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“Not Really a Westin”

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Westin Oaks Houston at the Galleria
Ranked #150 of 518 Hotels in Houston
Reviewed December 7, 2010

Starwood and Westin have built a great brand that is widely recognized in my high-travel industry; this hotel does an extreme disservice by diluting that brand.

The Good - the hotel is attached to the Galleria mall which makes shopping easy and a plethora of eating choices; the sports bar, while not fancy, had a really good salad

The Bad - the building is old, and while apparently being remodeled, the remodel is obviously very skimpy; why wouldn't you replace chipped wood, dinged doors, dirty/backed-up tubs, noisy A/Cs and popcorn ceilings if you are going to go through the remodelling effort?

The Ugly - the service is subpar and not nearly up to SPG/Westin standards - examples:

1) No one working the Preferred/Platinum desk at checkin (had to ask and ended up taking longer than if I had stood in the regular checkin line)

2) TV didn't work - had to call a second time after waiting 2 hours

3) Valet wouldn't answer phone in the morning for request to pull around car, when I went downstairs and they did pull the car around, they blocked the driveway with another customer's car while they unloaded many boxes despite my request to pull to the side so I could leave

4) The gym is actually across the Galleria mall at the Galleria Westin (different hotel); this is not obvious in the hotel's guide book

Definitely will never stay at the Westin Oaks again, even if I have to stay at a non-Starwood property. Westin/Starwood should pull their name and affiliation with this hotel.

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled on business
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Thank JJnero
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
westin_oaks, Guest Relations Manager at Westin Oaks Houston at the Galleria, responded to this reviewResponded January 10, 2011

Dear Jjnero,

Thank you for taking a moment to provide us with invaluable feedback regarding your experience in our hotel. At Westin, we strive to provide our guests with a lavish escape to a serene and upscale environment and we deeply regret on this occasion we failed to deliver on our promise. I apologize your stay was nothing how you envisioned regarding service and the condition of our property. I agree the challenges you experienced while attempting to check-in and the excruciating wait for someone to address the television issues is unacceptable and appalling. Our guests should experience personal and instinctive service and I truly regret this is not what you encountered from various departments. During the end of December 2010, the Westin Oaks completed a ten million dollar transformation and we apologize our ongoing transformation at the time of your visit fell short of your expectations. I am delighted to mention our renovation included a new state of the art workout facility. We understand your views regarding the journey our guests would have to make through the mall in order to utilize the gym at our sister property (the Westin Galleria) and we are glad we now offer a gym at the Westin Oaks. We know you did not come to a hotel of our caliber to have these types of experiences and we understand your frustrations. Please know that this experience was not the standard, but an exception and we look forward in addressing these issues with the appropriate departments for an immediate resolution. On a positive note, the Westin Oaks is located in the heart of the Galleria area and there are a lot of advantages with being attached to the fourth largest mall in the United States-we are glad our location was accommodating to your needs. If, your travels bring you back to the Houston area, we would love the opportunity to make a better impression. Feel free to contact me back directly via email at danny.ruiz@westin.com. Kind regards,

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Reviewed December 5, 2010

Just stayed at the Westin Oaks for 1 night. A SPG Platinum, it was nice not to have to ask for an upgrade or be surprised because I got a regular room. My biggest issue with this hotel, based on comments from this forum and Tripadvisor.com was the hope to get a “renovated” room.

