More about Westin Resort
Westin Aruba - Simplicity at it's Best
I just returned from a 4 day 3 night stay at the Westin. I have to say that after reading all the bad reviews about the hotel, it definitely exceeded my expectations. I will try to write a long, detailed review about the hotel and my vacation in general.
Hotel - The hotel is located about 15 minutes from the airport. The cab charges a flat rate of $20 each way. On Sundays , they charge an extra $3. Upon entering the hotel, the bell man quickly took our luggage and escorted us to a table where they served fresh lemonade and had cold wash clothes for you. I thought this was a nice gesture. Check in time for the hotel was 4 p.m. We arrived at 2:30 and was told that the room would be ready in about half an hour. No big deal. We left the luggage in a storage room with the bell man and went to speak with the Concierge. I have to say the Concierge was extremely helpful. I made all my dinner reservations online prior to arriving in Aruba but all of them required us to reconfirm once we got to the hotel. The concierge did that for us and also helped us book our excursion as well. That killed about 10 minutes so we decided to walk over to Salt n' Pepper to get something to eat. It was about a 5-10 minute walk. Food was excellent (more on restaurants later). Got back to the hotel about 3:45 and was told that our room was ready.
Rooms - Prior to checking, I emailed the hotel manager requesting a room on the even side of the hotel after I read about the odd side facing the Riu construction. He responded back and said he would happily accomodate me. We were on the 7th floor with an even room facing the ocean. The room was very simple. There was a balcony with a table and chairs but we never spent any time on it except to take a few pictures. Why stare at the ocean when you can be in it? The bed was a large, king-sized Heavenly Bed (as the Westin's call it). It was really comfortable and soft. Lots of bedding. There was a flat screen television which was nice as well. There are more than enough drawers for your clothes. The manager had also left us a bottle of champagne, some chocolates and some nuts for us to enjoy. It was very nice of him. The bathroom was okay. Very simple as well. If I could change one thing, it would be the color of the bathroom walls in the shower/tub section. It was an orange, yellow, green and black color that I found distasteful. I felt that the housekeeping didn't even have to wipe it down and we wouldn't have been able to tell if it was dirty or not. Nevertheless, it didn't both me that much to ruin the trip. There were always tons of towels. As far as amenities, there was a blowdryer, shampoo/conditioner, bar soap, lotion and iron/board. Pretty standard stuff. Furniture looked new and so did the carpet. Must have been one of the newly renovated rooms. It was nothing fancy but it definitely met my expectations. Afterall, we didn't spend that much time in the room anyway.
Grounds/Pools - The grounds were nicely kept and clean. There were tropical birds in cages along the path to the beach and pool. That was a cute idea. The pool was huge and had sprinkles and waterfalls in them. I only went in it once. It is not heated but still very nice. There is a convenience store located on the lower level of the hotel. They sell snacks, drinks, souveniers. Get your water from the store instead of the bar. It's a lot cheaper and a bigger bottle as well.
Beach - The beach is gorgeous, although a bit small. I'm guessing this is the problem of most high rises since it's more populated. After they finish construction of the Riu, I have no idea how everyone is going to fit on the beach. I never had a problem getting chairs. The guy who pulls the chairs for you is great. He creates a cute little makeshift pillow for you out of towels. As for the huts, you do have to rent them but I never did. Being in Aruba, it is pretty windy, but he makes it so that your towels never fly off. It was great. Everyone always mentions that it is more windy at the Westin than at any of the other high rise hotels. This is true. We walked over to the Radisson's beach and it was HOT. Not as breezy. The wind at the Westin was more welcoming than a nuisance though. It is pretty annoying when you can't even read a newspaper but when it's 90 degrees out and you're baking in the sun, it's a relief! To avoid getting sand in your eyes, just pull your chairs to where the sand is wet and sticking together. This will minimize the amount of sand flying onto you. The water was as nice as can be. Temperature was in the 70's.
Casino - all the blackjack dealers were fun and friendly. It's a small casino but convenient when you're done gambling, you can just walk up to your room.
