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“Had a Great time at the Westin”

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The Westin St. John Resort
Ranked #4 of 5 Hotels in Cruz Bay
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Bay Area, California
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Had a Great time at the Westin”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 July 2005

My wife, one year old daughter and I just returned from the Westin St. John and we recommend this hotel. The staff was extremely friendly and the property itself was well maintained. As other people point out, the Westin’s beach is okay but one must get out and see the other beaches on the island to really experience St. John.

We stayed in building 23 (must have been neighbors with the person who wrote the prior entry) on the first floor. The building was close to the beach and had an okay view. When we return to this hotel, we will either book a beachfront room or if that isn’t available, we’ll take a pool view room. However, despite what must be great views, we will avoid the upper hillside rooms as there is a steep hill between these rooms and the beach / pool area. They do have regular shuttle service but I’m not a fan of waiting.

As for getting around, the concierge arranged a car for us one day and we used taxis the rest of the time. Trip to town was $3 pp and to Trunk Bay $8pp. The Westin provided us with a child’s car seat for our rental car but we just had to hold on to her anytime we took a taxi. At first, this made us a bit nervous as the taxis are all open air vehicles you share with other people headed in your direction, but after a trip or two, we realized it was safe. The island is small and average driving speeds are less than 15 MPH.

Since we arrived on St. Thomas at 10pm, we were not able to use the Westin Water shuttle service. Rather, we stayed at a nearby hotel that night and then took the public ferry to St. John the following day. Public ferries run every hour from Red Hook and every 2 hrs or so from town. The fare was $6pp one way plus a few extra bucks for our luggage. However, the taxi fare from the airport to Red Hook was $25 so all things considered, if it fits your schedule, I would recommend the Westin Ferry. That said, another thing to consider is your return flight time…The Westin Ferry leaves St. John at 7am or 11am. Since our flight left St. Thomas at 11:30 our option with the Westin would have made us get up a bit early. The public ferry provided a better option – 9am boat to Red Hook or a 9:15 boat to town. We took the 9:15 and were at the airport with an hour to spare.

As for places to eat – Asolare and Panni Beach were our favorites. Food at the Westin was good as well but there are much better places to eat – Kids are welcome at most places but we did hire a nanny (actually one of the front desk staff) to watch our daughter a few nights. - $15/hr, min 3 hours.

In the end, we had a great time and will return at some point.

  • Stayed July 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank GlobalTravelGuy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Boston, MA
Level Contributor
34 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 July 2005

My wife and I stayed at both the Westin St. John and Caneel Bay during the week of 6-13-05 for our honeymoon. Why both? I could only stand the Westin for 48 hours and booked the last room available at Caneel Bay for the rest of the week. I probably wouldn't take the time to write a review like this except that, as a business executive, I find what the Westin is doing to be fraudulent. See the picture of our beachfront room and compare it to their website. The room was so tacky - loud colors, cheap furnishings - the Westin trademark bed couldn't have mattered less.

I told a manager there that if I had ever seen an actual picture of the rooms, I would never have even made the reservation. He admitted to me that they just finished painting all the hotel rooms Jan 2005 and that they will begin repainting them again next month, Aug 2005. I told him I felt deceived that Westin had not yet updated the website picture (as of 7-13-05) when most of the rooms had been repainted for over a year. I told him the cheap furnishings and eyesore paint colors would give Disneyworld a bad name. I showed him the picture I took of our room and the one presently on their website and asked him if they seemed at all similar. He admitted they didn't. I then asked him how we could have the room on the website. He said we couldn't as all the rooms in the hotel had been repainted.

On the website, the room looks relaxing and inviting; on 6-13 we walked in and I started to get a headache because the colors (walls of vivid turquoise and electric blue) - intended to have a Caribbean theme - are grossly loud. They did add us to the Westin point club and give us enough points for a free night somewhere but, so what, it was still a huge headache to move on our honeymoon.

