Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Discontinued Programs/Partners > Starwood | Starwood Preferred Guest
Reload this Page >

The Westin Dawn Beach Resort & Spa, St. Maarten, [CLOSED, hurricane] [Master Thread]

The Westin Dawn Beach Resort & Spa, St. Maarten, [CLOSED, hurricane] [Master Thread]

 
Old Jan 1, 08, 6:56 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: NC
Programs: AA Concierge Key/1MM, DL DM/2 MM, UA Gold,Hilton Diamond, IHG Plat, Marriott Titanium Elite lifetime
Posts: 9,938
Arrow The Westin Dawn Beach Resort & Spa, St. Maarten, [CLOSED, hurricane] [Master Thread]

Im thinking of renting a car from the airport to the hotel. How easy and how far is it to go from the hotel to St. Martin for the day? or to the ferry dock to Anguilla?

/mod

Prior reports: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/starw...er-thread.html

/mod

Last edited by SanDiego1K; Aug 29, 10 at 8:17 pm
SkyTeam777 is offline  
Old Jan 1, 08, 9:51 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Programs: Hyatt Diamond, SPG LT Plat, AA 3MM EXP
Posts: 397
Originally Posted by SkyTeam777 View Post
Im thinking of renting a car from the airport to the hotel. How easy and how far is it to go from the hotel to St. Martin for the day? or to the ferry dock to Anguilla?
Riding from the airport to the hotel is about 20-30 mins, traveling slow on winding roads (make SURE you have good maps and I don't recommend doing it at night time) From the hotel to St. Martin, it's about 2 minutes down the road before you cross the "border"!!! The hotel is on the northern part of the St. Maarten border and keep in mind, there is no passport display or change of guard as you cross between the two. You may not even realize that you are now paying Euros prices until you get the bill. The gastronomical feasts are in Grand Case (about 15 mins from the hotel).

To get to Anguilla, you need to get to Marigot Bay, take the ferry from there. And, I HIGHLY recommend going to Anguilla, checking out Shoal Bay and/or the Cuisinart or Cap Juluca beaches---the BEST in the Caribbean and I've sailed ALL of the lesser Antilles evaluating them!!!! The beaches in Anguilla are like no other--they remind me of baking flour, just incredible. You WILL need your passport to check-in at both the Marigot dock and at the dock in Anguilla.

I love St. Barts too, but the ferry ride is a bit longer, and you can spend $300 for lunch at Nikki Beach!!!!

Needless to say, I'm heartbroken the property on Anguilla is no longer SPG

Last edited by gozetta; Jan 1, 08 at 9:59 pm
gozetta is offline  
Old Jan 3, 08, 1:44 pm
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: NC
Programs: AA Concierge Key/1MM, DL DM/2 MM, UA Gold,Hilton Diamond, IHG Plat, Marriott Titanium Elite lifetime
Posts: 9,938
Is gas expensive on SXM and does an American driver's license suffice on both sides of the island?
SkyTeam777 is offline  
Old Jan 3, 08, 3:06 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Programs: Hyatt Diamond, SPG LT Plat, AA 3MM EXP
Posts: 397
Originally Posted by SkyTeam777 View Post
Is gas expensive on SXM and does an American driver's license suffice on both sides of the island?
US Driver license: OK on both sides of the island. Not sure about gas prices. You'll be shocked at the customs/immigration process at the Dutch airport--very lax. In fact, I don't even think there was a customs search, only a brief passport review.
gozetta is offline  
Old Jan 3, 08, 3:18 pm
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: NC
Programs: AA Concierge Key/1MM, DL DM/2 MM, UA Gold,Hilton Diamond, IHG Plat, Marriott Titanium Elite lifetime
Posts: 9,938
Thanks...what I remember from my last trip through the Caribbean was that each airport socked it to you with a departure tax...will be at AXA, ANU and SXM on this trip. I hope they accept credit cards!
SkyTeam777 is offline  
Old Jan 6, 08, 5:49 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 280
Does anyone have any recommendations for golf? Also will I need to convert to Euros or are American dollars accepted? Do Golds have any experiences with upgrades other than the recent poster? Is February a good time weather wise? TIA
Da5id is offline  
Old Jan 9, 08, 1:38 pm
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: NC
Programs: AA Concierge Key/1MM, DL DM/2 MM, UA Gold,Hilton Diamond, IHG Plat, Marriott Titanium Elite lifetime
Posts: 9,938
Ive found the wifi here to be terribly slow...do you have to request turndown service to receive these lovely Platinum goodies? No gifts as mentioned by others have come by to my room in the evenings.
SkyTeam777 is offline  
Old Jan 9, 08, 2:56 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Programs: Starwood, AA
Posts: 737
just returned

