Published on November 13th, 2013 | by Mark Chesnut
HOTEL REVIEW: Westin Resort & Spa — Cancun, Mexico
During a recent visit to Cancun, Mexico to participate in some very colorful Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) festivities, I was a guest for two nights at the Westin Resort & Spa, an upscale hotel in Cancun’s Hotel Zone. Here’s a summary of my experience, and what you can expect as well if you stay here.
THE STYLE: The Westin Resort & Spa exudes a classic, upscale Cancun beach resort ambiance. Designed by famous Mexican architect Ricardo Legorreta, it opened in 1991 and continues to be one of the most attractive properties in the Hotel Zone (and in a location at the southern end that is less congested than other parts).
THE GUEST ROOMS: I stayed in the Royal Beach Club, a separate building that offers something like a concierge-level of accommodations, with a tastefully appointed VIP lounge that serves free hot breakfast and evening cocktails. My room was expansive, with an ocean view, balcony and king-size bed. WiFi normally costs $15 per 24-hour period, although it was extended to me on a complimentary basis. All guest rooms have bathrooms with both a tub and a separate shower, which is a feature I really like. The Royal Beach Club is definitely a good option for anyone looking for extra amenities and service.
The property is in the midst of an on-going renovation. Currently, half of the standard deluxe guest rooms have been renovated, with about 90% completed by the end of 2014 — the new style is fresh and clean, although even the unrenovated rooms are attractive and comfortable (I toured several rooms).
HOTEL FEATURES: One advantage that the Westin offers is location; since it’s toward the very southern end of the hotel zone, it’s a quieter, less congested area. This location also allows the property to have beaches on two sides — one on the Caribbean Sea and the other an attractive (though nonswimmable) stretch of sand on the lagoon side, which makes for especially beautiful sunset viewing; next to the lagoon beach is a temazcal, a traditional Mayan sweat lodge, which I tried out (though not very successfully; stay tuned to LatinFlyer.com for more about my wimping out).
The hotel has four outdoor pools (on both sides of the hotel, which makes for more choices for when the sun shifts lower in the sky). Cabanas dot the property, and several are available for spa treatments.
The hotel has a large Heavenly Spa by Westin, with a gym, beauty salon and Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ New Balance Program, which allows guests to “rent” workout clothing, including footwear, for just $5 per day. There are also two outdoor tennis courts, and a Westin Kids Club for ages 4 to 12.
Pet owners take note: Pets weighing less than 40 pounds are welcome at this hotel.
DINING: The Westin has six restaurants and lounges, including Arrecifes, a fine-dining venue, Brisa, which offers casual food and cocktails by the main pool, El Palmar, a family-friendly restaurant, and Sea & Stones, an elegant outdoor eatery beneath a large palapa on the beach, where I savored an especially good steak dinner.
A nice feature of the Westin Resort & Spa, Cancun is that it offers an all-inclusive option — guests can choose to pay for only the room, or an all-inclusive program that includes three meals a day, open bar by the glass from 11am to 11pm at selected hotel bars and free use of tennis courts and fitness center.
BEST FOR: Upscale travelers looking for peace and quiet, on a nearly private stretch of Cancun beach, removed from the commercial areas of the hotel zone. The property is also ideal for travelers looking to accrue or redeem points with the Starwood Preferred Guest program.
MORE INFO: The Westin Resort & Spa, Cancun
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