Non-decorator difficulties: on our check-in night, after 12 hours of travel, they put us in a room that was being fixed by engineering and shouldn't have been in inventory. When my wife called 'Service Express' to get things corrected, she was (not cordially) told to come back to the main building to get new keys. I said 'no, send someone here to move us.' After walking over to our new building and waiting outside our new room for 20 minutes in the heat, a passing employee asked if we needed any help and let us in. We still didn't get our luggage moved and our new keys until after a second call and another 20 minutes. It's now 9PM so who wants to change to go out for dinner our first night on St. John when you're tired and ended the day spending 2 hours to get into your room. The Westin is a 'Shimmering Jewel of the Caribbean' if your taste tends to cubic zirconia. If any of this sounds too harsh, consider that a higher level manager tracked us down at Caneel just to talk to us about what happened - corporate damage control.

Personally, as a previous traveller to the Caribbean, I can tell you that the small bay with hills on all sides that the Westin is wedged into could be anywhere on the east coast of the US if you didn't know the temperature. There is nothing to see except the little harbor itself and the manmade beach is tiny, so beach walking is out. While Caneel has beaches to die for, if you have younger children, they might prefer the Westin since they leave lots of toys in the water for kids to play on. And they have a 20-ft screen facing the pool that they play movies on in the evening as well as new 30" widescreen flat-panel TV's in the rooms - appointments of no value to us. At Caneel, there is staff to provide arts and crafts, etc. for children but the resort is strictly non-techno (no in-room phones or TV).

Everyone we dealt with was very apologetic, particularly since it was our honeymoon, and asked what they could do to keep us there. We said they couldn't and went to Caneel for the time of our life - better room, better food, much better property and views. I may write a review to tell you how wonderful Caneel is, but let me at least tell you this now: while there, we discovered that Caneel was in the process of being sold for about 2 years and I suspect that is what led to many of the negative reviews we have all seen. The sale was completed in the fall of 2004 and the resort seems very well run at least as of last month. My wife and I would go out of our way to go back to Caneel. And we will.

Helpful?
24 Thank SeasonedTraveler116
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Granby
Level Contributor
29 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 July 2005

We just spent 6 nights in an oceanview room at the Westin (building 23). We were skeptical when they told us we had a ground floor room but there was no need to worry. The view was across a lawn with the whole bay in front of us. Beautiful. The room was very nice with none of the issues I read about in other reviews. The grounds were immaculate and had the added bonus of several resident iguanas. There are carts all over that will give you a lift anywhere on the grounds. The service was some of the best I have experienced in my travels. They have a guest services button on the phone and any and all requests/issues are handled promptly. They even leave a message to make sure the problem was taken care of. The concierge desk is very friendly and helpful and served all of our needs nicely. We decided to use their transportation to and from the airport. It may seem expensive but it is more than worth it when you also consider it includes unlimited trips back and forth to St. Thomas during your stay. You drop off your bags at their airport desk and have them delivered to your room (5 minutes after we got there). When their boat gets close to their dock after the 35 minute ride, you are given a cool washcloth to wipe off with and then are met at the dock with island punch (with or without rum), assigned to a golf cart and taken to your room. At this point I should mention our greeter Ivy. From when we first met her to when we took pictures with her as we were leaving she is the most outstanding servcice industry professional have met in all my years of traveling. She is honestly friendly and as efficent as all get out. When she offered a rollaway bed, she had it there literally in 3 minutes (the rollaway had a thicker mattress than I have at home). Great lady.
The beach at the Westin is OK but not a real St. John beach, and there is seaweed. The pool is vey nice. The floating toys are fun and non-motorized water craft ( sea kayaks, etc) are free. We did several excursions with the on site concessionaire, Cruz Bat Watersports. My son and I dove 2 mornings and the 4 of us did the Virgin Gorda trip. Their staff is as good a bunch as I have gone with. Friendly and very professional, I would recommend them. The only caution, their dives are all guided so can't go off on your own. The food at the Westin, I thought, was needlessly overpriced. We ate at the mango deli a couple of times where the $10 sandwich can easily feed 2. The also have decent pizzas and salads. We ate at the Beach Cafe one night which is slightly more expensive than town and was OK (nice view though). To eat in town, you need to take a cab. At $3 each, each way it cost us $24 roundtrip just to eat. We rented a car one day and it was a great day. I would recommend renting one for a couple of days and making a reservation at the Westin ahead of time. I dragged my feet and had to go downtown knocking on doors to find one. The Westin will look for one for you but you won't know if you have one or what you have until that day. All in all it was a great vacation and the Westin is one of the nicest places we have stayed. We are already talking about a return visit.

