Rated 5 out of 5 by Garink Relax in St. Maarten
The hotel and condo units are a wonderful way to relax and enjoy the Caribbean at its best. My family loves the resort and all of the amenities offered. We shall return
July 26, 2013
Rated 3 out of 5 by Alright14 Needs improvement
Positives: The hotel was lovely and appeared recently renovated. The pool was beautiful with a swim up bar and a great view of the ocean. The employees (all but the ones from the activities desk) seemed genuinely helpful and nice. Pirate night was pretty cool and I think that they should expand upon the theme, the kids loved it!
Small Negative: The parking facility was very poorly lit which does not give you the best “feeling” in the world. There also seemed to be people that did not work at the Westin just hanging out in the parking facility, kind of strange.
Big Negative: The activities desk! It is severely lacking. This is a HUGE deal breaker as there are many other hotels out there that have a more helpful activities desk and in my opinion excursions make the vacation. The activities desk is operated from 9AM to 5PM which is really very silly because typically you would be out and about during the day and not be booking things. A more appropriate schedule would be 7AM to 10AM and then again from 7PM to 10PM. Plus, there is a restaurant booking desk (directly adjacent to the activities desk) that only books restaurants and is open from 7PM to 10PM, why not just combine the desks???!!! Can the same person not book restaurants and activities???
Let me tell you about the two activities that we did book:
1. A $39/person submarine trip which was supposed to be for 1 ½ hours but only lasted for about 40 minutes. Misleading when you are planning your day around it! What if you went to movie for $10 that you thought was 2 hours and it was only for 1 hour? You would be disappointed wouldn’t you? And that’s only a movie. It’s all about expectations!
2. A $115/person Anguilla snorkel excursion and when we got to Bobby’s Marina, no one was there!!! It turns out that the Westin did not confirm the trip with the tour operator! Luckily, we ran into a different tour operator who was also going to Anguilla and we requested to join his boat because our boat did not show up!!! When we returned to the Westin and let them know the story they would not refund our deposit (which is really the Westin’s commission) because we managed to book another boat ourselves! This does not make sense at all….why should they get a commission? All they did was not book a trip and potentially waste precious vacation time of ours? I will be disputing the $140 commission with my credit card.
Suggestions for Westin: Rethink the activities desk! Add lighting to the parking facility.
Bonus Suggestion for Westin: Put in a slide from the upper pool level to the lower pool level.
Other Comments for Westin: The food at the onsite Ocean restaurant was pretty good but could have been a lot better. There is a nearby restaurant called Canoa which serves far superior food for a similar price point.
Advise for you: Book excursions directly with tour operators and not through the Westin and try to negotiate the commission off the pricing. Google > Activities Desk. Also, go check out Pinel island, it is great.
Thank you for reading.
July 1, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by Jackson13 Beautiful Beach Location, Friendly Staff
My wife and I spent 6 nights at the Westin Dawn Beach Resort this month (January) and had a very enjoyable visit. We stayed in an ocean front room and, while pricey, if you can afford it the views of Dawn Beach, the ocean and St. Barts are fantastic. The rooms are huge, well appointed, have large bathrooms with separate tub and shower area and I believe all have either a balcony or patio.
Reading some of the reviews before our trip, we had a few concerns about the condition of the hotel, friendliness of the staff, etc. These concerns proved to be unfounded. The hotel is in very good condition and a new carpeting program was ongoing while we were there. The front desk staff, led by Nadine, was very friendly and helpful, as was the housekeeping staff.
The ocean front pool area is very nice, not at all crowded and offers a beach front hot tub. The bar tenders and wait staff at the pool are great, the food quality is good and the pricing reasonable by hotel standards. We had drinks and lunch there a number of days. We tried the Ocean restaurant one night, but they seemed to be a bit overwhelmed and after waiting 45 minutes for our wine to arrive we decided to eat elsewhere.
There are a few minor areas that could be improved. `The Fitness Center has the usual offerings, but is small with no windows and can be crowded. The wifi in the rooms worked well for the most part (occasional slowness or drops), but the reception at the pool was a problem unless your were close to the building. We were in one of the rooms that are a long way from the elevator and having to go to them as the only was to get to the beach was annoying. Since I recently had a joint replacement, additional access points to the beach (keyed doors?) would have been welcome. As all the Westin Resorts, there is the annoying resort fee and also a service charge. I am hoping that SPG properties start moving away from these fees.
