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“Disappointing”

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The Westin Desert Willow Villas
Ranked #2 of 23 Hotels in Palm Desert
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 21, 2013

I normally stay at another Palm Desert property nearby, but I thought I would give something else a try for a brief, one night visit to the area.

We arrived late Saturday night, expecting that I would be able to get a 4 PM checkout due to my SPG status,and Westin is making a big deal in promoting late checkouts on Sunday.

The problems started when I was informed that because this is a timeshare property, regular checkout is 10 AM (!), and it could *possibly* be extended to Noon (!) if I asked the following morning. The latest checkout I could receive was 1:30 PM, giving me a little more than a total stay of about 13 hours.

I have stayed in timeshare/hotels before, and yes I understand that for whatever reason, these properties have early checkouts. However, this was not made clear at the time of the reservation. There is nothing apparent on the property's website indicating it is a timeshare property and that different rules apply.

The less than stellar attitude of the check in staff when I raised this issue did not help matters. Ultimately, however, it is bad policy to impose these early checkouts on SPG's most loyal customers (I will be SPG Platinum by the end of this month). I'm sure there are plenty of excuses as to why this policy exists. My point is that is detracts from the stay and if I had known, I would have stayed elsewhere.

More problems:

- More than half of the cardio machines in the gym did not work. Some had "out of order" signs on them, others you got to experience them not working only after trying to use them.

- The poolside service was poor. Very, very long delays for basic requests to be met, despite the fact there were no more than a dozen people poolside.

- Carbonated beverages at the bar were flat.

In all, while the physical property itself was very good (except for the non-functioning equipment in the fitness room), the experience was disappointing and I do not plan to return. I spend over 75 nights a year in hotels, and being able to relax at a property while being shoved out the door so early on a weekend are incompatible.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank TravelingNomad1000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jackson2180, Manager at The Westin Desert Willow Villas, responded to this reviewResponded October 26, 2013

Dear guest, thank you for letting us know about your experience. I apologize for the miscommunication regarding late checkouts at our property. We do try to extend later checkouts whenever possible. We will also address with our teams the pool side service and the fitness center maintenance. We hope your travels return you to the desert. I would like the opportunity to connect with you regarding your experience. warren.jerome@westin.com

Warren Jerome

Director of Operations

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695 - 701 of 981 reviews

Reviewed October 14, 2013

My family and I just returned from a great stay at the Westin Desert Willow Villas. Front desk staff was very attentive and helpful. They upgraded our room at check-in when I requested a roll away bed. The pool and other hotel staff were all great! My kids loved the golf cart rides from the hotel room to the main pool area. We stayed on a special rate through Starwood and they wanted to give us the ownership sales "pitch". I politely decilined and it was no big deal. We stayed in Building 6 and the only issue was a very loud vibration and noise coming from the AC system. I turned off the AC in our room for awhile and it still continued so it must be from other units. My daughter had trouble sleeping, which was a disappointed. Definietly request a room away from the loud AC system. Overall, great property, pool area and stay.

Room Tip: Stay in a room away from the loud, vibrating AC System.
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with family
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Thank solvangsurf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jackson2180, Manager at The Westin Desert Willow Villas, responded to this reviewResponded October 26, 2013

Dear guest, thank you for taking the time to provide us your feedback. The staff will appreciate your comments on their service. I apologize regarding the noisy AC. We will definitely look into that situation in Building 6. We would like the opportunity to serve again in the near future.

Warren Jerome

Director of Operations

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Reviewed October 5, 2013

We spent 4 nights here in April. This was a trip for kids and grandparents to visit, relax by the pool, exercise and recharge. There are far better options in Palm Springs/Desert if you are looking for night life and people watching but for a quiet escape this is great. The facilities were in excellent condition, even if the square footage was a bit tight for 4 of us. However, the shaded deck was great for meals and a glass of wine at night. The gym had a good mix of cardio and strength equipment, all in working condition unlike most hotels where it seems one or two machines are always out of service. During peak hours it was very crowded so plan accordingly. We didn't golf or play tennis on this trip so no comment of those facilities. Our kids normally are not fans of Kids Club but they enjoyed this one and even more so enjoyed all the poolside activities during the day. There is a waterslide but it has a height requirement which our 6-year old didn't meet. Two pools with the one by the waterslide being a bit more kid oriented. Cabana rental was reasonable and well worth it considering the shade and refrigerator for snacks. Book early - we tried to get rooms for next year but they are already full!

Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
3  Thank Briansdca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jackson2180, Manager at The Westin Desert Willow Villas, responded to this reviewResponded October 10, 2013

Dear Wonderful, we were excited to here that our resort met your needs. We appreciate your feedback on the facilities and gym area. We hope by your next visit your 6 year old will be able to experience the waterslide. Thank you for taking the time and we look forward to your return.

Warren Jerome

Director of Operations

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Reviewed September 27, 2013

We stayed here after a long trip from Chicago. So needed heat, relaxation and to seriously kick back! Well it was perfect for that.

Normally my partner and I always place important emphasis on location, being able to to walk to restaurants and bars. Well we decided this time to do the opposite and that to stay in the middle of the desert surely would make us relax. There's nothing around you, so less choices sometimes is relaxing. Either eat in the hotel restaurant at night, or cook in the apartment. We did both. The restaurant was reasonably good, not expensive. The night we cooked was just lovely too. We sat on our ground floor terrace overlooking the beautiful desert, golf course and twinkling stars. What could be nicer!

The accommodation was lovely and great value for money. It seemed all very brand new and tasteless decorated. There was a dining room and kitchen with everything you need, inc dishwasher and washing machine/dryer. So overall everything was very convenient.

We stayed on block 5 which was nice as it had great views over the desert and golf course. I loved the scenery. Next to our room were barbecue facilities, and also table tennis table and a pool table.

As the resort was spread out, and although walkable to each part of the hotel, there is a cart facility which picks you up and takes you everywhere. As it was soooo hot, 104 degrees, we called for the cart as everyone seemed to do. They come straight away.

Overall, great for total relaxation, great desert scenery and heat.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank sweetpeakirk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jackson2180, Manager at The Westin Desert Willow Villas, responded to this reviewResponded October 2, 2013

Dear Total, we were excited to hear about your restful stay at our resort. It was great to know that the accommodations and amenities met your needs. The staff will be happy to know that your stay was a positive one. Thank you for providing us your feedback. We hope you can return in the near future.

Warren Jerome

Director of Operations

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Reviewed September 18, 2013

Thank you to all the Tripadvisor reviewers in July 2013, you guys really nailed this hotel.
This is our week #2 West coast vacation in end of August, and a stop over for us ( wife and 10 yrs old ) from Prescott valley to San Diego.

All the front desk staff, concierge, and Express staff were great. Big thank you to "Emily " who extended our check out time to 12Pm so my son can used the water slide ( the reason why I picked this hotel ) at the pool. We assigned to building #5 on the top floor ( Bldg 1 and 2 are close to the pool, but was told they reserved for the owners of vacation club ). You can drive and parked by the front desk building ( 1 mins ) or call for a golf cart to pick you up to the pool area. The room was spacious, modern, and come with the washer & drier ( a big help to wash all dirty clothes from week 1 ). The only complaint is the sofa bed are only good for someone who is 100 lbs or less.

The Agave restaurant staff were also very accommodating, we walked in past the closing time and they still accepted us for diner.

We really love this place and we are hoping we can stay longer the next time.

Room Tip: Buiding 1 and 2 are close to the pool, but it can be very noises.
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Castle88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jackson2180, Manager at The Westin Desert Willow Villas, responded to this reviewResponded September 23, 2013

Dear Excellent, Thank you for taking the time to provide us your feedback. The Front Desk, Concierge and Service Express teams appreciate your kinds words. We will be sure to share your comments with Emily and thank her for making a connection with you. We hope you can visit again in the near future.