I just came back from St.Marten last night. Had a lovely stay at the Westin for 6 nights. It's interesting that experiences seem so uneven. I'm Plat and was upgraded to Oceanfront room, but alas not suite. Not a surprise, since it's busy season. however, when I asked about a suite at checkin, I was told "we don't upgrade Plats to suites". this called for a manager, who clarified that there were no suites available. hmmm..
no evening amenities at all. bottle of water 4 out of 6 days. had to call to have coffee machine restocked with coffee, sugar, etc. the hotel is beautiful, but i felt no warmth toward Plats, only the minimum required by the book. we rented a car at the airport from Budget. Renting a car is the way to go. just the ride alone to the hotel (about 20-30 min) is worth it. plus Westin is a bit out of the way and it's a 15-25 min ride to restaurants. Enjoyed the island and the beach in front of Westin is great. Snorkeling was very bad, but maybe we didn't find the right spots.
one thing that really pissed me off - they absolutely refused late checkout! i understand they are not required, and I spoke extensively to the manager, but not to even meet me halfway! my flight was at 6pm and we had to leave the room at 12. for that alone, i will not go back there. Westins in Aruba and Grand Cayman are good enough of substitutes.
lerasp is offline  
Old Jan 9, 08, 3:39 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Programs: Hyatt Diamond, SPG LT Plat, AA 3MM EXP
Posts: 397
Originally Posted by lerasp View Post
I just came back from St.Marten last night. Had a lovely stay at the Westin for 6 nights. It's interesting that experiences seem so uneven. I'm Plat and was upgraded to Oceanfront room, but alas not suite. Not a surprise, since it's busy season. however, when I asked about a suite at checkin, I was told "we don't upgrade Plats to suites". this called for a manager, who clarified that there were no suites available. hmmm..
no evening amenities at all. bottle of water 4 out of 6 days. had to call to have coffee machine restocked with coffee, sugar, etc. the hotel is beautiful, but i felt no warmth toward Plats, only the minimum required by the book. we rented a car at the airport from Budget. Renting a car is the way to go. just the ride alone to the hotel (about 20-30 min) is worth it. plus Westin is a bit out of the way and it's a 15-25 min ride to restaurants. Enjoyed the island and the beach in front of Westin is great. Snorkeling was very bad, but maybe we didn't find the right spots.
one thing that really pissed me off - they absolutely refused late checkout! i understand they are not required, and I spoke extensively to the manager, but not to even meet me halfway! my flight was at 6pm and we had to leave the room at 12. for that alone, i will not go back there. Westins in Aruba and Grand Cayman are good enough of substitutes.
Bummer. I would generally agree with you but keeping in mind that:

* the property is a steal at 10,000 points per night (cat 4 for now compared to GCM cat 5)
* there are only a few Ocean Front rooms (4 per floor as far as I could tell)
* there aren't any suites at all, except for the Presidential (not confirmed, but certainly couldn't book a suite online, even checking rack rates--would like someone to confirm this)
* St. Maarten has so much more to offer with ferries to St. Barts and Anguilla, and the excellent cuisine in Grand Case
* Much better lobby than GCM with the bar, nightclub, and "just right" sized casino
* never been upgraded to a suite at GCM, apparently there are only two and no plats get them
* fresh rooms with flat screens/leather chairs (GCM rooms are getting tired)


Don't get me wrong, I love Grand Cayman too and have been many times but for my beach fix, I'm back to SXM every time. Funny, I believe both properties are owned by the same guy in Cincinatti (Columbia Sussex).

As far as snorkeling, you were at the best spot on the island (Dawn beach)! The island is definitely not very good for snorkel/scuba.
gozetta is offline  
Old Jan 9, 08, 6:03 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 397
I think time of the year makes all the difference. When I went in August (low season) as a Gold, they seemed to really spoil us. There are definitely more than 4 ocean front rooms per floor. When facing the pool from the beach, the wing to the right has the Presidential Suite at the corner, and then the whole way down the building are all oceanfront rooms. From my pictures, I can count at least 15-16 on all 3 floors. Then I think the other wing mirrors it.

Last edited by thor17; Jan 9, 08 at 6:09 pm
thor17 is offline  
Old Jan 9, 08, 6:38 pm
  #11  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Depends on the day!
Programs: Marriott/Lifetime Titanium Hyatt/Explorist, Hilton/Silver, IHG Spire,UA Gold
Posts: 17,688
Thor17,
We are headed there in April...do you have your pics posted anywhere that we can view them?
bsdstone is offline  
Old Jan 9, 08, 6:47 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: MSP
Programs: Marriott Lifetime Titanium, UA Silver, Hertz 5*
Posts: 694
Anyone know about the hotel condos at the Westin St Martin?

There is a small writeup in this month's Conde Nast Traveller about the Westin St Martin building condo suites and offering attractive lease back terms.
I called the number listed and found out that you can buy a 3 Bed/2 Bath suite from $650K to 1.5M (depending on view) and all you have to do is put down 25%. The Westin finances you the rest at 6.75% for a standard 25 or 30 year fixed rate mortgage and then leases the property back from you for a price equal to your monthly mortgage payment as well as any maintenance charges. Also you can use your condo for 4 weeks a year (2 weeks off season and 2 weeks peak season). Ofcourse there are some blackout dates too like Xmas and New Years.
Anyone biting on this?
crazyhorse is offline  
Old Jan 9, 08, 9:35 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Programs: Starwood, AA
Posts: 737
you are correct about condos

you have it exactly right. there are 4 buildings. one building is directly on the beach (all those units are $1.5m). the other buildings are up on the hill at various angles to the water. short walk down to the beach. all units are 3bd/2bath. lease program is guaranteed for 5 years. furnishings in rooms are great (dark wood, leather lounge chair, fantastic bed, plasma tv, huge bathroom with small bath and huge glass shower). i imagine condos will be even nicer
lerasp is offline  
Old Jan 10, 08, 8:27 am
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: NC
Programs: AA Concierge Key/1MM, DL DM/2 MM, UA Gold,Hilton Diamond, IHG Plat, Marriott Titanium Elite lifetime
Posts: 9,938
What's the deal with being charged a $10 resort charge for award rates? They dont even tell you what it is for?! What a ripoff!
SkyTeam777 is offline  
Old Jan 10, 08, 12:29 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Programs: Starwood, AA
Posts: 737
weird. our resort charge was $5. i was going to fight it, but I already had enough arguing with front desk over late checkout and wrong telephone charge that i didn't have the mental energy for it. annoying.
lerasp is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: