With over 50 luxurious resorts worldwide, owners with the Marriott Vacation Club (MVC) can walk the Great Wall of China, share the thrill of an African safari, cruise the azure waters of the Caribbean or savor refined wine tastings in California's wine country.
Owning your own vacation is not a new concept; timeshares have been around for a long time. However, the MVC has broken the mold of the timeshare industry by discarding the "whole week" concept in favor of a more flexible points system. As such, owners can split their vacations into days and can even roll over unused points to the next year. Photo Courtesy of The Marriott Vacation Club
Guests who arrive at Marriott's Fairway Villas in Galloway, New Jersey — a quaint 'by the shore' community about ten miles from Atlantic City — will immediately be struck by the resort's elegance. Pristine, tree-lined grounds — every inch immaculate — await visitors who go to the Fairway Villas to enjoy some time away from the hectic nine-to-five routine.Photo Courtesy of The Marriott Vacation Club
The numerous attractive features of the property begin with the spacious 180 luxurious villas, each totaling 1,150 square feet and housing up to eight guests. There are also 90 more units scheduled to be built. Opting for an upscale feel, they decided against the traditional condo décor and instead installed granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances, a gas log fireplace, washer and dryer, high-definition televisions, Wi-Fi and a deep soaking jet tub in the master bedroom. Especially inviting is the private, screened-in balcony which is ideal for morning coffee or to watch the sunset. In fact, the entire villa offers a privacy that makes guests feel as though they have the place all to themselves. Photo Courtesy of The Marriott Vacation Club
Summer time means family vacations at the Fairway Villas, and they ensure that families can spend quality moments together. The resort goes to great lengths to see that children are not bored throughout their stay. Activities are carefully planned by an attentive staff throughout both the day and evening hours, and children and their families can enjoy such games as poolside trivia (e.g. What does SPF in sunscreen stand for?), karaoke, kid's coloring time, Sandy Candy and everyone's favorite: an ice cream social. Even adults have their own themed activities including Yoga, Golden Rules of Skin Care and Hair Flair. Begin your day by warming up your muscles at the fitness club which houses a variety of exercise equipment. Photo Courtesy of The Marriott Vacation Club
The Villas continue to thrive with activity the remainder of the year as well by conducting special events for couples. An Iron Chef competition is great fun as couples are given secret food ingredients at their condos and asked to create a gourmet meal. The meal is then judged by the staff. The property also conducts local tours to Atlantic City and other notable points of interest. The historic town of Smithville, home to more than 60 specialty shops and restaurants, is a short drive away, as is the historic Absecon Light House. The Renault Winery, the second oldest winery in the country, is an easy drive and well worth the trip. Like many other tourist sites and restaurants, the winery offers a special discount for guests of the Fairway Villas. Photo Courtesy of The Marriott Vacation Club
Above all, the Fairway Villas (as the name implies) is a haven for serious and novice golfers. Located adjacent to the Seaview Resort, a venerable golf resort which is home to the LPGA Shoprite Classic, guests of the property receive discounted rates at either of the Seaview's two fastidiously manicured courses. Want to hone your game? Private and group lessons are available. The Fairway Villas also have discounted agreements with several other golf courses in the area. In addition, there are several putting greens and a driving range at the Villas for practice prior to your tee time.
After a long day on the links, guests often retreat to the villas for a little pampering. The relaxing and rejuvenating Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa offers facials, body scrubs, therapy baths, massages and more.Photo Courtesy of The Marriott Vacation Club
MVC owners are the backbone of the resort, and management listens to their every concern. "Our customers dictate our success," says Matt Barker, general manager of the Fairway Villas. "We hold an owners' breakfast each Monday in order to hear what the owners have to say. We then base many of our decisions on that discussion." There are more than 400,000 families worldwide who currently own points with the Vacation Club. Each does so for different reasons, but they all ultimately enjoy a vacation experience that can be geared to meet their specific needs.Photo Courtesy of Marriott's Playa Andaluza
When you become an MVC Destinations owner, you purchase a real-estate deed with interest and own your vacations. Based on the theme of flexibility, points can also be exchanged for cruises, safaris and group tours around the world through MVC's Explorer Collection which provides a wider range of vacation experiences. For those not quite ready to commit to vacation ownership, the club also offers daily and weekly rates.Photo Courtesy of Marriott's Mountain Valley Lodge
A one-time purchase of $17,820 will get you 1,500 points which is renewed annually to use as you wish. This qualifies owners for a weeklong vacation in Vail, Colorado at a one-bedroom villa, or a three-night Las Vegas stay in a two-bedroom villa. For $19,700 you receive one week in Aruba, Marco Island, Florida, or other destinations while $41,580 provides seven days in Kapolei, Oahu, Hawaii or 14 days at a luxurious hotel in the Palm Desert. An annual maintenance fee equals about four percent of the purchase price.