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“Nice Enough Hotel” 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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New Rochelle, New York
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Nice Enough Hotel”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2013

The Westin Dawn Beach is a nice enough hotel--clean, with a friendly staff and fairly luxurious. All to be expected of a Westin. Our oceanfront room with balcony was lovely and the view fantastic. The beach was great the first day--with nice, deep sand. However, the rest of the week the waves were rough and brought in so many rocks that you couldn't walk in the water without hurting or cutting your feet. No umbrellas or shade are provided on the very small private beach, nor at the large and beautiful pool THIS IS A PROBLEM THE HOTEL HAS TO SOLVE OR PEOPLE WON"T COME BACK. They did have cabanas (at $100 a day) or small, canvas beach bubbles for $30 a day, which I did rent for about three days. Given the price, only one or two of the dozen or so cabanas were rented on most days--what a waste when beach and pool users need shade. The beach is nice, but very small--not nearly as large as at other resorts we've stayed at in the Caribbean. Food at the hotel and at nearby restaurants was o.k. Nothing special, but all very expensive. Really good restaurants are on the French side or in Marigot. Another issue for us, because we did not want to rent a car since the one road on the island is very busy and traffic is terrible, is that the hotel is extremely isolated and does not do much to provide outside activities and transportation--not even the shopper transportation to nearby Phillipsburg. Taxis are expensive--about $40 roundtrip to and from Phillipsburg, and about $40 one-way to the French side. Not many people want to spend $80 just for taxi fare for an evening. The Island tour the hotel offers is even more expensive. I think it was $150, with tip for my husband and me. Though it was a tour in a private van with a driver and pleasant enough, it was not worth that much money. St. Martin is a small island with some very pretty beaches, some casinos, but not much else to do. Still, we had a relaxing week on a sunny island at a not bad package price (under $5,000) for the week, including air and breakfast. But, for the reasons above, I don't think I'd go back to St.Martin or stay at the Westin Dawn Beach again. The level of luxury at resorts in Puerto Rico and other islands is far better--and those islands are much easier to get around if you prefer not to drive. It depends on what you want to do. If you are content to enjoy a beautiful view from your balcony, or pay a fortune to rent a cabana, then the Westin Dawn Beach is for you. If you want more to do, then you might want to look at other destinations. But, as I said, it is a nice enough hotel, which offers a great buffet breakfast and has nice oceanfront rooms with great views. It may well be one of the best hotels on St. Martin, since most others seem to be older facilities.

Room Tip: Only Oceanfront rooms have good views--don't settle for others if you want to see the ocean.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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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1,346 reviews from our community

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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 (299)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Hungarian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Halifax, Canada
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2013

The hotel was everything we expected. Very helpful staff, spotless accommodations, good onsite restaurants, beautiful beach and minutes from other restaurants if you desired. It is true that this resort is off the beaten path but with that comes relaxation and peace and quiet. If you want activities, they are a short taxi ride away. One evening we circled the island to go to a restaurant in Marigot. "Yacht Club" , well worth it. Bartenders Brian and Nadine make GREAT martini's in the lobby bar. The beds are definitely HEAVENLY. Mr Busby's down the beach is great for breakfast but wear your sneakers to get over the rocks. A GREAT VACATION.

Room Tip: The buffet breakfast is overly expensive but has very good selection and quality.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2013

Stayed 2 nights at the hotel before moving to our condo here. The guest rooms are very large and nicely appointed with large bathroom. This is our 3rd visit here and we just love it. Service is good and everyone is friendly. One added feature is entertainment on Thursday and Friday from 3 to 7 by the gorgeous pool. Fabian and Lawrence do a great job singing easy listening famous music. They are both very friendly and a pleasure to speak with on their break.

We move to our condo at Westin Dawn Beach Club which is adjacent to the hotel for 2 more weeks today and a review will follow.

