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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 19, 07, 3:16 pm
  #46  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Programs: Starwood
Posts: 29
Question Westin Aruba in Febuary 2008

I am considering going to Aruba in February 2008 using points. I am a Gold member. Can anyone advise me as to their upgrade experience? Has anyone been there recently? Have they finished construction and has it improved to become what we expect from Westin with the construction mostly done? Any advice and info would be appreciated.

Jeff
BrooklynCPA is offline  
Old Nov 19, 07, 10:24 pm
  #47  
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Houston
Programs: TK*Gold; WN A-list; AA EXP; Hyatt Globalist; Marriott Titanium, Hilton Diamond, UA 1.56MM (fmr UA1K)
Posts: 5,760
Originally Posted by BrooklynCPA View Post
I am considering going to Aruba in February 2008 using points. I am a Gold member. Can anyone advise me as to their upgrade experience? Has anyone been there recently? Have they finished construction and has it improved to become what we expect from Westin with the construction mostly done? Any advice and info would be appreciated.

Jeff
I was there in Aug and received an upgrade to one of the rooms called a 'junior suite'. It was at the back of the hotel...no special view--not that I am complaining. I was surprised to receive any kind of an upgrade as a gold...not to mention a 'real upgrade' such as this.

I posted a review of my stay then a little earlier in this thread.
Renard is offline  
Old Nov 20, 07, 4:18 pm
  #48  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Programs: Starwood
Posts: 29
Thumbs down

I am trying to figure out what to. I am planning my reward vacation in February. After reading many posts about Westin Aruba I do not get a good feeling. Nobody seems to think that it is worth the reward points of a Catagory 5 hotel. Although Aruba seems to be the perfect vacation spot we need to stay at an upscale resort!!

Does anyone have any other suggestions as to which Starwood properties in Carribean or Mexico to take our vacation at? I was at the Le Meridian in Cancun last year and it was amazing but my wife does not want to go to the same place twice. I was thinking of the Westin in St. Marteen but it seems to be a boring Island with not much night life. San Juan would be nice but the Starwood properties do not seem to be anything special.

If anyone had any ideas I'd really appreciate it.
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Old Nov 20, 07, 4:27 pm
  #49  
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Metro Detroit
Programs: DL Plat, NW Plat
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The Westin St Maartin is very nice. Highly recommended. I'd take it over Aruba all day long.
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Old Nov 20, 07, 6:25 pm
  #50  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Programs: Starwood
Posts: 29
Red face

Thanks, jcherney.

I would definitely consider it. However, it sounds like the perfect place for someone who just wants to relax, sit by the beach and have a nice quiet vacation. I want to relax during the day and party at night. This is why I loved Cancun so much. I might be wrong but it just doesn't seem that there is so much to do in St. Marteen. Please correct me if I am wrong.

Does anyone eslse have any ideas or suggestions.
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Old Nov 20, 07, 9:37 pm
  #51  
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Houston
Programs: TK*Gold; WN A-list; AA EXP; Hyatt Globalist; Marriott Titanium, Hilton Diamond, UA 1.56MM (fmr UA1K)
Posts: 5,760
Originally Posted by BrooklynCPA View Post
Thanks, jcherney.

I would definitely consider it. However, it sounds like the perfect place for someone who just wants to relax, sit by the beach and have a nice quiet vacation. I want to relax during the day and party at night. This is why I loved Cancun so much. I might be wrong but it just doesn't seem that there is so much to do in St. Marteen. Please correct me if I am wrong.

Does anyone eslse have any ideas or suggestions.
Maybe Cabo? Puerto Vallarta?
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Old Nov 21, 07, 9:18 am
  #52  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Programs: Starwood
Posts: 29
Thanks Renard.