  • Stayed June 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank GranbyMike
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Jersey
Level Contributor
72 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 July 2005

The Westin resort is beautiful -- both landscaping and pool are superb. Loved the food and setting at the Beach Cafe for lunch and dinner; wait staff was very nice and accomodating. Watersports and dive shop staff were helpful and thorough. Our poolside room was very nice and comfortable with a few exceptions. There were bugs in the bathtub (they only came out at night -- yuch!); there was rust leaking from the tile around the tub; the windowshade malfunctioned and fell down. Very glitchy room problems. Some of the problems were resolved rather quickly and efficiently. Others were resolved only after several phone calls were made to the front desk. A written note finally seemed to get things moving. The bug problem was never resolved. although they did send someone to spray. The Westin could do a better job with the details of room upkeep. They certainly pay a lot of attention to the landscape, pool and exterior. It is all pristine. All told, we had a great vacation. Favorite beaches were Trunk Bay, Solomon Cay (rented a dinghy), Caneel. The open air taxi rides were fun and full of adventure -- a little like a roller coaster ride up and down the hills. Disney-like. Superb snorkeling at Waterlemon Cay. Favorite restaurants: La Tapa, Stone Terrace, Fish Trap and Morgan's Mango (all in Cruz Bay).

  • Stayed June 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank BGK15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
20 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 July 2005

The island of St. John is beautiful and the beaches on the island (except at the Westin) are magnificent. The Westin is an average place to stay if you aren't a beach person. The beach and water are incredibly unappealing. It is a man made beach and the water is murky, dirty and full of sea weed. They couldn't have picked a worse location.

If you have children, it is a good place to stay. Lots of kids and great pool for kids. If you do not have children and it is a holiday week or the summer, do not stay there. The grounds are lovely and well kept. The service is pleasant. The garden and ocean view rooms are not renovated, but are large and adequate. Next time we go, we are renting a house.

The best beaches are Cinnamon, Trunk, Little Maho, Francis, Hawksnest. Best restaurants without children - Asolare, Tage and ZoZo. With children - Stone Terrace and Lime Inn. Do not bother going to the Fish Trap or Morgan's Mango - hot, slow and below average food.

If you do decide to stay at the Westin, you must rent a car so that you can visit different beaches everyday. Rent your car at the hotel - it is very convenient.

Stayed June 2005
Helpful?
9 Thank LifeisGOOD58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Westin St. John Resort

Property: The Westin St. John Resort
Address: 300B Chocolate Hole, Cruz Bay 00830, St. John
Region: Caribbean > U.S. Virgin Islands > St. John > Cruz Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 5 Hotels in Cruz Bay
Price range (per night): ₹ 36,238 - ₹ 83,495
Hotel Class:4 star — The Westin St. John Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 146
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located on 1,200 feet of private beach, The Westin St. John Resort makes for the perfect island retreat. Stay in spacious rooms with ocean views from private balconies or patios. Guests can enjoy complimentary Wi-Fi available in all rooms. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Westin St. John Resort & Villas Hotel Cruz Bay
Westin St. John Resort And Villas
Westin Cruz Bay
Cruz Bay Westin
St John Westin
The Westin St. John Resort Cruz Bay

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