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“It could be better....has a lot of potentials.” 3 of 5 stars
Review of The Westin Dawn Beach Resort & Spa, St. Maarten

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The Westin Dawn Beach Resort & Spa, St. Maarten
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   144 Oyster Pond Road, St Maarten-St Martin   |  
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Denville, New Jersey
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“It could be better....has a lot of potentials.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2013

We first visited Dawn Beach on July 2011.The place is beautiful and my 2 teen-aged boys loved it so we bought a time share. The unit was very big with upgraded kitchen appliances. When we came back on June 2012 to stay in the unit, there were ants in the unit, the kichen appliances were old and rusty with missing kitchenwares and the fire alarm kept going on even if we were not cooking. We also lost electrical power on and off for 2 days which caused some of our perishable foods to be spoiled. We have to get ice cubes during that time.They sprayed ant insecticide 2x but it exacerbated my allergies and I was feeling congested during our stay. We were invited to meet with a Dawn Beach representative and we tried to address the inconvenience to her. However, she focused on selling us additional weeks rather than focusing on improving the services. When she realized that we were not ready to buy additional weeks of stay, she gave us an attitude. Finally we were able to talk with one of upper management staff who promised to address our concerns and complaints. Now, we are returning this year with friends who are potential buyers. As time share owners of Dawn Beach, we want the resort to succeed. The place is excellent but the services could surely have improvements. Our kids also wish that the resort will have more fun activities so they don't get bored and that's also one of the reasons why we are bringing friends with us. We are now looking forward to our next visit at Dawn Beach this summer. We are hoping to have a better time and have a more fun and excellent experience.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (281)
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Livingston, New Jersey
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2013

We just finished our 8th stay at the Westin Dawn Beach in the last 6 years. It remains one of our favorite vacation spots in the world. The staff -- from the bellmen when you pull up to the front desk to housekeeping to the casino dealers -- are wonderful, welcoming and warm. There has clearly been on-going maintenance and upkeep around the property - new carpets in the hallways, new shower fixtures, and some cosmetic work around the pool.

You need to rent a car -- the hotel is located about 2 km off of the "main road" of SXM, and it's a steep (nearly 400 foot vertical rise) hill if you want to walk over to Mr Busby's or the Marina area. There are always taxis available, and it's about a $20 ride to just about anywhere if you prefer not to drive the unmarked streets in the dark.

That said, this isn't the highest end of the Starwood properties -- it's above the midpoint in terms of price and exclusivity, but I don't understand the complaints about cost. It's a fair price for high season considering the hotel facilities. Similarly, I don't understand complaints about service - what I have found is that if you treat the staff with gentility and respect, and don't bring a large dose of NY attitude, things are great. I witnessed more than a little bad guest behavior during our visits, from vulgar abuse of casino dealers to people who can't be bothered to clear towels off of (limited) pool lounges when they leave to people making demands of the concierge when they can't get dinner reservations during the Christmas-New Year's week (we book ours 2-3 weeks in advance). We have personally never experienced anything other than top-notch service here, and after our 3rd or 4th visit, the staff began to greet us by name. I don't get that at other Starwood properties where I visit 5-6 times (a year) for work. Even though the hotel has had a few different managers in the last 6 years (this is standard Starwood practice; they move people around and it's NOT a reflection on the property or the managers) the quality and consistency -- and the staff "family feel" -- hasn't changed been affected in the least.

The casino is small but reasonable; the rules are not exactly Vegas or Atlantic City player-friendly but if you want that action, go to Vegas or AC. The restaurants are fine but with some world-class French cuisine all of 15 km away in Grand Case, you have to venture out and explore.

If I have one (and only one) issue -- there is almost no shade by the pool. If you want to be outside and avoid the sun, you need to rent a cabana poolside or on the beach -- we typically drive over to Orient Bay and rent umbrellas for the day for that reason, then come back and relax poolside once the sun is less brutal.

Other little details - there's a small Westin Workout room that was just updated (treadmills, ellipticals, stationary bike, weight machines, free weights). The spa gets high marks from my family members who went for massages. The wireless works (again) and it even supports iPhone authentication, so if you want to use your iPhone without an international data plan, you can -- nice for Skype, WhatsApp, and iMessage.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013

After having gone to this hotel recently, my husband and I were very DISAPPOINTED.
The CONS of the hotel were as follows:

Price: We have stayed at high end, expensive hotels. This was EXPENSIVE and NOT HIGH END.
Rooms: The OCEAN FRONT view rooms were extremely MUSTY and DAMP, and they had carpet which we didn't even want to step on with bare feet. Cleaning staff we very disorganized, and came into the room multiple times each day.
- Beware of the annoying staff harassing you to take part in a 90 minute presentation for time share.
Location: Very remote. You NEED A CAR. Unless you intend to spend your entire vacation at the resort, or taking a long and expensive taxi ride in to the town whenever you get bored. I would not recommend this location for those who enjoy being close to nightlife and action.
Breakfast: Grossly overpriced, and mediocre.

PROS:
Location: The beach and the pool are very nice. The waves can be quite strong, so I would not recommend this for children (parents at the resort had to stay by the pool with their children). Many chairs are available and included with your stay, unless you want to upgrade to a cabana which of course is not worth it. Towels are also included.
Food: The 2 restaurants at the hotel are quite good overall. But they can get expensive, and there is much better cuisine on the island if you ask around or use a good guidebook ( I would recommend Fodor's, it was amazing). Sunday brunch is very good, there is a huge selection. Come hungry, and be willing to pay at least $50.00 per person.

