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The Westin Resort & Spa, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico [Master Thread]

The Westin Resort & Spa, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico [Master Thread]

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Old Jan 20, 07, 5:17 pm
  #91  
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Originally Posted by johnrph View Post
I booked a stay in April at the Westin PV and was not offered an upgrade during my reservation with the Plat CSR. I am curious how many points it cost you for the upgrade. Yes, I used my Plat 50% off for my stay.
I think it's 1,500 to go to a RBC level room. (Still a 1-story room. Nice, with a big balcony, but not what the guys above are talking about.) I'm guessing those 2-stories are quite a bit more, although past posts have mentioned Plats getting them on a space-available basis on occasion.

If you're already Plat, I would assume you're best off either paying for the bigger upgrade or not upgrading at all. I imagine they get you guys onto RBC level free of charge or - worst case - give you access to the lounge.
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Old Jan 21, 07, 5:50 am
  #92  
 
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7 nights in a standard room would have cost 42,000 points (7,000 x 6 with one night free). The suite doubled the cost to 84,000 points.

I have enough points, I will no longer be Platinum and I wanted a guarantee of the suite for 7 nights so it was a great deal. Most of the points come from AMEX spending - other hotel chains would have charged a lot more for a standard room for one week, if they let me have it during Christmas!
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Old Feb 4, 07, 7:05 pm
  #93  
 
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Wonderful stay at Westin Puerto Vallarta

I got back Thursday night and have been getting settled, but wanted to make sure I left my "review" here for those who are going to visit this property.

1st- it is close to the airport so no worries about huge tabs when it comes to cab rides.

The hotel is not much to look at as you drive up, but as you walk to your room, you'll see a beautiful and well-crafted look- very Mexican, very colorful, very cool. The pools and buildings are well taken care of and it's a lovely property, reminded me a bit of Westin Maui, without the gardens and waterfalls.

I checked in early but they had a suite (1401- top floor) waiting for me. I had written ahead to request a suite upgrade and was told they'd do what they could, but suites are assigned at the desk at chek-in. A few days before I left, I noticed that they had indeed, given me the upgrade when checking my emailed reservation confirmation. I was told that they were not at full capacity and though it wasn't a regular practice, they were happy to upgrade me ahead of time on THIS trip. Still, when I arrived, I was VERY happy to be told I'd been upgraded to a suite- I was unsure if it would hold up. Later, I realized why they were able to do so- there just weren't many people staying last week, period.

The suite was wonderful. It had a living room on the 14th floor (13th floor actually but I guess they're as superstitious as we all are!) with a staircase leading to a bedroom, both had balconies and the upper balcony had a jacuzzi. My view was of the pool and the ocean, and as an added treat (though it woke me up scared to death the 1st night) I had a great view of the Pirate ship's fireworks. Everynight I waited for the 1st "boom" and ran out to one of the balconies to watch the fireworks displays. The ship was SO close I could hear "We Are the World" blasting from it- very cute.

The main floor of my suite is where I spent most of the time when I was inside. It had a couch and chairs, a big coffee table and a built-in entertainment center with a DVD/CD player, which I used. I had two FULL bathrooms with separate shower and tub in each, and they had slippers for me in both. They also replaced the slippers at turn down one night, maybe b/c I'd left mine on the balcony? They did not have upgraded bath ammenities as I had read, but rather the standard old Westin stuff. Still, it made little difference as I so appreciated the upgrade.

The decor was lovely, and a huge painting hung above the couch in somewhat muted colors, but the thing was at least 6 feet long and about 4 feet high. The Entertainment center had vases and different Mexican arts in the boxes, and a nice selection of magazines.

Ther was a safe on the main floor and closet space both up and down. I slept like a baby in the Heavenly bed, and it was far from my 1st time at a Westin. For some reason, this bed was extra comfy. (I even had wonderful dreams- the 1st time I recalled my dreams in ages. I think it is the sea air!) There was another tv in the bedroom and two min-bars (one up, one down) and they provided one packet of coffee at each (I don't drink coffee) comped but after that I think you had to pay. I do know they charged for the Tazo tea, and the mini-bar is just like every other- overpriced. I found an OXXO store just down the driveway for softdrinks and snacks- I never needed water as they had 2 small bottles on each floor comped, and replaced them daily or nightly at turn-down, and ordered a bottel at the pool with glasses of ice.

