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“Amazing Staff, but the resort just missed the details”

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Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa
Ranked #19 of 130 Hotels in Tucson
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Chicago
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Amazing Staff, but the resort just missed the details”
Reviewed August 11, 2012

My girlfriend and I go on a mini vacation every few weeks and try to find some great resorts to stay at. Because I am SPG Gold I really try and stay at Starwood resorts when ever possible. As I own my own plane i try to find resorts near to local airports we can fly into.

First let me say - I stay at A LOT of hotels, so I am a critic and notice the little things that many would miss.

Booking:
I love the weekly starpicks email, and I have booked many last minute trips. The deal offered was fantastic and I quickly booked a trip and surprised my better half with the trip for her birthday.

After booking I called up the hotel to arrange travel between the nearby airport and the hotel. I was informed that there was no airport shuttles to any airport and that my best bet was to either rent a car or take a taxi or private car.

I got a few prices and found I was looking at another $150 round trip. At that point I simply couldn't justify flying and decided I would just drive the 2 hours from my home in Phoenix.

Check in:
This is where the resort just went head and shoulders above almost any hotel I have ever stayed at. Starting with the drive up, the valet was overly friendly and put me in a relaxing mood instantly! I had to stand near my car for about 30 seconds before they acknowledged that we were there, so it would have been nice for them to have walked out as I drove up. There were no other cars there at the time.

As soon as we started talking, I was blown away - they were totally dedicated to making sure my check in was easy. They let me leave by car and get all checked in.

Upon entering the reception desk, the staff were very friendly and worked hard to get us into a fantastic upgrade. The staff were easily some of the most friendly I have ever experienced.

After getting all checked in, I walked outside to have the valet staff offer to help me unload and get loaded up into a golf cart. The staff member that took the two of us to our room was not only outgoing and friendly, he was polite to an almost fault and really did everything he could to showcase and setup the resort. At this point we were completely blown away.

The last time we were in Tuscon we stayed at the Ritz Carlton and I can honestly say by the time we got to the room I thought we were going to stay at a hotel that would blow away that resort.

Getting to the door I noticed scratched and chipped paint on the door as we opened it. The master suite we stayed in was very large, but poorly decorated which I understand is getting renovated very soon.

Entering in, there was a bathroom on the left which was large and a bar in the living room had a cooler (no not a fridge) in the cabinet. The room was old and worn, but had some nice little features.

One thing I noticed was the very old school thermostat in each room which I instantly turned to the lowest setting.

After getting unpacked, we decided to explore and go have a cocktail and appetizer. Plus we had a entire sheet of little coupons and it was time to use one of them :) We walked over to the lobby and into the restaurant below walking up the stairs before having a seat in the lounge. The lounge was nice, but a little worn - everything had little wrinkles and just felt a little old. All things being equal though, the setting was fantastic.

Food:
After being given the menu, I was blown away at how much things cost - actually more than we paid for food and drinks at the Ritz. Undeterred we ordered 3 tapas and drinks. My girlfriend had a strawberry Margareta and our 3 tapas arrived.

The cheese and meat plate was decent, maybe poorly described as 3 meats and cheeses when it was only 2 meats and 1 cheese but it was very good with ample amounts of meat and fantastic pickled veggies that made a nice contrast to the spicy meats.

The BBQ sliders were also fantastic - loved the crunch on them.

Sadly this is where the good food stopped. The Hummus was possibly some of the worst we had ever had, and while we planned on sending it back, our server was no where to be seen. We ended up just eating the bread and leaving the Hummus.

The Margareta was also poor, we each tried one drink and could not bring ourselves to have anymore of this $10 drink.

Again, our server was lacking in the empty restaurant so I went to find her to pay the bill.

Once paid, we walked over to the reception desk to ask about other restaurants we could dine at during our stay because of our poor experience. They explained that that all the other restaurants were currently closed.and my only other option was to go to the clubhouse and sit outside as the inside is members only. Again very friendly but terrible news.