Warren Jerome

Director of Operations

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Reviewed September 11, 2013

We wanted to stay at a resort/timeshare where we could prepare meals, and just relax for a couple of days. Since we had a great time at the other Westin property (the Westin Mission Hills Villas) last year, we decided to check this property out for a change. As with the Mission Hills Villas, the core building facilities (pool, gym, restaurant, etc) are not directly connected to the villas; we were placed in villa building #5, which is shorter in distance to the main pool than the way it looks on the printed map! (its a very short walk, which can be done even in the summer heat). Our room was a very large 1-bedroom corner location, with a queen size sofa bed. The room was nicely furnished and comfortable, the well appointed kitchenette consists of a full size refrigerator, electric stove, and a microwave/convection oven. Outdoor gas grills are located in between building 5 and 6. As for resort amenities, there is pretty nice 3-story pool slide, a well-equipped Gym (complete with a sauna AND steam room), two well-maintained tennis courts, a bar/restaurant and an interesting "mini-market". Since the core-building is not directly connected to the villas, the pool area is open 24 hours, which was great! So In a nutshell: the Good: New resort/timeshare, nice facilities, 24 hour pool area, nicely furnished rooms, and nice staff! The Bad: the area where the resort is located is still underdeveloped, so the physical location feels a bit isolated, which isn't really a bad thing, unless you get the need to get out to look for some nightlife. Would definitely consider coming back to this place again (and if you had to choose between the Westin properties, choose this one)!

Room Tip: try to get a corner suite if you can, and try to get a room on the 2nd or 3rd floor (the property do...
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Robo-rk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bayron G, Manager at The Westin Desert Willow Villas, responded to this reviewResponded September 15, 2013

Hello--
Robo-rk, I am happy to learn you enjoy the property during your stay. I am sorry we missed the opportunity to show case the city of Palm Desert. We have great concierge team that can help you familiarize with the sorounding of the property. Please connect with us before your next visit to Palm Desert so we can ensure your stay is a relaxing and renewing as possible. Thenk you for your support and we hope to see you again soon.

kind regards,

Bayron Garcia
Operations Manager

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Reviewed September 11, 2013

This was my first time here and I am an SPG elite traveler and not a timeshare owner. It is new and nicely laid out, as well as convenient access to I-10. If you're looking to spend most of your time in Palm Springs, this is NOT YOUR PLACE as it is a 30 minute drive. The only time I even felt they knew I was SPG elite was at check in, other than that there are no upgrades (hotel wasn't full) and no in room amenity/water. When you ask for a late check out, you get the "snarky front desk agent look" of DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT EXPECTING A LATE CHECK OUT HERE! The pool area is nice, but with a maximum depth of 4 feet. If you want to minimize the screaming kid factor at the pool, go early. The rooms are pretty awesome, amongst the best you will ever find at a timeshare property like this one. One unexpected pleasure was the restaurant, which I would have expected to be overpriced and under delivered. Happily, it was the exact opposite and we had 3 meals there.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Viking94708
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bayron G, Manager at The Westin Desert Willow Villas, responded to this reviewResponded September 13, 2013

Hello--
Viking94708, I am sorry to learn we did not met your expectations as an SPG memeber, We do offer late check-outs and upgrades based on availability, Ownership level and SPG level, I am sorry we were unable to accomodate your request at the time of your visit. On a more positive note, We will be opening another pool by the end of September that will help alleviate the noise of the pools. I am dissapoined to learn you did not feel we appreciate your SPG memebership, Please connect with me on a future visit to Palm Desert and I will ensure your stay goes well. Thank you for the feedback and look forward to welcome you back!

kind regards,
Bayron Garcia
Operations Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Westin Desert Willow Villas

Address: 75 Willow Rdg, Palm Desert, Greater Palm Springs, CA 92260-0305
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > California Desert > Greater Palm Springs > Palm Desert
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Palm Desert
#2 Romantic Hotel in Palm Desert
#5 Business Hotel in Palm Desert
Price Range: $166 - $438 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — The Westin Desert Willow Villas 4*
Number of rooms: 314
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A villa resort offering just-like-home amenities in a world class destination. The Westin Desert Willow Villas features villas up to 1,420 square feet with fully equipped kitchens, private balconies or patios, washers and dryers, separate living and dining room areas, and complimentary Wi-Fi. Experience the value of a villa and enjoy no resort fees. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Westin Desert Willow Villas Hotel Palm Desert

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