The Westin is simply awesome.
My boyfrined and I stayed for 5 days in the one bedroom suite. The room was perfect for the two of us: big, clean, modern. The bathroom was beautiful. Plenty of storage space. We had no issues with the room other than the floors are all tile and will get moist if the balcony doors are left open. The kitchen was big an well stocked. The property had two areas with grills. The grills are cleaned every morning and it was nice to meet other guests around the grills.
We arranged a private shuttle prior to the trip and it worked out perfect. It's has been said before, but I will repeat: Walk straight past all of the hawkers inside the airport. Follow the crowd outside and you will be able to find the shuttle/ride. There is a B of A ATM by the bathrooms after the inspection areas. We arrived to the hotel a couple of hours early, but were let into our room early. The lobby is amazing. High ceilings, all glass, view striaght out onto the pool and ocean. I couldn't get over the smell. I think they pipe their Westin White Tea Aloe scent into the reception area. Our room was in the middle building on the top floor. The views were great and we were close to the elevator.
We spent the first day exploring the hotel and checking out Wal Mart. *The bus system is so easy. All of the busses have where they are going on the front window and there is a bus stop right in front of the Westin. The first trip to Wal Mart we took the bus down and a taxi back. The second time we took the bus back, but we were hauling way less the second time. We ended up talking to one of the employees at Wal Mart and got a great recommendation for tequila. We stocked up on drinks, stuff to grill, breakfast items and snacking goodies. Shopping was a breeze and it was easy to find anything in the store. Once you leave if you need a taxi they are waiting outside, just walk to the left and they will help you and your stuff into the car. We never had a problem with the drivers trying to change the price. We asked before we got in and then tried to make a little conversation in Spanish. We also found that anytime we got on a bus and requested help with finding our stop, the bus driver or other passengers were more than happy to help. Twice random locals pointed out the bus we needed.
We went down to the concierge to book a reservation at the Thai restaurant across the
street and Chichen Itza. We ended up sitting for the inital sales pitch. They offered $100 toward hotel expenses and about $30/each off booking a bus tour to Chichen Itza if we went on the 90 minute pitch. We declined and paid full price. We had our whole trip already planned and didn't want to give up any time, but if you don't mind giving a little of your vacation, it would be a really good deal. Once we declined the pitch we were never bugged about it again.
I highly recommend the Chichen Itza bus tour offered at the hotel. We paid for the "delux" tour. The tour guides were all Mayan. They really tried to make the trip engaging and fun. We got breakfast, stopped at a souviner shop, spent about 2 1/2 hours at the ruins, had a buffet lunch, and took a dip in an awesome cenote. A great day. They served beer on the bus and gave tequila shots. Fun. If you know anything about Chichen Itza or Mayans the tour can drag a little at times, but most people in our group seemed intrested.
I also recommend Isla Mujeres and Tulum. Take the ferry to the small island, rent a golf cart or scooter and explore. We ended up going to Isla Mujeres twice because it was so relaxing and the snorkling was amazing. Go to the hotel next to the Garafon Park. Hotel Castillo de Garafon (I think) it has a private beach, restaurant, $2 beers and beautiful water. The people there are so nice. If you make friends with the bartender he'll give you tortillas to feed the iguanas. We rented a car for the day to go to Tulum and Playa Del Carmen. There is a Dollar agent in the lobby of the Westin and the deals were really good.
We only ate at the hotel once when we first got there, the Viento restaurant and bar next to the pool. The food was ok, but a little on the pricey side for how much we were spending away from the hotel. The drinks were also on the pricey side, but again, not for a hotel. Once I saw the swim up bar, I was excited. We had a few drinks at the swim up bar. Mostly mai tais. The strength would vary from bartenter. Mostly we descretely brought mixed drinks or beers down from our room.
The pools are incredible. Definitely the highlight of the property. The temperature was alway perfect and they are so large we never felt crowded by the other guests. The water slide is fun and me and the boyfriend played on it over and over. hee. I had read about chair saving, but didn't think it would be an issue since the hotel seemed to be at about 35-40% capacity. We only had 1 outrageous encounter with a crazy lady. She claimed that we (or the people next to us) stole her chairs. We (and the people next to us) came down after 11:30am and no chairs in the area were saved. It had rained early in the morning, and I told the lady that maybe the staff moved the towels so that they wouldn't get wet. I was shot daggers and advised that she claimed the chiars at 4:30am---what? So you claim chairs, so nobody else uses them at 4:30 in the morning, then come down at 3:00pm and want those chairs? I do not understand that. I think the staff should do more to prohibit this practice.
We encountered nothing but nice, professional and helpful employees. The store is perfect for last minute needs, but if you are there more than 1-2 days, a trip to Wal Mart is easy and worth it. I used the gym one time. The equipment is new and well kept. The ruins next door are fun. More iguanas! But not that exciting. We used the business center to check email and facebook for free, but if you have to print anything it'll cost ya.
The hotel has an ATM on the lower level with the business center and gym. The hotel will exchange dollars for pesos. The hotel had the best exchange rate of anywhere I saw.
Our vacation was so amazing and the Westin was a huge part of that. I think they really have down the expected relaxation and ease that I usually feel at a Westin. I would go back in a second. The only bad part, which has nothing to do with the Westin, was the Thai Restaurant. ugh. If you like Thai food you will probably be disappointed. We had one of the private cabanas and the mood was very romantic, but the waitress was snotty, they wouldn't allow any substitutions, and the food was meh. I love Thai food and was really looking forward to the meal (for my birthday) but left really bummed. We had wayyyyy better meals on the beach in Playa Del Carmen on a plastic table with our feet in the sand.
If you have the chance, book the Westin. My boyfriend and I reminisce on a daily basis about our wonderful vacation. I can't wait to got back.
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- Also Known As:
- The Westin Lagunamar Ocean Hotel Cancun
- Westin Lagunamar Ocean Hotel
- Cancun Westin