We wanted to visit different parts of the island so we rented a car and found the location of the hotel to work out very well. While you have the advantage of being on a beautiful beach away from the towns, you are a relatively short drive from Orient Beach, Philipsburg and Grand Case.
Overall we had a great stay and we would recommend this hotel to anyone visiting St. Maarten.
January 27, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by SPLT Overall an amazing property!
We stayed 5 nights at the westin and visited almost all of the beaches on the island. This was by FAR the best beach on St Marteen. The food was excellent and staff went above and beyond. Fran the concierge was wonderful too and had some great recommendations for dinner and activities. We'll definitely be back!
April 1, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by DBWTraveler Great hotel with issues
We have stayed at this resort several times before and had better experiences in the past than this last stay in April 2014.
When we arrived my Gold SPG status was recognized but I was quickly informed that we could not be upgraded as there was a special group staying at the resort and all the better rooms were taken. We accepted that and didn't let it bother us but during this stay we ended up having two other bad experiences.
On our first night we decided to eat at the Ocean Restaurant and while Deborah our waitress was pleasant we discovered later that she changed our bill when we checked out. The total for food & drink was $77.50 we left a 20% tip of $15.50 so our total should have been $93.00 but upon checking out we discovered we were charged $96.00 so it appears my tip was changed making my 5 into an 8 so the tip would be $18.50. I believe a 20% tip is more than decent and while a $3.00 increase in our bill is not substantial it is the idea that someone would do this that is disheartening and not a good reflection on the hotel staff. I reported the change to the the front desk supervisor after we checked out who made a call to whom I assume was the restaurant manager and tried to alert him to this offense. As I was only able to hear one side of the conversation I don't know what was said but it appeared to not be of any concern to the person on the other side of the phone call which is another terrible reflection on management. I would suggest anyone staying at the resort be careful and check your bill when charging food to your room.
Unfortunately, this was not the only bad experience. On our second morning we slept in a little bit and when we were about to leave the room I heard the housekeeper next door asking the guests when they would be leaving their room but they said they needed more time. I popped my head out of our room and let her know that we would be leaving the room so she could do our room and her response to me was "Not Now!". This took me by surprise. My husband and I returned to the room more than 4 hours later only to find that our room had not been cleaned at all that day. The bed was left unmade and towels were not replaced. Very disappointing trip to a resort we have enjoyed in the past. Not sure if we will stay again but we love the island!!
April 26, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by Christop49 Honeymoon Bliss!!
This review is past due, but I had to clear some time to make sure i wrote it. My wife and I were married last October and were thrown as to where to spend our honeymoon. We are members of Starwood Preferred Guest Program, but participate in American Express Fine Hotels Program as well. While we started our search for destinations with Amex Fine Hotels, we quickly realized that given our busy schedules, budget, and time available to take a honeymoon, along with a desire to go somewhere that neither of us had been before, Starwood, and specifically Westin, would give us both the level of service and amenities, as well as the value that we were trying to obtain. One thing was for sure. We wanted to be on a white sandy beach with clear blue water, good dining options, and have the ability to disconnect from the real world when desired, while still being able to watch cartoons and news if desired. After much assistance from Starwood's vacation counselors, as well as the blessings of AAA and Amex travel advisers, we set our sites clearly on the Westin Dawn Beach. Although the property is not listed on American Express Fine Hotels list, which has served us well to this day, it did receive good reviews from those counselors and friends that told us they had stayed there. Well, they did not disappoint. The first positive for me was their concierge, Joseph. I am accustomed to calling a property ahead of my stay and pre-arranging dinner and activity reservations. Joseph put so much time and effort into helping us create a itinerary, LISTENING to our preferences, offing suggestions, and proving exemplary, professional customer service. By the time I actually arrived at the property, I thought that we had already known each other for some time! He was awesome and as a business owner, We all wish we had more "Joseph's"! Upon arrival in St. Marteen, we rented a jeep from a local provider, which ended up being surprisingly good. I am a Hertz Gold guy, so i suppose my expectations are high and was expecting a let down, but they were courteous, the vehicle was late model and in pretty good condition, save for a few small scratches and a hole or two in the seat fabric. But for a convertible, it was acceptable. after a educational drive from the airport, we finally happened upon the property. We were a little complacent when we first arrived, since the entrance to the property kind of jumps up on you and is basically just a nice Westin sign, some nice landscaping and a view of the parking garage. but