaii that are more expensive and therefore require more points. 

If you’re wondering why people choose to purchase a Marriott Timeshare ownership when they can just rent a room at a one of the Marriott Ownership resorts, it comes down to price, availability, and accommodation preferences. So while renting provides the ultimate convenience and no ownership commitment, using your Marriott Timeshare points to secure rooms is almost always cheaper than renting a Marriott Timeshare and gives you privileges that are important to some, like priority access to reservations and certain room views.

Anything and everything you wanted to know about owning a Marriott Vacation Club Ownership are discussed on the Timeshare User Group (TUG) Forum section devoted to owning a Marriott Timeshare.

Marriott Timeshare: What are the Best Ones?

marriott timeshare
Courtesy RedWeek Rentals – Marriott Vacation Club Ko Olina Beach Club on Oahu

Whether you are looking to rent a Marriott Timeshare as we did, or perhaps thinking of buying one, you might be curious about the highest rated Marriott Timeshare Resorts.  Those “Best” Lists vary based on the data behind them, but they each are helpful in different ways when you’re planning a vacation. 

Whether you use the TUG ratings of Marriott Timeshare properties (by paying members; mostly timeshare owners) or the Most Requested and Booked Resorts on Redweek.com, you’ll see commonalities in the list. So if you’re looking for a fantastic vacation, you probably can’t go wrong at these popular Marriott Timeshare properties:

  • Marriott’s Grande Vista
  • Marriott’s Aruba Ocean Club
  • Newport Coast Villas
  • Marriott’s Aruba Surf Club
  • Marriott’s Ko Olina Beach Club
  • Marriott’s Desert Springs Villas
  • Marriott’s Oceanwatch Villas
  • Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club
  • Marriott’s Kauai Beach Club
  • Marriott’s Newport Coast
  • Marriott’s Ocean Point
  • Marriott’s Harbour Lake
  • Or Marriott’s Beachplace Towers, our first Marriott Timeshare stay

Our 1st Marriott Timeshare Experience: Beachplace Towers Fort Lauderdale

Courtesy RedWeek – Marriott Vacation Club In the Middle

With Marriott Vacation Club’s reputation being so high and this resort being on so many Top Timeshare lists, I had pretty high expectations for our stay. And this Marriott Timeshare resort exceeded my expectations. I can be a pretty tough customer, and I can’t find one thing to complain about during our stay. But, of course, when you go somewhere on vacation (and spend a chunk of change), isn’t that always the hope? Well, it certainly delivered for us.

5 Things We Loved About Marriott Beachplace Towers

From the first day to our last day, we appreciated the following five things about our week-long stay at Marriott Beachplace Towers in a 2bed/2 bath condo unit.

16th Floor Water Views from a 2 Bedroom Condo Corner Unit

We had one of those loooooooooong travel days where almost everything went wrong. Add in two kids under the age of 10, and you can feel the mood we were in when we finally arrived at the resort. So when we walked into our corner unit and saw these water views, it all started to turn around.

That’s one of the fantastic things about this building – every single unit has a water view. The way the resort was designed, every single room has either Ocean Views or Intracoastal views. We’ve never been to a place with canals like Fort Lauderdale, so we picked the intercoastal side. I’m not sure how we got the corner unit, but that meant even more amazing views and fewer neighbors!

Since we were in town for a family event, my Mother in Law was traveling and staying with us. The two-bedroom condo was fantastic, and the quality of furnishings and the decor were so lovely. My MIL doesn’t have tons of experiences with timeshares, and the couple of times she’s come along with us, she just can’t get over how well stocked the condos always are. We cooked ⅔ of meals in the fully equipped kitchen and did laundry in our unit every other day. During a rainstorm, my kids had a ball and a biscuit in the oversized jacuzzi tub in the master bedroom. It really was a fantastic room.

Week-Long Activities Schedule –  Free Things to Do

Many Marriott Timeshare resorts have activities schedules, but this was our first experience staying at a place with so many free things to do. We came nowhere near close to participating in them all, but the activities brought a really fun, lively vibe to the resort, and the whole family enjoyed them.

Every day at the pool, they have exercise classes and fun games that families can do together, like Trivia and Bingo. My kids were excited for the chance to win a lot of money –  $25! I liked the fun music they played and even caught a couple of the live musicians.

It’s pretty hard to get my kids out of the pool to take a break from the sun and summer Florida heat, but cookie decorating certainly did it! It turned out to be one of the many things in the Kids Activity Center that my kids enjoyed!

Free Kids Activity Center at Marriott Beachplace Towers

Whoever decided to put the Kids Activity Center right next to the pool deck was genius! Having it right there made it even easier to get my kids to take a break, and once they saw the games and other toys, they loved spending time there.

You could tell there was thought put into all the different stations and play areas for kids. For example, right out of the kids club on the pool deck were ping pong tables for teens and tweens.

Even More Amenities and Conveniences at Beachplace Towers

In a non-pandemic world, you can borrow bags of pool toys at the kids club. We flew in, so I had to buy some at CVS, but it’s just another detail that this Marriott Timeshare has thought of and offers to guests.

 If you’re familiar with the Fort Lauderdale beach, you know that none of the resorts are built directly on the sand but on the beach block. It’s a 2-3 minute walk from the hotel to the sand, but hotels can’t set up chairs and umbrellas for their guests, like other destinations. While the city of Fort Lauderdale has rental services on the sand, it is pricey. Like pricey, pricey. So this Marriott Timeshare offers complimentary beach chairs for guests to check out and use. We never had a problem getting five chairs to take down, and one day when family joined us at the beach, they let us take eight with us!

Even though they told us about the Penthouse Lounge and patio at check-in, we didn’t go up there until our last day. Well, our bad, because this is THE happy hour spot to go to. Bring your own cocktails, cheese platter, guacamole, and enjoy the epic Atlantic Ocean views. Inside, they have two giant T.V. ‘s at each end of the very long lounge and show two different movies nightly so if you have a tween or a younger kid come one up and see what they’re playing.

Location, Location, Location of Marriott Vacation Club Beachplace Towers

I’ve never been to Fort Lauderdale before, and this was one trip I didn’t research tons beforehand, but man, is this Marriott Timeshare in a fantastic location– in many different ways! Of course, you know you’re in a good spot when the Ritz Carlton is right next door.

Marriott Beachplace Tower is built on top of a beachfront three-story shopping mall. You could literally come here, forget your suitcases at home and buy every single thing you need for a vacation. There’s a 24 hour CVS with every beach, pool, summer fun item you’d ever need, clothing stores, restaurants, bars, a liquor store, a nail salon, and even an Escape Room! 

You’re right on the main drag of Fort Lauderdale Beach without being right in the mix of late-night clubs and bars. Take your pick of restaurants to walk to on the beachside or the intercoastal side. Coconuts, a very popular restaurant, was even within walking distance from this Marriott Timeshare. Even though we were right in the action, I never once heard partiers in my room (Speaking of noise, even though the resort was 100% sold out, I was never disturbed in my room by other guests, either!)

When visiting the area, one of the must-dos is taking the hop-on-hop-off intercoastal Water Taxi of Fort Lauderdale to tour “The Venice of America.” Well, guess who has a stop named after them? Marriott BeachPlaceTowers, of course! About a block behind the parking deck on Cortez street is the stop. While we only took it to downtown Las Olas for dinner one night, you could ride their whole route all day, getting off to explore at every stop.