Rated 2 out of 5 by klm1414 Westin St. John lacks customer focus
I posted this review on another site & received a response by the manager in which I emailed per the response. I expected at least a response acknowledging receipt of my email & have given it ample time so I am posting here as this is another example of where the Westin St. John really needs to improve their customer focus.
Here is my review:
We just returned from a trip & 4 night stay to the Westin St. John. The island of St. John's beauty and beaches made this vacation stellar. I have done my fair share of traveling & stayed at a variety of different level properties over the years & the Westin St. John has been the most disappointing travel experience I have ever had. We read reviews prior to booking, but in the past few months as you can tell by increasing number of issues and poor reviews here that the quality has dramatically slipped. Our stay there compelled me to write this review to help other travelers planning a trip to this amazing island. PROS Well maintained grounds Ferry Service to & from STT (included with our package) Heavenly Bed & Good Linens Taxi availability CONS Food--both cost & quality Customer Service Construction (It is very loud in buildings 14, 15, and 16) Renovated rooms don't show signs of upgrades Exorbitant & Misleading Resort Fee ($40 per day resort fee) ROOM ISSUES & FRONT DESK SERVICE: While I know room requests aren't guaranteed, I had called when I booked the trip months ago & also two days before to request a king bed room with a balcony for my party of 2. I confirmed they had my request noted. The resort handled all your luggage from the airport all the way to your room. We arrived on a full shuttle, so we were without luggage for several hours while they unloaded and delivered it to the room. When we arrived to our room, we were greeted with a ground floor room with double beds. The room itself was nothing special & the fridge leaked so the carpet in front of one of the beds was wet. These rooms were supposedly renovated already but didn't appear to be refurbished in the slightest. I then went to talk with the front desk about changing rooms & accommodating my original request of a king bed, second floor. The gentleman at the front desk was very nice & said we would be moved the following day & to have our luggage ready by 11am which we did. We spent most of the day out of the resort but upon our return that evening, we received room keys to our new room at the opposite end of Unit 16 on the first floor again but with a king bed. Upon entry to our room, we noticed the ice machine & service closet right next to it. The door didn't close properly & the adjoining door to the next room had about an 1 inch gap underneath which transferred a lot of noise in between the rooms. The following day we woke up to the ice machine, construction, and gardening power tools-- the resort was noisy starting at 7 AM and lasted all morning long. I went back to the front desk to see what else they could do. I was greeted by the front desk manager with a resounding "There are no other rooms we can move you too". Frustrated by this, I proceeded to call Starwood directly to complain. In doing so, a few hours later, we were told that there were rooms to move us to but we would have to wait until the next morning to be moved again. We decided at this point that we were too tired to move, pack up everything again. We had alleviated the noise situation ourselves by placing towels in the gap between the rooms. They also sent someone from engineering to fix the door closing issue but it still didn't seal properly even after doing so but did close & lock. On the last night, we wanted to take advantage of the resort fee we were being charged & kayak the next day before heading home so we called for a late checkout. I was told that someone was checking into our unit early & it couldn't be accommodated. I called the following morning & was able to get 1 hour extra despite the putout attitude of the "Service Express". TIP: If possible, go for a room on the spa side to avoid construction. Bring a change of clothes in your carry on if possible so can you head to a beach or the pool in case there is a delay with your luggage. (You can not take it to your room yourself getting off the boat). RESORT FEE: This fee is advertised that all "non motorized watersports" equipment is included. We found out at checkout that we were billed additionally for our snorkel gear rentals without being told by the staff in advance that this was an additional cost. The rental staff acknowledged that the confusion happens frequently. Snorkeling in St. John is a must and extremely easy to do. We would have rented regardless, but disclosure is an issue. TIP: Buying some higher end snorkeling gear online and bringing it with you is cheaper and much better than the rental gear. There is a dive shop in town that has a larger selection. FOOD: "Our experienced culinary staff brings the color and robust flavors of Caribbean cuisine alive." A $15 burnt hot dog, some condiment packets, & chips should give you some indication of the markup, quality, and their definition of "Caribbean cuisine". TIP: Make sure to visit the St. John Market right outside of the resort. Buy some fresh fruits from town and bring it back with you while you are out. Room service should be used as a