OVERALL:
The hotel is just too run down and expensive. There is no justification. If you are a traveler who likes luxury and/or enjoys getting value for your money, you are better off elsewhere.

Room Tip: Get them on sale or not at all. OCEAN FRONT ROOMS are SOOO over priced.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013

The Spa is beautiful and as you'd expect the ladies providing services are excellent! They also have a great Casino and outdoor restaurant.

There is no beach to swim at but with their pools and the crashing waves - you don't need one.

It's a bit of a challenge to find but we'll worth it!

Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
marietta
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013

The Westin Dawn Beach hotel is a hotel, casino and spa at the far end of St. Martin. It is located on the French side/Dutch side border about 10 minutes from Orient Beach. We stayed here for two days before we were able to move into our time share near Simpson Bay.

The hotel itself is quite lovely. The room was very large, much larger than I expected. The king size bed was comfortable and every room had a balcony or porch. The bathroom was very nice with a shower large enough for two. The bathtub was small but functional.

Internet was free in the room and the cable TV actually worked which was surprising in St. Martin.

The pool was very nice and there was an outside bar. The pool was more for beauty than swimming although there were a few people swimming. The chairs by the pool had cushions on them and were very comfortable. The staff was very attentive.

The chairs on the beach were old and several had rips in them and should be replaced. Also, the beach chairs are the old style rubber ones, not the nice ones with cushions like at the pool.

There are two restaurants on site. We only ate in the more casual one. Ate there for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The food was very good bordering on excellent. The chocolate Mousse was to die for. The staff went out of their way to help us. One waitress even searched out and found my wife a chocolate mouse on her second trip to the spa.

They have two buffets, a Sunday brunch, Sunday breakfast and a Wednesday dinner. We only ate the Sunday breakfast and it was very nice and a good value. The Sunday brunch looked to be too expensive.

My wife used the spa and loved it so much that even after we moved to the other side of the island, she drove 45 minutes back to the hotel to go to the spa again even though there were closer spas to us.

The casino is small. It has your normal casino fair. Unfortunately, the craps table was not open the two days I stayed there.

We asked for and received a late checkout without much problems.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manalapan, New Jersey
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2013 via mobile

I have been traveling Christmas nye for over 30 years this was the best and easiest trip I ever had the front desk staff Raul David john Matt can't do enough to make your trip great the rest people like simon and the rest of staff great beach staff same. The MAJOR problem there is the casino I am some what of a high roller I have won lost big this casino slot machines have to be the worst payouts ever a normal casino has a return of 96-98 pct this one is at the best 90 which is horrible they take the attitude that people stay a few days they are used to Losing so wouldn't shock anyone,I av visited 9 casinos on island no one has a payout like guys great hotel great casino stay out


  • Stayed December 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013

The hotel is in a convenient area of town on the east side just below the French border. This makes it easy to get to the southwest - simpson bay, mahoe bay and the north east side - Orient Bay (Fun beautiful beach with much to do) and over to the northwest - Grand Case (excellent restaurants). So location is good. Rooms are nice updated and clean. The large outdoor pool on the beach is pretty and probably the properties most positively distinguishing feature. The two restaurants on property are good. I guess in general though, it is like staying at a Westin anywhere and you won't feel a lick of the culture of the island. There is a big tacky casino in the lobby and the lobby bar (only bar except for the pool bar) is just sad. You feel like you're in a low class hotel in Las Vegas. We actually cut our stay short here and found a cool place on the French side of the island up in Cul De Sac. So, if you like a big hotel that you know, here you go. If you want cool culture and class, there are many nice properties on the island at reasonable prices.

Room Tip: The property is very large and you have three types of views - beach, inner garden or a view that ov...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MODSXM, Manager at The Westin Dawn Beach Resort & Spa, St. Maarten, responded to this review, January 4, 2013
Dear William R,

Thank you for visiting us at the Westin Dawn Beach Resort and Spa. I am glad that you enjoyed the location of the resort and you were able to enjoy the pool. I am sorry that you felt that our property lacked the ambiance that you were looking for in your Caribbean vacation. While we try to exceed each of our guests expectations there are times when we are not the right fit for everyone. Although, we never like to hear that a guest is not happy at our property, I am happy that you found a resort that fit your needs.

I hope that you will continue to visit the Friendly Island of St. Maarten/St. Martin.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about The Westin Dawn Beach Resort & Spa, St. Maarten

Address: 144 Oyster Pond Road, St Maarten-St Martin
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > St Maarten-St Martin
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Casino Hotel in St Maarten-St Martin
#5 Luxury Hotel in St Maarten-St Martin
#8 Spa Hotel in St Maarten-St Martin
#15 On the Beach Hotel in St Maarten-St Martin
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Westin Dawn Beach Resort & Spa, St. Maarten 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located on one of the most beautiful Caribbean beaches, The Westin Dawn Beach Resort & Spa, St. Maarten offers guests a true getaway. Scuba dive, take a ferry to Anguilla for the day, or just relax. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Westin Dawn Beach Resort And Spa, St. Maarten
The Westin Dawn Beach Resort & Spa, St. Maarten Hotel St. Maarten/St. Martin
Westin St Maarten Martin
St Maarten Martin Westin
Westin St Martin
Westin St. Maarten/St. Martin
St. Maarten/St. Martin Westin
Westin St Maarten Dawn Beach Resort & Spa
The Westin Dawn Beach Resort & Spa, St. Maarten St Maarten-St Martin, Caribbean

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