When my husband and I learned that Guadalajara was going to have a Westin just a few blocks from our apartment, we made plans to visit as soon as we could after its opening, so we could check it out for in-town getaways and guests that might come to visit us. We spend a weekend there in November of 2011 and were generally very pleased with the experience.
The hotel is packed into a tiny little parcel of land right across the street from the Expo Guadalajara in the pleasant neighborhood of Residencias del Bosque, making it not only very convenient for those attending events there, but also for accessing transportation (buses, taxis) to other parts of the city via a major avenue in the city, Avenida Mariano Otero (2 km from Plaza del Sol shopping mall, 3.4 km to Centro Magno shopping mall, 3.5 km from shops and restaurants on Avenida Chapultepec, 6 km to Colonia Providencia, 5 km to the Zona Centro, 10 km to Tlaquepaque).
The guest rooms are very comfortable, as Westin rooms usually are. Yet these are spacious, and sport a beautiful modern design in white, ecru and fern green. I especially liked the large bathrooms, with plenty of counter space and a walk-in shower that could comfortably accomodate five people at once. Water pressure and temperature were both fantastic. Although our room was only on the sixth floor, floor-to-ceiling windows facing the west afforded a lovely view of the sunset each evening.
It is unfortunate the the hotel has neither a pool nor a Jacuzzi, but several Westin properties do not. Nonetheless, the Westin Workout Gym, open 24-hours, is superb. It has several machines for cardio, a couple of weight machines, free weights, bottled water, towels and changing rooms/bathrooms right there. It is kept spotless and wonderfully cool.
The in-house restaurant (Casa de las Rosas) is as resplendent as the rest of the property, and has food that was well-prepared, well-presented and delicious. Most customers will be blown away by it. My husband and I are vegetarians however, and we found the selection for us to be somewhat limited, especially since we dined at the restaurant for nearly every meal during our stay. What they did have was not nearly as innovative as the meat dishes: guacamole, salads, fried cheese. It is a common attitude in Mexico that vegetarians do not eat much other than salads, but as Westin is a worldwide chain, I expect them to know better. Unlike other Westin hotels that we have visited, they did not seem very willing to accomodate us, not even by presenting us with options that are already found in the kitchen but are not listed on the menu as main courses.
One evening, I ordered for a side of mashed potatoes, because the ones that accompanied the steak that a friend of ours was enjoying looked delicious: golden yellow and slightly chunky. When my order arrived, they were obviously reconstituted dehydrated potatoes from a box. They tasted terrible, especially alongside what was otherwise delicious food. When I complained about them, I was given apologies and jokes, but they were neither replaced nor removed from the check.
Apart from this though, the service from the restaurant and service staff was top-notch, being both friendly and professional. In fact, the above mentioned friend wanted to sit at a table in the private dining area so that we could see the fireworks that were being set off to celebrate a Mexican holiday. I felt uncomfortable about this (the area was clearly closed off), but the service staff insisted that it would be okay and seated us with a stunning view of the pyrotechnics. It made it a very special experience for us.
Another odd incident involved being told by an employee (not in the restaurant) that the only way he would receive a tip would be if I left it in cash (as opposed to signing it to the room). I could not verify whether or not this is true. I do not know why he would say this were it not, but I hope that the hotel does not engage in such treatment of their employees, not to mention such deception of their guests.
Regarding Starwood Preferred Guest benefits: I hold SPG Gold level status, and as such, I am supposed to receive an automatic room upgrade when they are available at check-in. We stayed over a weekend when there was very low occupancy, yet we were given a room on the 6th floor. There were undoubtedly rooms available on higher floors, and probably so were some corner rooms. I just figured there was some reason that our room was considered special, even though it did not seem particularly noteworthy. Later, I asked at reception what made the 6th floor special for SPG guests and what the upgrade asset was, I was told that the person that checked us in made a mistake and failed to give us the upgrade we were due. That person offered to change our room, but by that time, we had unpacked and used the room to a degree that we felt we should just stay where we are.
Despite these relatively minor issues, we had a wonderful stay at the Westin Guadalajara, and are delighted that we have such a stellar hotel in our city. We are looking forward to going back for another in-town getaway as soon as we can.