If you’re looking to learn about the rental website Redweek from a real person who has used them, then you’ve come to the right place! With so many vacation rental sites out there, it is hard to know who to trust. However, not only is Redweek a 20-year old, A+ Better Business Bureau rated company, but it’s a place for you to book condo rooms at brand-name resorts like Marriott, Wyndham, Hilton, Hyatt at significant cost savings.
Many people ask me, so what’s the catch? The thing is, there isn’t one! So here’s my honest take on Redweek, a summary of our experience, and why I think they should be a regular website in your vacation shopping rotation.
What is Redweek?
Redweek is the largest online marketplace to connect individual timeshare owners to people looking to rent resort condo rooms. It was started by Randy Conrads, who loved vacationing in timeshares but didn’t want the long-term commitment of owning one. Years before Airbnb and VRBO, he created a reputable place for timeshare owners to rent out their unused weeks to people who didn’t own a timeshare but love places like Marriott’s Ko Olina resort on Oahu and wanted to stay there too.
And because you are renting from timeshare owners and not the hotel, those individuals set their own rental prices. And that’s why you can secure some great prices. While hotels may have rack rates that they won’t discount, a person may just want to cover their annual expenses and be happy with some money for their unused week rather than no money. And that’s why you can get deals as highlighted by Redweek on their site. And as someone who has rented on Redweek before, these types of discounts really are real.
Wait, These Are Timeshares?
Yes. But these resorts aren’t what you think they are. Instead, they are beloved mega-resorts like Wyndham Bonnet Creek right next to Disney in Orlando and the condo section of the luxurious Atlantis resort in the Bahamas. Yes, that Atlantis!
I happen to be a happy timeshare owner of 15 years who loves traveling this way. If you’re interested in learning about timeshares from a person who owns one and loves it, check out my What is a Timeshare and What it Isn’t article full of real talk.
And before you ask, Timeshare Presentations are NOT required with Redweek rentals. I can confirm that statement on their website, as we were not asked once to attend a presentation, talk with anyone, or hear about any promos during our Redweek rental stay in Florida.
What Lead Me to Redweek?
In July of 2021, we traveled to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for a family event. But, unfortunately, the event and decisions about traveling were made about two months in advance due to the pandemic. Well, that doesn’t bode well for Florida peak season travel. And that’s what led me to use Redweek.
See, we were traveling with a large, multi-generational group, and I needed accommodations for three adults and two kids. Being a timeshare owner, we often stay in condo resorts, so I immediately got searching in the area for timeshare resorts. Well, Marriott Vacation Club Beachplace Towers was really highly-rated, right on the beach, and had stunning all water view two-bedroom suites. It sounds perfect. But they were sold out!
While there are a lot of timeshare rental websites out there, only Redweek had the exact days that we needed for our family vacation. It connected me with an owner who had that week but who couldn’t use it. It was a win-win. If you’re interested more in our Marriott Beachplace Towers stay, I’ve outlined it all!
What’s the Redweek Booking Process Like?
If you have used Airbnb to book rentals before then, you’ll be pretty comfortable with the booking process on Redweek. If you haven’t done a rental of any kind like this before, you may not feel comfortable booking with a person. Everyone has their own comfort level, and that’s cool. It may be worth the extra 25% to book directly with the hotel to you as it is more of a straightforward process.
Redweek knows that people have different comfort levels, and that’s why they have different rental types listed on their site.
- Verified means that Redweek has confirmed key details of the offering. That being said, they can’t prevent the owner from changing their mind and not updating their listing. So if they decide to use the rental themselves, or also list it for rent somewhere else, it is possible that it could still be listed on Redweek as available, when it’s not.
- Protected means that Redweek will fully handle the online transactions vs. you working with the owner (or a third party rental company)
- If you don’t see these two terms on the listing, then the rental is just a “regular” connection between you and the owner and it’s up to the two of you to work out the payment processing and rental agreement. An owner ultimately does have the right to change their mind, just like with an Airbnb. People have their Airbnb request cancelled on them and that can happen here as well as you work through the process until everything is 100% confirmed.