I took a lot of pictures of the suite if anyone wants to see them- just PM me, or if you have questions. They had the Royal Beach Club on the 12th floor. Unlike many lounges, tthey are pretty tight with this one. I don't really drink so I would usually ask for water, then take a soft drink back to my room. They had 2 hot appetizers each night with little sandwiches and snacks, and usually one sweet dessert. I found that if they had things I liked, I didn't have to have dinner.

The breakfasts were nicer than I'd thought- they had pancakes and waffles and meat and eggs- different each day. Also the wonderful Mexican pastries they always seem to have at these lounges. I also liked that it was open until 11am- I often sleep in and think I've missed breakfast. I met some very nice people in the lounge- and overall, saw more older people- returning guests- than anyone else. I just turned 38 and I think I was usually the youngest in the lounge. They have a kiddie pool and a few children, but not many when I stayed. I spoke to a few older couples, one was a couple who retuns each year to PV and they "think" they are starwood members (they stay at Starwood hotels a LOT) and I told them to check SPG.COM and they were shocked to hear that they'd paid $299 a night whern the price I'd seen online for that week was $99 a night! I tried to tell them about *wood but I think the husband thought I was selling him something. He did, however, take note of the starwood info so he could check rates online. They're going to Italy and staying in two starwood hotesl with 3 rooms each night with their family, but don't remember if they booked as a *wood member or not. Imagine all those starpoints!

The pools were lovely- but cold! It IS January and the nights are not quite warm, so I think they should heat the pools. i sat and cooked in the sun, then waded to cool off, but as hot as it got, I couldn't stand to swim in that cold water. Still, I loved the resort. I loved getting up and showering, grabbing breakfast in the lounge and going down to lay in the sun.

They have a nice waitstaff by the pool, but if you are only ordering one drink and don't want to have to wait around all day for a check, be sure you tell the person that you want your bill with your drink. The 1st day I was SURE they'd forgotten me until I heard a man tell them to close out his account for the day. They assume you're going to be there a while and keep ordering, which, many people do. I didn't like being locked into a place that long because I wanted to move with the sun and go down to the beach. Once I told the waitress I wanted my bill and it still hadn't come in an hour, so she just took my room number. The next time I just said I wanted it right away and she brought it. Which comes to tipping. I saw a place for tip/propinas and I always added in more than usual. When I checked out, I saw that each of my bar orders (just soft drinks and water) were LESS than the tips! They had 2 tips per check- the one I added and the one THEY added. I think earning 60-100 percent tip is a bit much, so next time I will make certain that I ASK how much they add. (Same with room service- 2 tips added each time.)

I found the beach a little disappointing because it was a small area between 2 rocky ledges. The water wasn't that gorgeous aqua I always find in Cancun, it was a dreary brown the 1st day, then a bit blue later as the sun came out.
There are places to sit on the beach, and no problems finding chairs. Maybe I was there at a good time, but I found no jockeying over loungechairs and fights about leaving towels. They had more than enough at the pools and on the beach. Still, if you want a premium spot (where the sun is closing in) you might leave a towel there and a small personal item (I left my book) if you get up to go to the beach or bathroom.

The beach does have a place for vendors, and I must say, after over 30 trips to Mexico, they were the most restrained I've ever encountered. If you say "No, thanks" they don't pressure you or push. I did find a wonderful heavy wool blanket (not the kind you get at Walmart there) for a good price, but I didn't buy anything else (except a cover-up) while I was there. In fact, I did most of my shopping at the airport!

I did go to the marina shops and found a few trinkets, and I recommend it as a quick outing. On the walk there, they have a carved totem pole and living beneath it, 3 kittens. One black, one spotted, and one orange kitten- and I HATE cats. But I loved the orange one! He rubbed up against my legs and I fell in love and would've taken him home if my husband, customs, and my 3 dogs hadn't been in the picture. If anyone sees them, they have a bowl for water but it always seems empty, so if you have a heart for animals- drop a little water in the bowl for me. I was leaving next day and too scared to walk down there at night alone, or I would've bought cat food.