1. Checked in at 3:50pm. My Plat was recognized, and I was told that I was upgraded to the Regency Suite. Nice, I thought. He then told me the room was not ready, and asked me to wait 30 minutes. I gave an annoyed look-I thought pre-blocked rooms would be done first; he then responded to my face and called housekeeping to check, and politely asked me to wait 10 minutes. Ten minutes passed, and I was called up by another front desk clerk that my room was ready.
2. Neither points nor amenity was offered at checkin.
3. The renovation is continuing, at least in the lobby, but appears about done. Lobby is small, but nice. The Regency Suite is on the 21st floor.
4. The first time, I got onto an elevator that didn’t seem quite completed. I honestly couldn’t tell, which is scary. Two big warning stickers were on the doors, and it looked either new or very clean. The carpet appeared new.
5. Every other time (maybe 2 elevators?) was part Aloft and part The Plaza meet Ritz Carlton. I guess they aren’t done yet…I'm not sure of the "fabulous" elevators mentioned in a previous post, but I guess they were not operating, or I did not get lucky.
6. The door opened around the 17th floor and a woman entered. When the doors opened, I thought I was on the roof; the floor appeared to be cement, and the walls very bland. No…it was a renovated floor. Very light colors seemed to look unfinished to me.
7. I got up to 21, and to the left was “the roof”, which seems to be a meeting/party room. To the right was a set of swinging metal double doors that were closed. It looked like the back of the house entry. I had to take a third look to realize that is where the rooms were.
8. A short hallway with about 8 doors and 3 suites or so led me to the Regency Suite. Am I back at Hyatt?
9. The Regency Suite is a very large, mostly built for entertaining/receptions than a guest room. A ½ bath is on the left, and down the end of a long hallway is the bedroom. Slightly larger than average with a flatscreen, floor to ceiling windows (very nice) and a desk with outlets on the side.
10. Turning out of the bedroom and down another hall is a small, room-size sitting area with two sofas, a stereo and flatscreen. A small butler area with a fridge and typical Westin coffee machine is also next to the room.
11. The next room is a huge living dining area also with a flatscreen TV, two chaise lounges (with trays that are pretty much useless because of their height), a good size sofa and a fireplace. Floor to ceiling windows make for a great ambiance as well, but west facing it was very very hot.
12. I started to hang out in the big room, but it was just too much. I moved to the smaller sitting area.
13. Overall, I think the room is semi-renovated. Newish carpet and the furniture appears new as well. Bathroom are clearly the original, and tile/grout is quite stained. While I wouldn’t expect there to be usable balconies, there is space, but in at least one room a cable acted as the balcony railing—a little tacky. Very difficult to get the temperature right due to the size, windows and many controllers.
14. Grabbed dinner at Chili’s, a beer at Shuckers. 22oz beers always $3.25 at Chili’s. Shuckers, that has a good sports bar atmosphere, has a $5 22oz beer special until 7pm…$6.25. Go to Chili’s on the bottom floor.
15. No turndown. 1 bottle of water for night.
16. Shower was only a 1 head, although the sticker showed the instructions for the Heavenly shower. This was disappointing. The other disappointing thing was when I looked up from the shower, the ceiling tile had been moved so someone could peer right down. Now, I have nothing to hide, but would be very concerned if I were a woman. At this time I noticed most the tiles in the ceiling were old and filthy.

Too bad, because this hotel has so much potential. I hope that the renovations fix these things, but they just can’t happen fast enough. I’ll come back, but will probably request no upgrade and a renovated room, as previous posters have indicated.

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled on business
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Thank KansasCityGuy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 18, 2010

We spent 11 nights here and couldn't fault it at all. Really clean, comfortable and quiet.

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank littlereddevilag
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
westin_oaks, Guest Relations Manager at Westin Oaks Houston at the Galleria, responded to this reviewResponded December 3, 2010

Dear Littlereddevilag, thank you so much for your wonderful review of our hotel. We are delighted to know you were completely satisfied with the accommodations we offer. At Westin, we strive to provide our guests with a lavish escape to an upscale and tranquil environment and we are exhilarated we delivered on our promise. Again, thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us and we hope to have you back as our guest in the future. Warmest regards,

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Reviewed November 10, 2010

I acknowledge that the hotel is being renovated, but it really ought to be closed down until the renovations are complete. The elevators are fabulous, but they seem to be haunted as they stop on floors at random. The rooms, though extremely large, are sparsely furnished and decorated. I rather felt like I was in the Shining when I stayed here as there was so much construction going on. What a shame. Westin Hotels really seem to be going down in quality. Have they changed owners? I come to Houston for work quite regularly and still am shopping for the right hotel in the Galleria area. I will not be returning to this one, nor will I try the Westin Galleria for fear that it will be similar.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled on business
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Thank seahoyden10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 27, 2010

Our stay was Oct 22-24. I won this hotel stay by bidding on priceline. I got a good rate, but once i looked up the reviews on tripadvisor I seriously considered getting another hotel instead and foregoing this one. I was extremely hesitant because it was my husbands 35th birthday celebration weekend and I needed everything to be perfect. I am so glad I decided to give it a chance and continue with my reservation because the Westin Oaks was WONDERFUL! Everything went off without a hitch! The lobby is beautiful. The staff is so kind and friendly and helpful! Checkin was a breeze. We got there early and expected we would have to wait but we were accomodated right away. We were on the 17th floor ( a renovated floor). The room was beautiful, spacious, clean, quiet, the bed and pillows were so comfortable, nice view of Westheimer rd. Everything anyone could want in a hotel room! We didnt have any problems with elevators or water as other people complained. The location is the absolute best you can possiblly get in that area. You have everything at your fingertips as it is connected to the Galleria Mall (4th largest mall in America). Many great restaurants right in that area too. Cheesecake Factory next door. We used the gym one morning which is across the mall (shared with the Westin Galleria). People complained about the walk to get there. It is a short walk. The gym is big and bright and lots of machines (cardio and weights). Water and apples provided. Many people complained about the free parking. It is underground & hard to get a spot during mall hours, but we got lucky each time. It's a high traffic area so people are always coming in and out. If you are not into the aggravation of looking and waiting for spots then there is $10 parking which is very convenient on the ground level. The way I looked at it is that most hotels charge for parking so $10/day is very reasonable; so how can people really complain about the free parking when you have the option either way? On several occasions we asked the front desk staff for directions or recommendations for restaurants and entertainment.. Each time everyone was so helpful. On one occasion, the front desk clerk spent at least 25 min's with us going over places where we could hear live music, calling the venues to see what kind of music they had that night, printing out directions, giving us various options. She was phenomenal! Other things we did on the trip besides great dining and shopping was hiking through Memorial Park (very natural and beautiful) Visiting the dowtown Aquarium (highly recommend- they also have 4 white tigers there) and visiting Lakewood Church, largest church in America (highly recommend- a wonderful place of inspiration). Both my husband and I were very impressed. We loved Houston (we are from Canada) and we would defintely go back to the Westin Oaks in a heartbeat!!!

