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The Westin and St. John

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New Jersey
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The Westin and St. John

Having just returned from a week at the Westin in St. John, I've come to the realization that, except in my case, most of the folks who take the time to post a message in this forum do so because they have a complaint. For the most part, when you're satisfied, you're just that....satisfied.

With that, I'd like to say to those who criticized the Westin in St. John that they are mostly miserable people, looking to find something wrong. I saw a few of them when my wife and I stayed at the Westin last week. They have these scowls on their faces and nothing can make them truly happy.

Imagine finding their vacation enjoyment ruined because some service person didn't greet them with a wide smile? And wasn't it a shame that the pool had children in the water? And finally, could it be more terrible than to have your luggage arrive 45 minutes after you are handed the keys to your room?

Oh yeah, those you complained about the rooms. It's probably because they spend most of their time languishing there, glued to the TV.

All I can say is my wife and I returned with the opinion our week in St. John was the second best trip we ever enjoyed after our honeymoon. We didn't even miss our kids. How's that for validating a vacation.

The grounds, as most point out, are startingly beautiful. The pool was gorgeous. I can't imagine why anybody would say otherwise.

The food was expensive. But we didn't have one meal there. We ate at the incredible restaurants in downtown Cruz Bay, including breakfast, and grabbed sandwiches to go as we took our rented Jeep to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

I almost started to believe I made a mistake booking the Westin by reading the many posts here, criticizing the hotel. Fortunately, I let my own experience determine whether this was a quality establishment, or the run-down joint like so many wanted to portray it as.

In the end, your vacation is what you make of it. It could be a time when you let complaints ruin your enjoyment. Or, it could be an experience like ours. One to remember.

Caledonia, Canada
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136 posts
5 reviews
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1. Re: The Westin and St. John

I know what you mean, Jimmy, and I was determined that we were going to be relaxed and friendly towards everyone during our stay there. Made sure to tip the maid service staff particularly well every day and, hey, we were staying on points so it wasn't like we were paying or anything and since we weren't eating there or using the beach, it was just a comfortable bed at night, right?

Well, that's OK until you run into a real problem that has to be fixed in Real Time, not Island Time. I learned a hard lesson by accepting at face value promises to get the problem fixed when in fact it was promptly forgotten about by two people in their front desk staff. I spent several hours over two days getting this fixed and the memory of a romantic second honeymoon was wiped out by the serious (and I mean serious!) problems that Westin caused me. In the end, the settlement they offered me was generous enough, although they took quite some time to follow through on their promises.

What I learned from all this is that if there are problems, go straight to the management and don't go away until it is resolved in your presence.

Springfield...
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370 posts
77 reviews
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2. Re: The Westin and St. John

I agree.

I have stayed at the Westin and it is very nice. Not a single problem while I was there, other than needing to go home at the end of the week.

Pittsford, New York
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688 posts
8 reviews
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3. Re: The Westin and St. John

Jimmya, could not have said it better myself. How right you are -- a vacation is what you make of it! The Westin is a great place to stay, and St. John is truly paradise! Have a great day!

New York
2 posts
2 reviews
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4. Re: The Westin and St. John

Jimmy-

I wish I could agree with you. Although St. John itself is an absolutely beautiful island and the grounds at The Westin are equally as beautiful, I can not concur with your comments.

I am from NY so I'm used to people not being all that friendly. I definitely wasn't one of those miserable people walking around and I most certainly wasn't looking for anything to complain about. My problem was was with the double deposit charge on my credit card, the lack of any apology whatsoever on their part for that mistake. The fact that when I had checked in ( after a long and miserable flight ) I found that my daughters bed which was requested at the time I reserved the room initially didn't even have sheets on it. There were bleach stains all over our room, the rug, the furniture. We couldn't get into our mini-bar and when we called we were told an engineer would be up to fix it. He never showed up. We spent an entire Saturday at the pool and loved it. However the next night we ventured down to take a swim, retreated back to the same seats we had been in the day before, only to find our cups from Saturday still there along with the empty pack of cigarettes we left as well. Granted, we are all adults and we should be cleaning up after ourselves, but after a few of those "painkillers" when it was time to leave, it was time to leave. The "great" service to and from the airport wasn't all that accomodating at all. A 7am ferry for a 12:30pm flight ? Leaves me alot of time to browse the 1 gift shop in the airport at St. Thomas. Last but certainly not least, upon arriving home, I came to realize that I, along with my daughter and husband were completely covered in bed bug bites. I counted 28 on my legs alone.