once we pulled up in front of the front doors, we were a little more at ease, as it was much more opulent. We met Joseph immediately upon arrival and he was very cordial and happy to finally meet us. he escorted us to the from desk, where Marla took over. She was equally as friendly, caring and professional. We had informed Joseph prior to our arrival that not only was it our honeymoon, but that we had just lost our main business location to 4' of water in hurricane Sandy, and that this was our one chance to not think about it. They must have spoken to management and pulled some strings in light of our situation, because there was a big surprise in store for us. Marla informed us that our room wasn't ready, but that we could go have a cocktail by the ocean bar and they would let us know when we were ready. Upon my request, they did show us a cute little room on the second floor that could be ready immediately, but we weren't crazy about the particular view and location, so they said "no worries" and we proceeded to the pool for a welcome rum punch (which we were very welcome to have!). Finally, about 45 minutes later, we were informed that our room was ready. Well, our room was not just a room, but a beautiful suite tucked away on the ocean-side right hand corner of the property. When we arrived at the front DOORS (yes, DOORS, not door) of the room, we were both really excited. It was a positively wonderful room with a secluded patio and wonderful views of the ocean from both patios! AND they had a nice cold bottle of French Champagne and chocolate covered strawberries waiting for us! What thoughtfulness this staff exudes! Everyone was wonderful and gracious hosts during our week there. Sabrina was very helpful, as was Virgini at the pool bar, Rodney the black jack dealer, the Italian matre D and chef in the fine dining restaurant (sorry paisanos, i can recall names), the pool attendants, everyone. The Spa was wonderful as well, although facilities really needs to keep up in there, as the same light bulbs were out and toilet out of order on both my visits there. it appears as if the property did get a face lift since some of the earlier reviews that I read prior to my arrival. The carpets were new, and they were redoing the facade while we were there, without interruption to our stay i might add. The GM Daniel Beddor and regional director Dan Szydlowski should be commended for have such a wonderful group of ladies and gentleman working for them. The property is nice, but the staff is what made it special. The island was fun yet relaxing and the food on the french side is way off the hook. Our favorite restaurant was Le Tastevin (just had to mention their name, they were just that good), which Joseph recommended highly. We will most certainly be back to this property!! Job well done guys!
February 28, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by HiggyHockey2012 Great Resort! 4 time visitor
Great staff - everyone friendly. Resort is clean and comfortable and the beach is great. Pool on the smaller side, but adequate. Front desk manager excellent upon check in. Upgraded room, champagne in the room and other great perks as a platinum member. Two thumbs up.
July 10, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by MrsHonest This hotel has beautiful outdoor scenery
When we arrived at the resort, customer service began immediately. Very, very friendly staff throughout the entire stay. The atmospheres of the general areas were very relaxing, whether inside or outside the facility. The Spa was very classy and my massage was excellent. We appreciated the beauty, cleanliness, and privacy of the beach. When we wanted to venture away from the hotel, the hotel conveniently had taxis on standby (ask for Joe because he shares great info about the island). It was so convenient to have the Activities Desk arrange our reservations for our activities away from the resort. They answered all of our questions and gave accurate information about the activities. Everything about the resort appeared very organized and customer focused.
We had two concerns that made a small portion of our experience a turn off. The first was, on the day we arrived and got our keys for the room, we were headed to the elevators and immediately we were approached by a sales rep about setting a 90-minute timeshare meeting. She asked for our room number to call us and tried to pressure us to set an appointment right on the spot. That was VERY annoying to deal with after traveling for long hours and while trying to jump-start our honeymoon. We finally agreed to sit through an appointment and it was VERY high pressured sales. We told the sales rep no (5) times before they backed off. They had some really great opportunities for us to take advantage of, but we felt they weren't listening to our declines to their offers. Our second concern was the comfort of the room. We understand that St. Maarten is humid and surrounded by water, but the hotel should consider investing in humidifiers because the room felt damp and smelled like mildew the entire stay. The dampness made the bedding, carpet, and our clothes feel uncomfortable. We met a couple who stayed in the condos and their room wasn't as bad since they didn't have carpet, but it was still humid. Our two concerns will not stop us from returning!!!
July 12, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by PlaneSpotter747 One of the BEST Westins I have stayed at
The staff at the Westin Dawn Beach is amazing and a special thank you to Dan, Kenneth, Aisha and Sabrina for making our stay awesome!
June 24, 2014
Rated 3 out of 5 Awesome Hotel. Front desk staff not very welcoming! This was my third and last time
Please do something with the front desk staff. I will not return. Staff rude
February 11, 2014