After reading some of the online reviews of this resort I was a little bit nervous about our stay at the Westin St. John. Thankfully, we had a very positive experience here and will definitely be back again. I travelled with my husband, leaving the kids at home with their grandparents, and enjoyed 3 wonderful nights here. We booked an ocean view room (which I highly recommend, ask for Building 16, 2nd floor). We had an amazing view from our balcony and were literally steps to the beach and pool. We didn't realize until our last day there that you can use the resort's non-motorized water sport equipment at no additional charge, but we did enjoy our very first paddleboard experience. There were also kayaks, a water bicycle thing, and a small sailboat. Rafts for the pool or ocean were also complimentary. The grounds at the hotel were well-maintained and we enjoyed seeing the large iguanas in various places around the property (by the car rentals, on the lounge chairs by the pool, in the palm trees). We found the staff to be extremely friendly and helpful. The Jeep rental on property was very convenient and I highly recommend using them if you're going to be venturing out off property. If you've never been to St. John, you MUST leave the resort and experience some of the beautiful beaches this island has to offer. The beach at the resort is OK, but you should definitely go to Hawksnest Beach, Trunk Bay, Cinnamon Bay, and Maho Bay. If you're more adventurous and not traveling with small children, we loved snorkeling at Waterlemon Cay. (It's not a good beach though).
If you are traveling with kids, there was a nice playground right near buildings 10, 11, and 12, as well as tennis courts, a ping pong table, and a Kids Club activity center.
Another advantage of the Westin is its proximity to downtown Cruz Bay where we found some great restaurants. It was also close to a few different markets if you're staying in the villas and plan on cooking some of your own meals.
Now for the downside: the resort is about to undergo a significant renovation. Check the website to see the timeline, but note that the pool will be closed for a period of time. The options for onsite dining were limited. There is a small eatery called the Mango Deli where I had a stale bagel for breakfast the first morning. They also have sandwiches and pizza for lunch, but we never ate there other than for breakfast. We had dessert one night at the open-air restaurant/bar right next to the dock but it wasn't very good. A better option for breakfast is Deli Grotto at Mongoose Junction. They had fresh baked goods, delicious breakfast sandwiches, and the prices were very reasonable.
Another downside is that there is no shuttle to town (about a 5 minute car-ride away). You have to take a taxi which will run you $10 per person round trip. For a family of 5 going out to dinner, it really adds up.
We did book our transportation from the airport in St. Thomas through the Westin which we thought was worth the extra money. They take your luggage right at the airport and the next time you see it is in your room at the hotel. (Vice versa when you leave). You can certainly do it yourself by taking a taxi from the airport to the Red Hook Ferry, pay the $6 ferry fare (plus extra for each suitcase), and then take a taxi from the Cruz Bay dock to the Westin. The Westin's ferry pulls right up to the Westin where we were greeted with a complimentary rum punch, which was a nice touch. When booking through the Westin you get unlimited ferry rides to and from St. Thomas. Just be aware that most shops are closed on Sundays in St. Thomas so if you're planning a shopping trip, pick a different day.
We are looking forward to returning to the Westin, especially once the renovations are complete and we may just bring the kids next time. Maybe.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located on 1,200 feet of private beach The Westin Resort St. John, USVI is a tropical retreat that's easy to reach. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Westin St. John Resort And Villas
- Westin St. John Resort & Villas Hotel Cruz Bay
- Westin Cruz Bay
- Cruz Bay Westin
- St John Westin
- Westin St. John Resort & Villas Cruz Bay