Earning My Ears
- Jun 19, 2019
As above there is off peak availability in studios.
The buy where you want to stay advice can be good advice, it can be poor advice. If you wish to sleep around the resorts very easily at most times other than peak, and even have decent choice at peak (I bought for the same reason) then think about buying twice the points and stay in 1 beds. 1 bed availibility at 7 months is a different ball game to studios.
Given you will be booking at 7 months, buy where you want to stay may be pointlessly spending more than you have to. You are like me- not buying to go back to the same place year after year, the attraction of the product is a different vacation each time.
I bought where I wouldn’t mind staying, Saratoga. In fact I like the resort very much. I’ll happily stay there when it’s refurbed which they have now commenced. My favourite resorts are the Crescent Lake ones, but I won’t buy with just 24 years left.
So I bought twice the points at SSR, and in fact this wasn’t a difficult decision because we much prefer 1 beds anyway.
Most times of year, you have the absolute pick of any resort to stay in, with 1 beds. And even most views, last summer I could have booked AKL value 2 weeks running. The tricky ones are BLT Standard, and perhaps theme park, maybe Boardwalk Standard (but I got that), AKL concierge and supposedly AKL value. But generally, take your pick at non peak times.
In peak times such as Xmas in 1 beds, as long as you book dead on 7 months, you will have some choice- always OKW, and AKL, and likely BRV, and BWV and even BCV. Possibly GFV too but I don’t pay much attention to that most of the time as it’s points intensive so I don’t book it.
This coming Xmas, 20-26 December, BCV in 1 beds was totally open as was BWV. So I booked BCV. From 26 December to 30 December I was going to book BRV or OKW (split stay on purpose) but BLT came up, so I booked there, I maybe got lucky with that as it was showing as booked when checking in the run up. 31 December was tighter all over. But hey, I am flexible, I like staying different resorts, and BLT I could have stayed in easily in quieter times.
If I ever score a studio on my travels and wanted one, I could rent out the excess points which would cover the dues across the entire contract for the year.
Skier Pete’s charts are brilliant and still accurate, but slightly pessimistic I’ve found on 1 beds. But look at them as they are the best data in this area available. Pete said the spotty rating I think means they are available but go quick.
Caveat to this, is that availibility has got more difficult to get at 7 months. It could change. But again this in my observation seems to have been with regards to studios, not 1 beds. As point cost increases, and points per night goes up, more and more people buy to book studios. I don’t see them chasing 1 beds with the same vigour or any real reason why they should be.
Bizarrely using this strategy, I have seen situations where say studios at VGF have been fully booked, and thus an owner who paid virtually the same to buy in as me cannot book his studio at 7 months, but me with twice the points can book a 1 bed at 7 months and stay in vastly superior accommodations to the owner there who paid the same and cannot get a studio.
This strategy obviously means paying double the dues but I’m quite happy to do that anyway for the vastly superior accommodation of the 1 bed over the studio.
Thanks so much for the thorough answer. That is a good perspective on 1 bedroom villas.