Rated 5 out of 5 by Krissy February break 2014
This was our third trip to the Westin St. John. The resort is looking great and extremely well cared for. The beach is beautiful and we stayed in a newly renovated room. The service was excellent as was the food. Food a little pricey but hey, on vacation everything is expensive.The pool area was newly done and immaculate. Beautiful chairs and plenty of umbrellas at the beach. We had a wonderful time and did not want to leave! There was construction at the resort but it did not bother us at all. I did miss the outdoor breakfast area that is under renovation…next time!
March 9, 2014
Rated 2 out of 5 by hitter23 Resort needs more than a facelift
My wife and I recently stayed in an ocean front room at this resort. We found the quality of accommodations, as well as the professionalism and courteousness of the staff, to fall well short of what we expect from Starwood, the Westin brand, and a hotel room at the relevant price point more generally.
After considering the per night cost, the hotel room itself was easily the worst I had ever stayed in. One of the very first things I noticed upon entering the room was dried beverage / coffee cup circles visible on the marble tabletop containing the TV. Also, the door containing the in-room refrigerator showed visible signs of spilled and/or sprayed liquids on the front of it (or perhaps it was mold resulting from this - it's unclear). No doubt these were more perceptible since the late afternoon sun was reflecting in just the right way into the room, but still, I found this lack of attention to detail and cleanliness unbecoming of the Westin brand. Also, the carpet was old and it, too, showed signs of spills and stains.
Also lacking in the room:
- The "amenities" book - common in nearly all respectable hotels - which details restaurant and spa offerings, as well as important phone numbers etc., was simply a stapled packet of photocopies, and it was wrinkled from prior use as well.
- The bathroom was cold, uninviting, and looked tired. The toilet, which barely flushed, was not flush with the wall. It brought back memories of the toilet in my college fraternity house. The bath and shower, too, were in bad need of an update.
- There was an ice machine, as well as a utility closet, directly outside the room's main entrance door. Made for daily early morning wake-up calls.
I knew upon booking our stay at the Westin St. John that the resort was undergoing a series of important renovations. I hope, for the sake of future guests, that they will be updating this room. I'm also hopeful, for the same reasons, that they renovate the main lobby. It was dark, dusty, and there were dingy cords from the table lamps visibly showing where they were plugged into the floor. Again, we found this unacceptable for the purported quality of this resort. I can't recall another hotel where electric cords were visible in the main lobby.
The second area of disappointment regards the food served at the resort. I realize the food at a resort in the isolated USVI is unlikely to ever compare to a similarly priced hotel in a major US city, yet it should at least be edible. At lunch one day, at the outdoor "Beach Grill", it was not. My wife and I were starving after having run the 8 Tuff Miles road race on the island, and were excited to finally be sitting down to lunch in the open air. Unfortunately, the cheeseburger my wife ordered was terrible. For starters, it was a pre-frozen 1/2lb patty which was in itself disappointing. Is the turnover for hamburgers/cheeseburgers during what is arguably one of the busiest weeks of the season (school vacation week in the northeast USA) not high enough to justify sourcing ground beef and making hand or at least machine-formed patties? The American cheese looked like it had been thrown on top, and appeared to be a "Kraft single" instead of a quality piece of sliced deli cheese. However, it was the taste of the burger that really trumped everything else. My wife, after suspiciously chewing the first bite, handed over the burger to me, knowing that I will eat just about anything and could therefore opine on the "okay-ness" of the burger. I proceeded to have a bite. I'm not sure if the meat had gone off, but what it tasted like to me was that the patty had been frozen and then partially or fully thawed and then refrozen, possibly multiple times. It had a gamey taste to it. Neither of us had another bite. We sent it back to the waitress who, while kind enough I suppose to remove it from our check, said little else. As for me, I had ordered a Cuban sandwich which was also not very good (I'd rate it a low C or high D in isolation), but relative to the burger it was at least palatable. Barely.
After the lunch experience, we resolved not to eat any more meals on the complex. We also considered that our dinner at the resort's flagship "Cruz Bay Prime" on first night of our stay, which was at best mediocre, was likely not aberrant in its mediocrity. What's more, the waitress service that night had been entirely uninspiring, too. The associate serving us was completely uninterested in her job, unfriendly, and just barely courteous enough to utter "with pleasure" a few times.
This brings me to the third area that I think warrants attention, namely that the overall service and friendliness of the hotel staff was lacking. To cite one of many examples, one of the concierge desk associates, upon our asking her about securing a taxi for the aforementioned race early the next morning (this was late the previous afternoon), suggested that we speak directly to the taxi personnel, since they were a different company altogether. A good concierge, by contrast, would have put aside the issue of whether or not they were different companies and would have instead done one of two things. Either (a) she would have offered to do whatever it takes to book us a guaranteed ride with a third party, or (b) she would have gotten out of her seat and walked with us over to the taxi folks to help explain to them our need. Instead, at 5:45am the next morning we knocked on the driver side window of the taxi to wake the sleeping cab driver. We then climbed aboard the taxi and proceeded to wait 20+ min in the pre-dawn darkness wondering when we might finally depart. With a couple of refreshing exceptions, we found the general friendliness of the hotel staff as a group to be completely underwhelming. This goes for the staff in the front lobby, all but one or two of the pool attendants, the Mango deli personnel, and the front desk people at the gym.
The most egregious example of disservice, however, involves our departure trip. On the previous afternoon, we spoke with one of the associates at the front desk, asking about the resort's dedicated shuttle service back to the airport on St. Thomas. For this "exclusive" service, we were charged $65pp ($130 total). We were told the boat would pick us up at the Westin dock and bring us to the Marine Terminal on St. Thomas, at which point there would be a shuttle to bring us to the airport, just five minutes away. Instead, a boat picked us up the next morning a few minutes past six. We were instructed to "wait to board until the associates have disembarked." What we were not told, however, is that the boat was headed to Red Hook, not the Marine Terminal in Charlotte-Amalie. No explanation whatsoever was given. In fact, we were not even told we were going to Red Hook - rather, we just docked there. We were then lead off the boat and onto a standard taxi, which then proceeded to take us to the airport, although not before we made an out-of-the-way stop at another resort on St Thomas to pick up other persons. This taxi trip took close to 45 minutes. Had we had any inkling whatsoever that this was the dedicated airport service that we paid $130 for, we would have certainly opted instead to take a taxi from the resort to the ferry in Cruz Bay and manage our own way to the airport from there. This is essentially the itinerary we wound up taking anyway. Doing so would have cost $56: $22 for the ferry from Cruz Bay to Red Hook for two people plus two bags, $12 for the taxi from the resort to Red Hook, $22 for the taxi from Red Hook to the airport). This would have saved $74 and a lot of uncertainty in the process. In effect, we paid an excess $74 for absolutely nothing.
I would happily pay what we did again for a world-class resort, especially in such an exotic location as St. John. However, without major changes in the resort's staffing, food service, and infrastructure (fortunately, already happening via the renovation efforts) it’s hard to justify returning to the Westin St. John at anywhere near the current price points, and it's more or less impossible to encourage others to stay there, too. I have generally had excellent experiences at other Starwood resorts, and hope that the Westin St. John resort will be brought up to par.
March 9, 2014
Rated 3 out of 5 by rihokie37 Great Location, Nice Amenities, but Needs work to Be a True Starwood Level Property
As a return guest of this hotel, I enjoyed the location and many of the ammenities at this Westin. Unfortunately, the service of the staff, primarily the front desk staff, was not up to standards. We experieced many delays in check in, several errors with our room, and a generally unpleasant attitude from many staff members we interacted. The hotel also had continued issues with wi-fi and other expected services. On a positive note, the staff at the 2 outdoor restaurant/bars were wonderful, and the house-keeping staff was pleasant when we interacted with them. I would recommend this resort based on location alone, but would be very hesitant to endorse the customer service, especially to another Starwood member. I don't feel that this property embraces the typical Starwood experience.
January 30, 2012
Rated 3 out of 5 by KMTMN The value just is not there.
The room was not thoroughly cleaned upon arrival...bugs in kitchen, silverware and dishes were dirty, as well as shower in mstbed. Not enough closet space, could not hang standard hanger in guest room. Room was a long way from pool and lodgenet was out 1/3 of our stay.
Spa facility was substandard, yoga cancelled twice, despite 8am start, no prior notice and we were charged $45 per day? Tried to attend SuperBowl party, too many people, not enough seats/tables and $18 per plate for hamburgers and hot dogs?
This is suppose to be top resort, fell well short. We will not return, nor recommend and we are Starwood Owners!
February 19, 2012
Rated 2 out of 5 by BeachLover Westin St. John - Hotel Rooms
The fact that this hotel is located on the island of St. John is wonderful. It is also nice to stay in a place that has the option to go to the pool, hotel beach or drive/taxi to another beach on the island.
