The folks from the new Westin Aruba Resort came by the other day to talk about what's up. Basically, the beachside property used to be a Wyndham, but it's being reflagged as a Westin.
The hotel is undergoing a three-phase renovation, and the first phase--costing $24 million--is complete. The property underwent a Westinizing: The 481 rooms were redone, with Westin's trademark Heavenly Beds and Heavenly Baths; the public spaces (lobbies, hallways, etc.) were revamped, too. There are eight restaurants, a Cabaret Royale (with "Vegas-style" entertainment), and a Comix Cafe (with comedians). It all sounds pretty nice, but what we find particularly appealing is the option to go all-inclusive or a la carte--there'll be a chip embedded in your room key, so the staff of the bars, restaurants, and services can tell if you have to pay or not.
The hotel also has a tempting splurge of a package. It's called the Discover Aruba Package. If you book online before December 22, 2006, you'll get a double upgrade--meaning your room will be better by two levels, so you can stay in an ocean-view room for an island-view rate--and a $100 "renewal credit" (essentially, you get $100 toward any on-property meal or service). Rates start at $299 if your stay is between January 1 and 6, and then go up to $399, so the Discover Aruba Package will be most appealing to those celebrating a special occasion. The deal is available until April 28, 2007.