  • Stayed March 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
USA
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2013

I believe this is one of the most beautiful hotels on the island. It is in a private, quiet part away from the hustle and noise. But along with the solitude goes the unavailability of local shops, food choices and attractions. Taxi costs to nearby Daniels by the Sea/Mr Busby, Beau Beau, Canoi was a very reasonable one way $6 but into Phillipsburg was $15 one way. So you could not shop, go back and relax and back into town for an evening of dining for less than $60/day. There is a car rental agency on site, but beware the streets are very narrow and drivers do like the challenge of seeing who has the right of way! There are two restaurants, a casual inside or outside dining and a steak house. Being a Starwood member, the hotel registrar offered us a very nice complimentary room upgrade - and celebrating our 44th wedding anniversary, this was a wonderful way to do so. I would highly recommend this hotel for anyone, adults or family's, that are there for the wonderful beach and awesome infinity pool, but shoppers and nightlife folks may want to stay in town.

Room Tip: We stayed in room 3112, ocean front. Many rooms with balcony and ocean view as well as court yard v...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2013

This is my 3rd trip to St Martin, havent been there in a decade as we prefer St Barth's. We needed an R & R trip, and made this trip using accumulated airline miles, and Starwood Points. We had a Starwood Preferred Guest Room, with a view of the pool and partial ocean view. The room had a balcony, king bed, reading chair, roomy bathroom (one sink), with a large separate shower, and separate tub. The room was clean and comfortable. This was a real R & R trip. We left the room by noon, and mostly relaxed at the pool. We found the staff to be very friendly and helpful. No issues with Housekeeping, the pool staff and the bartender Jean-Claude was great. We didnt try the on-site restaurants, but did have room service a couple nights. It was just ok. There is a HUGE hill next to the hotel which we walked one morning to a small grocery store. We bought staples (baguette, cheese, fruit, croissants, wine, and some rum) to keep in the room. It's a big hill. Mr Busby's is also located near this market. One afternoon we went to Philipsburg to hit the local market, and shops. On Tuesday night we went to Grand Case to the Mardi Gras, it was a fun evening. We ate at La Villa, rated #1 in Grand Case which was teriffic! Another good dinner was at Le Tropicana in Marigot, I didnt order it bu the rack of lamb looked awesome. This restaurant has been in Marigot for maybe 20 years, and is rated #1 in Marigot. Another dinner, closer to the hotel, just on the other side of that hill/small mountain, was a place called Big Fish. This was also a good dinner. I would recommend all 3 restaurants, with my favorite being La Villa, followed by Le Tropicana. We happily did not rent a car, as we just hung out mostly at the Westin. In Previous trips, I would rent a car and go beach hopping/exploring. We relied on taxis and had no issues with drivers, or surprise fares. Any time the timeshare sales people approached, we just said we werent interested. I read a few posts that you get a scratch and win lottery type ticket which says you win something. All you have to do is listen to a long sales pitch. Really? People want to spend their time in the Carribean doing that while on vacation, then they are surprised when they find out they won a few nights at a hotel in Cancun but have to pay to "activate" their award. All in all, a great R & R trip. The Westin was fine. Ocean was a bit rough for swimming without fins/flippers. Don't walk the hill at night, safety.

Room Tip: definately request a partial, or ocean view room. Much more zen and relaxing to see/hear the water...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Bronxville, New York, United States
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013 via mobile

Our first time going to St Maarten and staying at a Westin. Overall the experience was very pleasant. The hotel staff is very friendly and is ready and willing to give you a hand or help make your stay more comfortable. We booked an oceanfront king room which was spacious and had an awesome view of the beach. The hotel pool and beach are definitely the best parts of staying a this hotel. We had lunch and breakfast only once or twice at the on sight restaurant called Ocean. Instead we relied heavily on the concierge to make dinner recommendations out around the island.
You will notice that sometimes the staff at the restaurant are a little hit or miss in terms of service and hospitality. The reason I gave the hotel four stars is because the service at times in the restaurants and poolside was a little sporadic in terms of quality and you feel as though the hotel is trying just a little too hard to sell you one of their timeshares. Make sure to rent a car because very little on the island is accessible with out one.
The island of St Maarten is adventure filled and definitely a good place to enjoy the resort lifestyle. The service on the French side is head and shoulders above the service on the Dutch side. Also, the French side is much easier to navigate. For a romantic/cheap meal go to the market down the street on the French side from the resort and pick up some wine, cheese, cured meet, and a French baguette and enjoy watching the sun set.

Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
44 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
66 helpful votes 66 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2013

We stayed in this hotel upon the recommendation of Seabourn Cruise Lines. Our experience at this hotel lead us to the conclusion that Seabourn made this recommendation for reasons other than the quality of the hotel.