Restaurants - I did not have a single bad meal in Aruba! We didn't eat at any of the restaurants in the hotel because I wasn't sure of they were tourist trap restaurants. I've heard that Aruba has so many other great local restaurants so I wanted to give those a try. Salt 'n Pepper-walking distance from hotel (out the lobby and make a right. Straight down). Great tapas and has outdoor dining. Pretty cheap considering you can order 5 or 6 tapas and try so many different dishes. The restaurant is located on a strip with about 4 more other restaurants and some souvenier kioskes and stores. Madame Jeanette's - very romantic, outdoor garden seating. It's about a 5 minute cab ride from the Westin ($8 one way). Lobster ravioli for appetizer is a must! The Flying Fishhone - a pretty far cab ride ($23 one way). The ambience was amazing as we were dining on the beach, close to the water. We had 5:30 reservations to watch the sunset while enjoying our dinner. It was really nice and very romantic. The service was excellent as well. I had the creamy corn crab soup which was delicious. Ask for a table on the hill to get the best view of the sunset. El Gaucho - hands down, best steak I ever had. Service was excellent, waiter gave great recommendations. It's located in Oranjestad, but pretty far from the Renaissance Hotel. It's in the middle of nowhere but I highly recommend it. Every dish we had here was so good. I had the T-bone which they don't trim the fat off but that made for a juicier steak, according to the menu. The steak comes with 3 sides, you can choose. The corn on the cob was great. We had the conch and empanada for appetizers, which were great as well. They serve the steak with 3 different sauces/garnishs. The El Gaucho steak sauce, garlic and hebs in oil sauce and the spicy, pickled onions. The steak was already marinated and full of flavor but if you like your food heavily flavored, these accompaniments are for you. We will definitely return to El Gaucho.
Transportation - We did not rent a car although many people have suggested it. Being that it was our first time there, we wanted to go on the tour to see the island. Taxis are convenient, you just ask the bellman or the restaurant to call them for you. Most of the time there are already some waiting outside he restaurant for you. We took the loacl bus to get downtown. It was cheap ($1.30 one way), convenient (out the lobby to the left is a bus stop) and clean. Definitely take the bus if you want to save some money. I think the next time we go, we will rent a car now that we know what to expect.
Downtown/Shopping - Downtown is very cute and quaint with all the colorful buidlings and shops. It's a $10 one way on a cab. The Renaissance Hotel is in the middle of it all. There is also the Renaissance Mall that has high end stores such as Gucci (everything is 20% cheaper than the US and duty free) and Louis Vuitton. There are tons of jewelry stores and souvenier shops. Also lots of restaurants and bars that seem pretty happening at night.
Tours/Excursions - We did the full day jeep safari tour with ABC tours. The reason why we chose ABC over the more popular DePalm is that 1 - it brings us to Baby Beach and 2 - the tour groups are smaller so it was more organized and less time waiting for people to finish taking pictures and walking around. The DePalm tours take you to their private island, however, being that we didn't rent a car, we really wanted to see Baby Beach. It was $75 and included admission to some sites and food and drink. The jeeps they used were Land Rovers with a closed top. Thank goodness. I couldn't imagine being in the sun and driving for 8 hours. The jeep I was in had 6 of us and the other jeep, which the tour operator drove had 5. When we got there, they asked for a volunteer to drive the jeep. Luckily, we had an experienced driver. I would have no idea how my experience would've been if we were driven by someone novice. There is A LOT of off roading on this tour. Especially going to and from the natural pool. I'm not going to lie, I held my breath a couple of times. But it was a great experience and an excellent way to see the island. The tours are very informative as opposed to just driving around and seeing the attractions on your own. As a side note - you do get really, really, really dirty on this excursion so I would suggest you wear clothes you don't really care for. I know it doesn't make for very nice pictures but your hair is already messed up by the wind/dust so it doesn't really matter anyway. I wore a top that I threw out by the end of the excursion. The only negative thing I could say about this excursion is that if you're stuck with a novice driver, you're pretty much in for a scary