We had one dark day, and I used it to have a massage. It's nice sometimes to have a bit of a language barrier during a massage. I relaxed so much I fell asleep! And it was the best massage I've had since Spa Del Mar at Le Meridien Cancun.

I WILL say that the concierge desk wasn't on top of things. I was told that Platinum SPG guests are usually checked in there, but when the doorman brought me over, we were shooed away with a "sorry, I'm busy" from a lady who didn't look sorry. THAT was no big deal, but when I visited the desk the next day to get info on a boat excursion, I was told they had no pamphlets and to come back in the morning. They KNEW the name of the service and could have signed me up on the only day I had free. But they were not on their game, and I didn't get my excursion to Los Caletas, plus the company lost out on the money. I saw the same 2 women there during my stay and was a bit miffed that I was dismissed on both occasions.

Still, overall, I would recommend this property. The pools are great, the spa is nice, and the suite (if you're upgraded) is top notch. The cab driver told me that Westin was the "best" hotel in Puerto Vallarta. I've only stayed at one other, but I agree that it is very nice, and very relaxing. I plan on going again, this time bringing my husband so we can take that Pirate Cruise! When I remember this trip, I'll remember everynight standing on my balcony watching fireworks. I also finished three books sitting by that pool, though IMO they have too many palm trees planted around- you're in the sun one minute and shaded the next. It's nice if you like shade, but I wanted to come home a bit darker than I am. It was so peaceful- really, that is what I take away most from this resort.

Very nice service (other than concierge) and very happy people eager to please. Housekeeping was so friendly that I was almost late for my plane b/c I had to get change for the final day's tip! I'll admit- after my experience at Westin Cancun AFTER the hurricane, I wasn't sure what to expect, but I loved my stay and was VERY upset when I had to leave. One bit of advice- do not stay only 4 nights. It's not enough- something you want to do will have to give. In my case, as I was sick one day (not from the food or water) and the concierge had no info for me, I lost out on 3 or 4 things I wanted to do. But, it gives me a good reason to go back!

Anyone have specific questions, feel free to PM me. I also have photos. I give this 4 stars for a Mexican Resort, with 5 stars being Le Meridien Cancun and 1 star being Westin Cancun the day they reopened after the hurricane. (I'm hoping they are doing better now- maybe back to how great they were before the hurricane.)

I'm sure I've forgotten a few things, but overall- nice, peaceful and a great way to spend my 50 percent off Platinum points gift. I can't wait to go back!
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Old Feb 4, 07, 7:41 pm
  #94  
 
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Boy do you have me psyched! And since the category increased, that suite which I was debited 84,000 points for (7 nights) would now cost 120,000. What a deal!
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Old Feb 4, 07, 9:39 pm
  #95  
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FWI, an upgrade from a standard room to a honeymoon suite (not the duplex) at check-in was 7,000 points per night, or ~US$185/nt cash. At least it was before the category change.
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Old Feb 5, 07, 7:07 am
  #96  
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As much as the entire program devaluation seriously disappointed me, Westin PV was always one where I thought we were getting a pretty good deal at Cat 3. So of all of the hundreds of category changes this year, this is one that least surprises me and really isn't all that offensive. Even under the old (pre-2/1/07) SPG program, this one would have probably jumped to a 4 during the normal annual category changes.
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Old Feb 7, 07, 5:46 pm
  #97  
 
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for those who have been there..... Deluxe Ocean & Bay View vs. Grand Deluxe room. is it worth 75/night more for the latter room?

Only difference I could discern was a jacuzzi on the balcony? Also how old is the hotel and are the beds good? (I've been in some saggy heavenly beds....)
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Old Feb 7, 07, 6:54 pm
  #98  
wma
 
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Originally Posted by curl View Post
Also how old is the hotel and are the beds good? (I've been in some saggy heavenly beds....)
Been there 3 times in 4 years and the beds have been great.
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Old Feb 8, 07, 7:39 am
  #99  
 
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How does the Westin PV treat it's spg gold members? Do they get complimentary access to the RBC lounge? Or does the hotel still maintain that the RBC is a hotel within a hotel, and therefore exempt from giving SPG priveledges?