last resort. FREE WELCOME GIFT: It is a silver tone plastic starfish that is a knockoff Tiffany's design & not worth the time spent on the sales pitch to receive. They made you fill out your email and personal information & try on something before you can look at it. Extremely disappointing. THE GROUNDS: The landscape and resort looked beautiful. St. John as an island can't help but be a tropical paradise. There were plenty of natural fauna and wildlife both in the bay and scattered throughout the resort. Everything is connected through a pedestrian path that was shared with the staff riding around in their golf carts. The carts are often swerving about as people scramble to figure out which side of the path to walk on. There are shuttles that will pick you up and take you anywhere in the resort. Many of them are dedicated to giving sales tours for timeshares. FERRY SERVICE: Since this was our first time in St. John, one reason I chose the Westin was because of the transfers to & from STT being included in our package from Delta vacations. TIP: When checking for travel deals, be sure to take in to account the $40 resort fee per night & $60 each way per adult transfer costs. Expedia & Travelocity didn't offer those included but Costco Travel & Delta Vacations did. There is also a public ferry you can utilize. The Westin deals on the Starwood site never worked out to be any savings when I was researching rates even with offering a free night. TRANSPORTATION: There was always a taxi available & we had no issues getting to where we wanted to go. For those who want to explore more cost effectively & don't mind the hilly roads, a jeep could be rented on site at resort. It seems this hotel has stopped trying to deliver a quality experience for its guests. I expected more from a Starwood Hotel, especially one with these rates. Despite the Westin, I thoroughly loved St. John & all it has to offer. Everyone we spoke to raved about the service & how accommodating they were at another resort, so they will be where I go next time. Room Tip: Try to get a room near the spa side while they are still doing construction.
May 30, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by LilaJane Spectacular stay in a 3-bedroom pool villa
Seven of my family members just returned from a five-night stay at the Westin St. John. I was a little concerned ahead of our visit since there are mixed reviews here, and while I was there I kept thinking that I can't imagine any complaints when staying at such a special place. And I am a person who has stayed at several hundred hotels in the past decade and can be picky about them. We had a three-bedroom pool villa, which was spacious and comfortable with the Heavenly beds and perfect for our extended family. We could have never left the villa and been totally happy, although we forced ourselves to get out and enjoy the rest of the resort and the beautiful island. I have two small children (4 and 2) who could have swam all day in our private pool at the villa. My husband grilled our main course for dinner every night while my sister cooked up the sides in the full kitchen complete with everything we needed for meal preparation. There is a market in close walking distance to pick up groceries. We loved the parking right at our villa and the friendly security at booth welcoming us with smile and wave, providing 24 hr monitoring of who comes on villa property. My children loved the playground, the iguanas roaming around, the main resort pool and the beach as well. As other reviewers have noted, the beach here is not as clear and pristine as the natural beaches along the island's north side. But it was so convenient to walk over and we were all happy to lounge there. My older son loved the Kids Club the one morning we sent him and also enjoyed sundaes and other activities by the pool. He was thrilled to win the grand prize at bingo! I appreciated the friendliness of the morning crew at Mango Deli who made my iced lattes and the staff at the towel check-in. Loved that there was the little book and magazine exchange there and the freecycle shed by our villa -- we picked up some beach chairs, a baby float, sand toys and tin foil that we put to good use. And when we left we returned the items there for another user, along with other things we didn't want to haul back home. The grounds and landscaping were lovely and the renovations that were going on were not too disruptive. We didn't use the Westin transport from STT since it would have been so incredibly expensive for our group and instead took the very easy and much more inexpensive public ferry, which I would recommend to other travelers. One suggestion for the management: We loved that the main resort pool had the little shallow section for babies, but what would make it even greater would be an umbrella to cover that section. Babies don't need a suntan, and the families there were often kind of crowding in the corner that was covered from an umbrella on the side. Also, it would be helpful if somewhere on your Web site or in an e-mail to villa guests you could list all the amenities that are available in them, since there is so much provided. There were lists in the room of what we had in the kitchen or could request if needed, but it would have been very helpful to know that before we arrived when we were packing. Thank you for a wonderful vacation!