Upon entering the hotel, one is confronted with, for lack of better words, is a cheap imitation of a Nevada motel. Row upon row of slot machines and a few deserted gaming tables greeted us upon arrival. In fact, most of the hotel's lobby is filled with their interpretation of a cheap casino.

The first thing we noted upon entering our "ocean view room" was that there was not view of the ocean. Upon inquires made at the front desk I was told: Ocean view is a category of room. It does not matter if you cannot see the ocean. Over and over I was told that it is the room classification that counts. I then took this most preposterous of explanations to the manager on duty. He assured me that I had been mistaken and that I could actually see the ocean from my room. I then invited him to my room to show me the ocean view.

Upon entering the room, the manager did admit that you could not see the ocean from it. He then lead me out onto the small balcony to "see the ocean." He still could not see it. He then fetched a chair, stood on it and pointed out to me that above the tops of the umbrellas the ocean was viewable.

I demanded a price reduction for a room without a view. He declined, saying that: You have an ocean view category room." I told him he would regret this decision and that I would simply reverse the charge on my credit card upon my return home.

Several hours later we received a call from the front desk saying that my AMX card had been declined and that I must pay in cash. Upon calling AMX I learned that no charge had been attempted on my card. When I went down to the front desk and confronted them with AMX's response, no one would admit having made the call.

That evening we head a buffet of average quality accompanied by indifferent service.

Upon our check-out we learned that our AMX card was working just fine. The hotel decided to give us a $30.00 per night discount.

When we went looking for our transfer to our cruise ship we discovered that payment was through a separate operation. Again I was told that my AMX card had been rejected and since the driver was here I must pay in cash. I advised the lady that the driver could wait and that on the hotel's phone we would call AMX. As expected, AMX informed me (and then her, as I handed her the phone) that no charge had been attempted. Her comment to me was there must be a problem with my machine. However, as I watched, her "machine" processed the payment just fine. As we were exiting the hotel, I saw the same scam being run on the next people who came in search of their transfer.

On our ship we met other passengers who had stayed at the Westin. Not one was pleased with their stay. The general consensus -- unproven of course -- is that Seabourn probably gets some from of a kick-back on people they book there.

As an aside, for Euro travelers, there is a constant scam being run on the Dutch side of the Island. On several occasions -- the first being at the airport -- when I went to buy something I was told that the exchange rate for US dollars and Euros was one-to-one. Amazing! An instant 30% profit just from the currency trade. Each time this was presented to me with a straight face, not as a joke. So, one wants to be armed with some USDs of traveling on the Dutch side of the island.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
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, March 19, 2013
Dear Alisa F,

Thank you for staying with us and for taking the time to review the Westin Dawn Beach Resort and Spa. I am sorry to hear that you had less than a perfect experience at our property. This is not the type of feedback that we would prefer to receive. We have many guests that are either going out on a Seabourne Cruise or returning from one that have enjoyed their visit.

Many of our guests and local residents enjoy our casino because it is smaller and more intimate. We are also pleased to announce that the Dawn Beach Casino at the Westin is now non-smoking.

I apologize that you did not enjoy the view from your room. We offer three different categories of rooms for our guests to enjoy. They are Resort View (which offers views of the grounds), Partial Ocean Views (which offers a partial view of the ocean from the balcony), and Ocean Front Rooms (which overlook our beautiful pool and the ocean). I am happy to hear that our manager was able to make accommodations for your dissatisfaction.

If possible I would like to get additional information about the troubles that you experienced with the your credit card. It sounds to me like it was an issue with the company that handles the transportation for Seabourne Cruise Line and not the Westin.

All prices at the Westin Dawn Beach Resort and Spa are in US Dollars. Any guest that wishes to pay in Euros or Gilders are welcome to do so. We use the current exchange rate that is published on the day of the exchange. There are some establishments on the French side of the island that will offer a 1-to-1 exchange for people paying with US Dollars. This is a great benefit and helps a lot of US visitors.

I hope that you enjoyed your cruise and that you enjoyed the time you spent on the island of St. Maarten/St. Martin.

Sincerely,
Daniel Beddor
General Manager
Westin Dawn Beach Resort and Spa
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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 ( Wi-Fi ) 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
#14 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*
Number of rooms: 311
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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