Loader Image

History of Marriott Timeshares

Marriott Vacation Club, under the newly-formed Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corporation, is considered the industry leader in the timeshare market through their ongoing commitment to quality and excellence - setting the bar in the timeshare arena. With a well-established and respected core lodging business already in place, Marriott International was the first global hotel brand to begin offering vacation ownership, known as timeshare, in 1984.

The Marriott Timeshare Concept is Introduced

Marriott valued the concept of timeshares and understood the potential of the timeshare market to provide high-quality holiday accommodation to consumers looking for consistent vacation experiences. Through extensive research of the timeshare industry, Marriott realized that most of the industry was made up of independent resorts with lower quality accommodation, compared to the Marriott standard, along with a lack of focus on customer care and innovation.

With its focus primed on setting the highest standards of service and resort offerings, Marriott International established a timeshare division, Marriott Ownership Resorts Inc., in 1984 with the acquisition of the 122 villa American Resorts on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. This resort later became Marriott's Monarch at Sea Pines resort. Being the first major hospitality company to enter the timeshare market, Marriott instantly provided the timeshare industry with an injection of credibility it had lacked in the past.

Not only would Marriott offer the highest quality resorts in the industry, but it also introduced major innovations into the timeshare market. Timeshare was traditionally based on a fixed week model, with owners returning to the same resort and the same unit during the same week, year after year. Marriott introduced the floating unit and time concept, something that had not been seen in timeshare ownership. Owners, for the first time, were given the flexibility to trade their fixed weeks for stays at different times of the year - redeemable throughout Marriott's worldwide timeshare offerings.

New Marriott Timeshare Resorts Are Built

Marriott continued to set the standard in the timeshare market by opening Marriott's Sabal Palms in Orlando, Florida in 1986. This timeshare resort was the first of its kind as it was purpose built and adjacent to the full service Orlando World Center Marriott hotel in a mixed-use environment that became the model for future timeshare resorts. With instant success, Marriott gave the green light to production on their second timeshare resort, Marriott's Royal Palms, and enjoyed continued national success as the industry leader in the timeshare market throughout the 1980s.

Toward the end of the 1980s, Marriott focused on expanding into the international timeshare market - building the Paradise Island Beach Club in Nassau, Bahamas in 1990. Later that year, Marriott partnered with Interval International - an exchange partnership that allowed Marriott timeshare owners to trade their timeshare weeks for other timeshare vacations at Interval-affiliated resorts throughout the world.

By 1993, Marriott boasted over 50,000 timeshare owners and expanded its timeshare offerings across three countries and 19 timeshare resorts. 1994 saw Marriott open up a series of mountain-based timeshares in both Utah and Colorado, as well as an historic-themed timeshare product in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Sticking with their innovation strategy for the timeshare market, Marriott introduced the concept of "floating check-ins" at Marriott's Grande Ocean on Hilton Head Island in 1995. Also during that year, Marriott Ownership Resorts Inc. rebranded its timeshare unit under the name Marriott Vacation Club International. This moves solidified Marriott as a leader in the timeshare industry, while enjoying the advantages of being a division of Marriott International.

In 1996, Marriott Vacation Club International began timeshare sales at Marriott's Marbella Beach Resort in Spain, marking the company's first move into the European timeshare marketplace. Later that year, Marriott's Grande Vista opened in Orlando, Florida, offering a timeshare resort in conjunction with the industry's first personalized and professional golf instruction program, as Marriott teamed up with PGA Champion Nick Faldo.

1997 marked a milestone for Marriott Vacation Club International as they grew to 100,000 timeshare owners. The year also saw Boston's 150 year old landmark, the Custom House, sold to Marriott and immediately undergo a multimillion dollar overhaul as Marriott's Custom House became the first-ever branded metropolitan timeshare ownership facility.

Luxury Comes to Timeshare

Marriott timeshare sales continued to grow through the close of the millennium as the company's focus on innovation and customer service established them as the timeshare sales industry leader. Having bought the Ritz Carlton Hotel Co. in 1998, Marriott International unveiled luxury timeshare offerings through its new Ritz Carlton Club brand at the Ritz Carlton Club in Aspen Highlands, Colorado. The group added a Ritz Carlton Club in St. Thomas as Marriott closed out 1999.