May 30, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Cartier112 Great get away
Coming here to the Westin was really relaxing for me and my family. We had an awesome experience and we enjoyed our stay from beginning to end. The staff was very courteous and the room was very comfortable and the beach view front was really really nice.
May 26, 2014
Rated 1 out of 5 by KBH123 Poor Customer Service
Poor customer service in general.
Bar/Food Service Area not to expected sanitary standards. Rooms dated and warn. Housekeeping staff lazy and disinterested.
May 20, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by SJS51 great stay
Great place great people. Prices for food was a bit high for me.
May 15, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Mmoore Anticipated the worst, pleasantly surprised
St. John is my wife's favorite place to vacation and we have been to the island many times with friends. This is the first time staying at the resort as it was just the two of us. I read several reviews which were less than stellar and was very nervous about staying here.
The property is going through a major renovation, which we were informed of the day our reservation was past to cancel.
That nervousness was dissipated within the first hour of being there.
Staff was friendly and quick with a smile (Janice and Noreen). The grounds that were open were pristine.
I noticed there were managers visible at most locations which tells me they are taking a vested interest in the customer experience and ready to rectify any situation that could arise.
Only complaint, and not a huge one, is that as a Platinum member, they did not waive the resort fees which almost every other property will do.
I look forward to returning!
May 13, 2014
Rated 1 out of 5 by stealthmaus Not What It Should Be
We stayed at the Westin St. John for our wedding and an abbreviated honeymoon. Relatives stayed in two rooms in addition to ours. We knew in advance that the hotel is undergoing renovations, but that isn't really sufficient to justify a bathroom door that doesn't close (I finally got it to work adequately after two failed attempts by maintenance), a coffee maker that didn't work (replaced with one that would not work with the coffee packets provided, so we had to have it replaced a second time), a cockroach that ran across two of the kids' feet (to be expected in the Caribbean though, so not really the hotel's fault; it just seemed fitting, that's all), "free" wifi that is slower than a dial-up modem, making it unusable because almost any modern server or browser will time out before a suitable connection is made (and forget streaming or data transfer). When I made it clear to the front desk that I thought the super-slow wifi was just a way to push people to pay for the "premium" wifi at about 10 Mbps and $20/day, he said he would look into it and have the manager contact me. Nope. We were supposed to get extra points every night for not using maid service, but I had to call the hotel, because they didn't bother to add them onto my account. When we voiced some concerns to the concierge, we got a lot of pleasantries but no action, because they are only there to sell ownership units, not to actually solve problems or answer questions that hotel visitors may have.
May 12, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by GregAnna 2nd Trip, First with Daughter
It was a great trip and all the staff were great. With the upgrades to the resort, it was a bit of an inconvenience to work around, but the hotel had a great plan to minimize the impact. We will be back in Sept to stay in the villas and we hope the weather is good and the resort is as good as always!
May 11, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by AP680 Great family resort
Great for families with young kids. Staff is responsive, helpful. Good amenities, don't nickel and dime you with beach chairs, floaties, etc.
April 29, 2014
Rated 2 out of 5 by Marmalade Non Repeter
Staff lacks personality, makes one feel as though they are doing you a favour, food prices absurd. $40 resort fee shocking.
April 22, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by brody1217 As great as I remembered
My family and I just recently completed a 7 night stay at the Westin St. John Villas. It had been 12 years since were at the resort. It was better than I remembered. Just a top notch experience from the time of airport check in to the painful moment of the ferry ride back to the airport. Everyone was so helpful and accommodating. The hotel held a carnival celebration for the kids that was awesome. There was even a beer tasting for the adults. The grounds are so beautiful and everyone was so nice and attentive. The condition of the studio villa was excellent. It was clean and had an awesome view of Great Cruz Bay. I had recently read some negative reviews concerning the construction noise and lack of shuttle service to the villas. Nonsense. We are already planning a return visit next April. I just hope we will be able to use points again for the trip. I don't see a points option open yet for next April.
April 22, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by Deedee10 Great resort but beware of sales safe for time share.
This island sells itself. It's beautiful!!! We been coming to St. John since 1993. We own 2 time shares with the Westin. We had an issue with an explorer package and I've been in touch with the 800 # to resolve. The issue was we couldn't change the dates for the week we chose. We had to guess our kids spring break last year for 2015. At the time the sales person, Rob, told us it could be adjusted.