Things continued to go downhill as we walked back to our room. About 1 out of every 6 lights were out and there were huge sections of the walkways that were just pitch dark. We managed to find our way back to the room and decided that we would order some room service desert and watch a movie. After seeing our options included a bowl of icecream that would cost us $20 after tip, delivery fees and taxes we decided to get a ride to the car and go find some snacks. With no mini bar to raid, we really had no choice.

Before we left we asked for some dog beds be sent up, and a fridge after learning that our fridge was in fact a cooler. The staff member who took us back to our car was so friendly and excited about the renovations he actually made us want to come back right then and there.

After stocking up on snacks and drinks we came back to find wonderful fluffy dog beds my pets just loved and a fridge that looked like it had been rolled down to the room.

The room:
The good:
LARGE - tons of space.
Clean - not a spec of dirt.

The bad
No light unless you open the windows and flash the world.
Towels were old and not fluffy
Robes were TERRIBLE - completely unacceptable
A family of elephants were staying above us.

The pool:
The pool was actually really nice, and we spent most of our trip laying in the sun and swimming.

First off, the prices are insane - $10-12 per drink is just too high to enjoy more than a couple. Lowering the price to $7-8 we would have easily spent a few hundred dollars - but having a round of drinks lead to a near $30 bill after tip and tax just makes you not want to buy drinks.

When we got back to our room the second day we found a fantastic treat - the front desk had sent us a bottle of wine and a fruit and cheese platter and a personal card wishing my girlfriend a happy birthday. THIS is the kind of wow we expected at a resort and they sure got a number of oohs and awes as we started eating the fruit as we were starving.

The problem is... we noticed the fruit was COMPLETELY covered with mold. I took a picture of the strawberrys but the grapes and other fruit was even worse. Grossed out we just could not touch the plate. This is the kind of detail that were just disappointing.

All in all:
To Starwood -
You're staff is easily that of a Cat 6-7 resort - keep it up and treat them right!
Your resort is old, and tired with cracked sidewalks everywhere, your renovations sound like its going to fix this. That being said, fix the lights, there is just no excuse for lights to be out and certainly not like that.
Clean up the pool - there are tools out everywhere that need to be hidden away and you need a bathroom out there.
Watch the details - eating moldy food was by far the worst thing that has ever happened to me at a resort there is just no excuse for that.
Check the prices, your in Tuscon not San Fran.
Love the fact you don't charge for pets.

Will we be back? Maybe, its hard to say right now.

Room Tip: Make sure to get a room on the second floor - the floors are VERY thin!!!
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Jordan J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheWestinLaPaloma, General Manager at Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa, responded to this review, August 15, 2012
Thank you for your posting about your trip to Tucson and La Paloma. I’m happy to say that we are in the midst of a $30 million renewal of the resort. Currently we are doing a complete makeover of the guest rooms. I hope you will be back to see our accomplishments. We wish you continued safe travels…remain well. Jonathan Litvack, General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Holbrook, Arizona
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviewed August 10, 2012

I have been staying at the Westin La Paloma in Tucson for business since 2004. The service is better than any hotel in the area. Employee Dawn Glass takes care of all of my reservation needs, which include those who attend meetings with me. The location of the hotel provides me with the chance to relax after meetings. I do not have to listen to traffic and related city sounds while staying there! As a result, I sleep well during my stays! Good Job Westin.

