For example, Wyndham is far larger than Disney Vacation Club, with many more resorts in their portfolio. I happen to own both. And I can certainly tell you which membership makes me happier — DVC, without a doubt. Of course, I think the Wyndham resorts themselves are great and they do have some of the best timeshares, such as Bonnet Creek. It is really their policies and practices that get on my nerves. I really hate being pestered to attend an “owners update” every single time I go visit a Wyndham property, so they can try and tell me how much resale purchase sucks and that I need to buy directly from them to get the most value. I don’t think so.
Timeshare resales are the way to go and as far as I’m concerned, the way that Wyndham devalues in the secondary marketplace is exactly why I would never recommend buying at one of their sales presentations. All of their so-called “perks” for getting to VIP level are either 1.) not worth the many thousands of dollars they want; and/or 2.) can disappear tomorrow. They are perks only. When it comes to timeshares, the basic truth is that if it isn’t in your contract, it can diseappear tomorrow and this is especially true of discounts.
That said, what then makes a top timeshare company. In terms of size, you are looking at Wyndham and Westgate. Wyndham is largest and also owns RCI and Worldmark. Between Wyndham and Worldmark there are close to 150 resorts, though the memberships aren’t exactly interchangeable. Worldmark resorts are “associate” resorts for Wyndham members, and I believe the availability is limited. I’m pretty sure Westgate would be next in size.
In addition to these behomeths, you have Marriott Vacation Club with over 50 resorts; Hilton Grand Vacations Club with just under 50 resorts; BlueGreen Resorts, also over 50 resorts in their chain. I believe Diamond International is quite sizeable as well, though I don’t know how many of the 144 resorts they claim are actually branded. I think they work somewhat like Royal Holiday Club in that they have a lot of “associate” resort properties.
For the smaller timeshare brands you have Hyatt Vacation Club, Starwood Vacation Ownership, Disney Vacation Club and Shell Vacations Club, which are all smaller — with DVC being the smallest with only 11 resorts. Though Disney appears to be on something of a building spree, so we’ll see how many resorts they have 10 years from now.
Now, if you want to take a look at individual resort groups to figure out what ownership might suit you best, be sure to take a look at my individual pages for each of the major brands. Deciding which company has the best timeshare resorts is a very personal decision that has a lot to do with your needs, but if you are looking for the best timeshare to own and high qualty accommodations you can’t go wrong with either Marriott and HGVC. Personally, I think the DVC resorts are very high quality too, but many Marriott owners would argue differently. DVC units do tend to a smaller size compared to some other resorts.
I’ve been slowly expanding the list to cover all of the smaller resort companies as well and eventually I hope the overview will be comprehensive.