With the verified and protected rental types, Redweek will hold your payment in escrow until you check-in successfully. Based on my experience with a “regular’ rental, this would be my preference in the future, but I would still book a regular rental again.
What Were the Steps of our “Regular” Redweek Rental?
When you initiate the booking process of a regular rental, you get the above email from Redweek (yes, this is the actual email from my inbox). IMPORTANT: Please heed their instructions. When they say don’t make any non-refundable travel arrangement until final confirmation, it’s for a reason. That’s because the reservation may not become finalized for a whole host of reasons. And I can say that because it happened to us. Our first reservation request didn’t make it to the final confirmation stage, and I had to start over finding another room to book.
But haters really shouldn’t hate on Redweek. It’s really the exact same thing with Airbnb. You make a reservation request, and then you wait. So please wait. Be patient! As much as you want to make airline reservations, you need to wait.
So hoping forward to our second rental request; very quickly, after I sent through my request, I was contacted by a rental agency managing the owner’s rental. I signed a very formal (aka comforting) rental agreement over email, and we agreed upon a way to send the money. Before I sent the money, I did request that the agency put the reservation in my name with the hotel. They did, and then I called the hotel front desk directly to confirm. After they had a reservation with my name and got a reservation number from them, I sent the money via PayPal.
Was it a little bit more back and forth? Yes. Did I thank my lucky stars that I got a two-bedroom condo room at my #1 resort choice during peak season even though the hotel was sold out? You bet ya!
So while booking with the hotel directly would have been a lot easier ( and prob more expensive) when you don’t have that option due to availability or your budget, I would definitely recommend using Redweek to others.
Top Redweek Resorts: Their Annual List
If I’ve gotten your attention and you’d like to learn more and perhaps daydream about scoring some resort deals at luxury properties, I got ya! For details on each of the most beloved resorts available to rent on Redweek, check out my full article on the Most Popular Redweek Rentals built with traveler requests and bookings.
Spoiler: Mariott resorts continue to be people’s favorites making up a majority of the list. They are a favorite of both renters and timeshare owners alike, especially in popular vacation destinations like Hawaii.
“Marriott properties in Hawaii are known for their lavish swimming pools and elaborate resort grounds. They are designed to incorporate natural landscapes and reflect the ambiance of each island,” said Riley @ Young and The Invested, who traveled to many Mariott timeshare resorts with his family growing up. “Rooms are elegantly furnished with many in-unit amenities. Restaurants, spas, and other services are located on the property, and most resorts offer activities for a wide range of age groups.”
The Top 20 Redweek Rental Resorts for 2021 are:
- Marriott’s Aruba Surf Club – Palm Beach, Aruba
- Marriott’s Newport Coast Villas – Newport Coast, California
- Marriott’s Aruba Ocean Club – Palm Beach, Aruba
- Marriott’s Grande Ocean – Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
- Marriott’s Ko Olina Beach Club – Kapolei, Oahu, Hawaii
- Marriott’s OceanWatch Villas at Grande Dunes – Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
- Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club – Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii
- Marriott’s Ocean Pointe – Palm Beach Shores, Florida
- The Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas – Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii
- Wyndham Bonnet Creek Resort – Lake Buena Vista, Florida
- Marriott’s Crystal Shores – Marco Island, Florida
- Marriott’s Barony Beach Club – Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
- Divi Aruba Phoenix Beach Resort – Palm Beach, Aruba
- The Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas North – Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii
- Marriott’s MountainSide at Park City – Park City, Utah
- Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club Lahaina Villas – Lahaina, Hawaii
- Marriott’s Desert Springs Villas II – Palm Desert, California
- Harborside Resort at Atlantis – Paradise Island, Bahamas
- Marriott’s Surf Watch – Hilton Head Island, North Carolina
- Hyatt Kaanapali Beach – Kaanapali Beach, Maui, Hawaii
To receive more travel tips, activity inspirations, and personal finance tips to fund those bucket list vacations, subscribe to monthly emails.
Monica Fish helps her fellow adventurers live a financially savvy life so they can travel and explore our beautiful world no matter their budget. She writes about smart timeshare ownership, vacation tips and tricks, NYC Metro Area trips and activities, and frugal, yet rich, living at PlannerAtHeart.com.