ride during the offroading. I think it would be better and safer if there was a tour operator in each jeep. But this is not exclusive of ABC, Depalm is the same thing. The lunch they serve was at a local restaurant and consisted of BBQ chicken, ribs, fries and cole slaw. It was so good, but then again I was so hungry by then that I wouldn't have known if it wasn't good. The tour guide will have water and soda for you so you don't need to bring your own on the trip. The natural pool was a hike to get to. You do a lot of offroading and then when you get there, you still have to go down about 85 man-made rock steps to get to the pool. Wasn't dangerous but climbing the rocks to get inside the pool was a bit. The rocks have algae on them so it is easy for you to lose your footing. BRING AQUA SHOES. This would've been helpful if I had some. Wonderful snorkeling. The tour operators throw bread and have the fish come to you. There are a lot of fish to see. The water is extremely salty so it makes you very buoyant. Climbing back up was a challenge in the heat. Baby beach was beautiful. You can walk so far out and the water will only be up to your waist. Perfect for non-swimmers. I snorkeled a bit here, there are a lot of fish further in. All in all, I would recommend this excursion if you want to hit up all of Aruba's attractions and have an unique experience going off roading.
Aruba is such a beautiful island. It's not glamorized with palm trees as you see on the brochures. It's filled with divi trees and cacti, but that is what makes it unique. Please do yourself a favor and do not do all inclusive here. There are tons of great meals to be had in local restaurants. The weather is gorgeous and the people are extremely friendly. Before I went, everyone I spoke with has been there more than 3 times. I never understood why but now I know. It makes a great vacation. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
AMAZING resort ON the beach in Aruba
Absolutely outstanding! This resort is in the high-rise hotel section of the beach in Aruba - there are only a few high rise hotels in this area - in fact, on the whole island!
VERY attentive staff (Starwood hotels have a reputation for excellent service).
They also offer ALL INCLUSIVE packages!!
Such an amazing relaxing trip - Wake up, go down to the wonderful breakfast buffet, then head down to the beach where they bring you lounge chairs and towels. We went at the end of June and the water was amazingly cool and refreshing, not to mention CRYSTAL CLEAR!
The only 'not so good' part was that all the beaches are public so at any given time you had local kids all over the 'island' in the ocean (see photos on website) - but they don't come on the resort beach and cannot use the hotel lounge chairs or equipment. The POOL is incredible with fountains and waterfalls - not to mention the cool giant iguanas that come right up to you - everyone fed them cherries from their drinks! The pool bar is great too - happy hour twice daily!!
We actually dined in EVERY restaurant at this resort while we were there (6 nights) and every one of them were excellent from the food to the service! My husband is an Executive Chef so our expectations are pretty high wherever we dine.
Great little shops in the hotel too -not too pricey at all in case you forgot something like flip flops or a cover up. In fact, we went to buy a couple of bottled cokes for our room anticipating $3.00 per bottle but they were only $1.50! VERY reasonable for a resort of this caliber!
Definitely ask for a suite or an EVEN numbered room so that you get a view of the ocean and/or pool! totally worth the extra $$$ you may pay for these views!
The High Rise
We stayed here in August 2005.
We had a great time! The rooms were very clean and the hotel was big enough that enjoyed exploring it. The staff were perfectly friendly and the concierge really helped us find stuff to do and find transportation.
The beach is so beautiful in front of this hotel!! We met several honeymooning couples. If you are honeymooning there, we were able to get complimentary champagne in our room and some free tee-shirts!
There were a few kids, but not so many that we were disrupted at all. Although I did notice that there were activities planned for kids.
Everyday there was a steel drum band or a DJ playing reggae music out by the bar and pool. Pina coladas were kind of expensive at $8 each, but sooo yummy!
Water aerobics class free every morning.
If you want to make your stay in Aruba hassle free and be able to plan all your activities from one place, stay here. Might not be he most intimate play to stay on the island being a high rise, but we had an awesome balcony view and the room was very quiet.
