Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Westin Lagunamar - Room

Hotel Details
Hotel: Westin Lagunamar Ocean Resort
Dates: April 23-28, 2015
Rate Paid: 11,600 SPG points/night
Regular Cost: $298 per night
Upgrade: Ocean View 1 Bedroom 
Redemption: 2.6 cents/SPG pt

My parents and I were very excited to try out the Westin Lagunamar. As it recently moved up to a Category 5 property, the room cost us 12,000 points/night for a regular studio room. With the "5th Night Free" promotion, we only paid for 4 nights at 48,000 total SPG points, so it came out to just 9,600 points per night.

However, since we thought we'd enjoy a bit more space on this extended stay, we confirmed a 1 bedroom suite by paying an additional 10,000 SPG points for the 5 night stay, or about 58,000 SPG points total. While we thought this was a standard deal, we heard from other guests that they were unable to book the 1 bedroom on points when they called to ask. Guess we got lucky.

Because we were coming during shoulder season (after the big school spring break), the the cash price was only $298/night for the 1 bedroom suite (down from $400-500/night during peak season). At $298, the price was actually pretty close to our personal "breakeven" redemption price where we'd be indifferent using cash or SPG points. However, we were pretty "points rich" in Starpoints, so we thought we'd be better off saving $1,500 in cash to use for food and activities in Mexico.

Interestingly enough, there are 2 Westin hotel properties in Cancun. The Lagunamar one was a Vacation Ownership property and is much, much larger than the regular Westin.

As you can see in the map below, the Westin Lagunamar also has a much better location on the prime Cancun beach area, near all the action, where the other Westin is down towards the southern end of the hotel zone. Since we'd also be spending a night at the other Westin, we were looking forward to doing a comparison between the two properties.

Check In
We arrived around 3PM to the Lagunamar and went to their main building entrance. Unfortunately, there was no Gold/Platinum check in desk, so we had a bit of wait to get checked in. (Note: there's a separate check in area in the other building, but they don't have door staff to help you with luggage). We knew they were pretty strict on the 4PM check-in, so we weren't surprised to hear our room wasn't ready yet.

We then decided to check our luggage and head across the street to the high end Isla Shopping Mall complex to have a late lunch at "Tacos y Tequila."

We returned around 5PM and our room was ready. We were given room 1142 in the newer adjacent wing (on the right side of the map below).

That side had full access to the entire resort, but had a smaller zero entry pool that was perfect for toddlers like me. It was still massive pool, so we spent the majority of our time there instead of the massive pool where I couldn't reach the floor.

1 Bedroom Suite
Our room #1142 was in building 11 on the 4th floor (coincidentally, my favorite number). Since this was a vacation ownership property (and not a standard hotel), we had higher end finishes, a large (stocked) kitchen and a washer/dryer in the unit. The room also came with a dining table that seats 6 as well as a small couch and another television.

The bedroom was also spacious and had the same views as the livingroom. You could also open the panels into the bathroom where there was a jacuzzi bathtub which is PERFECT for kids like me. Whenever my father wanted to take me out of the outdoor swimming pool, he could tell me I'd be swimming in our room's hot tub and I was sold.

Our building #11 was the "center" unit in the U shape complex, so we had head on views of the pool and the ocean. However, the "best" views are in the upper ends of the U shape where you're closer to the beach. We couldn't complain though since we were getting the a wonderful room with a balcony for free using points.

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