This was our fifth visit to Whistler and our third stay at the Westin. Last year we stayed at the Pan Pacific Mountainside (PPM) which was fine but as we were staying over Christmas I decided it would be nice to have the large lobby atmosphere and better rooms at the Westin.
When we checked it it was nice to be received by someone who seemed professional - the staff at the PPM were friendly but seemed to know diddly squat about anything and just appeared to be gap year students (which they probably were). The Westin lady was very friendly. We had booked a one-bedroom mountain view suite as the person I booked it through at Intrawest (a truly awesome company - if only all call centre staff could learn from these people!) said I could get a mountain view for the same price as a normal one-bed. The check--in lady told us we were being given an SPG preferred room, which was nice considering our SPG membership has lapsed.
The room itself was great - the best we've had in Whistler, with a lovely large lounge and a good-sized bedroom with a king sized bed (even though they say the one-bedroom suites only have queen size) which was as 'heavenly' as they claim. As we were there over Christmas we needed enough space for Santa to come and fill the kids' stockings without waking them, and the room was perfect for this. The view itself was nothing special. I think saying it's a mountain view is stretching it a bit as we were in the West tower, further from the slopes than the East tower, and our main view was of the road and the Gondola building. You could just about see a few skiers coming in on the bottom of Whistler mountain and could see Blackcomb mountain over the rooftops, but the valley views give you equally good views of the mountains on the other side of the valley. I certainly wouldn't pay extra for this view. The room was also a bit noisy as we were by the road where the snowploughs go every morning between about 5 and 6. The Westin has always been very quiet before.
However, my main gripe, and it's one I've had before and mentioned both in comments to the hotel and on trip advisor is that there's not enough cupboard space, or more specifically drawer and shelf space in the suite. There was a cupboard opposite the door for our jackets and which had a shelf above for hats and gloves; there was a big wardrobe in the bedroom but it just had hanging space with a high shelf above and there was a four drawer chest in the bedroom, but there was nothing in the lounge except for the kitchen drawers which had crockery and utensils in. Hey housekeeping people - this is a SKI resort!! People have ski clothes and ordinary clothes - they have a lot of stuff. We need to put it somewhere and you don't give us enough space, so the room ends up permanently untidy with toys and books on every surface. Also why don't you put out a plastic mat to put ski boots on so we don't have to put them on the hall carpet which then gets wet??
I actually asked housekeeping this time if we could have a chest of drawers in the lounge. There was plenty of space - we could have had two extra in there - but for some reason they said it was a fire risk. They did give us two bedside cupboards which were about 20 cm wide which were certainly better than nothing (would have been nice if they could have been dusted down before being delivered) but it was all still a tight squeeze. We stayed at the Pan Pacific last year mainly for the reason that the cupboard space at the Westin is so poor - and despite having smaller rooms the cupboard space at the PPM was much better with two chests of four drawers.
My other main gripe last time was about the poor quality of the housekeeping. I'm pleased to say that this was now better. It's still cursory - a dirty coffee cup was left in the bathroom for three days before being cleared away - but at least we came back every day to find the room had been serviced, and once we had requested the turndown service we got it every night.
My kids used to love the lemon and lime water in the swimming pool area and they've replaced this with a normal water fountain. Such a shame. The pool and hot tub are still as frenziedly busy as ever although the hot tub outside is now so hot that the slightly-too-cool pool temperature is actually quite refreshing. I have no idea why the designers of the hotel put the pool where they did. The Pan Pacific pool and hot tub look over the slopes. The Westin's doesn't realy look over anything very much - such a shame.
The ski concierge service has also got better. The last couple of times we stayed we had lines of up to twenty minutes to collect our skis but despite being there at the busiest time of year the lines were much quicker. We didn't seem to get charged extra for it and it's very handy to be able to drop the skis off at the bottom of the slope rather than carry them to the hotel - even though it's not very far.
It's a hard choice between the PPM and the Westin. If the Westin sorted out it's cupboard space it would be a no-brainer but until they do I'm not sure if it's worth paying the extra, especially when the PPM has a much nicer and quieter pool.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in Whistler Village just yards from the gondolas and the slopes of Whistler and Blackcomb mountains, The Westin Resort & Spa, Whistler is an all-suite, full-service conference hotel and spa. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Westin Resort And Spa, Whistler
- The Westin Resort & Spa, Whistler Hotel Whistler
- Westin Resort Whistler
- Westin Hotel Whistler
- Westin Whistler
- Whistler Westin