Reserve ahead of time if you want to have a romantic dinner served to you at the Azull Restaurant on the beach. We were sad that all the reservations for this were taken by the time we wanted to sign up.
Rumor that this hotel will be changing it's name to the Westin. Fabulous beach! Bring a snorkling mask from home so you don't have to rent.
The pool was nice and relaxing, but busy. Often the staff would set up pool volleyball or play Bingo around the pool.
Say hi to my little iguana friends who like to eat the pineapple from your pina coladas!
There are exotic birds by the pool. You can hold some of them in the morning when the staff helps you. Bring your camera for a fun photo op.
Tour guide offices from the major tour companies located inside the hotel.
Nice restaurants in this hotel. We ate at the Italian place three times! There's a big breakfast buffet every morning in the atrium looking restaurant. Omlettes! Waffles!
They had a fun dance show for all the guests with a buffett outside in the big hut while we were there. A fun time to meet some people staying at the hotel. Plus there was an open bar!
You can catch the bus right in front of the hotel if you want to check out Aruba's capital city, Orangestaad.
There is a casino in the hotel.
There are tennis courts but no one plays because it is too hot.
Small exercise room available. Sign up for popular equipment such as treadmills.
There is a spa, but we didn't use it.
You can chose to be all-inclusive or not. I would probably choose all-inclusive if you drink alot, because the drinks can really add up! The food is good enough here that you won't mind eating all your meals at the hotel.
Westin Aruba: Wonderful Stay!
From the moment we arrived and were greeted with the complimentary cold lemonade served in the lobby every afternoon, to the moment we checked out five days later, the Westin was a pleasure. The oceanview room was lovely (loved the plasma TV showing NY stations!), the beach and pool were terrific, and though I was concerned about the beach hut situation, there was no need to pay $30 to reserve a hut in advance, as they could be reserved for the day for free every morning, as long as you got there by about 9 or 9:30. The staff was uniformly helpful and responded quickly to any questions or concerns. Nice to see the hotel's general manager, Rob Smith, meeting and greeting guests outside the breakfast cafe and getting feedback on the hotel. We loved it!
Great Stay at Westin, Construction Not that Bad!
I stayed at the Westin Aruba 03/22 - 03/27/07... and am pleased to report that the hotel exceeded my expectations (after reading some of the reviews about cosntruction, etc, my expectations had been lowered). I should also say that this is my 4th trip to Aruba and I've stayed at the Hyatt, Marriott, and Holiday Inn in the past so I have some good basis for comparisions.
Dispelling the rumours: First, let me address the construction going on next to the hotel --yes, if you stay on the side of the hotel that faces the majority of the hotels on Palm Beach you will be looking at a major resort that is going up. But at this point the majority of the work is going on in the back portion of that resort, not the direct side that faces your room. And, yes, the construction people do seem to start work at 8 am and end at 10 pm, but I didn't find it to be especially noisy, especially w/ the AC on. There was only one night that I found it to be loud and that was my first night there when I was drained from traveling and hit the sheets at 9 pm, which is pretty early for me. I was really worried about the construction before going, but it was not nearly as bad as I had expected, I am attaching pics that shows exactly what you will be looking at. Also, I was pleased to see that my "island view" room had a small ocean view from the balcony. I'm attaching a pic of that too. It was more than I expected so I was pleased.
Second, about the whole hut thing: yes, there is a line for huts in the morning. Yes, some people start waiting at 7 am for when they start reserving huts at 8 am. Yes, by the time you get there at 8 am there will be at least 10 -15 people in line. BUT, the good news is that you don't have to pay to reserve a hut unless you want to. So if you want to sleep in and not get up to reserve the hut, then you can pay $30/day. But to me it's not worth it to do that. Especially when I think plenty of people can get huts later in the day or some type of shading on the beach. So if you get to the beach and all the huts are gone, then just opt to be under a palm tree if you want shade. Or wait until the early birds start heading in after lunch to get a hut. To me it was not a big deal.
