First of all, I'm a starwood owner since 2009 and this is not my home resort.
This review is for the westin kierland villas hotel. BUT... All the amenities/activities at the next door sister resort, the westin kierland resort, are available to you as well. So I'll be referring to both the villas hotel and the neighbor resort, so keep up.
We went during august and it was average around 105 during the day and 85 at night. What the hell! Just chill at the pool and drink lots of water, and you'll be fine. Even though its hot as hell you can still enjoy the pool area but we couldn't for more than 3 hours in the sun.
It wasn't crowded last week since school started for most kids in Arizona, so it was great and had the pool all to ourselves sometimes.
Villas vs resort: We stayed at the villas hotel, which is smaller than the average starwood vacation network hotel, but combined with the neighboring sister Westin Resort, it's huge! THE main difference between the 2 properties would be the kitchen. If you have kids and/or large family, cooking breakfast and grilling on their many bbq's is the way to go to save money along with going out to dinner only once every day or every other day, rather than eating out 3x/day. I don't mind cooking. If you don't wanna do any of that cooking crap, get a hotel room at the resort and spend away on overpriced food. Basically, if you have a family=villa, if not=resort.
Water slide is nice and baby-cute at villas, but there's a longer and faster one at the resort which is better for older kids.
Both properties have an activities/main pool area with various activities/events throughout the day and also an addiitional "quiet" 24 hour pool too for a total of 4 pools at your disposal. The "quiet" pool isn't really quiet at 8pm because both properties main pools close at 8pm, so everyone and their kids and grandma transfers to the "quiet" pool. No one gets kicked out by the way, and nobody cares that it's loud at 8pm. Worked out for me because my family was one of the loud ones at the quiet pools at 8pm-whenever.
Jacuzzi's at both.
Lazy river at the resort is THE laziest river i've ever been on. What I mean is, and I've been to a lotta lazy rivers, that it's super slow with no waterfall features pouring on top of you, and my grandma can swim faster than the current. Still, it's cool and my family enjoyed it.
FLOWRIDER! The resort's flowrider was the highlight of our stay. It's a modified, constant wave of water that you and your kids(height requirement i think is 42 inches) can enjoy trying to boogie board, surf on a flowboard(sorta like surfing/snowboarding) on that never-ending wave. $30/hour shared with other people taking turns on the wave on that whole hour. What would be better is if they got the FLOWBARREL like they have at the Wavehouse in Belmont park in San diego-now that would be awesome, or a surf-like wave pool at typhoon lagoon in Orlando where you can surf realistically as possible but in a wave pool. But the flowrider is still awesome, especially for small kids. My 7 year old just made the height req and loved it even though he needed a lotta help to get in the wave. Thanks to ryan, zach, and tyler at the flowrider for helping him out.
Organized fun team activities at both main pools are cool for kids and adults. Some have a fee, some not. Fridays are great because of live music at night at the resort, as well as food trucks and smores! Other activities at both resorts are free ping-pong, foosball, basketball, giant sized chess and checkers.
There are organized adult themes with wine tastings and a wine dinner at the villas hotel, but I chose a Scotch tasting at the resort. Trying to be a man drinking a true man's drink, i tried an assortment of whiskey's with the help of a knowledgable scotch man named Guy at the resort. He educated me on the world of scotch and whiskey and provided appetizers. Again, awesome.
BEWARE, birds are opportunistic food stealers and water drinkers. If you are at the pool and leave your food and drink for a second, birds of prey will swoop down and bathe in your drink and devour your french fries like they haven't eaten for days! Cover it up with a hat or towel if you leave it even for a second.
Walking between villas and resort is fine and only 5min, but not fine in 100 degree sun and especially not with young kids. Same too with walking to Kierland Commons and Scottsdale quarters, also a 10 min walk but its too hot. Take the FREE shuttle service that runs every 10 min it seems, and is great to go between the villas, resort, kierland commons, scottsdale quarters. You definitely need a car since you gotta go grocery shopping(safeway, trader joe's, walgreens, & whole foods nearby) and visit museums(science center, children's museum, butterfly wonderland, safari, water raft tubing, slide rock park up north), and go to farther restaurants than what's nearby in commons/quarters/hotel.
Mastro's- Yeah, yeah. I've been to many Mastro's restaurants in Los Angeles but I had to do it again here. Why the hell not? I'm a steak guy. Get a bone-in ribeye and butter cake. Have the concierge book it and you'll get free dessert. It's in Kierland commons.
Mcdowell's Market and grill- Above average small kitchen hotel food in the villas hotel. Fish tacos had a great sauce.
La Hacienda- Tex-mex southwest cuisine that was supposed to typify the local palate. Hands-down my favorite restaurant for local food. It's in the historic Fairmont Princess hotel 10 min drive north on Scottsdale rd.
Carlsbad Tavern- Another southwest cuisine place that had the best crab-stuffed poblano platter I've ever had. It's a cozy restaurant with a sports bar type area and separate dining room area. 25 min. south.
Mcdonalds- Yep, I said it. When you are caught off guard, and it's getting too late to cook lunch, and you're on the road shopping for something, and the kids are starving and whining, this was a quick fix. I love Mcdonalds for that reason, and I'm proud to say that I took the family only once for fast food. It's down the street.
As an owner(not sure if you get the same discounts if you are a regular guest), we get several discounts. Golf and spa obviously. But the best discount was the 10% off anything from Mcdowell's and 20% from Nellie Cashmans restaurant in the resort. Also, if you show your keycard to various stores in the Kierland commons and Scottsdale quarters you get a variety of discounts. For a full list, get it from the concierge.
Clean 1 bedroom with sofa bed, kitchen, safe, washer and dryer, dishwasher, immaculate bathroom with a deep jacuzzi tub. It was more modern than I thought. If you do cook, you don't need anything but milk, eggs, butter, cooking oil, and any other perishables you'll buy from safeway or whole foods/trader joe's like a nice juicy rib-eye to grill on the premises on their pristine bbq grill. They have mostly everything you can think of as far as utensils and dishware.
The web-site can show you all the pictures of the pool and room and such. What I'm gonna show you is the typical activities schedule at their main pools both at the resort and villas hotel as well as a property map to show you where to go. Remember that these activities will not reflect exactly what will be offered to you on your days you are there. It's just a sample of what to expect.
Westin fixed our broken fridge and replaced our spoiled items in a timely manner. Excellent reparations made.
Bottom line: I would definitely go again. Beware the birds, take the free shuttle, remember to use your discounts as much as you can, buy groceries, have fun, be lazy, and most importantly, get a buttercake at Mastro's! Don't worry, you'll sweat off all the calories just standing for 30 min in the hot sun the next day.
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- Also Known As:
- Westin Kierland Villas Hotel Scottsdale
- Westin Kierland Hotel
- Westin Scottsdale
- Scottsdale Westin