On my first two visits to Guam we stayed with my wife’s relatives and she always does this on her solo trips. But when we took our younger daughter and her husband to Guam eleven years ago we stayed at the Nikko Hotel on the top of Tumon Bay. This year we took our older daughter and her husband and two kids with us and we stayed at the Westin Hotel around the bend from the Nikko and the first American hotel on Hotel Row, otherwise known as Pale San Vitores Road (the Japanese-owned Nikko and Korean-owned Lotte Hotel are on Gun Beach Road).
The Tumon Bay resort area on Guam’s northwest shore is Guam’s answer to Hawaii’s Waikiki. The Westin is run by Starwood, the same folks who manage Hawaii’s Royal Hawaiian and Sheraton hotels. Next door to the Westin is the Reef. Then as you walk down San Vitores you will come across the Outrigger followed by the Hyatt Regency. There are about a dozen more hotels between the Hyatt and the Hilton which resides at the southern tip of Tumon Bay. There’s an Outback across the street from the Westin and across the street from the Reef you’ll find a McDonald’s and a TGIFriday. And the Outrigger is surrounded by the same fancy stores you see at the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center. About the only difference between Waikiki and Tumon is that in the former you are often greeted with “Aloha!” and in the latter the native Chamorro you meet will say to you “Hafa Adai!”
From our room at the Nikko eleven years ago we could see all of Tumon Bay. From our 17th floor balcony at the Westin this year we had a beautiful view facing north — of the Nikko!
The Westin is a 21-story hotel that sits atop a small hill. The street entrance is at the 6th floor. The lobby is located on the fifth floor, adjacent to the top floor of the parking garage. There are Italian and Japanese restaurants on the fourth floor as well as a nightclub-theater that featured a magic show while we were there. You have to go all the way down to the first floor to find the expansive breakfast restaurant called Taste. Outside Taste is the hotel’s poolside area and then it’s just a few steps to the beach.
We slept at the Westin and sometimes had breakfast there but for lunch and dinner we were all over the island. And for our nightly entertainment we found that we preferred to walk down San Vitores a couple of blocks to the Outrigger where we could enjoy a nightcap while listening to some relaxing music in the comfortable lounge right off the hotel lobby.
I’ll have more on the Outrigger, our walks down San Vitores and where and what to eat in future postings.
We were very satisfied with our 17th floor room at the Westin and our daughter and her family had a similar room right next door. All the members of the hotel staff we encountered during our stay were efficient and very friendly. Also, the beds were comfortable, the air- conditioning worked fine and we made good use of the microwave, coffee-maker, refigerator and free wifi. My wife picked a good hotel. It’s rated #4 of 20 hotels in Tumon on Trip Advisor.
About half of the hotel’s guests were Japanese tourists, mostly young couples with preschool-age children who were always well behaved. And their parents often bowed to us when we would meet at the elevators.
There were also a large number of US military and their families in transition. We were also glad to see some young people who looked like they were ex-military and were just stopping by on their way to Yap to help out the people there who were hit hard by Typhoon Maysak.