Family Vacation Destinations
Our experience with timeshare ownership

What has it been like to be owners?

Overall it's been very good for us, and our friends since they were able to join us on a couple of excursions. We have two young children now and we've taken advantage of Westgate's properties on several occasions. The resorts that we've visited/stayed at so far include:

  • Westgate Blue Tree Resort - Orlando, FL
  • Westgate Lakes - Orlando, FL
  • Westgate Vacation Villas - Kissimmee, FL
  • Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort - Gatlinburg, TN

We visited the last place on the list most recently and were pleased by the big, log-cabin style features of the buildings. Since we weren't exchanging weeks, and only planned on staying in the area for four days, we got a nice owner discount on the one-bedroom suite. Also, we were able to score several discount tickets to many of the attractions in Gatlinburg. Plus, the on-site water park is absolutely huge and admission is free to owners. We are definitely going back there when we have time to spend a full week away.

One thing we have learned to keep in mind: whenever we travel to our resort to stay the week, we have to exhibit some patience on check-in day. A lot of people show up at the same time because the weeks run from Saturday or Sunday to the following Saturday or Sunday, so check-ins are a flurry of activity. We had to either show up at an odd hour or be patient and wait in line. A vast majority of the people in line with us were also owners, so it wasn't like we were entitled to better treatment than the rest of the people. Once we went in with that mindset, checking in wasn't a big hassle.

For the most part, being owners gives us benefits that we wouldn't necessarily see from a big hotel chain. We've never gone away disappointed or upset with our stay, and we're happy for that. Also, we both like to cook, so we've managed to save hundreds of dollars on routine dining out at restaurants by simply visiting an offsite grocery store and stocking the pantry for a week-long stay.

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