The new century saw Marriott open timeshare locations at Marriott's Newport Coast Villas in California, and Marriott's Barony Beach in Hilton Head Island, SC. These timeshare resorts offered full spa services which, at the time, was an innovation but is now standard practice among new timeshare facilities.

2001 saw Marriott Vacation Club International welcome its 200,000th timeshare owner, along with over $4 billion in Marriott timeshare sales. Also announced that same year were plans for Marriott's Phuket Beach Club in Thailand, Marriott's first ever Asian timeshare offering.

Olympic-sized Exposure for Marriott Vacation Club

With the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Utah came an opportunity for Marriott to show off its timeshare property at Marriott's Mountainside Resort in Park City, which enjoyed up-close and personal views of many of the Olympic activities surrounding Salt Lake City.

In 2003, Marriott Vacation Club International received the prestigious honor of being named the Best Sales Organization in the U.S. at the American Business Awards. Continuing its leadership role in the timeshare industry, Marriott opened two new resorts in Hawaii and expanded its timeshare offerings to four of the Hawaiian Islands.

2004 marked Marriott's 20th anniversary in the timeshare ownership space with expansion in Europe as well as new sales of timeshare ownership in Arizona, South Carolina and a second timeshare resort in Aruba, Marriott's Aruba Surf Club.

Continued record growth in 2005 led to Marriott Vacation Club International breaking ground on its 46th timeshare resort, Marriott's Frenchman's Cove, which was the first-ever timeshare property offered in the U.S Virgin Islands.

Marriott went through another rebranding in 2007, although this time it was a slight change as the word "International" was dropped from the consumer brand - which remained Marriott Vacation Club. Still the timeshare division of Marriott International, the group grew in 2008 with the addition of Marriott's Oceana Palms - The Palm Beaches on Singer Island in Riviera Beach, Fla and an expansion of Marriott's St. Kitts Beach Club.

By 2009, nearly 400,000 members were part of Marriott Vacation Club as the group expanded Hawaii properties Marriott's Maui Ocean Club and Marriott's Ko Olina Beach Club. 2010 saw expansion at Marriott's Frenchman's Cove, plus the final phase opening of Marriott's OceanWatch Villas at Grande Dunes in Myrtle Beach, S.C. and the opening of Marriott's Lakeshore Reserve at Grande Lakes in Orlando.

Marriott Timeshare Product Sees Significant Changes

In the summer of 2010, Marriott Vacation Club launched one of the most significant changes in its history, introducing the points-based Marriott Vacation Club Destinations program in North America and the Caribbean. The program allowed members to enroll their fixed-week ownership into a points program which allowed them the opportunity to travel beyond the Marriott Vacation Club products into Marriott hotels or any number of vacation options through the Marriott Rewards program. The Destinations program would eventually be expanded to Europe, Asia and Latin America; thereby becoming available to all Marriott Vacation Club owners.

2011 saw more changes, as Marriott Vacation Club was spun off from parent company Marriott International to become its own, publicly traded company known as Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corporation. The company would continue to be headquartered in Orlando, Florida but would now have its management team operate independently from the Marriott International structure - joined only by a branding agreement for the use of the Marriott name. The new Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corporation would now operate across three consumer brands including Marriott Vacation Club, The Ritz-Carlton Destination Club and Grand Residences by Marriott.

Expansion continued in 2012 with the completion of the fifth development phase at Marriott's Ko Olina Beach Club, opening 132 new two- and three-bedroom villas. Plus, construction began on the third tower at Marriott's Grand Chateau in Las Vegas, with the "topping-out" of the third, 37-story tower taking place in August, 2013. Construction is scheduled for completion in mid-2014.

Marriott Vacation Club now boasts over 417,000 owners, a diverse portfolio of 54 resorts and more than 11,800 timeshare villas throughout the U.S., Caribbean, Europe and Asia.

Popular Marriott Timeshares to Visit



    What can we help you with?


    ARDA Logo CRTA Logo AMDETUR Logo Inc5000 Logo


    Trusted Site Seal Authorize.net Logo

    Hide this record?

    Make visible this record?