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“Beautiful Property but in a remote location” 4 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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Honolulu, Hawaii
Top Contributor
106 reviews 106 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 52 cities Reviews in 52 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“Beautiful Property but in a remote location”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2013

This ocean front property sits on the Dutch Atlantic side- which means if you are coming here for the calm waters of the Carribean this is not the property for you . While it is a beautiful property with a welcoming staff you are very isolated. You are not able to walk down the beach as it is blocked on both sides - anything you want to do you will need a taxi or a rental car. The food at the hotel is very pricey and certainly adequate but you would not go out of your way to eat here if you didn't have to. In spite of these drawbacks it's a very nice place to spend a couple of days.

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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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 (293)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
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  • German first
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English first
Gardiner, Maine
Top Contributor
110 reviews 110 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
74 helpful votes 74 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2013

My wife and I had a great week at the Westin Dawn Beach. The positives:

Friendly service from the time you arrive, starting with the bellmen who are very helpful and made for a pleasant start and end to every day.

The lobby bar was always a lively place, and one of the bartenders, Virginia, is the best.

The room we had, an ocean front room, was excellent. The patio we had was a bit small but fine for two people. The bathroom may have been the largest one we have ever seen for a hotel.

The swimming pool is the best on the island bar none, and the swim up bar is very cool.

The dining choices are limited but both are very good - Ocean as the main dining room and Aura at the high end. Excellent food and good service at both. The breakfast buffet was a bit pricy but had an excellent selection and equally good food. There are other good dining choices nearby, such as Canoa (our favorite!) and Big Fish (also very good).

We aren't big gamblers, but we found the casino to be just about the right size and had everything you need (plus bingo on Wednesday and Sunday evenings).

The beach is average, better than some but not as good as others we went to such as the Divi Little Bay Beach.

The big issue on the downside is the constant harassment to listen to their Dawn Beach Club timeshare schpeel. This started from the moment we arrived until almost the time we left. How many times do you need to say "we aren't interested!"? Short of this I might have given the Westin a 5 rating instead of 4.

In our opinion location was a plus as the Westin is quite far removed from the hustle and bustle of Philipsburg and other towns. However, it does make for a 20-30 minute drive to get to most places. If you are going to say at the Westin and plan to do much I highly recommend a rental car.

All in all a nice experience - we would definitely stay at the Westin again if/when we return to St. Maarten.

Room Tip: The Ocean Front rooms are excellent, highly recommended if you want a great view.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2013

Dawn beach is gorgeous and the Westin is a beautiful, clean facility located right on the beach with spectacular views. The one major drawback to the resort is its isolation. Without a car (fortunately we had one) you are a prisoner and the Westin's food is not good enough to keep people only at the resort.

Maddeningly there is another area (Oyster Pond) 1/4 mile down the beach with a few fun good restaurants but you can't get there walking across the beach because of a small rock formation that blocks passage. Instead you can either walk there (up and over a very steep hill with a poorly lit winding road) or drive. It really is a shame because less than 100 yards of a narrow walkway around the rocks would make the Dawn Beach Westin about 1000 times more inviting.

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
Long Island, NY
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2013

