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Last month, we went to Florida to visit my in-laws. They were going to be near Cape Coral, so I went looking for some SPG hotel that we could stay at. There were only two options – one in Cape Coral and one in Punta Gorda. I am a HUGE fan of Westins – their Heavenly Beds and Heavenly Showers are fantastic, so we went with the Westin Cape Coral Resort!
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Westin Cape Coral Resort
I was really looking forward to our stay there when I found out that they just became a Westin last December. Since it was a new acquisition, it is expected that Westin really upgraded everything and you knew that all of the trademark Westin features would be brand new.
The Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Bay is a category 4 hotel. It costs 10,000 SPG points per night. We were staying 5 nights, so we had the 5th night free – a total of 40,000 SPG points. That is an excellent deal since you can get 25,000 SPG points with the Amex SPG card – combine that with the 5,000 points from the required spending and you are looking at 30,000 points. Here are some specific details about the hotel:
- 5951 Silver King Boulevard, Cape Coral, FL 33914
- SPG Category 4
- Requires 10,000 Starpoints per night (unless staying 5 nights in which case the average is 8,000 per night)
- Cash & Points redemption is 5,000 points and $75 per night
- Cash & Points for upgraded rooms is 5,500-5,750 points and $95-$105 per night
- Cash & Points for suites is 10,000 points and $175 per night
- TripAdvisor reviews rank this the top hotel in Cape Coral
As is typical for Florida resorts, there are many timeshares in the area and when you pull in the entrance, you have about a 1 mile drive from the entrance to the hotel. There is a a nice bike path alongside the main road going into the resort. On the way in as well, you will pass the recreation center and tennis courts. There are multiple shops inside and on the back of the hotel so the bottom two levels of the parking garage are reserved for those customers. There is plenty of parking available and the parking is free* (free, yes, but they do have a resort fee of $15 per day plus taxes. This covers usage of the grounds, parking, internet, and local calls).
When I checked in, I was told that I had been upgraded to a one-bedroom suite. Little explanation here, I am SPG Gold (one of the perks of my American Express Platinum card). As a Gold, I am able to receive an upgrade to an enhanced room – not a suite and that is space contingent. It has been my experience, however, that I have received upgrades to suites 5 of my last 6 stays at various SPG hotels. Again, this is not a published benefit of being Gold but has been a wonderful courtesy extended.
I asked the representative checking me in if there was a pull-out couch in the room for our kids. She said there was not and asked how many kids we had. I told her we had three little ones and she asked if I wanted to move to a two-bedroom suite instead. I said that would be great! One more thing I have to say here – this was the best customer service representative that I have dealt with at a hotel EVER! This was not just because of her upgrading me 🙂 but she was just the most attentive, most pleasant, most of all, she treated me as just another person. By that I mean, I felt like instead of being a customer, she and I were people that had just met and were able to carry on a conversation. I like that! I left her a glowing review at the hotel.
Anyway, I went up to our suite and saw what I totally was not expecting!
We were located on the 6th floor. All of the rooms have doors facing the outside that you reach by a covered walkway. It was very nice as it gave excellent views of the area. The one bad thing about that was the wind. When the wind came through, it made it very hard to keep the door open when entering and exiting.
I was not prepared for our spacious the suite was! We had been upgraded to their Two-bedroom suite that had 1338 sq. ft. with a 223 sq.ft. balcony. There was a full kitchen with very nice appliances, a dining area for six, a spacious living room with double door access to the balcony that overlooked the gulf, a washer/dryer, two bathrooms, a master bedroom with a long hallway to the bathroom and shower area, and another room with two double beds. Each room had a TV. The furniture was very good quality. The balcony was a perfect area to relax (our little girl loved going out there to read in the mornings). All in all, it was like a very nice apartment. It made the perfect headquarters for our stay in Florida and definitely became our favorite hotel stay as a family. During our stay, that suite was $450 a night, so we got quite a bargain.
We did not use the pool but did get some pictures of it. It looked like an excellent pool. It had all of the normal pool amenities – shower, hot tub, towels, lawn chairs.
The Fitness Center was well-equipped. Because of the hour at which I had to do most of my runs, I did them all on the equipment in the fitness center. My one big complaint about the fitness center was the lack of a fan. Not that there weren’t fans on the equipment (which also was a disappointment) but that there were no fans anywhere in the room. I have been in many hotels and this is always the thing that can make or break the fitness center for me. Some of them will have stand-up fans that can be positioned around the room. When they don’t, the rooms can get unbearable for longer workouts (I did a couple of 15 mile runs in there).
We did use the tennis courts a few times. While they were decent, they were far from excellent. I am not a great tennis player, though, so it wasn’t a big concern. 🙂
Overall, it was a fantastic stay and one that we have on our list again for a later day! The kids loved it and we thoroughly enjoyed it as well. My only complaint about the hotel (other than the lack of fans) was the resort fee. This is not singular to the Westin Cape Coral Resort – many upscale hotels are charging resort fees now. These fees are meant to include things like use of the grounds, local phone calls, internet, parking, and other items. I despise these for this reason – many times that I stay in a hotel, I am not using the pools or other facilities that are available; who makes local calls from a hotel? as an elite member, I get internet free anyway, I always find someplace to park to not pay over $10. So, for $15 a day, to me that is unnecessary and I wish they would give a decrease in the price for elite members since we already get things like internet for free. That being said, that I only had to pay $83 for our 5 night stay is a great thing, so I am not going to complain too much. Besides, my mini-rant on resort fees is not just at this hotel – it is against all hotels that impose a resort fee.
Overall, I think if you are going to be spending some time in this area of Florida, you need to put this hotel at the top of your list! If you need points to make this stay for free, consider applying for the American Express SPG Personal card (10,000 Starpoints after first purchase and an additional 15,000 Starpoints after spending $5,000 in the first 6 months) and/or the American Express SPG Business card (same points as the personal). You are allowed to get both which would give you a total of 60,000 Starpoints (counting the spend). If your spouse did something similar, you would even have enough for their Nights and Flights II so that you could fly there for free!
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