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank nohotmess
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 18, 2010

While I agree that the renovations make some aspects of the hotel less appealing, overall we had a very decent stay at the Westin Oaks. We stayed on the 16th floor and our room was quite, clean, everything worked and the hotel served its purpose.

I do not believe this hotel should be rated at 4 stars. I have stayed in several other Westin hotels(Downtown Houston, Georgetown D.C) and they were nicer in my opinion. The age/state of the elevator, room and bathroom left a little to be desired. The floor of the tub appeared stained with age, and there wasn't nearly enough light in the bathroom. The windows and balcony were old the room was sparsley decorated.

Until they get everything renovated and up to date, the Westin Oaks really needs to lower their star rating and price because the guests are being shortchanged. Thank goodness I got a very good priceline rate ($55/night) because this hotel was not worth the regular price.

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank William T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 9, 2010

Ok, the hotel is under a huge renovation and yes, the lobby is a mess, elevators are not in the level of the floor ( be careful!), noisy etc etc BUT once you are in your room it wasn´t that bad ....

I stayed three nighst with my two best friends on a shopping trip. The beds are really comfortables, the room was clean, had a cofee maker (great way to start the day!) and the noises began at 8:30/9 am just when we were going out to have breaksfast and go shopping.

We were planning to stayed at Derek Hotel (just crossing the street) when I called the Platiunum Travel service (amex) the lady told me the Westin had a special rate at 145 per night, so I booked it.

As I said, the hotel is under a huge renovation, but if your intention of the trip is for shopping this or the other westin (that was about 250 per night) is the place to stay! Location is excellent, you ARE in the Galleria so you spend your day shopping and just walk to your room to leave your bag and continue shopping :)

For lunch/dinner there were a lot of options, just be sure to get dinner early, most of them closed at 9/10pm (I am mexican so we had dinner veeery late, the first night we almost miss dinner!)

Next trip we´ll try the Derek or maybe the Aria in Woodlands (beatiful neigborhood with a lot of shops and restaurants)

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled with friends
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Thank Lucy K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
westin_oaks, Guest Relations Manager at Westin Oaks Houston at the Galleria, responded to this reviewResponded October 11, 2010

Dear Ms. Villarreal, with regards to our multi-million dollar transformation, we are happy to announce our lobby transformation is now complete. Our lobby now has new flooring, décor, furnishings as well as a lobby bar, where our guests can unwind and relax. We are thrilled this part of our transformation is complete, and I am confident our guests with be satisfied with our new modernized lobby. This major project also includes upgrades to be made to our elevators and this should alleviate the challenges you experienced. We are exhilarated to know you were satisfied with our room accommodations as well as our location. At Westin, we take great pride in offering our guests the Heavenly bed line and we are glad you found our heavenly bed very comfortable. We do take steps to ensure our guests are not impacted by our ongoing renovations, and up to this point we have had great success in doing so, however, we understand there are exceptions. Our transformation is scheduled to be complete by mid January and we truly hope you give us another opportunity to make a better impression in the future. Again, we regret you experience in our hotel was less than perfect and we appreciate you taking the time to communicate your thoughts to us regarding your experience. Warmest regards,

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Westin Oaks Houston at the Galleria

Address: 5011 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77056-5602
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Texas > Texas Gulf Coast > Houston > Great Uptown
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#38 Luxury Hotel in Houston
#112 Business Hotel in Houston
Price Range: $134 - $302 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Westin Oaks Houston at the Galleria 4*
Number of rooms: 406
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Westin Oaks Houston at the Galleria is located in the Uptown Galleria District and offers the perfect setting for those who are seeking the ultimate in leisure, dining and entertainment. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Westin Oaks Houston At The Galleria Hotel Houston
Westin Hotel Houston
Westin Hotel Oaks
Westin Houston
Houston Westin

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