ST. MAARTEN, NETHERLANDS ANTILLES (January 23, 2007) — Despite the Jan. 23, 2007 law requiring passengers to have a valid passport when traveling to the Caribbean, the new Westin St. Maarten Dawn Beach Resort & Spa welcomed locals and travelers with open arms at a ribbon cutting ceremony yesterday on the new resort's pool deck.

More than 100 guests and island officials attended the event, which was presided over by Dan Szydlowski, regional general manager, Carlos Sanchez, general manager with comments by island council members Theodore Heyliger, Roy Marlin, Louie Laveist and Sarah Wescott-Williams. Tours of the property were also given.

A special introductory Renewal Package with 25 percent savings is being offered to entice visitors to the island and includes a resort view room for $302 per night for guests who book four nights Jan. 22 through April 16, excluding the weeks of President's Day and Easter. The new passport requirements apply to air travelers entering or re-entering the United States from Canada , Mexico , Central and South America, the Caribbean and Bermuda .

The Westin St. Maarten Dawn Beach Resort & Spa is the newest and largest upscale resort in the Netherlands-governed province. It opened last month with 317 rooms, 99 luxury condominiums and six suites (including three Presidential Oceanfront Suites and three Parlor Suites), a full-service European-style Hibiscus spa, fitness room, on-site casino, nearly 20,000 square feet of flexible function space, several retail shops, the largest infinity pool on the island and endless water sports activities, creating a haven of relaxation and recreation. Guests have the choice of five oceanfront restaurants, including a fine dining restaurant, sushi bar, poolside café, lobby and pool bar and room service to satisfy any appetite. For more information visit\stmaarten.

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