Before the Feb. 1st deadline, I booked an award stay at the Westin PV, but I ended up reserving a Grand Deluxe room, thinking it came with RBC lounge access, but now I see that room category isn't part of the RBC at all.
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Old Feb 8, 07, 7:51 am
  #100  
wma
 
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I am PLT and have always been granted access to the RBC Lounge. The lounge is on the 12th floor. IIRC all the guests on the 12th floor had access to the RBC. Call SPG and ask, or email the hotel directly. The email is:
[email protected]

Good luck.
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Old Feb 8, 07, 9:37 am
  #101  
 
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Originally Posted by Lefty View Post
Before the Feb. 1st deadline, I booked an award stay at the Westin PV, but I ended up reserving a Grand Deluxe room, thinking it came with RBC lounge access, but now I see that room category isn't part of the RBC at all.
that's why i was wondering really why book GD room when it appears not to give club access. i guess there are club level rooms (?????) but not available in the last week of february. best available was Grand Deluxe.

glad to hear that the beds are good. experience at westin cayman a few years ago was disappointing. the bed had become saggy where people had been sleeping for years - there were two "grooves" in the bed. given that the hotel is running around 500 for parking lot view this winter, we chose not to go there but try PV instead.
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Old Feb 8, 07, 9:51 am
  #102  
 
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Originally Posted by curl View Post
that's why i was wondering really why book GD room when it appears not to give club access. i guess there are club level rooms (?????) but not available in the last week of february. best available was Grand Deluxe.
Well one reason would be because the Grand Deluxe rooms have a jacuzzi tub on the balcony, whereas the regular club level rooms do not.

When booking the award, my choices were

7000 pts/night deluxe room (standard)
8000 pts/night RBC room (standard RBC)
8500 pts/night for Grand Deluxe room (non RBC, but jacuzzi on balcony)
14000 pts/night for RBC Honeymoon suite

I would have liked to book the Honeymoon suites, but unfortunately, this was my last award stay left to book, and simply didn't have enough points at the time.

So I booked the Grand Deluxe, and hoped to be able to finaggle/figure some way to access the RBC lounge.

When I booked the award reservation on the phone, I asked the SPG rep if the Grand Deluxe rooms included access to the RBC lounge. He said "No", but you should get automatic access to the lounge because of your SPG Gold status. I said, "OK, can you please note that on my reservation." Which he did. So I'm hoping that will be enough to get me access to the lounge.

Ordinarily I wouldn't bother with the lounge, but this stay is for pleasure, and my wife will be with me. Not to mention that I've heard this lounge includes alcohol for free, and has good breakfast, so I figured it would be nice on our vacation to have access.

Does anybody know how busy this property typically is in early April?
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Old Feb 14, 07, 10:08 am
  #103  
 
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More questions about Westin PVR

Gym - How is the gym? What size, how nice is the equipment and what quantity? Is there filtered water there, towels, etc? TV or other entertainment?

Spa - does anyone have a menu of spa services and prices? i'm assuming prices in line with a high-end US salon/spa.

Food - i've heard it's expensive. of course, it's a resort hotel catering to tourists! but, how much is breakfast, for example? buffet/menu/both? do they have healthy/vegetarian options?

thanks in advance!
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Old Feb 14, 07, 11:58 am
  #104  
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award stay in October

I have an award stay booked for 5 nights at the end of October. I hope the weather is going to be OK for us... does anyone have any feedback for October in PVR?

I booked this on the old point values - 5 nights/28kpts. I *think* that as plat, I will have RBC access, and I saw mention of 'free alcohol' in the lounge. Can anyone tell me if this is true?

Thanks!
CKL
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Old Feb 14, 07, 12:03 pm
  #105  
wma
 
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Originally Posted by CKL View Post
I have an award stay booked for 5 nights at the end of October. I hope the weather is going to be OK for us... does anyone have any feedback for October in PVR?
Don't know about the weather in October but I've been 3 times over XMASS week and the weather was superb.

Originally Posted by CKL View Post
I booked this on the old point values - 5 nights/28kpts. I *think* that as plat, I will have RBC access, and I saw mention of 'free alcohol' in the lounge. Can anyone tell me if this is true?
As PLT you have access to the newly renovated RBC lounge, and yes the alcohol is free, at least it was 6 weeks ago.
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