We stayed at one of the time share villas a few weeks ago. We were scheduled to stay for a week and ended up cutting short our vacation because of the terrible experience. We landed in St. Thomas at 2 p.m. There had been a tropical storm that morning and the ferries were shut down - which, of course, cant be helped. When we got to the Westin desk at the airport, they handed us a list of phone numbers and made no attempt to help us or any of the other stranded guests find alternative accommodation. We finally found two rooms at a nearby hotel and settled in. When we called the Westin later that evening, they told us the public ferries were running (but the Westin ferry was not) and we were welcome to take the public ferries and come to the resort. When we got to the resort (at 9 p.m) , we were told the staff had not shown up because of the storm so the rooms were not ready, but they would give us sheets to make our own beds. We figured we did not have a choice (it was too late to go back to St. Thomas), so we took the villa. When we got there. the previous guests had not vacated the villa and refused to leave, because they had missed their flight and had no place to go. So we went back to the reception area and got another villa. When we got to there, the place looked like a hotel room where a dozen college kids had spent spring break (I kid you not!). My family took one look at the room and decided there was no way we could stay there. When we got back to reception the staff were extremely unhelpful and started complaining to us about what a hard time they had that day (which was true, but not really our problem). There were quite a few other guests with similar problems but no one from management seemed to be around to deal with the issues, leaving the desk staff to their own devices. We asked if they could call around and find us another place to stay but they said nothing was available. My kids then went on to Travelocity and found a room at Gallows Point. It was midnight by this time and when we finally got to Gallows Point they had a wonderful, clean room. Wonder how their workers got to work? Interestingly enough, two other families that were also Westin guests also showed up at Gallows Point, having made their own arrangements like we did. When we returned to the Westin the next day at 3 p.m. there was no power, long lines at reception and our room was still not ready! No apologies, no accomomodation, nothing whatsoever. We finally got to a clean villa at 5 p.m., more than 26 hours after our scheduled arrival time! :-(
Thanks to one of the ladies that was at the time share desk (who was trying to sell us a time share - talk about a tough job) word got back to the manager who reluctantly agreed to pay us for the night we spent at Gallows Point, but no other comp. The resort itself is big and sprawling, pretty mediocre unless you like that kind of set up. Beach is nothing to write home about, especially since there is a huge marina right outside the perimeter. Slim pickings on the food front within the resort. A three star type of place.
On a positive note, most of the staff (outside of the reception desk) were exceptionally nice. St. John itself is a wonderful island, with the prettiest beaches in that region and some fairly nice restaurants. The National Park is wonderful, of course. A jeep is a must, as most reviewers have already commented. However, there are plenty of lodging options. The Westin definitely will not be our choice the next time. But I guess it does not matter - since they will probably find takers for their time shares - nice captive, customer base.
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