Old Apr 23, 10, 6:05 pm
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: PHL, NYC
Posts: 8,590
Like the prior poster, (meecal), my travel mate and I were there during the same time period he was. But alas, these two FT'ers weren't able to coordinate our schedules to meet up.

We checked in on Friday 4/16, and out on Tuesday 4/20. We were upgraded to a 1 bedroom ocean view suite on the 11th floor. The 3 best rooms to get in the hotel are xx00, xx01 and xx02. the 01 and 02 suffixes are the 1 bedroom suites with a living room balcony and bedroom balcony. xx00 is a standard room with a direct ocean view, according to the room map I looked at. We were in 1102 and had a fantastic view directly out onto the beach/ocean.

The bathroom was very nice, with marble tiling and a 2 sink vanity. The bath, shower and toilet were in a separate room off the sink/changing area, and the shower was large and spacious with a big rain head that poured down on you. Very nice and refreshing after being out on the beach/at the pool all day.

There was a 42" TV in the bedroom and living room, served by various channels on Dish Network. It even had Fox 5 from New York, which I found funny.

I found the elevator situation pretty good, with only a few delays.

The pool bar and service was very good, in my opinion too. I've read other reviews here and on other travel sites that the pool staff were not all that friendly, but we loved the staff and often encountered the same people each day who remembered us and were very friendly and prompt.

Finding pool loungers was never a problem as long as you got out there by 10 or 11.

And, getting a lounger right on the beach (exposed...not under a shade) was easy. The staff happily would assign you two loungers and put them on the beach where you wished. A tip is all that was needed to say thank you to them.

I enjoyed the fact that there was a water activity desk(run by a third party) who was very helpful in helping find activities. I water skiid one day, and we were going to go out on the jolly pirate boat for snorkeling at the Antilla shipwreck, but ran out of time.

My only real complaint is the Hertz desk, which is not really the hotel's fault. But beware if you wish to rent or return from them. It is staffed by one person and she really seemed to take her time. For every rental return or pick up, the processing was extremely slow and she had to go out to the car each time to verify condition. Even though it was a short walk down the hall, she really took a LOONNG time to come back. There were just 3 people ahead of me and she still hadn't gotten to me after an hour. I finally said screw it and opted not to take it. Back to the pool for some more lounging and fantastic Aruban rum!

Overall, I concur with the meecal's rating of 7 out of 10. I would go back to Aruba any day, and likely would stay here but maybe try the Hyatt since it's slightly more centrally located to the high rise hotels (although not a long walk from the Westin).
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