Room Tip: Get a room in the "D" building in order to have close access to the back parking lot.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled on business
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Helpful?
Thank Charles H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheWestinLaPaloma, General Manager at Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa, responded to this review, August 15, 2012
Thank you for choosing La Paloma for your business trips to Tucson. We’re delighted to provide great customer service to compliment the Westin Heavenly Beds. We look forward to seeing you back here soon. We wish you continued safe travels…remain well. Jonathan Litvack, General Manager
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West Hollywood, California
1 review
Reviewed August 10, 2012

The stay at Westin LA Paloma in Tucson,Az the rates are also very good They also have 5 pools we had an amazing time at Westin La Paloma. We booked one rooms for a 3 night stay. THANKS to all the amazing staff who made us feel completely special especially Marije and Chandra

Room Tip: Higher floors have less A/C unit noise"
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank angela o
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheWestinLaPaloma, General Manager at Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa, responded to this review, August 15, 2012
Thank you for recognizing two of many wonderful associates. We look forward to serving you on your next visit to La Paloma. I hope you have time for a longer stay to experience more of our amenities. We wish you continued safe travels…remain well. Jonathan Litvack, General Manager
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Montreal
Level 6 Contributor
273 reviews
62 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 153 helpful votes
Reviewed August 9, 2012

I normally choose Westin resorts and expect great stays. This stay taught me several things about this particular property: 1) It is inconvenient to stay here on business, especially without a car. It took 20 minutes to get picked up by the golf cart vehicle to get to the front desk to meet a business colleague. I had to call the rapid guest services line twice as they seem to have forgotten to pick me up. 2) My room was tired. The carpet and furniture are old. The bed was the usual comfy westin standard. But the bathroom fixtures are old. The towels rough. The bathtub and shower fixtures old. Keeo the flat screen TV and renovate the rest. 3) Coming to Arizona in August for a vacation is nuts. Forget what they say about it being dry. It is freaking hot. It is not just a hot climate. It's a fever.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank thetraveldoc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheWestinLaPaloma, General Manager at Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa, responded to this review, August 15, 2012
Thank you for posting about your recent visit to Tucson and la Paloma. I hope you will return to Tucson and stay with us to see our rejuvenation as we are renovating all our guest rooms throughout this year. We wish you continued safe travels…remain well. Jonathan Litvack, General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oro Valley
1 review
Reviewed August 7, 2012

The stay at Westin LA Paloma in Tucson,Az. was awesome. We booked a Grand Parlour Suite for my grandsons 5th Birthday and send off to kindergarten. The room was big enough to accomodate the friends and family we invited. Miranda Oxford and Melanie Rubio did an outstanding job making sure everyone was welcomed and ready to hit the pool. I would recommend the Westin La Paloma to anyone who is looking for a great place to stay and play. thanks again ladies for all your hard work!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Miriam C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheWestinLaPaloma, General Manager at Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa, responded to this review, August 9, 2012
Thank you for your posting of how you and your Grandson enjoyed this momentous occasion with his friends. We look forward to receiving your phone call to help assist you with another great stay at La Paloma. We wish you continued safe travels…remain well. Jonathan Litvack, General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gilbert, Arizona
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed August 7, 2012

We booked two rooms for a 3 night stay. Making the reservations was easy, we wanted 2 rooms adjourning each other, gentleman on phone was very helpful. Summer rates are also very good. Their service at the hotel is awesome. The location of the hotel and the facility is beautiful.
They have 5 pools, so if you don't have any kids there are two adult areas to swim in. The have a great water slide for the kids. The only problem we had was our room. There were some stains on the carpet and on a chair. And a nightstand was damaged from water which needed replacing. It wouldn't stop me from going back there.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Diane T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheWestinLaPaloma, General Manager at Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa, responded to this review, August 9, 2012
Thank you for your posting. I invite you back to see our renovated rooms that we are renewing. Give us a call and we’ll keep you apprised of all the happenings at La Paloma. We’ll have a beautiful room to accompany the great service. We wish you continued safe travels…remain well. Jonathan Litvack, General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenix, AZ
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed August 6, 2012

I booked two rooms at the La Paloma last weekend for a "guys' trip" with my brother and our dad. I didn't originally plan to golf because my father had torn a tendon in his finger several weeks back. He recovered faster than anticipated and I called 2 days before check in to change our standard rate to the more expensive golf package. I was told it was too late that my rate is locked an not able to be cancelled. I explained that I didn't want to cancel. I wanted to give them much more money to play golf. I was told it was not an option. Period.