Great things about the hotel: SUPER friendly service from everyone there, check in was great, bellhop was great, never met an unfriendly worker there. Everything in the room was brand new - all of the furniture, all of the linens, the carpet, the tv, even the chairs on your patio (which were being delivered that week). Beds were super comfy as per the Westin standard. Rooms were just as good as the rooms I had in the past at the Hyatt and Marriott. Hertz car rental is in the hotel so it made it really easy to rent a car for a day to see the island (I'd HIGHLY recommend this! I was able to drive everywhere in a regular car, not a 4x4, and went to the lighthouse, baby beach, collapsed natural bridge, alto vista, downtown, etc). More positives about the hotel: managers reception on Monday night was a nice touch w/ pretty decent free drinks (beyond beer & rum punch, they also were serving cocktails), the exotic birds around the property were pretty cool (the rainbow colored one knows how to say "Hello" and "What's Up"), the gym was a decent size w/ pretty good equipment, the Intermezzo Spa seemed to have very reasonable prices (though I didn't actually go there).
Not so great things about the hotel: 1/2 price drinks at Happy Hour does not include all drinks, but they don't tell you this. They kept announcing happy hour 1/2 price on drinks when I was at the beach, so I waited until 5 to get my Mai Tai and was charged $7.50 plus 15% service charge -- when I asked they said there was a list of beverages that were not included in the Happy Hour Special, but they didn't have a list on display or even tell me the Mai Tai wasn't included until after they handed me the bill & I asked about it. Not a huge deal, but a little annoying. I perferred happy hour over at the Radisson where all drinks were 2-for-1.
Other small gripes about the hotel (very small gripes, really no big deal): agree with other posters that heavenly shower was just ok, I'm attaching pics of the bathroom, it was nice, but not WOW. Also, the grounds at the Westin aren't as lush as the grounds at the Hyatt or the Marriott, but again, that's not a huge deal. I think it would also be nice if the Westin created an open-air lobby like the other hotels, instead theirs is closed-in. Again, not a huge deal and certainly didnt' affect my stay, but it's something I think they could do to make the hotel a little nicer.
Overall, would stay again, really enjoyed it there! Take advantage of the EXTREMELY low rates Westin is offering right now - I paid $125/ night! Can't beat that!!!
Blossoms - VERY beautiful atmosphere w/ water falls, hostess in a kimono. But sushi was average at best. I ate at the sushi bar, I love sushi, and was looking foward to some really fresh and creative sushi. But the menu was as standard as can be and the sushi was basic. Sort of a let down.
Salt & Pepper - at there for lunch & one breakfast. They don't have non-fat milk. Not a huge deal, just a bummer as I'm trying to stick to a low fat diet. Much more reasonable prices for breakfast than the Westin. Tapas menu looked interesting.
Madam Janettes - make reservations before you go, other people I talked with at the Westin coudln't get reservations once they were already in Aruba. Really beautiful atmosphere. I had some shrimp casserole in cheese, delicious.
Cuba's Cookin' (downtown) - YUM, LOVED this place!!! Pricier than I had thought (as pricey as Madam Janettes), but the food was outstanding!!! If you like Cuban food, you'll LOVE this place! Way better than some of the upscale Cuban places they have in Philly (like Cuba Libre and Alma de Cuba).
Gasparito - by far, my favorite restaurant on the island. I just keep coming back every time. The atmosphere is quaint, the outdoor dining in the courtyard is just really cute, and the food is delicious. I had Keshy Yena one night and Coco Shrimp the next night - to die for!!!
Iguana Joes (downtown location) - skip it. Poor service, loaded w/ cruise ship people, you sit outside of bumper to bumper traffic and breathe in all of the traffic fumes, food was so-so, drinks were weak, service was the worst we experienced in Aruba.
