Location (5/5): The location of the Westin was outstanding. It's right on the beach, and on the strip of restaurants/bars. Other hotels like the Divi were off the strip and not even within walking distance.
Beach (5/5): The beach was outstanding. Walking down the entire beach front (from Divi to the Marriott), I would say that the Westin arguable had the best beach. It was wide with many Palapas. Although Palapas were tricky to get. You have to book them the day before by 3pm. The front row was $55, second is $45, and last is $35. If you show up at 3:45pm though (line starts as early as 2:45pm some days), and stand in the line, you can sign up for a free Palapa (based on availability). It seems like there should be a better system that doesn't require you to choose between wasting an hour of your vacation every day and paying $55 + tax. Perhaps a deli-style "take a number" system would be better?
Service (3.5/5): Coming to the hotel, I was really hoping to give the service a 5/5. Before even arriving, we were upgraded to an ocean front room, were able to pre-purchase the breakfast plan, and were told we would get a mini-fridge. However, the mini-fridge became a nightmare; we were somehow on a list, then off a list, then on a list. With tons of complaining, we got it on the 4th day. It seemed like other people staying at the hotel had similar issues. They also charge my CC almost $600 on the first night for no reason - their explanation was that the site we booked with paid them a few hours late, but it seemed very strange to me. It took a long time for them to figure out what happened and why they charged me.
Hotel: The hotel itself is definitely showing it's age. I know they are in the middle of a reno and I am not sure if our rooms were renovated or not. The rooms themselves were okay, the carpet in the hallways looked disgusting though (and several other people staying at the hotel noted this). The elevators, although noted on TA already, were also problematic. Although not awful during our stay, we typically waited 3-4min for the elevator (others complained of waiting closer to 10m). The hotel is currently on the market for sale (another brand will buy it and re-label it). I assume once that's done, a refresh/remodel can do wonders. In terms of "sleep quality", we were on the 6th floor and were woken up several times each night (even with the doors closed) from tarp noises from the wind gust, or music coming from the pier bar. They also played really loud music at the pool from 4pm-6pm (if anyone is planning on taking a nap), but permanently canceled the 7pm lobby live music due to visitor complaints.
Breakfast (4.5/5): Breakfast buffet is $50 for 2. It's cheaper if you pre-book it on check-in for all of your days. Many have claimed that it was one of the best buffets in Aruba, but it seemed just average to me. On weekends, the line to get a table was a little bit long (15min+), and service level varied from bad on the weekends, to above average during mid-week. For breakfast, they have some premium items like smoked salmon and capers. Otherwise it's standard breakfast fair (omlet station, fruits, cereal, bagels, pastries, bacon, sausage, potatoes). It was the same food every morning.
Overall (4/5): The location and the beach are definitely the strong points of the hotel. If it's refreshed, it can definitely be a much better place. Considering they also own the empty land next door, they can definitely build & improve on the current hotel (and probably will once someone purchases it). Otherwise, I didn't see much of a different from the nearby hotels: Riu Palace, Raddisson, etc.. If anything, the Radisson seemed newer and more hip. Ironically, our favorite part of the Westin was the clock at the top of the hotel. It was really useful knowing what time it was from anywhere on the beach - even the dock bar :)
Ask for a higher room - the noise from the pool area, tarp, and pier bar is very loud. We were on th...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.