When we arrived to the Westin this time, we were ask if we wanted to make an appt to review our time share. We said no because we were happy with what we have. Later in the week we were approach again about a meeting to see the time shares sales people. Again we no said, but mentioned the problem with moving the dates of the 2015 trip. We were told to go because they could definitely help us. So on Easter morning we got up and went to the meeting in hopes with some help. The sales help answer to our problem was to spend another $14,000 + and the would credit only 10% on what we spent on the explorers package. They didn't want to hear ANYTHING about our problem! WE FELT duped into the meeting and was VERY insulted. We totally understand the value in the resort. We feel the owners don't get any support from the sales people. Their only purpose is to sell more at any cost. With this we are very disappointed in the whole time share sales process.
April 22, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by TriniBoy24 Absolutely Amazing
Stayed at the West-in resort from 3/31 to 4/5/14.
The resort is absolutely beautiful and well kept. The pool, beach and amenities are amazing and make for a perfect vacation- for all ages.
When we first arrived, Akima greeted us at the front desk and was SO friendly and welcoming. Being a SPG platinum member, she was able to get me upgraded to a beach front room. She was always there to help and greet us with a smile.
The staff at Snorkels bar did everything for their guests to enjoy the time there.
The pool, beach and resort was super clean and perfect.
DEF recommended!! will be back in July!
April 5, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by renegademv Awesome march vacation
My wife and I along with 2 other couples arrived 3/21 , stayed in a 3 bedroom villa which was great, then on 3/26 my wife and I moved to a poolside hotel room, our guests left this day. We stayed till Saturday 3/29. I have to say our vacation was awesome!!!!, Everyone treated us like kings, especially Neal Lanclos, one of the golf cart drivers who met us at the ferry and was there for us anytime we needed a ride or information. He went well above the call of duty for us and we greatly appreciated that. We hope to be back in 2016 when all renovations are completed. I hear completion date is jan 2015 but 2016 is better for our schedule. Every staff member including the pool area & bar were great, looking forward to seeing Sue at the pool again someday. Great place, town & beaches on st john are great!! here are a few restuarants you must try, Asalore, zozo's, banana deck,rhumb lines.
April 3, 2014
Rated 3 out of 5 by SJJ22 Hotel great for families
We had a great time with our 4 year old daughter. It's a great location with good amenities for kids. The downsides were that the friendliness and reliability of the staff was uneven, we didn't have a great experience at the spa, and my daughter had one bad day at the kids club (her first day was great, the second day she was alone with a staff member who was cold and unfriendly -- turns out it was her last day of work). I'd say this is a great place to stay with your family, but don't go with high expectations for service, the spa, or the kids club. I also did not feel we were acknowledged for being gold Starwood members.
April 1, 2014
Rated 2 out of 5 by Islander50 Most unfriendly staff
Facilities are ok but after renovation rooms have still old doors. Water sports and pool are also ok however pool bar closes before 7pm although pool is 24x7. Cleaning in the rooms is poor, desks were not swiped. Worst of all was the staff rudeness, unfriendly assistance at the reception desk, the pool bar, the Deli and the restaurant. Really disappointing! The only proper assistance was received by the porters which were very nice.
March 29, 2014
Rated 1 out of 5 by OneUnhappyGuest Stay Away Until Renovation is done....
I have been both a guest and an owner for several years at this property. While I think it will go back to prior levels of service once the work is done- right now it is very poor. Rooms are not clean. Staff is surly. Island time takes on a whole new meaning in terms of slow. The whole property seems to have taken on an air of apathy. I won't stay again until they can assure me that it has improved.
March 29, 2014
Rated 3 out of 5 by Mountainmike Enjoyed our stay other than maintenance issues
We have owned a studio villa in the virgin grand portion of the resort for 12yrs. And have seen steady improvement to the facility.
Although it seems that maintenance does not monitor the room conditions.
This yr, when we arrived the ceiling fan was close to falling down, there was still a full can of garbage under the sink ,the water pressure was close to non existent ( we had to call maintenance continuously regarding this issue) the tile floors are never very clean.