Very enjoyable, but with caveats
Just came back from the Westin Aruba. Good things: the staff & management is very nice & accommodating (though occasionally oddly untruthful), spa is good & surprisingly inexpensive, and we ended up having a great time. When we checked in, I mentioned I am Starwoods member and they gave us an "upgrade" to a an "ocean view" room on the top floor, which we HATED. It was at the end of the hall, small, and overlooking construction, with just a sliver of ocean visible. Also the regular Westin "heavenly bath" is not -- a curved shower rod does not make a "heavenly" bathroom by any stretch. (And yes, it was an even # room -- 1836 -- which is supposed to be better than odd #'s for the construction issue, but was not.) The hotel was newly renovated, but the regular rooms just seem to have a bad vibe / hotel feng shui to me. Fortunately, the very nice bellhop mentioned they had lots of room, and the manager Lillian was incredibly accommodating and pleasant. She upgraded us to a one-bedroom suite (one of the -01's) which was great! (Yes, it still overlooked the ubiquitous construction, but we minded it a lot less in this room, let me tell you.) Big living room, nice bedroom, really nice marble bathroom with 2 sinks and separate shower & tub. I did get the vibe from the tub, which was chipped, that not all of the bathroom had been upgraded, but the towels & shower were great and the whole bathroom was very roomy. We also enjoyed the coffeemaker setup. And, the Westin Heavenly Bed IS indeed! Lives up to its name. There were 2 flat screen TV's. (As a note: the -02 suites are even bigger, with a full kitchen & living room, and are gorgeous!) The odd part came when we asked for a DVD player -- first they told us they'd check, then they said the players they have will not work with the new TV's (what?!), then they said they have none. (Similar story when I asked for slippers, though they did give us robes.) My friend & I bought a portable DVD player in town and of course hooked it up to the new TV's in 15 seconds. One annoying thing about the room is that the mini-bar was NOT included in the all-inclusive, and if you even touched anything in it, you were charged for the item plus a $20 restocking fee. (Trying to store the coffee for our milk turned into a kind of Mission Impossible adventure, trying not to activate the weight or red-eye or whatever device they use to detect that!). In terms of restaurants, Pago Pago was superb -- everything was delicous. Baci was really nice in a kitschy & the food was quite good. All the wait staff were wonderful. The Bon Bini breakfast buffet was acceptable but very plain / standard -- nothing special -- and same for the lunch restaurant near the beach. But the restaurant selection was quite limited (just what I mentioned) -- The Blossoms Chinese/Japanese restaurant in the hotel is NOT part of the all-inclusive, as we discovered. (Though in fairness, the all-inclusive pkg gives you $28 pp to eat there or in other Aruba association restaurants.) We're glad we did the all-inclusive since they charge 15% service fee on EVERY item you buy and the food was expensive. (Breakfast would have been $50 for two; hot dogs from the BBQ grill end up being $6.) Beach was great. The pool was nice, but seems a bit tired / old -- it could not have been part of the recent renovation. The gym was very good -- open 24 hours, and no extra charges to use it. The Intermezzo Spa was very good, and the prices there were GREAT -- one-hour massages for $75-$85. Overall, we had a great time because of the room upgrade, and I would say this was a very nice place, but not spectacular.
Loved the Westin
I was going to change to another hotel after reading the many reviews here, however I couldnt be happier with the Westin. From the moment we arrived, everything went smoothly.
We had an oceanview room, which was big and had an excellent bed as well as great heavenly shower. The flat screen TV was a great addition as well.
The pool and beach area were taken care of extremely well. We stayed at the beach most of the time - came down no earlier than 9:30am and there was always a palapa for us. There was no need to reserve early at all. For breakfast we enjoyed both the buffet and the terrace pool restaurant. Both had great choices and friendly service. We also enjoyed the terrace restaurant for lunch.
I highly recommend the westin for the low prices they are advertising. We went over to the hyatt and the radisson, and while the grounds were a bit more lavish there, it is definitely not worth the extra cost. I would definitely return to the Westin if I decide to go back to Aruba.
I recommend the following restaurants for dinner :
Loved aruba and the Westin!