Those two are great ideas. Only problem is there are no direct flights from NYC making the trip unbearable for a short vacation. Jet Blue flies directly to Aruba and St. Maartin which is why I was considering those two locations. Any other Ideas?
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Old Dec 2, 07, 10:06 am
  #53  
 
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.
drnp is offline  
Old Dec 9, 07, 4:30 pm
  #54  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Programs: AA EXP, United Platinum, SPG Platinum, HHonors Gold
Posts: 31
I'm just winding up a stay here. Many of the concerns posted are valid, but I've tried to give the hotel some leeway since its still a work-in-progress. The staff is very friendly, and they really try to make your stay go smoothly. Unlike many posters, I didnt have to wait forever at the desk to check in, and I got an upgrade to a Junior Suite-type accomodation (from the website, it looks like the Family Room description). For me the price was the ultimate selling point of the hotel, it was $119 before taxes... far cheaper than the other options on Palm Beach. On that note, make sure to check out the special deals/packages before you book, it was totally a fluke that I didnt book the $185 or so they posted as the best available rate on spg.com.

There are some nice touches, like ice pops they pass out mid-afternoon by the pool, and 1/2 price drinks from 5-6 PM. I didnt eat in any of the dinner restaurants, but the Terrace, the beachside restaurant, is a reasonably-priced choice for lunch, and the service and food were excellent. The casino is pretty bleak, not much in the way of table games at all, so if that's your main focus for evening entertainment probably you'd be better off at the Radisson.

To make a long story short, its hard to say whether this place will ever be worthy of the category 5 status. Right now its a solid 3, but when the dust settles I'd stay here again to reevaluate.
JS0720 is offline  
Old Jun 10, 08, 6:31 am
  #55  
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: DUB/ORD/SIN/PVG
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Posts: 2,895
Have things improved?...

... or is the Westin Aruba still a no-go area?
Dambus is offline  
Old Jun 10, 08, 7:30 am
  #56  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: PHL
Programs: AA EXP, HHonors Diamond, Marriott Lifetime Ti, UA Silver
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Originally Posted by Dambus View Post
... or is the Westin Aruba still a no-go area?
I was there in Feb. It was very nice but I wouldn't call the place spectacular. Certainly the best SPG property on Aruba
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Old Jul 8, 08, 10:31 am
  #57  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Colorado Springs, CO, USA
Programs: SPG Lifetime Plat, AA Gold, UA Gold, DL Silver, HH Gold, Vail Epic
Posts: 9,096
Had a 1 night stay at the Westin Aruba last week. Then we moved over to the Brickell Bay Beach Club for 3 nights where we were assigned for a Bluegreen Resorts timeshare tour for La Cabana. ($50 and a tour got us 3 free nights and a $50 dinner certificate at a restaurant where we were going to dine anyway. Our renovated room at Brickell Bay was better than I expected. Location is great, though not on the beach.)

Got upgraded to a suite at the Westin. ^ Rooms ending in 08 wrap around a stairway shaft. So the living room is large, and the bedroom is behind the stairway. No noise problem, though. There's a view from the balcony, but you really can't see the water while inside the room.

Late checkout of 2pm for Plats is nice! (We abused it and checked out even later since our morning dive finished late.
sc flier is offline  
Old Aug 7, 08, 10:48 am
  #58  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Ann Arbor Area
Programs: UA Million Miler, BonVoyLifetime Platinum, UA Platinum, President's Club,
Posts: 1,479
Looking for recent feedback

I'm due to stay there on Saturday for 3 nights, I just found out. I'm a bit leery as I wasn't really pleased with Westin Lucaya in the Bahamas a few weeks ago, but have stayed at nice Westins in Cabo and Puerto Vallatra.

Any Plats get a suite upgrade? Does the casino have blackjack? I'm dying for details that I can't get from the website. I read this thread and the others I found in my search (not much recent activity) so if anyone has some recent views, I'd love to hear them! Also, what about transportation to the hotel- anyone know the average cab fare nowadays?

Thanks!
thaliajen is offline  
Old Aug 8, 08, 11:23 am
  #59  
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Houston
Programs: TK*Gold; WN A-list; AA EXP; Hyatt Globalist; Marriott Titanium, Hilton Diamond, UA 1.56MM (fmr UA1K)
Posts: 5,760
Cab to the airport is around $25 one way.
Renard is offline  
Old Aug 8, 08, 12:48 pm
  #60  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Colorado Springs, CO, USA
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Posts: 9,096
Photos of suite 1405. Suite xx01 and the even numbered rooms should all have a better ocean view. Sorry, no photos from the balcony right now; they're on the other camera/computer.

The last photo was with extreme digital zoom; I think from up by the lighthouse at the north end of the island. The Westin is the rightmost tall building.
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