Old Dec 2, 07, 9:06 am
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Houston
Programs: CO Silver, Hyatt Platinum, Priority Club Gold
Posts: 382
Just completed a 1 night stay. . .

Checked out yesterday after a quick 1 night stay at Westin Aruba (spent most of the trip at Hyatt, but decided to spend one night at the Westin to check it out before coming home).

Rate: 189 USD booked on SPG.com, best available rate

Check-in: arrived a little after 1pm and lobby was full. The back of the line was outside the doors. Asked bellhop if there was a separate line for SPG elite members, was told they were very busy up there and they weren't using it. Took about 20 mins to get to front of the line to check in. I think a tour bus just dropped off a bunch of people at once. One staff member was handing out cups of punch to those of us waiting in line. Once at desk, they recognized that I was gold, but no mention of any upgrade.

Room: Received room 1011. First impression upon opening the door was that the room and balcony were of decent size. Bathroom was disappointing. It clearly needed renovation. There were stains and mildew in the tub. The ceiling was peeling in places. The tile was worn and old. The shampoo/conditioner/soap was the usual Westin fare. The Heavenly bed had small stains on the sheets and pillowcases. TV was a flat screen mounted to the wall. One of the lights did not work. Not many electrical outlets in the room to recharge cell phones and camera. Ended up charging camera in bathroom because we ran out of outlets. AC worked very well. Balcony large enough for 2 chairs plus a small table.

Staff: Called in morning to make sure we had 4pm check out. Took 4 calls to verify. Got hung up on once and got transferred to wrong dept other 3 times. This was bad enough, but then at 2pm a maid opens our door and walks right in the room while we are there. She isn't apologetic at all and asks if we are checking out that day. I say yes. She asks what time. I say 4 and she says okay and then walks out. Did I mention the do not disturb sign was on the door? Not even a knock. Ate breakfast at Bon Bini Cafe. It is a buffet for about $24 per person. They will add tip automatically (in fact all the restaurants added about 17% tip so check your bill before you add more). Food was good, but was left waiting about 10 mins at waffle bar for my waffle. Guy seemed to forget about me and left the station for a while.

Beach: at 11am, they renovations were in full swing. This included a huge jackhammer going full blast in the back near the beach. Very noisy. The main lobby is also under construction. Terrace restaurant on the beach has nice food if you like to eat outside. Prices were reasonable for a hotel restaurant.

Casino was okay, not much to write home about.
Location on Palm Beach is just okay. It is located on the East end of the beach. It is about a 10 min walk to the bulk of restaurants and shops on the beach. The Hyatt was closer to the middle of the strip and much closer to the restaurants and shops. There is a bus stop right out front that will take you to town for $2.30 return fare.

Check out: Got my bill and to my surprise saw a $10 charge for parking even though I didnt have a car there. I had to go to front desk to get it taken off, which they did without much fuss or apology.

Overall: Definitely not in same league as other Category 5 hotels I have stayed at with SPG. I do not think 12k points would be well spent here, much less 16k. Best available rate at Hyatt for same night was more ($315/night vs $189/night) if paying, however I think the extra money at the Hyatt is well worth it if you are looking for an upscale resort in which to relax in. Once completed, the renovations may make the bathrooms nicer and the beach less noisy, but you cant blame the service problems on construction. None of the service issues were huge, but you dont expect so many at a high end resort on just a 1 night stay. I would not stay here with so many other nice choices on the same street.
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