Great Stay in Aruba!
We had read the negative reviews and were a little worried. However, the Westin seems to be really trying to spiff up their service and we were pleasantly surprised.
-Outside resort service:
The Terrace Restaurant and outside bar service was spotty, often taking a long while to get food/drinks/checks. The view and atmosphere are so warm and gorgeous, it basically made up for that. A few of the attendants at the towel hut were rude.
Upon arrival: The doorman Sam was very nice and took our bags for us right away, giving us a very friendly welcome. Sam continued to give us a 'special' greeting everytime we passed through the front doors. We were served fresh (very good) lemonade right as we walked in. It was a very fast and courteous check-in.
Hotel Room/View: We upgraded to an ocean-view room (not facing construction) and were pleasantly surprised, the view was beautifull, of both the pool and the beach. Watching the sunset from the balcony was great.
Water/Resort: Beach was beautiful, clean and not too crowded. Ask the guy who runs Pelican Adventures (right on the property) for good spots for snorkeling. He even found us a retired diver to teach the kids the basics of snorkeling in the pool. Bar access was great, with non-alcoholic smoothie-type drinks for the kids as well. I stood in line at 7:00 a.m. to get a hut one day and it was well worth it to have a guaranteed spot on the beach with lounge chairs and much needed shade.
Access to Bus/Taxis: We got taxis easily and we got a local bus from the bus stop (across from main entrance to hotel) to go to Arashi beach. I would highly recommend Arashi. It was great for snorkeling and there was almost nobody there.
Excursions: We went on a snorkling/snuba trip (half day) with DePalm Tours very fun, and amazing and also did their sunset sail, very pretty. Would not recommend The Screamer (motor boat ride) We thought it would be more thrilling, but it was mostly about getting wet. Tubing, para-sailing etc... are all available at many venues along Palm/Eagle Beach. Kids loved the tubing.
Food/Dining: Went to El Gaucho and it is indeed a great steak house. Food in general is overpriced but we knew that coming in. Pizza at Casa Tua is very good and they are very nice. Heard great things about Blossoms (in hotel) but we never made it there. We did the breakfast buffet a couple mornings. It is okay, and at least there is a large selection of food which is great for picky eaters. Make sure you get reservations on Fri. and Sat. nights if you are there during high season.
Great Stay in Aruba and the Westin!
We would definitely go back to this hotel.
Not a Westin Yet....
Stayed at the Westin in March and booked two rooms through hotwire.com @ $124.00 each. Let me start by staying I have been on vacation in Aruba six times and have stayed at many different hotels. I booked a "four star" hotel on Hotwire expecting the Hyatt, Raddison or Marriott. I was surprised when the name was revealed and the Westin was the hotel. I have stayed at the Westin in Chicago and found the hotel to be very nice and upscale. The Westin in Aruba is simply not a true Westin yet with many upgrades still needed.
The BED ( Very comfortable )
The Casino ( Small but everything you need )
The Pool & Beach
The Bathrooms ( Peeling tubs - Just painted with no other changes from previous hotel )
Bars - Overpriced ( $8.50 for a drink )
Maid Service - Quick clean
I vacation each year in Aruba but will most likely skip the Westin. The $124 we paid is a great deal and I know it was worth the price. I have a strange feeling that the hotel is going to continue to charge high prices for their services. I am not sure they will ever get to the point where these can be justified. The Hyatt remains the only true 4-5 start hotel on the island. The Raddison is second and the Marriott third. If you get the same deal book the Westin but use the hotel to sleep and shower and enjoy the many places to eat and play elsewhere on the island.
El Gaucho - Best food on the Island
Dutch Pancake House - Best Breakfast
Hyatt - Best Hotel and Casino
DePalm Tours ATV Tour - Best activity for group
Raddison - Best Spa on the Island
Enjoy your trip....
