Westin St. John renovation, expansion to start Dec. 1

The Westin St. John Resort & Villas is planning a $35 million expansion and renovation project, the resort and Starwood Vacation Ownership announced Wednesday.

The project will include the launch of the new Coral Vista Villas and enhancements to the resort's guestrooms, dining facilities, meeting space and pool area.

"The Westin St John Resort & Villas is one of the most successful resorts in the Caribbean. As the resort and the on-site vacation ownership continue to play a pivotal role in St John's expansive tourism market, we are thrilled to enhance our presence and commitment to the island," said Steve Williams, chief operating officer for Starwood Vacation Ownership, in a release.

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Starwood Vacation Ownership will be expanding with the conversion of 79 rooms into 54 vacation ownership villas, the company said, with the new project adding 30 two-bedroom villas, six two-bedroom lofts and 18 studio villas.

Work will begin on Dec. 1, with occupancy expected to begin in January 2015.

Once the project is completed, the resort will have a total of 200 villas.

"The significant investment in the renovation of The Westin St John Resort & Villas will raise the standard of this premier resort with stylish and contemporary accommodations, unique amenities and a world-class guest experience," said John de Jongh, governor of the US Virgin Islands.  "These efforts will ensure that The Westin St. John Resort & Villas continues to be one of the top destinations of choice for business and leisure travelers."