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GONE : Westin Aruba (Leaving Starwood February 27, 2014) [Master Thread]

GONE : Westin Aruba (Leaving Starwood February 27, 2014) [Master Thread]

 
Old Nov 30, 12, 8:14 am
  #181  
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Programs: Marriott Plat Premier/LT Plat; SPG Plat/LT Gold; Hilton Gold; Hyatt Plat
Posts: 2,356
Is a car an absolute must? Is there any cheap food options (breakfast) walking nearby. I'm assuming there's no club room in hotel.

Planning 10 day trip and like to do cheap breakfast, nice dinners.
welookgood.com is offline  
Old Nov 30, 12, 2:05 pm
  #182  
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Finally back in Boston after escaping from New York
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Originally Posted by welookgood.com View Post
Is a car an absolute must? Is there any cheap food options (breakfast) walking nearby. I'm assuming there's no club room in hotel.

Planning 10 day trip and like to do cheap breakfast, nice dinners.
I would say not having a car is an absolute must if you don't plan on doing too much beyond the hotel. Tons of places to eat within easy walking distance.

Mike
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Old Dec 1, 12, 6:29 am
  #183  
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Programs: AA LT Platinum, Marriott Gold, SPG Gold, Hilton Gold
Posts: 49
You do not need a car in Aruba as there are many places for you to walk to for your meals. The taxi cabs are not expensive and are very easy to get from the hotel. We usually always rent a car when we go on vacation, but Aruba is an island that does not require a rental. If you want to tour the island yourself, you can get a rental for two days and eat on that one night at the other end of the island.
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Old Dec 2, 12, 7:01 am
  #184  
DSI
formerly declinespecificinformatiom
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 1,140
Gambling and Resort Fees

Hi,

If I use points am I charged a resort fee? If so, is it reduced to $15 for plats?

Does the casino have no limit holdem poker? And are there regular tournaments or just cash games? If they don't, does another resort within walking distance have NLH poker?
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Old Dec 2, 12, 4:39 pm
  #185  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Programs: SPG Lifetime Platinum, Hyatt Explorist, AA Platinum Pro, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 256
Originally Posted by declinespecificinformation View Post
Hi,
Does the casino have no limit holdem poker? And are there regular tournaments or just cash games? If they don't, does another resort within walking distance have NLH poker?
I don't think the Westin currently has poker. You'll find most of the NLH action at either the Radisson (good action, easy walking distance), the Hyatt (less action, slightly further but not bad) the Holiday Inn (good action, more tournaments, a longer walk but possible).

Cash games are generally more prevalent, especially in the evenings. Tournaments tend to be in the afternoons (overlapping dinnertime, which makes them inconvenient for anyone traveling with a spouse).
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Old Dec 2, 12, 10:04 pm
  #186  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: BC, Canada
Programs: Bonvoy LTTE, VSE 5 Star Elite
Posts: 382
Originally Posted by declinespecificinformation View Post
Hi,

If I use points am I charged a resort fee? If so, is it reduced to $15 for plats?
We stayed there summer 2011, and were charged $25/day for the resort fee when the room was booked on SPG points.
YYJMSP is offline  
Old Dec 6, 12, 3:18 pm
  #187  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: MSP
Programs: Promus Preferred, ITT Sheraton Club
Posts: 674
Is there a liquor store within walking distance of this hotel? It would be nice to enjoy a nice bottle of wine on the balcony, without the markup.
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Old Dec 8, 12, 6:07 am
  #188  
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Programs: AA LT Platinum, Marriott Gold, SPG Gold, Hilton Gold
Posts: 49
Not sure about a liquor store nearby, but you can always buy it at the airport when you arrive. They have very good prices there.
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Old Dec 10, 12, 9:50 am
  #189  
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Programs: Marriott Plat Premier/LT Plat; SPG Plat/LT Gold; Hilton Gold; Hyatt Plat
Posts: 2,356
I have a choice of a Jr Suite at this hotel or a room at the Ritz Cayman. Both are about the same price. I've been to the Ritz Cayman before and always wanted to see Aruba. But just curious about this hotel since the reviews are mixed and I wouldn't be against going to something I know is good (Ritz Cayman) if the Westin Aruba is not.

Random Ques:
-How would you rate the hotel? Seems like it's good not great
-Do the beach chairs come with umbrellas or is that an extra charge
-Is water sports included in the resort fee?
-How is the beach?
-Is everything around there safe if you walk around?
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Old Dec 19, 12, 6:44 pm
  #190  
formerly known as daveland
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: NY, NY, USA
Programs: AA LT Gold, Marriott Titanium, United Silver, Hilton Honors Diamond, Wyndham Diamond
Posts: 2,878
How do they charge the resort fee on an award? The confirmation says 12.8% resort fee not included in the rate. Well, it's tough to charge a percentage of nothing, yet I suspect they will ;-) Would be great to know what this should be ahead of time to avoid any awkward front desk interactions..... Unless they really do waive it on an award since the cost is in, fact, zero.
MilesTalk is offline  
Old Dec 21, 12, 12:53 am
  #191  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: boston, ma, USA
Posts: 131
Originally Posted by welookgood.com View Post
I have a choice of a Jr Suite at this hotel or a room at the Ritz Cayman. Both are about the same price. I've been to the Ritz Cayman before and always wanted to see Aruba. But just curious about this hotel since the reviews are mixed and I wouldn't be against going to something I know is good (Ritz Cayman) if the Westin Aruba is not.