We had a Palm tree that needed to be trimmed in order to see the bay( I contacted maintenance and the issue was not resolved until we spoke with one of the landscape personnel ourselves) .
I have been impressed with how quickly maintenance did respond to some of the issues, in the past yrs. it could take 2 days to get a response to fix the fan.
We do suggest renting a car to drive up and down the hill, the shuttle service that is offered is not very reliable, of course the car would be for a lot more than that.
The beaches on this Island are Fantastic
March 16, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Krissy64 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 AStock80 Less Than Stellar Experience
I decided to take a last minute vacation with a friend to get out of the frigid cold of Chicago. There were intense weather systems that had kept patrons in the Caribbean much longer than expected (some having been "stranded" in St John and St Thomas for upwards of a week because of snow and the polar vortex). I paid an additional fee to get a beachfront room, which was described as having a balcony or equivalent outdoor space. when we arrived, I was told that all rooms were booked, and the room they put us in, though partly facing the beach, did not have so much as a single window we could open. when I asked about this, they, quite unsympathetically, told me that because people were "stuck" they didn't have a way to accommodate my original room request, which I paid for. They told me I could continue to check with them, and when I asked if they might be able to simply call me if something opened up, they rudely told me 'no'. I travel extensively for work and have been stuck in many places due to weather, and when that happens, the people whose reservations were already on the books take precedence, meaning I've often had to change hotels. what happened, in practice, at this particular facility, is they gave priority to the stuck passengers and put us in a stuffy room without a way to get fresh air. The trip was so short- 3 days- that it wasn't even worth asking about after the second day. Other than some of the front desk staff (I spoke to two who were quite rude, which I pretty much never experience at Starwood), everyone else was nice, the facilities were undergoing construction, which was only announced in a letter the day we arrived (in fairness, it wasn't disruptive, but I can imagine that, depending on the room, that might've been an issue for another guest), and the location was great. They do some odd stuff, like using very noisy leaf blowers and cleaning the beach with a backhoe (complete with blaring beeping) at around 7 am, which woke me up and was really unpleasant. I understand the need to clean the grounds, but the noises were unbearable. The other (very) sour taste that was left in my mouth was that I left behind a silver necklace in the room, called to ask twice about it, and still haven't received a call back to confirm whether it was found. It wasn't expensive, but it had sentimental value, so it was upsetting, albeit my own fault for overlooking it. Overall, I was very underwhelmed by the front desk service, and I definitely didn't receive anything for being a platinum member, other than a pretty lousy attitude when I asked why my reservation couldn't be honored.
February 4, 2014
Rated 3 out of 5 by WM39 Amazing Island, Hotel is upgrading
St. John is a beautiful island. One of the best vacation spots in the caribbean. The hotel is currently in renovations, and it appears there will be more villas (perhaps almost all vacation ownership rather than hotel guests). This is a good thing--the older rooms are very outdated. We booked a 1 bdrm suite on points, and were placed in a room straight out of 1981. The room was pretty awful, and smelled of mold and mildew. (There are lots of newer rooms around--but of course on points...) We complained and were upgraded to a 2 bdrm villa, which on the face of it was a fantastic upgrade. We had stayed in the villas in 2009 and they are very well done. Our only complaint with the room we were moved to was that it actually had worse mold issues than the 30 year old suite. The HVAC was covered in mold and there was evidence of previous water damage in the 2nd bedroom. The room was very musty, and all of us had allergy symptoms the entire stay. We inquired about the room more than complained, and the gentleman who arrived concurred with the presence of mold, but said it was just part of island living. An engineer showed up who changed the air filter and sprayed air freshener--but that obviously did nothing. We were told we could not be moved to another room--so we made do and had a great time on the island anyway--just seemed ridiculous that something so new would have those kinds of problems already.
All this being said, I'd return to the resort because St. John is so amazing, and really the Westin is the the only game in town for a family of 4. I would consider renting a house instead, but the resort atmosphere, pool, etc is nice to have, and the people are for the most part helpful and courteous. Carolyn the concierge was also terrific.
Lets all hope that the renovations make this hotel (if it will still be a hotel) the gem it should be. And lets hope they figure out whatever the mold issue is in Room 2713!