"The tallest highrise hotel on the Palm Beach strip"
The Aruba Wyndham Resort Casino is the tallest highrise hotel on the Palm Beach highrise strip. This building has changed hands three times. When the building was contructed in 1977 it was called Aruba Concorde Hotel, in the early nineties Hitlton took over the resort, but that did not last for long and Wyndham Resort is now the owner for over 5 years. The Aruba Wynhdam Resort and Casino has 444 guest rooms, 30 Suites, 36 Junior Suites and the hotel itself has 18 floors. The Wyndham has 5 restaurants, a conference room and 3,500 square feet health club. The Wyndham Aruba does has a kids activity program.
The Wyndham is a 4 star resort.
"Beach at the Wyndham."
Aruba Wyndham is located on Palm Beach. Above a piece of Palm Beach infront of the Wyndham.
"Lobby at the Wyndham."
"Rooms at the Wyndham."
All guest rooms and suites at the Wyndham hotel are air-conditioned. The rooms also have coffeemakers, direct dial telephones, color cable television and elegant rooms with breathtaking views of the Caribbean Sea.
"Las Vegas Style shows at the Wyndham Aruba."
Aruba is known to be the little Las Vegas of the Caribbean with 10 Casino's and one more on its way. So why not have an Aruban Caribbean Las Vegas Style shows.
"Wyndham Pool area."
The Wyndham has one of the largest Resort pools on the island.
Playa Linda Beach & Resort, Aruaba
Ferry service from Aruba to Venezuela
My husband and I are planning to visit Aruba in May. We'd like to visit Venezuela for one day. Is there ferry service from Aruba to Venezuela or can we only get there by air?
Re: Ferry service from Aruba to Venezuela
See this previous posting:
Re: Ferry service from Aruba to Venezuela
My wife and I went to Aruba in 2000 and in 2001 and it was great. Be sure to go to Baby Beach to snorkel. As for Venezuela, I thought the same thing that it was hop skip and jump to get there. After I found out the problems you go to to get to Venezuela we decided to stay in Aruba. We rented a car the entire time the second time and it was much better, there is plenty to do in Aruba without any other hassle of another foreign country. We went last year to Tobago even closer to Venezuela and decided not to go. Our advice that we received was the country is so large it is hard to decide where to go and what to see and it is a third world country. Have fun but my suggestion is forget Venezuela and enjoy Aruba, plenty to do.
Re: Ferry service from Aruba to Venezuela
I have been to aruba three times and I don't believe there is any type of commercial ferry to Venezuela.
I have been to Margarita Is. and that's my only experience. I can tell you that I love Aruba and can't see any reason to give up the time to go to Venezuela. Unless you plan to spend a week in the jungle or something like that, I suggest you stay in Aruba and enjoy the beauty, food, and culture of the island.
RE: Ferry service from Aruba to Venezuela
There was one but it does not operate anymore.It took like 4 hours and was not very practical.You can get there round trip from Aruba for under $100 if you go to Coro or Maracaibo.You can stay a day or leave in the morning and come back at night.Venezuela is dirt cheap now.Bring US dollars and get great deals.Make sure you get good rates for the US dollar as there is a black market for dollars.You obviously need a passport.Its a good thing to do if you want to do something different for a day or so.I loved it.Spanish would help a bit.Aruba is way to commercial.If you want to go to Tony Roma's or Wendys or Taco Bell you can do that anywhere.You might as well go there.....especially if your in Aruba for a week ....Curacao is close...................???
RE: Ferry service from Aruba to Venezuela
I am looking for the same information for November. Looks like as a mystery, I will wait for some answer friends. Anyway, you can always take a flight for around 200 us dollars or try to get some information in Aruba. Venezuela is a beautiful country, full of contrast and national parks. Many people ignore that, thats the secret of the adventure, even though venezuela is a 4th world biggest oil exporter and developing country with wonderful local people. Aruba is a nice place as well, a nice casino and incredible beaches. I will go to boths ;)
PD. Caracas is the only exception
RE: Ferry service from Aruba to Venezuela
insulide company makes trip to venezuela but from curazao. The also organize trips to the other B and C island