Listen, not everything goes according to planned when you go away. All in all, it wasn't an awful weekend. I think that with the money you shell out... and I'm sure you know, it's plenty, you just expect a bit more from a "RESORT". I'm glad to see that not everyone has the same experience we did when staying at The Westin.

New York
2 posts
2 reviews
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5. Re: The Westin and St. John

Jimmy-

I wish I could agree with you. Although St. John itself is an absolutely beautiful island and the grounds at The Westin are equally as beautiful, I can not concur with your comments.

I am from NY so I'm used to people not being all that friendly. I definitely wasn't one of those miserable people walking around and I most certainly wasn't looking for anything to complain about. My problem was was with the double deposit charge on my credit card, the lack of any apology whatsoever on their part for that mistake. The fact that when I had checked in ( after a long and miserable flight ) I found that my daughters bed which was requested at the time I reserved the room initially didn't even have sheets on it. There were bleach stains all over our room, the rug, the furniture. We couldn't get into our mini-bar and when we called we were told an engineer would be up to fix it. He never showed up. We spent an entire Saturday at the pool and loved it. However the next night we ventured down to take a swim, retreated back to the same seats we had been in the day before, only to find our cups from Saturday still there along with the empty pack of cigarettes we left as well. Granted, we are all adults and we should be cleaning up after ourselves, but after a few of those "painkillers" when it was time to leave, it was time to leave. The "great" service to and from the airport wasn't all that accomodating at all. A 7am ferry for a 12:30pm flight ? Leaves me alot of time to browse the 1 gift shop in the airport at St. Thomas. Last but certainly not least, upon arriving home, I came to realize that I, along with my daughter and husband were completely covered in bed bug bites. I counted 28 on my legs alone.

Listen, not everything goes according to planned when you go away. All in all, it wasn't an awful weekend. I think that with the money you shell out... and I'm sure you know, it's plenty, you just expect a bit more from a "RESORT". I'm glad to see that not everyone has the same experience we did when staying at The Westin.

georgia
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160 posts
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6. Re: The Westin and St. John

Jimmya-

I agree! Some people should stay at home.

PA
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4 posts
20 reviews
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7. Re: The Westin and St. John

Thank you for posting this Jimmya. I was concerned that we booked the Westin for our trip in January. This will be our first time in STJ and you put my mind at ease after reading so many negative reviews.

Monterey, California
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1,139 posts
24 reviews
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8. Re: The Westin and St. John

.......and remember not to put your head in the water of great cruz bay due to the pollution.......locals won't do it.

Parker, Colorado
Destination Expert
for St. John
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1,038 posts
7 reviews
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9. Re: The Westin and St. John

Please allow me to substantiate what Larryjohn means by pollution: Great Cruz Bay, the Bay on which the Westin is located, is a very deep bay...not in terms of depth, but in terms of the length of the headlands which extend out on either side of the beach. This causes the water in the bay to be rather still; the circulation is not as good as it is in typical caribbean bays.

Pair that with the fact that there are many boats anchored in the bay...boats with bathrooms. Unlike every lake I've ever boated on, boats down there are not required to have a holding tank for waste. Why? I don't know. I guess it just makes too much sense. Anyway, when boaters flush the toilet, it goes into the bay. There are rules for when and how boats are to release their waste, but osme choose not to follow.

So, obviously, the water isn't dangerously unsafe. If it was, people would be getting sick and we all would have read about it here. Still, given the geography of the bay, the lack of circulation, and the fact that some boaters break the rules, yes, Great Cruz Bay is not as clean as so many other bays on STJ which are pristine, clear, and wonderful.

Level Contributor
2 posts
3 reviews
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10. Re: The Westin and St. John

Thank you for the information about the bay. That makes a lot of sense- and I never would have thought about it myself. We will content ourselves with "just looking", and then swim elsewhere!