We stayed for six nights at Westwinds. I would give it 3.5 stars because there are really nice aspects to the “resort”, and definitely some things I would change. On the positive side, I really like that you can rent for just a few days, rather than a whole week. We loved the floor plan of our unit – it's so nice to have king and queen beds and two full baths. The only thing I would have liked to add would be a balcony to enjoy the evenings. Our unit was a corner unit on the third floor, and we had a nice view out to the fishing piers, and also did not hear any outside noise at night. When we walked in we really liked the décor (beachy , but not cheesy beachy). We saw dolphins from the fishing dock in the mornings, and one dolphin swam right up to the dock in the evening.
Though the location isn't on the beach, it is an easy walk to the beach across the street. Westwinds has plenty of beach chairs, towels, umbrellas and toys for guests to borrow when you go to the beach. We didn't love the beach – the sand is full of broken shells, so my daughter didn't enjoy walking there. We took a day trip to Fort DeSoto and loved the powder sand of the north beach there.
It was a really easy walk to Publix and Sloppy Joe's as well as a few other local restaurants (VIP, Middle Grounds) from Westwinds. We loved having free use of the washers and dryers on the third floor, though one of the washing machines was out of order during our stay (not a huge issue because the resort wasn't at capacity). The little patio area looking out to the water has a few umbrella tables and chairs, and we enjoyed being able to use the grills outside.
We definitely appreciated having use of a full kitchen, including a refrigerator with ice maker and water dispenser. The kitchen was stocked fairly well, though there was only a set of 6 plates, silverware etc., which doesn't go far when you're cooking a lot. I found myself needing to run the dishwasher before it was full so that we could have enough silverware and dishes available for the next meal. There were also a few items I would really have liked to have: an oven mitt, a few more dish towels, containers with lids for leftovers and a griddle pan for making pancakes. The pots and skillet were all pretty scratched up – I assume they are non-stick, so should really be replaced.
Now on to the negatives. The information we received upon check in said linens and towels would be replaced on the fifth day, but we did not receive a change of linens/towels. The air conditioner worked quite well in the common areas of the unit and in the small bedroom, but the master bedroom was really stuffy, especially at night when we like it to be cold. The fan in the master only worked at low speed, so did not really help with the heat in that bedroom. We are pretty particular about our sheets and found the sheets here to be quite scratchy – the sleeping experience in general wasn't ideal, but I admit we are pretty spoiled when it comes to beds.
The pool is pretty small, a little dirty/slimy, and also deeper than I prefer (3.5 feet is the minimum depth, and it goes to 8 feet deep pretty quickly). We have a young child who likes to be able to stand in shallow water in the pool. I knew the pool was small from the photos, and we decided it would be okay, since guests have use of the nearby club with an olympic sized pool. On the day we wanted to check out the club pool, the manager told us things were changing with Westwinds guests' privileges at the club. If you plan to use the club membership amenity at Westwinds, be sure to ask exactly what is and isn't available before you book. We ended up not checking out the club, partly because we worried that they would not allow us in due to the changes.
The free wireless internet was not super reliable – my husband was not able to work in the evenings as we had originally planned. We had to be in just the right spot of the condo for it to work properly, and we frequently lost our connection.
Lastly, on the last night of our stay I noticed there were no lights lit up on the smoke detectors. I asked my husband to test them, and he discovered that all three units were disabled. It appears they were intended to be connected to a central alarm system of some sort, but they were all disconnected. I informed the manager (Jimmy Dean) of this upon checkout. To me, lack of functioning smoke detectors is completely unacceptable; I hope it was just our unit, and is not a problem with all units.
I would choose a third or first floor looking out to the intracoastal.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for listing all the positive comments about your stay here at Westwinds. I would like to address what I consider your major concern, the smoke detectors.
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All of our detectors are hard wired and interconnected, with battery back ups.
After you voiced your concern I personally changed out the detectors with brand new ones simply as a safety precaution. The issue was rectified within 20 minutes. FYI - We run monthly tests on all of our detectors. Jimmy Dean, General Manager...
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.