We got a great deal on a room at the Westin Dawn Beach Club and decided to go for our anniversary trip and my birthday week. I learned that a colleague and his wife stay at this resort all the time (they may own a time share) and we were given a lot of tips of where to go on the island as well as suggested day trips.
Our room was fine, modern and for the most part clean (I found hair in the bathroom a few times that was not ours). Our balcony door was broken but we never complained and I'm sure it would have been fixed if we bothered to alert someone since our internet service was fixed as soon as we called, like 9 pm.
We had a view of the pool and a view of the ocean from our balcony. Some video clips from the trip are on our YouTube channel. Although we did not spend a ton of time at the beach or the hotel pool, they were both nice and not too crowded.
The service was good the one time we did use the hotel restaurant (breakfast) and we found the staff at the door to be very helpful in pointing out places to go. As for the concierge, we were told by friends to speak with Fran but she did not seem all that interested in helping us so we were left to our own devices which included asking the door staff and friends back home via Facebook. Thankfully, I brought my laptop.
We did the timeshare tour, our first ever, and it was an all afternoon ordeal. Unless you plan to pay for the next 10 years of vacations upfront, don't bother because that tour can eat up a couple of hours of your vacation. The free casino chips were not worth the long timeshare tour as the casino staff is not well trained or maybe they are trained to treat guests differently depending on free chips versus paid chips? There was far too much talking and hand motioning going on for our liking, not like Las Vegas at all. It seems that the guests with the free chips (orange in color) are treated differently than the guests who are spending their own cash. It was blatantly obvious including not shuffling the cards at all for a new player at the table. I've never been to a casino that did not shuffle the deck such that it seemed the deck was stacked. And the "pit boss" standing there giving hand signals and making tons of unusual noises didn't help the situation. It was almost like something out of a bad movie. I don't recommend this casino at all and it should have been a clue that the casino was empty most of the time for the full week during our stay.
Definitely rent a car. We were tempted to rent from the hotel but since Fran was not all that friendly, we got online and ended up renting from the Thrifty at the hotel down the street near Big Fish (great restaurant). The hotel is far from most tourist areas so taking cabs every day will get pricey. You should use that money to rent a car. The roads are tiny so don't bother to rent anything too big.
We took a day trip to St. Barths and a day trip to Anguilla. I highly recommend both since you are only a quick flight or a 30-45 minutes ferry ride from each island. Definitely visit Grand Case and go into town to shop on Front Street and Back Street. The cruise ships were in during our stay so we got to see and meet a lot of interesting people from all over the world.
- 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