This is our third time at this resort and will probably not stay here again. We first came in 2004 and back then, the hotel rooms were out of date. They have only gotten worse over the years with more wear and tear and no updating. The pictures on the website are very deceiving, most of these are of the villas, not the hotel rooms. The hotel rooms do not have updated bathrooms. The sink in our room was mauve with stains from over the years. The walls, tub and caulk were all also very old. No matter how clean the bathroom truly was, it just felt dirty because of the upkeep.
The staff was nice and friendly, however the service was slow. Including shuttle service and requests to fix problems in our room.
The food, spa and drinks were expensive, but this was expected at a resort.
This trip we rented a car at the St. Thomas airport and took the car ferry from Red Hook. This allowed us to avoid the frustruation of the Westin Breeze (Ferry) that we had in the past. This also allowed us to explore the many beaches on the island.
November 28, 2011
Rated 3 out of 5 by Catty Off season or renovation? Not a pleasant stay
We stayed here mainly for the proximity to the USVI national park and it's a Starwood chain. I've had many pleasant stays at other Westin resorts or hotels and We've always enjoyed it but this resort definitely fell short to our expectations. Instead of lengthy essay I'll summarize the pros and cons:
-Nice beach, not overly crowded (maybe it's off season)
-Water sport rental service is good
-Vacation desk staff is knowledgeable
-Plenty of Jeeps in the car rental (you'll need it for unpaved, hilly and bumpy roads in the national park)
-The ferry service to/from airport is convenient
-No luggage rack in the room - had to ask for it
-The faucet in the sink is rusted and it splashes on us every time we turn it on - talked to service and it's improved
-Pool is under renovation. The only full service restaurant for dinner is beach cafe as they closed Cruz Bay Prime (seasonal?). Mango Deli is another food choice but during vacation we really wanted to eat in a restaurant instead of a deli - we've done enough during work days
-We ordered dinner to our room and the beer came in a bottle. No bottle opener in the room or on the tray. Had to call them again to open it
-Long wait at the vacation desk (30 mins)
Since it's off season, I recommend going out to Cruz Bay for dining, even though some are closed too, plenty of good ones are available and have no wait. You can find menus at the vacations desk and ask them to make reservations for you.
October 1, 2013
Rated 1 out of 5 by Natalie37 Very Disappointed
We have stayed many times at the Westin in St John and have always enjoied it. Last year we really noticed that the rooms had major wear and tear and smelled of mold. This year we thought we would try again and request one of the renovated rooms. Our renovated room was gross and not what I would consider a Westin standard. The cement walls are painted so many times there is thick sticky shinny paint in terrible colors. The renovated tile is lathered with grout right up to the paint and the corners are filled with dirt and grime. I am disappointed again.
We checked in and were expecting with Gold status that we could have an early check in, that was not granted (traveling with an infant that was hard) then the ground floor accommodation we expected from our reservation was not granted either. Then we called the staff three times to let them know or disappointment and nothing was done to rectify the situation. They did offer to move us the second morning but were not being very realistic considering we traveled with two children.
Basically was glad to get out of the hotel.
Grounds looked nice and the staff aside from the front desk and management were friendly.
Over all very upsetting.
Hotel upkeep terrible.
October 26, 2011
Rated 3 out of 5 by devguy What spa?
So let me start by saying that often times while on vacation, my wife and I will take an entire day as a "spa day." when we booked this trip, I spoke with Matt (spa manager) and booked a spa package for both myself and my wife. We booked a three hour package that with tip totaled almost $900. Matt informed me that prior to, and after our treatments we would have use of the "facility" for the day. I figured as with most high end spa's that there would be the expected amenities available.
When we arrived to the spa, we discovered the spa was located in the back hallway of the workout room. There are three treatment rooms, and literally a closet where nails and feet are done. You walk into a locker room that is reminiscent of a 1980's high school locker room. There is a toiled and a bench with lockers. No amenities to be found. While our actual treatments were okay, the facility was not remotely up to par.
The rooms have the signature Heavenly Bed, which is by far the best thing about the hotel, and they did not disappoint in this area. The bathroom is a seperate story. The caulking was coming off of the tub, there was mold on the shower head and the grout, and the fixtures were coming off from the wall. The bathroom was so unacceptable I took photo's and sent them to Starwood.
January 26, 2012