St Maarten: Drone Footage of Westin Dawn Beach Resort Shows Lots of Work Remains, Dawn Beach Club Open

The Westin Dawn Beach Resort was one of the largest resorts on the island prior to sustaining a tremendous amount of damage from hurricane Irma. It’s been shuttered ever since and there’s been no official word from Marriott, the company that now owns the Westin brand, about when and/or if the resort will be repaired and reopened. I’ve made attempts to contact executives directly but none of them will give out any information on the hotel.

In addition, I recently met with the president of Sint Maarten’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Benjamin Ortega, and asked him for an update on the resort. His response, which can be seen and heard here, was simply that he could not give an update.

It’s hard to understand how a large hotel that’s integral to the island’s economic recovery can be allowed to sit on this beautiful beach with zero information. We’re basically left to speculate about what will happen with the property. What we do know is that the Dawn Beach Club, a time share that is connected to the Westin, has been renovated and is currently open. There are reviews of the property on sites like Trip Advisor.

With the drone footage below we can observe up close what’s happening — or not happening, as the case appears to be — currently at the resort. For comparison, I looked back at pictures and images posted on on January 18, 2018 and April 27, 2018 (you can click the links to see those posts).

  • The most obvious change is the pool area, which has been completely renovated, is now open and as beautiful as ever.
  • There have been major repairs made to the resort’s exterior walls on the southern most building that is closest to Dawn Beach Club. For reference, the resort property runs south to north, with the pool sitting on the east side.
  • As the camera pans to the north we can see the northern wing, which appears as if not much, if any, work has been started or completed. At most, they’ve graded and cleared the land but the building appears to remain in the same condition as it was immediately following Irma.

Until we get any type of official update from Marriott it’s hard to say with any degree of confidence if or when the Westin Dawn Beach Resort will reopen. I’ve seen some speculation on Facebook but, again, nothing official. With the condition the resort is in currently and no construction equipment to be seen anywhere, it’s safe to say the resort won’t be open anytime soon.

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Jon Ferlise

I fell in love with the island of Saint Martin the first time I visited to celebrate my 40th birthday in May of 2009. Since then, I've spent most birthdays there, and have visited countless other times getting to know this wonderful place and the friendly locals that make it so special. I adore the culture, the people, the community, and the beauty of this stunning island. SXM Strong is a website that I started to support humanitarian relief efforts following Hurricane Irma. There was no plan, it just evolved as I witnessed the devastation that Irma caused the island and the huge need to communicate and disseminate information about what had happened and how people could help support this island and its people.

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