If you have read any of my other reviews, you may find that we (a young-ish couple) are not the type that spend our entire vacation locked into the resort. We use the beds as sleeping and fun (wink wink) and expect clean rooms/linens/grounds, good service, and a comfortable atmosphere (including pool/beach and surrounding areas). that being said....
We stayed at this hotel for 7 days/6 nights in the middle of February. Our first encounter was with the friendly doorman and associates at the reservation desk. I will mention at the onset that nearly all the islanders are VERY FRIENDLY, as long as you say hello or smile at them. The front desk associate actually upgraded our room to an "ocean view" which meant that the room face the pool, but from the balcony you can easily see the beach. Our room had two double beds; we had booked an ocean-view king room, but CheapCaribbean.com does not guarantee the room you book, which was our mistake. I should have called the hotel to request that type of room. HOWEVER, the friendly front desk associate was extremely accommodating and did her best to help us out. 2 days later a king room became available and we were notified, but we found our room to be comfortable and we stayed put.
The room was clean and inviting, the bathroom generous with both an enormous shower and a tub (not a jacuzzi). Beds were comfortable.
There is a casino in the lobby, but did not make use of it. Not sure why others make a big deal of the lobby and it's ambiance. Who cares? Nevertheless, we found it to be nice, and not loud even though there's a casino right there.
The pool area is impeccably clean. Save for a random plastic cup that a guest left behind to be carried by the wind, I found the entire pool area to be very nice. Same goes for the beach. Do note that this is called "Dawn Beach" because (I assume) it's the best place on the island to watch a sunrise. That being said, you will have to face your beach chair away from the beach (toward hotel) after noon if you want to continue tanning. The current can be strong here also. You will not get to see the sunset here. But the pool bar and deli are convenient, if not expensive (all food is pricey on the island).
We found both restaurants to be very good. We enjoyed breakfast, lunch and dinner at Ocean, and at all of these meals we found at least one item that made us go "YUMMMM", more than the rest of the "yums" elicited. We actually had our anniversary dinner at Aura and enjoyed it immensely. I forget the name, but there is a tuna tartare appetizer that is to die for. Does Aura ship to NY???
I would be remiss if I didn't mention the SUPERIOR service that we got from both Nicholos and Alberto. Nicholos is a really cool guy that had great tips on island happenings. Alberto is one of the hardest working men at that resort. His passion for service is uber-evident, and management, if you're reading this, these two gentlemen deserve a juicy raise!
The location of the resort is remote. We preferred this. It's away from the hub-bub of Simpson and Mullet Bays, where the nicest neighborhoods are. It is advisable to rent a Jeep. Not a new one. Get a Jeep Wrangler and enjoy exploring the island via the one road that loops all the way around. It is a hilly island, and the roads are curvy and feature numerous potholes. The fact that it's hilly is part of the beauty, as you can enjoy stunning views from multiple areas. I read someone complain about that. If you want flat, go to Anguilla.
In the Dawn Beach/Oyster area, visit Busby's Beach Bar for breakfast/lunch, and that same place becomes Daniel's by the Sea for dinner. We had all three meals here, and each one was delicious.
We went to the spa too. I would say this is the one area of the hotel that could use an upgrade. They should consider a material other than tile in their steam room; grey grout tends to look moldy, even if it isn't. It WAS clean, just my opinion. The decorative feature in the center of the relaxation area used to be a fountain, and needs an update too. A little nit to pick. However, the masseurs were some of the best we've had. My hubby said it was his best massage ever!
In sum, the Westin is a very nice 4-star (it is not a 5-star, don't expect a 5-star, people!!!). They will try to get you to take a time share tour, but be smart: there's no such thing as a free lunch. If they're going to give you a free catamaran tour or something, expect to sit through an hours-long timeshare presentation. Instead, book your own tour, and be firm but polite to the timeshare sales associate. She's only doing her job!

Room Tip: Second floor rooms have better views overall.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
74 reviews 74 reviews
39 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2013

We switched to the Westin after some issues arose at another property in St. Martin. The lobby is very dark and upon initial arrival, we thought we had made a big mistake. (Three quarters of the lobby was a casino that seemed to have no one gambling.) However, once we got to our room and looked out at the pool and the beach, we were very happy. The room was standard Westin -- large with a large bath room that included a tub and a walk-in shower and a small balcony. As noted we had a view of the large two-level pool and the beach. Service at the pool was prompt and the drinks were quite good. Food at the pool and at the hotel restaurant at which we ate was also good.

Room Tip: Make sure you've got a room that looks out at the sea. As noted, the lobby is dark and you don...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, GA
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2013

We had a good stay, just one night before our cruise on the Windsurf. I really don't like it when folks talk about how expensive a place is, because, you obviously know the price before you stay there, but this hotel was expensive for what it is. Our view was good. The bed was comfortable.
The restaurant was fine. I would not have wanted to stay for a week's vacation, but one night was fine. We were aggressively approached by the timeshare folks in the back of the lobby, but we had read many of the reviews and were prepared for it.

  • 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Hull, Massachusetts
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2013

We spent 6 days at the Westin Dawn and had a great time. The service was outstanding. David the MOD, Rahul, the room manager, and Shonar, the front desk receptionist were exceptional and couldn't do enough for us. Fran the concierge, gave us wonderful recommendations for restaurants.

We were not happy about the location of our rooms and when they could, they changed them to ones facing the beautiful beach. We were so delighted with the changes. Although, we spent most of our time at different beaches and areas around the island, we loved just sitting on our balconies and looking at the clear blue water.

The pool area and beach were clean and scenic. The only thing lacking were umbrellas on the beach and the pool. The Westin is on Oyster Bay and away from the active Simpson Bay. If you stay here and rent a car go to Marigot, La Grande Casse, Simpson Bay and Orient Beach.

We traveled with our friends and we would all recommend staying at the Westin Dawn Beach Resort.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
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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 & Spa, St. Maarten Hotel St. Maarten/St. Martin
The Westin Dawn Beach Resort And Spa, St. Maarten
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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