Once I booked a seperate tee time I realized why. It would have saved me about 20 bucks a person to get the package. Very classy. I recently stayed for Memorial Day weekend at the Hyatt Gainey Ranch in Scottsdale with family and friends from several states. I coordinated everything and made all kinds of last minute shifts and changes that they were all too happy to accommodate. Speaking with the Westin's reservations team felt like calling my cable company.

The grounds were nice, but not extraordinary. I would say the same thing for the rooms. The hotel is older and in need of upgrades. Everything was clean but seemed very old. Especially the rooms. The pool area was nice. I do wonder though why the swim up bar was located in the kids area next to the pool volleyball when they have an adult pool with no bar? It was a cool feature but was virtually unusable because of the noise and splashing.

We arrived late the first night and ordered room service. What we ordered was a BLT and a "Chicago" hot dog. I would think both items would be hard to screw up and both were terrible.

When booking I wasn't informed of the resort fee ($20). I know that is pretty standard these days but I should be told. It wasn't a big deal until I tried to get on wi-fi on my ipad and there was a charge. What is the resort fee for then?

The best part of the trip was the golf. We played at the La Paloma Country club attached to the resort. The employees there were outstanding (props specifically to Corey at the pro shop). The course is well maintained and has absolutely beautiful views of the neighboring foothills and mountains. Can't recommend the gold course highly enough.

Overall it was not that bad, but was a terrible value for what we paid. And that is what my rating is based on. This is a sub-par property compared to similar golf resorts in Arizona. In Scottsdale and Tucson I have been to at least 5 resorts with similar rates that were much nicer than the Westin and had better customer service. Last time in Tucson I spent almost exactly the same for the JW Marriott and it was a much better experience.

Room Tip: This is a very spread out hotel. Realize what you are there to do (pool, golf, etc.) and request a r...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SouthwestRK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheWestinLaPaloma, General Manager at Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa, responded to this review, August 9, 2012
Thank you for posting. I would like you to call us directly to let us provide the service you expect and deserve at a Westin. We will be delighted to assist you with customizing your stay and provide a great golfing experience. Corey will be at the Pro Shop ready for your arrival. We wish you continued safe travels…remain well. Jonathan Litvack, General Manager
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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 La Paloma Resort and Spa

Property: Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa
Address: 3800 East Sunrise Drive, Tucson, AZ 85718-3302
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Arizona > Tucson
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Business Hotel in Tucson
#7 Spa Hotel in Tucson
#7 Top resorts Hotel in Tucson
#9 Green Hotel in Tucson
#10 Luxury Hotel in Tucson
#11 Romantic Hotel in Tucson
#15 Family Hotel in Tucson
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 487
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Experience the newest level of luxury in the Southwest at Tucson's iconic Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa. This AAA Four-Diamond resort, beautifully situated in the lush foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains, has undergone a $305 million resort-wide rejuvenation. The result is a more contemporary, personalized flare to the resort's renowned elegance that exceeds expectations and fulfills every guests needs. Each of the 487 spacious guest rooms (including 25 expansive suites) have been meticulously reappointed, with attention to the smallest details, to provide the most relaxing and convenient space to unwind. A perfect getaway for couples, families or corporate retreats, The Westin La Paloma Resort offers world-class amenities including five re-imagined resort swimming pools and the 177a€™ Sidewinder water-slide; 27 holes of Jack Nicklaus Signature golf; the full-service, restorative Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa; WestinWORKOUT Fitness Center; Kids Club; and 8 exceptional dining options. Just 25 minutes from the Tucson International Airport, The Westin La Paloma Resort is conveniently located near art galleries, shopping, and a wide variety of signature destination attractions and dining. Courtesy transportation is provided for guests via new Mercedes Sprinters to the upscale La Encantada shopping center. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Westin La Paloma Hotel Tucson
Westin Tucson
Westin La Paloma Tucson Arizona
Tucson Westin

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