Random Ques:
-How would you rate the hotel? Seems like it's good not great
-Do the beach chairs come with umbrellas or is that an extra charge
-Is water sports included in the resort fee?
-How is the beach?
-Is everything around there safe if you walk around?
I've stayed at the Westin Aruba four times last year only because it's free on points or I pricelined it for $100 bucks. Otherwise it's not worth it. I'd rate the hotel average in comparison to other Westin I've been to....again not worth the regular price. Rooms and facilties are old even the Starwood floor room and carpet is worn down. You have to pay $15-$35 for beach palapa or wait in line starting at 7am for the ones not yet rented. There's no water sports to speak of unless you count the pool. The resort fee pay for internet which is pre-dsl day sluggish. If you're Gold or Plat you get the free hsi that's a lot better but still very slow. The beach is very crowded and the water is very nice and temperature is 85 yearround with zero threat of hurricane. There are many restaurants within walking distance; or simply jump on the cheap bus. Their breakfast buffet suxs for $25 bucks but luckily there are Dunkin Donuts and many places nearby. The island is the safest and have the friendliest people of any of the many carribean islands I've been to. Highly recommend the island.

Yes they charge resort fee on SPG free booking. With the hefty $25 per day for sluggish often dead internet, I assumed it included housekeeping and didn't bother tipping the maid.

Last edited by qdmd; Dec 21, 12 at 1:03 am
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Old Dec 28, 12, 2:44 pm
  #192  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Somewhere between YXU and YYZ
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Posts: 519
Since Plats get Internet free, do they offer alternate amenity for the resort fee?
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Old Dec 28, 12, 2:52 pm
  #193  
Company Representative - Starwood
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Austin, Texas
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Originally Posted by shawneve View Post
Since Plats get Internet free, do they offer alternate amenity for the resort fee?
No. Internet is not included on the resort charge for this property.

Resort Charge Policy
There is a daily 13% resort charge. This includes 24-hour access to the WestinWORKOUT® gym and poolside services such as daily ice popsicles and snacks, sunglass polishing upon request, refreshing iced towels, and unlimited usage of pool towels. (Two towels per person are provided at our Recreation Center and can be exchanged for fresh towels throughout the day.) The resort charge also includes a variety of family-friendly activities, such as Family Movie Night at the Pool, Stargazing, Aquarobics, Nintendo® Wii™ contests, Ice Cream-Eating Contests, Bobbing for Sodas, and other resort activities listed on Your Experience Schedule. The resort fee includes usage of the ping pong table, the jumbo chess and checkers set, and various other family games at the resort.


Best regards,

William R. Sanders
Social Media Specialist
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide

[email protected]
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Old Dec 28, 12, 4:32 pm
  #194  
formerly known as daveland
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: NY, NY, USA
Programs: AA LT Gold, Marriott Titanium, United Silver, Hilton Honors Diamond, Wyndham Diamond
Posts: 2,878
Interesting. Didn't once in 5 days see these "ice popsicles and snacks" nor anywhere to "request sunglass polishing" or get "refreshing iced towels".

I guess they save a lot on that resort fee ;-)

Anyway, Lurker, may I suggest that the hotel modify the T&Cs of their award rates to have the resort fee listed? As you saw in my earlier post, my confirmation just says "12.8% resort fee NOT included in the rate." That is hardly equal to $25 (since there is no rate) and if the hotel wishes to avoid future check-in or check-out battles with people not expecting the fee, all they have to do is state it clearly in the award rates T&Cs.

In other news, this property REALLY needs new elevators. All anyone waiting for the elevators or in the elevators talked about was the interminable waits for them to come and how they seemed to stop at every floor going up and down. It could literally take 15 minutes from arriving at an elevator bank to make it to a high floor or vice versa. It was also amusing to see how all the NYers were the most vocally annoyed ;-)

The staff was overall quite nice and the property, while not as nice as the Hyatt and certainly a bit run down/dated, definitely appeared nicer than most of the hotels on the strip.

Most important, at 40% off points, it was a great trip


Originally Posted by Starwood Lurker View Post
No. Internet is not included on the resort charge for this property.

Resort Charge Policy
There is a daily 13% resort charge. This includes 24-hour access to the WestinWORKOUT® gym and poolside services such as daily ice popsicles and snacks, sunglass polishing upon request, refreshing iced towels, and unlimited usage of pool towels. (Two towels per person are provided at our Recreation Center and can be exchanged for fresh towels throughout the day.) The resort charge also includes a variety of family-friendly activities, such as Family Movie Night at the Pool, Stargazing, Aquarobics, Nintendo® Wii™ contests, Ice Cream-Eating Contests, Bobbing for Sodas, and other resort activities listed on Your Experience Schedule. The resort fee includes usage of the ping pong table, the jumbo chess and checkers set, and various other family games at the resort.


Best regards,

William R. Sanders
Social Media Specialist
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide

[email protected]
MilesTalk is offline  
Old Dec 30, 12, 12:18 am
  #195  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: BC, Canada
Programs: Bonvoy LTTE, VSE 5 Star Elite
Posts: 382
Originally Posted by daveland View Post
How do they charge the resort fee on an award? The confirmation says 12.8% resort fee not included in the rate. Well, it's tough to charge a percentage of nothing, yet I suspect they will ;-) Would be great to know what this should be ahead of time to avoid any awkward front desk interactions..... Unless they really do waive it on an award since the cost is in, fact, zero.
it's a fixed price per day on the awards -- we were charged $25
YYJMSP is offline  

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