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Monday Morning Consultant – Westin Calgary review

Calgary is quiet town relative to Montreal, Vancouver, Toronto … in that order. However with all the money that this town is awash in … there seems to be a startling lack of high end hotels in Calgary. So far I’ve stayed at two Starwood properties here …  Sheraton Cavalier and the Westin Calgary

Once again, my loyalty has been driven by a triple points promotion that Starwood has going on till Dec 18th, 2011. With the rates that the hotels charge, this basically translates to about 8000 points a week – which is almost a free night in a Category 5 hotel. This is definitely not a bad deal right now.

The check in process was painless and they recognized my “Plat” status immediately and upgraded me to the Business Tower – this hotel doesn’t have an Executive lounge … which is a peeve of mines for a hotel that charges a higher end rate. The Westins are also running a “Green Choice” promotion.

This translates into an extra 1500 points for a 4 night stay, which is a handy bonus, since I never actually want the housekeepers to come into my room unless they’re dropping off fresh towels. The one thing I always notice at Westins, would be the signature “green tea” scent that have in the ventilation system. This would definitely be one of those exceptions … this is a business oriented hotel from the outset – everything is clinical and precise but not over friendly.

  • Room

I’ve stayed at this hotel for the past 4 weeks and I’ve been in both a regular room and corner Jr. Suite and neither has completely impressed me at all. The regular room (room 1619) is your typical hotel room, but not really a standard Westin room. (Note the improperly made bed – this is another peeve of mine – I expect when checking into a room, that the bed has been properly made by the chamber staff)

As for the Jr. Suite – this was more in line with the Westin expectations. (Room 1511)

The bathroom is was stocked with traditional Westin White Tea amenities … but having a TV in the bathroom mirror was a definite Japanese typ surprise. Double toiletries in the bathroom; shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, shower gel, mouthwash, shoe shine cloth, and shower cap.

Another source for improvement would be the lack of control of the shower – the water in 5 rooms has not been hot enough. Additionally, I have not been able to reduce the temperature in any room appreciably – I like sleeping at 17C, yet for some reason, I have not gotten a room to drop below 21 or 22 C (71 F). I’ve read that the reason given was they turn off the AC after summer – which is complete rubbish. You want to save energy by claiming “green benefits?” … well when I want to sleep, I couldn’t give two shits about “green benefits”, when my work suffers from a lack of proper sleep.

  • Club Lounge

Can’t write much about this, since there is no club lounge … yet another check mark against this hotel.

  • Other services
High Speed Wired/Wireless Internet Access NO FREE WIRELESS IN THE HOTEL LOBBY – this is just piss poor. Upload and download speeds were consistent with my expectations. Free for Platinum members – didn’t actually inquire to the cost.
Concierge
We didn’t use them but there is a concierge on staff located in the lobby, to your left as your enter.
Parking/Valet Fairly reasonable for a downtown location
- $20 Self Parking
- $28 For Valet Parking
Dining Restaurants are onsite and I’ve been eating at the Keg, so that I don’t have to use my per diem directly, and instead I charge it to the hotel room.
Pool The pool is in the business tower in the top floor.
Gym Poor fitness facilities compared to better Westins. In fact, they’re renovating the gym facilities over a couple weeks and still the new gym will be poor in comparison to other Westins … see the Westin Chicago North for a great Westin gym.
Business Center Hotel has one and offers typical services in there. Can’t offer much advice, since I always have my own laptop
  • Overall thoughts

This is a good business class hotel and but personally rates a weak 6 for me, which isn’t the expectation that I have for the Westin.

Staff attitude, conduct and support Professional, courteous and very helpful – which is the standard expectation, nothing above and beyond for me
Hotel Cleanliness Met with the Westin expectations.
Location Definitely a good location. This hotel is very centrally located and has access to the Financial hub as well as the energy buildings around. The central core in Calgary is small, so you can get anywhere from here.
Would I return? Without a promotion, I would be tempted to go over to the Hyatt Calgary – they have a better gym, restaurant and service
Family friendly?
This is a business hotel. During the week, you will rarely see any families at this hotel. In fact, over 5+ weeks, I have not seen a single child at this hotel. I’ve seen high class Russian prostitutes but no children.
Good for business travellers?
Definitely a good business hotel and is geared to those travellers but not really those with higher end expectations from the Westin.
Value for price paid?
Hotels in Calgary are expensive. You can find lower tier hotels at a more reasonable price but the location and the amenities are good value comparative to other business hotels in downtown Calgary. However, I would not personally spend my money to stay here

About rishiray

Rishi Sankar is a PeopleSoft HRMS Project Manager and Oracle Solution Architect. Over the past 10+ years, he has managed to combine his overwhelming wanderlust with a desire to stay employed, resulting in continuing stints with 2 major consulting firms. He documents his adventures around the world on "Ah Trini Travelogue" with pictures and stories from the road/tuk-tuk/camel/rickshaw. You can follow him on Twitter at @Rishiray and on Facebook. He doesn't like Chicken Curry but loves Curry Chicken and is always trying to find the perfect Trinidadian roti on the road. He also doesn't like cheese and kittens ... and definitely not together. E-mail from his blog is appreciated like a 35 yr old Balvenie at rishi@rishiray.com