This last weekend my wife and I celebrated my b-day and our anniversary at the Westin Austin. Yea, we were dumb enough to get married the day after my birthday and in between Christmas and New Years. It makes for a fun December.
The Westin in Austin is located in the northern part of the city about 20 minutes from downtown. We have stayed multiple times downtown so we wanted to check out the Westin, which is located in the new Domain area. The Domain is an upscale area with many great restaurants and a lot of shopping. More stores than I care for. The Westin in located in the heart of the Domain and is in walking distance to all the hot spots.
The outside of the hotel is nothing spectacular. Really a plain looking building. Whatever you do, don’t pay the $18 valet service fee. The parking is only 20 yards away from the front door and we had no trouble finding a parking spot. Don’t be a diva.
The foyer of the hotel was nice and comforting. I really like the seating options they had and the bar was positioned in an open space. Calling my name.
The room was elegant, but nothing that blew you away. There was no down comforter (a pet peeve of my wifey’s). The shower was great though, which can be a pet peeve of mine. It was large with a stone finish and the water pressure was awesome. Another thing that I always pay attention to is the heating/cooling of hotel rooms. There seemed to be an issue where the a.c. really didn’t get going until about 1:30 a.m. I have to be cold to sleep, so I was up pretty late. The t.v. in the room was a 40” Phillips lcd. Perfect size screen for the room.
Call us crazy, but we always like to work out when we stay at hotels. Maybe that’s because life slows down a bit and we are actually able to get a work out in. The gym was simple with a couple treadmills, bikes, and an elipitcal. The free weights were sufficient and they had a pulling system work out station. They offered disposable headphones too, which was great because we left ours at home. Of course there were towels provided, and water. There were two 40″ Phillips LCD t.v.’s in each corner of the room, so I was able to sneak in some football as I worked out. Major score.
We walked by the pool on our way to the gym and it looked inviting. It was in the 70′s! The lounge chairs looked very comfortable and I could see this being a good place to relax. As long as you didn’t mind looking at telephone wires and electrical equipment…definitely not a good view.
The customer service is really what stood out. The moment we walked in the door, we were treated with respect and courtesy. I had mentioned to the associate checking me in that it was my bday and anniversary. There is no shame in mentioning this. It was true and I wanted it to be a great experience for me and the wife. Immediately, they responded with enthusiam and said that it would be their pleasure to make it a memorable experience. They asked us our wine of choice and scheduled a time to send us a bottle. Yep, Yep. When we came back to our room after dinner there was the bottle of wine, cheese and crackers, and a hand written personalized note. I liked the extra effort that they went through. They also upgraded us to the executive level floor! Upgrade. This meant that we would get free wi-fi and four passes for breakfast. The breakfast was really good. I’m a sucka for a waffle with powdered sugar, whip cream and fruit. Anytime that we had a request or question, everyone at the Westin was more than accomodating.
In the future, I’ll probably be staying closer to downtown when I book a hotel in Austin. But if I was on business in the north part of Austin, I wouldn’t hesitate to book the Westin (mainly because of the staff). They made our stay feel special and that’s all I can ask for. Well done, Westin of Austin. Well done.
— Geoff Whitmore