I had the good fortune to have worked for the Marriott Vacation Club for over a decade, in that time and to the present, I have been able to work for, visit and stay at dozens of vacation clubs (Marriott and others). I took some notes during my stays and have decided to add these observations and insights on the website. I will enlarge upon these notes from my vacation club travels and I hope you find some nice nuggets when considering your next trip using your ownership.
I recently visited Marriott’s Ocean Pointe with my family and I can present the following review for the property.
Before I get started, I would like to disclose that I spent the very early part of my career working in Orlando for the Marriott Vacation Club where we had access to and could sell Marriott’s Ocean Pointe (located about 2.5 hours Southeast of Orlando) inventory from off-site (Orlando sales center).
At that time (the late 90s) Marriott’s Ocean Pointe had been open just about a year and was in its preconstruction sales phase. Our sales team in Orlando viewed the resort as the Shangri La of the Florida properties. We spoke with hushed reverence to the beautifully appointed accommodations and beachfront location and would eye any sales person with jealousy lucky enough to travel down to Singer Island to wrap up a sale with their clients. This was all prior to my transfer to Maui and the subsequent ten years of working at that Marriott’s Uber resort – The Maui Ocean Club. In retrospect, Marriott’s Ocean Pointe, which had at once been the prettiest girl at the dance had been relegated to also-ran (in my mind) after moving to Maui, falling in love with the full moon rising over the West Maui mountains along with everything else Maui entailed.
Returning to Marriott’s Ocean Pointe many years later, I was able to take in the property with a new perspective. Having spent more than a decade working for Marriott Vacation club out in Hawaii, I had been fortunate in that time to have visited and stayed at all the Hawaii properties and dozens more throughout the system.
Although I had the chance to stay at such majesties as the Phuket Beach Club, the Ritz Carlton Club in Vail and the Frenchman’s Cove in St Thomas I was still thoroughly impressed by Marriott’s Ocean Pointe and I as I walked the beach and the grounds one early morning I felt again the tug of emotions I had experienced as a neophyte sales rep for Marriott back in my early years.
The resort’s buildings were situated in a way that allowed for large view corridors which opened the views from balconies down to the very lowest level rooms. The size of the campus makes it probably the largest piece of Oceanfront real estate in the entire Marriott vacation club and the level of activities, pools, and amenities and other guests make it place where a lonely person can seek refuge from their solitude for a week or so.
The room I was staying in had been recently updated and showed no signs of having been slept in by countless families over the almost 20 years of its existence. The 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom featured a full kitchen and smaller kitchenette in the guest bedroom, complete with a couple of balconies off the bedrooms. The view from my Oceanside third floor was very nice, I could see the pool areas and ocean off in the distance, and although close to the action, once I shut the slider doors to the balcony, the rooms themselves were quiet minus a creak from above every once in a while.
My kids absolutely loved the property and made friends with other teens the first night they arrived and had a gang of friends they roamed the property with throughout their stay.
Although the resort featured a pool bar and marketplace, we did want to have more food options and frequented the two Whole Food Markets close by. My wife and I visited West Palm Beach a few nights for dinner (pricey but delicious) and we had the chance to visit the famous Breakers Hotel during our stay, lodging to a Who’s Who of historical figures during last 150 year since it opened.
I will give some pros and cons, while fully disclosing my bias as not only a former employee of Marriott Vacation club but also as a business owner of a company that primarily markets vacation rentals to brand name vacation clubs.
I will start with some negatives:
- Pool chair hawkers – you know the type – guy gets up at the crack of dawn and “reserves” a number of chairs close to the pool – basically marking their territory. A common issue at many of the vacation clubs (the front desk claims they have been cracking down on this)
- Lack of dining options on the property – limited to marketplace and pool bar
- A non-Marriott building breaks up the continuity of the campus – there are four main buildings and a 5th located at the southern tip of Singer Island. It would have been nice if all five buildings were adjacent
Now the positives (…remember, I am a fanboy)
- Incredible Oceanfront location – great beach with waves (my family grew up in Hawaii and we love to play and swim in the waves)
- Super friendly staff
- So many activities… Alas, I had the Marriott’s Ocean Pointe Ping- Pong championship in my grasp… and choked it away to a kid half my age 🙁
- Great beds – really slept well
- Wonderful grounds – I loved walking the resort and find a nice chair to sit with my coffee and newspaper
- Easy to meet and interact with other guests – my kids didn’t want to leave by end of the week having made friends
Having started my career in Orlando, that crazy tourist mecca, I was blessed with the opportunity to transfer to Maui with Marriott and work for ten years at one of the greatest resorts on the planet. Prior to my transfer I had also considered a move down to Singer Island and having experienced the resort and the area with my family as guests of the property, I can safely say that if I had chosen Singer Island instead of Maui, I would have still been a very happy camper.