January 24, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by DavidF getting better every year
13th year of great vacations in St. John. Service gets better each year. Staff is very helpful. Lots of updates and changes making this a better place to stay. Villas are the best vacation spot in the Starwoods system
January 15, 2014
Rated 2 out of 5 by PRM13 Wedding Travel - November 2013
Let me first stay, Westin hotels seldom disappoint. This resort however, was in complete disarray. From the start, the ferry was not running when our flight landed, to walking in the empty lobby with nobody to greet us or at the desk, the trip was very disappointing. We were charged an exorbinant resort fee when half the resort was actually closed or under construction. No pool, no pool bar, no nice dining option and a '80s era room.
December 2, 2013
Rated 2 out of 5 by llynnd Big Expectations, Big Disappointment
Waited 8 years to finally get a week in St John's. I'll flip past the part where we had this reservation for 8 months, spent $3,500 in airline fees, when Starwood notified us that the pool would be closed approximately one week before our departure. I'll also skip the part where I called Starwood and was promised free tickets to Trunk Beach for my family and advised another pool would be available to order food and drinks something the kids look forward to....this part is not St John's staff fault.
We arrived on Saturday, at check in I asked for what was verbally promised and was told my requests are not St Johns problem call Starwood. I was given the number to call by a nice gentleman at the front desk and he did send a email to Starwood. The girl working with him at the front desk was completely rude and refused to even go out of her way to help us understand the situation.
Sunday was the only pool day for us, our 4 adult kids had tons of fun playing volleyball with the other guests and getting drinks at the bar, how this vacation was suppose to be. Only downside, with the prep for the pool closure, the area was somewhat dirty and not well maintained.
Sunday we visited Ashley at the concierge desk who gave us our gifts and the lay of the land. She also gave us a discount card but most places did not accept the card or there were additional rules attached, we never received any discounts. Ashley also gave us the activity sheet and explained the beach equipment was free if it didn't have the motor. Monday we rented a car and drove to Trunk Bay. In the evening we headed to the "happy hour $5.00 drinks and appetizers" on the activities sheet. We were told since the pool was closed happy hour was at the Beach Bar. Arriving at the Beach Bar we told there were no $5 appetizers and happy hour was over.....nobody even cared or helped explain the mix-up, we finally walked away. We headed to Snorkels the bar set-up on the beach which was open until 6, it closed and 5:35 with us still sitting there, no last call or notice. When we complained about the situation we were given a new activities sheet with all the happy hours removed. We were also charged for the "free"snorkel equipment. The front desk said they resolved but when we checked out the equipment was on our bill? The mid week cleaning was haphazard and not completed, my husband had to go ask for shampoo and my daughter finished making her bed, the kitchen wasn't cleaned at all. I won't go on.....very very disappointing and avoided with better communication and more people that cared at this resort. BTW There were some really nice people working at the resort, its too bad a few ruined it for the rest. Still waiting for Starwood to return my calls on the pool closure notice.
October 3, 2013
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 2 out of 5 by dferragut A disappointment for an SPG property! Moldy Rooms and Terrible service
We stayed at this resort in late July to celebrate our one year anniversary and it was a disappointment. First off, St. John was idyllic and gorgeous. The secluded beaches are awesome and so was the snorkeling. Definitely rent a car and get off the resort. HOWEVER, the Westin was not the top-notch hotel we expected. -Our first room was felt damp and moldy, The smell was pungent and would not go away after a day.
Overall, the property is nice and beautiful, however, the service and general attitude of the employees was the worst of any high-end hotel we've stayed at. The maids failed to clean our rooms and give us fresh towels. When you're on vacation, the last thing you want is to come home to is a dirty room two nights in a row. When we called to get it cleaned, all we got was attitude.
To be fair, the service at Cruz Prime was awesome. The waiters and bartenders really listened and made great recommendations. But the rest of the staff was incredibly rude. They kept trying to nickel and dime us for stupid, silly things like jalapenos on a sandwich. At the bar and breakfast all we got was lackluster, apathetic responses and no real effort to help us find answers to our questions . As a platinum member, I really expected more from the Westin. I am a road warrior and stay at Starwood properties over 100 nights a year. I work hard and want to be rewarded but this experience is really making me think whether it's worth it to be an SPG member. I've held platinum status at other hotel brands through the years and received far superior service and amenities at "category 5" resorts. If you're looking for a clean, friendly and happy resort, this is NOT the place. Take your points elsewhere.
August 6, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5 by Patp24ever Outstanding Family Vacation
We had an absolutely fantastic time on our vacation at the Westin St.John! To start we want to call out special thanks to Abby at the front desk/reservations, Latifa and Jasmine in Kid Care, and Kiki in the restaurant!! They were all amazing in their own ways. Abby met us upon arrival and took outstanding care of us throughout the week even working through some SPG issues. Latifa and Jasmine made sure that when my husband and I were on dates that the kiddos were safe and having a blast with lots of different activities! Kiki was fantastic in the restaurant as she was efficient and effective in anticipating our needs! We had an ocean view room with unobstructed views of the beach/ocean! While the resort was full of people, it never felt crowded or without privacy! While everyone raved about the heavenly bed, neither my husband nor I felt that it was that comfortable so I don't recommend that but that is a personal choice. We also wished that they had beds larger than doubles.
We snorkeled, scuba, wave runners (with our two kiddos), kayaking, day tours, and trips to St. Thomas. The water sports folks were amazing!! They treated each trip out like it was their first - you could tell they loved their jobs! We would like to say thanks to Tony, Amy, and Skeeter! Fabulous people!
We had the kiddos on the food plan which was great in terms of costs but limited in terms of where we could eat. By the end of the trip, we were ready to eat at other places including out of the resort. The adult food was wonderfully tasty but the overall restaurant service was definitely on "island time" which was a bit frustrating as we wanted to get on with our day rather than sit in the restaurant waiting for service. We occasionally missed happy hour prices due to service delays - Snorkels and the Cafe primarily. The staff were very nice but slow in service.
Overall we had an amazing time and people everywhere worked hard so that we could enjoy ourselves without worry or need! Thank you everyone!
August 4, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Mattman Best resort EVER
This will be our 5th year straight returning to The Westin St John, our first year was absolutely amazing and just gets better each and every year. My wife and I have chosen to make The Westin our annual anniversary getaway. 5 years ago a resort employee told us he would see us next year, we replied with we don't normally visit the same place twice, we like to visit new places every year. Well, he couldn't have been any more correct,
We cannot stop thinking about our next trip every year. Don't think it's to far fetched to say we will probably buy in the near future.
Thank you to all the staff for making our yearly anniversary trip so perfect, see you November 2nd, 2013.
July 30, 2013
Rated 3 out of 5 Favorite Island
I would like to start by saying that St. Johns is a special place for my family and I. This was our third visit and we look forward to returning to the island every couple of years. With that said, the experience and services of the hotel seem to be diminishing.
Rooms and Service:
The new villas are beautiful and well appointed. However, upon this recent visit we were informed that maid service is only provided on the 3rd and final day of your stay. This is unacceptable for a luxury resort. I do not want to have to make my bed every morning when I am on vacation. I do not want to have to sleep in sandy sheets because we went to the beach. And I must certainly do not want to be charged extra to have my room cleaned. This is a major negative.
We love the boat ride over to St. Johns (except my wife) and the crew is always great. The way the property greets the guest as they depart from the boat is lovely. However, the service at the beach café and snorkels is very unfriendly. The servers have a lot of attitude as if they are doing you a favor by taking your order. One prime example was at snorkels, I decided that I wanted onion rings instead of french fries. When I asked our server to change my side, she said she would have to go to the kitchen to make that happen, which she didn’t. When I mentioned it to her, she said that is what I ordered. At $20 for a burger, you would expect better service.
The grounds grew is always waving and smiling, positive marks for them. And a special shout out for Eric at the concierge desk. He is always happy to see you and goes out of his way to make you feel that you are the most important guess on property.
Another note is that there should be more shuttles to your rooms.
There is very little to none. This trip there was no live music. Again, this should be standard for a hotel like the Westin.
While we did not take advantage of the Westins kids club, my wife and I strongly feel that there needs to be more activities outside of the one pool. I would not expect the Westin to compete with Atlantis in terms of water attractions, but the hotel could definitely use to add water activities such as an activities pool and water slides.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.
July 24, 2013